Vargas: Conspiracy fantasies have abounded in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre


It’s been over two weeks since the tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas that claimed the lives of 58 people and wounded hundreds more.

The size of the crowd, location and unprecedented deaths and injuries have made this one of the most complicated and massive crimes scenes to ever be processed.

Just think how many victim and witness statements alone must be compiled. Physical evidence was collected throughout the vast scene that stretched along most of Las Vegas Boulevard and even parts of the airport.

It will take time and detailed analysis of all the information before a complete picture can be put together.

However, it seems there is no shortage of armchair sleuths who are putting forth all sorts of conspiracy fantasies about what occurred. Most of these theories are based on sheer speculation without any proof whatsoever.

Stephen Paddock has been tied to the Antifa movement, been called an agent of the Islamic State and in a more bizarre theory he’s been identified as a member of the Illuminati — all, of course, without proof.

The multiple-shooter stories still abound. Some feel certain a single person could not have fired that many rounds with such accuracy. Some eyewitnesses stated during interviews they felt there were multiple shooters. So far, according to Las Vegas Police, FBI and ATF, all the evidence points to only one shooter.

One Internet radio host has gone so far as to say Paddock was a patsy and it was deliberate attempt by the left to incite people toward supporting gun control. Politics seems to have a part in every tragedy these days.

It comes down to this: We all want to know the truth and what exactly happened. Not just one but many agencies are working round the clock to find those answers. Experts are looking at statements, video, physical evidence, timelines and most importantly learning everything they can about the suspect and his history.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo has referred to those espousing conspiracy theories as “keyboard tough guys.” During a news conference on Oct. 13, he took the time to address those who question his integrity.

“We’re being transparent, as far as I’m concerned. … I hope my comments are strong enough that people believe what we’re saying vs. what they read on the Internet,” he said at one news conference.

I’m certain the investigators involved eventually will be able to sort through the mountain of information and come to some conclusions.

As in the World Trade Center, Sandy Hook and other tragic events, there always will be those people who will champion their own versions of the truth and there will be those who will choose to believe the lies.

An army of investigators is pouring their hearts and souls into establishing what exactly happened. They will ignore the noise and do their jobs. I trust the character and integrity of these investigators from not just one but many law enforcement agencies.

I just don’t know if in the end, even with all the work being done, we will ever be able to answer the toughest question: Why?

Joe is a retired Anaheim Police Department captain. You can reach him at