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10-05-2007
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Peter Braunstein Trial - assault on former W mag editor
I'm amazed there is no thread on this case yet!

Peter Braunstein (born 1964) is a New York City-based journalist, writer and playwright who became infamous as the prime suspect in an October 31, 2005 rape, leading police on a multi-state manhunt until his capture and self-injury in Memphis, Tennessee on December 16, 2005.

Dubbed the "Halloween rapist", the "fake firefighter," "fire fiend" and other names by the media [1], Braunstein became an unlikely criminal mastermind and the most wanted man in New York City, a dubious honor often reserved for murderers, mobsters or terrorists. Braunstein formerly worked as a writer for Women's Wear Daily and The Village Voice, and his former colleagues avidly followed the case on weblogs.

On October 31, 2005, a man wearing a New York City Fire Department uniform set two small fires in the lobby of a Chelsea building where his victim lived. He then knocked on the door of the 34-year old woman's apartment and told her he was there to check for smoke damage. As soon as the victim let him in, the man shoved a chloroform-laced rag into her face. For the next 13 hours she went in and out of consciousness while the attacker raped her. The victim told the police that the attacker apparently knew her, although she was not able to identify him. According to her he videotaped the attack and left with a pair of her shoes.

The police released a sketch of the suspect made with the help of a witness which was identified as Braunstein by his father the next day. Several of his former coworkers also called the police after he allegedly made threatening phone calls to them following the attack. Several days later detectives uncovered more evidence on Braunstein's personal computer, including a detailed plan that described the attack that occurred.

Police have also discovered that Braunstein purchased a voice-altering device on Ebay five days before the attack, along with the season one DVD set of the FX Network television series Nip/Tuck, a show which features a masked serial killer known as The Carver, who also uses a voice altering device [4]. It should be noted, however, that the Carver did not appear on the show until its second season.

The crime received a great amount of media attention for a number of reasons. Peter Braunstein, a well-educated writer and journalist from an upper-middle class family, did not fit the typical profile of a rapist. In fact, at one point he belonged to the same clique of freelance writers who were now following his every step in their blogs. Braunstein also was able to avoid arrest for several weeks while apparently still residing in New York where his photo graced the front pages of most newspapers and footage of the suspect was played on the evening news almost daily. Finally, the timing also coincided with a historic low for NYC crime rates.

The crime quickly became a sensation in the New York area. New developments about the crime have been often featured on the front pages of tabloids like the New York Post and New York Daily News, as well as the TV show America's Most Wanted. It was revealed that the suspect had an interest in pornography and was "extremely intelligent and talented, with an IQ of 185". This "evil genius" aspect of the crime only fueled the public fascination with it.

Other details uncovered by the media included the fact that Braunstein was contemplating stalking supermodel Kate Moss.

He has also been followed in great detail by gossip blogs such as Gawker, with the editor Jessica Coen going as far as creating a special Peter Braunstein section to document her findings. Even Craigslist had a hand in the story, as lengthy, elaborate posts from an anonymous source speculated about his whereabouts.

On November 17, 2005, Braunstein was spotted at a local Cobble Hill coffee shop in Brooklyn. The shop's owner recognized the suspect and alerted two policemen nearby. The blocks surrounding the area were quickly filled with dozens of police officers, some wearing riot gear, as well as the news media. Around 1:30 p.m., a police bloodhound who had been given a pillow recovered at the scene of the rape picked up a scent and tracked it two blocks to an abandoned building. Police forces stormed the building but found no evidence of the suspect. Throughout the day, posters were hung up in the area offering a reward of $12,000 for information leading to the capture of Braunstein.

He was reported captured on December 16, 2005 in Memphis, Tennessee around 3:30 p.m. [6]. He was spotted by a University of Memphis student who notified the police. As the police moved in, he reportedly shouted, "I am the man the world is looking for" (although other sources have reported slightly different accounts of his words).

Braunstein then stabbed himself three times in the neck. After recovery from surgery, he was transferred to New York custody and on December 23, 2005, a grand jury indicted him for the Halloween attack; he was arraigned on January 5, 2006 and pleaded "Not Guilty" to charges of sexual abuse, arson, kidnapping, burglary and robbery.

source: wikipedia

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10-05-2007
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Link to The Gawker fee on the case: http://gawker.com/news/peter-braunstein/

The latest news http://www.gothamist.com/2007/05/10/exfactor_exgirl.php

quote:

Ex-Factor: Ex-Girlfriend Testifies in Braunstein Trial

Jane Larkworthy, beauty editor of W magazine, testified yesterday in the sensational trial of her boyfriend Peter Braunstein. Lawyers for Braunstein are trying to argue that when Larkworthy dumped Braunstein, it sent him into a 2-year tailspin of depression and mental illness so severe that when he sexually attacked a co-worker on October 31, 2005 while holding her captive for 13 hours, he was just acting out a fantasy (and therefore, cannot be found guilty). The prosecution believes that Braunstein had planned the attack meticulously and was of sound mind at the time.


There is quite a bit of news about this case that I think is inappropriate for this forum, so I'll stop here for now.

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10-05-2007
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My apologies! I meant to open this thread in Rumour Has It - and I've already asked that it be moved.

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15-05-2007
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Shocking murder plot against Anna Wintour
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle1795987.ece

So shocking


Last edited by Squizree; 15-05-2007 at 11:40 PM. Reason: wrong article
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15-05-2007
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This article is a bit better.

Plot to kill style queen

Stefanie Balogh
May 16, 2007 12:00am
Article from: </IMG>


AN accused rapist dubbed the "fire fiend" planned to murder the feared fashion editor who inspired the novel and film The Devil Wears Prada.
Anna Wintour, the legendarily frosty and demanding editor-in-chief of style guide American Vogue, was allegedly intended as a victim of accused kidnapper Peter Braunstein.
The New York Post revealed that Braunstein ranted in a personal manifesto, read to a court, about killing Wintour.
He wrote: "So I'll tell you why I'm going to kill Anna Wintour -- because I just feel like it."
Braunstein, a former fashion writer, has admitted dressing as a New York firefighter and setting off two homemade smoke bombs to trick his way into a co-worker's apartment on Halloween, October 31, 2005.
He has confessed to holding a gun to the victim's head, drugging her with chloroform, and then stripping her and binding her to her bed.
Wearing a black ski mask, he then raped her over a 13-hour period in her Chelsea apartment in New York.
His defence team argues the acts were committed unintentionally because of his severe mental illness.
Braunstein was earlier sacked as a fashion media critic for Women's Wear Daily after causing a fuss when he found he'd received only one ticket to the Vogue Fashion Awards.
Braunstein penned his manifesto in the months leading up to the attack on his co-worker at Fairchild Publications.
The New York Post reported that no details of Braunstein's were disclosed in court, apart from his saying that Wintour's death was to be up close and personal.
Wintour is widely believed to have been the inspiration for the fashion editor in The Devil Wears Prada, a character played in the hit film by Meryl Streep.
The Post said that according to parts of the manifesto, read aloud in the jury's absence in Manhattan Supreme Court, Braunstein wrote that just shooting Wintour would be "too impersonal".
Braunstein also reportedly celebrated late '70s serial killer Son of Sam (David Berkowitz) and the Columbine High School shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.
The New York Post said that Braunstein had also admired Andrew Cunanan for his 1997 Miami Beach murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace.
And he even applauded fictional killer Hannibal Lecter as an important criminal literary figure "because of his intellect".
Last week, jurors also heard about Braunstein's loathing for Wintour, the Post reported.
He wrote that she "just never talked to peons like us . . . It was beneath her. And all the while I'm thinking 'Who is this skank?' "
He said she played up a "let them eat cake" Marie Antoinette-style regal attitude, but "all she does is edit a magazine -- that's it. So what's with the royalty routine?"
Braunstein also wrote: "Wintour will be escorted by eunuchs to a place in Hell run entirely by large rats. Even Satan can't get in there, because he and the rats had a falling-out a couple of millennia ago.
"The rats, apparently, are unionised and Satan tried to break the union; there's been a lot of bad blood ever since."
The trial continues.

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15-05-2007
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WOW!

i never knew about the bob marley bit

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15-05-2007
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I mean I dislike the woman but murder? That's just insane!

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16-05-2007
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Wow. That's shocking. I mean, we all give Anna crap about her tendencies of nastiness, but murder? That's just a bit much.
I hope she gets/increases her personal security after an event like this.

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16-05-2007
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...the thing that gets me in this article is where his defence lawers said Braunstein has a brain abnormality and for that reason he is not responsible for his actions. What a bunch of crock if I heard anything so stupid!

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16-05-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibimus View Post
Wow. That's shocking. I mean, we all give Anna crap about her tendencies of nastiness, but murder? That's just a bit much.
I hope she gets/increases her personal security after an event like this.
Or even better, she could stop being a bitch.

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16-05-2007
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There are a lot of crazies out there...

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16-05-2007
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^...yes there are. And another crazy thing is, those crazies can be your next door neighbor(s)

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16-05-2007
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woah... isn't murder a bit over the top? not that we don't dislike anna, but still...

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16-05-2007
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is this source reliable?

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16-05-2007
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^ Yes, the source and the story are incredible but completely true. I started a thread on the Peter Braunstein story and the trial just a few days ago. Here is the link to that thread which includes a few recent stories from the New York Times. http://www.thefashionspot.com/forums...ial-56235.html.

Shouldn't we ask the threads to be merged?

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