[Weekly Review] | May 27, 2014, by Sara Breselor | Harper's Magazine
Get Access to Print and Digital for $23.99.
Subscribe for Full Access

A mass murder in Santa Barbara, nationalist and anti-E.U. parties are voted into the European Parliament, and 2Pac’s last words

ALL IN MY EYE.Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old son of a second-unit director of The Hunger Games, allegedly stabbed his three housemates to death in the Isla Vista neighborhood near the University of California, Santa Barbara, then drove his BMW to a student district, where he struck pedestrians and fired a semiautomatic weapon out the passenger window, killing two women outside a sorority house and one man inside a deli, and injuring 13 others before shooting himself. The day before the murders, Rodger posted a video to YouTube titled “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution,” in which he outlined the planned assault and expressed frustration that attractive women had not slept with him and that he was still a virgin. Rodger’s parents had reportedly called police weeks earlier after seeing other threatening videos their son had uploaded, but officers conducting a welfare check found him “polite” and “kind.” “If they had demanded to search my room,” Rodger wrote in a 137-page manifesto, “that would have ended everything.”[1][2][3][4][5] Ukraine held its first presidential election since Viktor Yanukovych was ousted in February, voting in billionaire candy magnate Petro Poroshenko president with over 54 percent of the ballot. “He is the one who promises us a good life with European standards,” said a voter. “We hope he will take us into Europe.”[6][7][8][9] Far-right nationalist parties and “Euroskeptic” parties favoring a weaker European Union made significant gains in E.U. parliamentary elections, with the National Front earning an estimated 26 percent of the French vote, the U.K. Independence Party 28 percent of the British vote, and the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party 9 percent of the Greek vote. “It’s an earthquake,” said French prime minister Manuel Valls. Sweden elected one representative from the Feminist Initiative, the Netherlands elected one from the Party for the Animals, and a Russian circus crocodile named Fedya vomited for three hours and missed a performance after a 265-pound female accountant fell on top of him when their tour bus hit a bump.[10][11][12]

General Prayuth Chan-ocha declared martial law in Thailand, insisted the move was “not a coup d’état,” then staged a coup after rival political leaders failed to reach a compromise during two hours of negotiations at a military complex in Bangkok. “Sorry,” Prayuth told the group, “I’m taking power.”[13][14] The U.S. Department of Justice filed cyberespionage charges against five Chinese military officers accused of hacking into the computers of American companies and stealing trade secrets; the FBI announced that it had charged 97 people in 16 countries with using or distributing the software program BlackShades, which allows users to take over another computer’s webcam; and FBI director James Comey told attendees at the annual White Collar Crime Institute conference in Manhattan that the FBI might have to relax its zero-tolerance policy for marijuana use by potential employees. “I have to hire a great work force to compete with those cyber criminals,” said Comey, “and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview.”[15][16][17] The U.S. Veterans Affairs Department announced that it was expanding to 26 VA facilities its investigation into allegations of record falsification and medical-treatment delays that might have led to patient deaths, and the National September 11 Memorial Museum opened to criticism from some victims’ families about the inclusion of a gift shop selling such items as New York Fire Department dog vests and earrings fashioned from trees that survived the 9/11 attacks.[18][19]


Polk State College in Lakeland, Florida, announced that it would begin using a third party to verify job candidates’ diplomas and transcripts after discovering that business professor David Broxterman had falsified his Ph.D. credentials, including a diploma on which the word “board” had been misspelled, and it was reported that Paris Gray, senior class vice president at Mundy’s Mill High School in Clayton County, Georgia, had been forbidden to participate in a “senior walk” after officials realized that Gray’s yearbook quote included a list of chemical elements whose abbreviations spelled “BaCK ThAt AsS UP.”[20][21] Florida state prosecutor Ken Lewis apologized for posting a message to Facebook that read, “Happy Mother’s Day to all the crack hoes out there. It’s never too late to turn it around. Tie your tubes.” “I used a poor choice of words by using the term ‘crack hoe’ instead of ‘drug addict,’ ” said Lewis. “But my message is the same.”[22] Law-enforcement officials announced the arrests of 71 New York City–area residents for trading child pornography, including a rabbi, a nanny, a Boy Scout den leader, and former Mount Pleasant police chief Brian Fanelli, who allegedly told investigators he began looking at child porn as research for sexual-abuse awareness classes he taught at local schools, and that it grew into a “personal interest.”[23] Chris Carroll, a retired Las Vegas bike patrolman who was the first police officer on the scene after rapper Tupac Shakur was fatally shot in 1996, revealed Shakur’s last words, spoken in response to Carroll’s prods to identify his assailant. “He looked at me, and he took a breath to get the words out, and he opened his mouth,” said Carroll, “and then the words came out: ‘Fuck you.’ ”[24]

Sign up and get the Weekly Review delivered to your inbox every Tuesday morning.

More from