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Coroner Refuses to Release Las Vegas Murderer’s Autopsy

Coroner Refuses to Release Las Vegas Murderer’s Autopsy

He’s defying a court order.

Last October, Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured hundreds more when he opened fire on a concert crowd in Las Vegas, a city with cameras everywhere. However, we know almost nothing about this case and it’s about to get worse.

Clark County Nevada Coroner John Fudenberg has refused to obey a court order and release Paddock’s autopsy.

Fudenberg fought to keep the autopsies private, but District Judge Timothy Williams demanded he release the autopsies of the victims and Paddock.

Well, Fudenberg complied with the order for the victims, but refuses to release Paddock’s report. From Las Vegas Review-Journal:

But as of late Tuesday, Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg had not complied with the order. He indicated he wouldn’t release Paddock’s autopsy report until it was “finalized.”

“I don’t believe this is consistent with what the court ordered,” said Las Vegas attorney Maggie McLetchie, who represents the Las Vegas Review-Journal and The Associated Press in their November action demanding the release of the reports. “They (the coroner’s office) have delayed this for too long, and whatever stage the coroner’s report on Paddock is in, it should be provided to the Review-Journal and Associated Press without further delay. No more games. Release the records.”

Review-Journal Editor-in-Chief Keith Moyer added: “The shooter’s body was cremated Dec. 21. How can the autopsy report not be ‘finalized’ when the body was cremated more than five weeks ago? The law is squarely on the side of the public’s right to open government.”

The judge even told the coroner to pay $32,000 towards the legal fees of the Review-Journal since he refused to release these public records. Fudenberg is speaking with other people in his office and we do not know when the autopsy report will come out.

The coroner ruled Paddock’s a suicide and that he shot himself in the head after the massacre.

This is not the first time Fudenberg has played politics with Paddock. His remains went to his younger brother Eric:

The younger Paddock said he had to fly to Las Vegas to pick up his brother’s ashes because Fudenberg refused to send the remains directly to him in Orlando. Paddock said he did not understand why Fudenberg “decided to play games” with the remains.

Fudenberg maintained that he wanted to deliver the remains in a secure manner because of security concerns.

As of Tuesday, Paddock said, the coroner had not given him a copy of his brother’s report.

“It’s a shame the courts had to tell the guy to do his job,” Paddock said Tuesday.

The police released a preliminary report on January 19, but it left out crucial information like, you know, A MOTIVE. I still cannot believe we do not know important information about one of the worst shootings in America.

But the report showed that Paddock spent months to cover her tracks and throw off an investigation into the massacre as he planned it. From The Washington Post:

The Las Vegas gunman who opened fire on concertgoers in October carefully prepared both for the attack and the investigation that would follow, according to hundreds of pages of court documents made public late Friday.

In the court documents, which detail some of the early days of the investigation, 64-year-old gunman Stephen Paddock is described as spending significant time amassing his weapons and stockpiling ammunition while also seeking “to thwart the eventual law enforcement investigation” into the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

Paddock really put a lot of thought into this and makes me want to know the motive even more:

An FBI special agent wrote in one affidavit seeking a search warrant that “the methodical nature of the planning employed by Paddock, coupled with his efforts to undermine the preceding investigation, are factors indicative of a level of sophistication which is commonly found in mass casualty events such as this.”

Paddock purchased the items used in his attack during the year leading up to it, the FBI said, and a large share of the ammunition and accessories he amassed appear to have been bought online. Federal authorities said Paddock used “anonymously attributed communications devices,” destroyed or concealed digital storage and had at least three cellphones in the hotel suite where he opened fire.


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And your a conspiracy nut if you think anything fishy is going on.

    InEssence in reply to Eddie Baby. | February 1, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    Yeah conspiracy nuts are out of style. Paddock had this well planned. That is why, according to documents released by the police, he was irate with the front desk, because they wouldn’t give him a room on the other side of the hotel, where he couldn’t see the concert.

    villiewe in reply to Eddie Baby. | February 2, 2018 at 8:55 am

    I recall ISIS immediately claimed he was their man.

    The ONLY times law enforcement agencies say the motive for a killing is a mystery is when the suspect has a name obviously Muslim.

    The official position is that his motive is a mystery so ISIS probably correct!

    There must be something in the autopsy report that confirms this.

      InEssence in reply to villiewe. | February 2, 2018 at 4:09 pm

      I’m going out on a limb, but the pictures never show Paddock’s heart. The parts of the pictures that get close to the heart seem to indicate a gun shot to the heart. The coroner probably doesn’t want to issue a report that says that Paddock took two shots to commit suicide. On the other hand, if he says that the only shot was to the head, and a picture later emerges that shows a bullet wound to the chest, it makes him look bad.

    RickTheBear in reply to Eddie Baby. | February 2, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    Bass? Grouper? Lox? 8>)

over/under that the autopsy report he doesn’t want to hand out is a single page, with “He be dead” on it, written in crayon?

    Tom Servo in reply to redc1c4. | February 1, 2018 at 6:40 pm


    Everytime I start to think “well it was just some nut, nothing to see here” they go ahead and pull some crap like this. Why? Why on God’s Green Earth do they want to hide the autopsy report?

    The mind boggles at what it could be. Hmm, like maybe he’d already been dead for 24 hours when the police broke into that room?

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Tom Servo. | February 1, 2018 at 7:18 pm

      Well the conspiracy idea of why not release the report is that it will say the wound that killed him wasn’t self inflicted. I have already seen that one.

To date – the Vegas PD’s version of events and behavior read like a chapter from James Ellroy’s The Cold Six Thousand.

Psychopaths, murders, gun running, hate tracts, dirty incompetent cops, street smart hooker girlfriends on the run, drugs, gambling, cash money and the Tiger Kab front company.

Paddock was probably born in Kenya in a building on a grassy knoll while his father was filiming a fake moon landing with Neil Armstrong and Russian Bots were teaching a young Trump to spell Manchuria.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

Ocam’s razor.

The well known elephant test: it is difficult to describe, but you know it when you see it.

Justice Potter Stewart: I know it when I see it.


We’d imagine the FBI would be investigating — but then, who knows: maybe they’re complicit in some way.

Operation Fast and Furious:

I’m pretty certain the feds know exactly what happened, the motive, who was involved, etc. – and they don’t want US to know.

Ridiculous. The whole thing makes no sense at all.

Some mysterious and hitherto unknown criminal mastermind makes elaborate plans for both the before and after phases of his operation, only to end up dead in the room. Well, that seems like a waste of a lot of planning; why bother?

Nope, sorry, just too ridiculous. Unless there’s some actual evidence that Paddock was the shooter, that theory is just too weak. Nothing fits; nothing at all. Ergo, the fundamental assumptions are wrong.

He committed suicide by shooting himself three times in the back of the head.

All joking aside, when they pull crap like this, they’re just telling people there’s SOMETHING to hide.

Hold him in contempt then send an officer or deputy to arrest him and seize the report.

What’s the relationship, in Nevada, between coroners’ courts and district courts? Do district judges have the authority to issue orders to coroners? To hold them in contempt? What about vice versa; can a coroner hold a district judge in contempt?

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Milhouse. | February 2, 2018 at 10:31 am

    As far as I can tell in the US South Carolina is the only state that grants coroners such powers, though why anyone would do so is beyond me. However, not even then does the coroner trump the power of the actual courts. You have to go to the UK to find something that boneheaded.

    In other words the coroner is in contempt if the judge chooses to enforce it.

I’ve been pondering why you would go to the lengths he did to foil investigations after the shooting

1) he expected to make it out alive and unidentified.

2) he is protecting accessories that helped with planning and logistics.

But I keep coming back to the report (true?) that he was setting this up weeks earlier and cancelled because something wasn’t to his liking. It was a different concert and different culture of people.

Which implies his motive was to kill as many people as possible. He was competing with the other spree shooters.

That could explain the measures he took to cover his tracks even though he expected to be dead – he did not want the competition to copy his tactics and beat his kill count.

Ok, time to turn this one over to speculation:

There appears to be some evidence that this guy was a gunrunner, and that he did not do the mass shootings, but was murdered in the room by others, who escaped.

First of all, the autopsy had better be complete. With a cremation, there is no do over. Within a few minutes of starting the autopsy, the examiner is going to know some critical things. The first is, was the placement of the wound consistent with a self inflicted gunshot? Second, did the shot kill the person? Third, are there any indications that some other force was used upon the victim? Fourth, did blood loss at the scene correspond to a living person being the recipient of the shot? A little further down the road is, was there any foreign substances in the person’s bloodstream or body and, if so, what were they, what concentrations were they found to be in and what affect would they have on the person? Also, you have the scene itself. what happened to the projectile which struck the dead person? Did it totally penetrate the body and, if so, where was it found? Did it match the weapon believed to be the suicide weapon? Is blood spatter, in relation to the body, consistent with a self inflicted gunshot wound?

Now, if all of these questions have not been answered, then that could serve as a reason for a coroner NOT to issue a final cause of death. But, that is not the case here. The coroner has already ruled that the cause of death was suicide by gunshot. So, there is NO reason to withhold the autopsy report, if the evidence clearly shows that Paddock did, in fact, take his own life.

If the guy was a criminal mastermind and made sure to cover his tracks, I wouldn’t think much less of the police for being baffled about many details. But they have to SAY THAT publicly, and they’re not doing so which makes me think they’re incompetent liars instead.

This whole thing is so bizarre that I don’t know what to think.

Seems to me there is no reason to withhold the autopsy.

If killed himself than the autopsy would reflect that he killed himself. Why withhold such a report?

So either they screwed up the autopsy and realized it to late as his body was cremated OR there is something else going on that they don’t want public.

Why is it that the FBI is the lead investigative agency but the locals are in charge of releasing non-information. It seems like lately, the FBI is becoming the secret police.

Perhaps Paddock had two bullet holes and Fudenberg does not want even one? Cover-up + open drama? Failing to comply with a court order is risky at best. I suspect the price for compliance must be worse. That usually means a personal price.

Sometimes you get paid for silence but you pay for your failure to remain silent.

As a thirty year retired law enforcement officer, I have to say since when is the coroner injecting himself into the actual investigation? His role is to perform a factual and true autopsy.

IMHO The FBI knew about this character and are covering up the fact that the accomplices got away . Another in a string of incompetencies where the had info on someone and sluffed it off