I do not believe, with Pascal, that to understand is to forgive; certainly not when it comes to mass murder. Still, this Daily Mail exclusive probably sheds light on how Dylann Roof became so twisted. This is his father, Franklin Bennett (“Benn”) Roof, who is some sort of contractor:
Yes, those are nipple rings. Roof’s mother seems to have abandoned the family, perhaps understandably. For a while Dylann had a stepmother who cared for him, but Benn apparently beat her and was otherwise abusive, and that marriage ended in divorce. Dylann didn’t finish high school. At 21, he was unemployed and spent his time taking drugs and playing video games.
Of course, lots of people grow up under adverse circumstances and do not become murderers. Many actually become successful people, which Dylann Roof seems to have made no effort to do. But this glimpse into his history no doubt helps to explain why he became the dysfunctional murderer who soon may face the death penalty.