Jacob Nolan sits in a New York prison for trying to kill his psychiatrist’s ex-lover. Now, for the first time ever, Nolan tells his side of the story to Peter Van Sant on "48 Hours" to air Saturday at 10 p.m. on CBS 6.
It’s a bizarre story of a troubled young man who ended up in the middle of a brutal breakup between two psychiatrists, and who now claims he was manipulated by one of them into trying to kill the other.
“I intended to kill him,” Nolan tells Van Sant, of the day he went to the Manhattan office of psychiatrist Dr. Michael Weiss.
On that day, Nov. 12, 2012, Nolan carried a duffle bag to Weiss’ office. Inside the bag was a massive sledgehammer, a kitchen knife, and zip ties. When Nolan attacked Dr. Weiss, Weiss fought back furiously. After the fight, Nolan, covered in blood, snapped a selfie. According to Nolan he was “reporting back to [his psychiatrist] like, what do I do next?”
“This is one of the stranger cases I’ve covered,” says New York Post reporter Rebecca Rosenberg. “Who would possibly snap a selfie right after they tried to murder someone?”
At the time of the attack, Nolan was living with his cousin, psychiatrist Dr. Pamela Buchbinder, who was treating him. Nolan had been diagnosed with depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder and his family took Buchbinder up on her offer to help. But during the time Nolan was with Buchbinder, she was also going through a brutal custody battle with Weiss.
“They hated each other,” Nolan tells Van Sant. “And in turn, she made me hate him.”
That hatred turned into a plan to kill Weiss, Nolan and his attorneys maintain. Nolan says she wanted him to hit Weiss over the head, even playing The Beatles’ “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” repeatedly as part of the alleged manipulation.
Buchbinder, who declined to speak with "48 Hours," has not been charged with any crime. In court papers filed in response to a civil suit by Weiss, she says she never asked Nolan to attack or harm Weiss.
“I would have done anything for Pamela,” Nolan tells Van Sant. “It happens so slowly that you don’t really recognize this growing feeling inside of you, that one day you wake up and say, ‘I’ll kill for his woman.’”
Weiss’ office door was open when Nolan got there. “He sees the sledgehammer and charges at me and I reached for the knife,” Nolan says, recounting the attack. “Here I am with this knife. And the guy’s bleeding. And I’m bleeding.
And I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God, this is terrifying. It’s as if I woke up from a bad dream.”
“I don’t buy Jake’s story that he was brainwashed and manipulated,” says Roland Acevedo, Weiss’ attorney. “He knew exactly what he was doing.”
Not so, says Dr. Sasha Bardey, who examined Nolan for the defense team. “By the end of this manipulation by Dr. Buchbinder, Jake Nolan had become weaponized to attack Dr. Weiss, the man with whom she had been fighting over custody of her son,” Bardey says.
“Pamela took someone who she knew was severely mentally ill, and she morphed me into whatever she wanted me to be,” Nolan tells Van Sant. “And I obeyed, just like a puppet.”
Was Nolan brainwashed, or could he have backed out at any time?
Van Sant and "48 Hours" investigate the case through interviews with Nolan, his attorneys, his family members, Weiss’ attorney and a former NYPD officer.