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Old 04-03-2012, 07:50 PM   #31
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I watched this segment for the first time the other day and found it really interesting and underrated.

I think it's highly plausible he could have committed suicide, however...the severed foot seems to say otherwise...or does it??

Is there any possible way a person can commit suicide (presumably by jumping off a bridge?) and have their foot end up severed from their body?

That darn foot seems to be the key to this case, maybe....if the shoe fits....
There was no evidence that he jumped or was dismembered by someone, but I did hear that if he ended up in the cold waters, that his body would've bloated and decomposed over time enough for something like his own foot to become detached from his body. That or sharks or some marine animal devoured him.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:49 PM   #32
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"Control" was the parents' word for "love." I found the UM clip excruciating for that reason; they could not make themselves admit unbidden that another man loved their son or that their son might have had relations with another man.



Unless the segment omitted information I've also read a lot of the reporting * it's hard to believe this college kid killed Nisenfeld. No evidence points in that direction. I mean: Nisenfeld and Cohen argued, and one or the other was "controlling"? This isn't evidence: it's the stuff of everyday romantic drama. This is another example of UM blowing up what looks like the saddest, most banal kind of end.
I do not blame the parents considering Cohen supposedly made late night threats to Bryan and claimed "it was a joke." Unless he had a screwed up sense of humor, it does come off as suspicious. So, their attitude towards Cohen is unsurprising.

What is strange about this case is that Roger Williams college is small. I am surprised that there were no sightings of Bryan during the time he disappeared.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:43 PM   #33
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Someone told me that this case parallels that of the recent Tyler Clemente case. Tyler killed himself because he didn't want to be exposed as gay after being spied on by his insecure roommate. Perhaps the same is that of Bryan, or, it's possible his friend didn't want to know about their relationship and then harassed and killed Bryan in a fit of rage. I wonder if anything ever came from that phone call that Bryan's mother received sometime after his death, the one where it was told that a school administrator and 2 faculty members were withholding information about Bryan's disappearance and subsequent death.
Tyler came out to his mother shortly before leaving for college and he was already out to some friends. I think his suicide can mainly be pointed to his humiliation over having his personal life recorded and broadcast on the internet. Though more information seems to come out from this saga every month that makes it hard to pinpoint exactly what was going on in Tyler's head.

If Brian was gay, he wasn't out to anyone as none of his friends and family members were told. But like Tyler, Brian was quiet and had few close friends. Brian liked to go to the water's edge under the Mt. Hope Bridge often to read or listen to music. I think it was simply a matter of him being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or maybe his killer or killers might have been familiar was Brian's routine of hanging out in this area and struck when they could.

This never felt like a suicide to me.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:18 PM   #34
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Tyler came out to his mother shortly before leaving for college and he was already out to some friends. I think his suicide can mainly be pointed to his humiliation over having his personal life recorded and broadcast on the internet. Though more information seems to come out from this saga every month that makes it hard to pinpoint exactly what was going on in Tyler's head.

If Brian was gay, he wasn't out to anyone as none of his friends and family members were told. But like Tyler, Brian was quiet and had few close friends. Brian liked to go to the water's edge under the Mt. Hope Bridge often to read or listen to music. I think it was simply a matter of him being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or maybe his killer or killers might have been familiar was Brian's routine of hanging out in this area and struck when they could.

This never felt like a suicide to me.
I never knew that Tyler was out. You make alot of good points about Bryan's case though. In the segment, Bryan's mom was surprised at the possibility that he was gay, so I don't think she knew if he indeed was gay. What's the latest on his case? Have they questioned anyone else they think might've known something or been involved in?

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Old 04-12-2012, 02:30 PM   #35
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This case is a toughie, but I've always been more inclined to believe that his death was an accident or a suicide.

Let's look at what we know for certain: Bryan was an 18-year-old from New Jersey who "rarely ventured outside the safe confines of his family circle" before relocating to Rhode Island to attend Roger Williams University. We know that he struggled academically in his first semester and seemed to miss his family terribly. We know that he liked to get away from campus and visit nearby Mount Hope Bay. We also know he had a friendship that ended badly and resulted in harassment.

Almost everything else fueling the murder argument seems to be pure speculation. We're not sure of the exact nature of Bryan's friendship or what led to the falling-out, and the police eliminated the friend as a suspect. In the absence of more compelling evidence, I think it's a stretch to determine that the harassment of Bryan--heinous as it may have been--escalated to murder. I think it's much more likely, based on what we know, that Bryan was simply a troubled soul who wasn't adjusting well to the academic and social landscape of college life, and felt alone and adrift. He used Mount Hope Bay as an escape from his pain, and perhaps he eventually became so distraught that he decided to take his own life at that site. It's also quite possible that he accidentally fell to his death, particularly if he had taken to drowning his sorrows in alcohol.

I have always felt badly for Bryan's parents, as I don't think they understood the true depth of their son's struggles at Roger Williams. Hindsight being 20/20, he probably would have been better off withdrawing from the university following his difficult first semester and enrolling at an institution closer to his family.
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:24 PM   #36
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The evidence shown in the segment and the material I've read suggests that Nisenfeld's parents were totally flummoxed by his homosexuality; like many well-meaning parents this revelation about a heretofore unknown aspect of his life didn't fit their ideas of what their son may or may not have done. Therefore it makes sense that they'd think a kid with whom Nisenfeld had had problems might be a suspect.

As for me, I'm a graduate of the College of Occam's Razor. The police immediately cleared the kid that the parents suspected, and I see no reason why they might have done it suspiciously.
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Old 09-01-2014, 10:23 AM   #37
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Bumping this thread after watching the clip again and rolling my eyes at Nisenfeld's mom suggesting Someone Out There knows what happened. She wants to believe Cohen is responsible, and because Cohen did not consent to be interviewed she's allowed to air her ungrounded suspicions.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:32 AM   #38
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I don't think I've ever seen this case. It seems bizarre based off of what I've read on the UM wiki.
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:58 AM   #39
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I don't think I've ever seen this case. It seems bizarre based off of what I've read on the UM wiki.
It was one of the first segments aired when the show returned to TV with all new stories AND Robert Stack in 2001. (Sadly, Stack would only last a year and a half before passing away.)

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Old 09-02-2014, 01:37 PM   #40
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It was one of the first segments aired when the show returned to TV with all new stories AND Robert Stack in 2001. (Sadly, Stack would only last a year and a half before passing away.)
Ok, maybe I did see this one. Wasn't there a scene where the actor was walking towards water (on rocks I think) and there was a hint that perhaps he was hit by a wave and pulled into the water and drowned?
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:01 AM   #41
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Ok, maybe I did see this one. Wasn't there a scene where the actor was walking towards water (on rocks I think) and there was a hint that perhaps he was hit by a wave and pulled into the water and drowned?
I don't remember that theory being presented but I could be wrong. I would check if I could but Cosgrove and Muer Productions believes the segments being on the forbidden site would mark the end of the world, as you know.
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:19 AM   #42
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I don't remember that theory being presented but I could be wrong. I would check if I could but Cosgrove and Muer Productions believes the segments being on the forbidden site would mark the end of the world, as you know.
Good point.
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Old 09-03-2014, 02:07 PM   #43
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I always thought this was a suicide or an accident.

The slipped grades and sensation of being academically overwhelmed, the reported homesickness (his parents even chose Roger Williams FOR him because they felt it offered him security), the fact that he seemed to have been isolated at school with few friends, and one of those few friendships going sour are all stressors. If Bryan had subpar coping strategies--and it would seem that he did--he might have chosen to commit suicide and follow through on it. Additionally, suicide is statistically a more frequent occurrence here than homicide is--twice as many people in the U.S. kill themselves than are killed by other people.

I also think it is possible he slipped and fell into the water, which is generally more turbulent in the winter. His connective tissue would have decomposed enough for the separation of the tibia and foot to occur by that point.

I too am one of those that think Bryan's parents probably didn't understand the depth and breadth of their son's struggles. (Then again--and this is just my own cent-and-a-half--I guess I don't feel like choosing your adult child's college for him is necessarily giving him the tools to do well for himself, either.) I do sympathize with them and do think RWU did a piss-poor job of managing Bryan's disappearance. Not only did the school approach it with a completely lackadaisical attitude, but they seemed to treat it as some kind of stink they didn't want on their hands. I'm mad FOR the Nisenfelds on that one.

At the end of the day, I feel like he probably took his own life, unfortunately.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/missing-bryan/
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:27 PM   #44
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I also think it is possible he slipped and fell into the water, which is generally more turbulent in the winter. His connective tissue would have decomposed enough for the separation of the tibia and foot to occur by that point.
If this is the segment I'm thinking of, this was exactly what I thought happened when I first saw it. Didn't the segment (if anyone remembers) say Bryan liked to go to the water to think/study? I don't think finding the foot is indicative of foul play, but it is very strange that his mother would be the one to find it.
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:37 PM   #45
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If this is the segment I'm thinking of, this was exactly what I thought happened when I first saw it. Didn't the segment (if anyone remembers) say Bryan liked to go to the water to think/study? I don't think finding the foot is indicative of foul play, but it is very strange that his mother would be the one to find it.
Yes, it was mentioned that Bryan liked to go to the water for those kind of reasons, and that was how the accident theory was realized.

I thought it was an unrelated woman walking on the beach with someone else that discovered the foot. I remember something about her saying to her companion that it looked like "someone ran out of their boot" or something like that.
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