Warning Signs of a Killer

Sometimes he sounds like an angry, bitter man. But most of the time, the gym killer just sounds lonely in the diary he left behind.

Murderers, mass murderers, serial killers, and those who inflict sadistic violence upon others are people that the majority of society cannot begin to understand. Psychologists, police, doctors, historians and sociologists have all tried to study the behavior of such killers to better understand why it happens and how to prevent it.

George Sodini shot and killed three women in a Pittsburgh gym before killing himself Tuesday night. He left behind a Web diary that spells out a combination of things in his life that seemed to push him over the edge.

He was rejected by his father:

“My dad never (not once) talked to me or asked about my life’s details and tell me what he knew. He was just a useless sperm donor.”

His mother was dominating:

“Mum - The Central Boss. [address] Don't piss her off or she will be mad and vindictive for years. She actually thinks she's normal. Very dominant. Her way and only her way with no flexibility toward everyone in the household. A power and control thing. People outside the immediate family like her. Why are people vicious with their closest ones? She is the Boss above all other Bosses.”

His brother was a bully:

“Brother was actually counter-productive and would try to embarase me or discourage my efferts when persuing things, esp girls early on (teen years). Useless bully...He was twice my size.”

He can’t connect emotionally with people:

In this video, Sodini describes how he knows that he does not emotionally connect with people but must work on it so that the young women he wants to date will feel comfortable.

He wants, but cannot have a relationship with a woman:

“No girlfriend since 1984, last Christmas with Pam was in 1983. Who knows why. I am not ugly or too weird. No sex since July 1990 either (I was 29). No ----! Over eighteen years ago. And did it maybe only 50-75 times in my life.”

He feels extremely isolated:

“Why should I continue another 20+ years alone? I will just work, come home, eat, maybe do something, then go to bed (alone) for the next day of the same thing. This is the Auschwitz Syndrome, to be in serious pain so long one thinks it is normal.”

“I guess some of us were simply meant to walk a lonely path. I have slept alone for over 20 years. Last time I slept all night with a girlfriend it was 1982. Proof I am a total malfunction. Girls and women don't even give me a second look ANYWHERE. There is something BLATANTLY wrong with me that NO goddam person will tell me what it is.”

He feels inferior at work:

“The big problem on my mind now is that my job will end soon… I am not ready for the job market. I am ok what I do, a .NET software developer. Not at the top of the class, but I do a good job.”

He threatens suicide, or worse, on a regular basis:

“Jan. 6, 2009: I can do this. Leaving work today, I felt like a zombie - just going thru the motions. Get on the bus, get the car, drive home.....My mind is screwed up anymore, I can't concentrate at work or think at all. This log is not detailed. It is only for confidence to do this. The future holds even less than what I have today. It is 6:40pm, about hour and a half to go. God have mercy. I wish life could be better for all and the crazy world can somehow run smoother. I wish I had answers. Bye.
It is 8:45PM: I chickened out! ----! I brought the loaded guns, everything. Hell!”

He feels hopeless:

“The paycheck is all I have left. The future holds nothing for me. Twenty five years of nothing fun. I never even spent one weekend with a girl in my life, even at my own place. Also unlikely to find another similar job. I guess then is when I take care of things. I don't have kids, close friends or anything. Just me here. If you have nothing, you have nothing to lose.”
“No matter how many changes I try to make, things stay the same.”

In his last entry on Aug. 3, Sodini welcomes anyone reading to publish his notes, because “some people like to study that stuff. Maybe all this will shed insight on why some people just cannot make things happen in their life, which can potentially benefit others.”

Maybe it will shed some light on the reason why. Or maybe there’s little we can do to identify the extremeley desperate before they commit terrible acts.

“Probably 99% of the people who know me well don't even think I was this crazy,” Sodini wrote.

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