massacre and cover-up in Las Vegas

The Killing


the Cover-up

Thoughts on the October 1st, 2017 massacre in Las Vegas

by Daniel Borgström

Stephen Craig Paddock does not deny murdering 58 people and wounding about 500 more at a concert in Las Vegas and then killing himself. So the police, the FBI, and the media are speaking for him, labeling him as another of those crazy lone gunmen and interpreting his actions and motives. But really, is there any reason to doubt that narrative?

The hail of bullets reportedly came from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay, where Paddock's body was found, amidst an arsenal of automatic rifles.

That was the October 1st massacre, and it really did look to me like an open and shut case -- until a friend directed me to the now-famous
Taxi Driver video. "Do you hear two weapons firing?" he asked me. We played the video, parts of it several times, and finally I said, "Yes, that's what it sounds like to me: two fully automatic weapons firing from different places." On some videos there was also the sound of single shots a few seconds apart -- presumably from a highly accurate sniper rifle. Multiple firearms, shooting at the same time.

That was also the opinion of several audio people who conducted
acoustic forensic and sound wave analyses.

Among the many items from that evening is a
recording of the voices of police officers as they were responding. We can hear them tentatively identifying a number of possible sources, including various floors of the Mandalay Bay hotel as well as locations inside the fairgrounds. One of the officers says, "It sounds like it's confirmed there are at least two shooters with fully automatic weapons."

Less than an hour later, KSNV 3 News anchor
Gerald Ramalho told viewers: "I have confirmed through a police source that there are two suspects with high-powered weapons." That was broadcast at 11 p.m. on October 1st, before Paddock's body had yet been found.

The officers who provided that information could've been wrong, but they might've been right. It's important to look at such early reports because they reveal how things looked before an official narrative could be imposed. That's an investigative principle learned from researchers of the JFK assassination.

There were also observations from survivors of the attack. Many of them also reported multiple shooters. Best known of the these accounts is one written by
Kymberley Suchomel, who survived uninjured, then died a few days later from unknown causes. She described it graphically:

"Bullets were coming from every direction. Behind us, in front of us, to the side of us. But I know, I just know, that there was someone chasing us. The entire time I felt this way. The farther we got from the venue, the closer the gunfire got. I kept looking back expecting to see the gunmen -- and I say MEN because there was more than one person. There was more than one gun firing."

Kymberley posted it on Facebook, and after she died, it was taken down. Facebook and YouTube were taking many articles and videos down, dismissing them as "fake news," "hoaxes," and "conspiracy theories." The Wall Street Journal reported that YouTube (actually Google which owns YouTube) was tweaking its search algorithms to "promote more authoritative news sources."

Those "authoritative news sources" were of course the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other members of mainstream media, which echoed the official lone gunman narrative.

Nevertheless, there actually was a flurry of false reports pushing various agendas. There often is; forgery is as old as the alphabet, and hoaxes are even more ancient. Some fakes can be pretty sophisticated and may take months and even years of scholarly research to expose. YouTube's ability to identify the "fakes" within a few hours seems miraculous. Actually, their technique was quite simple: videos that didn't fit with the official single-shooter narrative were regarded as fake.

There's also the well known problem that witnesses can be mistaken in what they see or think they see. Even supposedly hard evidence can turn out to be wrong or misinterpreted; anyone who has worked in physics, biology or geology has experienced that. We go with the best we have or can find. Such are the dilemmas we face and attempt to deal with when we look at a case such as this.

Conspiracies happen. People in power do conspire to do bad things, and when they do, it's always to gain something. There was a long list of obvious suspects in the JFK assassination, and in many others as well. But what could anyone gain from the mass murder of those 58 concert-goers? Hard to see. Nothing very obvious. Maybe the CIA is conducting some sort of experiment. But what? On the other hand, Stephen Paddock doesn't look like a guy with a motive either. No matter how we look at this case, it does NOT compute.

Most progressives who've written about this massacre seem to accept mainstream media's lone-gunman narrative at face value and used the shooting to call for gun control. It was mostly libertarians and conservatives, who raised questions, and the fact that some of them are gun enthusiasts, sharing their knowledge of firearms, has been very helpful to any of us who are trying to figure this out. I may disagree with them on other issues, and they could be wrong on the matter of multiple gunmen. But many of their questions concerning the narrative are insightful, and much of the available evidence does not support the official story.

In the midst of this quandary, support for the multiple-gunmen conjecture came from a most unlikely source --
Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo. The sheriff was the main law enforcement spokesman, as ABC News called him, "the public face of the investigation." He had initially called the shooting "a solo act." Nevertheless, at a televised press conference on October 4th he said this:

"Do you think this was all accomplished on his own? You got to make the assumption that [Stephen Paddock] had to have had some help at some point. . . . Maybe he's a super yahoo that was working out all this on his own. But it would be hard for me to believe that."

That's what a lot of people must've been thinking. But it was a major departure from the official narrative. Had the good sheriff become a CONSPIRACY THEORIST? Shock waves must've resounded across the establishment, from coast to coast and all the way to Washington.

A couple of days later, on October 6th, Sheriff Lombardo's subordinate,
Undersheriff Kevin C. McMahill, stepped in to set things straight.

"All the rumor and speculation has not been helpful to our investigation," McMahill told reporters, and reasserted the sole shooter narrative. His words were presumably aimed at the numerous independent journalists who'd been raising questions. McMahill carefully avoided a direct affront to Sheriff Lombardo, saying only, "I understand why he said it."

In the same press conference, McMahill reiterated a request to the public that anyone who had seen anything come and tell them. They needed information and were searching for leads, he said. But, he also said, "Just because you think you know something doesn't necessarily mean that you do."

So here we see a subordinate holding a press conference to correct his boss. Highly irregular, I should think. The LVMPD website touts
Kevin McMahill as possessing "a strong background in Homeland Security," and that might be a clue to what's going on here. DHS seems to have a lot of power in local law enforcement agencies, taking them over, and they might be the ones running the show in this investigation, writing the official narrative and making sure the local cops stick to it.

Another strange twist: Detectives of LVMPD's Homicide Division who would normally have investigated this matter got taken off the case. The investigation was given to Undersheriff
McMahill's wife, Captain Kelly McMahill. She directs the Force Investigation Team (FIT), the unit which handles officer involved shootings. Why isn't the homicide division doing this?

I think what we're seeing here is a situation where the titular head, the sheriff who runs for election and is formally in charge, is really dominated by outside forces, in this case DHS acting through the McMahills and FBI Special Agent Aaron Rouse. In most cities this sort of thing would be negotiated in a smoke-filled back room; but this being Las Vegas, glittering show capital of the U.S., it was worked out on national television. Anyway, they got the narrative back on track.

Nevertheless, the crisis wasn't over. What if Sheriff Lombardo continued to assert his heretical opinion? This is where the
New York Times stepped in and handled it superbly. The Times assigned a team of three excellent writers who composed a very well done piece on Sheriff Lombardo -- this was not a hit piece -- it was very laudatory. The resulting article gracefully conceded that the sheriff "has at times shared his own theories" and even included the whole entire paragraph-long quote of what he'd said, "Do you think this was all accomplished on his own? ... ... a super yahoo... ... hard for me to believe that."

The Times writers did not comment on the sheriff's "theories"; they tolerantly let it pass, as though citing it as a benign example of an otherwise excellent lawman's moment of eccentricity, a minor flaw that gives him character and makes him lovable. The journalists then moved on to tell of his nearly thirty years of dedicated service, his good qualities and achievements. The article was a strategic masterpiece. It's journalism such as this that has earned the
New York Times its name as "the newspaper of record."

(I've heard it said that even Torquemada's inquisitors occasionally dealt with heretics in this manner, applying gentle persuasion and going the extra mile to guide erring souls back onto the path of the True Faith.)

So the good sheriff was treated to an implied rebuke from an underling, then lavished with respect and even praise from the country's leading newspaper. He wasn't even required to publicly recant his "theories," at least not yet. More about Sheriff Lombardo a bit later. First let's take a closer look at that evening of October 1st.

The shooting began at 10:05 p.m. and for ten minutes sporadic bursts rained down on the people attending the music festival in the fairgrounds. Firing would start, pause, then start up again. At the end of the ten minutes, at 10:15 p.m., the shooting finally ceased, and two minutes later the first police arrived on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay, outside Paddock's room. But it was over an hour later, at 11:20 p.m. when the police finally busted open the door.

And on entering, they found Stephen Paddock lying on the floor, dead. Suicide, they say.

Several photos from inside Paddock's suite were leaked. They can be seen online, along with analysis by independent researchers who've pointed out apparent inconsistencies in these photos. For example, a number of things about the
position of the body, the spotting of blood on the carpet, and the location of the suicide weapon do not appear consistent with suicide. Another strange thing is the small number of shells, considering the hundreds of rounds that were fired. And why did a single gunman break open two windows to shoot from? There's also a report that Paddock had earlier called room service, ordering food for two people. Did he have another person in his room? And why did the police delay a full hour before entering Paddock's room? The LVMPD has a SWAT team of 40 cops who were somehow unavailable that night. Those are just a few of the questions which have been raised and discussed by several independent journalists.

A 2015 article in
Tactical Weapons Magazine described LVMPD's SWAT Team in glowing terms: "these guys are surgeons. Their backup plans have backup plans. . . [they get] inside like greased lightning, and their ability to dominate spaces, mitigate threats and remove hostages from harm's way is awe-inspiring." These are the militarized super-cops, experts on everything from search warrant service to active-shooter responses, and October 1st would've been their day, except for one thing: they were absent. So where were they that night? The LVMPD isn't saying.

It was officers from other units who arrived on the floor outside Paddock's suite, waited an hour, and finally entered.

Our lone gunman was of course dead, perhaps as early as 10:15, and certainly no later than 11:20 p.m. However, we're all accustomed to watching movies where the bad guy is down, presumably dead and done with, only to rise up and attack yet again. It's a much-used, overused Hollywood cliché. And now, that same night in Las Vegas, with our lone gunman lying there dead in a pool of blood, finished, never to rise again, there are reports of more shooting.

More shooting?

Yes, more shooting was reported at several hotels along the strip: at the Bellagio, the Tropicana, the New York New York, Planet Hollywood, Caesar's Palace and other places, between 10:15 p.m. and midnight.
René Downs was at the Bellagio together with her husband Daniel Downs when they heard shots and a crowd of frightened people came stampeding through the lobby, desperate to escape. René appears in several online videos telling her story. Another woman, Orora Monroe, tells of a similar experience at Planet Hollywood. A young couple, Gio Rios and Marissa Castle, remember their night of terror at the Tropicana. These and others give lengthy detailed accounts which can be seen on videos or read in texts.

This continued shooting encompassed a fairly large area. Both the Bellagio and Planet Hollywood are more than a mile from the Mandalay Bay. And of course the shooter was already dead. Dead gunmen fire no bullets. So what are we to make of this?

These reports come from multiple witnesses, not just one or two. Something really weird does seem to have been going on.

While the mainstream media loudly and vigorously dismissed other reports of multiple gunmen as fakes and hoaxes, they completely ignored reports from the Bellagio and other parts of the strip. Very interesting! If the media had believed those incidents to be fakes or pranks or hoaxes or fantasies or delusions of traumatized survivors or whatever, they would've undoubtedly investigated and reported on them as such. But they didn't. Complete whiteout. Just screaming silence.

Strange? Yes. Unusual? No, not at all. It often happens that there is something the media won't touch, or will handle with biased reportage. For hundreds of examples, see the annual reports which "Project Censored" has been publishing since 1976 to the present. So it's not new, but it's
gotten worse, and our government, as of a year ago, has even set up an Orwellian Ministry of Truth, officially called the "Global Engagement Center," to protect us from supposed "fake news" and to promote official lies and propaganda.

More needs to be said about the
role of the media and about numerous things that happened that night. This is really a book-length topic, and this essay is already overly long. There's a lot I've had to leave out, but before coming to a close, we need to get back to Sheriff Joe Lombardo.

We last saw the sheriff getting that very nice write-up in the New York Times, after which he must have thought things over very carefully, and perhaps had a revelation, bringing him to understand in a way that he'd never quite fully understood before in his nearly 30 years as a lawman, that truth is determined by power and that no amount of evidence is likely to change an official narrative. Assuming he'd finally come to fully understand and accept that fundamental principle, there now remained a major task for him to deal with. This relates to an incident involving Jesus Campos, a hotel guard at the Mandalay Bay.

On the night of the shooting, Campos happened to pass by the door of Paddock's suite. And Paddock -- whom McMahill assures us was a lone gunman -- must've been a very busy man at that moment, intent on massively murdering people down below in the concert venue and nevertheless finding time to turn his attention to Campos and fire 200 rounds into the hallway. Campos was wounded in the leg.

Cranking out 200 rounds is quite a job in itself, even using an automatic rifle equipped with magazines carrying 60 or 100 rounds. I shake my head as I try to picture that scene: The guard steps back into a doorway, standing there in relative safety but probably scarred shitless as hundreds of bullets go whizzing by, slamming into the wall at the far end of the passageway. And it doesn't stop. The gunman keeps on firing, emptying magazine after magazine into the hall. It's like one of those grossly overdone, extended, drawn-out shooting scenes from a Hollywood movie, and at first I thought the report of 200 rounds was an exaggeration, and perhaps it was, but I see that they're sticking to that count.

There's also the puzzling question of exactly when did our lone wolf super-yahoo find time to fire those 200 rounds into the hallway? This is really an interesting part of the script, and Sheriff Joseph Lombardo was required to write no less than three drafts of it.

The first draft has Paddock ending his ten-minute shooting spree when he leaves the window, goes to the door and blasts away at Campos. So by drawing Paddock's fire towards himself, Campos has ended the shooting, saved lives, and was lauded as a hero.

However, the next draft was a total reversal of that sequence, putting the 200-round fusillade at the very beginning of the massacre. In this version Paddock fires on Campos at 9:59 p.m., then 6 minutes later he opens up on the crowd below. No doubt the good sheriff thought this would be his final draft. But no. A few days later MGM, the owner of the Mandalay Bay, released a statement saying this:

"We know that shots were being fired at the festival lot at the same time as, or within 40 seconds after, the time Jesus Campos first reported that shots were fired over the radio."

Really? This MGM scenario has Paddock shooting concert-goers at about the same time he's pumping 200 rounds into the hallway. And let's remember, he's a lone gunman. Clearly a very, very busy lone gunman.

So the poor sheriff had to rewrite his script yet once again, to conform with the MGM statement. Well, I can sympathize with the sheriff. Writing can be a hard, thankless task, and extremely frustrating -- especially when you have to put your bad guy in two places at the same time, and then go out and assure the world that your story is nonfiction.

"There is no conspiracy between the FBI, between the LVMPD and the MGM,"
Sheriff Joe Lombardo told a press conference on Friday, October 13th, as he presented his third draft. "Nobody is attempting to hide anything." No questions were taken, and members of the independent media were not allowed in the building; presumably for having already raised too many questions which Kevin McMahill, the DHS man, had found "not helpful."

January 6, 2018