Las Vegas gunman’s father ‘Big Daddy’ was one of the FBI’s Top Ten most wanted and escaped federal prison then spent a DECADE on the run

Monday, October 2, 2017
By Paul Martin

Stephen Paddock’s father was Benjamin ‘Big Daddy’ Paddock, a serial bank robber who escaped a federal prison and went on the run for more than 10 years
Paddock Snr, also known as ‘Chromedome’ because he shaved his hair tried t run down an FBI agent when he was arrested in 1960
He escaped from prison in 1968 and a year later was on the FBI’s Top 10 most wanted list with a warnig that he was armed and suicidal
Then he lived under a fake name and became known as the ‘Bingo King of Oregon’ until agents spotted him in a local paper
When he was arrested his son Stephen was just seven and was taken swimming by a neighbor so he didn’t know what had happend

2 October 2017

The father of the Las Vegas shooter was an FBI most-wanted bank robber and confidence man known as ‘Big Daddy,’ who was captured by in Las Vegas in 1960 – then escaped and lived on the run for a decade.

Stephen Paddock – the shooter who killed at least 50 in the Sunday night massacre – was just seven years old and living in Arizona when his father Benjamin Paddock was nabbed in Las Vegas by the FBI for a series of bank robberies in 1960.

At the time, Stephen’s mother tried desperately to shield her young son and his three siblings from the devastating news that their father was living a double life as a bank robber and con-man.

When FBI agents raided young Stephen’s home in Tucson after his father’s arrest, his mother took the boy swimming nearby.

‘We’re trying to keep Steve from knowing his father is held as a bank robber,’ a neighbour told the Tucson Daily Citizen on July 29, 1960. ‘I hardly know the family, but Steve is a nice boy. It’s a terrible thing.’

Benjamin’s friends and neighbors in Arizona were said to be shocked by his secret life of crime before his 1960 arrest.

Benjamin was known around Tucson as a big-hearted garbage disposal salesman who volunteered to as a ‘special deputy’ with the local police department, according to news reports at the time.

But he was also responsible for at least four armed bank robberies in a two-year span in the Phoenix area, stealing a total of $30,000. He was reportedly armed during the holdups and drove stolen cars.

The law finally caught up with Benjamin in Las Vegas in July 1960, hundreds of miles from his home in Tucson.

After FBI agents surrounded Benjamin in downtown Vegas, he jumped into his car and tried to run one of them over.

But an agent shot through his windshield, forcing Benjamin to stop and surrender.

A loaded pistol, a blackjack, and cash were found in his car, according to a news report from the time.

Benjamin was sentenced to 20 years in jail for the bank robbery, confidence crime, forgery and auto theft – but he didn’t stay locked up for long.

He broke out of the Federal Correctional Institution at La Tuna, Texas on New Years’ Eve of 1968. His escape landed him a top spot on the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List, which described him as ‘armed and extremely dangerous.’

A Washington Post article in 1975 described his presence on the list as an embarrassment but he was removed from the list in 1977.

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