Letter: Systemic failure in Rodger case
To the editor of THE EAGLE:
The management of Elliot Rodger, the Santa Barbara rampage killer, appears fundamentally flawed. The parent called the police alarmed at his posted videos well before the killings. Allegedly "well trained and adept" deputies found him "perfectly polite, kind and a wonderful human being" and never looked at the tapes.
I viewed the tapes. They showed the stereotyped, automatic, repetitive paranoid delusion that girls purposely avoided him and he'd have to get revenge, aimless driving, grandiosity referring to "my magnificence," and apparent withdrawal from everybody.
Then shortly before the killings the parent reported his violence-threatening video to the police and the counselor reported his threatening emails to the police, but they did not apprehend him. Assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) or court-ordered treatment was never triggered. What was most likely worsening paranoid schizophrenia with unconscious demonizing intent, unconscious deluding to justify aggression intent, and unconscious life-terminating intent was most likely not diagnosed or adequately treated.
Where was the psychiatric evaluation? Where was the antipsychotic medication? Most importantly, where was the police supervision to prevent them from putting their so-called "adeptness" before that of the parent familiar with him, the counselor treating him, and a much needed judicial assessment of dangerousness?
Why doesn't Massachusetts join the majority of states that have AOT? We all in America, especially the police, must do everything we can to prevent these unnecessary tragic killings and get those mentally ill who are showing dangerousness court ordered effective psychiatric treatment.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.