October 25th, 2017

Paddock’s computer missing its hard drive

This should come as no surprise. Paddock was no dummy:

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

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, one source said.

I assumed he’d either destroyed the entire computer or never used it to plan his crime in the first place. This is a man who was intent on taking his secret to the grave.

39 Responses to “Paddock’s computer missing its hard drive”

  1. Dave Says:

    makes no sense, why do it if you don’t want anyone to find out why you do it, especially the act doesn’t seem to benefit anyone any side particularly.

  2. Dave Says:

    just like MH370, most likely the older pilot sabotaged the plane but for what purpose?

  3. neo-neocon Says:


    You are assuming there was a logical (and perhaps political) reason for the shooting. I strongly believe the motive did not fit that template. I believe the motive was psychological in nature and more akin to the psychopathy of “some men just want to watch the world burn.” I am actually preparing another post on this topic that should air in the next few days.

  4. DNW Says:

    Dave Says:
    October 25th, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    makes no sense, why do it if you don’t want anyone to find out why you do it, especially the act doesn’t seem to benefit anyone any side particularly.”

    It makes perfect sense given his nihilistic narcissist personality.

    He knew the emotionally wounded would be screaming, “But, why!??? But why?”

    It’s just an added F.U. cherry added to the top of his sadist sundae.

  5. Griffin Says:

    Probably at the bottom of Lake Mead or something I would imagine. Why not the entire computer would be the only question.

  6. DNW Says:

    People seek an explanation as a means of alleviating their suffering and making some sense, finding an offering predictability in the explanation.

    His act was designed to add psychological suffering to the physical.

    It’s so obvious I wonder any one has to ask.

  7. om Says:

    It’s obvious you don’t know either.

  8. miklos000rosza Says:

    I’ve never gotten anywhere close to understanding this guy — not anything about him, really. His killings seem unsatisfying to me. I am nowhere close to even glimpsing his “personal myth.”

    The worst part for me is that he doesn’t even, at this point, inspire much curiosity.

    As in the hours after the event, I simply await more information. It’s bad when you then aren’t sure you trust the supposed seekers of such information (law enforcement, the FBI) will feel moved to share.

  9. Ann Says:

    One of his brothers was just arrested on child pornography charges. Not the one who was all over the news right after the massacre, but another one who lives in L.A. A troubled family.

  10. M Williams Says:

    Paddock, the oldest son, was something like 6 or 7 years of age when his father abruptly disappeared from his life. That’s not a little thing for a boy that age.
    Who knows what he carried inside him as a result.

  11. parker Says:

    Unless you are crazy you cannot understand crazy.

  12. John Guilfoyle Says:

    None of the stories here make any sense. The shifting timelines…the bizarre security guard…Ellen…It seems like the dirt being piled on this thing is so deep we will have to invent a new word for “cover-up.” We may never know what the heck is going on here.

    I don’t have a tinfoil hat…but this one…

  13. groundhog Says:

    I think he intended to leave a mystery since he went to so much effort to do so.

    I forget which movie I once saw where someone killed a whole bunch of people in order to hide the targeted killing of just one person. But I guess that’s getting way out there on theories.

  14. John Guilfoyle Says:

    groundhog…that was the Tom Cruise movie “Jack Reacher”

    Decent movie plot line, but Tom Cruise is so not the book character it spoils the whole thing.

  15. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    You are absolutely right in what you say about Reacher, JG.

    These novels are a guilty pleasure of mine and although not great literature they are highly diverting “reads”.

    I too am boycotting the movie franchise – as I feel quite let down by Lee Child who sold his loyal readers out by consenting to the diminutive Tom Cruise playing the role.(That is not to criticise the talented Cruise as an actor, per se).

    Reacher’s physical dimensions (6’5″ and 230lbs), which Child goes to some lengths to stress in each novel, in a way defines this highly physically active and combative character.

    It’s really not the petty point it may appear to be at first blush.

    As someone who acted a lot in my university days I could really relate to an observation by the late and great actor, James Gamdolfini, during an interview a few years ago.

    (The interview might have taken place Inside the Actors Studio – but since I can’t presently find the clip on Youtube I can’t say for sure).

    Anyway, Gandolfini was always a large, hulking man who periodically dieted on doctors orders.

    He spoke of how he felt his portrayal of the Tony Soprano character was greatly diminished and less menacing during the seasons where he had slimmed down somewhat.

    He explained that he only truly felt and acted as Tony when he was at his largest as his girth necessarily impacted his posture, gait and stride and even the way his arms hung or moved – and most importantly for the viewers – how he appeared visually in relation to other characters sharing a scene with him. He saw Tony as needing to “loom”.

    I don’t know about you, but I have always pictured in my minds-eye the tall actor Jim Caviezel when I read the books. He ought to have been cast.

  16. JTW Says:

    “makes no sense, why do it if you don’t want anyone to find out why you do it”

    Because you plan to survive and not get caught. Ever more that happens is pointing towards him NOT acting alone, there being a group behind it, and him getting either disrupted during final preparations for something else and deciding to shoot up some people to hide the group’s intent, or the group simply abandoning him at the last moment.

  17. physicsguy Says:

    “I don’t have a tinfoil hat…but this one…”

    Yep, and just this morning it is revealed that the guard left a few days after the shooting to go to Mexico, with the investigating authorities knowledge. Yeah, this one is beginning to stink to high heaven in terms of a possible cover up.


  18. arfldgrs Says:

    its sittin on a shelf next to kennedys brain, another famous head, and the explanation of why there is an eye over the pyramid.

    the rational can never make sense of the irrational
    the problem is you dont see him as irrational
    so you waste time… on what?
    trying to fathom what? a reason? what reason would yo find acceptable? none? so write it off that none are, doesnt matter waht it is, and look at how they are going ot make alot more of them… (or havng you noticed the trend that the more broken homes, drug abusers, single women, and so on… the more dysfunctional kids grow up wanting communism, hating people, having low self control, and on and on? no? ok, you get what you deserve i guess until you wake up to who is driving this train)

    sorry, but i ahve bigger fish to fry
    mathematics is racist… and they want to replace it with feminist math.
    good thing i warn you guys about half a decade ahead
    so when the time comes, nothing happens

    the feminists are on a tear, and i know you think they dont do a thing the little angels… but if you pay attention population collapsing, importing malcontents, promoting communism, increasing deseases, decreasing births, and on and on… (including the united fronts, everything is political, unpacking knapsacks, and hatred at home being a norm, while kids are so screwed up now no one cares about them…)

    The most destructive force AFTER Man is Woman…

    [even if the most destructive things they do is ignore their contemporaries of support anything or everything]

    University of California, Davis Professor Denounces Science as Racist, Wants to Replace It With Feminist Science

    Sara Giordano, who left the field of neuroscience to become a Women’s Studies professor at UC-Davis, opened up about her feelings towards the sciences in a recent essay for Catalyst, a journal of feminist theory.

    Science, she worries, has “earned its epistemic authority through its co-constitution with colonization and slavery,” and therefore “relies on a colonial and racialized form of power.”

    “At the root of the justification for social inequality then is Western science,” she says, claiming that science’s distinction between “humans and non-humans” has allowed “capitalism [to become] justified as a natural economic system.”

    i read lots of feminist tracts and they LOVE to say that last part a whole lot, and other women dont see it as bossy and control freaky… “has allowed”, implying that if she and other women were in control we would be locked down even more than the patrairchy did..(which by now most should see they were just doing what the women wanted since greeks and lysistrada)

    dont worry
    they wont allow it or anything else
    and if you keep talking about wack jobs
    your going to experience even more of them
    or didnt you notice the more they improve academia with hatred
    the more you get the wack jobs?

    It’s not just a joke anymore: They’re actually claiming math is racist

    Naturally, you’ve heard the joke about political correctness run amok — that pretty soon, people are going to start claiming math is racist.

    Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but …

    Math actually is racist, according to Rochelle Gutierrez, an education professor at the University of Illinois.
    The following excerpt from a Campus Reform write-up is not a joke unless this professor is putting on an admirably epic long-term hoax:

    “On many levels, mathematics itself operates as Whiteness.

    [cause when the feminists claimed it was overwhelmingly masculine, that didnt work, now they are using race, and who opposes them? no one, fruitbats and conspiracies over stupid shit that no one has an answer or will have an answer for years is better to waste time on…

    but with this kind of stuff, how long before the maoists are shooting those with glasses and can make change at a register?

    priorities are kind of screwed up, eh? kind of like breaking the shells of eggs on disposal to stop witches from riding them on the sea and destroying ships, while refusing to buy car insurance…

    protect against the unreal and harmless ignore the real and harmful

    Who gets credit for doing and developing mathematics, who is capable in mathematics, and who is seen as part of the mathematical community is generally viewed as White,” Gutierrez argued.

    Well if feminists didnt bury people like Emmy Noether cause she did the math stuff before women were said to be allowed (as did my grandmother, etc)… no one before feminism could succeed in math, so you have no history of her… einstein wrote her obituary and while feminists cry that milosiva (his russian wife) did the math, he credited Emmy with the foundations of modern physics…

    celebrate her would make women think, and you dont want women to think if you have control of them, which is why you use women (judas goats) to lead them around to their own destruction (under the idea that the people that love them hurt them and the people that hurt them??? )

    Gutierrez also worries that algebra and geometry perpetuate privilege, fretting that “curricula emphasizing terms like Pythagorean theorem and pi perpetuate a perception that mathematics was largely developed by Greeks and other Europeans.”

    Might be because after the pre historical period, they were the only ones to make history and connecting it and then the church with its colleges and universities teaching it and so on (to the regular people not just lords or ladies with lots of lucre)

    but note here… valid history perpetuates a history of men doing things, which must be erased… why? because we use the past to create our foundations of believe and desires and if you erase the past you can have a very nice eternal system in which eeryone goes back to being what theyy were born being and they claim the history of this was and is forever this way.. at some point you can disconnect the past to the point where you can claim a 50,000 year stagnation as a reason why no one can be anyhthing else.

    worked for japan…

    The thing is, a good deal of math was developed, or improved, or at least passed on to us today by Greeks and Europeans. And there’s nothing wrong with that. We can acknowledge it, the same way we tip our hats to the Arabs (perhaps unwittingly) each time we say the Arabic word “algebra,” even though algebra predated its modern Arab invention by several thousand years.

    The word “mathematics” is itself a Greek word for “that which is to be learned.” Euclid’s geometry book is still in print and useful. Eratosthenes first calculated the circumference of the earth in the third century B.C., with what we now know to be surprising accuracy. And it would be absurd to deny the significance of Pythagoras and his mysterious mathematical cult, even if he was not the first to know of or to prove the theorem we have since named after him.

    And that’s only scratching the surface, of course. Ancient Greece is remembered for its flourishing of learning, science, literature and philosophy, a surprisingly large amount of which survived the ages. We’re all better off for it.

    Unfortunately, the Greeks are also credited with inventing the academy. If that means we have them to blame for Professor Gutierrez’s scholarship, then perhaps she has a point after all.

  19. arfldgrs Says:

    Giordano wants to inflict a “feminist science practice that explicitly unsticks Science from Truth.” She urges investigation into “what kinds of scientific illiteracy we might embrace to destabilize science and remake knowledge production.” If she is successful, we will “embrace an irreverent disdain for traditional science and instead practice feminist science” because we need an “anti-science, antiracist, feminist approach to knowledge production.”


    i say good.
    lets help her!!!!!
    lets get it all over with!!!
    if you cant beat them or even get people to notice
    why not join them and make a lot of $$$
    there certainly is nothing rewarding in opposition
    is there?

  20. Paul in Boston Says:

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

    There’s some major bs going on here. You can’t run a computer without a hard drive. Where’d it go, he never left the room and “He was a lone wolf”? Baloney!

  21. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    Why not the entire computer would be the only question.

    Maybe he never used the hard drive and removed it because it would be a suck on the battery, and so that he could run an OS from a flash drive or other removable memory card. Some have an SD card slot and that could be recognized by the BIOS as a bootable device.

    You can’t run a computer without a hard drive.

    Sure you can. Sun Microsystems was doing just that back in the 1980s. Wikipedia has this to say https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diskless_node but that involves a network boot and is not a likely candidate for this situation.

    I can quite easily boot from Ubuntu, Fedora or Debian live, sysrescuecd, knoppix or even FreeDOS from a thumb drive. Modern computers support booting via USB, and have for a while.

    Microsoft has a similar product, Windows to Go, but I’m not familiar with it so I can’t speak to its utility as a thumbdrive OS.

    My question for the investigators: was the laptop found in a powered on or off state, and did they know when the last time it was used?

  22. kevino Says:

    Paul in Boston and I R A Darth Aggie:

    “There’s some major bs going on here. You can’t run a computer without a hard drive. Where’d it go, he never left the room.”
    He probably kept the computer available until he was committed — probably a few hours before the attack.

    He wants to destroy the data. He can erase it, but, perhaps, he doesn’t trust that method. Besides, it can take hours to overwrite a large hard disk multiple (three) times with a pattern that can get around data recovery experts. He could have used an encrypted disk, but he’d be smart not to trust that either. So he removed the drive and tossed it in the trash in a public place without surveillance cameras (e.g. fast food restaurant), where it won’t be noticed.

    Why not the entire computer? It’s larger, harder to conceal, and more valuable. As such, it’s harder to dispose of. You can put a laptop HD or SSD inside a soda cup and throw it away.

  23. blert Says:

    Records did in Al Capone.

    The Shooter ALWAYS used a flash drive to store his stuff.

    That way if someone should steal his laptop… he’s still in the clear.

    Obviously, a thumbdrive can be tossed — physically smashed to pieces — at no great expense or hazard.

    The Shooter simply HAD to have massive Dark Income.

    $5,000,000 in ‘gambling winnings’ in 2015 — that’s quite a laundry he’s got running there.

    BTW, a real estate mini-empire is ANOTHER money laundering machine.

    One merely establishes with your banker that you collect cash rents… you won’t even accept checks… and then you can deposit large rents without the banker reporting same to the IRS.

    ( Theaters and other establishments that routinely receive massive cash payments do not trigger IRS notifications.

    A slum lord with illegal immigrant tenants is going to have cash rents. For his tenants will have no banking relationship. )

    The Shooter could also pay off small contractors ( repairing up-grading his purchases ) in cash, too, with the same net effect.

    The Shooter’s real estate empire was right across the illegal immigrant belt.

    And then, think of the tax write-offs so common and ordinary in rental properties.

    BTW, the Shooter’s extended family was LOADED.

    Strange that they lived so modestly.

  24. neo-neocon Says:

    About “Jack Reacher”—and the idea that someone might kill a bunch of victims to hide the real intended victim whose death provides the motivation—see this.

  25. Richard Saunders Says:

    Stephen Ippolito— Unless you are a writing superduperstar — Clancy, Crichton, Rowling — once you sell a book to the movies you have absolutely no control over what they do with it. Even just a plain superstar won’t have the clout, cf. Heinlein, Paretsky, Cussler. It’s hard to turn down the kind of money they offer for a popular book; Clive Cussler said after Raise the Titanic he’s never sell another book to the movies, but then along came Sahara.

  26. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

  27. n.n Says:

    What a coincidence, so is Clinton. I wonder if the country music massacre is related to Water Closet or other ObamaClint escapades that fall under that umbrella.

  28. AesopFan Says:

    Apropos the discussion:

    “Read your piece and viewed the NYT timeline, which was good journalism and helped me understand what happened.

    Does not appear that Las Vegas Police Department, county sheriffs or Mandalay security fired a single shot.

    Looks like the shooter fired over 900 rounds without any return fire and the murder only stopped when the shooter realized that the PD was going to breach so he committed suicide, proving he was both a coward and a murderer. We have moved in to something of a pacifist mode in response to terrorists. The journalists seem oblivious to the fact that the PD and others did not protect the crowd.

    The obvious answer to copycats of Paddock is to place snipers on the roofs of the casinos when outdoor events occur. But I do not think even that will protect people because PDs will be so worried of a sniper hitting the wrong person that they will not allow them to fire unless some senior person has okayed a shot. That will defeat this defensive measure.

    By the way, I hope the victims sue Mandalay for a boatload. It provided the perch for the shooter and allowed him to bring an arsenal in to the room; then failed to respond timely after he shot the security guard.”

  29. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    Richard S, I hear what you say. And thanks.

    However, given that Forbes magazine has described Jack Reacher as the most valuable fictional franchise in the world and that the last 10 or so Reacher novels have not only all been #1 best sellers on release – but have been observed for several weeks thereafter to outsell the next dozen or so titles immediately below on the list, combined – I am thinking that Childs, like his creation, probably packs some considerable heft – at least commercially.

    (I really like that term: “heft”. Peggy Noonan uses it a lot).

    So, in light of the above and with respect, I am going to go with “super-semi-demi-duper” writing star. Hope you agree.

  30. neo-neocon Says:


    I’ve not seen anything that indicates that they know when he shot himself or that it coincided with some realization that a breach would happen.

    If you read the comments to that article at Powerline, you may notice that most of the commenters didn’t think many of the stated opinions were warranted.

    I watched the video, and I don’t know how that guy came to that conclusion, either. Paddock paused often in his rampage, often for lengthy periods of time, and it’s not clear why or what he was doing at those times. It’s not clear when he killed himself exactly, or exactly why. He stopped shooting quite some time before police came to break down the door. They did not hear him kill himself, although he was dead when they got in there.

    We simply don’t know.

  31. Baklava Says:

    My theory is that there was probably ONE person he was after.

    That ONE person was in that crowd.

    That ONE person was who he was trying to hit and he didn’t give a damn about anyone else as long as he got that one person.

    I do not believe he stopped because the police were closing in.

    I believe he stopped because he accomplished his mission.


  32. neo-neocon Says:


    That just doesn’t make any sense.

    I understand you’re saying he wanted to cover up the true intent, which was to kill this one person. But people who do that (like Stella Nickell, for example) do it to cover up the fact that they are murderers, as well. Even if Paddock had escaped successfully (which he might have hoped to do but could not possibly have expected to do), these murders would obviously have been traced to him. It was no secret that he occupied the room. So there was no way he would not have been fingered as the murderer, a mass murderer in fact.

    So why on earth would he try to cover up that he wanted to kill one particular person, when he would easily be revealed as killing many people including that one person? And why choose a ridiculously difficult way to make sure he killed that one person?

    With someone like Stella Nickel, who murdered her husband and another woman through tainted pills and almost killed a few others as well, her target was her husband and the other murders were not just to cover up the fact that her true target was her husband, but to cover up the fact that she was a murderer at all. She didn’t think the pills could be traced to her and wanted them to seem random. Paddock knew the murders would be traced to him. So there would be no reason to do it the way you’re positing.

    Also, if he wanted to kill one particular person and cover up that fact but for some strange reason he also didn’t mind being thought of as a murderer, there were far better ways to do all of that than to fire into a crowd of so many people from so far away. He made his task of killing that one person in the crowd about as difficult as possible. And it didn’t hide the fact that he was the killer.

    Plus, no one has ever suggested there were any ties whatsoever between this man and any of his victims.

  33. The Other Chuck Says:

    This Paddock must have been some kind of genius. He never lost at gambling and died owing nothing to the casinos after years and years of being a high roller. It’s almost unheard of. Strike that, it IS unheard of. I mean, what are the odds?

  34. neo-neocon Says:

    The Other Chuck:

    The odds are actually quite good if you know what you’re doing and have a lot of patience. Paddock apparently knew what he was doing and had a lot of patience (read: obsessiveness). Read up on it.

  35. Ymar Sakar Says:

    The journalists seem oblivious to the fact that the PD and others did not protect the crowd.

    An American and Western delusion that you obey the Police to be “protected”.

    The only thing the Polizei are obligated to do is to come here and clean up the body bags. That’s about it.

    And I don’t expect, nor even need, them to do much. The only reason why they even have a job, is because the rest of us are, by law, prevented from vendetta justice or we are just too lazy to be bothered killing off the rest of humanity.

  36. Ymar Sakar Says:

    It’s not the killing off the crims that bother us. It’s the paperwork. That’s the real killer.

  37. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Casinos have guards specifically trained to look for card counters and other geniuses that can play the odds. Once they win X amount, they get shown the door. That is how the “House Always Wins”.

    They won’t kick you out for losing your shirt… but they will if they think you are one of those higher roller geniuses.

    That is why many high rollers have to go to a place with many casinos. If their “luck” gets too good at just one casino, they can be shown the door by the guards.

    Casino guards are relatively good, for amateur renters at least. So much money to be protected, after all. Unlike banks, the casinos ACTUALLY HAVE MONEY there.

  38. Ymar Sakar Says:

    BTW, the Shooter’s extended family was LOADED.

    Strange that they lived so modestly.

    Most of the old rich live like that, because that’s how they grew their wealth. The aristocrat land lords grew their wealth by buying up properties before a crash and then selling them when the fiat currency stabilizes. Can make millions literally buying up property for some disposable cash before a crash.

  39. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Not sure how the PD could have aggressively protected the crowd. Pistols at that distance are not a good idea and the cop in question might not know which window to shoot into.
    Bullets ricochet and even if an innocent man in the next room is behind the bed–presuming he’s sober enough to know what’s going on–that’s a risk.
    Cops did, though, at some risk, try to direct the crowd in the most effective areas of flight.
    We still have no reason but that of a nutcase who just wanted to kill people, and he not a Muslim.
    What is puzzling is the care and detail which went into the work when, it might be assumed, you could do about as well at any Div I tail gate on a sunny day. Have you ever been to one of those? I don’t think the shots could have been heard at fifty yards–slight exaggeration–and, being on campus, nobody would be legally armed.
    The report at the end of the first week had it that about ten percent of the wounded were still in hospital. That seems awfully low for bullet wounds. I’d like to know how many were hurt while fleeing. Did Paddock count on that? Maybe, but did he hope for more serious injuries due to flight?
    OTOH, firing jacketed rounds at a plunging angle to pavement might have had many of them breaking up and spitting small fragments of bullet around. I found out from my father that he had more hits than his three Purple Hearts. Small frags would work their way to the surface and a doctor–usually also a vet–would do a quick slice and a bandaid. No charge. My son-in-law’s mother used ice cubes as quick anesthesia to get little stuff out of her husband’s back, as it came to the surface.
    So perhaps a good many of the wounded had little pieces which were not necessarily life-threatening.
    It appears that everything we know about Paddock works against a self-sacrificing mass murder.
    He’d have had to care about something badly enough to get so angry or willing to kill. And to go to the trouble. And give up what he seemed to think was his life–all about him–for what?

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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