The father of UCSB shooter Elliot Rodger says in his interview with Barbara Walters that his son was an “incredible liar” who refused to show him his long screed about no one wanting to have sex with him. Peter Rodger also said he warned his son not to go on misogynistic websites he frequented before his attack.
Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured thirteen others before committing suicide on May 24. In the screed and a YouTube video, he lamented that women weren’t interested in him and vowed revenge.
He had been frequenting websites where desperate men vented their hostility at women, writing on one, “start envisioning a world where women fear you.”
Peter Rodger said that when Elliot sent him the websites, he angrily demanded he stop visiting them. “Elliot, why are you going on these websites?” he recalled saying. “This is negative, this is– evil kind of– And you shouldn’t go on there.”
He also counseled his son not to worry so much about sex.
“There is no shame at all in not losing your virginity at a later age. Some people never do. Some people go into the church and choose chastity,” he remembers telling Elliot.
He said his son also misled him about an incident last summer in which he tried to push several women off a ledge at a party. Several men pushed him off the ledge instead, breaking his ankle. Elliot told his father he had been bullied and attacked, but police dropped the case after learning Elliot was the aggressor.
“He was such a good liar,” Peter Rodger said. “He was such an incredible liar.”
In the wide-ranging interview, the elder Rodger also recalls how he learned his son was dead. Because Isla Vista, the scene of the shootings, was cordoned off, he was waiting in a nearby Home Depot for any news.
“I’ll remember this forever the rest of my life,” Rodger said. “The way [the sheriff] just looked me in the eye, and he said, ‘We’ve found a deceased person and we found a license in his pocket that fits your son’s description.'”
Elliot’s mother, Li Chin Rodger, and Peter’s current wife, Soumaya Akaaboune, both pleaded: “No, no, no, no, he’s not dead.”
Peter Rodger asked for clarification, and got the same response: “We’ve found a deceased person, and we found a license in his pocket that fits your son’s description.”
Peter Rodger didn’t yet realize that his son had also killed six others.
The interview airs tonight on “20/20,” at 10/9c on ABC.
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