Details of mass killer Stephen Paddock are starting to paint a picture of a loner who liked to hang out with prostitutes in Las Vegas, had recently gained a lot of weight, and might not even have been set on Las Vegas and the Route 91 Harvest Festival as his original target.
Adam Le Fevre, an Australian who once dated Paddock’s girlfriend’s sister, told TV celebrity news show A Current Affair that he’d travelled with Paddock, Marilou Danley and her sister in the past, including prior trips to Las Vegas and the Philippines, where both women had family.
Although Danley had told authorities that she remembered Paddock as a kind and loving man, Le Fevre painted a different picture, saying the gunman had made Danley “nervous and jittery” by behaving in an abrasive and denigrating manner towards her on these trips. The Australian businessman also maintains that Paddock frequented prostitutes on his casino visits to Sin City.
Neighbors near his Mesquite home had also complained about a privacy wall he built, and the general consensus seems to be that he was, not surprisingly, a social loner.
“I thought maybe he was sick or something, because … the shades were always drawn shut,” said a next-door neighbor, Susan Page. “They [Danley and Paddock] weren’t outgoing … they just didn’t socialize,” she added in a New York Times article.
Bookings in Several Cities
The 64-year-old gunman who killed 59 people, including himself, on Sunday night, also made hotel reservations in several cities over the past few months, all at properties overlooking large music concerts.
Paddock had two room reservations in Chicago at the Blackstone Hotel during the four-day Lollapalooza music festival in early August that drew over 100,000 attendees a day. The Blackstone is a 21-story building that sits adjacent to Grant Park, the site of the festival. Paddock’s rooms had views of the park, local law enforcement confirmed.
Lollapalooza seemingly presented Paddock an ideal location to carry out his shooting. Grant Park butts up against Lake Michigan, meaning the entire crowd would have had no choice but to exit west towards his gunfire. But spokespeople at the Blackstone maintain that no one ever checked in for Paddock’s reservation.
Investigators believe the gunman might also have considered Boston for his attack. According to his internet activity, the killer had recently made online searches of Fenway Park and the Boston Center for the Arts, both of which hosted music festivals this past summer. It’s unclear if Paddock ever traveled to Boston or held hotel reservations near those venues, however.
It appears Paddock had his plan in mind dating back to at least the early summer. Whether he was simply scouting concert festivals in Chicago or Boston, or whether he planned to actually carry out the attack at those locales but got cold feet, remains a mystery.
But the weekend before the Las Vegas massacre, Paddock did at least one final test run. He rented condominiums inside The Ogden in downtown Las Vegas. The condo building overlooked the site of the Life is Beautiful Festival that took place September 22-24.
Paddock is believed to have been inside the building, where he would have had a clear sight line to the concert festivities.
What Made Him Do It?
While the lead up to Paddock’s actions are coming to a light, a motive as to what triggered him continues to elude authorities.
Law enforcement had hoped his girlfriend Marilou Danley would aid in that unknown. But upon her return from the Philippines, she told investigators Paddock bought her a ticket to go see her family and sent her $100,000, which she feared was to be his last move before breaking up with her, suspecting nothing more.
Danley did admit that she worried about his mental health, noting she had witnessed him moaning and screaming in pain in the recent past, which she apparently reported to no family members. She’s adamant, however, that she knew nothing about his plans.
In the early hours of Sunday around 1:30 am PT, some 20 hours before he opened fire, Paddock twice called Mandalay Bay’s front desk to complain about loud music coming from the floor below his. Albert Garzon told The New York Times that security guards came to his suite on the 31st floor asking him to lower his music.