We've all seen some movie or show where someone has been hypnotized or brainwashed into doing something horrible. But are there really people who committed crimes while brainwashed? Jacob Nolan and his attempted murder of Dr. Michael Weiss might just be one of them. Jake was living with his cousin, a psychiatrist, and she supposedly brainwashed him into trying to kill her ex-boyfriend. On November 12, 2012, Nolan attempted and failed to kill Weiss in his own home with a sledgehammer.
While there may be a case or two of when a psychiatrist brainwashed patient to murder, Jacob's case is unique. He was mentally ill and dependent on his cousin Pamela not only for support, but for lodging as well. He was lied to, manipulated, and perhaps even hypnotized. He has since shown remorse, but how much of his story is true?
While we may never fully know what goes on inside the mind of Jake Nolan, we do know that his actions are strange, dark, but fascinating. We also know Pamela Buchbinder definitely helped plan the murder, and that she may have been using Jake for her deadly purposes for months.
Jake Nolan Tried To Kill Michael Weiss With A Sledgehammer
When it came to the actual attempt, Nolan remembers himself as something of a zombie. He arrived at Weiss's apartment complex and said he had to get forms concerning Buchbinder's son. He didn't hide from any of the cameras, and didn't conceal his face at all. According to his testimony, he didn't care about anything at the time, just what Buchbinder had said to do. When he entered Michael's home, he took out the sledgehammer and tried to attack the man. Luckily, Weiss missed the full force and was hit in the shoulder.
At that point, Nolan remembers having a sort of awakening. It was like a bad dream was ending, and he realized what he was doing. This was a bad situation, and he drew his knife, stabbing Weiss multiple times as the two battled. From there, Weiss fought back, and the two ended up in a bloody mess in the hallway.
Neighbors, seeing the commotion and all the blood, called 911. When the police arrived, both men were bloodied and required hospitalization. Nolan claimed that Weiss had stabbed him, and Weiss claimed that he was only defending himself from Nolan's initial attack. It took some discussion to sort out the facts before police figured out what had really happened and arrested Jacob Nolan.
Nolan Took Selfies As He Was Bleeding On The Floor
Bloodied and beaten, Nolan lay slumped against the wall of the apartment. He thought for a moment that he might die, and began to take stock of what was happening around him. He realized that Buchbinder had given him no exit plan or instructions to follow once the murder was complete. He began to believe that she had every intent of leaving him there to be arrested or to die. He realized that he had been used. In this situation, he did something very odd, something that was brought up numerous times during his trial: He took a selfie.
The attached image shows Nolan covered in blood from Weiss defending himself. He looks confused, horrified, Nolan sent this selfie to Buchbinder, asking what to do next. It was a last minute cry for help, and it fell on deaf ears with her giving only one word responses. He did not try to run or crawl away. He just sat there, in his own blood, reporting back to his psychiatrist while she did nothing to help him. Buchbinder would later try to visit him in the hospital as he described his injuries, but she was barred from doing so.
She Instructed Nolan To Torture And Kill Weiss
One day, Buchbinder decided that it was time for Weiss to die. She went to Nolan and told him, step by step, how killing him had to be done. She gave him a map of the apartment complex, and went with him to get the murder weapon. She purchased a sledgehammer for him, and instructed him to beat him to death, but not before he suffered. He later got a knife from her as well, but this was because of his own concerns rather than his instructions. She said that Weiss should be tortured and that his genitals should be cut off as part of the tortue process. She also said to inject him with poisonous chemicals, to be sure he felt pain.
The only thing about the murder that Jacob did not agree with was the torture aspect. He was willing to kill for her and willing to die for her if necessary, but torturing Michael didn't sit well with him. He told her he would do it, but later admitted that he never had any intent of torturing Micheal before death. His actions at the time also back up this statement.
Nolan Was Convicted Of Attempted Murder
During the trial, Nolan was portrayed as a mentally deranged rich kid who thought he could get away with murder. The defense argued that he was mentally ill, and had been brainwashed and even hypnotized into doing the crime, even going as far as to say he did not feel like he had a choice.
Although experts testified that he had been severely manipulated by Buchbinder, and that he had been used as a weapon due to his mental illness, this proved to not be enough. Weiss even asked the court for mercy on Nolan's behalf, saying that he did not blame Nolan for the attack. Instead, Weiss placed the blame with Buchbinder, who had not been charged with the crime. In the end, the jury decided that Nolan had known what he was doing was wrong, and was therefore responsible for his crimes. The brainwashing defense was deemed irrelevant.
Jacob Nolan was found guilty of attempted murder. He was sentenced to nine and a half years for his crime, and has since expressed deep remorse for his actions, continued suicidal feelings, as well as feelings that his own imprisonment was just. The only thing he really said was completely unjust was that Pamela was getting away with it all.