The father of Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock had his own criminal past that landed him on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. Learn more about ‘psychopath’ Benjamin Paddock and what he did, here.
Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock‘s father was once described as a “psychopath” by the FBI back in the 1960s who loved gambling. It’s an eerie similarity to how the younger Paddock was described, a Vegas high-roller who massacred 59 country festival concertgoers and injured over 500 more with an assault rifle. Benjamin Hoskins Paddock was on the FBI’s Most Wanted List throughout the 1960s and 1970s after robbing a San Francisco bank and then breaking out of federal prison. He wasn’t around for most of his kids’ lives, according to Stephen’s brother, Eric Paddock, while on the run from the law. ” I didn’t know him, we didn’t know him — he was in jail and broken out of jail,” Eric told reporters on October 2.
Benjamin first caught the eye of law enforcement after robbing two branches of the Valley National Bank in Phoenix in 1959 and 1960, getting away with $25,000, according to the Arizona Republic at the time. Authorities caught up with him in Las Vegas, of all places, in 1961, and he was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison in West Texas. Stephen was 8 at the time, and Eric had not yet been born. But Benjamin managed to escape prison in 1968, and made the baffling decision to rob another bank, this time in San Francisco, in 1971.
That crime, along with his prison break, put him on the FBI’s map. The bureau described him as “diagnosed as psychopathic” on wanted posters. “He reportedly has suicidal tendencies and should be considered armed and very dangerous [and is an] avid bridge player.” He was finally nabbed in 1978 when agents caught him posing as a bingo hall manager named Bruce Werner in Eugene, Oregon. He was again sent to federal prison, released on parole after a year. He has since passed away.
Decades after Benjamin’s prison stint, his son, Stephen, committed an unthinkable crime. Stephen unleashed the largest mass shooting in modern American history on October 1, raining bullets down upon the 22,000 attendees at the Route 91 country festival in Vegas, shooting from his 32nd floor hotel room at the Mandalay Bay. He was later found by police at the hotel, dead from reported suicide — a gunshot wound to the head.
HollywoodLifers, are you shocked that Stephen Paddock’s dad was on the FBI’s most wanted list? Let us know.