Saturday, 28 June 2014
The inner monster
This is what Peter Rodger says about his son Elliot, who killed six people in California and then killed himself. He says that his son's actions have haunted him day and night, that he never saw it coming and that he always thought his son couldn't harm a flea.
Every morning he wakes up to the fact that his son was a mass murderer and that on the inside he was very different from how he seemed on the outside. Clearly he's having a very hard time trying to come to terms with it.
How can someone not even have the smallest suspicion that their child has disturbing anti-social tendencies that need to be urgently addressed? How can their child hide these tendencies so successfully, so cunningly, that nobody suspects a thing? It's extraordinary.
On the one hand parents say they know their children so well they can be pretty certain of their thoughts or feelings on just about anything, and there are few surprises. They say they would notice straightaway if something worrying was going on.
On the other hand parents complain that once their children become teenagers they're more secretive, keep a lot of things to themselves and are often totally unfathomable. They develop a hidden, private identity their parents have little knowledge of.
I have no personal experience to offer as I don't have children. All I can say is that it must be unimaginably painful to know your child has done something so heinous and caused so much suffering and heartbreak to so many other people. And if they're also dead, you can't even ask them to explain. It's just a bottomless mystery you will never ever solve. A mystery that will probably haunt you till the day you die, and even make you question your decision to have a child. Peter Rodger's life will never be the same again.
Pic: Peter Rodger and Richard Martinez, father of victim Christopher Martinez