The Vegas shooter's girlfriend's story strains credulity

Are we ever going to get to the bottom of the Las Vegas shooting? A lot of hopes were pinned on getting access to his girlfriend, Marilou Danley, who has now returned from a trip to visit her family in the Philippines. She’s been speaking to authorities and the information made public so far might be seen as clearing her from involvement but… well, let’s just say more questions need to be answered. (Associated Press)

In an effort to try to crack Stephen Paddock’s state of mind, the FBI spent hours on Wednesday interviewing his longtime girlfriend, who returned Tuesday from a weekslong overseas trip and said she had no inkling of the massacre he was plotting when he sent her to see family in her native Philippines.

“He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen,” Marilou Danley, 62, said in a statement read by her lawyer outside FBI headquarters in Los Angeles…

Danley, who was overseas for more than two weeks, said she was initially pleased when she was wired money from Paddock to buy a house for her family in the Philippines. But she later feared it was a way to break up with her.

She said she loved Paddock as a “kind, caring, quiet man” and hoped they would have a future together. She said she was devastated by the carnage and would cooperate with authorities as they struggle to get inside Paddock’s mind.

Is it possible that Danley really knew absolutely nothing about her boyfriend’s plans and had no inkling that something bad was coming? I suppose so. But let’s just break down a few of the scant details we’ve found out so far and see if they pass the smell test.

Danley and Paddock weren’t just dating… they lived together. She was living in that house in the retirement community where authorities found dozens more weapons and explosives. It’s really not a very big house judging by the pictures. If she was completely ignorant of his plans there seem to be only a few possible explanations.

First, she was in the Philippines for two or possibly three weeks. Is it even conceivable that Paddock collected all of those weapons in such a short period of time? Again… possible, but seriously unlikely. So if he had them for a while, did she not see them and begin to wonder? If he had been storing them somewhere else until she left on her trip and only then brought them into the home that would give her a good alibi, but how plausible is that?

Keep in mind that the window of opportunity might have been even shorter. We’re now seeing reports that Paddock had been in another rental property overlooking a different concert the week before. Was he planning his attack then but got cold feet or was it just a test run? Either way, he likely had all the weapons ready prior to that time, so for her not to have seen them he would have needed to acquire or move them all in a single week.

So let’s say they were in the home before Danley left. Might she have thought he was just a collector? If they were stored neatly in display cases with suitable safety precautions I suppose that’s plausible. The guy had enough money for expensive hobbies and collecting rifles isn’t all that uncommon. (Though fitting them with bump stocks would be, but if she’s not knowledgeable about weaponry she might not have noticed or understood.) But if the guns were laying around on tables or up against walls with piles of ammunition stacked up everywhere it defies reason that she wouldn’t have at least asked about it. It was her home too, after all. The FBI will hopefully begin releasing details such as this when they feel it’s appropriate to do so.

And what about the money? Paddock wired her $100K in the Philippines. That sounds suspicious when put in context with the attack (was he saying goodbye in some fashion), but an explanation for this is also provided. It was supposedly sent so she could buy a home for her parents. Again, Paddock had the kind of money where he could afford that sort of generosity. But it also could have been a case of shipping off a bunch of liquid assets to her in a foreign country knowing that his own bank assets would likely be frozen and out of her reach once he carried out the attack. Was this a deal they agreed to in advance or just a nice gesture on his part which she had no inkling of?

As far as I’m concerned, we don’t have enough to go on yet. It just has a bad smell to it, but all of it could be true if she was totally clueless about the inner workings of her boyfriend’s mind. It doesn’t sound right, though.