8:07 PM 10/3/2017 – Mandalay Bay shooting: “Paddock also mysteriously sent $100,000 to an account in the Philippines in the days before slaughtering 59 people in his furious killing spree.” 

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“Paddock also mysteriously sent $100,000 to an account in the Philippines in the days before slaughtering 59 people in his furious killing spree.” 

M.N.: Please, recall that the 9/11 hijackers also made some mysterious money transfers very shortly before the act. My hypothesis on this subject is that the exact amounts of transfers might contain numerological messages. 

Las Vegas gunman recorded his deadly rampage inside hotel room

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Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock installed video cameras inside and outside his hotel room before the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, officials said Tuesday.

The 64-year-old killer mounted one camera inside the 32nd floor hotel suite where he assembled a massive, deadly arsenal of rifles and ammunition for the Sunday night slaughter.

Other cameras were placed in the hallway to detect any law enforcement presence, including one hidden on a room service cart from the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

“There were cameras outside of the room and inside of the room, along with the firearms,” said Sheriff Joe Lombardo at an afternoon briefing. “I anticipate he was looking for anybody coming to take him into custody.”

Las Vegas terrorist fired 280 rounds in 31 seconds into crowd

Lombardo said the FBI had all digital and electronic evidence along with the cameras, and declined to say if there was actual video of Paddock firing down on the 22,000 revelers at a concert across Los Vegas Boulevard.

Paddock, apparently alerted by the camera, shot and wounded a hotel security guard in the hallway outside his door during the Sunday night rampage, police said.

Although authorities had yet to establish a motive, Lombardo remained certain that investigators will uncover what sent Paddock on the 80-mile ride into Las Vegas with a small arsenal.


“I expect a substantial amount of information to come in over the next 48 hours,” he added.

Las Vegas shooting survivor watched as life-loving boyfriend died

Paddock also mysteriously sent $100,000 to an account in the Philippines in the days before slaughtering 59 people in his furious killing spree.

Authorities reported another 527 people were injured as Paddock, armed with 16 high-powered rifles and another seven weapons, fired fusillade after fusillade of bullets for nine terrifying minutes.

NBC News reported the money was sent to the home country of Paddock’s live-in girlfriend Marilou Danley, who was in the Philippines when he opened fire Sunday night on the crowd below.

People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on Oct. 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mass shooting at Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas

Law enforcement officials told NBC it was unclear if the money was meant for Danley and her family or for some other purpose. Paddock shared a home with Danley in Mesquite, Nev.

‘We’ll be talking about gun laws’ after Las Vegas shooting: Trump

More than a dozen FBI investigators descended Tuesday morning on the concert site turned killing field, arriving in unmarked cars to scour the area for clues.

The agents wore blue protective shoe covers and jackets marked “FBI” as they returned to the scene of the crime on the Las Vegas Strip.

As of Tuesday morning, at least 45 victims of the shooting spree still remained in critical condition — 33 at Sunrise Hospital and another dozen at University Medical Center.

Authorities said the injured were struck by some of the hundreds of bullets fired, hit with shrapnel or trampled as the terrified concert crowd ran for cover.

GoFundMe for Las Vegas massacre victims raises more than $3.2M

President Trump, speaking before his trip to hurricane-battered Puerto Rico, focused his comments on the shooter rather than possible gun control legislation.

“He was a sick man, a demented man – a lot of problems, I guess,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “We’re dealing with a very, very sick individual.”

Danley, 62, was traveling through Asia as Paddock rented his room high above the city and stocked it with an assortment of weapons, each smuggled inside a piece of luggage, cops said.

The two began dating earlier this year, and authorities said Danley was in Tokyo on Monday. She was expected back in the U.S. to speak with authorities investigating the mass murder.

Authorities had questions about the arsenal kept in the house shared by the couple: 19 guns, thousands of rounds of ammo and explosives.

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The riddle of the Sphinx

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The riddle of the Sphinx

An important element in Sophocles, Oedipus the King is the Sphinx and her riddle. To be sure, the content of the riddle is never specified in the play. There are, however, a number of specific references or allusions to the Sphinx in the play (H&P, p. 707, line 37; p. 710, line 131; p. 717, line 382; p. 720, line 485)

Quite a few versions of the riddle are available, but most of these probably represent some distortion of the form in which it was familiar to Sophocles’ audience. The version which is most familiar today runs something like this, available on the web at History For Kids:“What goes on four feet in the morning, two feet at noon, and three feet in the evening?” (H&P give essentially the same version, p. 693, but with “legs” in place of “feet”.)

Ancient Greek sources, such as Apollodorus and Athenaeus, on the other hand, give a different emphasis to the riddle.Apollodorus’ version is the more widely available. It runs as follows:

“What is that which has one voice and yet becomes four-footed and two-footed and three-footed?”

Also important is Athenaeus’ somewhat fuller version, available at a Sophocles website, as follows:

“A thing there is whose voice is one;
Whose feet are four and two and three.
So mutable a thing is none
That moves in earth or sky or sea.
When on most feet this thing doth go,
Its strength is weakest and its pace most slow.”

Besides this relatively comprehensive version, there is also evidence for a shorter version, consisting of just one dactylic hexameter line, as follows:

“A thing there is whose voice is one;
Whose feet are four and two.”

One possible answer to this form of the riddle is “a pastoral society” (i.e., one in which humans and their animals live in close association with one another). Such a formulation of the riddle is important at various points in Oedipus Rex. For example, the plague is described near the beginning of the play (H&P, p. 707, lines 24-25) as affecting both the flocks and women of Thebes. Also, it is eventually the two shepherds (from Corinth and Thebes respectively), who have lived in close association with their flocks (H&P, p. 742, lines 1082-1090) who eventually provide the key evidence for explicating Oedipus’ background.

More generally, evidence for the importance of a variety of different forms of the riddle emerges in the confrontation between Oedipus and Teiresias (H&P, pp. 714-719, lines 289-453). This can be viewed in terms of Teiresias’ having realized that the riddle did not admit of any simple solution, whereas Oedipus, brilliantly, but with ultimately fatal consequences, picked out just the answer “man”.

Particularly striking evidence of the importance of a multitude of riddles in the play comes in the concluding lines, in which, finally, there is a reference to riddles – in the plural – rather than a single riddle. This point is, however, obscured in many translations (including Cook’s translation, in H&P), in which the Greek plural ainigmata (which Sophocles uses in place of the singular ainigma) is translated just as “riddle”. For the original form of the text, though, see an on-line essay which includes the following translation by David Grene. (The passage from Grene’s translation is found near the end of the essay.) [Emphasis on word “riddles” added]:You that live in my ancestral Thebes, behold this Oedipus,- him who knew the famous riddles and was a man most masterful; not a citizen who did not look with envy on his lot-see him now and see the breakers of misfortune swallow him! Look upon that last day always. Count no mortal happy till he has passed the final limit of his life secure from pain.

Signed in as mikenova

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After Las Vegas Shooting, Fake News Regains Its Megaphone


A Facebook spokesman said, “We are working to fix the issue that allowed this to happen in the first place and deeply regret the confusion this caused.”

But this was no one-off incident. Over the past few years, extremists, conspiracy theorists and government-backed propagandists have made a habit of swarming major news events, using search-optimized “keyword bombs” and algorithm-friendly headlines. These organizations are skilled at reverse-engineering the ways that tech platforms parse information, and they benefit from a vast real-time amplification network that includes 4Chan and Reddit as well as Facebook, Twitter and Google. Even when these campaigns are thwarted, they often last hours or days — long enough to spread misleading information to millions of people.

The latest fake news flare-up came at an inconvenient time for companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter, which are already defending themselves from accusations that they have let malicious actors run rampant on their platforms.

On Monday, Facebook handed congressional investigators 3,000 ads that had been purchased by Russian government affiliates during the 2016 campaign season, and it vowed to hire 1,000 more human moderators to review ads for improper content. (The company would not say how many moderators currently screen its ads.) Twitter faces tough questions about harassment and violent threats on its platform, and is still struggling to live down a reputation as a safe haven for neo-Nazis and other poisonous groups. And Google also faces questions about its role in the misinformation economy.

Part of the problem is that these companies have largely abrogated the responsibility of moderating the content that appears on their platforms, instead relying on rule-based algorithms to determine who sees what. Facebook, for instance, previously had a team of trained news editors who chose which stories appeared in its trending topics section, a huge driver of traffic to news stories. But it disbanded the group and instituted an automated process last year, after reports surfaced that the editors were suppressing conservative news sites. The change seems to have made the problem worse — earlier this year, Facebook redesigned the trending topics section again, after complaints that hoaxes and fake news stories were showing up in users’ feeds.

There is also a labeling issue. A Facebook user looking for news about the Las Vegas shooting on Monday morning, or a Google user searching for information about the wrongfully accused shooter, would have found posts from 4Chan and Sputnik alongside articles by established news organizations like CNN and NBC News, with no obvious cues to indicate which ones came from reliable sources.

More thoughtful design could help solve this problem, and Facebook has already begun to label some disputed stories with the help of professional fact checkers. But fixes that require identifying “reputable” news organizations are inherently risky because they open companies up to accusations of favoritism. (After Facebook announced its fact-checking effort, which included working with The Associated Press and Snopes, several right-wing activists complained of left-wing censorship.)

The automation of editorial judgment, combined with tech companies’ reluctance to appear partisan, has created a lopsided battle between those who want to spread misinformation and those tasked with policing it. Posting a malicious rumor on Facebook, or writing a false news story that is indexed by Google, is a nearly instantaneous process; removing such posts often requires human intervention. This imbalance gives an advantage to rule-breakers, and makes it impossible for even an army of well-trained referees to keep up.

But just because the war against misinformation may be unwinnable doesn’t mean it should be avoided. Roughly two-thirds of American adults get news from social media, which makes the methods these platforms use to vet and present information a matter of national importance.

Facebook, Twitter and Google are some of the world’s richest and most ambitious companies, but they still have not shown that they’re willing to bear the costs — or the political risks — of fixing the way misinformation spreads on their platforms. (Some executives appear resolute in avoiding the discussion. In a recent Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg reasserted the platform’s neutrality, saying that being accused of partisan bias by both sides is “what running a platform for all ideas looks like.”)

The investigations into Russia’s exploitation of social media during the 2016 presidential election will almost certainly continue for months. But dozens of less splashy online misinformation campaigns are happening every day, and they deserve attention, too. Tech companies should act decisively to prevent hoaxes and misinformation from spreading on their platforms, even if it means hiring thousands more moderators or angering some partisan organizations.

Facebook and Google have spent billions of dollars developing virtual reality systems. They can spare a billion or two to protect actual reality.

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Russian ‘thief-in-law’ arrested in Las Vegas, faces multiple charges

Las Vegas Review-JournalJun 7, 2017
Russian ‘thief-in-law’ arrested in Las Vegas, faces multiple charges … the alleged leader of a Soviet mafia syndicate who is accused of running … influence to run illegal operations in several states, including Nevada, Florida, …
Edgewater man among alleged mobsters arrested for chocolate …
<a href=”http://NorthJersey.com” rel=”nofollow”>NorthJersey.com</a>Jun 8, 2017
Feds hit 33 alleged Russian mobsters with gangland charges …
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Russian Gang Hacked Slot Machines and Plotted Over Stolen …
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Las Vegas shooting: What we know about gunman Stephen Paddock

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vegas shooting police respondPolice officers running to cover at the scene of the shooting near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday night. John Locher/AP

  • Stephen Craig Paddock, the man police have identified as the Las Vegas gunman, was a quiet man with no criminal record or reports of erratic behavior before the shooting.
  • He was found dead in his hotel room after the shooting.
  • He checked into a hotel room with his girlfriend’s identification, police said, but she was found outside of the country and is not suspected to have played a role in the attack.
  • Authorities discovered 10 rifles in Paddock’s hotel room when they entered.
  • Paddock’s brother, Eric, said he was “not an avid gun guy at all” and has no military background.
  • The shooter’s late father, Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list from 1969-1977 and was a diagnosed psychopath. 

The Las Vegas police on Monday identified Stephen Craig Paddock as the man who opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino with what appeared to be at least one automatic rifle, killing more than 50 and injuring at least 515 others to local hospitals in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

The 64-year-old from Mesquite, Nevada, targeted concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival at about 10 p.m. PDT on Sunday, police said. They said Paddock had checked into his hotel room Thursday.

Video and pictures from the festival captured the chaos and increasing panic as extended bursts of rifle fire rang out.

Eric Paddock, the shooter’s brother, told CBS News that Stephen was “not an avid gun guy at all.”

“The fact that he had those kind of weapons is … just … where the hell did he get automatic weapons? He has no military background or anything like that,” Eric Paddock said. “He’s a guy who lived in a house in Mesquite and drove down and gambled in Las Vegas.”

Paddock CNN las vegas shooterCNN runs a picture of Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas shooter. CNN

Paddock was retired and had no criminal record before the attack, Reuters reports. He used to work as an accountant, and his brother described him to CNN as “a wealthy guy playing video poker … on cruises.”

Washington Post report characterized Paddock as a quiet man who occasionally came to Las Vegas to gamble or catch concerts, was a former resident of Texas, and held a hunting license in Alaska.

Paddock was divorced, according to CNN, and his ex-wife resides in Los Angeles. The two divorced 27 years ago after a six-year marriage and have not been in contact in years, the report said.

Paddock had been checked into in his Mandalay Bay hotel room on with his girlfriend’s identification for three days before the attack. Police initially identified her as a person of interest but have said she is not a suspect in the attack.

Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, the shooter’s father, was a well-known bank robber and on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list from 1969 to 1977, CNN reported.

Benjamin Hoskins Paddock was a diagnosed psychopath, according to the FBI, and he was convicted of “bank robbery, automobile larceny, and confidence game.”

Eric Paddock said he died several years ago.

The bureau’s poster on the elder Paddock cautioned that he had committed armed robberies before, had “suicidal tendencies,” and “should be considered armed and very dangerous.”

His son, Stephen, had at least 10 rifles in the hotel room on the Mandalay Bay’s 32nd floor, where he had been staying since September 28, said Joseph Lombardo, the sheriff of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Paddock owned two aircraft and held a pilot’s license, according to the “Today” show. Paddock had worked for a predecessor company of Lockheed Martin, the giant defense contractor that builds planes.

Paddock lived in the suburbs around Mesquite, Nevada, which sits near the border with Arizona about an hour and a half from where the shooting took place, the police said. Authorities searched his home on Monday and recovered weapons and ammunition. Paddock had purchased several firearms from California in the past, but none of them were among the weapons found in his hotel room after the shooting, CNN reported.

Las Vegas Mandalay Bay shooting graphic BI in houseAna Pelisson/Business Insider/Google Earth

“We have no idea what his belief system was,” Lombardo told reporters. In a subsequent press conference, Lombardo said “I can’t get into the mind of a psychopath at this point.”

The Daily Mail quoted Paddock’s brother Eric as saying he and his mother were “in shock” and “dumbfounded” after finding out about the shooting. According to the Daily Mail, Eric Paddock described his brother as a normal guy who must have “snapped.”

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Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock timeline

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Las Vegas shootingLas Vegas police run by a banner on the fence at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival grounds after a active shooter was reported on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. David Becker/Getty Images

A timeline of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock’s activities began to unfold nearly 24 hours after he shot at a crowd of concertgoers late Sunday night.

Law-enforcement officials said during a Monday afternoon press conference that Paddock, who had checked into a large, two-room suite at the Mandalay Bay on Thursday, September 28, got to work soon after.

Paddock brought “in excess of 10” suitcases to the hotel, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said.

It was not immediately clear when Paddock began bringing those suitcases in, and his activity apparently went unnoticed. One reporter at the Monday afternoon briefing asked Lombardo from off-camera: “No one thought the wiser?”

“I wish that would’ve happened, ma’am. I absolutely wish that would’ve happened,” Lombardo said.

Stephen Paddock Eric Paddock file photo APAn old photograph of gunman Stephen Paddock, pictured next to his brother Eric, which the family provided to the media. AP

Paddock had 23 firearms in his 32nd-floor hotel suite, along with thousands of rounds of ammunition. He broke two of the windows in the room, from which he fired shots at the more than 20,000 people attending the Route 91 Harvest country music festival across the street. The first shots were reported at 10:08 p.m. PDT.

Law-enforcement officials responding to the Mandalay Bay went to the 29th floor of the hotel, Lombardo said, believing the gunfire was coming from somewhere between the 29th and 32nd floor. “We had to evaluate each floor moving up.” Lombardo said complaints from customers and information from security led them to the suspect’s room.Mandalay BayTwo broken windows near the top of the Mandalay Bay Casino, from which a gunman killed at least 50 people with an automatic weapon.AP/Business Insider

“They checked each floor until they located what they believed to be the room,” Lombardo said. A SWAT team broke down the door, at which point Paddock “shot through the doorway striking a security guard,” Lombardo said. The guard suffered a leg wound. Paddock died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

All told, at least 59 people were killed, 527 others were injured.

Investigators were evaluating multiple crime scenes, including the concert site, Paddock’s hotel suite, his home in Mesquite, Nevada, and another home in Reno.

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Gunman’s Vantage Point and Preparations Opened the Way for Mass Slaughter

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From his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Stephen Paddock would have looked down upon a crowd of more than 20,000 people, surging to the final sets of a country music festival.

He opened fire late Sunday, killing at least 59 people and injuring 527 others in one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history, the authorities said.

But what may have seemed like a difficult feat, firing across an urban area and into a crowd from about 500 yards away — the equivalent of several football fields — appears to have been offset by Mr. Paddock’s preparations, which made it possible for him to inflict mass carnage.

Law enforcement officials cautioned that their information remained preliminary amid a rapidly unfolding investigation, and it was at times contradictory. But officials said Mr. Paddock established firing positions by smashing a pair of windows in his hotel room. He was armed with at least 23 firearms, the authorities said, including rifles designed to be fired at such distances. He was also perched from a vantage point that increased the likelihood that even errant shots were more likely to strike someone than had he fired them from ground level.

Among his weapons, a law enforcement official said, were AR-15-style rifles, a civilian variant of a standard service rifle used by the American military for more than a half-century.

The possibility that Mr. Paddock used tripods, which two law enforcement officials said were in the room, indicates that he understood how to overcome some of the difficulties of his plan. Special mounts designed to fit the underside of a rifle and sit atop camera tripods allow the gunman to fire more accurately while standing. Military snipers use tripods in urban spaces, often setting themselves back from a window so neither they nor their weapons can be seen from the streets below.

These preparations, along with the downward angle of Mr. Paddock’s gunfire and the density of concertgoers, would make the shooting more lethal than it might otherwise have been, and more difficult to counter or escape.

Analysis of video posted on social media shows that the gunman used rifles with rapid-fire capabilities.

OPEN Interactive Graphic

When the gunshots started, videos showed, those in front of the stage dropped to their stomachs — often an adequate first measure when under fire. But on Sunday night, the decision potentially put them at greater risk.

Mr. Paddock’s position overhead gave him a vantage point over objects and obstacles that would typically protect people from bullets flying from a gunman at ground level. It also meant that inaccurate shots — the sort common to rapid or hurried fire, which typically sail high or strike the ground short — could still plunge into areas where people were huddled.

Audio recordings of the shooting suggest that at least one of Mr. Paddock’s weapons fired automatically, discharging multiple bullets with a single depression of a trigger, in what are commonly called bursts.

Weapons capable of burst fire have long been federally regulated in the United States and are more difficult to obtain than weapons that fire semiautomatically, for which regulations vary by state.

It was not clear on Monday evening whether Mr. Paddock possessed such weapons, or used semiautomatic weapons that had been altered. In some videos of the shooting, the rate of fire sounds inconsistent, at times sputtering.

This suggests the possibility that a weapon could have been modified to fire more quickly, a change to semiautomatic firearms known as bump or slide fire. Such modifications harness the recoil to allow for rapid fire.

Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of Clark County, Nev., said that at least 16 rifles, ranging from .308 to .223 caliber, and a handgun were retrieved from Mr. Paddock’s hotel room. A federal law enforcement official said that AR-15-style rifles were among them. The authorities did not detail all of the guns, or which weapons Mr. Paddock fired.

Mr. Paddock had purchased some guns in Arizona, according to a gun seller there who spoke with the authorities.

The attack was one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history.

OPEN Graphic

Several pounds of a nonflammable exploding target used for practice were recovered from Mr. Paddock’s home in Mesquite, about an hour outside Las Vegas, Sheriff Lombardo said. Ammonium nitrate was found in Mr. Paddock’s car in Las Vegas, the sheriff said, but he did not say how much was recovered.

Determining which weapons were used will fall to investigators reviewing the crime scenes, including the hotel room, which would be littered with spent cartridge cases.

The duration of the bursts, as recorded, suggest that Mr. Paddock cared little about the military’s prescriptions for automatic fire. Sustained rapid fire is difficult to control and causes many weapons, especially light weapons, to overheat quickly.

Maj. Dave Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman, said that the military had no record of Mr. Paddock serving in any of the uniformed services.

The length of the bursts also indicate that Mr. Paddock had magazines capable of holding scores of rounds, allowing him to fire longer without reloading.

Nevada, unlike some states, has no laws limiting ammunition magazine capacities.

The remaining limited details about how Mr. Paddock organized for the crime raise more questions. Two law enforcement officials said he used a hammer to break the windows through which he fired, and Sheriff Lombardo said he possessed scopes for at least some of his weapons, though it was not clear what roles they played.

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New Secret Donald Trump Russia Connections Now Known To Robert Mueller: Trump Lawyer Emails May Lead To Putin – The Inquisitr

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The Inquisitr
New Secret Donald Trump Russia Connections Now Known To Robert Mueller: Trump Lawyer Emails May Lead To Putin
The Inquisitr
One of the contacts involved communication between Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and Felix Sater, a Russian born businessman widely believed to have organized crime connections. The contact between Sater and Cohen involved a possible trip by Cohen …

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A fire alarm from gun smoke led police to the Las Vegas shooter’s room, retired officer says

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Who is Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock

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A photo of Stephen Paddock in 2002, provided by his brother Eric Paddock. (Family photo)

Before he opened fire late Sunday, killing at least 58 people at a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip, gunman Stephen Paddock was living out his retirement as a high-stakes gambler in a quiet town outside Las Vegas.

Paddock, 64, would disappear for days at a time, frequenting casinos with his longtime girlfriend, neighbors said. Relatives also said Paddock had frequently visited Las Vegas to gamble and take in concerts.

Eric Paddock said his brother often gambled in tens of thousands of dollars. “My brother is not like you and me. He plays high-stakes video poker,” he said. “He sends me a text that says he won $250,000 at the casino.”

Eric Paddock said he showed the FBI three years of text messages from his brother and said he had no information whether Stephen Paddock had gambling debts or was financially troubled. “I have absolutely no information he lost a bunch of money. The casino would know that,” he said.

Eric Paddock said his brother previously worked as an accountant but also had real estate investments, including houses and apartments around Orlando. He said Stephen Paddock had no kids and plenty of money to play with.

Eric Paddock said he did not know of any mental illness, alcohol or drug problems in his brother’s life.

Their father was once on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. He was a fugitive bank robber and rarely around for either son. “I was born on the run,” said Eric Paddock.

[Stephen Paddock’s father was a bank robber — and on the FBI’s Most Wanted list]

He knew his brother owned a couple of handguns but was shocked at the rapid-fire weapon apparently used by Stephen Paddock in Las Vegas. He said his brother didn’t hunt, barely shot his guns and once took Eric Paddock’s children on a skeet-shooting trip paid for by the casinos.

Eric Paddock spoke in his driveway as he was getting in his car to go with FBI agents to interview his mother, who is in her 90s and who appears to have been the last family member to communicate with Stephen Paddock, about two weeks ago. Eric Paddock said his brother last texted him five days after Hurricane Irma hit Orlando to check if anyone in the family had been affected. “He texted and said, ‘How’s Mom?’,” Eric Paddock said.

He said their mother was bewildered, like he was, why Stephen Paddock had shot and killed so many on Sunday.

Who was Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock?


Stephen Paddock was identified by police as the gunman in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Here’s what you need to know about him. Here’s what you need to know about the gunman. (Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)

“We know nothing. If you told me an asteroid fell it would mean the same to me. There’s absolutely no sense, no reason he did this,” he said, earlier. “He’s just a guy who played video poker and took cruises and ate burritos at Taco Bell. There’s no political affiliation that we know of. There’s no religious affiliation that we know of.”

For several years, the gunman lived with his girlfriend, Marilou Danley, in a retirement community in Reno, Nev., neighbors said. They said they interacted with Danley but not with Paddock, whom they described as extremely standoffish. Danley told residents there that Paddock was a professional gambler, explaining their long absences from the neighborhood.

Called Del Webb, the neighborhood is a relatively new active-adult community of single-family homes with desert views and a clubhouse with a gym and pool.

Harold Allred, who lives up the street from the couple, said his wife often ran into Danley in exercise classes or social gatherings. Allred said he and his wife found Danley unremarkable, though perhaps a little odd, and didn’t know Paddock. “He was reclusive,” said Allred, 66. “We never met him.”

Paddock lived in a number of retirement communities. In addition to the Reno home, Paddock and Danley had another home in Mesquite, Nev., said neighbors. In recent years, he had moved to Nevada from Melbourne, Fla. And he had previously lived in Texas and California, where he had married once and later divorced.

In Reno, Diane McKay lived next door to Paddock and Danley until July, when McKay moved to a different community, but she said she only ran into Danley occasionally when both women happened to be pulling weeds from their front yards. Danley wasn’t forthcoming about her life, and Paddock was aggressively unfriendly, McKay recalled. She only saw him in the mornings, when he went to the clubhouse to work out. Occasionally, he would open the garage door, revealing a large safe the size of a refrigerator. Other than that, the couple kept their blinds closed.

“He was weird. Kept to himself,” said McKay, 79, who described Paddock as small but in pretty good shape. “It was like living next to nothing. . . . You can at least be grumpy, something. He was just nothing, quiet. He never went out in the back and enjoyed the back yard, nature. They had a little back yard, 17 feet to the fence and hill. But the blinds were always closed.”

McKay said the couple was gone for six months last year, which she thought was for a gambling trip.

[At least 50 dead, more than 400 injured after shooting on Las Vegas Strip]

Paddock’s family said there was nothing in his past that would suggest violence. Family members said that Paddock spent much of his retirement in recent years frequenting hotels in Las Vegas. They said he listened to country music and went to concerts at Vegas hotels, similar to the one Sunday night where he opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers.

Public records show Paddock was a licensed pilot who owned two planes. And he had a hunting license from Alaska.

Property records show he had homes in both Mesquite, Tex., and Mesquite in Nevada. He bought his current home in Mesquite, Nev., in 2013, and appears to have been living there ever since.

People tend to the wounded outside the festival grounds after a shooting on Oct. 1 in Las Vegas. (David Becker/Getty Images)

Las Vegas police said authorities searched Paddock’s home in Mesquite, Nev., on Monday morning. Quinn Averett, a spokesman for the Mesquite Police Department, said Paddock was unknown to local authorities in the city 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Mesquite police have no recorded interactions with Paddock. Las Vegas police said the same.

Neighbors at his home in Mesquite, Nev., said Paddock did not seem agitated or disturbed in recent days. “I saw Paddock on the golf course about two months ago,” said Luis Rodriguez, a groundskeeper at Conestoga Golf Course, which runs right through the retirement community where Paddock lived. “There was nothing strange about him. He seemed friendly and happy at the time.”

Rodriguez and other groundskeepers were shocked when they woke up to the news and realized they had seen Paddock. They say he played alone and that he would stop and say hello to them on the course.

At a 55-and-over community in Florida, where Paddock had lived for many years, neighbors recalled strange details about his lifestyle.

Don Judy, his next-door neighbor until two years ago, recalled that shortly after Paddock turned 60, Judy saw the inside of his home and was shocked by its appearance. He said it “looked like a college freshman lived there.”

There was no art on the walls, not even a car in the driveway, Judy said, just a dining chair, a bed and two recliners. “It looked like he’d be ready to move at a moment’s notice,” Judy said.

Paddock, however, always seemed on the move, carrying a suitcase and driving a rental car on monthly trips from Vegas to the community near Cocoa Beach.

“One of the first times we met him, he told me he lived there, in Vegas,” said Judy. “He explained that he was a gambler, and a prospector. He said he was buying this house to check it out for his mother . . . and that if she liked it, he planned to buy another next door with a floor plan like ours.”

[Map: How the Las Vegas Strip shooting unfolded]

Paddock’s brother, mother and other family members lived about an hour away in Orlando and would frequently visit, Judy said.

During the two years that Judy lived next door, Paddock never seemed to want for money. A new ShopVac, tools and a never-used ladder appeared in the garage. Paddock and Danley would wave as they left for dinner along the beach.

A little while after living there, Paddock left Judy a key and asked him to keep an eye on the rarely used house — and to borrow any tools he might want. “I thought, wow, this guy’s a good neighbor,” Judy said, who noted no drugs or parties, nothing unusual except for Paddock’s gambling. “They did seem to always stay up till midnight and sleep in till noon. They always seemed to stay on Vegas time.”

‘The shots just kept coming’: Mass shooting unfolds at country music festival

A gunman in a high-rise hotel overlooking the Las Vegas Strip opened fire on a country music festival Oct. 1, in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. A gunman in a high-rise hotel overlooking the Las Vegas Strip opened fire on a country music festival Oct. 1, in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. (Taylor Turner/The Washington Post)

Computers also began appearing on the breakfast bar, and Paddock once boasted to Don and his wife that he’d won $20,000 playing card games over the Internet.

Then, as quickly as he had appeared, Paddock put up a for-sale sign, Judy said. “He never said much about it, just said they were moving back to Vegas,” Judy said.

Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said, “We have no investigative information or background associated with this individual that is derogatory. . . . The only thing we can tell is he received a citation several years ago, that citation was handled as a matter of normal practice in the court system.”

Authorities said no connection has been found between the gunman and any international terrorist group.

[Route 91 Harvest Festival: The Las Vegas ‘sleepover’ that ended in a nightmare]

After the shooting, Paddock was found dead by officers on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Lombardo said during a news briefing.

Police believe Paddock was a “lone wolf” attacker. Lombardo did not give further details, however, on Paddock’s background or possible motivation.

“We have no idea what his belief system was,” Lombardo said. “Right now, we believe he was the sole aggressor.”

Paddock, who arrived at the hotel on Thursday, was found with more than 10 rifles, Lombardo said. Relatives said they knew Paddock owned guns but believed they were legal.

On Monday morning, police released a picture of Danley, saying they were searching for her as a person of interest. They later said they she was out of the country, and has been located and detained. Authorities called her a companion of Paddock.

Authorities described Danley as Asian, 4 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 111 pounds.

[America’s deadliest shooting incidents are getting much more deadly]

In a statement, Lockheed Martin, the defense giant, said that Paddock had worked for it for three years in the 1980s.

“Stephen Paddock worked for a predecessor company of Lockheed Martin from 1985 until 1988,” the company said in a statement. “We’re cooperating with authorities to answer questions they may have about Mr. Paddock and his time with the company.”

The shooting on Sunday was the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, killing at least 58 people and injuring hundreds.

Julie Tate and Mark Berman in Washington; Heather Long in Mesquite, Nev.; and Justin Glawe in Dallas contributed to this report.

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Stephen Paddock gambling debts – Google Search

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Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock was a high-stakes gambler …

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Gunman Stephen Paddock was an accountant who played $100-a-hand-poker

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The man police say killed at least 58 people on the Las Vegas Strip was a retired accountant who enjoyed playing $100-a-hand poker, his brother says.

Here’s what else we know about Stephen Paddock, the assailant in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

• He was 64 years old and lived in Mesquite, a retiree community about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. He had previously lived in the Orlando, Florida, area.

• He was divorced, was not known to have children, and was living with a woman in a home in Mesquite.

• He’d never shown violent tendencies, said his brother, Eric Paddock of Orlando, Florida. “He was my brother and it’s like an asteroid fell out of the sky,” Eric Paddock said about learning his sibling was the gunman in the Las Vegas massacre.

• His father was a bank robber who spent years on the FBI’s most-wanted list, said brother Eric Paddock. The FBI lists the late Benjamin Hoskins Paddock as being on the FBI’s most-wanted list from June 10, 1969 until May 5, 1977.

• Eric Paddock said his father died a few years ago and that “he was never with my mom.” Eric said he was born while his father was on the run.

• Stephen last communicated with his brother via a text, asking Eric about their mother, who’d lost power during Hurricane Irma. Eric also said Stephen spoke to his mother on the phone a week or two ago.

• Eric Paddock says his brother did not have affiliations with any terror or hate group, and he doesn’t know why his brother would do this.

• “He was a wealthy guy playing video poker… on cruises,” his brother said, adding that Stephen could afford anything he wanted and played $100-a-hand poker.

• Stephen Paddock’s ex-wife lives in Los Angeles County, California, and has had no contact with him in years, authorities said. They divorced 27 years ago after six years of marriage.

• Authorities searched Paddock’s home in Mesquite on Monday and found weapons and ammunition, but Mesquite police spokesman Quinn Averett did not give details. Eric Paddock said he helped Stephen move to Mesquite about a year ago.

• Marilou Danley was identified as Paddock’s companion or roommate, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said.

• She does not appear to have been involved in the shooting and was in the Philippines when the massacre took place, authorities said. Paddock had been using some of her identification, Lombardo said.

• He kept a low profile. Law enforcement has no “derogatory information” about Stephen Paddock, besides the fact that he received a citation several years ago that was handled in the court system, Lombardo said.

• Paddock had been staying at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas since last Thursday. He killed himself in his room on the 32nd-floor before a police SWAT team burst in, Lombardo said.

• Authorities believe Paddock had a device similar to a hammer to smash the hotel windows prior to the shooting, Lombardo said. Officials think Paddock brought the weapons into the hotel by himself but did not provide specifics.

• Hotel employees had been in his room prior to the shooting but did not notice anything amiss, Lombardo said.

• Paddock had bought multiple firearms in the past, several of them purchased in California, a law enforcement official told CNN. But those don’t appear to be among the 10 or more guns found in the Mandalay Bay hotel room.

• The suspicion, based on initial reports, is that one of the rifles used was altered to function as an automatic weapon, the official said. Among the weapons found were a .223 caliber and a .308 caliber.

• So far investigators believe the firearms were purchased legally.

• Eric Paddock said he knew his brother had a couple of handguns and maybe one long rifle but did not know of any automatic weapons.

• Stephen Paddock did not have a machine gun when he moved him from Melbourne to Mesquite, Eric Paddock said.

• The suspect had a pilot’s license but he was not up to date on his medical certification which he would need in order to fly legally, a federal official said.

• The FAA website shows that the last time he went to get the medical certification required for private pilots who want to fly was February 2008 so he could not have flown legally recently.

• The FAA will not release any information regarding his mental health from his last certification in 2008 because it is protected under federal privacy rules.

• So far, authorities have found no military records for Stephen Paddock.

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Las Vegas massacre reignites debate over the meaning of ‘domestic terrorism’

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By the time local authorities revealed Monday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas had left over 50 people dead, it was almost immediately labeled as the largest massacre in modern American history — but the heinous attack prompted others to question: Was it domestic terrorism?

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said it was “premature” to judge that question Monday afternoon, pointing to the ongoing investigation.

“This is an ongoing investigation, and it would be premature to weigh in on something like that before we have any more facts and we’ll leave that to local law enforcement to work with, also the federal law enforcement to make those determinations,” Sanders said.

Law enforcement authorities similarly declined to use the term “domestic terrorism.”

“We have to establish what his motivation was first,” said Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo.

Yet others, such as a former astronaut and gun-control advocate Mark Kelly, were unequivocal.

“This was an ambush if there ever was one,” said Kelly. “This was domestic terrorism.”

But here’s the problem: There is no such charge under federal law.

The confusion appears to stem, at least partly, from the fact that the US code does include a statutory definition of “domestic terrorism” — as acts “dangerous to human life and appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population” or to influence government policy or conduct — but it is not a standalone criminal charge.

“There is not a domestic terrorism crime as such,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a Senate hearing just last week. “We in the FBI refer to domestic terrorism as a category but it’s more of a way in which we allocate which agents, which squad is going to work on it.”

CNN Legal Analyst Page Pate says that Congress bears some of the responsibility for the colloquial use of the term.

“The problem is that Congress defined domestic terrorism in the criminal code, but there are no criminal penalties,” Pate said in an interview with CNN Monday.

The practical effect in many cases results in assailants instead being charged with other crimes, such as using a weapon of mass destruction in the case of 1995 Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

But the lack of a formal charge of domestic terrorism hasn’t stopped some lawmakers, legal experts and others from questioning whether labels still matter.

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate homeland security committee, asked Wray last week if the FBI takes the threat of ISIS-related terrorism cases “any less seriously” than those committed by white supremacists or if he’s noticed any difference in charging decisions.

“No, we do not,” Wray said. “There may be reasons why it’s simpler, easier, quicker, less resource-intensive and you can still get a long sentence with some of the other offenses. … And so, even though you may not see them, from your end, as a domestic terrorism charge, they are very much domestic terrorism cases that are just being brought under other criminal offenses.”

™ & © 2017 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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On the road to Mandalay – Frank Sinatra

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LIVE Deadline reached for Russian consular residence in San Francisco to be vacated: stakeout

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Russian consular residences in San Francisco vacated before deadline — RT Newsline

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The last group of Russian diplomats have left the mansion of Russia’s Consulate-General in San Francisco ahead of the deadline which expired midnight on October 1. The two remaining families residing at the main Consulate building departed Friday and Saturday. The Russian Consulate in San Francisco, as well as two buildings in Washington and New York, were forced to shut operations on September 2 on orders from US State Department. The evictions, which Russia say violates international law, were supervised by US federal agents who took control of the properties. The diplomats who resided in the main San Francisco Consulate building and the Consulate General’s mansion were allowed to temporarily stay in their apartments, which they could access passing federal security checkpoints, but were ordered to vacate their quarters by October 1.

russian consulate san francisco – Google Search

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Russian consular residences in San Francisco vacated before …

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The last group of Russian diplomats have left the mansion of Russia’s Consulate-General in San Francisco ahead of the deadline which …
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Russian diplomats shut down SF consulate in response to US order

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Andrey Varlamov, the deputy consul general for the Russian Federation in San Francisco, said he and his staff were frustrated with the …
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On September 2, US authorities closed Russia’s Consulate-General in San Francisco, the trade mission in Washington and its office in New …
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israel – Google Search

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Why Israel supports an independent Iraqi Kurdistan

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Jerusalem (CNN) When Iraqi Kurds a look around, they see potential enemies to the north, south, east and west. The Turks, Iraqis, Iranians and …

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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to visit Russia on Thursday

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Stephen Paddock, Las Vegas Suspect, Was a Gambler Who Drew Little Attention

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He was a high-stakes gambler recognized in the casinos of Nevada. He dabbled in real estate investments in Texas. His last known full-time employment was 30 years ago. He was twice divorced. He had a pilot’s license and had owned two single-engine planes.

While his motive for the mass shooting outside a Las Vegas casino on Sunday night is unknown, details of Stephen Paddock’s history pointed to an unmoored and highly unconventional life.

From his neighbors in a quiet retirement community in Mesquite, Nev., he drew little attention, unless it was for his extreme propensity to keep to himself. He displayed no strong religious or political views, his relatives said, and was not known for angry outbursts.

But he was the son of a bank robber who ultimately escaped from prison and spent most of the 1970s on the F.B.I.’s most wanted list. His girlfriend, sought for questioning by law enforcement officials after the shooting, had passed through Tokyo, officials said.

Details about Mr. Paddock’s career and livelihood were sparse, aside from observations by neighbors and family members that he routinely gambled large amounts of money. “He was a gambler, that was his job,” his brother, Eric Paddock, told reporters Monday at his home in Orlando. “He was a wealthy guy, playing video poker, who went cruising all the time and lived in a hotel room.”

Mr. Paddock and his three brothers were raised by their mother, who told the children that their father had died when in fact he was in prison, Eric Paddock said. Mr. Paddock’s father was convicted in 1961 of committing a series of bank robberies, and was sentenced to 20 years, but escaped from La Tuna federal prison in Texas in 1968 and then became a used-car dealer and bingo parlor operator in Oregon.

A “Wanted” poster for the elder Mr. Paddock warned that he was “diagnosed as psychopathic,” “reportedly has suicidal tendencies” and “should be considered armed and very dangerous.”

The children’s mother was left to raise the family on her own. They moved around the country, from Iowa to Tucson to Southern California, another brother, Patrick Paddock II, of Tucson, said. Stephen Paddock’s behavior did not offer any indication of violent tendencies, the brother said.

“He was the least violent in the family during my childhood. So, it’s kind of like, ‘Who?’ ” Comparing himself to his brother, he said, “I have much more anger.”

Stephen Paddock attended college, his family said, and worked for a predecessor company to Lockheed Martin, the aerospace contracting company, from 1985 to 1988. Lockheed Martin confirmed his employment but did not identify the company for which Mr. Paddock worked.

Mr. Paddock once owned and managed a working-class apartment complex in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite, Tex., records show.

The attack was one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history.

OPEN Graphic

A resident, Priscilla McBride, told The Dallas Morning News that Mr. Paddock often roamed the apartment property, casually talking to residents.

He moved away several years ago, she said, and they had not seen each other since. “I thought, it couldn’t be,” she said of the mass shooting. “You would have never thought he would be killing people. You just never know.”

Mr. Paddock bought three guns — a handgun and two rifles — at a shop in Mesquite, Guns & Guitars, within the last year, said Christopher Sullivan, the general manager. All the purchases were legal and cleared routine federal screening, Mr. Sullivan said.

“The man does not have a criminal history,” Mr. Sullivan said.

Two of the gunman’s three brothers said they were not close, and the third could not be located. Patrick Paddock said he and his brother had not been in contact for as long as 20 years, and he did not initially recognize the face that flashed on his television screen. He wondered aloud about the motive behind the crime, and expressed profound distress for the victims.

“My anxiety is not a drop in the ocean compared to how I feel about the people who got killed,” he said.

Eric Paddock broke down in tears during an interview. “There’s nothing I can say. My brother did this. It’s like he shot us. I couldn’t be more dumbfounded,” he said. He said he last communicated with his brother when Stephen inquired about how the family had fared during Hurricane Irma, which struck Florida in September.

“He texted me to ask about my mom after the hurricane,” Eric Paddock told reporters. “He sent her a walker.”

He said the situation has been very difficult for their 89-year-old mother, who “had to deal with her husband who was a bank robber, and now this.”

Eric Paddock said that his brother was a wealthy man who gambled for fun. The two brothers had shared a real estate business for decades, refurbishing properties, the sale of which had left his brother with what he estimated was $2 million. “He’s a multimillionaire,” he said. “He helped me become affluent, he made me wealthy.”

Stephen Paddock, 64, lived with his current girlfriend, Marilou Danley, 62.

She worked as “high-limit hostess” at the Atlantis Casino in Reno, Nev. from 2010 to 2013, according to her LinkedIn account. On Monday, the casino said that she left the company several years ago. High-limit hostesses attend to members of a loyalty club called Club Paradise who spend large quantities of money and receive discounted hotel rooms, meals and other amenities, according to the casino’s website.

Mr. Paddock seemed to have no criminal history, according to records searches in places where he was known to have lived. The Mesquite Police Department said they had no interactions with the couple, including traffic stops.

Few things seemed out of the ordinary Thursday when Mr. Paddock checked into a suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.

But shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday night, from his window on the 32nd floor of the hotel, he unleashed a vicious deluge of bullets from an assault rifle and killed 59 people attending an outdoor country music concert nearby. More than 500 others were injured.

When police stormed his room shortly before midnight, Mr. Paddock lay dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He left behind 23 guns in the hotel suite, including two rifles mounted on tripods, 19 guns in his house, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, broken windows, and a trail of questions by family members and neighbors who are struggling to make sense of his motive. His car remained parked with the hotel valet.

Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department described Mr. Paddock as a “lone wolf” whose intentions had gone unnoticed by hotel staff members who had gone in and out of his room without detecting the trove of weapons.

“I can’t get into the mind of a psychopath at this point,” Sheriff Lombardo said.

On Monday, local police had blocked off the entrance to Sun City, the retirement community where Mr. Paddock lived.

Eric Paddock said he and his family were “shocked, horrified” by the news, saying he was “not an avid gun guy.” The brother told CBS News that he knew Mr. Paddock had handguns, but that as far as he knew, Mr. Paddock did not own machine guns.

“Where the hell did he get automatic weapons? He has no military background or anything like that,” the brother said. “When you find out about him, like I said, he’s a guy who lived in a house in Mesquite and drove down and gambled in Las Vegas.”

Eric Paddock told reporters in Florida that his brother “had nothing to do with any political organization, religious organization, no white supremacist, nothing, as far as I know. And I’ve only known him for 57 years.”

Mr. Paddock had a private pilot’s license, according to Federal Aviation Administration, and had two small planes registered in his name.

One of Mr. Paddock’s ex-wives, who now lives near Los Angeles, told the Los Angeles police that they had divorced 27 years ago after being married six years. They had no children.

He owned several homes and properties across the country, according to a review of public records.

“He seemed normal, other than that he lived by gambling,” Sharon Judy, a former neighbor, told Florida Today. “He was very open about that. First time we ever met him, he handed us the key to the house and said, ‘Hey, would you keep an eye on the house, we’re only going to be here every now and then.’ ”

He was a regular at the Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite, where on Monday the slot machines jangled, the waitresses circled and gamblers folded hundred dollar bills into the hands of eager bookies.

Several people said Mr. Paddock played video poker and card games and had recently won a $20,000 jackpot, a celebrated event at the casino.

“That was his spirit,” said Doug Reath, a Mesquite resident who works in real estate. “He would come here and play.”

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Stephen Paddock Doesn’t Fit Mass Shooter Profile

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Stephen Paddock Doesn’t Fit Mass Shooter Profile – TMZ.com

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Stephen Paddock Doesn’t Fit Mass Shooter Profile
The 64-year-old Nevada resident lived in a retirement community. He has no criminal record, at least none we’ve been able to find so far. We found Paddock has a hunting license in Alaska. He got a pilot’s license in 2003, which means he’s undergone 

President Trump to visit Las Vegas on Wednesday following mass shooting 

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The president said he would travel to Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with police, first responders and the families of victims of the mass shooting that left more than 50 dead. In remarks delivered from the White House, President Trump called the shooting an act of “pure evil” while offering condolences to the families […]

What ‘Deep Throat’ Really Wanted | The Weekly Standard

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I used to have this annual argument at Christmas with my brother-in-law, a well-regarded film editor in Hollywood. I would arrive brimming with complaints about a movie like Argo, said to be “based on actual events” but with an entirely fictitious Keystone Kops-like airport chase scene. I would rail about the disservice to history and … Continue reading “What ‘Deep Throat’ Really Wanted | The Weekly Standard”

Facebook’s Russia-Linked Ads Came in Many Disguises

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The Russia-linked ads used to influence the 2016 election included those from a fake gun-rights group, a bogus gay rights group and even a phony dog lovers group.

Las Vegas shooting: Are machine guns, rifles legal in the US?

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A gunman perched high above thousands of concertgoers in Las Vegas killed at least 50 people and injured more than 400 when he rained down gunfire on the crowd Sunday night.

Las Vegas Shooting

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Police in Las Vegas, Nevada say a man opened fire on a country music concert late Sunday, killing at least 50 people and wounding more than 400 others, in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

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Who is gunman Stephen Paddock?

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Little is known about the 64-year-old who sprayed bullets at music lovers in Las Vegas.

Facebook to Turn Over to Congress Russia-linked Ads

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Social media giant Facebook is expected to provide Congress on Monday with more than 3,000 ads that ran around the time of the 2016 presidential election and are linked to a Russian ad agency. Company officials will meet with the House and Senate intelligence committees and the Senate Judiciary Committee to hand over the ads, a Facebook official said. The official requested anonymity because the meetings are private. Facebook said last month that it had found thousands of ads linked to…

Islamic State claims Las Vegas mass shooting

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The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the mass shooting in Las Vegas, saying that the perpetrator was “a soldier” who had converted to Islam months ago, without providing any evidence to support the claim.

Las Vegas shooting: At least 50 dead in massacre Trump calls ‘act of pure evil’

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A gunman turned a Las Vegas concert into a killing field Sunday night from his perch on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, using at least 10 guns to rain down a steady stream of fire, murdering at least 50 people and injuring more than 400 others in the deadliest mass shooting in modern United States history.

Gunman who killed 50 at Las Vegas concert was retired

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Police say the man who killed at least 50 people and wounded more than 400 at a Las Vegas concert was a retiree with no criminal history in the Nevada county where he lived.

Facebook to turn over to Congress Russia-linked ads

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Social media giant Facebook is expected to provide Congress on Monday with more than 3,000 ads that ran around the time of the 2016 presidential election and are linked to a Russian ad agency….
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Las Vegas attack is deadliest shooting in modern US history

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At least 50 people were killed and more than 200 wounded when a gunman opened fire on an outdoor music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history….

Islamic State claims Las Vegas mass shooting

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CAIRO (AP) — The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the mass shooting in Las Vegas, saying that the perpetrator was &quot;a soldier&quot; who had converted to Islam months ago, without providing any evidence to support the claim….

Las Vegas shooting: Stephen Paddock’s brother speaks out

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Eric Paddock said he was “dumbfounded” by the news that his brother Stephen Paddock was the one who rained automatic gunfire on a crowd of concertgoers, killing 50 and injuring more than 400 Sunday evening in Las Vegas.

Eric Paddock, who lives in Orlando, Florida, told Reutuers that the family had “no idea in the world.”

“We have no idea. We’re horrified. We’re bewildered and our condolences go out to the victims,” he said.

“We can’t understand what happened,” he told the Orlando Sentinel.

“There’s no rhyme or reason here, it makes no sense,” he said. “’He has no political affiliation, no religious affiliation, as far as we know. This wasn’t a terror attack. He was just a guy. Something happened, he snapped or something.”

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  • Police identify Las Vegas shooting suspect, say companion may have been found

    LVMPD Sheriff Joe Lombardo said at least 50 people are dead and 200 people are wounded after a gunman opened fire on a concert at Las Vegas on Sunday. He identified the shooter as Stephen Paddock, a local resident. The number of wounded rose to 400 a short time after this press briefing.

Police identify Las Vegas shooting suspect, say companion may have been found

LVMPD Sheriff Joe Lombardo said at least 50 people are dead and 200 people are wounded after a gunman opened fire on a concert at Las Vegas on Sunday. He identified the shooter as Stephen Paddock, a local resident. The number of wounded rose to 400 a short time after this press briefing.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police

Stephen Paddock was identified by police as the perpetrator of Sunday evening’s mass shooting who opened fire on a crowd of Jason Aldean concertgoers from his 32nd-floor window at the Mandalay Bay hotel. Police entered his room and found him dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Eric Paddock told the Daily Mail that he and his brother were not especially close, but there was no indication that Stephen would do anything like this.

“There’s no rhyme or reason here, it makes no sense,” he said. “’He has no political affiliation, no religious affiliation, as far as we know. This wasn’t a terror attack. He was just a guy. Something happened, he snapped or something.”

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· · · ·

What ‘Deep Throat’ Really Wanted

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I used to have this annual argument at Christmas with my brother-in-law, a well-regarded film editor in Hollywood. I would arrive brimming with complaints about a movie like Argo, said to be “based on actual events” but with an entirely fictitious Keystone Kops-like airport chase scene. I would rail about the disservice to history and the misleading effects as an increasing number of Americans learn their history from Hollywood features. He would defend dramatic license. I’d respond by saying a driver’s license doesn’t give one the right to do anything one wants on the road. Round and round we’d go, until we reached his final redoubt: “It’s only a movie.”

Eventually I conceded that films “based on actual events” have the right to composite characters, to elide real-life figures, rearrange chronologies, invent fictitious subplots, and the like for the sake of entertainment. As the Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan once noted, historical films “are constitutionally incapable of being completely accurate.” The mere fact of turning a camera lens on a real event means its distortion. But I insisted a line is crossed whenever a film violates the historical essence of an event. History may be a never-ending argument, but one is not entitled to one’s own facts, and not all facts are equal.

I invented a matrix in which the upper left quadrant is reserved for films that simultaneously respect the gist of historical events and manage to be highly entertaining. It goes all the way back to Call Northside 777, the 1948 docudrama featuring Jimmy Stewart as a crusading reporter whose investigation frees a man wrongly convicted of murder. More recent examples include Ron Howard’s Apollo 13, about the ill-fated moon mission; Edward Zwick’s Glory, about a regiment of black soldiers in the Civil War; and Michael Mann’s portrait of the tobacco industry whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand, The Insider. In the lower left quadrant, you’ll find films that while respectful of the past are disappointing as drama. I’m thinking here of movies like 42, the syrupy Jackie Robinson biopic, and Valkyrie, which recounts the July Plot to assassinate Hitler.

The quadrants on the right side of the matrix are reserved for the pernicious films, distinct because they promote a big resounding lie. The bottom quadrant includes deservedly panned films like 1965’s The Battle of the Bulge—which Dwight Eisenhower felt compelled to condemn for its historical inaccuracies—and Brian De Palma’s account of Eliot Ness, The Untouchables. The top quadrant is dedicated to riveting features, ones made by filmmakers who are unfortunately at the top of their game. Selmawould be an example for the way it falsely depicts Lyndon Johnson as an obstacle in the way of civil rights legislation. Oliver Stone’s entertaining and noxious JFK occupies its own special pedestal here.

The matrix is subjective, of course. And many films sit on the line dividing the wooden but accurate film from the wooden but inaccurate one. Thirteen Days, a depiction of the Cuban missile crisis, faithfully renders John F. Kennedy’s determination to avoid nuclear war while simultaneously perpetuating a big lie about Robert Kennedy being a dove from the start. All the President’s Men is another problematic case. This 1976 paean to investigative journalism has many fabulist elements. It demonizes or skirts the government’s role in uncovering Watergate (nobody is doing their job except the reporters at the Washington Post), and it greatly distorts what went on inside the Post. It is, nonetheless, a diverting drama: eminently watchable after 40 years. And it will be on the minds of everyone who goes to see Hollywood’s latest stab at portraying Watergate: Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, written and directed by Peter Landesman.

* *

Mark Felt was the No. 2 executive at the FBI during the Watergate investigation and a key source for the Post’s Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein—the one they famously dubbed “Deep Throat.” I was working on a book about Felt in 2010 when I first began hearing the name Peter Landesman. I was interviewing FBI agents involved in the Watergate investigation or who knew Felt, and, invariably, no matter whom I contacted, Landesman had been there first. More than one interviewee said Landesman had asked the exact same questions that I was asking now. I could not help but be impressed and a little unnerved. Landesman had been a globe-trotting investigative reporter before changing careers to write and direct films. This was no screenwriter searching for a little color, but someone who knew how to report.

Landesman had been aided by the late Craig L. Dotlo, an influential figure in the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI. The society’s cooperation is not easy to come by because it carefully vets requests from authors and filmmakers, and it was doubly difficult in this case. After the 2005 Vanity Fairarticle in which Felt outed himself as Deep Throat appeared, his conduct became a matter of great controversy in the society, with the membership irrevocably split. Landesman went to great lengths to assure Dotlo that he wanted to tell the story of Watergate from the FBI’s perspective in a way that would “let the viewer decide what the reason was for Felt’s cooperation,” Dotlo told me. Persuaded by what Landesman called his “commitment to accuracy,” Dotlo vouched for him.

One of the most important FBI retirees Dotlo spoke to was Edward S. Miller, the assistant director in charge of the bureau’s domestic intelligence division from 1971 to 1973. Miller had initially rebuffed the screenwriter, but Dotlo had a particular influence. As a young agent in the New York field office, Dotlo had been the moving force behind the 1978 establishment of a legal defense fund to aid bureau personnel—most prominently Miller himself—put in legal jeopardy because of the aggressive counterintelligence tactics they had used against the Weather Underground in the early 1970s. The other FBI executive tried and convicted in 1980 alongside Miller was Mark Felt.

My book, Leak: Why Mark Felt Became Deep Throat, came out in 2012 to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in. It posited that the “war of the FBI succession” was the context for Felt’s conduct and winning it provided his motive. As J. Edgar Hoover aged and refused to retire gracefully, a fight for the directorship had developed at the highest echelons of the bureau. The weapon of choice was the leak to the press. When Hoover died in May 1972, just seven weeks before the Watergate break-in, Felt, then the FBI’s No. 3 executive, expected to succeed him. Instead, Nixon unexpectedly appointed Assistant Attorney General L. Patrick Gray as acting director. This surprise ascension exacerbated the bureau’s instability. After one director for 48 years, the FBI would have four in the space of 14 months, amid intense infighting. Much of it was due to Felt. As William Ruckelshaus, who temporarily succeeded Gray as acting director in 1973, put it, “Felt was a guy obsessed with taking Hoover’s place as FBI director. [By leaking], he was trying to feather his own nest and undercut his bosses at the FBI.”

* *

A week after my book appeared, I received an email from Peter Landesman, expressing an interest in comparing notes on the subject of our mutual fascination. I was open to doing so. More, I was curious. No one else had engaged, as far as I knew, in any serious investigation of Deep Throat besides Landesman and myself. Following the 2005 Vanity Fair article and Bob Woodward’s quickie book on Felt, The Secret Man, the subject of Deep Throat was regarded as exhausted.

What I found particularly intriguing was Landesman’s opening remark. “[I] had a fascinating dinner w[ith] Woodward and Bernstein last year,” he wrote in his email. “I was amazed how little they know outside their own ‘narrative.’ ” This accorded with my view. One of the points in my book was that the two Post reporters had exhibited a striking and convenient lack of curiosity about Felt. Woodward, lauded for his ability to plumb the innermost secrets of the White House, Supreme Court, Pentagon, and CIA, had turned a blind eye to the ferocious politics at the FBI. He even falsified the story of Felt’s abrupt departure from the bureau in May 1973. Woodward maintained that Felt “retired” from the FBI, even after Ruckelshaus called the reporter expressly to tell him that Felt had resigned overnight rather than be the subject of an internal investigation for leaking.

As Landesman and I exchanged messages, clear differences emerged. “Though I don’t discount Felt’s desire to run the FBI,” Landesman wrote, “I think his impulse to protect it as an institution” counted for more. The institutional explanation for Felt’s behavior dated back to 1992, when James Mann, a former colleague of Woodward and Bernstein at the Post, wrote a long speculative essay about Deep Throat’s identity for the Atlantic Monthly. The article didn’t flatly claim Felt was Deep Throat, but placed the source squarely inside the FBI. Mann—who had worked on several early Watergate stories with Woodward before the pairing with Bernstein was cemented—posited that bureaucratic politics, rather than noble whistleblowing, offered the most likely explanation of Deep Throat’s behavior. Woodward would himself adopt Mann’s theory when he came to write his Felt book in 2005.

But Landesman also mentioned two wrinkles that I hadn’t seriously considered. More important than Felt’s longing for the directorship or desire to protect the bureau from Nixon, suggested Landesman, was “what was going on at home with his wife (who was nuts and a drunk) and [with] his daughter (who was a counterculture runaway).” I had briefly mentioned Audrey, Felt’s wife, in my book. She was known for nursing her husband’s ambition and anticipating the day he would ascend to the top of the FBI pyramid. She was also a manic-depressive who killed herself with Felt’s revolver in 1984. But what was Landesman suggesting: Felt leaked because he was henpecked and his daughter, a Stanford graduate, had turned into a hippie?

He reiterated the personal motive in a subsequent email:

While I completely agree with your assessment of Felt vis a vis Woodward and Bernstein, almost no one is addressing Felt’s personal life or stakes. Having spent a great deal of time with his family, and him before he was completely lost to dementia, and people who worked with him in the FBI, I reject the notion that he was purely acting out of careerism. The truth is much more nuanced, and Felt is much more complex than that.

I didn’t understand this message. Deep Throat fed the cub reporter a lot of false information. To me, this underscored that the relationship was all about the war of the FBI succession. The outstanding example here was when Felt explained to Woodward ostensibly why Nixon had nominated Gray to be the permanent FBI director in February 1973. This appointment “didn’t make any sense” to Woodward; the confirmation hearings were bound to turn into an inquisition on the FBI’s investigation of Watergate. Nixon’s disenchantment with Gray over the issue of FBI leaks the previous fall, moreover, was no secret. Felt told Woodward that an angry Gray had marched into the White House and reminded Nixon that he had performed well in limiting the FBI’s probe and that “all hell could break loose” if he weren’t nominated. The suggestion that Gray had blackmailed Nixon was a lie. It was also emblematic of Felt’s schemes to discredit his rivals for the directorship.

Besides raising motives I considered extraneous, Landesman emphasized the importance of talking to Felt’s closest colleague, Ed Miller. According to Landesman, Miller would substantiate that there’s “a good deal more to this story than career and ambition.” When I had interviewed Miller in May 2011, I hadn’t learned anything remarkable. He had, though, mentioned writing an unvarnished account of that tumultuous Watergate period at the bureau that included an explanation of why Felt had leaked. (The 2005 revelation that Felt was Deep Throat had come as absolutely no news to Miller.) I cajoled and pleaded with Miller to share his testament, as he would do with Woodward. But Miller wouldn’t budge. Reading Landesman’s email, I presumed he had seen it and found it persuasive.

* *

In May 2012, despite our emerging differences, Landesman invited me to his home in the Hollywood Hills to compare notes. Our conversation ranged all over the place, and it became clear that he had cast his net far wider than the FBI, interviewing such people as CBS’s Lesley Stahl, who, in addition to covering Watergate, had dated Woodward at the time. Landesman talked about how difficult it must have been for Woodward and Bernstein to have this “false history hanging over their heads” all these years. His Deep Throat script was “congruent” with my book, he asserted, except that it was going to add the personal angle that I had ignored, including Felt’s rescue of his daughter, Joan, from a California commune in the early 1970s. He had arrived there, Landesman said, to find Joan sitting naked in a field nursing her newborn baby.

One finding of Landesman’s that genuinely surprised me was his claim that Felt had leaked to Carl Bernstein, too. It has long been part of Watergate lore that Felt dealt only with Woodward. Indeed, the first time Bernstein ever met Deep Throat was in November 2008, when the reporters traveled to California to see the 95-year-old Felt, who died the next month. Landesman insisted that Felt was the anonymous “government lawyer” described in the 1974 book All the President’s Men who telephoned Bernstein at the Post and tipped him off that a young lawyer named Donald Segretti had tried to hire another lawyer named Alex B. Shipley Jr. to engage in “dirty tricks” aimed at disrupting the Democratic primaries in 1972. Landesman was proud of this alleged discovery, which had come about only because of his dogged research. He triumphantly said he had shared it with Woodward and Bernstein.

This scoop, if true, constituted a substantial revision of history, not to mention my book. The 2006 reissue of Felt’s 1979 autobiography—revised to put Deep Throat in the best possible light—had not claimed that Felt called Bernstein. In Woodward’s archival notes from the famed October 9, 1972, meeting with Deep Throat in a Virginia parking garage, Felt specifically declines to talk about Segretti. If Landesman were right, Felt was simultaneously tipping off Bernstein anonymously and refusing to discuss the same subject with Woodward. Most importantly, what Felt purportedly told Bernstein was something the FBI did not even know at the time. After the Post’s story about Segretti was published on October 10, Pat Gray ordered an internal investigation because of all the references in the story to information from FBI reports. This internal probe found that while the bureau knew about Segretti, the FBI had had “no knowledge concerning Segretti’s attempts to recruit” Shipley.

This was important. If my book did well enough, I could insert a correction in the paperback edition. I asked Landesman about his source for this finding, which contradicted All the President’s Men and contemporaneous FBI documents. Landesman promptly put on his investigative-reporter hat. “I hate to pull this, because I hate when I get it, but I can’t [divulge my source], not just yet,” he wrote in an email. “One day I’ll be able to tell you who and how, but I do know it was [Felt]. No disrespect. I see us as allies and compatriots pure and simple on this. Bear with me. . . . Though anecdotally, you can see how it makes total sense, correct? Who else would it have been, esp[ecially] given what you found out and wrote in your book.”

Yet the more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that Felt calling Bernstein made no sense. I went back over all the primary and secondary evidence and conducted new interviews. Ultimately, I established to my satisfaction who called Bernstein after talking to Marietta Shipley, the wife of the now-deceased Alex Shipley. She told me a lawyer friend of Alex’s, who had been with him and Segretti in the Army’s judge advocate general’s corps, had been the person who called Bernstein. This friend was certainly not Mark Felt.

* *

During our conversation, Landesman disclosed his involvement in the project was via Tom Hanks’s production company, Playtone, which had purchased the film rights to Felt’s story soon after the Vanity Fair article appeared. Felt was to be a vehicle for another heroic turn by Hanks, and Landesman made it seem like production was imminent. In June 2012, he wrote, “We gotta get this movie made. The same way [the movie of All the President’s Men] solidified the false mythology, only a movie as big can correct it forever. I should know soon.” Instead, in August of that year, Landesman got the go-ahead for another one of Playtone’s based-on-actual-events film projects: Parkland, about the long weekend of the Kennedy assassination.

I heard infrequently from him after that. And when I did, he tended to emphasize the gap in our respective positions rather than any supposed congruence. Felt “was a complicated guy,” Landesman wrote in November 2013, just as Parkland was coming out, “and his motives on this were complicated. To reduce it to careerism dishonors not just the man but the event. Too simply [sic]. Too reductionist. Too easy.” Meanwhile, the Felt film appeared to be in limbo.

Delays are a common Hollywood malady, my brother-in-law assured me. But he also noted that Tom Hanks had sufficient clout to get any film into production promptly—that is, if he believed in the script. That there were snags was confirmed to me later in the year by two producers I met while working on a Hanks-produced documentary series on the sixties. They expressed doubt the film would ever be made, and if it were, they said, it wasn’t going to star Tom Hanks. Meanwhile, Landesman had moved on to writing and directing yet another film “based on actual events”: Concussion, about the NFL’s brain-injury problem.

In May 2015, out of the blue, Landesman reported to me that the Felt film was finally in preparation. He had corralled Liam Neeson into portraying Felt, and Diane Lane was playing Audrey. Their star power proved crucial to piecing together the “indie financing” needed to get the film out of Hollywood purgatory (Hanks and Playtone were still involved, but only marginally). Landesman wrote, “I know we don’t agree on all things Felt. . . . I would like to compare notes, making sure things are as right as they can be. I’ll start by re-reading your book. And then I’ll be in touch.” This cordiality was in marked contrast to his tone the last time I had heard from him. In November 2013, Landesman had taken exception to my blunt rejection, in an email to him, of Felt’s supposedly complex psychological and emotional realities. “How would you know,” he responded. “You have no access to the people who actually knew him. You’re just pulling that out [of] your ass.”

Ed Miller had died in July 2013, and I was finally able to procure from his daughter a copy of the text that supposedly explained everything—though I never did learn if Landesman had ever read this explanation. It turned out to be 25 inchoate pages, revealing only in the sense that it conspicuously avoided addressing the savage war of the FBI succession. I sent copies to Angelo Lano, the FBI’s Watergate case agent; John J. McDermott, Lano’s boss as the special agent in charge of the Washington field office; Daniel Armstrong, a special assistant to Pat Gray; and Earl J. Silbert, the attorney who prosecuted the five burglars caught red-handed at the Watergate and the two ringleaders of the break-in, E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy. All four agreed Miller’s testament was gibberish.

For good measure, I ran Landesman’s rationalization of Felt’s conduct by every FBI man I knew of from those days. When they didn’t laugh, they scoffed. Felt was renowned for his cold, detached, and calculating demeanor. He was called the “White Rat” at the bureau—a nickname owing to his thick mane of carefully coiffed hair and his penchant for tattling on subordinates and rivals to Hoover. Nor had Miller’s ramblings mentioned Audrey or Joan as contributing factors in Felt’s decision to leak. Indeed, Miller’s memoir could be read to suggest the opposite:

[Felt] clearly was [Audrey’s] hero; but something happened. Although I don’t think Watergate bothered her and I have absolutely no feeling that “Deep Throat” was ever discussed between them, Things didn’t start to fall apart until and after the Felt-Miller trial in 1980 in Washington. . . . We were found guilty and even though President Reagan pardoned us Audrey was not herself. She confided in [Miller’s wife] that Mark was no longer paying any attention to her and that he was spending virtually all his time in their guest room.

* *

The Felt movie finally began filming in May 2016. Judging from the Hollywood trades, Landesman’s view of his script was not modest. The movie will “change the accepted history of Watergate,” he told Deadline: Hollywood. “Right or wrong, [Deep Throat] felt what he did was the last defense of the American ideal. . . . The story has the components of a suspenseful spy thriller, but there are huge reveals about his motivations.” Landesman referred to a subplot involving daughter Joan as “Shakespearean.”

The film is focused on the eventful year from Hoover’s death to Felt’s departure from the bureau in June 1973, amid grateful applause from assembled employees. It is the story of how Felt had to betray the FBI—by leaking, which was otherwise against his character, training, and ethical code—to save the FBI. This is where the war of the FBI succession is folded into the plot, except that the facts are so distorted that the truth is unrecognizable. Felt’s lust for the directorship is depicted in a single scene, immediately following Hoover’s death, when he gingerly and respectfully tries on the director’s chair for size. We are supposed to believe Felt will serve honorably if only he is asked, but he is double-crossed by Richard Nixon. Neeson’s Felt promises his fidelity to Gray so long as Gray’s first loyalty is to the bureau. In truth, Felt acted like a sycophant in front of Gray and disparaged him at every opportunity behind his back. Landesman can make such distortions believable because Liam Neeson is an imposing presence on the screen, the personification of gravitas and high-mindedness—think Gregory Peck in the ’50s and ’60s. Neeson carries Mark Felt.

Felt’s rivals for the directorship are the villains in the film: William C. Sullivan and Gray—with Nixon, of course, lurking in the background. Sullivan had been Hoover’s heir apparent until he became impatient and was fired for insolence and insubordination in October 1971. In the film, Sullivan represents the bad old FBI under Hoover, a serial violator of Americans’ constitutional rights on the flimsiest of pretexts. In a conspicuous piece of miscasting, Sullivan—a tightly wound, bantamweight Irishman—is portrayed as a sloth-footed, menacing hoodlum by Tom Sizemore.

Neeson’s Felt is hellbent on preventing Sullivan’s vengeful return. While this was indubitably true—Felt leaked to damage both his perceived rivals for the directorship, Sullivan and Gray—the line the film takes, that Sullivan was tainted by his association with the FBI’s abuses while Felt was a closeted proponent of civil liberties, is risible. Sullivan’s excesses are traceable to his responsibilities for the bureau’s domestic-intelligence gathering and internal security. He sought and oversaw aggressive measures—including wiretaps, infiltration, and even sabotage—to disrupt radical groups ranging from the KKK to the Weather Underground.

When Felt rose to a position of responsibility at the FBI, he too advocated vigorous countermeasures. He sanctioned illegal break-ins during the same period he was leaking to Woodward. The film doesn’t pretend otherwise, except that Landesman’s Felt orders the gloves-off approach with only the greatest reluctance, whereas his Sullivan delights in building a police state. There is good reason to believe, moreover, that Felt reinstituted the program of illegal break-ins—called black-bag jobs—to curry Nixon’s favor, hoping they would result in the capture of one or more of the Weather Underground terrorists who were proving maddeningly elusive and so garner him the directorship. In any event, what Sullivan had in common with Felt was far more telling than any alleged differences over bureau counterintelligence techniques. They shared, recalls Jack McDermott, a “hungry, needy drive to replace Hoover.”

* *

The even greater disservice is the film’s depiction of L. Patrick Gray. If there was one official who most definitely was not one of the president’s men, it was Gray. Named acting director the month before the June 1972 break-in, Gray was between the proverbial rock and hard place. If he did not keep the Watergate probe under control and out of the press, he was going to incur Nixon’s wrath and lose any hope of securing the nomination to be permanent director after the November election. Yet if he failed to let the investigation run its full course or was seen to have interfered with it in any way, Gray would stand no chance of being confirmed by what was sure to be a Democrat-controlled Senate. As CIA director Richard Helms later observed, almost in sympathy, “Can you imagine the predicament of a new FBI director coming into office and having this thing break over his head?”

Gray’s solution was to try to have it both ways. He largely absented himself from direct management of the investigation, leaving it to the professionals at the bureau—including his deputy, Mark Felt. Simultaneously, the acting director opened a private channel to White House counsel John Dean and kept him informed about the FBI’s progress—never realizing that Dean’s real function was desk officer for the cover-up.

In Landesman’s film, Gray is a Nixon hatchet man who poses an even greater existential danger to the FBI than Sullivan. “Crazy Billy” (as Sullivan was known) would merely return the bureau to the bad old days; Gray would compromise its very integrity. Gray orders the Watergate investigation shut down after 48 hours—a plot point based on a false story Felt leaked to the press in June 1972. Missing from the film is any indication that Gray alone warned Nixon about the attempt to obstruct justice in the first few weeks after the break-in—what would eventually become the first article in the House Judiciary Committee’s bill of impeachment against the president.

Dean (with full knowledge of the president and his chief of staff) was trying to invoke CIA privileges to block a particularly embarrassing aspect of the FBI’s Watergate investigation: the laundering of questionable campaign contributions through a Mexican lawyer to the president’s reelection committee, whereby they reached the bank account of one of the five Watergate burglars. In an exchange that would become famous, Gray and Nixon talked on July 6, 1972, about this aborted effort to deflect the FBI investigation. “People on your staff,” Gray warned the president, “are using the CIA and FBI” in an attempt to impede the investigation. After a perceptible pause, Nixon replied, “Pat, you just continue to conduct your aggressive and thorough investigation.” The actor Marton Csokas bears an uncanny resemblance to Gray. But thanks to Landesman’s script, a naïve, hapless man in a difficult position is portrayed as a simple thug in the employ of the federal government.

* *

Landesman is no Oliver Stone retailing paranoid history. But there are several touches in Mark Feltreminiscent of JFK. Like the earlier film’s Mr. X (played by Donald Sutherland), there is a mysterious, menacing CIA-figure (played by Eddie Marsan) who tries, in a brief appearance, to wrap up all the loose ends. Like Stone, Landesman purveys the concept of an unaccountable Deep State. “Presidents come and go,” Marsan intones. “The CIA stays. The FBI stays.” And like Stone’s JFK, Landesman’s film ends with a claim that is the opposite of the truth: Mark Felt’s “legacy is incalculable as one of the most important whistleblowers in American history.”

Mark Felt is chock full of lesser falsehoods, misrepresentations, and elisions of fact. Neeson’s Felt arrives at the scene of the Watergate break-in as his personal presence is urgently required by investigators; never happened. Landesman has Woodward telling Felt that his newsroom sobriquet is Deep Throat; pure invention. Landesman leaves out that Gray’s confirmation testimony before the Senate led to backslapping in the Post newsroom. The words of Nixon’s ostensible hatchet man justified the Post’s singular devotion to the story, and as the paper’s executive editor, Ben Bradlee, put it, single-handedly “rescued the free press.” Most egregiously, Landesman includes his phony scoop about Felt leaking to Bernstein, in what amounts to a transparent attempt to give Felt whistleblower cred. One salutary element is that Landesman rightly makes much more of Felt’s relationship with Time’s Sandy Smith, a reporter who had many Watergate scoops thanks to his long-standing ties to the FBI, than he does of the encounters with Woodward. Indeed, Woodward’s screen time is so meager it may come as a shock to Watergate buffs, given that Woodward invented Deep Throat.

Mark Felt is fated to be juxtaposed with All the President’s Men, and it will suffer by the comparison. Alan J. Pakula made exceptional use of Washington’s architecture and symbolism in his account of the Watergate investigation. Mark Felt was not filmed on location, and the absence of Washington’s monumentalism is telling. There is a mismatch between the weightiness of the subject and the locale, as if the war over the FBI succession and the Watergate scandal had both taken place in Sacramento. Watching Landesman’s rendering of the iconic garage rendezvous between Felt and Woodward, one yearns for a cameo by Robert Redford, perhaps as the attendant, or even better, Hal Holbrook as an anonymous patron departing in his car. Even a bow to the beloved but apocryphal “follow the money” line is missing, and there is nothing memorable to take its place.

That scene also serves as a pointed reminder of what All the President’s Men is and what Mark Feltisn’t. Every sentient American already knew how the story turned out in 1976 when Pakula’s film premiered. But All the President’s Men was a crackling, gripping movie. Mark Felt is a plodding, unsubtle melodrama, guilty of the only cardinal sin in Hollywood: tedium. It is beyond rescue, even by Liam Neeson’s pensive looks.

Max Holland’s Leak: Why Mark Felt Became Deep Throat is available in paperback.

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