When I watch Eric Paddock speak in the video above, I do not see a man who is lying about having knowledge of what his brother was going to do. I see a man who is obviously in shock, who hasn’t digested what happened and a man who cannot make reasonable sense of the inconsistencies of his brother’s actions.
What you see in this video is a lot of frustration and bewilderment. He doesn’t have the answers. He doesn’t see his brother the way the rest of the world does–as an evil killer. He tells you that the Stephen who did this is not the guy he knew.
He is clearly thinking off the top of his head, and rambling as his thoughts come to him.
Does that mean he is saying all he knows about his brother? Of course not. No one would.
It’s clear from media reports that investigators are trying to figure out a motive with Stephen and they are still perplexed.
What would cause a man like this to snap?
I’ve given it some thought and I can come up with some things for consideration and some things that can be ruled out:
- Was it for a blaze of glory? To go out in a way no one would forget? I don’t think so. That would be ego-driven and ego-driven people would want to make sure people know why they did it. He would have likely left something behind saying so or told someone. He doesn’t seem to have left that.
- Could he have lost everything at the casino that night or recently? Not likely. Law enforcement is saying he had rented hotel rooms in Chicago and Boston–where he might have considered doing this months before. He also wired his girlfriend $100K to Asia.
- Could he have instantaneously snapped? Not likely. This wasn’t a quick decision. It required methodical planning to be accomplished, and he considered other locations months before.
- Could he have suffered from an undiagnosed mental illness? Yes. This holds the strongest potential. His girlfriend was quoted in one article I read saying that she found him on his bed crying and screaming, “Oh my god”. I don’t know if it was once or more than once, but he may have heard voices. According to Eric, Stephen was an intelligent person, and he may have been smart enough to hide his illness from others and kept it private. This is a potential. He may have never wanted to reveal he heard voices, or had dark devious thoughts, especially knowing his dad’s history (bank robber on the FBI’s most wanted list, listed as a diagnosed psychopath). To let that out would have probably horrified him and yet it might have been something he couldn’t contain in the end.
We also know he didn’t care who his victims were because he shot random people, and he had rented hotel rooms near other big venues. He also didn’t care that it was a casino (at first at least) as he considered other venues. He clearly wanted to lash out people in some style of hatred or revenge or delusion.
Eric says Stephen was a wealthy man, and speaks of him as being an eccentric (not his words–those are mine) and a loner. He also said Stephen basically worked in casinos and that’s how he made his money. When you put all of that together, I do get an image in my head.
I see Stephen as a man who didn’t conform to societal standards. He likely went to the casinos dressed very casual, very unassuming. Stephen was Stephen, take him or leave him. If you’ve ever been to Las Vegas, you know it’s a “showy” place, a place of image, importance, and status–all stuff Stephen likely didn’t care about. It’s a very judgemental place. Money came easy to Stephen, and while he had it, I don’t think it was his everything, if you will.
Big shots, who probably weren’t really “big” in the financial sense — the typical Vegas crowd, probably saw him as a misfit looser and probably weren’t too kind to him. Little did they know his financial status. And this, over time, may have just infuriated the crap out of him. Repeatedly.
Society is very harsh on judgements of status and wealth. If he was constantly picking up on put downs, being treated less-than, ignored and possibly insulted more frequently than not, over and over, combined with mental illness–that could cause someone to devise a plan to “make people pay”. And Las Vegas ended up being the ultimate location where all the fake, false, bragging “players”, if you will, would be. The players that ate away at his soul, if you will. Who chomped so callously and cold in their ignorance (his thinking).
Mass killers often have a vendetta against society as a whole for wronging them. It’s not uncommon.
We also can’t rule out an illness (like a tumor mentioned by Eric) or a drug that induced some psychotic effect on him, if he was taking any medications. They all needed to be explored. So many potentials but pieces should come together over time to paint a picture.
Ironically, most people who are wealthy do not have a reason to “show it off”. They know they have it. Those who show it off are usually the poor ones, hoping to impress you. The guy who really has it–he has no need to impress anyone. He knows he has it. Braggarts are big red flags wanting to be what they are not.
Just wanted to share my thoughts!