How could a “kind, caring, quiet man” do an act which was so horrific it was described as “pure evil” by President Trump?
In the evening of last Oct. 1, Stephen Paddock fired with automatic weapons for 10 minutes onto a crowd of 22,000 concert goers, killing 58 persons and wounding some 500 others. He also killed himself. Positioned on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, he fired down onto the crowd which was some 500 yards from the hotel.
Due to the high death toll, the shooting was described as the deadliest in modern U.S. history.
What was Paddock’s motive? What caused him to have such a horrible frame of mind? The answers to these questions have remained elusive even as the FBI and the Las Vegas police department are using all available resources to solve the mystery.
His girlfriend, Filipina-Australian Marilou Danley, appeared to be as puzzled as anybody else about what was the motive of Paddock, saying “It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone.”
Her statement was taken with a grain of salt by a CNN law-enforcement expert who commented he did not trust “this woman (Danley) and her sisters” in the Philippines. The expert’s comment is deplorable because he does not know personally Danley and does not have full information about her personal circumstances. His comment is totally unfair, and the mistrust he expressed seems to be just another form of racial slur.
Upon learning that the FBI and the Las Vegas police wanted to talk to her, Danley voluntarily and immediately flew back from the Philippines to the US. This particular action by her should be taken as proof that she is trustworthy.
She related that when her boyfriend Paddock gave him “a cheap ticket to the Philippines” more than two weeks ago, “I was excited to go home and see my family and friends.”
While in the Philippines, Paddock “wired me money ($100,000, reports said) which, he said, was for me to buy a house for me and my family. I was grateful, but honestly, I was worried first” that “he was breaking (up) with me.”
Danley, through her lawyer Matthew Lombard, said Paddock was “kind, caring, quiet man” but she never “understood in any way” that in sending her away, it was “to be warning that something horrible like this was going to happen.”
Lombard read Danley’s statement on Oct. 4 outside the FBI’s office in Los Angeles, California, where she was interrogated to find out if she could give insights into what drove Paddock to go on a killing rampage.
Danley said, as a mother and grandmother, “I am devastated by the deaths and injuries that have occurred, and my prayers go out to the victims and their families, and all those who have been hurt by the awful event.”
She added, “I have faith in God, and I will continue to pray for everyone who has been harmed or hurt. My heart breaks for all who have lost loved ones.”
Paddock’s girlfriend of two years, Danley said, “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.
“I will cooperate fully with their investigation. Anything I can do to help ease suffering and help in any way, I will do. Please respect my privacy and my family’s privacy,” she added.
Danley was born in the Philippines but had spent many years in Australia, where she became a citizen and worked for a time as a tour guide. She was married to a man who later died.
She later met Geary Danley, auditor of FedEx, and they moved to Memphis, Tennessee. They got married in 1990 and divorced after 25 years in 2015.
But before her marriage to Danley ended, she met Paddock while she was working at a casino and he was a high-limit player. She worked there from 2010 to 2013.
At the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Nevada, Danley frequently waited for Paddock, ordering food for him and pointing to which of the slot machines was lucky. She later eloped with Paddock.
Based on these reports about Danley, we could see that she has not done anything immoral or even illegal in her life. Her life abroad was just another story about the Filipino Diaspora.
Any attempt to link her to the massacre is unfair. She knows Paddock as “a kind, caring and quiet man.” She did not have any clue of the violence he was planning. Even the crime experts do not have any clue up to this point.
Perhaps John Steinbeck can give us a clue. In his book “Tortilla Flat,” the famous writer said, “Man capable of the greatest good is also capable of the greatest evil. Who is more carnal than a recent virgin? Who is more impious than a backsliding priest?”