Archive for October 2, 2017

A Few Preliminary Observations about Stephen Paddock: Oct 2, 2017

October 2, 2017 21 comments

As all of you must have heard by now, yesterday night a guy named Stephen Paddock committed what appears to be the largest solo mass shooting (by body count) in american history– till now. So far, at least 60 people have been confirmed dead and 527 more suffered direct and indirect injuries of varying severity. While numerous smart phone videos of the incident and eyewitness accounts have been heavily promoted on various social media platforms and MSM outlets, the motivations of the alleged shooter remain a mystery.

Here is an attempt to aggregate some of the more peculiar facts we know, thus far, about this most atypical mass shooter.

1] The father of the alleged perpetrator, Benjamin Paddock, was a bank robber of some notoriety in the 1960s and 1970s. However, Stephen appears to have very little contact with his father while growing up and even after reaching adulthood. Also, he and his siblings grew up into quite successful and otherwise normal adults. Stephen himself became an accountant and then started a number of small successful businesses, mostly involving buying, selling and renting real-estate. He also appears to have run and then cashed out of a fairly successful business venture with one of his younger brothers.

2] Stephen Paddock had no criminal record of any significance- as far as we know. There is no evidence that he was unusually impulsive, cruel, violent or homicidal. There is no evidence that he was suffering, or ever suffered, from a serious mental illness. There is no evidence that he committed any white-collar crime for which he was prosecuted. His relationship with his siblings, mother and other close relatives were average for a white man of his generation in north america. To make a long story short, his behavior towards other people appears to have been remarkably mediocre and average- till yesterday.

3] He seems to have been quite well off and was allegedly worth over a couple of million dollars at the time of his death by post-shooting suicide. While he enjoyed gambling for decades, he seems to have been able to control his habit quite well. There is no evidence, thus far, that he was ever in serious financial trouble because of his frequent visits to Casinos. Gambling appears to have been his principal form of entertainment rather than an all-consuming compulsion. Also, he did lived quite modestly while still enjoyed a comfortable middle-class lifestyle.

4] A post-shooting search of his principal residence did not reveal a suicide note or manifesto. The inside of the house was allegedly clean and well maintained. There was no evidence of neglect or anything else to suggest that he did not intend to return. There was, also, no evidence of extensive stockpiling of weapons, ammo or explosives. In other words, there was no sign or hint that he was going to go an a massive murder-suicide spree. Curiously, his hotel room contained a large cache of guns and ammunition.

5] He had been married and divorced twice- last in 1990. He had no children from that marriage or any other previous or subsequent relationship- that we know of. His current girlfriend, a woman of asian descent two years his junior, had lived with him for the previous few years. There is no evidence that their relationship was on the rocks. She was, however, on a short trip outside USA when all of this all went down. Everything we know about this guy’s personal life, so far, seems to be very ‘vanilla’ and otherwise average.

To summarize: Stephen Paddock lived an unremarkable if reasonably successful life for 64 years before suddenly becoming the most prolific solo mass shooter in american history. He did not display any of the usual warning signs, associations or circumstances typically associated with mass shooters. Something just does not compute..

What do you think? Comments?