CRIME

California Mass Shooter Elliot Rodger Had Penchant For Nazis, Torture Devices: Police

02/19/2015 07:18 pm ET | Updated Apr 22, 2015

By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES, Feb 19 (Reuters) - A 22-year-old California man who killed six college students last year before taking his own life in a rampage near Santa Barbara had an interest in Nazis and conducted a Web search for torture devices, a report released on Thursday showed.

Elliot Rodger stabbed three men to death in his apartment in the community of Isla Vista last May before fatally shooting three more people and wounding 14 others near the campus of the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Rodger had a history of mental health issues and in an Internet manifesto before the rampage, expressed frustration about his lack of success with women.

The report by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office detailing the outcome of its probe into the killings said investigators still could not determine what motivated Rodger to commit the slayings.

But it described him as a troubled man with odd interests.

"It is hoped that a thorough review of these materials by both law enforcement and mental health professionals will lead to the development of some new techniques and practices in identifying and treating such troubled persons," the report said.

Investigators said they discovered that Rodger conducted in-depth research about Nazi Germany, and in particular about Nazi figures Joseph Goebbels and Heinrich Himmler.

Rodger committed his shootings on the anniversary of Himmler's death, but the report said that was likely a coincidence.

Rodger, the son of a Hollywood director, also conducted a number of bizarre Web searches, including one in 2012 for "modern torture devices" and another one for "Spanish inquisition torture devices," the report said.

Police had gone to Rodger's apartment just weeks before the killing spree and asked him about disturbing videos he had posted online. The visit was at the request of a mental health worker who had been in contact with his mother. (Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Peter Cooney)

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