Toronto Van Attacker Wanted ‘Beta Uprising’ to Inspire Other Attacks

The unsealed transcripts of Alek Minassian’s interview with police reinforces that incel ideology was the motivation behind the attack.
The man who is accused of using a van to kill 10 people in Toronto told police that he believed he was part of a “beta-uprising.”
The van used in the attack. Photo via THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim.

The man accused of using a van to kill 10 people in Toronto told police that he believed he was part of a “beta-uprising.”

“I was thinking that it was time that I stood up to the Chads and Staceys,” Alek Minassian said in a police interview only hours after the April 2018 attack.

The 26-year-old told police that he was an incel and that he frequented toxic websites populated by others in the community. After one of the worst ever mass killings in Canadian history, he told police he “accomplished his mission.”


Minassian is accused of driving a rented van up onto the sidewalk of a busy Toronto street on April 23, 2018, killing ten people and injuring six more. He is facing 10 first degree murder charges and 16 attempted murder charges.

Of those killed, eight were women and two were men. Minassian said he hoped his act would spark more deaths. The video of the interview has also been released and it shows Minassian dressed in a white prison jumpsuit speaking coldly about his crimes.

“I was thinking that I would inspire future masses to join me in my uprising… how the foundations of the world would be shaken by this event,” said Minassian.

Minassian attempted to have a police officer shoot him by pretending to point a weapon at him when his rampage finally came to an end, but was arrested without injury. Now, more than a year later, a judge has ruled that the transcript of his police interviews be unsealed. While Minassian made a post on Facebook before the attack declaring he was an incel it was unknown just how deep that connection went. The 190-page document contains chilling testimony of a man who harboured a deep and violent hatred for women.

Many times throughout the interview Minassian refers to “incels.” Incel is a term typically used by men who consider themselves “involuntarily celibate.” It's a toxic subculture whose calling card is violence and rampant misogyny. In some corners of the online world of incels, men upload images of themselves to showcase why they can’t get laid. If they have a big nose they’ll call themselves a "nose-cel," if they have a weak jawline a "chin-cel" and so on. Staceys refer to women and Chads the men that they chose over the incels—both, Minassian says in the transcript, deserve death.


Throughout the interview, Minassian speaks of his anger. He says he's part of the incel movement's "beta uprising" sparked by other murderers who followed this or a similar ideology, like Elliot Rodger who killed seven in 2014, and Chris Harper-Mercer who killed eight in 2015.

“It’s basically a movement of angry incels such as myself who are unable to get laid, therefore we want to overthrow the Chads—which would force the Staceys to be forced to reproduce with the incels,” Minassian said to a Toronto detective.

In some of the more dangerous corners of the incel community, Rodgers is defied and looked to as a hero. In a manifesto Rodger referred to himself as the “supreme gentleman,” a title Minassian would use for himself when speaking to the detective in the interview.

“I felt angry that they would [go for the other men]… because I consider myself a supreme gentleman,” Minassian said. “I was angry that they would give their love and affection to obnoxious brutes.” In another section of the transcript, Minassian states that he doesn’t understand why women don’t like men like him, men who are “very nice and acting gentlemanly.”

Incels exist in several corners of the internet, including, unsurprisingly, 4chan and Reddit. Minassian said that he frequented the 4chan board r9K and the subreddit ForeverAlone which both cater to the community. Minassian said that his fellow incels are “too cowardly to act on their anger.” Minassian said he could be described as “ultra-conservative” and enjoyed taking part in alt-right discussions. He also spoke of other ideologies inside the manosphere such as the voluntary celibate MGTOWs (men going their own way).


Minassian also said that he had contact with Elliot Rodger and Chris Harper-Mercer before they committed their murders but those claims have yet to be verified. Minassian said three days before Rodger went on his killing spree the two spoke and Minassian wished him luck. He claims he spoke to the other mass killers on 4chan and Reddit.

“We discussed our frustrations at society and being unable to get laid, and we were plotting a certain timed strikes… on society in order to confuse and shake the foundations just to put all the normies in a state of panic,” said Minassian.

It’s important to take these collaboration claims with a grain of salt as they’re not verified and send up several red flags. In the interview, Minassian offers up the user names associated with Rodger as Valtharion, and SpaceRobot for Harper-Mercer. While Valtharion is known to be one of Rodger’s online handles, Robot/SpaceRobot is the general term used to describe the users on 4chan’s incel board—Harper-Mercer wrote "see you later space robots" before committing the worst mass shooting in Oregon's history. Earlier in the interview, Minassian said the first time he visited 4chan was the day of Eliot Rodger’s attacks.

Minassian faces 10 first degree murder charges and 16 charges of attempted murder. His trial is scheduled to begin in February. He faces life in prison.

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