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Old 09-03-2014, 04:32 PM   #46
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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.
You're right, I read the UM wiki wrong.

Bryan's picture doesn't ring familiar with me, but I do vaguely remember this segment during UM's final run with Stack.
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:22 PM   #47
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You're right, I read the UM wiki wrong.

Bryan's picture doesn't ring familiar with me, but I do vaguely remember this segment during UM's final run with Stack.
I have it somewhere in the depths of storage. Haven't seen it in a very long time. I remember this one being on the OLD old UM site, along with then-unidentified Jasper Wadkins and Judy Smith.

I never got a foul play vibe from it, even with the "threatening phone calls" thing.
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Old 09-12-2014, 09:47 PM   #48
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Your right man he looked nothing at all like him,was it that hard to find a guy that looked like Bryan he was a pretty average looking guy really.
I always thought that the actor who portrayed Bryan looked a lot like the late and great actor Brandon Lee!
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Old 09-14-2014, 06:08 PM   #49
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Bryan's father said it looked as though he had just stepped out of his dorm room and that pretty much nothing was missing. Even though there are some shady things in this case (tight-lipped admins, the harassment from the old friend), I've come to believe this is probably an accident or suicide. It could have been as simple as him going to his favorite spot over the water and falling off, or voluntarily jumping. There's really no evidence to indicate foul play here. It sounds like Bryan was under a huge deal of stress and turmoil at this time. Perhaps he jumped or he wasn't being careful enough due to being distracted and fell.

It's a very sad situation in any case.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:24 PM   #50
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I had forgotten that this case is on the 'Bizarre Murders' batch of DVDs so I went back and watched it, then looked up some links online for some interesting info.

1. Bryan's struggles at college during his first semester had much to do with the architecture program he was a part of. Apparently, it was the university's most rigorous study and he would sometimes be working in the lab until 5 in the morning just to keep up.

2. Around Christmas, Bryan tried to convince his parents to let him move back to Audubon. They resisted and told him to tough it out one more semester and see how he would feel then. Bryan changed his major to English for the second semester, which ended up being perfect for him because he already loved writing poetry. With a new major that was less stressful and something he actually enjoyed, by all accounts, the stress and complaints about the scholastic part of school were now over up until the day he disappeared.

3. Bryan liked to go to the water's edge under the Mt. Hope Bridge often to write his poetry or listen to music. He disappeared in February. I could be wrong but I kind of doubt he would continue going to that spot throughout winter. I have lived in the Midwest my whole life and everyone I know avoids being outside during winter at all costs, especially during January and February when winter is at it's coldest and most miserable. We simply complain and complain and complain until spring comes. Then we're happy to go outside again. Historical weather online says it was 28 degrees in Bristol on Feb. 6, 1997. Maybe Bryan might have long stopped his visits to this spot because of the time of year. Just something to think about.

4. Bryan was last seen leaving his Literature class. The condition of his dorm showed that he probably went back there. When his dorm was eventually investigated, the door was left unlocked, the stereo was left on. Bryan's keys, gloves, glasses and Walkman were left on the dresser. Most puzzling of all, there were piles of sand found in his bed. The condition of the rest of the room would make it seem like he had left temporarily. But I can't come up with a single reason as to why there would be sand in his bed.

5. I know many in this thread have tossed aside the idea of Josh Cohen having any involvement in the disappearance but I'm really bothered by Bryan's last phone call to his father. He was scared, he was frantic, he said, "You need to come up here and get me." But when campus security questioned him the next day, he did a complete 180 and he wasn't willing to talk anymore. Did Cohen have something to do with this change of attitude? I don't like the idea that he could really strike THAT much fear in Bryan's heart in the first place. That doesn't sit well with with me.

When Cohen was first questioned by police about the several threats he made toward Bryan, he denied making them. When questioned a second time by investigators, he changed his tune and said he did make some threats but he tried to write it off as something he and Bryan joked about to each other all the time, not like it was anything serious. I'm not saying Cohen is a killer but something about him just doesn't feel right. Bryan may have initially had problems with school work and homesickness, but this drama with Josh Cohen seemed to be the most intense and stressful part of his life during that last month before he went missing.

6. I guess I can't rule out suicide. But my gut always steers me away from that theory simply because of how close Bryan was with his family. To go right from wanting to come home to then jumping off a bridge seems so extreme. I would be willing to accept his death being an accident over suicide. Again, just a gut feeling.

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Old 09-16-2014, 08:31 PM   #51
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3. Bryan liked to go to the water's edge under the Mt. Hope Bridge often to write his poetry or listen to music. He disappeared in February. I could be wrong but I kind of doubt he would continue going to that spot throughout winter. I have lived in the Midwest my whole life and everyone I know avoids being outside during winter at all costs, especially during January and February when winter is at it's coldest and most miserable. We simply complain and complain and complain until spring comes. Then we're happy to go outside again. Historical weather online for Bristol says it was 28 degrees in Bristol on Feb. 6, 1997. Maybe Bryan might have long stopped his visits to this spot because of the time of year. Just something to think about.
Sorry, I think your midwest is showing. Angsty artistic coastal kids often go to the water/beach in the winter and at night. There's a beauty in the cold air and the open ocean. There's a peace found in watching the moonlight dance on the waves.

-signed, former angsty artistic coastal kid
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:38 PM   #52
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I should tell posters that I work for a public university in the student affairs division. A lot has changed since 1997. In fact, part of what went wrong in the Nisenfeld case has to do with the by our standards criminal negligence of Roger Williams. It did little to investigate the case and didn't tell Nisenfeld's parents about their boy's disappearance for days. In 2014 this ineptness would be unheard of.

The other part of this case which looks weird to people is Nisenfeld's behavior. It's not unusual for 18- or 19-year-old students away from home for the first time to act in ways which most of us would consider melodramatic. What sounds frantic to Nisenfeld's dad would be on the professional side all in a day's work. Many first-year students confess to problems with roommates, classes, friends, and loneliness. Nisenfeld's sexuality was an additional complication: it's in this febrile mix that he learned about himself, and that's the most heartbreaking irony for me. Many students admit to suicidal thoughts or admit to thoughts that teeter on the verge of suicidal, but few have reasons to think a friend or possible lover would want to kill them. Mrs. Nisenfeld's insistence that this Cohen character must have had 'something to do' with Bryan's death offends me for this reason. I'm sorry, but statistically it's too remote a chance that Cohen murdered Nisenfeld. That's Tennessee Williams "Suddenly Last Summer" twaddle. And I'm gay!

This case, sadly, is the perfect example of an antiquated way of dealing with student stress. University officials were slow or unable to respond, the parents had no idea how to deal with it, and the young man was left to his own devices.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:59 PM   #53
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Mrs. Nisenfeld's insistence that this Cohen character must have had 'something to do' with Bryan's death offends me for this reason. I'm sorry, but statistically it's too remote a chance that Cohen murdered Nisenfeld. That's Tennessee Williams "Suddenly Last Summer" twaddle. And I'm gay!
The last time she or her ex-husband talked to Bryan, he was afraid of threats from Cohen. Then a week later, their son disappears forever. I think most parents would have at least raised an eyebrow in that situation and connected those two dots. So I don't find that reaction out of the ordinary, especially for that time frame. Again, it doesn't prove or disprove Cohen being involved, but you have to expect most parents might come to the same conclusion.

I'm gay also but the 'Suddenly Last Summer,' reference swooshed straight over my head. I guess I would have had to seen it (or heard of it) to make the connection. Would you like to enlighten me?
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:06 PM   #54
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I don't know about y'all, but I can tell you the song "Suddenly Last Summer" is now stuck in my head after reading these last few posts.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:15 PM   #55
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I don't know about y'all, but I can tell you the song "Suddenly Last Summer" is now stuck in my head after reading these last few posts.
ONE SUMMER NEVER ENDS
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:16 PM   #56
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I'm gay also but the 'Suddenly Last Summer,' reference swooshed straight over my head. I guess I would have had to seen it (or heard of it) to make the connection. Would you like to enlighten me?
a Tennessee Williams play in which the gay psychiatrist is eaten by local cannibals whom he'd hit on.
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:11 PM   #57
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ONE SUMMER NEVER ENDS
ONE SUMMER NEVER BEGAN
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:14 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Necco
Sorry, I think your midwest is showing. Angsty artistic coastal kids often go to the water/beach in the winter and at night. There's a beauty in the cold air and the open ocean. There's a peace found in watching the moonlight dance on the waves.

-signed, former angsty artistic coastal kid
On the East Coast? You're strong! (You can tell by my location why I am impressed , even as a fellow former angsty artistic coastal kid).

Dynoguy, you make a good point that he could have stayed away from his favorite spot due to cold weather, but perhaps walking along the shore gave him enough solace to tough out the cold and go. This MIGHT account for the sand on his bed. If he sat on the beach, laid back momentarily and relaxed, his clothing could have sand residue on it. I may be reaching, but I'm very familiar with sand and its peskiness after beach time. Unless it was a disturbingly large amount of sand. That would be just weird. It's too bad he didn't have closer friends, as he was pretty reclusive, who could say where Bryan said he went during this time period.
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:43 PM   #59
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The sand on the bed reminds me of the McFall case and the beer cans around the car: a detail that sounds portentous in context but not really important.
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Old 07-13-2016, 05:54 PM   #60
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I know this thread is old but I want to revive it.

This case has long intrigued me---both fascinating yet so sad.
Personally, I am leaning a bit more to the suicide/accident theories. There is just so little evidence to really say what happened, other than confirmation of Bryan's death.
He was under a great deal of stress and perhaps he felt he could no longer deal with it. Unfortunately, suicide in college is not uncommon and a common factor is often severe stress and personal problems of various kinds. Take into consideration Bryan's academic worries, homesickness, the apparent inability to move back home at his fathers insistence and the likely fact he was at least discovering his own homosexuality. He had few close friends and was at a place he may not had liked much--he felt as though he was not fitting in well there at Roger Williams. That's a lot to handle for one going out on his own for the first time.

Now, this "friend" of Bryan's, his name was Cohen, who dropped out after the fall semester yet stayed around the university. I wonder what has become of him since that time?

While the actual nature of their relationship is unclear, there are some things about Cohen that I find interesting at least. Bryans mother had met Cohen at least once and initially thought him to be a regular, "nice guy"--yet later on she had reservations about him and how he seemed to have a certain strong influence over Bryan. If Mr. Cohen's friendship was truly close with Bryan, why does he seem to distance himself after the disappearance? He eventually went home to Georgia, though exactly when I have not found out.
I think the threats to Bryan were real at any rate and that Bryan was indeed scared.
But there is just no real evidence, even circumstancial, to really say Bryan was killed. With so little of Bryan's body recovered, little could be said other than confirmermstion of his death.
Does anyone know what later happened to this Cohen friend of his? The last 19 years of his life might be telling in a way...
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