In a lengthy feature profiling Peter Braunstein, the "Halloween rapist" and former journalist, New York Observer managing editor Aaron Gell provides a glimpse into the mind of a man who still seems as nuts as when dressed up like a firefighter and sexually assaulted a coworker at her apartment. The stuff he says would be darkly funny if it wasn't fairly clear he meant it. One troubling detail comes early in the piece when Gell describes Braunstein's relationship with a girl who started writing to him in prison in 2008, when she was 16. Braunstein, a former media columnist for Women's Wear Daily who now channels much of his writing into letters from prison, is protective of the girl he calls Salander, who runs errands for him on the outside and helped him send a letter to W, which landed him in the hole. “What I like doing is giving her the kind of advice I could have used,” he told Gell. “Don’t get me wrong—it’s evil advice. I’m like an evil life coach.” Even so, there's a sweet element to the relationship. Braunstein says later: "It’s kind of like, if I could raise a girl, it would be Salander. I mean, she’s fucking cool." Though Braunstein's perception of cool is probably pretty different from yours.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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