The Filipina-Australian girlfriend of Las Vegas mass killer Stephen Paddock says she had no idea he was planning such “awful events” and she was tricked by him to fly back to see family in the Philippines.
Neighbours say Marilou Danley left the home she shared with 64-year-old Paddock two weeks ago, on September 15, to travel to The Philippines on holiday. Late on Tuesday, she was flown back to the United States and into the hands of the FBI for questioning. Interest in Danley increased after 19 additional weapons were found at the home she shared with Paddock.
“She has probably the best insight into the mind of Paddock prior to him killing all these people.” Steve Gomez, a former FBI agent, told ABC News. “So they definitely want to hear from her what was going on in his life.”
Listen to a special bonus episode of Tell Me It’s Going To Be OK, hosted by Mia Freedman and Amelia Lester, about the Las Vegas massacre. Post continues after audio.
Before she met Paddock, Danley lived on the Gold Coast where she married an Australian man. It is believed it was during this period that she gained Australian citizenship. In the early 1990s, she then moved to the US, where she married Geary Danley – a relationship that lasted 22 years while they lived together in Reno, Nevada.
Marilou Danley’s Los Angeles lawyer, Matthew Lombard, delivered a statement from the 62-year-old former Queenslander on Wednesday after she spent several hours being interviewed by FBI agents in LA on Wednesday for clues on why Paddock shot dead 58 people and injured more than 500 others on Sunday.
Danley described Paddock as a kind, caring, quiet man and said he told her two weeks ago he found a “cheap ticket” for her to fly back to the Philippines, and when she arrived he wired her money to buy a house for her and her family.
In contrast to her positive account of their relationship, in the days since the massacre, the supervisor of the couples’ local Starbucks told The Los Angeles Times she witnessed Paddock publicly berate Danely on more than one occasion.
"It happened a lot," she said. When the couple would come in to order their regular coffees - a venti mocha cappuccino for Paddock and a medium caramel macchiato for Danley - she would always offer to pay.
Esperanza Mendoza recalled, "He would glare down at her and say — with a mean attitude — ‘You don’t need (a) casino card for this. I’m paying for your drink, just like I’m paying for you'."
"Then she would softly say, ‘OK’ and step back behind him. He was so rude to her in front of us."
Authorities believe Danley may very well be the key to unlocking Paddock's motives - which still remain a mystery.