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Paddock, the mystery mass-murderer

Paddock, the mystery mass-murderer

Theories abound.

We still know very little about Las Vegas mass murderer Stephen Paddock, and that’s probably the way he wanted it to be. So it seems apropos that the photo of him most widely circulated after the killings shows him with his eyes closed.

So far, it seems he left no obvious note or manifesto to explain himself, either, unlike so many other mass murderers with political or ideological motivations. Neither family members nor his girlfriend say they can shed any light whatsoever on what might have caused him to murder 59 people and injure over 500 others.

But nature abhors a vacuum, and conspiracy theories have abounded as to Paddock’s true motives and possible confederates. Perhaps one of these conspiracy theories will even turn out to be true; as Clark Country Sheriff Joseph Lombardo speculated yesterday, the scope of his preparations certainly make it possible that Paddock had assistance from someone.

But with Paddock, big holes in our knowledge of the reasons for his crime may always remain. In fact, I have come to conceptualize Paddock as the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 of mass murderers. That’s the flight whose demise was recently, three years after the plane went down, declared by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau report to have been “almost inconceivable” in its mystery.

Mysterious though his motives may be, many people—including me—have attempted to guess at how he might have conceived them. Much of the speculation centers on ideological reasons Paddock may have chosen this particular music festival, for example. And it seems clear that his actions seem to have been premeditated.

My own speculations are just that—speculations—and could change as new facts emerge. But so far it seems to me that, although Paddock planned his attack meticulously, the details of exactly which venue and what crowd he would end up attacking may have been decided somewhat late in the game, and politics or ideology or even considerations of who his victims were may not have been much of a factor at all.

Paddock frequently stayed in Vegas hotels and hotels in general, and therefore it is very likely he would have known a lot about the Mandalay and the view from different rooms both at that hotel and others. He also is likely to have known when and where open-air concerts were scheduled (advertisements would have taken care of that), as well as the best vantage points from which to kill people at several venues.

But there is evidence that strongly indicates that this particular venue was decided on rather late in the game:

Police are investigating the possibility that Las Vegas mass murderer Stephen Paddock may have originally targeted another music festival in the city.

Paddock had apparently attempted to book rooms at the Ogden, a luxury condo tower that overlooked the Life is Beautiful open-air festival, which ran across 15 Las Vegas blocks from September 22-24.

He requested specific suites at the Ogden and another unidentified hotel, but moved on when he discovered they were booked, an inside source told CBS.

That raises the grim possibility that he’d intended to turn either location into sniper nests, like the one he built in the Mandalay Bay hotel on Sunday, prior to his horrific killing spree.

And now we’ve been informed that Paddock apparently made a similar effort back in August in Chicago, booking rooms at a Chicago hotel facing the Lollapalooza music festival, although it is not reported that he actually went there. He also may have contemplated an attack on Fenway Park in Boston from a hotel there.

Therefore it may be that any music festival, or even any gathering, that was slated to take place under the high windows of any hotel with good sightlines would have suited Paddock’s needs. But what were those needs? Why did Paddock become a mass murderer in the first place? Here we are again in the realm of almost complete speculation, but one thing that received a lot of publicity at first but has dropped a bit off the radar since then is the fact that Paddock’s father was a psychopath of the con man variety. In other words, his son Stephen may have inherited the mysterious trait of psychopathy (see this for a discussion of whether the trait might run in families).

Not all psychopaths are violent, of course. But something—and for all we know, it may have been something organic, either biological (illness) or chemical (drugs)—may have made the previously non-violent psychopath Paddock begin to contemplate violence on a large scale. His basic motive may have been as simple as this: to kill a lot of people, a larger number than any other single shooter in America had ever murdered at one time. And, as strange as it may seem, it may not have mattered to Paddock who his victims would be, as long as there were a lot of them.

If that was the case, then it makes sense that Paddock would realize that a good way to maximize his kill number would be to use high-powered and rapid-firing firearms (and lots of them, in case they jammed or otherwise malfunctioned), have an enormous amount of ammunition handy, and fire from a difficult-to-detect and protected perch from high up into a very dense crowd so that accuracy didn’t much matter. He probably also thought he’d have more time before the authorities got to him, and his idea that there was a chance of escaping (perhaps by blasting his way though an army of cops?) may have dictated the enormity of the firepower he amassed in that room.

I’ve heard people opining that no one commits a crime like this for no reason except the urge to kill as many people as possible. And admittedly, that’s an unusual motive, even for mass murderers, although it’s often at least a secondary motive. But I submit that at least two very famous mass murderers prior to this had exactly that main motive, although that fact isn’t generally known. I’m referring to the Columbine killers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Initial reports were that they were taking revenge on fellow students for past bullying, a more conventional motive. But it turns out that, as investigators gained more knowledge of their plans—at least as lengthy and elaborate as Paddock’s, by the way—authorities revised their opinion of the motives involved. Kleibold and Harris both left voluminous records, and here are the concluions investigators came to, based on a much more detailed study of those records [emphasis mine]:

…Harris and Klebold planned for a year and dreamed much bigger. The school served as means to a grander end, to terrorize the entire nation by attacking a symbol of American life. Their slaughter was aimed at students and teachers, but it was not motivated by resentment of them in particular…

The killers, in fact, laughed at petty school shooters. They bragged about dwarfing the carnage of the Oklahoma City bombing and originally scheduled their bloody performance for its anniversary. Klebold boasted on video about inflicting “the most deaths in U.S. history.” Columbine was intended not primarily as a shooting at all, but as a bombing on a massive scale. If they hadn’t been so bad at wiring the timers, the propane bombs they set in the cafeteria would have wiped out 600 people. After those bombs went off, they planned to gun down fleeing survivors. An explosive third act would follow, when their cars, packed with still more bombs, would rip through still more crowds, presumably of survivors, rescue workers, and reporters. The climax would be captured on live television. It wasn’t just “fame” they were after—Agent Fuselier bristles at that trivializing term—they were gunning for devastating infamy on the historical scale of an Attila the Hun. Their vision was to create a nightmare so devastating and apocalyptic that the entire world would shudder at their power.

Was Paddock acting on a similar impulse with similar goals? The fact that bomb-making material was found in Paddock’s car and that he apparently targeted some fuel tanks during the shooting, as well as the sheer amount of firepower he had, indicates the possibility that his goals were originally as grandiosely evil as those of the Columbine shooters before him.

As more evidence emerges and we learn more about Paddock’s motives, perhaps what I’ve written here will end up being incorrect. But it is also possible that we may never know the answers so many people seek.

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]

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Comments

Has anyone looked into the whereabouts of Harvey Weinstein during all these events…? (Paddock did order room service for two, you know.)
http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/10/report-room-service-receipts-show-hotel-delivered-food-stephen-paddocks-suite-2-people/

It’d be funny if it turns out Trump-basher and Harvey Weinstein booster actress Jennifer Lawrence was up there with them, giving Paddock a massage…with a happy ending.

Jennifer Lawrence: ‘Mother Nature’s Rage’ Directed at U.S. Because of Trump:
https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/kristine-marsh/2017/09/07/jennifer-lawrence-mother-natures-rage-directed-us-because-trump

Hillary Clinton loving another women-abuser:
http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-harvey-weinstein-politics-20171006-story.html

I wonder how much his pharmaceutical use contributed to this dreadful act.

Currently, non-evidence points to paid hitman.

I would not be surprised that he had killed before and was planning to do so again.

Deliberation currently points to hit man more than crazy short circuit.

Could change if manifesto emerges.

    Tom Servo in reply to daaron60. | October 6, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    Definitely possible – although given that he owned 2 planes, had no visible job but had huge amounts of cash, I favor the idea that he made a few low level (less than 100′ altitude) flights in and out of Mexico each year. A chap willing to do that can pick up quite a chunk of change, I hear.

at this point, given the amount of time that has passed, either they still don’t know anything, which raises the question of why do all these agencies get so much money every year…

or they DO have a good idea of what happened and they don’t know how/want to tell us what they’ve found.

since i am experienced, not cynical, my money is on #2, with “don’t want to” as the modifier.

I have one basic question and it comes from one basic fact that I haven’t heard anyone contradict.

He fired for 12 minutes. He did major damage, killed 58+, wounded 500-, etc., etc., etc.

And then he stopped.

The police blew the door and found him dead 60 minutes later. He still had fully functioning weapons and plenty of ammunition.

And he did nothing. For an hour.

I know that it is not known exactly when he killed himself and it may have been much earlier in that hour.

But why? Why would he do that?

Why would he kill himself early?

He had cameras set up that let him see the police approach. The hotel corridor was another killing zone with no cover for the police as they approached. He could have probably killed a number of the police as they assaulted his position.

Instead, he fired for 12 minutes, caused a tremendous amount of death and injury.

And then, did nothing.

Sometime in the next hour he killed himself.

Why?

    From what little I’ve been able to understand, he fired for 10-12 minutes until a casino guard tried to get in the door. After shooting up the guard, he committed suicide, and the fifty or so minutes after were the police evacuating the surrounding rooms and getting ready to storm the room. Since there was no more shooting, there was not an overwhelming urge to go storm a room where somebody with automatic weapons might be waiting, and I don’t blame them a bit.

    JOHN B in reply to DCP. | October 6, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    Or maybe there was a second person involved who shot him and slipped away.

      DCP in reply to JOHN B. | October 6, 2017 at 9:14 pm

      So. You’re wondering that too, huh?

        Tom Servo in reply to DCP. | October 6, 2017 at 11:23 pm

        The problem with that theory is that after he shot up the door, there was someone continually watching his door. (The security guard didn’t leave until someone else came up) So, no one left that hotel room unless they flew out the broken window on Batman wings.

          Rick the Curmudgeon in reply to Tom Servo. | October 7, 2017 at 1:50 pm

          I wonder what any security camera footage of that hallway would show.

          Mac45 in reply to Tom Servo. | October 7, 2017 at 7:11 pm

          Paddock had two connecting rooms. Were the doors of both rooms visible to the security guard? I haven;t seen any diagram of the corridors so i have no idea.

Only tangentially related, but… Today was the first chance I had to catch some of the video of his brother Eric’s media interviews. Man oh man, that is one odd duck!

https://youtu.be/HGJAIEdJtFM

I mean, granted, maybe he’s just temporarily deranged by grief and shock. I can’t imagine how I’d react if my brother had done something like that. But still! Doesn’t he have any friends who love him enough to say, “Listen, friend, you’re coming off as nuttier than a squirrel on speedballs – let’s hire a PR guy with some of the riches you say Steve threw your way and leave the media engagement to them”?

Georgfelis – I am not blaming them either.

I am simply asking – Why did he do as much damage as he could for 10 minutes, and then quit.

Why? Why would he kill himself after taking care of the guard and before the police showed up? Why not go back to the window and continue hosing down the kill zone below?

And no, I am not disappointed that he quit shooting. I just don’t understand why he did.

    Tom Servo in reply to DCP. | October 6, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    We’re all trying to understand what the voices in his head were telling him to do. But obviously we can never hear them – only he could.

Lots of baloney in the media. Newsweak retracted a story on the girlfriend.

Saw a story that he made five million playing video poker. Not possible. And if you found a glitch that allowed you to win consistently, they would fix it and escort you off the premises permanently they do not comp winners.

There have been glitches, and they don’t pay. The machine is declared out of order.

We are in the silly season.

    Not sure if that got that info off of his tax returns or from the casinos, but in his case it may have been possible that he “made” millions, because if he was spending tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands nightly, then he was spending millions.

    Given that he had an airplane and had so much more money than one could make from rentals, I think it would be safe to assume that he ran drugs or guns or something else illegal and laundered his money with his gambling addition.

      elle in reply to elle. | October 6, 2017 at 10:49 pm

      haha, I meant gambling addiction.

        Tom Servo in reply to elle. | October 6, 2017 at 11:27 pm

        I was discussing this on another website too. Pointed out that there is an EASY way to leave a casino with $5 million in your pocket – and that is to start out with $10 million in your pocket.

    dmi60ex in reply to Petrushka. | October 6, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    The Gambling winnings were money laundering,IMHO.,planes ,money access to automatic weapons, the explosives in car but not made into an bomb, money to burn .He was a gun runner and maybe the FBI just does not want to admit he was on their radar or worsened, payroll.

      Rick the Curmudgeon in reply to dmi60ex. | October 7, 2017 at 1:56 pm

      According to his girlfriend, he had so many allergies to medications that he was unable to renew his medical certificate for his pilot’s license.

      Of course, since he didn’t have to rent his planes, he might have just kept flying anyway, license or no.

        I’ve never heard of “allergies to medications” in and of itself being a disqualifying medical condition for flying.

          Rick the Curmudgeon in reply to Amy in FL. | October 7, 2017 at 2:38 pm

          Perhaps I should have said “allergic to medications he needed to take (B.P. for example) to keep his medical certificate.”

          tom_swift in reply to Amy in FL. | October 7, 2017 at 3:06 pm

          It’s usually more generic “allergies”, not allergies to medications.

          Allergies are commonly treated with antihistamines, and most of those tend to induce drowsiness. So antihistamines are treated like alcohol—a pilot (actually any of the aircrew) can take them, but not within a specified number of hours of takeoff. Government reasoning seems to be that a pilot sneezing his head off is not as dangerous as one who’s a bit sleepy.

        I read that he hadn’t renewed his med cert. too…can you fly without a license? I mean he didn’t keep his plane in the garage so he has to go to the airport, right?

        I ask, cause I don’t know…

          tom_swift in reply to tgrondo. | October 7, 2017 at 2:56 pm

          In theory, no. In practice, of course. It’s not like a police plane is lurking behind a cloud somewhere, waiting to pull you over to see if your license is up to date.

          tom_swift in reply to tgrondo. | October 7, 2017 at 2:58 pm

          ‘Scuse me, “certificate”, not “license”.

There are so many rumors and strange things happening, I think Trump should call for a commission ala the Warren commission to investigate.

I think that is the question of the day! I have heard that he videotaped himself shooting, but does anyone know if the video clearly shows Paddock shooting the multiple rounds out the window? Or is it just a view from a head cam that someone else could have been wearing?

https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=%2fe97vj%2fZ&id=7A58B389BB391AF5BB71E51449E03591335F56F9&thid=OIP._e97vj_ZpjaZWH8wWq3jNQEsDI&q=gene+rosen+images&simid=608007383383018409&selectedIndex=0&ajaxhist=0

Picture of Gene Rosen Sandy Hook
Right down to the mark above the right eye
Just like Charlottesville ,too many Doppelgangers
Mystery Man or non existent man
Until Charlottesville ,I never believed in False Flags

We obviously don’t know why Paddock didn’t keep shooting longer in order to kill more people. It also isn’t clear at exactly what point he killed himself. Was it shortly after he shot the security guard, or was it later than that? Did he commit suicide then because he thought other officers would be coming through the door at any moment, and he didn’t want to run any risk of being taken alive?

But let’s assume he might have kept on killing people and voluntarily stopped for some reason. In the present post I made some analogies between the Columbine shooters and Paddock. To continue the analogy, note that the Columbine shooters had stopped shooting when they could have continued killing people. They had the ammunition, but they seemed to run out of killing energy at a certain point:

In just over 7 minutes [of shooting in the libary], 10 people were killed and 12 more wounded. There were a total of 56 people in the library; 34 escaped injury. The shooters had more than enough ammo to kill everyone but for whatever reason… they hadn’t.

From the library Dylan and Eric made their way back down the hall to the science area. They looked in through the door windows of some of the locked classrooms and even made eye contact with several students but they didn’t actually try to break into the rooms. Witnesses said that Eric and Dylan didn’t appear to be overly intent on gaining access to any of the rooms. They easily could have shot the locks on the doors or through the windows into the classrooms but they didn’t. Their behavior was rather directionless at this point.

After that they tried shooting out some lights and detonating some of the bombs they had placed earlier in the cafeteria. The bombs had not been properly made, and didn’t go off and cause the conflagration Harris and Klebold had hoped. About twenty minutes after they had left the library they re-entered it and committed suicide.

Their original plan had been to kill hundreds more than they managed to kill. Why did they stop long before they needed to, and why did they kill themselves before they absolutely needed to? There is no way to know, but there may be parallels to what happened with Paddock. Another interesting parallel with Columbine is that Paddock apparently had tried to explode some fuel storage plants near the concert by shooting into them, but they had failed to ignite.

    Ragspierre in reply to neo-neocon. | October 7, 2017 at 5:53 am

    He may have stopped for no more complex a reason than that his hands were burned.

      Arminius in reply to Ragspierre. | October 8, 2017 at 6:34 pm

      No, when the police found his corpse he was wearing gloves to protect his hands from exactly that.

      Did you really expect this guy to overlook that detail?

To those who say that Paddock couldn’t have made money playing video poker—while it’s true that gambling casinos certainly have the advantage, video poker is ever-so-slightly different:

Anthony Curtis, a former professional gambler who is now the owner and publisher of Las Vegas Advisor, a Web site covering the casino business…Curtis said that, unlike traditional slot machines, video-poker machines can be outsmarted. The video-poker machines at Mandalay Bay, according to Curtis, paid out $99.17 for every hundred dollars played. “Video poker is well known for attracting people who have compulsive gambling problems,” he told me. “It’s almost the perfect gambling game. But it also has the property of being able to be beaten. So it attracts a lot of very intelligent people.” Curtis told me that he’d been in touch with a number of such players in Las Vegas who “can derive advantages over the casino of half of one per cent, sometimes higher.” He said that around a dozen of these players, whom he declined to name, had “ended up running in the same circles as Paddock,” and recalled observing him over the past few months.

Curtis’s sources told him that Paddock was not a so-called advantage player, someone who can beat the video-poker game. “They call themselves A.P.s,” Curtis said, “and just about everyone I talked to said, ‘No, he wasn’t A.P. level.’ They discounted him as just a high roller, a guy who might have read a book or two, or something like that.” But Curtis heard that Paddock was what’s referred to as “a low seven,” or someone who has a verified low-seven-figure bank account, which would have afforded him a six-figure line of credit at casinos. Curtis went on, “People who are semi-sharp, as we say in Vegas, they know they’re better off playing video poker than slots. This guy was smart enough to know that. He was not on top of the world of play, but he was a gambler that kind of knew how to play the angles a little bit.”

Dominic Biondi, a part-time English-department lecturer at U.N.L.V. who also makes a living as a professional poker player, has a different view of video poker and those who play it. “There are people who claim you can beat video poker,” Biondi told me today, “but I’m skeptical. It’s a slot-machine game with a set percentage of payback. If all this guy did was play video poker, he was not a ‘poker player.’ He’s just gambling.” He went on, “There’s a small chance that Paddock played the percentages very well and eked out a small edge, but it’s very doubtful. That takes a lot of skill and time, and only playing one particular kind of video-poker machine. To make money playing video poker, it takes a lot of luck.”

So it appears likely that Paddock started out very wealthy and just about broke even. He may have lost a little money but also enjoyed free comps from the casinos, so he may have considered it worth it. Although unlikely, it’s also possible that he was an A.P. level player, and if he was, he could have even made money doing it.

Was he worth or does he have millions, or not? If so, all else is completely crazy. Millionaires just don’t do mass murder. It’s an outlier enough with his age… but if he indeed was a millionaire… well… through out all you know about president.

It doesn’t feel likely to me that Paddock “snapped” or spent years planning this. I see more of a guy whose high profile dad left the family in rags and shame. According to the brother, Paddock helped him and his mother to become wealthy. He was the provider of the family. He didn’t keep in touch, but he texted them to be sure they were okay after the hurricane.

I think his brother told us his life’s motive: “He just wanted a royal flush”. I think he would do anything to support his gambling habit, as the next pull of the slot machine.. was going to make it all okay.

What’s intriguing to me is that he bought a $600 rifle on his way to Vegas that is apparently missing and there are many signs of him not being alone.

So to me, it gets down to that video that supposedly shows him shooting. What does that really show? Otherwise, I think he was up there to sell guns and bomb making equipment to support his habit and something else went down.

Haven’t dug into this, but so much doesn’t follow.

It takes a lot of time energy and money to teach yourself how to build and employ explosives, and he just abandoned all that?

And still no record of his voting history? We can be sure that he wasn’t a trump supporter, else we be hearing about it 24/7.

My one known – I don’t trust ANY information coming from the media or law enforcement on this.

    Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | October 7, 2017 at 9:33 am

    The “explosives” were Tannerite.

    “I don’t trust ANY information coming from the media or law enforcement on this.”

    So, you’re getting your information from the kook-net? Figures.

      maxmillion in reply to Ragspierre. | October 7, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      Getting and trusting are different, don’t you know?

      Arminius in reply to Ragspierre. | October 8, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      It’s amusing how you love to pretend to be an expert on things you clearly know nothing about. Such as rifle marksmanship when shooting at targets at higher or lower elevations.

      When the binary components of Tannerite, or in generic form ammonal, are mixed it is an explosive. No scare quotes about it. The BATFE does not classify the individual components of Tannerite/ammonal, i.e. ammonium nitorate (or ammonium percholate, or a mix of both) and aluminum powder as explosives. They don’t regulate the components. But as soon as you, the user, have become an explosives manufacturer. The manufacturer of Tannerite doesn’t dispute that; the manufacturer warns you of these facts.

      https://tannerite.com/binary-target-faq/

      “A3. Tannerite® brand binary targets falls under the same Federal laws as black powder and all other explosives that are exempt for sporting purposes from the federal regulations of commercial explosives in their unmixed form. (See ATF information regarding binary explosives). Remember though, just because it’s a legal product under Federal law IF USED AS PRESCRIBED, does not mean that you can use it in any manner you wish…

      …By mixing Tannerite® brand binary rifle targets, YOU BECOME THE MANUFACTURER OF AN EXPLOSIVE and assume any and all liabilities. To be in compliance with Federal law (27 CFR 555.11) this product must be mixed and used for noncommercial purposes as a shot indicator only…”

      The issue isn’t if Tannerite/ammonal is an explosive; it is (so get rid of the scare quotes unless you enjoy advertising the fact that you don’t know what you are talking about). The issue is, how do you detonate it if you want to use it as a bomb? The manufacturers of the brand-name product Tannerite are rightly skeptical that their product when used as directed can not be used as a bomb. I have no reason to doubt that their product can only be detonated by a trans-sonic centerfire rifle bullet. If you follow their mixing and use instructions then you can’t detonate it with an electrical current, a hammer blow, a lit fuse, or other types of ammunition (rimfire, centerfire handgun rounds, or shotgun).

      But the generic components, ammonium nitrate (AN) and aluminum powder (Al), that are combined to form the generic explosive ammonal has been used in military applications and can be detonated by other means. As this recent paper describing an experiment funded by the Dept. of Energy illustrates.

      http://public.lanl.gov/sjackson/papers/2015-AndersonAmmonal.pdf

      “Cylinder Test Characterization of an Ammonium Nitrate and Aluminum Powder Explosive”

      They used 90% AN and 10% Al. There are other possible blends; collectively these variations are called “ammonals” even when they use other additives to increase sensitivity and/or performance. While trade-marked commercially available Tannerite is stable and difficult to detonate, other blends can be less stable and easier to detonate. Ammonals can be detonated by electrical current, commercial detonators, and using the various home-made explosives popular with Islamic bomb makers as a primary explosive charge which then sets off the larger ammonal secondary charge.

      The bottom line is that Tannerite on its own is an explosive. It has maimed and killed people (or their too-trusting friends) who ignored the manufaturer’s safety warnings, either by using larger than the recommended amount or by using even the maximum safe amount of two pounds in a container likely to produce shrapnel such as steel drums, old ovens, derelict riding lawn mowers (I’m not making this up; I can’t), under piles of rocks leaving a shooting lane open, or whatever else they thought would look cool on YouTube.

      And LEOs/reporters have this lazy habit of calling all generic ammonals Tannerite like a lot of people call all facial tissues Kleenex.

      So get rid of the scare quotes. Paddock did have explosives in his car any way you want to look at it. Even if it was “only” Tannerite. If someone had set it off within the confined space of the car, whether Paddock himself from the inside or a LEO shooting at Paddock through the thin metal skin of his Chrysler, they would have set off a very large bomb that depending on the location and circumstances had the potential to kill scores of people.

    Maybe he never registered to vote. Colin Kaepernick has never registered to vote in any election. It’s not unheard of.

http://www.cracked.com/article_19303_6-reasons-professional-poker-way-harder-than-it-looks.html

That may offer some very useful insights. There ARE professional poker players (and nobody has even hinted that the murderer played any other game), and they DO make a lot of money.

Sounds like the kind of activity that fit his talents.

I think the answers we seek lie somewhere in this article about the plan for similar terror attack in NY city.

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/investigations/Terror-Plot-New-York-Concert-Landmark-ISIS-Las-Vegas-Arrest-Times-Square-449749293.html

They note: “While the alleged plot was apparently uncovered and interrupted months ago, investigators were not prepared to announce its existence until Friday, in part because the search continued for other possible terror connections.”

Sooo…basically they are telling us that Vegas is related to NYC and the bottom line is we will never know the answer to the our question about Paddock. Was he a gambling addict willing to sell guns to ISIS? Was he a gun runner and informant? Was he undercover? Was he a radicalized Jihadist?

I don’t see him as a mass murderer. That’s just my opinion. I’m going to choose to believe this was something that the FBI was involved with that went down wrong. That’s the scenario that makes the most sense to me and we will never get the real truth about what happened anyway.

    Milhouse in reply to elle. | October 8, 2017 at 5:09 am

    Sooo…basically they are telling us that Vegas is related to NYC

    Um, no, they’re not saying anything of the sort. There is no possible way to derive that from anything they said. You just pulled it out of your bum.

Human beings have an incurable drive to know and understand things. To do that, we amass and analyze data. when there is a sparsity of data, then people build theories based upon avail;able data and their own points of view.

In this case we have an extreme sparsity of data as to why this man committed this act, in the first place, and why did he commit it at the time and place that he did. Until we have some hard data which answers those questions, theories will abound.

I clearly have no idea what I’m talking about.

This may have just been his way of committing suicide.

maxmillion:

There are much simpler ways to commit suicide.

With mass murderers who end up committing suicide, there is often both a homicidal impulse AND a suicidal impulse, as well as an impulse to hurt their relatives who must deal with the aftermath. It’s certainly highly possible that Paddock wanted to die, but why he wanted to go out in a blaze of twisted glory taking a host of innocent people with him is the thing that is less easy to explain.

    maxmillion in reply to neo-neocon. | October 7, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Not a blaze of glory, a blaze of horror, as horrific as possible, and at the same time as cryptic, mysterious, and enigmatic as possible. And, if he’s a liberal, and if he was as smart as they say, he would’ve had a pretty good idea the whole murderous act, including his body being in his room surrounded with all those weapons, would trigger the national gun control debate it in fact did.

    Arminius in reply to neo-neocon. | October 8, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    There is a certain personality type that can’t screw up the courage to kill themselves unless they commit an atrocity so heinous they finally feel they have left themselves no other way out.

    LEOs, or at least some LEOs, are familiar with the type.l

Ragspierre:

Paddock apparently played video poker, not regular poker.

https://pjmedia.com/homeland-security/2017/10/05/new-isis-infographic-vegas-shooting-claims-paddock-converted-six-months-ago/

The Islamic State has tripled down on its claim that Paddock was a recent Muslim convert and one of their “soldiers.”

This is odd as the group does not have a track record of making false claims. Exaggerated claims, yes, and the IS news agency Amaq often doesn’t get the details right. But the claims almost always have merit.

This PJ media report mimics a 2 Oct 2017 article in the Atlantic:

“ISIS has in the past claimed attacks that authorities found weren’t linked to the terror group, including the June attack on a Manila casino that left 37 dead. Shooter Jessie Carlos Javier had problems in his personal life including deep gambling debts, and had been banned from casinos before the attack. The multi-agency persistence in claiming an attack they didn’t have a hand in is unique, though.”

For clarity the above is from the PJ Media article. The author of the Atlantic article. Graeme Wood, found that the June “Resorts World” attack in Manila was the only IS claim that he considered a lie.

But at least three research and analysis centers claimed that the attack was in all likelihood a terrorist attack and an IS or at least IS-inspired terrorist attack at that. These were the Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, the Singapore-based International Centre for Political Violence & Terrorism Research and the digital Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium (web-based with an international network of analysts, researchers, and embedded sources).

In another of the odd coincidences that are piling up around “Nowhere Man” CNN is reporting that Paddock took 20 cruises “[M]any of them in Europe and the Middle East, investigators have learned.”

http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/06/us/vegas-shooter-paddock-foreign-cruises/index.html

CNN doesn’t give a timeframe for these cruises, so they could have taken place over the past 20 years or compressed into the last 5, and despite saying “many” of these cruises were in the ME they only list two ports in the region. Jordan (often erroneously thought of as landlocked, their one coastal city is Aqaba, on the Gulf of Aqaba off of the northern Red Sea) and the UAE.

I can’t imagine why anyone would choose these spots for a pleasure cruise. According to the article “authorities” simply attribute the choice to the fact that cruise ships have casinos and Paddock liked to gamble.

Yeah, well, cruise ships heading up the west coast to Alaska have casinos, as do cruise ships heading to Mexico, the Caribbean, Northern Europe, European river cruises. I’d avoid the Mediterranean unless I was assured the the ship was practically hugging the coast of southern Europe ever since the Achille Lauro in 1985, and you’d have to pay me to go into the confined waters of the Gulf of Aqaba or through the Straight of Hormuz and it would have to be on a warship with somebody tasked to provide air cover.

If the IS claims prove to be true, maybe he was somehow getting compensated.

It’s unusual for IS to continue to insist that the Vegas attack was somehow linked to their group if it wasn’t. I wrote on an earlier thread that IS might have been unable to resist the impulse to claim the largest mass shooting in the US and then simply assert that the US was denying the link because like Arab governments they were lying to save face. This normally works; the knee-jerk reaction in the Arab world is to discount the official version of events coming from government news agencies as a pack of lies and then come up with conspiracy theories as the truth must be anything except what their government is claiming it to be.

But the group did lose some (not a lot) of credibility when the Philippines government denied any link to IS and IS didn’t have any hard evidence to prove any link to the Manila “Resorts World” attack.

So they should be worried about losing more credibility, especially if the USG links the shooter to a “White supremacist” or “Antifa-style” group. But IS doesn’t seem to be worried about that.

Police have confirmed that Paddock had cameras in his room capturing video of him as he committed his atrocity. Some of the reports indicate that Paddock may have been streaming the video offshore. His brother is a flake, and he keeps claiming that the mass-murderer in the family had no political or religious affiliations. The investigators keep insisting he had not affiliations with any international terrorist organizations. But then what were the cameras for, particularly if he was live-streaming the shooting? I can only conclude that Paddock had an affiliation with some group or individual outside of that hotel room who had an interest in what he was going to do that night.

I remain an agnostic on IS’ claim. I don’t believe it but I still think it’s premature dismiss it entirely. I’m going to have to see if US agencies confirm the link or IS releases hard evidence and then I’ll believe it. At this point, though, it appears to me that it remains within the realm of possibility that evidence proving a link may exist.

    Arminius in reply to Milhouse. | October 8, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    This is entirely possible. But it still wouldn’t eliminate all possible legitimacy to the ISIS claim of responsibility. There is a defacto, sometimes even a more formal, relationship between leftist and Islamist groups.

    For instance, the campus group Students for Justice in Palestine if for all practical purposes a Hamas front group. The intermediary is American Muslims for Palestine, a Hamas front group formed after others had been exposed, their assets, seized, and they were forcibly disbanded following the HLF terror funding trial (and others) in the 2007/2008 timeframe. The senior leadership and founders of SJP know exactly what thy are doing and who they are doing it with and for.

    I bring this up only as an example. The Muslim Brotherhood (of which Hamas is their Gazan branch) and ISIS are competitors. They have no doctrinal or theological differences, particularly when it comes to the theology behind the necessity for a Caliph. But the MB, which was established by Hasan al-Banna in 1928 specifically to restore the Caliphate after Mustafa Ataturk abolished it in 1924, views itself as the rightful heirs to the Caliphate and ISIS as illegitimate young upstarts. ISIS views the MB as a bunch of timid old men who have had nearly a century to reestablish the Caliphate and whose ossified organization blew its best chance in Egypt when Morsi came to power and in short order was deposed.

    I have no doubt that antifa, particularly in Europe, is in contact with rival ISIS front groups. Perhaps that’s why Paddock had those cameras videoing him as he committed those atrocities. The reports that Paddock was livestreaming the video “offshore” may well be correct. It could have been for the benefit of his affiliates in Europe.

    Naturally antifa isn’t going to claim responsibility for the attack and bring down a crackdown on itself, no matter what investigators find in Paddocks “apartment.” It would be much better for antifa if ISIS could plausibly claim responsibility. Which might explain why ISIS has now quadrupled down (via its Twitter feed) on their claim that Paddock was a soldier in their cause and went on his shooting rampage for ISIS.

    This particular act of mass murder simply doesn’t fit previous patterns. It contains elements of both “deranged lone madman” and well-planned terror plot.

      Arminius in reply to Arminius. | October 8, 2017 at 6:39 pm

      What? The bitter, petty, jealous fool who follows me around and knows everything I’m saying is grounded in facts (at least, available information being presented as fact) hasn’t given this comment a thumbs down yet?

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