Lawyers Argue Over Sanity; Defendant's Father Waits

Later that night, the gas mask he allegedly wore during the attack was found by the superintendent of the building. After briefly showing it to the police, the super's son wore the mask and "went trick or treating," according to testimony. "It was Halloween, so I put it on as a costume."

Before the jury of seven men and five women was allowed in the courtroom this morning, Braunstein's defense argued against the admittance of certain Internet pages recovered by authorities. Braunstein's attorney, Robert Gottlieb, argued that some of the pages, which included references to "rape sex," "women drowning" and "brutal throat sex," may have appeared during the writer's Internet searches, but that they needed to be distinguished from the terms that he actually chose to search, such as "rape," "video" and "chloroform."

Braunstein's attorney, Robert Gottlieb, told that next week he plans to call to the stand several mental health experts and Jane Larkworthy, Braunstein's ex-girlfriend, whose decision to break up with the writer, claims the defense, sparked his violent rampage.

Just 11 days before the brutal attack, Braunstein made a plea for help. On Oct. 20, 2005, he made a request to cancel his "drgroovy" account, e-mailing eBay, "I want to close my account because I have about eight weeks to live, OK. So just close it."

Eight weeks and a day later, Braunstein was confronted by police in Memphis. After shouting, "I am the man the world is looking for," he stabbed himself in the neck three times.

Roybal, the eBay investigator, said that he receives about five to 10 such messages a month but that only occasionally does one of them prompt him to contact law enforcement. "It could be sarcastic," he noted.

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