By John Kelly, Profiler
The first thing to do when looking at a complicated mental problem is to examine and eliminate any physical problems.
Before getting into the psychological and pharmacological dynamics of a persons murderous behavior, one needs to eliminate any physical precursors to such behavior. Paddock’s autopsy should determine any brain abnormalities such as tumors or cancer. We have seen this play a role in a similar mass murder, Charles Whitman, the Texas Tower Sniper, who shot 16 people from a high vantage point in 1966.
Charles Whitman, on Wikipedia.org
Paddock’s autopsy did not reveal any brain abnormalities. After eliminating any physical precursors to Paddock’s murderous rage, we would need to start to look at this individual’s beginning, which was in the womb. Stephen Paddock was born the son of a diagnosed psychopath, Benjamin Paddock, who was a convicted bank robber and once on the FBI’s most wanted list. The strongest genetic connection of the psychopathic gene, the “Warrior gene,” is transmitted from parent to child. This gene can cause extreme violence in an individual.
Do the MAOA and CDH13 ‘human warrior genes’ make violent criminals — and what should society do?, on GeneticLiteracyProject.org.
Stephen Paddock likely grew up in an abusive, shame ridden and dysfunctional poor family. His father was a bank robber, on the run, and on the FBI’s most wanted list. He probably felt shamed in the community. Just the neglect of the father is abuse and Paddock probably had an attachment disorder from him. News reports indicate that his mother moved family and raised four children on a small salary. Because the boys were poor, they fought among themselves for whole milk rather than powdered milk.
I believe that this had a traumatic effect on Paddock, which started to cause him to have low self-esteem, depression, a sleep disorder, and internalized anger. These dynamics eventually produced internalized rage within him. This rage was destined, in time, to boil over and explode with murderous consequences.
Paddock found gambling to be his ideal job and medication of choice. Gambling is a central nervous system stimulant and, for a while, would be soothing to Paddock’s internal angst and trauma. However over a long period of time, the frequency of gambling would have become a major stressor for Paddock. Seventeen to 25 percent of all pathological gamblers are suicidal at some point.
It appears that Paddock was taking Valium, which is a strong benzodiazepine and central nervous system depressant. Valium can have strong side effects, including agitation, paranoia, irritability, nightmares, rage, psychosis, hallucinations and delusions. When mixed with alcohol, Valium can have even more complicated anger producing effects.
In conclusion, it is this Profiler’s theory that Paddock was a pathological gambler, psychopath and a sociopath. He was predisposed from birth and childhood to harbor extreme internalized shame, low self-esteem, depression, and aggressive anger. The psychopathology, along with the use of Valium, alcohol and marathon pathological gambling created the perfect storm for mass murder. The result was violent, suicidal and explosive murderous rage.
Paddock’s weapon of choice was an AR15 semi automatic rifle, which he modified into a fully automatic weapon that fired a 223 round. In my prior military training carrying an M16, I was taught that this round is not designed to go straight through a person. This round has a devastating tumbling effect and will usually go in one part of the body and come out on another part. I believe that many of the wounded were hit with a round that wounded or killed others.
It is also interesting that Paddock picked Las Vegas for his massacre. It is the same city where his father wanted to start a church!
We have to be vigilant now of copycat killers.
Editor’s note: Here’s the latest info on the Las Vegas shooter investigation:
Sheriff shares new details about Las Vegas shooting investigation, on ReviewJournal.com.