What led George Sodini to leave the shell of his seemingly average life and became the cold-blooded killer that unleashed a storm of gunfire on an LA Fitness aerobics class in Bridgefield, Pa. on Aug. 4, 2009? In the wake of a terrible human toll - three murdered, at least nine injured, and many more scared by terror - small clues into Sodini's twisted state of mind and seething anger at women have emerged.
Credit: AP Photo/Allegheny County Police
On a personal blog, George Sodini raged against women who he felt ignored him. "Women just don't like me," he wrote. "There are 30 million desirable women in the U.S. (my estimate) and I cannot find one. Not one of them finds me attractive." It is not known when it was written, but Aug. 4, 2009, Sodini opened fired on a room full of exercising women, killing three. He did not know the victims.
In order to improve his chances with young women, George Sodini enrolled in a three-day instructional class by R. Don Steele, which featured young, beautiful women advising students how to dress for and talk to prospective mates. Sodini can be seen bottom left in a white shirt on this YouTube clip from "The Right Attitude Workshop."
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Erin Micklow, an aspiring model, actress and fashion designer, was one of George Sodini's instructors in a class teaching middle-aged men how to improve their chances with younger women. "Nothing stood out compared to the other men in the class," she told Crimesider.com. "He just didn't really know how to interact with women." On a personal blog, Sodini raged against women who he felt ignored him.
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In a series of homework assignments for the class, George Sodini posted two video clips to YouTube. In one he says he wants to be able to emotionally connect with people, but explains "it is easy for me to hide from my emotions for one more day." Haunting words considering the massacre to come, but the videos were shot more than a year before the Aug. 4, 2009, massacre that left four, including the gunman, dead.
"I wasn't afraid of him. He wasn't threatening, just a little weird because he was so nervous," said Erin Micklow, an aspiring model, actress and fashion designer, who was one of George Sodini's instructors in a class to help middle-aged men meet women. She said they helped students pick out clothes and make their homes comfortable for women.
Credit: MySpace Photo
Julia Gazzman, left, and her daughter, Joann, were in the room Aug. 4, 2009, when George Sodini turned off the lights and unloaded a storm of bullets into an LA Fitness aerobics class in Bridgefield, Pa. "I looked at her, she looked at me, and I told her to just be quiet," said Julia. "I think about it all day, Joann said. "Just every minute of every day, I can't stop thinking about it."
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Heather Sherba, 22, was shot in the leg and mouth by George Sodini during an Aug. 4, 2009, rampage at a fitness center Bridgefield, Pa. "What do I do? Do I lay here and pretend like I'm dead or do I make a run for it," she said. "I thought for sure I was going to die. I just knew I had to get out of there."