Society

Dylann Roof Says Victims' Families Should 'Get Over It'

| by Alex Scarr

Dylann Roof, the convicted mass murderer who shot and killed eight people in South Carolina in June 2015, said in recently discovered video that families of the victims should "get over it."

Federal officials recently allowed journalists and others to view the 2015 jailhouse visits Roof had with his family before his trial, according to The Associated Press. The videos in question became the reason that Roof fired his lawyers and decided to represent himself in the case, as his lawyers wanted the videos released and Roof did not.

In the videos, which have not been made public, Roof asked his sister if the baby she recently had was transgender, and also said the shooting was more than a year ago at the time, and any mourners of the victims should just get over it.

Roof told members of his defense team that the death sentence he received for the murders will not be carried out because he'd be "rescued by white nationalists after they took over the government," according to CNN. The quote was taken from a November 2016 court report.

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The report also suggested Roof had or currently has "symptoms that are not explained by autism spectrum disorder, including anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, disordered thinking, and psychosis (including delusions of grandeur and somatic delusions)."

Court transcripts show that Roof was adamant against any diagnosis of autism, saying autism was for "nerds and losers." Autism also likely does not fit with his white supremacist beliefs, notes CNN. He also appeared content to being labeled as a sociopath, and went further by saying his mental state would be irrelevant because he would be "pardoned in four or five years."

Roof was described as severely anxious in social situations, once threatening he would kill himself if his mother made him go to school. He also skipped school to experiment with drugs as early as 13, as well as engaging in "oppositional behavior." Before Roof began high school, his mother took him to a mental health facility for evaluation.

Logs show that Roof has maintained a low profile in prison, mostly staying in his cell unless otherwise ordered. A prison counselor said Roof was "doing well" and stated that he did not need mental care.

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"There's nothing wrong with me psychologically," Roof said to jurors ahead of sentencing. "Anything you heard from my lawyers in the last phase, I ask you to forget it."

Roof's federal death sentence was a rare punishment, according to The Washington Post. The federal government has only executed three prisoners since 1988.

Sources: AP via WSPA, CNN, The Washington Post / Photo credit: Alper Cugun/Flickr

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