Here’s what a former FBI profiler has to say about the Charleston shooter.

Probably he’s correct.  However, I wonder if we’re going to learn–once somebody gets his hands on the shooter’s birth certificate–that he wasn’t born Dylann Storm Roof?  Perhaps he was born Dylan Something-Else-Entirely Roof.  The mutations of his name reflect the psychological turmoil going on inside him from when he was in his early teens.  Here’s my reasoning/puzzlement.

First, Dyl-ann.  Really?  what Southern working-class father is going to name his son Dylann, rather than Dylan?

Second, look at what he’s wearing in a couple of the pictures.  Some of them show him wearing what appears to be a woman’s watch: narrow gold band noticeably smaller than the watch itself.  Then, although he February arrest report lists him as weighing 120 pounds and he doesn’t look even remotely like a lifter, he is shown wearing a Gold’s Gym wife-beater.  Picture of a big heavily-muscled guy on it.  Is this aspirational or something else entirely?

Third, to my mind, the kid looks to have been deeply depressed from his mid-teens onward.  His step-mother describes him as “bright,” but he did 9th grade twice and soon dropped out.  Been drifting ever since, a worry to his family.  Started abusing drugs.  Sometimes Depression manifests as “violence.”  Mostly verbal and directed at other people in an externalization of what the depressed person feels about themselves.  But it can turn into actual physical violence too.

Lots of times, parents aren’t trained to recognize the signs of this and don’t know anything about it.  Easy to confuse it was something else.  Like “he has his head up his backside.”

So, I’m wondering if the kid is gay.  Closeted gay youth in the rural South.  Can’t find a way to come out.  The watch and the Gold’s Gym shirt and possibly adopting the extra “n” on his name may have been little clues that he was trying to drop.  Hoping to provoke some kind of discussion/revelation.  Apparently that didn’t work.  We probably will not know anything definite about this unless they find some trace on his computer search history.  Feels like he doesn’t fit in.  Looks for something to grab onto.

Which brings us to Storm.  Somewhere on-line I read that it is a name commonly adopted by white supremacists.  May be the same with Roof.  He found something to which he could belong.  Make a name that would ring out.  By doing something terrible.

Anything else?  Yes, one thing.  He bought a gun (far as I can tell), rather than being given one.  Practiced with it.  Probably found out that he was a poor shot.  There’s a laser aiming light under the muzzle of the Glock.  Did it come with the pistol or is after-market?  Maybe it’s another sign of failure.

Last, what is the third patch on his jacket, across from the two flags and over his heart?

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