07 August, 2009

Pennsylvania gym killer blogged his own massacre

BRIDGEVILLE, PA - AUGUST 5: Flowers are placed...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I was quite taken by this news; seems like there are more and more people resorting to guns when they have problems to unload off their head and chest…


Posted: 06 August 2009 1047 hrs

Police investigate an automobile in the parking lot outside a LA Fitness following a shooting inside the health club in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania

NEW YORK: A sexually frustrated man who killed three women in a Pennsylvania health club, then himself, blogged his preparations - with the final chilling entry announcing the "big day," police said Wednesday.

The killer, who late Tuesday burst into the LA Fitness Gym in Bridgeville, near Pittsburgh, and sprayed 36 bullets, apparently wrote the blog on a personal web page starting last November.

On the eve of the killings, he wrote: "Took off today, Monday, and tomorrow to practice my routine and make sure it is well polished... Tomorrow is the big day."

Local police superintendent Charles Moffatt said the killer, George Sodini, prepared meticulously.

After twice visiting the gym earlier in the day, Sodini entered the Latin dance class, turned off the lights and opened fire, Moffatt said in a nationally televised press conference.

Sodini carried four handguns, three of which were fired: two 9mm semi-automatics and a .45 caliber revolver he turned on himself. A total of 12 people were shot.

"He shot at least 36 times. He had clips of ammunition that held 30 rounds," Moffatt said, noting that the military-style ammunition had been legal since 2004, when a ban expired.

According to Moffatt, "there's nobody that was in that club that could have done anything to prevent Mr Sodini" from carrying out the murders.

The blog, which Moffatt said was being treated as genuine, and which was quickly pulled off the Internet, reveals a sinister, often banal mind of a man crippled by sexual frustration, anger at women and depression.

A picture of Sodini, 48, attached to the blog shows a lean, white male with slightly graying hair and wearing a smart blue shirt.

Moffatt said the blog clearly showed "the hatred in him" and that computer sleuths were looking into whether anyone saw the blog - and if so, why they didn't report it.

In the blog, Sodini wrote as far back as November 5, 2008, that he "planned to do this in the summer" but decided to see the result of the presidential election won by President Barack Obama.

In December, he again wrote that he had "planned to do this already" and sets January 6 as the new date.

"I wish life could be better for all and the crazy world can somehow run smoother. I wish I had answers. Bye," he apparently wrote less than two hours before the appointed time on that day.

But the next entry described him pulling out at the last minute: "It is 8:45 pm: I chickened out! Shit! I brought the loaded guns, everything. Hell!"

Throughout nine months of rambling entries, Sodini revealed his fixation on rejections from women and extreme sexual frustration.

"Who knows why. I am not ugly or too weird. No sex since July 1990 either (I was 29)," he wrote.

"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."

He was angry at a brother whom he described as a bully and what he described as a distant relationship with his father. In April, he also blogged about his worries over being fired from his job, where the recession was having an impact.

Similar complaints were recorded by Sodini in a message found on him after the carnage, Moffatt said.

Ironically, the blogger wrote that going to the gym helped him relieve his psychological problems.

"My anger and rage is largely gone since I began lifting weights," he wrote in December last year.

But those positive feelings were fleeting and the blogger appeared set on preparing his destructive end.

"What is it like to be dead? I always think I am forgetting something, that's one reason I postponed," he wrote. "In this case, I cannot make a return trip!"

In the last entry, dated August 3, he showed alarm at meeting a happy neighbour, who he worried would distract him from the murders.

"I need to remain focused and absorbed COMPLETELY."

His last words on the blog: "Death lives!"

- AFP/yb

From ChannelNewsAsia.com; see the source story here.

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