This is an item that’s really only been getting play in the New York City papers, but is making headlines now that the suspect, named a “volatile journalist” by the New York Post, is on the run and in Cleveland. What I don’t get is that this guy is about as brazen as any body on the run could be:
When he wasn’t snorting cocaine or smoking pot, police sources said, the fugitive was spotted in the area’s bars and strip clubs – possibly to acquire a new target.
[…]Tipsters told police that Braunstein, a former writer for the Village Voice and Women’s Wear Daily, was spotted on Nov. 6 and 7 drinking vodka at Moriarty’s Pub downtown and calling himself Peter Brown.
Braunstein – who can’t drive – placed an ad in the Cleveland Plain Dealer to hire a driver to show him around the city, which anchors a metropolitan area of nearly 3 million, police sources said.
But what’s eery is this sole quote attributed to Braunstein:
“He looked all paranoid . . . I asked him if he was all right,” Taylor said. “He said, ‘I don’t know what the f— is going on.’ “
What makes this all so interesting is how smart he his. The guy is actually an erstwhile PhD candidate at New York University, an aspiring playwright and a freelance journalist, who three years ago was working as media reporter for America’s most esteemed fashion trade rag, Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) and the Village Voice. He’d just landed a contract for a book publication in 2007.
Now, I’m not trying to build the guy up or anything, except it’s alleged that he have tricked a 34-year-old woman into letting him into her apartment by dressing as a firefighter and then “molesting” or “sexually assaulting” her for 13 hours (13 hours and she complains? OK, I keed), and for all we know he could have been wrongly accused. We simply don’t know, but I find it odd that the media is painting him to be a serial pervert on the run.
If the latter is indeed the case, I can only imagine what the grandaddy of serial pervs — Hunter S. Thompson — would do. Perhaps a torrent of lawsuits will eminate from Braunstein as he slaps all parties with libel suits at an elaborately staged press conference.
Who knows… but for now, we’re keeping an eye on this story. It could turn out he’s really gone the route of Patrick Bateman.
Update: They caught him in Memphis, Tennessee. Back to reporting on missing white girls in Aruba.