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What's to gain from reading a mass killer's manifesto?

by Take Two®

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Isla Vista police identified Elliot Rodger as the main suspect in a shooting Friday night in Isla Vista that left 7 people dead. Frank Stoltze/ KPCC

There's more to understand about Isla Vista shooter Elliot Rodger, but what we do know is that he was a tortured individual.

In a 7-minute YouTube video and a manifesto that's more than 130 pages long, he talks of being ostracized from society, passed over by women, and having anger at the world.

Other mass killers have used manifestos as a way to explain and almost justify their actions, like the Unabomber or the subject of last year's police manhunt here in L.A., Christopher Dorner.

James Alan Fox, professor of criminology, law and public policy at Northeastern University, explained in a recent USA Today column, "The real downside to the media-driven dissection of Rodger's commentaries is in the message it sends to other obscure individuals who may seek the kind of attention they have been denied for so long."

Fox joins Take Two to talk more about the strategy that the public should take to manifestos like this one.

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