With some pretty eerie connections to 60 years ago, Stephen Paddock’s father also launched a violent attack in Sin City.
It was almost six decades when Benjamin Hoskins Paddock was pursued by police through the city and he used violence to keep them at bay. Unlike his son, however, he survived and would go on to a life of crime.
Paddock’s father’s criminal activity was so notorious he was placed on the FBI’s “10 Most Wanted” list for some time. It might be the most significant clue into the behavior of a man who has otherwise been described as completely normal – who would never commit such an atrocity.
“He reportedly has suicidal tendencies and should be considered armed and very dangerous,” the poster read, adding that he was an “avid bridge player.”
Back in 1960, Benjamin Paddock was charged with bank robbery from three separate banks in Arizona – where he and his son lived. He immediately went on the run, The Independent reports, but was identified by the strange antennas on his car.
It was just a couple of days later when the incident occurred in Vegas.
Authorities chased him all the way there and attempted to arrest him. Paddock drove his car right into them. One of the agents fired directly through the windshield at Paddock but was unable to stop him.
He was finally stopped and arrested a short time later. Inside his car, they said there were weapons including a gun.
Eerily similar to his son, Benjamin Paddock’s neighbors described his as “quiet and unremarkable.”
Stephen Paddock’s brother Eric said that they had little to do with their infamous father. He said Benjamin was on the run when they were born and they were raised by his mother, and obituaries don’t mention either Stephen or Eric.
The detail is the one strange piece of information to emerge about the man behind the massacre, which is the deadliest mass shooting in US history. People including his brother, who first reported their father’s notoriety, said that Paddock’s life was surprisingly normal and there was nothing to indicate he was planning such an attack.
Eugene Paddock was in and out of federal prison. In his last stint, after spending less than a year in jail, he returned to Eugene, Oregon, where he opened the state’s first permanent bingo parlor. Nobody knew about his previous life.
Paddock, who was called Bingo Bruce, never spoke about his past, the New York Times reports — not about his family, how he came to Oregon or his life as a bank robber. Mr. van Deinse said he first learned of his criminal history on the night of Sept. 6, 1978, when Mr. van Deinse was running a bingo game in the parlor.
After jail, Eugene Paddock returned to Eugene, where he was welcomed by elected officials. He “did one hell of a lot for kids,” a mayor told a federal parole board, according to the newspaper.
He also returned to bingo, opening a hall sponsored by a church, but ran into trouble again. State authorities charged him with racketeering in the 1980s. Mr. Paddock settled the civil charges and avoided jail after paying $623,000, and he eventually left Oregon for Texas, where he lived until his death in 1998.