Mean Son-of-a-Bitch at Work

Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas

The FBI says they cannot determine a motive as to why Stephen Paddock decided to become a mass murderer. Que the conspiracy theories. Yawn. Finding a motive for a crime is an example of life imitating art. Motive is the purview of detective story novelists and Hollywood screen writers. In a courtroom in order to prove guilt, motive falls into the category of, “who gives a shit.”

Don’t get me wrong, it is always nice to be able to say this is why this or that happened. But determining a motive is sometimes a conjuring trick. Ask a crook why he did something. Chances are he will lie. The best you can hope for is a self justifying rationalization.

I have had murder suspects complain that they weren’t guilty of the charge. In one instance the victim had the bad grace to die after the beating administered by the suspect. The suspect only intended to ,”fuck him up.” By the suspects estimate, that the victim died was an accident. The suspect was not responsible. Another suspect was secure in the knowledge that he didn’t murder the victim. The suspect was shooting at somebody else and hit the victim instead. You guessed it another accident.

Motive is not one size fits all. What works for one person may not work for another. How much money does there have to be on the table, in order for you to be tempted to steal? Fifty dollars to a middle class person is chump change and not worth the effort. For others, who don’t have fifty dollars and no prospect for getting any money… There are still others that don’t want or need the fifty dollars but they will steal it anyway, for the thrill.

I should think the motive of the Mandalay shooter was obvious. Simply put, a mean son-of-bitch, who had an imagined grudge against society, decided to go out in a blaze of glory. Don’t excuse his actions by calling him crazy. He conceived a plan, gathered the materials over a period of time, implemented the plan over several days and then carried it out. Crazy doesn’t explain it.