• Vegas gunman’s father used bingo to scam churchgoers

    The father of Las Vegas mass murderer Stephen Paddock pretended to be a minister — but he was no saint.

    As investigators on Saturday continued to struggle to find a motive for the shooting on that left 58 concertgoers dead last week, they are probing every corner of the madman’s life, and in one very interesting corner sits his late father, Benjamin Hoskins Paddock.

    A , the elder Paddock held himself out as a self-ordained minister, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

    But Benjamin Paddock was not above worldly pursuits: He once mulled opening a church in Vegas — to be close to the gambling, a vice he appears to have passed down to his video-poker-obsessed son.

    And bingo proceeds may have been his favorite thing about church.

    A bank robber in the 1960s and ’70s, “Bingo Bruce,” as he liked to be called, spent much of the ’80s swindling charities and churchgoers by running crooked bingo games.

    While living in Oregon, he managed a bingo parlor in Springfield and even opened a church so he could pocket the proceeds.

    In 1987, the Oregon Attorney General’s Office filed seven racketeering charges against the elder Paddock related to his bingo operations; he was able to dodge jail by paying his victims $623,000, Fox News reported.

    Then, in 1989, he and a gal pal filed incorporation papers for his next venture: the Holy Life Congregation Inc. The church never got off the ground, Bernie Sue Warthen, 67, of Oregon, told the paper.

    “He wanted [to locate the church] in Nevada because he liked to go there and gamble,” Warthen remembered.

    Eldest son Stephen was by then dabbling in real estate in LA, having grown up with his three brothers in Sun City, Calif., essentially not knowing his flamboyant, grifter dad. Their mother had told them their dad was dead, though he lived until 1998.

    In Vegas on Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence and wife Karen told a crowd at City Hall that America will always remember the “courage” of the victims. “We do not grieve like those who have no hope,” Pence said. “Because heros give us hope.”

    The veep’s remarks came as FBI agents carefully hauled away the piles of backpacks, purses, baby strollers and lawn chairs left behind at the concert as Paddock’s bullets flew; the belongings will be returned to families.

    Also Saturday, the family of shooting victim John Phippen, 56, asked a judge to appoint an administrator to Paddock’s estate — a first step toward a lawsuit.

    With Post Wires

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