Elliot Rodger began his Santa Barbara, Ca., rampage last month by mutilating his two roommates and a friend in a horrific scene. After Rodger killed them May 23, he set out in his BMW and later on foot, fatally shooting three strangers and then committing suicide, says the Washington Post. The parents of the three college students who were stabbed are frustrated over authorities' handling of the case and the scant information that has been provided. They are disturbed by a culture that seems more interested in the killer than in their sons. They are angered by public-health and legal systems that they say value the rights of the mentally ill, including Rodger's, over those who may become their victims. After the rampage, public debate has focused on gun violence, largely ignoring the devastating harm done by the triple stabbing.
The parents are especially angry with the sheriff’s office over several missed opportunities to recognize how troubled Rodger was and thus prevent the killings. One month before the killings, Rodger's mother alerted the sheriff to his deteriorating mental state, telling the department about disturbing videos her son had posted on YouTube. Deputies went to Rodger's apartment but did not view the videos. Nor did they check a state database that would have revealed that he had recently bought three semiautomatic pistols. The three families are lobbying the news media to shift their attention to the victims. After ABC News announced that Barbara Walters would be coming out of retirement to interview the killer's father, the families banded together and e-mailed a producer June 13. “As parents, we plead you [the media] not to focus on the killer side,” the families said in the e-mail. They asked that the network instead “pay respect to the six beautiful live[s] that [were] gone too soon.”