LVMPD final report on Las Vegas Massacre leaves gaps about Marilou DanleyLos Angeles Post-Examiner

LVMPD final report on Las Vegas Massacre leaves gaps about Marilou Danley

LAS VEGAS — Within hours after the October 1, 2017 Las Vegas Massacre, detectives from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department were gathering their probable cause needed for their affidavits for search warrants to include, gunman Stephen Paddock’s suite at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, his residence in Mesquite, NV and vehicle.

LVMPD Detective Kenneth Mead of the Counter Terrorism Section stated in his application and affidavit for search warrant on October 2, 2017:

“While monitoring the identified Facebook accounts for Marilou Danley (facebook.com/marilou.danley) after the shooting, it was noted at 0030 hrs. on 10/02/17 the account settings and privacy settings were changed. At 0246 hrs. on 10/02/17 the Facebook account was deleted. Your affiant sent preservation requests to Facebook for the identified account. As such, a search of the computers located in the 1372 Babbling Brook Ct., Mesquite, NV may further indicate motive and evidence of the crime as well as the destruction of digital evidence to the crime.”

According to Det. Mead two hours after Paddock fired his last shots from Room 32-135 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, the Facebook account for his live-in girlfriend, Marilou Danley, her account settings and privacy settings were changed at 12:30 a.m. on October 2, 2017.

Mead made no mention in his affidavit of specifically what was changed in those settings.

That was prior to the LVMPD publicly releasing Danley’s name and prior to the release of the flyer with Danley’s photograph listing her as a person of interest.

When the LVMPD released its final criminal investigative report on August 3, I was anticipating that this would be addressed. There was no mention of this in the police report.

There is also no mention in the police report that even though Danley’s name had not been released by the police publicly, it was broadcasted over the LVMPD radio unencrypted, within minutes after the ad-hoc SWAT team breached Paddock’s suite at 11:20 p.m. Danley’s name, along with Paddock’s address in Mesquite, NV were broadcasted over the radio by a SWAT officer.

I was monitoring that radio traffic live as it was occurring. When I heard the address I immediately went online to the Clark County Assessor’s website and did a property ownership inquiry. I had Stephen Paddock’s name within seconds and hours before his name was released by the police.

My point being is that before midnight on October 1, 2017 Marilou Danley’s name and Paddock’s address was in essence released to the public.

From the LVMPD Communications Center event log for October 2, 2017:

I am including this in my story only because it is part of the official record. It is not mentioned in the police report.

2:37 a.m. – This person reporting [redacted] said is officer out of California/ suspect Marilou Danley daughter’s [redacted] has a follower on Facebook who has Islamic writing on it and shows beheadings and seems to be ISIS follower.

6:22 a.m. – Call from [redacted] phone [redacted] from Pennsylvania/Saw possible Facebook page before was shut down of suspect/[redacted] had different confessions on there from female units were looking for day before 415A [shooting.]

I’m sure these leads were investigated however the outcome is not known.

Lombardo makes comment about Marilou Danley in June

In the June 27 Baltimore Post-Examiner article, ‘KSNV-TV News 3 fails to ask Lombardo the hard questions,’ I made reference to an interview that was aired the day before with Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo who runs the LVMPD.

During that television interview when Lombardo was asked if he was going to answer as to Paddock’s motive, he replied, “No, at this point it’s no and I don’t see anything changing in the near future that would change my statement. We’re close, the releasing the complete investigative report. I anticipate the end of July for that release, maybe a week or two here and there, but we’re in close proximity of the release.”

Later in the interview Lombardo said, “…it’s a continued investigation, we still have a lot of outstanding leads out there to follow up on.”

Then Lombardo says, “You know, Marilou Danley, the other individual involved with this, his girlfriend. There’s still some outstanding questions reference her actions prior to the event.”

Lombardo made those remarks nine months after the worst mass shooting in modern American history that his department was still investigating. He said at that time there were outstanding questions about Danley and that leads are still coming in.

With all that, Lombardo said the final criminal investigative report will be released in about a month, which it was on August 3.

In fact, at the August 3 press briefing when Lombardo announced the release of the final report, by the way which was not given to press at the time of the briefing, he said, “We consider this investigation complete.”   Then when asked, is it possible Danley could be charged with a crime, Lombardo replied, “At this point no.”

As a former criminal investigator I was perplexed by Lombardo’s comments at the time of the television interview.

I do not know how you “finalize” a criminal investigation when not only you still have leads coming in, but more importantly, the police still had outstanding questions about Marilou Danley, the girlfriend of the worst mass shooter in US history, according to Lombardo.

Maybe the police answered those outstanding questions about Danley and tied up all those leads in one month’s time before the release of the final report, something they couldn’t do in nine months. Then again maybe not.

Lombardo should have been challenged on this by the KSNV-TV reporter, but he wasn’t. Maybe it flew right over the interviewer’s head. It fits into a pattern though as to how Lombardo has been handled by the Las Vegas media from the outset. They never asked him the hard questions and let his absurd comments, lies, convoluted and misleading statements go unchallenged time and time again.

Why was it so important for the police to rush the release of the final report, because to me it sounds like it was still an active ongoing investigation, at least as of June of this year.

Danley admits she helped load magazines

The first time that we received any concrete documented information concerning the criminal investigation was on January 12 when a federal judge unsealed more than 300 pages of federal search warrants and affidavits that were requested by FBI special agents during October of 2017.

One FBI special agent wrote in his affidavit:

Subsequent to her identification as Paddock’s companion and co-habitant at the subject premises, Marilou Danley returned to the United States and was thereafter voluntarily interviewed by law enforcement with her attorney present. During the interview, Danley corroborated much of what had been previously deduced by investigators, but she was adamant that she had no prior inclination of Paddock’s intentions to conduct the attack. While investigators obtained a DNA buccal swab from Danley, she spontaneously stated that her fingerprints would likely be found on Paddock’s ammunition because she occasionally participated in loading magazines. Danley has not been arrested and she has agreed to cooperate with investigators. Although, the investigation to date has not produced any conclusive evidence that Danley aided Paddock, had foreknowledge of his plans or has been deceptive with law enforcement, this aspect of the investigation is still the subject of intensive review. Therefore, your Affiant asserts, for the purpose of this affidavit, that although there is currently no evidence to suggest criminal involvement by Danley, investigators are not yet prepared to rule out this possibility.

What did Marilou Danley tell law enforcement

The LVMPD final report states that early in the investigation, Danley was a person of interest for the LVMPD and FBI to locate and interview.

From the final report:

Danley was interviewed on several occasions after the incident. Present during the interviews were various investigators with the LVMPD and FBI along with Danley’s daughter and lawyer.

Danley was born in the Philippines and later moved to Australia and became a citizen. Danley moved to the US in the late 1980’s. She married and lived in Tennessee and Arkansas until separating from her husband. Danley then moved to Reno, NV and began working as a high-limit host.

While in Reno, Danley met Paddock and had a professional relationship. Over the course of a couple years, their relationship developed into a romantic one. Paddock was not living in Reno at the time but would visit often and stay at the casino. According to Danley, Paddock played video poker and was known as a high roller.

As their relationship developed, Paddock bought a condominium, and Paddock continued to travel between Mesquite, Texas and Reno. Paddock told Danley his family owned an apartment complex in Mesquite.

In 2014, Paddock purchased a single-family residence in the Reno area and sold the condominium. Paddock and Danley moved into a house, and it became their primary residence. In January of 2015, Paddock purchased a single-family residence in Mesquite. Paddock and Danley would travel between the two residences often. All real estate transactions were completed in Paddock’s name only.

After acquiring the Mesquite residence, Paddock and Danley would routinely travel to Las Vegas and stay at various casinos while gambling. Most of the trips were for a few days at a time. They had hosts at several casinos and would book rooms, show tickets, and concerts through the casino hosts. Paddock would often request a room with a nice view. Reservations were placed with both names so that both could charge incidentals to the rooms.

Paddock and Danley took multiple trips together, and Paddock sked Danley to quit working so they could travel more. Danley told him she could not because she had to work. Paddock convinced Danley to quit working in 2015 and agreed to give her a set amount of money every month. They traveled together, taking many cruises and international trips, including to the Mediterranean, Bahamas, Dubai, and the Orient.

Danley noticed a gradual decline in affection and according to Paddock, it was due to his declining health, and told her that he was unable to commit to more affection. Danley told investigators Paddock was unable to perform, he was physiologically able to have sex, but the physical act would exhaust him. He would often sleep for long periods after physical exertion.

Danley described Paddock as a mild-mannered person and never violent. He rarely became visibly upset and did not yell or scream when angered. If he was upset about something, he would become quiet. He seldom drank alcohol, and she never observed him consume any type of illegal narcotic.

Paddock often complained of being sick and said that doctors couldn’t cure him. He would often say things like, “Your God doesn’t love me,” or “Your God doesn’t love us.” Danley said she was a Catholic and would often make the sign of the cross. If something negative would happen after making the sign of the cross, Paddock would blame the negative action on Danley making the sign. Paddock was not religious but had no problem with Danley practicing her faith. Paddock described himself as an atheist.

Danley stated Paddock didn’t talk in length about politics and he did not belong to any political organizations. He did express a dislike for the Obama administration and was happy when Trump was elected. Paddock told her that he believed Trump would do something to stop illegal immigration. He did not comment on the topic of gun control and did not display any racial bias.

In 2016, Paddock and Danley traveled to the residence in Reno. When they returned to Mesquite, paddock brought back a large gun safe. The safe was placed in the garage and Danley observed a pistol in the safe when she placed jewelry in it. Danley observed an increase in guns and gun-related purchases after Paddock retrieved the safe.

In August 2017, Paddock and Danley drove to the Reno residence. On the return to Mesquite, Paddock brought back a large quantity of ammunition. Danley assisted Paddock by putting loaded magazines into suitcases and duffle bags. According to Danley, each duffle bag contained 25 loaded magazines. Danley asked Paddock why he had so much ammunition and he told her it was because one gun could use a lot of ammunition. He also said buying ammo in bulk was cheaper.

Danley believed Paddock’s new found interest in guns was merely a hobby. Packages began arriving at the residence frequently, and Paddock would open the packages in the garage. Paddock often went to gun stores and gun shows. She accompanied Paddock on a few trips to gun stores but did not pay attention to the transactions.

Danley also accompanied Paddock to an unofficial gun range located near the waste management landfill near Mesquite. Danley helped set up targets at long distances for Paddock to shoot with the rifles. After shooting Paddock would clean the weapons in his garage. Danley helped Paddock load magazines and move ammunition on more than one occasion.

During a stay at the Mandalay Bay in the beginning of September 2017, Danley recalled Paddock behaving strangely. While they were staying in Room 60-235 she observed him constantly looking out of the room which overlooked the Las Vegas Village venue. [The location of the Route 91 Harvest music festival]. He would move from window to window looking at the site from different angles.

In late August or early September 2017, Paddock told Danley she should go see her family in the Philippines. He booked the travel arrangements for her flights. She departed on September 15 and was scheduled to return on October 4. He completed three separate wire transfers into Danley’s account during her trip, totaling $150,000. Danley said the money was to be used to purchase a home in the Philippines. She was concerned that he may have been setting her up with a home and then break up with her.

Danley stated most of her communication with paddock during the trip was by email or text message. They did have at least one voice call during the trip. Paddock told her the calls were expensive, and that’s why he set up international text messaging for the trip. During text or email conversations, Paddock would become evasive or change the subject if Danley asked where he was at but did tell her he was up $70,000. Around September 27, 2017, she received an email from Paddock asking her if she wanted to stay longer, and she replied she was ready to come home.

Danley learned of the attack while she was in Manila. She was on her way to dinner when her sister received a phone call telling them to come back to the house. When they walked into the house, she observed her driver’s license photo on the television stating she was a person of interest in the investigation. Danley contacted her daughter in California and made arrangements to return to the US.

While I was reviewing the court-ordered released documents relating to October 1, I found this entry on the LVMPD Communications Center event log for October 2, 2017 at 03:29 a.m.:

Call in from [redacted], called in from [redacted] and said she is the daughter of Marilou and that Marilou is currently in the Philippines and [redacted] can be reached at this number if needed.

Marilou Danley has not surfaced into the public spotlight. Neither the police nor the FBI have commented on her whereabouts.

 

 


About the author

Doug Poppa

Doug Poppa is a United States Army Military Police Veteran, former law enforcement officer, criminal investigator and private sector security and investigations management professional with 35 years of real-world investigative experience. He has 19 years experience in a hotel and casino environment, 14 of which were in security management positions. In 1986 he was awarded Criminal Investigator of the Year by the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office in Virginia for his undercover work in narcotics enforcement. Contact the author.
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