There is no way anyone could have avoided the tragedy that took place in the suburban L.A. Fitness gyms' exercise class. Five women, at recent count, died as a result of George Sodini's (48) reported hatred towards women. It was reported that he had never spent a weekend with a woman and hadn't had sex for almost twenty years. Supposedly, he had a history of being rejected by women and had been keeping a blog in which he confessed to having tried once before to commit this crime, but "chickened" out. Evidently, he also struggled with alcoholism. He wrote on his blog that he suffered from depression. His neighbors said he was antisocial. On his blog he stated that he would die on August 4th, 2009. He did. He took his own life that day as well.
My heart goes out to all of the victims in this senseless massacre. It is a repeat of the Virginia Tech shooting in April of 2007. The perpetrator of this crime was a 23-yer-old student named Seung-Hui Cho. Cho was diagnosed with severe depression and a social anxiety disorder.
What is similar with both of these men, and in the case of the two young men who took the lives of 12 students and a teacher in the Columbine School shooting, is anti-social behavior and depression. In all of the cases they lacked control over their emotions and the ability to adjust to society and be accepted by their peers. Their final act of control over an otherwise uncontrollable life was to take the lives of others before taking their own lives.
I hope we can learn more from these disastrous events and that we can perhaps profile the type of individuals who might perform such a heinous act. In every case there is a history of trouble and a paper trail of previous early warning signs. Death threats on websites and blogs that reveal highly disturbed individuals are huge red flags and should be taken seriously. Authorities need to address these people and seek professional treatment for them and follow-up before they become deadly. By now, there has to be a checklist of criteria for identifying these criminals. It is difficult to read about innocent lives being taken by people who have clearly demonstrated the hallmarks of a mass murderer. I pray that schools, parents, law enforcement, therapists, counselors, and pastors, etc. begin to report anyone who displays these behaviors before it is too late.
Again, my prayers go out to the families of all who died or were injured.