Was today's mass murder in Toronto motivated by hatred of women?
That's a question being asked after a social-media account with the suspect's name praised an obscure movement of men. They describe themselves as involuntarily celibate, or "incel" for short.
The name of Alek Minassian, a 25-year-old resident of Richmond Hill, appeared alongside this Facebook post: "The Incel Rebellion has already begun. We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys. All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!"
It was a reference to a 22-year-old Californa man who killed six and injured 14 in a shooting, stabbing, and murderous-driving spree in Isla Vista, California, in 2014.
Prior to doing this, Rodger posted a YouTube video saying he was determined to punish women who had rejected him.
Rodger described them as "Stacys" and men who were sexually active as "Chads".
He died of self-inflicted wounds but not before he published a "manifesto" expressing his extreme contempt for interracial couples.
Today, Minassian urged police to shoot him after he jumped out of a van, which mowed people down on Yonge Street, killing 10 and sending 15 others to hospital.
The unnamed officer who arrested Minassian is being lauded as a hero. The suspect will appear at 1000 Finch Avenue West court on Tuesday (April 24).
The list of charges will be released at that time.
Two years ago, Elle magazine reported that the term "incel" was actually created by a Toronto woman named Alana in the early 1990s.
After she read about Rodger in Mother Jones, it dawned upon her that he had borrowed the word.
"Like a scientist who invented something that ended up being a weapon of war, I can't uninvent this word, nor restrict it to the nicer people who need it," she wrote, according to Elle.
In the meantime, Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders is urging anyone with information to call a hotline at 1-416-808-8750.
"We’re working collaboratively not just on a local level but on a federal and provincial level,” he said. “We’re looking strongly at the exact motive.”
Saunders also stated that his thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims.
Facebook Canada spokesperson Meg Sinclair told the Globe and Mail on Tuesday (April 24) that the "Incel Rebellion" post appears to have been made on Alek Minassian's authentic Facebook account.
"There is absolutely no place on our platform for people who commit such horrendous acts," Sinclair stated by email. "We have found and immediately deleted the suspect’s Facebook account.”More