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Exclusive clip: White supremacist killer Dylann Roof profiled on Vanity Fair Confidential

Dylann Roof on Vanity Fair Confidential
Dylann Roof murdered nine people because of the color of their skin

This week Vanity Fair Confidential looks at the shocking case of white radical killer Dylann Roof, who murdered nine black people in Charleston.

Roof was just 19 on the evening of June 17, 2015, when he attended a church meeting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.

Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston
The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston

During what was a regular bible class he stood up and began shooting African American members of the congregation. He killed nine people, including state senator Clementa C. Pinckney.

Roof fled but was caught by police the next morning in North Carolina during a traffic stop. A .45 pistol was found in the car and Roof was arrested and interrogated by the FBI.

Dylann Roof wearing a jacket with some obscure white supremacy flags on it
Roof wearing a jacket with some obscure white supremacy flags on it

The federal case against him, in which Roof represented himself, ended in January with him being sentenced to death.

However a complicated trial at state level took a different route and saw Roof last week agree to plead guilty to all charges in order to avoid a second death penalty.

Roof was born in South Carolina before living briefly Florida Keys, with his parents breaking up and reconciling several times.

Roof with his car, note the number plate
Roof on the bonnet of his car with a Confederate States of America number plate

During his childhood he did exhibit some obsessive compulsive behaviour regards germs and his hair style, but nothing that lots of kids the same age don’t go through.

As he got older he spent more and more time alone, taking drugs and drinking whilst playing games and watching videos online.

A few months before the attack he was arrested twice by police for acting strangely in a local mall, asking odd questions and trespassing.

Promoting hate crime online and elsewhere often lead to actual crimes against the target communities
Promoting race hate online and elsewhere often leads to actual crimes against target communities

His radicalization seems to have begun with outrage over the media coverage of the deaths of several black men in police custody.

He also seems to have become increasingly obsessed with white supremacist groups, including some historical ones from Rhodesia (modern day Zimbabwe) and South Africa when it was under apartheid.

A burning cross used to intimidate
A burning cross used to intimidate

Vanity Fair Confidential looks further into how Roof became radicalized on the internet and at the online hate groups that continue to sow hatred across the country.

This episode also examines the case of the Garden City terrorism plot to destroy an apartment complex full of Somali immigrants, again motivated by white supremacy ideals.

Investigation Discovery will also be promoting their Stop Hate in Your State initiative as this week’s episode airs. It aims to ensure state agencies are reporting hate crimes and that all groups are protected by hate crimes laws.

You can find out more and help out by going to www.investigationdiscovery.com/stophate.

Vanity Fair Confidential, produced by Truly Original and Condé Nast Entertainment, airs Monday nights at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

James has worked for Monsters and Critics since it started back in 2003. He oversees the business and technical side of things. You can contact... read more
James Wray


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