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Alleged gunman Elliot Rodger, 22, lived a life of privilege

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Michael Idato

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Californian gunman's killing spree

Police have confirmed Elliot Rodger, the son of a Hollywood film director, Peter Rodger, was the gunman involved in a drive by shooting in Santa Barbara, after he stabbed and killed three people near his apartment.

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He drove a gleaming black BMW car. He went to college in Santa Barbara and his family lived in Calabasas, the exclusive Los Angeles enclave which is home to Justin Bieber and the Kardashian family. His father, a film director, socialised with Hollywood's elite.

Whichever way you look at it, Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old alleged gunman in a rampage that left six dead and seven injured and which was described by a sheriff as "the work of a madman", appeared to have lived a privileged life.

Elliot Rodger with his parents on the <i>Hunger Games</i> red carpet.

Elliot Rodger with his parents on the Hunger Games red carpet.

And yet he felt alone and unable to establish meaningful friendships, rejected by his peers, and in particular young women, a subject he spoke about in a series of video diary entries posted to social media.

Rodger's father is Peter Rodger, a director who worked on The Hunger Games. Peter Rodger also wrote and directed a documentary about religion titled Oh My God, which featured interviews with Hugh Jackman, Ringo Starr, Seal, Bob Geldof, Baz Luhrmann, Jack Thompson and David Copperfield.

Elliot's stepmother is Moroccan-born French actress Soumaya Akaaboune, one of the stars of Les Vraies Housewives, the French adaptation of the "Real Housewives" reality TV format. She also had small roles in the Matt Damon thriller Green Zone, the Gerard Butler romantic comedy Playing For Keeps and the Linda Lovelace biopic Lovelace.

'A living hell': Elliot Rodger posted a video on YouTube titled <i>Retribution</i> in which he vowed to take revenge on girls for rejecting him.

'A living hell': Elliot Rodger posted a video on YouTube titled Retribution in which he vowed to take revenge on girls for rejecting him. Photo: Reuters

Akaaboune met Elliot's father about 15 years ago; the pair later had a son together, who is now six.

Elliot's final video entry, titled Retribution, has become a focal point of media attention on the case, but earlier video diary entries echo its sentiment.

"This world is such a beautiful place. It's such a tragedy I've had to live such a pathetic life in it. All because of the cruelty of humanity," Elliot Rodger said in one video diary entry.

In another, he longed to be a child again.

"Those were the happy years. Life is so much fairer when you're a kid," he said. "When you're a kid you don't have to worry about being attractive or how many girls like you. No one has unfair advantages. And when when you hit puberty your life either becomes heaven on earth or a living hell."

His life, he declared, was the latter.

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