Another day, and yet another Craigslist post ruminating on the state of suspected fake fireman and former Women's Wear Daily staffer Peter Braunstein, who has inexplicably been on the loose since Halloween. As before, the author of this item seems suspiciously insightful and inanely detailed — so much so that, of course, we have to wonder if the writer might be uncomfortably close to Braunstein himself. To add to the shudder factor, the author has been emailing Gawker to alert us to his or her new works, presumably so that we draw attention to the screeds by posting them.
Which, of course, we do. Because we're not going to keep the freaky shit to ourselves.
******* PETER BRAUNSTEIN III *******
Reply to: [xxx]
Date: 2005-11-28, 11:22PM EST
Peter Braunstein is now a calendar month free from capture and as reported in Sunday's New York Post, the NYPD has admitted "hitting a brick wall" in their pursuit of him. The NYPD, according to The Post, has termed it a "review and reorganization."
He's living in a primitive daily routine. For the moment, right now, he's living small and compartmentalized and efficiently. He's found adequate shelter where he can sleep and he's found a place (if not the sleeping quarters) to bathe, shave, shit, eat and write and he's found resource for food and for his consumption of media (which may include his Number One Prize: The video he shot of his 10/31 victim.) If he doesn't own a device to watch it, you can bet he's somewhere - or has been somewhere - where he can or did. He'd crawl out of his skin if he couldn't watch his assault on his victim and masturbate to it.
Well, that's good to know — at least he's not crawling out of his skin. We wouldn't that! After the jump, a novel's worth of creepy speculation.
Based upon the way he planned his 10/31 assault, it wouldn't be surprising to hear that he secured a safe haven before the assault. He secured an apartment, hotel room or studio or twenty four hour office space. He may have rented a room in a house. He's shown, in all his criminal activity, some sophistication in his planning, and it's gotten better with time (over the last ten or fifteen years) and may get better still - or not. He's obviously rough around the edges. His buying his fireman gear on E-Bay and making it all so easily traceable was amateur. Plus, all his other electronic footprints mean either he's a lucky amateur or a clever, seasoned felon making his debut on the national crime stage and hasn't a care that he was so easily traced because he prepared in advance for this shit storm now coming down. (passport renewal, Super 8 lodging (that wasn't a random pick), etc...)
My thought is that he's been stupid, clumsy and lucky. In that order. Stupid to obtain his gear as he did and clumsy in the way he handled himself in its procurement and lucky he's eluded capture. There is no reason - none - for him to have deliberately left a trail as he did. He was just an amateur working it out while clouded by his passion for his victim prior to the attack. In simple terms? Typical man: THINKS WITH HIS DICK INSTEAD OF HIS BRAIN. He fucked up.
Imagine how much more pleasure might have been obtained by him if he perpetrated the assault in such a way to leave no hints as to his identity. Then, he could literally have walked back to Fairchild or into his social/professional circles to get right up close to his victim, her friends...the energy and fear he wrought. He could press his nose right onto the glass and look in, up close..."Gee. So sorry for what happened to you!" My God! I hope they catch him!"
But he fucked it up. He used the same style on 10/31 he used on his ex-lover: duct tape, taunting, power play...the ex saw it in the news, recognized it, contacted, and then fed the police info.
If I were the NYPD, I'd continue to look for him in New York City (w/a concentration in Queens), but to no lesser degree (in whatever capacity is available to the NYPD) also in Las Vegas, San Francisco, Detroit, Paris or other cities or towns or geographic areas where leads lead.
He needs an income stream, and he's not going to find one easily in a rural area. If he can make his life easier by using the weather to his advantage, he will. Thus, Las Vegas, Florida and California may be viable areas to look. There are numerous relaxed minds attached to relaxed lifestyles in all three locales where he can con, lie and weasel his way into a better lifestyle. Warm climate also means less clothes to buy, it's easier to drive, easier to move outside. He wouldn't stay here, facing a winter season of unknown severity, if he didn't have shelter at least.
And, if he's a full-on sexual predator, wouldn't he rather, now that he's basically popped his cherry, have a more forgiving climate in which to watch women in clothes that reveal their bodies, stalk them, plan, peep and assault? Open windows, doors and screens, and women in skirts, heels, shorts and sandals are better than six months of locked windows, storm windows, storm doors, coats, boots, leggings, hats, gloves, scarves, mittens, snow, ice, wind, sleet, slush, deserted streets and icy subway tunnels.
Back to the money. This is the only thing he's not yet established. This is, next to being pursued, his number one concern. Money is his fuel. With money he is able to move and act and consume. Without money, he'll stall mentally, stumble, and be captured. Or, he'll tire, withdraw thoroughly from social interaction of any type due to frustration and fear over his loss of control and will die, eventually, somewhere.
If he kills himself, which is a possibility, contrary to what his father thinks, he'll overdose, hang himself or electrocute himself on a third rail. It will be some sort of suicide in which he has at least a moment of physical awareness regarding what he's doing to himself before he passes out. He's smart. He's curious. He's morbid. He's a drama queen. If he kills himself, he'll want to experience it to a degree because that's his nature; he'll want to feel it so he knows he's living it.
He won't surrender to law enforcement or attempt suicide-by-cop. Too emasculating.
So, he's had ample time to catch his breath and he's happy that he's eluded capture for so long. But now, the game is changing. He knows it is. The odds are against him all the time, every day, for the rest of his life, until he's captured or dies.
Welcome to your new life.
Do you have a gun? Shells? Do you know how to use it? Conceal it? So it doesn't fall out of your belt? That would be embarrassing. And that's one way you'll be caught. You'll do something amateurish and stupid, like dropping your gun in an I-Hop restaurant on senior citizen night. You're a criminal, but you're not a professional criminal. Are you carrying your gun in a bag, or on your person? Do you know how to sling a shoulder holster from a shoelace? Do you know how to use a knife to kill someone in close quarters? Someone who is willing to physically engage you? Think about it. It takes, often times, a lot more than one stab you know. It's not like on TV or in the movies. It's really messy and you will be covered with blood. Do you know how to get it off your clothes and hands? Fast? Before it dries and implicates you?
These are the things you have to think about now if you want to last.
Where are you going to go if you break a bone in a fall or burn yourself? Do you have new I.D. yet? I.D that will pass? Or will you try to find a free clinic. Ever look for one of those? Do they only exist in movies?
Who will you call? Who can you trust? Who's talked to the police? Who has traps on their phones, waiting for you to call? Do you have a crime partner to help you find money if you run out? Or are you going to be reduced to holding up liquor stores and Chinese delivery guys? Don't hold up liquor stores. You'll be killed by a proprietor with a gun more powerful than yours and you'll be captured on tape in any case. Embarrassing!
How will you generate cash? Cash is what you'll need to eat, drink, keep groomed, clean, dressed, entertained, busy, moving, protected, anonymous, safe. How much cash did you have when you split? $10,000? More? That'd be okay to get you a ways...but it goes fast, no? Living like you are? I hope you're not trying to get some more by gambling in AC or Foxwoods or Vegas. Stupid. And too many cameras.
And be careful wasting what money you have. You're burning money now buying magazines, newspapers and maybe also by logging on to the Internet daily. Does the Internet cafe you use have cameras in the ceiling? Did you look? Do you look for cameras wherever you go? You should be. They're everywhere now. Even buildings are looking for you.
You're spending money on sex and sex related (to you) paraphernalia: hookers, hustlers, role-play and fetish sessions, peep booths, strip clubs, DVD's or video, magazines, poppers, lingerie, women's shoes, stockings, socks or pantyhose. You've got to relieve stress. You're stressed. Use protection. The last thing you want is to get an STD and have to find a free clinic for some penicillin. One headache you do not need right now: The drip.
Where are you finding your sexual release? I'm sure some of it is free. You walk around town and simply look at women. That's enough fuel for you to keep you at a level, but all that looking and seeing, and not being able to do anything - right then - that's what drives you to spend the money, no? So where are you shopping for sex?
That's where the cops are going to be next. Looking.
If you don't have ample cash or an I.D that will hold up or a gun, you're in trouble.
If you have ample cash and I.D that will hold up, you're still in trouble, but you can survive, and try to live.
No matter what happens, you're a loser. You could have been a winner. You'll never win. You'll win battles, but you've lost the war. You're forty one years old? Say you stay out three to ten years and then, are caught. You'll be mid forties to early fifties. You'll go to prison, stay in until you're at least sixty, and then, if released, you're done. You've lost.
Now it's time to begin a new life as a full time felon. I don't think you have it in you. And the most ironic thing? When you are caught, if you're caught, and you're incarcerated, you're going to be segregated so you won't be killed. You'll be too old and fleshy to fuck or pimp out, but because you'll be classified as a sex offender (amongst other things) you'll be a target for convicts. There's something not to look forward to.
If I were a woman who knew this guy, and especially one who'd run across his grain at some point socially, sexually or professionally, I'd be seriously considering all my personal safety issues and options right about now.
This guy has nothing to lose. All further assaults, while not capital offenses (that is, if he doesn't kill his victim(s)) will be, to him, free. He knows he's going to go down for the 10/31 crime, but he proved to himself he could do it. And he liked it. Thirteen hours with your victim is a long time and it's not a length of time spent by someone who is scared.
He's going to do it again.
Goodluck to everyone.