Alek Minassian, the 26-year-old man accused of killing 10 people with a rented Ryder van in Toronto on April 23, 2018, told police that he’s an involuntary celibate (incel) and that he was radicalised online through websites like Reddit and 4Chan, according to a police interrogation that took place shortly after the attack.
Minassian, charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder, said “I feel like I accomplished my mission,” in a newly released video from the interrogation. Minassian can be seen speaking with a police detective about his attack and said that his goal was to put the “normies in a state of panic.”
The alleged killer makes it clear that he found a community of similarly alienated men online and makes multiple references to hateful ideologies and symbols, including Pepe the frog, a white supremacist mascot, though it’s not clear that racism was a primary motivator for the attack. Minassian can even remember that he first visited 4Chan on May 23, 2014.
“And how are you able to remember that?” the detective asks when Minassian cites the specific date.
Minassian said that May 23, 2014 was “a very significant day” when “Elliot Rodger committed an uprising against the Chads and the Stacys.” Chads is a reference to a category of men that incels simultaneously admire and hate for their ability to attract women. Stacys are the category of women that incels find attractive and are often depicted as the girlfriends of Chads.
Minassian can be heard in the video describing Rodger’s massacre, which killed six people in California in 2014, as a “beta uprising,” a reference to “beta males.” Beta males is a derogatory term often used in far-right forums for weak men who are unattractive to women.
Minassian also cites another mass killer as inspiration, Chris Harper-Mercer, a 26-year-old man in Oregon who killed nine people at Umpqua Community College in October of 2015. Harper-Mercer engaged in a shootout with police before eventually killing himself. Minassian tells the detective that he made contact with both Harper-Mercer and Rodger online before they committed their attacks.
Minassian repeatedly uses strange, irony-laden lingo during the interrogation — phrases that are commonplace on extremist forums like 4Chan. At one point in the video the detective asks him how Rodger staged his “uprising” in California and Minassian replies that he “used a gun as well as a vehicle to convert the life status of certain individuals into a death status to carry the message that incels can’t be oppressed.” Minassian appears to use strange wording throughout the interrogation to avoid words like murder and death.
The detective asks Minassian how he first made contact with Rodger, and the alleged killer said that he first found Rodger on Reddit in January of 2014 before following him to 4Chan in May of that year.
Minassian said that he started planning the attack about a month before but had been seething with anger for years before that. He wanted to be killed by a police officer but couldn’t properly fake having a gun and get the cops to shoot.
According to Canada’s National Post, the judge in this case was initially hesitant to release documents and video about the interrogation. But media organisations successfully lobbied to get the materials released because Minassian’s case will not be heard by a jury and instead will be decided by a judge.
The detective asks Minassian what he would do if the families of his victims were in front of him.
“Would you apologise?” the detective asks.
“I honestly don’t know,” Minassian replies.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.