Yes, well. Not worried enough, it would seem.
In fairness to her, nothing described here points to homicidal rage. The only prescription mentioned is Valium. “Mental stability” could mean a dozen different things, only a few of which would be dangerous to anyone but himself.
Although … lying in bed and screaming for no apparent reason is a little out of the ordinary, no?
Marilou Danley, the woman investigators hoped would provide key details into the motive behind her boyfriend’s deadly shooting attack, said she remembers him exhibiting symptoms such as lying in bed and moaning, according to two former FBI officials who have been briefed on the matter.
“She said he would lie in bed, just moaning and screaming, ‘Oh, my God,'” one of the former officials said.
The other former official said Danley spoke about Paddock displaying “mental health symptoms.”
CBS’s sources in law enforcement also say Danley has told police she was worried about his “mental stability.” Even so, NBC says cops don’t think his mental health had gotten so bad that it would explain a carefully planned shooting spree on the Vegas strip. And they’ve still got jack squat by way of motive, even though Paddock apparently left a note in his room and multiple computers behind. Here’s how thin the gruel is right now in terms of explaining why he did what he did:
A real estate broker who helped Paddock sell multiple properties in California more than a decade ago said the future gunman expressed dislike for taxes and the government — even selling off a series of buildings in California to move his money to the low-tax havens of Texas and Nevada.
But the agent, who asked not to be identified discussing Paddock, said they never knew Paddock to be political or ideological. A person familiar with the investigation into the massacre said these anti-government views alone didn’t explain why Paddock would head to a 32nd floor suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, break out the windows and open fire into a crowd of unsuspecting citizens.
He didn’t like paying taxes and didn’t think much of government. That does sound extreme.
One thing to bear in mind about why Danley might not have reported Paddock to anyone, even if she was concerned about his mental stability, is the possibility of domestic abuse. There are reports out there from people who watched the two interact claiming that he was rude and domineering with her in public and that she was “nervous” around him. Paddock reportedly was 6’4″ and upwards of 250 lbs; Danley is 4’11”. If he was cracking up, she may have feared for her life if she had tried to have him committed or called the cops out to check on him. That’s not an excuse, just a possible hard reality.
Two other points on Paddock, while we’re on the subject. One: The theory kicking around that he had joined ISIS, fueled by ISIS itself, seems hard to believe for the simple reason that if there were evidence of that it probably would have leaked by now. Jihadis aren’t shy about claims of responsibility; the cops wouldn’t need to search hard to find some argle-bargle penned or recorded by Paddock about death to the infidels, etc. Additionally, there must be literally a hundred cops at a minimum working this case at the local and federal levels. There are doubtless many more who have access to the file the FBI is building even if they’re not working the case itself. It would only take one cop to blab to the media to blow the lid off any attempt to cover up his motive. And cops are already blabbing to the media about other details, right down to sharing photos of Paddock’s brains splattered on the hotel room floor around his head. (I won’t link to the image but it’s out there.) If there’s evidence of an ISIS connection, we’ll know one way or another.
Two: It’s odd that Paddock apparently considered using tracer rounds during the attack. That would have helped him see exactly where his shots were landing but it also would have given away his position to cops quickly. And why would a man firing at a huge crowd need to pinpoint his fire anyway? That said, I wonder if one of the reasons Paddock considered attacking other concerts is that, all things being equal, he preferred to strike during the day for better visibility on his target. In the end he may have opted for the Aldean concert at night because, per the sheriff, he had some cockamamie idea that he was going to escape after he was done shooting and nighttime would have been better cover for that.
Update: Uh oh.
The investigators are puzzled by two discoveries: First, a charger was found that does not match any of the cell phones that belonged to Stephen Paddock, the man who killed himself inside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino after sending a barrage of bullets down on a crowd of 22,000 people below.
And second: garage records show that during a period when Paddock’s car left the hotel garage, one of his key cards was used to get into his room.
I can think of an explanation for the car. He had explosives in it by the time police found it; maybe he was planning to position it somewhere next to a target and wanted to see if he could get away with parking it there for hours at a time. The target may have been close by the hotel — or part of the hotel itself — so he simply walked back to his room.
But what about the mystery charger? The “lone gunman” theory for that would be that Paddock bought a cell phone with an eye to connecting it to the explosives in his car, so that he could trigger the bomb remotely. But where’s the phone? It should have been in the car.