Why Stephen Paddock Killed


It’s a pretty amazing thing that 3+ weeks after Stephen Paddock murdered 58 people in Las Vegas, people are still acting like it’s a big mystery. I keep expecting it to come out, and I haven’t bothered even tweeting about it, because it seems pointless, but I figured I’d get it down for the record.

I’ve read a bunch of articles about this, and the template basically seems to be: This guy was a successful real estate investor, he loved to high stakes gamble all night, he had a girlfriend, and it’s a mystery. Seems like a lot of articles say “maybe he had a mental illness, he was on some prescription drugs, it’s all very unclear”.

You read further details, and the one thing that people just sort of breeze by is this idea that he was a high stakes video poker player, betting tens of thousands of dollars every night at casinos. I think there’s some weird sort of belief out there that this is something you can just do if you’re a rich guy, and it’s fine, you can afford it. The gambling industry works very hard at keeping up a “hey some nights you win, some nights you lose” sort of narrative, and people seem to believe this, but if you gamble every night, for a prolonged period of time, you will lose all the money you gamble. If you show up to the casino with $100, and you don’t stop gambling, you will lose that $100, it’s guaranteed. Show up with $1,000,000, so you can play at higher stakes, and guess what, you’ll lose it almost as fast.

My theory is that Stephen Paddock almost certainly lost most of his money after gambling constantly for years, and then he developed some sort of psychological attitude that I’m not going to try and figure out. Bitterness, depression, hatred, I don’t know, but his life was probably a huge misery, and he probably blamed it on.. someone or other. And so he sent away his girlfriend to another country so she wouldn’t be implicated, he sent her $100,000 to buy a house (presumably this was most of the money he had left – if he knew he was going to end his life in some form or another, it makes no sense that he would just give her a small amount of his supposed fortune), and then did the murders.

This was already my theory when I read this article on CNN.com about a slip-and-fall lawsuit he brought against a casino in 2013. It goes through his testimony in that case, and he says that he was gambling huge amounts of money – supposedly he cycled through a million dollars a night. You would imagine this is probably true, since the casinos involved could easily prove that he didn’t gamble that much if they wanted, all serious casino players have their activity tracked so they can get perks (which he is quoted as talking about in the embedded video).

More interesting though is that if you watch the video on that page, and look at the actual slip-and-fall that was captured on security camera, even at the horrible resolution and video quality, it looks so fake and bad. Maybe I’m just assuming it’s fake because it’s a slip-and-fall lawsuit, but it really looks bad. And to me, scammy lawsuits like that are basically the cliched thing that desperate Las Vegas losers in books do when they’re in desperation mode or something.

Anyway, so that’s all, I just want to stick this down for the record so I can act smug in 2 years when some casino’s email system is hacked and leaked, and we see a bunch of casino executives spending most of October 2017 colluding to destroy all the records that show this guy losing 95% of his net worth, which would be pretty brutal advertising for Vegas.


  1. This is an interesting take and more than likely to be true. The mentality that would go into gambling (and losing) all that money would not be normal to being with, and then high-stakes pressure followed by catastrophic losses could send someone to the breaking point. And this is all not even pointing out that his victims were all Law Vegas revelers, people out having a good time while he’s in his private hell. Who better to take it out on.

    • Right, that’s the general thing I was thinking, that he associates everyone who is part of the Las Vegas complex, including partying people, etc, plus he might easily assume that this would really hurt Las Vegas tourism, thus hurting all the casinos, etc.

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