Stephen Paddock’s murderous sniper attack on a concert crowd in Las Vegas in which he killed 58 people and wounded nearly 500 will occupy a prominent place in the annals of horror.
Yet weeks after the attack, carried out from a suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, authorities apparently have not determined his motive.
People magazine interviewed criminal profiler John Kelly, who believes Paddock was “born a killer.”
“What would drive somebody that is so methodical and structured in life to go insane in a very structured and methodical way?” said Kelly, a criminal profiler for nearly 20 years who never met the killer. “Paddock was a pathological gambler, psychopath and a sociopath. He was predisposed from birth and childhood to harbor extreme internalized shame, low self-esteem, depression, and aggressive anger.
“This was exacerbated with pathological gambling, Valium and alcohol that caused the perfect storm for mass murder: a delusional, psychotic illness which resulted in violent, suicidal, and explosive murderous rage.”
The Los Angeles Times said the investigators inability to determine a motive “is a deeply unsettling problem.”
“Police detectives and criminal profilers are working overtime in their efforts to dissect Paddock’s behavior, circumstances and psychological state in the lead-up to the shootings,” the paper said. “Mental health professionals and experts on human behavior, meanwhile, are bearing witness to a more common and less mysterious response on the part of Americans: a sense that without an explanation for Paddock’s actions, we cannot psychologically close the chapter on this shooting.”
Psychologist Yuval Neria told the paper, “The lack of explanation here is bothering us on an almost existential level.”
Now a widely known forensic profiler who worked on the O.J. Simpson and Amanda Knox cases and offered his analysis of Barack Obama’s behavior is weighing in on Paddock.
He points to the severe pain Paddock experienced when his bank-robber father betrayed the family – his father was arrested in Las Vegas – and believes Paddock was acting out a rage that even he wasn’t comprehending.
“This is Stephen Paddock’s story: Father destroyed/murdered him deep down. He wanted to murder father as payback. He then re-enacted it on others and finally suicided because of guilt. The great abuse three-step. It’s so powerful, only the unconscious super intelligence can tell us the truth about it in its metaphoric messages,” explains Andrew G. Hodges, M.D.
He’s a forensic profiler, board-certified psychiatrist in private practice and author of “The Obama Confession: Secret Fear. Secret Fury” and other books.
Previously he was assistant clinical professor psychiatry at the University of Alabama School of Medicine.
He says his analysis leads him to the conclusion that the key to the rampage “can be found in Paddock’s unconscious mind where his motives are buried.”
“Unable to face the deeper pain that drove his rage, Paddock himself could not tell us his real motives. Only his unconscious can do that. Few know how specifically the vast unconscious speaks, but it does.”
He cites Dr. Reid Meloy, a California-based forensic psychologist who “noted that mass murders normally have a grievance but he can’t figure it out or articulate it. Yet the key is knowing how to decode the unconscious. That’s what I do for a living,” he writes in a commentary on his website.
“As a therapist I decode messages from severe emotional trauma victims, people like Stephen Paddock. Such people consciously bury the real meaning of their trauma. Nevertheless, the trauma remains constantly frozen in the back of their minds. It’s as if the threat of the trauma’s reoccurrence remains there, deep in their unconscious. It’s an unconscious post-traumatic stress disorder.”
He cites Paddock’s reported statement to his girlfriend, Marilou Danley: “I want you to take a trip home to see your family. I found a cheap ticket to the Philippines.”
He believes it represents Paddock’s own “trip down bad memory lane,” based on his father’s actions, as a criminal bank robber and later a fugitive from prison.
“Secretly he implies the shocking realization, ‘I was just a cheap ticket to my father, of no value, degraded by him. He was more concerned about money and robbing banks than me, and robbing me of a father.'”
Hodges also notes Paddock’s decision to send money to Danley “to buy your family a house.”
“Read his projection: ‘I deeply wished my father had bought us a permanent house, provided a stable family.’ Instead, [Paddock] was deeply cheated, robbed of a home,” Hodges said.
Hodges explains Paddock’s father already had served prison time when Stephen was born, then was arrested again, while the family was in Las Vegas, for a series of armed bank robberies “during which he attempted to murder an FBI agent.”
“His father never returned home and would never be seen again by Stephen. … Unconsciously he experiences his father as totally destroying his life — a murderous attack.”
He elaborated: “When Paddock kept killing and wounding hundreds of innocent concertgoers – unconsciously he was looking at his abusive father. He shot him over and over, shouting out his unbearable unconscious secret: his father had destroyed him as if he had shot him a thousand times with his repeated abandonments and abuse. He was inflicting his deep haunting sense of being a cheap ticket on all his cheap ticket victims at the concert.”
Hodges wrote: “This is Stephen Paddock’s story: Father destroyed/murdered him deep down. He wanted to murder father as payback. He then re-enacted it on others and finally suicided because of guilt. The great abuse three-step. It’s so powerful, only the unconscious super intelligence can tell us the truth about it in its metaphoric messages.
“He’s still responsible but understanding tells us why he exploded.”
Hodges is not new to the field, having identified killers by studying ransom notes, emails, letters and police interviews to spot secret confessions. He decoded O.J. Simpson’s “suicide” note, deciphered the JonBenet Ramsey ransom note in Boulder, Colorado, studied statements by Joran van der Sloot and Deepak Kalpoe in the case of Natalie Holloway, and reached his conclusions in the Casey Anthony case.