Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Skepticism > A Few Preliminary Observations about Stephen Paddock: Oct 2, 2017

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

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?

  1. Takao
    October 3, 2017 at 2:50 am

    So what’s your personal take on that? I’ve read many of your blogs and I think you have pretty good intuitions and thoughts on things in general. Not intending to generate any rumors, but I found it hard to make good sense of his motives at all.

    Ps: As a correction, I think the current official dead number is 59.

    The overall point of my post was that his profile is very atypical for a mass shooter. I wonder if he was the only person in that room when it all went down.

    The number of dead should “officially” reach 60, soon.

  2. webej
    October 3, 2017 at 3:12 am

    Saw an interview with his brother who mentioned that he had nothing with guns (or violence), and couldn’t figure out how he came into possession of automatic weapons, no ties to defense industry, etc. I immediately concluded, something does not add up. Is this guy being positioned as a patsy? His suicide could easily be misdirection. If nothing comes up beyond “he snapped”, I am not going to believe this story.

    As I said in response to another reply, such a turn of events would not surprise me.

  3. Wilson
    October 3, 2017 at 4:01 am

    Despite all that I can believe he wanted to kill himself, if only due to aging, and a man with a foot in the grave can be dangerous. And even if it’s not pathological, it can’t be psychologically healthy to have gambling be a big part of your life.

    Millions of older tourists who visit Vegas every year have a similar personal and psychological profile. So why did he do what is alleged (after decades of bland behavior), while the rest just gamble, go the shows and stuff themselves at buffets?

  4. mikeca
    October 3, 2017 at 10:22 am

    His brother and others thought Stephen Paddock was a multi-millionaire, but apparently most of his money was invested in real estate. Those investments are usually highly leveraged. It is not clear how much equity Paddock had or what his cash flow situation was. He had apparently been engaging in some high stakes gambling just before the shooting. We do not know yet how much he won or lost. It is possible that he was close to broke and tried to win enough money gambling to avoid bankruptcy but failed. It will take some time and a lot of digging to find out his true financial state.

    Let us wait and see. Having said that, he was gambling for decades without losing his shirt. He knew what he was doing.

    “There was, also, no evidence of extensive stockpiling of weapons, ammo or explosives.”

    He had 20+ guns in his hotel room and another 18-19 guns were found at this house. I saw one story that said all together he had 42 guns.

    One story, without actual photographic evidence, does not mean much- especially for something as specific as number of guns he owned.

    That sounds like extensive stockpiling to me. There were reports that he had purchased a few rifles recently, but it is still unclear how and when he acquired all these guns. I saw a report he had hunting licenses, but you don’t need that many guns for hunting and/or home defense.

    The constitution, and laws in Nevada, do not say anything about the number of guns a person can own.

    I think it is possible he had been thinking about this for a long time and gradually stockpiling the weapons to carry it out. He apparently also had some bomb making chemicals in this house, so maybe he had been thinking about a bombing too.

    Maybe, he was stockpiling. But why? Also, a bag of ammonium nitrate fertilizer in his garage does not immediately imply that he was building bombs. For all we know, it was leftover from fertilizing lawns of the many houses and properties he owned in previous few years.

    • mikeca
      October 3, 2017 at 5:17 pm

      “The constitution, and laws in Nevada, do not say anything about the number of guns a person can own.”

      That is true, but why would somebody need that many guns?

      The number of households that own a gun has been declining, but the number of guns owned by the households that do own guns, has been increasing. The gun industry has been promoting the idea that there is going to be break down in social order and you will need a lot of guns and ammunition to defend yourself and family. To a large extent this is a marketing strategy for the gun industry designed to convince gun owners to buy more guns.

      I suspect that Stephen Paddock was not stockpiling 40 guns to defend his home in Mesquite, Nevada. There is nothing illegal about stockpiling that many weapons, but it suggests to me that Stephen Paddock had been thinking about and planning this attack for years.

      • Rum
        October 3, 2017 at 5:46 pm

        Wealthy gun enthusiasts in the US commonly have that many firearms, along with 1000s of rounds of ammo. So, I think it is tricky to say that it means much of anything about intent.
        I really do not know about the % of households owning guns and I doubt that anyone does because one needs to factor in the truthfulness dimension in a survey. Why, exactly, would you tell a stranger about your gun ownership? How could that help you? See, the normal gun person in the US makes sure that their most valued possessions are not trace-able to them. This intent becomes stronger every time some politician goes off on the subject.
        If anti-gun people really want to reduce the demand for gun buying and trickery they should shut up about banning and confiscating them. It really is that simple.

      • mikeca
        October 4, 2017 at 6:46 am

        “Wealthy gun enthusiasts in the US commonly have that many firearms, along with 1000s of rounds of ammo.”

        This may be true, but there is no legitimate reason for someone to have that many guns unless they are arming a private militia or running some kind of criminal gang.

        There are reports today that Stephen Paddock purchased 33 or his 40+ guns in the last year. It seems likely he decided to do something like this shooting more than a year ago and went about purchasing all these weapons one at a time so as not to alter authorities.

        “If anti-gun people really want to reduce the demand for gun buying and trickery they should shut up about banning and confiscating them. It really is that simple.”

        This is complete non-sense. The gun industry will be using those arguments to scare gun owners anyway. There is no chance of a law banning and confiscating guns passing and it would be in violation of the 2nd amendment anyway. Unless the 2nd amendment is repealed, it would simply not be possible. No politician has seriously proposed banning all guns and confiscating existing guns. In spite of this the gun industry promotes this argument that if XYZ gets elected he will ban guns and jack booted federal agents will go door to door confiscating your guns. That is pure fantasy, but it has been an effective marketing strategy for the gun industry. If does not matter what anti-gun people say, the gun industry will continue to scare gun owners so they buy more guns.

  5. hoipolloi
    October 3, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    One could inherit the crime genes, which the assailant might have gotten from his father who was a notorious bank robber. The genetic influence finally manifested late in life in the shooter. Second, why did ISIS claim credit for this incident? Was their person there in the room during shooting? Is Mr. Paddock the ISIS person but was able to keep it a secret?

  6. Rum
    October 3, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Listening to the audio, I saw 10 seconds elapse for a single burst. Average cyclic rate for most full auto guns is 600-900 rounds per minute. Let us take the lower. That is(at least) a 100 rounds. The largest magazine for military FA guns that run reliably are about 30 rounds capacity. There are 100 round drum mags available in the silly civilian market, but no one who is serious uses them because they are highly jam prone. 100 round bursts – usually – mean belt feeding.
    ARs and AKs fire from a closed bolt; which means they are quickly shut down from over-heating. Rounds start to cook off by themselves. After how many rounds… it depends.
    The story as told regarding the hardware he used is on the outer reaches of credibility. Not impossible, just very odd.
    Oh by the way. Cleaning staff was in there every day. And he had ~20 weapons and 1000s of rounds of ammo in the room that were invisible. Did he haul everything in there in a few hours after they cleaned it that day? Strange.

  7. Ute67
    October 3, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    I think it is going to take significant time & effort to unravel WTF happened with this guy. The world is full or people who go crazy & pop every day, but we don’t get the level of mayhem that this guy unleashed. For me, the level of premeditation is way too high to blame on the average psychosis. His plan leveraged an advantageous military position, a perfect kill zone, weapon & ammo choices suited to the range to target, leveraging of legal methods to make a semi-auto into a very close approximation of full automatic weapons, ( making them perfect for a dense crowd as as the target). Even the last second suicide was aided by hidden cameras to let him know when SWAT arrived. This maximized his killing time & the suicide frustrates the investigation for motives.

    This level of planning is not representative of a psychotic. It is frightening in it’s rationality & methodical execution. If he is some “lone wolf”, he has set a sick new standard of success. My gut says this act is beyond standard mass murder, & accomplishes exactly the effect of directed terrorism, so I give significant probability that some of the speculation to him being radicalized may have merit.

    I think more evidence on the following may give some answers:
    1. Release of any farewell video or letters
    2. Where in the hell did he get so many guns? This guy had multiple .223’s & .308 caliber weapons. Collectors I know usually do not excessively duplicate caliber & style. This collection seems tailored to being interoperable. Tracing them to the seller(s) is crucial.
    3. What does the Filipino GF know? ( Is it just me, or did some of her more glamorous photos suggest her SMV was way higher than his, & the arrangement was as a paid GF/Asian bride? This twice(?) divorced guy looks to have abandoned American women. Might be a bitter MGTOW guy?)
    4. Can they find complicity with any Hotel staff in helping move all the weapons & ammo into the room?

    • Most marriages are "cheaper to keep her" ones
      October 4, 2017 at 2:42 am

      Fuck off,single/mgtow guys are living the life and having fun,unlike pussywhipped simps stuck in marriages and long term relationship.

  8. P Ray
    October 3, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    Does anyone know what kind of medals Paddock would have gotten, if he had killed “enemy combatants” instead of civilians?
    50+ dead and 500 wounded enemies seems like it would gain some special recognition from any government.

    • hoipolloi
      October 7, 2017 at 6:31 am

      Perhaps you are alluding to the guy who did something like that in Iraq and Clint in Hollywood made a great movie and made millions. There is money in human carnage. 🙂

  9. Rum
    October 4, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    I think I know why he had multiple guns in the room of the same type. Rapid fire quickly over-heats any gun barrel. Military MGs are normally designed to provide for a quick barrel change to allow for more sustained fire. The type he apparently used can only be put aside for a while to cool off. But if he had a row of them, he could merely swap them out to sustain his firing. (This guy is not dumb.)
    Whenever a serious purposal has gone out about limiting something like 30 round mags, gun rights people go out and buy 10 of them, paying with cash. They cost 10-15 dollars each. The demand for untraceable anything is in direct porportion to fear of banning/confiscation. The back-idea (by non-criminals) is that the 2nd amendment and government restraint in general would cease to be in effect whenever there was enough civil disorder ~ Katrina.
    Gun sales of all types crashed when DJT won the election. This was entirely predictable. If the NRA exists primarily to move product, their strong support of DJT seems strange in this light.
    I think their main goal is to maximize their influence in general. Having a motivated membership serves this directly. It does not bother them when gun sales increase, but it is not the main issue. (I have never been a member.)

  10. October 4, 2017 at 3:39 pm
    • October 4, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      wow, looks like someone’s gonna have a nice lawsuit for libel/slander

  11. Rum
    October 4, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    Prediction: The motivation for this crime will turn out to have been formed in the mind of a far left – almost antifa – individual who deeply hates gun owning Trump supporters. This, for him was a jackpot. Enjoy massacering Trump supporters while giving the 2nd amendment a bad name.
    Evidence: He was too old to be purely attention/fame seeking. He apparently went to great lengths to remove his online opinions. He is obviously capable of deep and devious analysis.

    With his resourses, it would have been much easier to have used eggplozifs for a bigger bag.

    • VH
      October 4, 2017 at 11:38 pm

      Or aeroplane

  1. October 4, 2017 at 9:53 pm
  2. December 4, 2017 at 6:55 pm

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