Ben Moynihan was pissed off. The 17-year-old Brit was frustrated about not getting laid, a common source of anxiety for many young men. But he went off the rails, recording home videos—which police later found—in which he complained that woman were fussy and that he had no future. "Shall I stab you in the neck or in the heart?" he asked the camera while brandishing a knife. "Shall I slash your throat or should I just cigarette lighter you or just fire you?"
Moynihan ultimately decided a steak knife would be his best weapon, and began stalking potential victims. In June, he targeted a 20-year-old, who survived the stabbing. Then he turned to progressively older women. But Moynihan was inept in comparison to the serial killers he admired: Both the 45-year-old dog walker and the 66-year-old woman he stabbed lived to tell their tales, making it easy for prosecutors to convict him for attempted murder this week.
Calling himself the "Unhappy Geezer," Moynihan challenged the police to stop him before he found a fourth victim. "All women need to die and hopefully next time I can gouge their eyeballs out, " he wrote in a letter left in a police van. "Every time I stab someone, I run home and I like to smell the flesh I ripped out." He signed the note with the symbol from the video game Tomb Raider and a taunting "CATCH ME IF YOU CAN," prompting a manhunt.
The comparison to Elliot Rodger, who killed six people in last year's Isla Vista shootings, is tempting. After that rampage, the media picked apart Rodger's manifesto and determined that pick-up artist forums had, at least in part, shaped his demented worldview. The Red Pill—the subreddit where so-called "involuntary celibates" gather to gripe—spawned pages and pages worth of discussion about whether Rodger was one of their own.
Like Rodger, Moynihan is on the autistic spectrum. Both also blamed their problems on virginity, left behind gut-wrenching writings, and attacked random women. But the conversation about Moynihan on Red Pill has thus far been nonexistent, suggesting he hasn't quite achieved the same level of internet infamy—if that was, in fact, his goal.
Moynihan has yet to be sentenced, but when in the witness box he said he exaggerated his crimes to cops in hopes of getting locked up for ten years. In the evidence presented at trial, Moynihan comes off as simultaneously monstrous and lonely.
"I attack women because I grew up to believe them as a more weaker part of the human breed," he wrote in what prosecutors called his "Evil Diary." "I also done it to get out of this horrible life with more stress and to save myself and my family, I'm not a bad child and didn't want to do this but have no choice."
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