news

News in 5: Las Vegas gunman 'had help'; Search continues for missing mum; How to save the Great Barrier Reef.

1. Las Vegas gunman had help, police say, as his girlfriend claims she doesn’t know anything.

Marilou Danley, an Australian citizen born in the Philippines, said she had no idea her “kind, caring, quiet” boyfriend Stephen Paddock, 64, was planning what would become the US worst modern-day shooting rampage.

This comes at the same time police say Paddock definitely had “help” planning the massacre that claimed fifty nine lives on Sunday at a Las Vegas music festival.

Danley, 62, few back from the Philippines to the US on Wednesday and was immediately interviewed by FBI agents. She also released a statement via her lawyer, Matthew Lombard.

“A little more than two weeks ago Stephen told me he found a cheap ticket for me to the Philippines and that he wanted me to take a trip home to visit my family,” the statement said.

When he wired money – reportedly $US100,000 – to her in the Philippines to buy a house, Danley thought he was breaking up with her.

“He never said anything to me, or took any action that I was aware of, that I understood in any way to be a warning something horrible like this was going to happen,” Danley’s statement said.

This undated photo provided by Eric Paddock shows his brother, Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock. (Courtesy of Eric Paddock via AP)
ADVERTISEMENT

Danley did not mention in her statement Paddock's arsenal of guns, including 33 brought in the past 12 months and thousands of rounds of ammunition found at the Nevada homes they shared.

Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo appeared skeptical of Danley's statement when fronting the media himself. "Well I think anyone in her position, put in her situation, would answer the same way," he told reporters on Wednesday.

Lombardo went onto say Paddock must have had help in executing Sunday night's massacre given his huge arsenal of guns; the explosive material found in his car; and his meticulous planning. But authorities do not yet know who that 'help' might be.

They also believe he had a plan for surviving the attack and escaping, though Lombardo would not uncover any further details.

Marilou Danley. Image via Twitter.

Danley extended her sympathies to the families of those killed in Paddock's attack.

ADVERTISEMENT

"I am devestated by the deaths and the injuries that occurred and my prayers go out to the victims and their families and all those who've been hurt by these awful events," her statement read.

"I am a mother and a grandmother and my heart breaks for all who have lost loved ones. I knew Stephen Paddock as a kind, caring, quiet man."

"I loved him and hoped for a quiet future together with him."

2. Search continues for troubled Victorian mum.

The chances of finding missing Melbourne mother Elisa Curry alive in the bush after four days are remote, police say, as they said the 43-year-old is battling depression.

Police admit they're baffled by the disappearance of the woman who went missing at the weekend from a holiday house at Aireys Inlet, a small town on the Great Ocean Road.

Widespread air, land, and water searches have failed to find the avid runner, who regularly jogged long distances from the property, which was again swarming with police on Thursday as the investigation continued.

"Ms Curry suffers from depression and is reported to be an alcoholic," a document released by Victoria Police states.

Inspector Peter Seel told reporters it's possible the mother-of-three went for a jog and became disoriented in the bushland, however the chances of finding her alive are remote. "Just so many days without food, water, shelter and just the elements," he said.

Investigators aren't ruling out suspicious circumstances. The last confirmed sighting of Ms Curry was by a neighbour who saw her get into bed on Saturday night after the pair had a "personal" conversation.

ADVERTISEMENT

"The neighbour and her husband were over there [at the Curry's house], they left, and then the wife came back," Inspector Seel said. "It's a personal matter."

Husband David Curry and their children watched the AFL grand final in Melbourne on Saturday night before returning to the holiday house on Sunday, finding Elisa missing and lodging a report with police.

Text messages on Saturday night between the couple showed no reason for concern, Inspector Seel said.

3. Shark expert says the Great Barrier Reef can be saved - we just need to leave it alone.

A leading shark expert and diver who worked on the Jaws movies believes the damage done to the Great Barrier Reef will never be reversed - even though it could be.

Valerie Taylor, 82, has been diving with sharks and other marine life along with her late husband Ron since the 1950s.

The pair were even consulted before Jaws was turned into a movie to see if it was a filmable story, and made all the natural footage of great whites seen in Steven Spielberg's 1975 film and the sequel.

"Any time you see a whole shark or a shark swimming free, that's an Australian shark and that's one we filmed," Taylor told AAP.

Taylor has been diving at the Great Barrier Reef since the 1960s and has seen how, when left alone, it can repair itself.

"In 1967 I saw incredible bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef and horrific starfish damage. My husband and I said 'it's finished' and when we got our own boat in 1981 we went back to those reefs and they were beautiful," Taylor tells filmmakers in an upcoming Australian documentary Blue.

ADVERTISEMENT

"If it's left alone, nature will take care of it and it will come back."

Unfortunately, Taylor doesn't see that happening.

"We can't just leave it alone anymore, there's too many people all wanting their little bit of whatever: coral, fish. It's been plucked, it's been harvested to pieces," Taylor says.

"And then there's the pollution. In the '60s, from what I can remember, there was no pollution. It's come and it's very, very bad."

Blue releases in cinemas on October 12.

4. Rapist back in custody after parole breaches - why was he let out?

Image via Getty.

A violent seriel rapist who assaulted four women is back in custody because he breached the conditions of his release less than a week after he was let out of prison.

Macker Joseph Dinah, 56, faced the Supreme Court of Western Australia on Thursday on two counts of breaching his supervision order.

Dinah's violent criminal history includes lengthy stints in prison for raping four women in offences dating back more than 30 years and previously breaching supervision orders that led him getting sent back to jail.

Dinah was released in June after an annual review, despite the judge acknowledging he was still a serious danger to the community.

Six days after his release, the 56-year-old went to a house in the Perth suburb of Armadale and smoked cannabis with some women.

ADVERTISEMENT

The state prosecutor has urged the court to keep Dinah in prison, saying there is a high likelihood of him continuing to breach his supervision orders. While a psychiatrist told the court there is a high risk of serious re-offending by the convicted rapist.

5. Pro-life congressmen tells mistress to have an abortion. Promptly loses his job.

An anti-abortion US congressman says he won't seek re-election following reports he urged his mistress to terminate her pregnancy.

Congressman Tim Murphy will not run for a ninth term amid tawdry revelations of an extra-marital affair in which the anti-abortion Republican urged his mistress to get an abortion when he thought she was pregnant.

Murphy said in a brief statement through his office on Wednesday he would "take personal time to seek help as my family and I continue to work through our personal difficulties".

Murphy's decision comes a day after text messages between himself and mistress Shannon Edwards were published by the Pittsburg Post-Gazette, AAP reports.

According to the newspaper, a January 25 text message from Edwards to Murphy told the Pennsylvania representative:

"[You have] zero issues posting your pro-life stance all over the place when you had no issue asking me to abort our unborn child just last week when we thought that was one of the options."

Edwards, it turned out, was not pregnant.

Neither Murphy, or his office, has commented on the newspaper report.

FROM OUR NETWORK
00:00 / ???