Home > USA > Vegas Gunman’s Brother Arrested For Child Porn; Laptop Hard Drive Missing

Vegas Gunman’s Brother Arrested For Child Porn; Laptop Hard Drive Missing

The story of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock’s family just keeps getting weirder.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting one of Paddock’s younger brothers, Bruce Paddock, has been detained in North Hollywood on suspicion of crimes related to child pornography. Paddock, 58, was taken into custody Wednesday morning.

The LAPD said a man was detained in the 5300 block of Laurel Canyon Boulevard on suspicion of crimes related to child pornography. However the LAPD would not reveal the name of the man. Sandra Breault, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Las Vegas, declined to say whether Bruce Paddock’s detention was connected to the agency’s investigation into the concert shooting.

The Paddocks’ father, Benjamin Paddock, was famously revealed to be a former bank robber and con man who once made the FBI’s “most wanted” list. Paddock’s family has mostly avoided the media, though his youngest brother, Eric, spoke out when reporters descended on his Florida home in the days following the shooting. Eric Paddock said he wasn’t close with most of his brothers, but had once been involved in a lucrative real estate venture with Stephen. He said he was shocked to learn that his brother had been the shooter, and said his brother gave no indication that he might carry out such an atrocious act.

The 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on a Las Vegas crowd of 20,000 people attending a country music festival on Oct. 1. Paddock killed 60 people, including himself, in the meticulously planned attack.

Meanwhile, police have repeatedly changed their timeline for the shooting, and MGM Resorts, the owner of the Mandalay Bay hotel, has taken efforts to stop more information about the timeline of events from leaking to the public, for fear it could face lawsuits from Paddock’s victims.

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Separately, as the search for a motive behind the deadliest mass shooting in US history appears to have hit a wall – and while the multiple changes in the timeline of events have raised questions about the effectiveness of the initial response – ABC News reports that the laptop computer recovered from Paddock’s room was missing its hard drive, depriving investigators of a potential key source of information into Paddock’s frame of mind at the time of the shooting.

Paddock is believed to have removed the hard drive before fatally shooting himself, and the missing device has not yet been recovered.

Investigators digging into Paddock’s background also learned he purchased software designed to erase files from a hard drive, but without the hard drive to examine, it is impossible to know if he ever used the software. Searches of Paddock’s car and homes turned up an arsenal of guns and explosive materials – but data gleaned from his computers has provided precious little for investigators to go on.

He is not the first mass shooter to destroy or hide digital clues, ABC noted.

  • In 2007, Virginia Tech shooter Cho Seung Hui removed the hard drive of his computer and disposed of his cell phone shortly before the massacre. They were never recovered.
  • The 2008 Northern Illinois shooter, Steven Kazmierczak, removed the SIM card from his phone and the hard drive from his laptop, and neither was recovered.
  • In 2012, Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza removed the hard drive from his computer and smashed it with a hammer or screwdriver.

Paddock spent months assembling the arsenal in a way that didn’t attract the attention of authorities. Authorities are examining every aspect of Paddock’s life — from his family, friends and associates to his travel patterns, health and finances. A sudden deterioration in his finances has been ruled out as a motive, as one source told ABC that Paddock had settled debts he had with casinos shortly before the attack.

Other mass murders have left behind clues as to their motives – who can forget the unabomber’s manifesto? Paddock, however, left behind no such writings or evidence.

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