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Benjamin Hoskins “Ben” Paddock Jr. (November 1, 1926 – January 18, 1998) was an American bank robber and con man who was on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list from 1969 to 1977.[2][3][4][5]

Benjamin Hoskins Paddock
Benjamin Hoskins Paddock.jpg
Paddock in 1969
Born Benjamin Hoskins Paddock Jr.
November 1, 1926
Sheboygan, Wisconsin, U.S.
Died January 18, 1998(1998-01-18) (aged 71)
Texas, U.S.
Other names Bruce Werner Ericksen[1]
Spouse(s) Dolores Irene Hudson
Children 4; including Stephen

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Paddock was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin on November 1, 1926,[6][nb 1] the son of Benjamin Hoskins Paddock Sr. and Olga Gunderson.[11] He served in the United States Navy as an S2 (Seaman Second Class) during World War II.[8][7]

In the 1950s in Tucson, Arizona, he operated a service station where he sold used cars. He later sold garbage disposal units under the name of Arizona Disposer Company and was connected with the operation of a nightclub in Tucson, Arizona. In the late 1950s, Paddock volunteered with the Pima County Juvenile Probation Department and in 1959 was named special deputy to handle cases of wayward youths.[12]

Criminal careerEdit

In 1946, Paddock was convicted of ten counts of auto larceny and five counts of confidence game and was confined at the Illinois State Penitentiary until July, 1951. In 1953, he was convicted of conspiracy in connection with a bad check passing operation and was again held at the Illinois State Penitentiary until August 1956.[13] In one of his early arrests, he was found with a concealed revolver.[6]

He was accused of robbing branches of the Valley National Bank of Arizona in Phoenix of $11,210 on February 19, 1959, and of $9,285 on January 29, 1960.[14] He robbed another branch of $4,620 on July 26, 1960. He was captured and then convicted for the third robbery in federal court in January 1961. During his arrest, he attempted to run down an FBI agent with his car. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. On December 30, 1968, Paddock escaped from the Federal Correctional Institution, La Tuna in Anthony, Texas.[6][12] A warrant for his arrest relating to his escape was issued on February 3, 1969, and he was placed on the FBI 10 most wanted list.[6]

Most individuals who have been on the FBI Top Ten Most Wanted list are off the list in less than six months. Paddock was among those who were on the list the longest, being placed on the list on June 10, 1969, and removed on May 5, 1977.[15] While on the most wanted list, he was described as being 6'4", weighing 245 pounds, having blond hair but being balding and frequently shaved. He had green eyes and wore contact lenses or glasses. He also had a scar above his right eyebrow and on his right knee and had a birthmark on his left ankle. He was described as a smooth talker, as arrogant and egotistical, liking cigars, cigarettes, and steaks. He also played bridge, enjoyed gambling, and watching sports, particularly baseball, for which he also worked as an umpire.[6] During his criminal career, Paddock had numerous aliases, including Perry Archer, Benjamin J. Butler, Leo Genstein, Pat Paddock, and Patrick Benjamin Paddock.[16] His nicknames included "Chromedome", "Old Baldy", and "Big Daddy".[17]

After escaping prison in 1968, Paddock moved to Oregon where he took the name Bruce Warner Erickson. In Oregon he worked as a contract trucker and in drug abuse rehabilitation. He was twice cited for traffic violations and in September 1977 he applied for and was granted a license to open a bingo parlor, but his identity was not uncovered. He then operated a bingo parlor for the Center for Education Reform, a non-profit organization based in Eugene, Oregon.

He was captured and arrested in early September 1978 in Springfield, Oregon, and was eventually released on parole.[12]

In 1987, he was charged with racketeering related to his bingo business and fraud for an illegal business he ran rolling back car odometers by the Oregon Attorney General, but avoided a prison sentence by paying a $100,000 fine.[1] Later in life, his involvement in Bingo earned him the nickname, Bingo Bruce. During the last decade of his life, he lived quietly in Texas where he co-owned a car shop with his girlfriend.

Personal life and deathEdit

Paddock married Dolores Irene Hudson in 1952; the couple had four sons, Stephen (1953–2017), Patrick (b. circa 1957), Bruce (b. 1959), and Eric (b. 1960).[18][19] He died on January 18, 1998, in Texas.[7][8][11]

His son Stephen was the perpetrator of the 2017 Las Vegas Strip shooting, the deadliest mass shooting by a lone gunman in American history. Stephen Paddock was 7 at the time of his father's arrest in the summer of 1960. "We didn’t grow up under his influence," said his brother Eric. Their mother told them at the time that their father was dead.[20]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ There are a few different years given for his birth date. His gravestone gives 1920.[7][8] His Social Security application uses "1 November 1925" and his Veterans Affairs record uses "1 November 1926".[9]. The 1930 census lists him as 3 years old on April 19, 1930. If he was born in 1926 he would have been 3 years, 5 months, 18 days old on April 19, 1930.[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Bernstein, Maxine (2017-10-01). "Las Vegas shooter's dad, on FBI's Most Wanted list, was arrested in Oregon in '78". OregonLive.com. Retrieved 2017-10-03. 
  2. ^ Time Inc (9 April 1971). LIFE. Time Inc. p. 42. 
  3. ^ Norman, Greg (October 2, 2017). "Las Vegas shooter's father, 'Bingo Bruce,' lived a colorful life of crime and deception". Fox News. Retrieved 6 October 2017. 
  4. ^ "Prison Escapee to Stand Trial on Bank Charge". Eugene Register-Guard. September 15, 1978. Retrieved 6 October 2017. 
  5. ^ Brown, Elizabeth Nolan (October 2, 2017). "Vegas Shooter's Dad, Patrick Benjamin Paddock, Was a Convicted Bank Robber Who Escaped Federal Prison, Tried to Run Down FBI Agents With His Car". Reason. Retrieved 6 October 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c d e "Benjamin Hoskins Paddock". Shiner Gazette. Shiner, Texas. March 2, 1972. p. 3. Retrieved 3 October 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c Benjamin Hoskins Paddock at Find a Grave
  8. ^ a b c National Cemetery Administration, Nationwide Gravesite Locator, https://gravelocator.cem.va.gov
  9. ^ Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. [1]
  10. ^ "United States Census, 1930," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X9QH-WPD : accessed 4 October 2017), Benjamin Paddoch Jr. in household of Ben H Paddoch, Superior, Douglas, Wisconsin, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 36, sheet 24B, line 98, family 579, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 2570; FHL microfilm 2,342,304.)
  11. ^ a b Rosenberg-Douglas, Katherine (October 3, 2017). "Father of Las Vegas shooter lived in Chicago, where he did time and started a family". Chicago Tribune. 
  12. ^ a b c "10-year Fugitive Jailed in Oregon". Arizona Republic. Phoenix, Arizona. September 9, 1978. p. 3. Retrieved 3 October 2017. 
  13. ^ "Escapee Joins FBI List". The Daily Standard. Sikeston, Missouri. June 18, 1969. p. 20. Retrieved 3 October 2017. 
  14. ^ "[No Headline]". Arizona Republic. Phoenix, Arizona. October 6, 1960. p. 21. Retrieved 3 October 2017. 
  15. ^ Wallace, Amy; Wallenchinsky, David (August 25, 1990). "Most Wanted by the FBI". Statesman Journal. Salem, Oregon. p. 13. Retrieved 3 October 2017. 
  16. ^ "Ex-Tucsonian Makes FBI List of 10 Most Wanted". Tucson Daily Citizen. Tucson, Arizona. April 27, 1971. p. 16. Retrieved 3 October 2017. 
  17. ^ "Wanted, Tucson Daily Citizen". Tucson, Arizona. December 27, 1975. p. 28. Retrieved 3 October 2017. 
  18. ^ "Vegas Shooter's Dad, Patrick Benjamin Paddock, Was a Convicted Bank Robber Who Escaped Federal Prison, Tried to Run Down FBI Agents With His Car". 2 October 2017. 
  19. ^ Two articles under the joint headline, Part of Paddock's Respectability, Paddock Held Under Bond for US Court, Tucson Daily Citizen (Tucson, Arizona), July 29, 1960, page 4 and Thompson, Tommy, Big Daddy Made Big Impact Here, Tucson Daily Citizen (Tucson, Arizona), July 29, 1960, page 4, both accessed October 3, 2017 at https://www.newspapers.com/clip/14160558/
  20. ^ Kirby, Jen; Hartmann, Margaret (October 5, 2017). "What We Know About Las Vegas Gunman Stephen Paddock". Daily Intelligencer.