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Friday, August 07, 2009

Gym killer George Sodini posted video on how to control emotions

August 6, 2009

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania--The man who opened fire on a women’s dance class in Pittsburgh this week had posted videos on YouTube betraying his struggle to contain his emotions and desperation for a girlfriend just over a year before his fatal assault.

George Sodini killed three women and injured nine more when he walked into his gym on Monday night, pulled two guns out of his duffel bag and shot indiscriminately into a Latin dance lesson.

For a year before the attack, Sodini kept an online diary in which he accused his mother of being domineering and described his bitterness at the women who had rejected him in the 19 years since his last sexual relationship.

It emerged today that before charting the preparation for his assault, he uploaded two clips on to the video sharing website YouTube. In one, he describes his techniques for containing his anger while the other offers the viewer a tour of his average two-bed suburban home.

Sex-starved gym killer hated women

In a video called “Hide from Emotion” posted on June 23, 2008, Sodini stands in his basement in front of his punch bag and explains his attempts to quell his angst.

He says he wants to be able to share better relationships. “My object is to be able to emotionally connect with people," he said.

Then he looks directly into the camera and says: “It is easy for me to hide from my emotions for one more day: take a long drive in the car, listen to some music, daydream or just do some mundane task around the house that doesn’t really need to be done, that’s not too important.
“And there you go, that’s one more day and one more day turns into one more year.”

A little over a year later, he carried out his assault on the LA Fitness Centre with four handguns that he had purchased legally. After firing at least 36 shots from three of them, he turned one of the guns on himself in the dance studio.

In a second video, posted a couple of months earlier, Sodini commentates over a video tour of his house in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. During the tour, he points out his computers, a 32-inch television, the kitchen and basement he refurbished with panelling and a suspended ceiling.
Sodini highlights a pair of speakers on either side of his couch that double as end-tables and remarks that "women will really be impressed" by the matching fabric on his soft furnishings.
He draws the viewer's attention to a stack of books on his coffee table that include How to date young women for men over 35 by R. Don Steele and what looks like another self-help book called Office Politics.

When he moves into his bedroom, he returns once again to an imagined woman's reaction. “Looks pretty clean, I’m sure she’ll be impressed,” he said.

After publishing the videos, Sodini turned his attention to an online diary, which began: "Why do this?? To young girls? Just read below." He goes on to attack his brother for bullying him and his mother for being “very dominant”.

Over the course of the nine-month journal, Sodini appears to have built up to the attack and explained how he was driven deep into depression by his lack of success with women, strained relations with his family and unstable employment status.

Note: The funerals for two of the victims will be held Saturday, August 8, 2009, while a third will be held Wednesday, August 13. Killed were Heidi Overmier, 46, of Carnegie; Jody Billingsley, 37, of Mount Lebanon; and Elizabeth Gannon, 49, of Pittsburgh.

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