How often is it said after a tragedy, “If we could only get inside of his head...?” Every time some madman starts shooting up a public place or when some mother leaves her kids freezing in a car while she gets high, we wonder what was going on in that skull. Well, Yahoo News confirms today that doctors are going to get inside the head of Las Vegas shooter, Stephen Paddock…literally!
Those who study the brain are getting ready “to do a microscopic study of the Las Vegas gunman’s brain” and, while this won’t tell anyone why he did what he did, it may shed some light on the very structure of a gunman’s brain. With this knowledge, perhaps we can better understand what leads to such actions and, with any luck, stop or cure the problem.
The killer’s brain is being sent to Stanford University “for a months-long examination” after initial inspections have revealed that nothing seems to be out of the ordinary regarding it. If it is true that his brain really is no different than anyone else’s, this will be easily the most horror-filled discovery of this Halloween season. Hands down.
Doctors will conduct “multiple forensic analyses, including an exam of the 64-year-old’s brain tissue” in a search for any “neurological problems” or other telling signs.
The college is to “spare no expense” when it comes to this study, so it could prove to be one of the most extensive projects ever undertaken to study the real brain structure of a killer. In this case, the worst gunman is the U.S. history with a death toll of 58.
The organ shall be dissected as researchers look for signs of a “stroke, blood vessel diseases, tumors, some types of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, degenerative disorders, physical trauma, and infections.”
Dr. Hannes Vogel, Stanford University Medical Center’s director of neuropathology declined to talk about the actual procedure as has “officials in Clark County.” Still, the doctor promises to leave no stone unturned and he pledges that nothing shall be overlooked. Many would have more faith in this promise if someone talked a bit more about it, but as it stands, everyone is tight-lipped.
Authorities have been so frustrated by a lack of motive that they had posted billboards which implored someone to step forward. Now some are wondering if a disease of some kind is found that it may shed some much-needed light on the matter. Still, that does not prove that the illness, if found, caused the act.
“There’s a difference between association and causality, and just because you have anything, doesn’t mean it does anything,” said Brian Peterson, president of the National Association of Medical Examiners and chief coroner of Wisconsin’s Milwaukee County. Still, it would make more sense when studying this case than anything that we currently have.
Usually, as Douglas Fields, a neuroscientist observes, some form of psychosis usually is to blame for such actions, not a matter of a fault in the actual brain. “When police look for motive, it’s kind of misplaced in cases like this because they appear to be crimes of rage. There’s no motive for crimes of rage. It’s a crime of passion,” he said.
“Are we ever going to know for certain what caused his brain to do that?” asks Dr. Paul S. Appelbaum, a psychiatry expert at Columbia University. “Probably not from a neuropathological examination, but it’s not unreasonable to ask and see whether it might contribute to our understanding of what occurred.”
At this point, any insight at all would be a welcomed bit of closure for those affect by Paddock. Considering that his brother is being looked into for child porn viewing, it may be that the study of this man’s brain could be a cornucopia.