One of the brothers of the man who killed at least 58 concertgoers in Las Vegas just dropped a huge clue in the case. Stephen Paddock, 64, is believed to have killed himself before law enforcement officers entered the Mandalay Beach hotel room from which he committed the massacre.
At first, Eric Paddock told reporters his brother was “just a guy” who liked burritos, gambled, and went to Las Vegas shows.
“Mars just fell into the earth,” he told NBC News. “We’re completely dumbfounded.” Another brother, Bruce Paddock, separately told NBC his brother was a laid-back, “never-in-a-hurry,” law-abiding citizen who had never been violent.
Then Eric happened to mention that their dad was Benjamin Paddock, a notorious bank robber who was on the FBI’s Most Wanted List for eight years after escaping from a Texas prison.
According to the agency, their dad was a “diagnosed psychopath.”
New York Magazine reports:
There was indeed in the late 1960s and early 1970s a bank robber, an escaped federal prisoner, and eventually a fugitive by that name (and others) who made the Most Wanted list. The FBI poster (see above) from 1969 notes that Paddock the Elder had been “diagnosed as psychopathic, has carried firearms in commission of bank robberies” and “reportedly has suicidal tendencies and should be considered armed and very dangerous.”
Fast-forward a couple of years, and Tucson’s Daily Citizen gave some more background on Paddock, before reporting that he had not been seen or heard of since making the Most Wanted list:
BENJAMIN “CHROMEDOME” PADDOCK Ex-Tucsonian Makes FBI List Of 10 Most Wanted
By GILBERT T. MATTHEWS
Known to his associates as “Chromedome,” “Old Baldy,” and “Big Daddy,” Benjamin Hoskins Paddock is Tucson’s contribution to the FBI’s list of 10 most-wanted fugitives. He made the list after escaping on Dec. 31, 1968, from the Federal Correctional Institution at La Tuna, Tex., where he was serving a 20-year sentence for robbing a Phoenix bank in 1960.
Paddock — alias Perry Archer, Benjamin J. Butler, Leo Genstein, Pat Paddock and Patrick Benjamin Paddock — hasn’t been seen or heard from since. At the time of the robbery, Paddock lived in Tucson with his wife and four children. Neighbors said they couldn’t believe that the colorful businessman, then 34 years old, was involved in crime.
Paddock also had been accused of two other bank robberies. Those charges were dropped after his conviction. Federal officers reported that when he was arrested in Las Vegas, Paddock attempted to run down an FBI agent with his car.
“Since he has utilized firearms in previous crimes, has employed violence in attempting to evade arrest and has been diagnosed as being psychopathic, Paddock should be considered extremely dangerous,” said Palmer M. Baken Jr., agent in charge of the Phoenix FBI office.
The sins of the father should not, of course, be visited upon the son, but this new intel on Stephen Paddock’s family history is obviously as germane to the mystery of his savage outbreak as any random speculation or ISIS claims.
The Las Vegas killer’s dad was finally captured in in 1978 in Oregon, where he owned a bingo parlor, local papers reported. Apparently, he liked gambling, just like his son.
And like his son, those who knew him seemed shocked about his crimes.
At least in this case, there’ll be no running away from the law.
[This article was written by Joe Vidueira.]