The father of Las Vegas madman Stephen Paddock was a “psychopath” himself — a bank robber who escaped federal prison in the late 1960s and landed on the FBI’s most-wanted list, according to reports.
Benjamin Paddock had been locked up in 1960 for robbing an Arizona bank, escaped in 1968 and spent nearly three years on the run before the FBI caught up to him in Las Vegas in 1971, at which point he tried to run down an agent with his car, according to archival editions of the Tuscon Daily Citizen.
After expressing shock that his brother, “just a guy” who liked to go to Vegas and gamble and see some shows and “eat burritos,” had gone on a murder spree from the window of his room at Mandalay Bay hotel, Eric Paddock disclosed something else about Stephen Paddock’s background. It is disturbing:
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:
Paddock apparently stayed on the lam until 1978, when he was “captured in 1978 in Oregon where he was running a bingo parlor.”
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.