The stench of terror still hung in the air when the Las Vegas Metro PD investigators began gathering the probable cause needed for the search warrants to include the shooters suite at the Mandalay Bay Hotel.
Early during the investigation, while monitoring the identified Facebook for the shooter’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, the detectives noticed the account settings were changed and a few hours later was deleted entirely.
The investigators forwarded requests to Facebook to preserve the posts and shortly were on their way to search Danley’s computers.
All of that happened before the LVMPD publicly released Danley’s name. The flyer with her photograph hadn’t been released yet. When the flyer began circulating hours later, it identified her as a person of interest.
A year later, experts are still mulling over why a wealthy gambler committed the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
“People are bewildered by the case,” said Nicholas Wooldridge, a prominent Las Vegas Criminal defense attorney. “The most troubling cases are the ones without an answer.”
On August 3, 2018, Danley’s designation as a “person of interest,” wasn’t addressed. There was also no mention of it in the police report.
There is also no mention of Danley’s name being broadcast over the LVMPD radio — unencrypted — just moments after the SWAT team breached the shooters suite.
Doug Poppa, a former police officer and now a reporter with the Baltimore Post-Examiner was monitoring the radio traffic live as it happened. When the police broadcast announced the shooters address, Poppa went online, did an ownership inquiry on the Clark County Assessor’s website, and had the shooter’s name within seconds. House before law enforcement released his name.
From the shooting, October 1, until January 12, there wasn’t any concrete information released by the police. On that day, a federal judge unsealed over 300 pages of federal search warrants requested by FBI agents in October 2017.
One of the agents described Danley as being ‘cooperative’ during his interview. Danley corroborated what had been previously suspected by investigators. She claimed – “adamantly” was the word used in the affidavit — that she had no prior knowledge of the shooter’s intentions.
As she was giving a DNA swab, she mentioned her fingerprints would be found on the ammunition as she often helped in loading magazines.
The agent’s affidavit ends: “Therefore, your Affiant asserts, for the purpose of this affidavit, that although there is currently no evidence to suggest criminal involvement by Danley, investigators are not yet prepared to rule out this possibility.”
Danley was interviewed several times following the shooting. Various investigators with the LVMPD as well as the FBI and Danley’s daughter and lawyer were present at various times.
Born in the Philippines, she later moved to Australia and became a citizen. She married and moved to America in the late ‘80s. After living in Tennessee and Arkansas, she separated from her husband and moved to Reno where she was a high-limit host.
She met and married the future shooting and begin a “professional relationship.” It took several years, but eventually the pair developed a romance. Although the shooter was not living in Reno, he would visit frequently and get a room at the casino. Eventually he bought a condo, but continue to travel between Mesquite, Texas and Reno.
In 2014, the shooter and Danley moved in together. They would routinely go to Las Vegas and stay at different casinos and gambled. Most of the trips lasted a few days. Their casino hosts would book rooms and buy show tickets for the duo and the shooter always asked for a room with a “nice view.”
Under pressure from the future-shooter, Danley quit her job in 2015 so the pair could travel. They visited the Mediterranean, Bahamas, Dubai and the Orient while taking many cruises.
Danley described her boyfriend as ‘mild-mannered,’ never violent and would rarely become visibly upset. He never drank alcohol and Danley said she never saw him use any sort of illegal narcotics.
In either late August or early September 2017, the soon-to-be shooter sent Danley home to her family in Olongapo. They made the travel arrangements, and she left on September 15. For her trip, he wired money into her account totaling $150,000. Danley told investigators the money was to buy a home in the Philippines. It concerned her. She thought she was being set up with a home only to be deserted.
During the trip, most of her communication with her boyfriend was email and text messaging. They did talk by phone once, but he told her that was too expensive.
About September 27, 2017, he emailed her asking if she wanted to stay longer. She replied: “I’m ready to come home.”
Danley found about the attack while she was still in Manila. She and a friend were going to dinner when her sister called. When Danley walked into the living room, she saw her driver’s license photo on the television. The talking head was claiming she was a person of interest in the investigation.
Danley called her daughter in the states and made plans to return.