Fear and loathing in Las Vegas


Ten months of investigation leaves a mystery in America’s deadliest mass shooting:

Las Vegas police have concluded their investigation into the Oct. 1 shooting with no clear idea of why the gunman murdered 58 people and wounded hundreds more.


Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo released the Metropolitan Police Department’s final report on Friday but said investigators were not able to determine a motive for the deadliest random shooting in U.S. history.


“What we have been able to answer are the questions of who, what, when, where and how,” Lombardo said at a news briefing. “What we have not been able to definitively answer is the ‘why’ Stephen Paddock committed this act.”

I have blogged about the Las Vegas massacre in the immediate aftermath and many times since (here, here and here), most recently back in March, when I quoted an excellent piece by Matt Walsh. Even with conspiracy theories aside, there was always something particularly strange and unsettling about Paddock’s crime, beyond of course its horrific nature and the grim toll. Terrorists, assassins, mass shooters can be variously seen as evil or demented, but we can generally understand what moves them, however twisted their motives might be. Paddock, however, has been and by the looks of it will continue to be a cipher. In two years’ prior to his rampage, he gambled away around $1.5 million. Whether that loss played a part in pushing him over the edge remains unknown, as does the path which would lead a person from dwindling three quarters of their savings to firing over 1000 rounds of ammunition into a crowd of strangers.