This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

A Mystery Within An Enigma

"It's not like a manifesto has been discovered that would give us direct insight. When I was a kid, my dad was a teacher. I didn't have any thoughts about crime and fame. Paddock had it modelled for him."
"The further away you are [from your target], the easier it becomes to kill. It becomes more like a video game and less like real life."
"I wonder, and this is more speculative, did his father have that desire for attention. There was celebrity bank robbers. Now we have celebrity mass killers. And so maybe it's a case where the son is kind of taking the contemporary version of that kind of quest for fame."
"[However], it is true that there  are certain mental disorders that increase the risk of suicide that can have a genetic component." 
"To me, the nature of the attack suggests that this is somebody who wanted to lash out, he wanted to, in a big way, but he did not want to risk getting caught. Suicide was his exit strategy."
"The research shows what you might think, which is the closer you are to someone the more resistant or the more difficult it is to harm him or her. You recognize their humanity. It's a more visceral experience, and your conscience is more likely to become a barrier."
Adam Lankford, criminologist, University of Alabama
Las Vegas city map showing location of hotel from where gunman shot at least 50 people dead at a country music concert, 2 October 2017
"[Mass murderers are not necessarily] crazed lunatics [becoming unhinged to indiscriminately kill]. [They are] deliberate, determined to kill."
"You often time find that these men have experienced a history of frustration and failure, which is why oftentimes they're not young, but middle-aged."
"[They externalize blame] which is why when they decide if life isn't worth living, others have to share in their pain as well."
"They are bitter, disappointed, angry, but not mentally ill."
James Alan Fox, professor of criminology, Northeastern University, Boston

"We have no idea what his belief system was. I can't get into the mind of a psychopath."
Joseph Lombardo, Clark County Sheriff
layout of typical suite in Mandalay Bay hotel

Two criminologists freely give their academic opinions on the possible motivation of a psychopath's carefully planned-out foray into mass murder. They feel a certain degree of confidence in reading the mind posthumously of a pathological social hermit. On the other hand, another kind of professional, whose exposure to criminals and their actions places him directly within their precincts of operation, plainly states he has no insider views on what might possibly motivate such stupendous acts of human atrocity.

The man now known almost globally to have planned and executed this most devastating mass assault in the United States directly causing the deaths of 59 innocent people, and injuring a staggering 520 individuals when he aimed a lethal weapon converted into a machine gun into their crowded space where 22,000 music lovers had gathered for a celebratory music festival succeeded in gaining infamy of a rare and horrendous quality.

He acted out a god-fantasy of immense proportions, claiming for himself the privilege of destroying countless lives; those he killed outright and those suffering the calamity of a murderous assault which may have spared their physical lives but which will haunt their psyches till the tend of their living days. If this man, Stephen Paddock, with his carefully planned and arranged attack to achieve maximum damage, wanted to be noticed and to gain notoriety, he succeeded perhaps even beyond his own expectations.

If he had bonded as a child with his psychopathic criminal father who gained national attention at the top of the FBI's "most wanted" list of criminals for his conscienceless crimes, perhaps his son had set out to outdistance his father's criminal-celebrity record. No one can now deny that he met with great success. That alone may well have been what he lived an exhilarating ten minutes of continuous firing into a vulnerable crowd of people for, content to die having accomplished what he set out to do.

How he managed to conceal and establish 23 high-powered weapons over a four-day period into his 32nd floor hotel suite overlooking the grounds below where the music festival was taking place is perhaps a question of public conscience the people of America will ask of themselves at some date in the near future. Police theorized that ten suitcases were used to smuggle the weapons to his room. That's a lot of hardware. And nothing awry noticed by cleaning staff routinely tidying and making up his bed daily?

Of course he was also described as an "aggressive loner", so possibly he refused room service entirely. He did acquire those weapons legally. He took additional steps to video-record what he set out to do. A record for posterity? As a bloated gloat? As a contribution to the annals of criminality?
The theory advanced that the more distant an attacker is from his target, the more detached he can be in carrying out his deadly plan bypassing the nuisance factor of conscience, somehow doesn't seem to fit the pattern of the man's described attitude toward other people, as someone going out of his way to avoid social contact of even the most insignificant kind.

This killer didn't seem to need a distance between himself and others to encourage him to complete his planned attack; he evinced a total lack of interest in others in even the most casual of encounters. Yet his act of mass murder is so astonishing to a world in which this type of malignancy introduces itself with some degree of regularity, that it's difficult for people to imagine a total lack of humanity in a human psyche. Certainly, his family appears to be of the opinion that there was nothing particularly distinguishing about him that might mark him as a future fugitive from the human race.
"I am devastated about the deaths and the injuries that have occurred and my prayers go out to the victims and their families and all those who have been hurt by these awful events."
"I have faith in God and I will continue to pray for everyone who has been harmed or hurt."
"I am a mother and a grandmother and my heart breaks for all who have lost loved ones."
"I knew Stephen Paddock as a kind, caring, quiet man. I loved him and hoped for a quiet future together with him."
"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."
"Although more than two weeks ago Stephen told me he had found a cheap ticket for me to the Philippines and that he wanted me to take a trip home to see my family. Like all Filipinos abroad, I was excited to go home and see family and friends. While there he wired me money which he said was for me to buy a house for me and my family."
"I was grateful, but honestly I was worried that first the unexpected trip home and then the money was a way of breaking up with me. It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone."
"I have not made a statement until now because I have been co-operating with authorities and I voluntarily flew back to America because I know the FBI and Las Vegas Police Department want to talk with me and I want to talk with them. I will co-operate fully with them. Anything I can do to help ease suffering, I will do."
Marilou Danley, Las Vegas

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