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Some Peculiar and New Facts about Stephen Paddock: Oct 4, 2017

October 4, 2017 22 comments

After writing a previous post about this guy, I decided to wait a day or two to find some less sensational but far more revealing information about him. Just to be clear- most articles about him, his girlfriend and that shooting are still full of repetition, hyperbole and wild speculation. Having said that, I am finally starting to see some truly interesting fragments of information which shine some light on his him as a person and his lifestyle.

Article # 1: Las Vegas shooter recalled as intelligent gambler well-versed on gun rights.

and here are the relevant quotes..

An Australian man who came to know Stephen Paddock intimately in recent years has offered the most detailed public portrait yet of the Las Vegas mass killer.He said Paddock was a highly intelligent, strategic though “guarded” individual who won a fortune applying algorithms to gambling, and studied arguments for his right to own weapons under the US constitution. Their encounters came via their respective girlfriends, Philippine-born sisters – one of whom, Marilou Danley, has returned to the US to be interviewed by the FBI in the wake of Paddock’s meticulously planned massacre.

“Yes, I was familiar with him,” the man, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Guardian at his Brisbane home on Wednesday. “He was extremely intelligent, methodical, conservative – guarded – and strategic. A planning, thinking type of guy.” But nothing at the time, including their “robust” discussions about US gun laws, rang alarm bells to suggest that he was capable of “such an inhumane, terrible, vicious act”. Investigators hope Danley can provide clues to unlock the motives that drove her partner to a premeditated onslaught that killed 59 and injured more than 500 at a country music concert.

What did pique the Australian’s curiosity was Paddock’s way of making a living, “as I’d not met a professional gambler” before. Paddock was forthcoming in “great detail” on matters from his “float”, or cash gambling base, to his annual income, which was “very much well over a senior executive’s wage in the US”. “And how he obtained that: the algorithms behind his methodology of gambling – only on machines, not on tables,” he said. The men came to have “robust conversations” about the second amendment of the US constitution and the right to bear arms. It is a debate the Australian said he had many times – but Paddock’s grasp of the detail seemed superior to most defenders of the second amendment.

Article # 2: Las Vegas Gunman Chased Gambling’s Payouts and Perks

and the relevant quotes..

He would sit in front of them for hours, often wagering more than $100 a hand. The way he played — instinctually, decisively, calculatingly, silently, with little movement beyond his shifting eyes and nimble fingers — meant he could play several hundred hands an hour. Casino hosts knew him well. “Not a lot of smiles and friendliness,” said John Weinreich, who was an executive casino host at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Nev., where Mr. Paddock was once a regular and where he met his girlfriend. “There was not a lot of body movement except for his hands.”He would sit in front of them for hours, often wagering more than $100 a hand. The way he played — instinctually, decisively, calculatingly, silently, with little movement beyond his shifting eyes and nimble fingers — meant he could play several hundred hands an hour. Casino hosts knew him well.

“Not a lot of smiles and friendliness,” said John Weinreich, who was an executive casino host at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Nev., where Mr. Paddock was once a regular and where he met his girlfriend. “There was not a lot of body movement except for his hands.” His methodical style and his skill level allowed him to gamble, and occasionally win, tens of thousands of dollars in one sitting, collecting payouts and hotel perks in big bunches. Last week, as a reward for his loyalty and gambling, Mr. Paddock stayed free of charge on the 32nd floor in one of the elite suites of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, one of his favorite places to play.

According to a person who has reviewed Mr. Paddock’s gambling history, and who requested anonymity because the information was part of an active police investigation, dozens of “currency transaction reports,” which casinos must send the federal government for transactions greater than $10,000, were filed in Mr. Paddock’s name. Mr. Paddock had six-figure credit lines at casinos that afforded him the chance to make big sums in long sit-down sessions, and he was known as someone who always paid his accounts. His rooms were often comped, meaning given to him free, including this past weekend at Mandalay Bay, according to the person familiar with his history.

Mr. Paddock gambled as he lived, his brother said — methodically, always weighing the odds. He was cautious and liked to plan ahead, Eric Paddock said, and didn’t like leaving things to chance. He always carried two cellphones, each with a different carrier, in case one network was down. Mr. Paddock was in the high-limit room at Mandalay Bay last Thursday night, playing a machine that allowed him to bet $100 with each deal of the virtual cards. Nearby, another customer hit a big hand and rose excitedly from his chair. He recalled how his enthusiasm caused Mr. Paddock to pause and turn. “What’d you hit?” Mr. Paddock asked. “A royal flush,” the man said. “Good job,” Mr. Paddock replied. And he went back to playing.

The point I am trying to make is that Stephen Paddock did not display any signs of altered behavior, serious mental illness or diminished mental capacity even a few days before he went on that mass shooting. Furthermore, he had made another similar multi-day trip to Vegas a few days before the last one. Clearly, the guy had decided to do what he eventually ended up doing last Sunday night at least two (possibly many more) weeks in advance. The fact that he had sent his girlfriend to the Philippines on a family vacation in the middle of September and then wired her over 100 thousand dollars to buy a house there only strengthens the idea that he had planned this shooting in some detail some weeks ago.

While the precise set of factors or conditions which led him to go on that shooting rampage are still a mystery- it is clear that his profile is quite different from the typical mass shooter in USA- who tend to be significantly younger and often under some kind of financial, legal, emotional or sexual stress. Stephen Paddock did not appear to be under any such stress- which makes his action that much odder. Who knows.. maybe he was a misanthropic nihilist who had reached the limits of tolerance for other people. Unless they find something like a suicide note or medical evidence of a terminal illness- we may never know why he went on that shooting rampage.

What do you think? Comments?