Cole Carini, a 23-year-old “incel” who idolized mass murdered Elliott Rodger, lost one hand and several additional fingers this week when he blew himself up with a homemade bomb.
Carini first came to the attention of law enforcement on June 2. He arrived at a local medical center with horrific injuries, including the ones to his hands as well as shrapnel wounds on his neck and face.
Initially, Carini told the sheriff’s deputy who interview him that he’d had a lawnmower accident. However, it was clear that there was more to the story. Investigators pulled his record and found that he’d been convicted once already on explosives charges. Local law enforcement prepared to search the home he shared with his grandmother.
What they discovered was something out of a particularly grisly episode of Criminal Minds. They followed a blood trail from the driveway and into the house, where they found a “flesh colored substance that…looked like a piece of human skin,” according to the official report. Presumably, it was part of Carini’s hand. There were also chunks of flesh on the ceiling.
They also found triacetone triperoxide, an ingredient in homemade explosives, as well as a box filled with rusty nails. In a shed behind the house, investigators discovered more components for explosives, such as PVC pipes and evidence of chemicals.
Why did he do it? According to part of a manifesto found in the bomber’s workshop, he wanted revenge on “hot cheerleaders.”
Carini wrote a narrative story in 3rd person that placed him as a brave hero. The bomber seemed to believe he was making a bold statement and name-checked Elliott Rodger as his inspiration.
“He casually walked through the shopping mall, his jacket concealed deadly objects,” the letter read.
“He was doing it and was assured it must be done. Even if he died this statement was worth it! He had… of tension that would come and go as he approached the stage of hot cheerleaders… A dead seriousness sank in as he realized he was truly passing the point of no return! He decided I will not back down I will not be afraid of the consequences no matter what I will be heroic I will make a statement like Elliott Rodgers [sic] did he thought to himself.”
In 2014, Elliott Rodger killed six people and injured another 14 before shooting himself. Rodger is seen by his followers as a kind of folk hero. These so-called “incels,” or “involuntary celibates” believe that women owe them attention and affection.
Incels have been linked to 53 murders since the incident in 2014, including multiple mass shootings. They talk to each other on forums such as 4chan, egging each other on in violent fantasies of revenge and domination. Unfortunately, the hatred and violence is more than a fantasy for some of these men.