“Another thought about the ongoing hysterical reaction in N.Y.C. that speaks to why I committed the crime(s) in the first place: the colossal sense of entitlement that only New Yorkers have. It’s not just that the crime clearly violated every Gotham taboo and pushed every conceivable button." - From the diary of Peter Braunstein
The trial of Peter Braunstein, the journalist who sexually assaulted a colleague for 13 hours in 2005 and then went on the lam, focused on his diaries yesterday. Braunstein, who was also an aspiring playwright, did not hesitate to detail his thoughts about his crime - and the ensuing media coverage. Having seen his musings written on hotel stationery, loose-leaf paper and his own Wanted posters (!), detective Josh Ulan read excerpts aloud. The NY Times, Daily News and Post mentioned some of the same passages, but also some different ones. Here's a sampling:
The Daily News excerpted:
"The whole town is in hysterics so the whole plan worked out better than I could have dreamed and that was just the appetizer," he wrote.
Braunstein was well aware that he was the subject of an NYPD "manhunt," but was disappointed that only a $12,000 reward was being offered.
"The crime was outlandish enough to terrify New York City, but not substantial enough to grip the rest of the nation where most people have problems of their own and could care less about some NYC 'sex maniac' who dresses as a fireman," he wrote.
The Post picked:
"In terms of my own criminal m.o.," he writes, "that's hard to categorize. "It's like Munchausen by proxy via arson.
"You light a building on fire, then pose as a fireman and 'rescue' some people by evacuating them, while invading the apartments of others and terrorizing them while the building is still on fire," he wrote, in journals that he carried for weeks in his backpack while on the lam.
"It's kind of an 'all you can eat' buffet of crime, comprising as it does: arson, robbery, home invasion, rape, assault, unlawful imprisonment, murder, and - oh yeah - impersonating a fireman. If it doesn't constitute 'Criminal Anarchy' well, I don't know what does."
The NY Times had:
“Anyway, I’m not one of those people who thinks he’s in direct, constant communication with God,” Mr. Braunstein wrote. “I don’t hear voices. I don’t think the C.I.A. planted a microchip in my brain and is overhearing my thoughts at this very moment.”
As to mental illness, he added, “I am not even clinically delusional.”
The last quote is most interesting, because the heart of his defense attorneys' argument is that Braunstein is so mentally ill that he can't even tell what he's doing.
The Post and Daily News also have competing slide shows showing the evidence thus far; the Post starts with Braunstein's passport, the Daily News uses a Flash slide show. (Gawker isn't sure which tab's gallery has the advantage.)