SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CBS 8) - Why did John Gardner kill Amber Dubois and Chelsea King, and could the killings have been prevented? Those are questions only he can answer. News 8 spoke exclusively with Gardner about his long history of mental illness and the motivation behind his horrendous crimes. He says he has received many emails in jail, and everybody has the same question -- why?
"There are so many things that caused me to go into a spiral downhill that I went in," Gardner said.
Confessed rapist and murderer John Gardner tried to explain the unexplainable in his two and a half hour interview with News 8.
"You think I don't have guilt and I don't hate myself for what I did? I hate myself. I want to be dead," he said.
We asked Gardner why he killed Amber Dubois and Chelsea King.
"I was not in control," he answered.
The registered sex offender claims the attacks were not about sex, but rather anger and rage stemming from childhood abuse.
"When I was five I was molested, and it wasn't a male, it was a female," he said.
Court records confirm Gardner is diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactive disorder, and that he's bipolar with serious anger management issues.
"I've been on psych medications my whole life," Gardner said.
He claims his downward spiral began after an unnamed female family member started an incestuous relationship with him in late 2007.
"I had another person start raping me, the family member one, and then it's been continuous since then. It's been continuous since then," he said.
Gardner would not answer questions about the events that led up to the killing of Amber in February 2009, but on the one-year anniversary of Amber's murder, Gardner says he tried to commit suicide.
It was February 13th. I tried to kill myself. I did five triple-stack tabs of ecstasy, and I've never done ecstasy before. I was just hoping it would kill me. And I drank an 18-pack of beer," he said.
The alleged suicide attempt came less than two weeks before Chelsea King's murder. That's when Gardner says he tried to admit himself into a Riverside County mental hospital.
"I called all these mental health places saying I'm losing control. I need help and they said too bad, as soon as I said it was a sex offender," he said. "I said, 'I am 5150,' and they said, 'The fact that you say you're 5150, we know you're not,'"
Instead, he was given an antidepressant and medication for bipolar disorder.
"I asked to go into Patton State Hospital, okay? I asked the doctor I saw when I went and saw him for the medication and he said 'I don't even think you're dangerous.' Now, if I'm denied help am I fully to blame for my actions? Hell yeah, but could it have been prevented? Yeah, it could have been," Gardner said.