Thursday, August 06, 2009

A Killer's Journal

The Daily News has excerpts from the blog of George Sodini, the POS who shot up an aerobics class at a Pennsylvania gym, leaving four people dead and more injured.

I find these day-to-day entries very interesting, as he appears to have let it all hang out there. Unlike Joseph Edward Duncan, whose blog attempted to present an innocent victim of circumstance, George Sodini has left us some insight into the mind of a killer.

Here's an excerpt:
I actually look good. I dress good, am clean-shaven, bathe, touch of cologne - yet 30 million women rejected me - over an 18 or 25-year period. That is how I see it. Thirty million is my rough guesstimate of how many desirable single women there are. A man needs a woman for confidence. He gets a boost on the job, career, with other men, and everywhere else when he knows inside he has someone to spend the night with and who is also a friend. This type of life I see is a closed world with me specifically and totally excluded. Every other guy does this successfully to a degree.

There are other entries like this, and several that seem to indicate that the man's main hobby was sitting around, counting the years, months and days since he last got laid, counting the number of times he has got laid, and complaining about not getting laid. Sex, or the lack of it, seemed to be a huge problem for him. He complains about not having been taught how to attract women, he grumbles that his brother is a bully.


I can relate, in many ways, to some of his feelings. I remember being The Rejected One in high school. I remember looking at myself in the mirror for long enough to annoy my mother, searching for the ugliness that must be there, somewhere. What was it about me that caused people to dislike me on sight?

However, eventually I got busy with life and outgrew such speculation. George's solution was to blame everyone, especially the women; those who rejected him in the past, and those who were sure to reject him in the future. He seems never to have got busy with life.

A normal man, in George Sodini's shoes, would have acquired a hobby; something that would get him out of the house and among the kind of people he wanted to meet. Running. Hiking. Photography. He seems to have been interested in fitness, though that may have just been to get an "in" at the gym.

George probably radiated the desperation of a man who keeps track of the dates of every sexual act of which he ever partook...and there is nothing less attractive to the opposite sex than desperation.

George had an added liability, in that he seemed to lack any interest in the individuality of women. He was looking for a trophy girl--slim, fit, sleek, expensive, pretty--not any particular woman. He says above, "A man needs a woman for confidence." He is acquisitive, rather than loving. Detached. Alienated. Isolated. Insular. Crazier than a shit-house rat.

He wanted a trophy, but he wasn't a winner.

I think psychologists will be looking at this journal quite closely.


  1. Christ! Reading that journal made me cry.

    A man so sad, and so crazy. The murders were horrifying. The fact that he was at my co-workers place of biz scary (2 PPG Place).

    I wonder if he worked for my company? We had that layoff scheme at the same time he was talking about. Not that I work in that area (big company).

    So sad. He was actually a good looking man, but obv a nutter.

    It makes me scared for my own brother, who has the same ideals for women. He hasnt had sex since high school, is NOT good looking and in his forties and only looks at girls in their 20's with Playboy bodies which he despises that he doesnt have a chance with.

  2. A lot of men objectify women, and it's always a disaster. Unless the woman truly is a bimbo and doesn't mind....

    Your brother needs a hobby, stat. counselling might help, too. Women are not Barbie dolls, and it's what's on the inside that counts in the long run. Guys who just want to get laid are better off setting up a fiduciary arrangement with a prostitute than trying to get what they want by dating.

  3. Absolutely, Ronni. If Sodini could have spent the money he wasn't spending on counseling on an expensive prostitute, it might have made a difference. He actually could have developed some kind of rapport that would allow her to instruct him while keeping him at business length.

    Or he would have stalked the prostitute. Or resented her because she only did it for money. Well, hell, at least he might get a looker!

    I really think that some guys are just wired wrong. They're like dogs that hump legs. I almost believe they can't help themselves.

    He wasn't stupid, and he was begging for someone to tell him who he was.

    I've been out with attractive men whom I wouldn't have anything to do with, just because they seemed . . . devouring. Like some kind of thing that would attach itself to you, and the more you struggled to free yourself, the more entangled you'd become. You couldn't get too near them or they'd shoot out the second set of choppers and snatch you, like the Alien.

    That said, I have been where Sodini is. Hating that I wasn't "wanted," that I couldn't get the kind of relationship I wanted. In my own defense, I never made it about having a trophy man, or having a man to make me socially all right. But I was resentful and self-pitying just the same.

  4. How is it possible that one gender can be incapable of viewing the other as human? Is it because they don't know their own humanity--that they have a very shallow relationship with themselves? Or is it training and peer-group culture?

    It does seem that he had nothing but his desire for sex to occupy his brain. Well, we're a sex-saturated society, and the biggest prize a man can get is a trophy female--preferably lots and lots of them. That meme is reinforced over and over again. Success means never having to ask for sex again.

    "Money makes women horny," sez Willie Nelson.

  5. Melissa, perhaps your brother doesn't see any disconnect between his own appearance and his desire for Playboy bodies. He thinks that if he just had enough money, enough flash, a hot car, that kind of thing, that women would be crawling into his lap, and his looks wouldn't matter one bit.

    I know a man with badly tended false teeth, a constant aroma of beer and tobacco, bald on top and long and greasy in the back, and whose fingernails never seem quite clean.

    He thinks he's a pretty good-looking guy--better looking than some of the . . . females he sees in bars (and resents not getting any from). I mean: he's deluded. He's a man. Goes with the Y chromosome.

  6. Driver, there are those who don't really see anyone else as human. Psychopaths, I think, are like that. To be honest, we all start out that way. It's an instinctive thing in babies. All they are aware of is themselves. It's the parents' job to integrate the individual into society, and in some cases, something seems to go terribly wrong in the process. I do not yet really know what it is, but I suspect that part of the problem is that some children don't hear enough of "How would you feel if someone did that to you?" Combined, of course, with behaviour on the part of Mom and Dad that displays respect for other people, animals, and the earth.

  7. Men are socialized to be competitive and not to care about their competitor's feelings (and all other men are competitors--the hindbrain sees to that). They are taught to look out for number one.

    Women are socialized to be overconcerned with other people's feelings to the extent that they will not compete. They're taught that everyone else's feelings come first.

  8. And in both instances, the penalty for improper response to socialization--i.e, the man who will not compete and the woman who would--is shaming and ostracization. Those who do not socialize into their assigned sex roles are called out of their genders. Not manly, or not womanly.

    And each sex takes great pride in their respective ethos. Men beat their chests, women beat their breasts.

  9. Fortunately, these dyed-in-the-wool sexist attitudes are diminishing somewhat. I won't say what you say is incorrect, but I've been raising kids for over 30 years, and have seen a lot of changes. Yes there are a lot of people out there who raise their kids just the way they were raised, but there are also some who go into the project with a lot of thought and self-education.

    I tried to make sure my daughters had "boy toys," such as Legos and trucks. You know what they did? they named the biggest truck "Daddy," and the next largest one, "Mommy," and all the smaller ones were the kids, and they played house.

    Neither my daughters nor my son had guns, but my son's dad made sure he was armed and taught how to hunt and fish. I think his dad was a bit miffed that Brendan didn't enjoy those manly pastimes, but he was forgiven when he turned out to be a sports fan.

    Most thinking parents try to raise their kids as individuals, trying to teach them respect for others, gender notwithstanding.

    There will always be those who don't bother, but the socialization process seems to be improving, at least as far as sexism goes.

  10. It's too bad socialization isn't only the province of parents. There are a myriad of influences out there--more than there were before.

    Changing the way we socialize children would mean changing society as a whole, changing our values, changing our gender roles. It's probably too much to expect of a society, and as such we'll continue to muddle through.

  11. It is the job of parents to socialize their children. They say a child's personality is pretty much firm by the time they are 6, IOW, the parents are the primary influence. They set the example. Kids learn values by watching their parents. If the parents show respect for others, for property, for possessions, the children learn. If daddy drinks and beats mommy up, children learn. Kids may rebel against parental teaching--I did, but came back to it, for the most part.

    I am not saying kids are clones of their parents--mine were strong Christians (though not fundies), I am an atheist. My parents were very British, with all the prejudices that entails. I think I might have escaped that one, too. But, I don't steal, I don't cheat, and I treat other people, animals, law and society with respect. I don't pretend to be something I'm not. I cut most people quite a bit of slack, particularly if there is something about them that I like, land I try not to hold grudges.

    I'm pretty sure my parents had something to do with all of that, and cultural influences, not so much.

  12. Well, that WAS another time. Now children may have one parent who works, or two parents who work, an absent or disengaged parent, or be trying to deal with a step-parent and step-siblings, or may be living with a grandparent or aunt. Parents expect schools to teach good behavior and even sexual abstinence!

    It would be nice if every child had two involved parents with enough time to socialize their kids and model good behavior for them. It would be nice, in fact, if we had some well-behaved parents!

    You are also from a somewhat homogeneous culture--not that Britain doesn't have immigrants and ethnic culture, but America is more polyglot and variable in many of its mores and cultural traditions. Hard to know what "bringing up a child right" is in this country--everything from strict Mormonism to hippie homeschoolers.

    There are also well-meaning but naive parents who think television and the Internet is really a good way to learn things and that there isn't any message coming from the tube or computer that they can't monitor or control. And as busy as they are, it's too easy to set a child free in Media World and pick him up later.