A Virginia man who once had a psychotic break and killed a shopkeeper in the belief that he was a werewolf was told to avoid social media on Thursday after it appeared that his violent past had been downplayed in an online dating profile.
In his most recent Facebook dating profile, Pankaj Bhasin, who spent three years on conditional release after spending three years in a mental health facility, described himself as “an easy going adventurer who believes in universal connection and is recently getting back from two years of travel,” according to NBC Washington reported this week.
Bhasin, 38, was warned by Alexandria Circuit Court Chief Judge Lisa Bondareff Kemler on Thursday to avoid using social media while under restricted release. However, NBC Washington reported that he will be permitted to continue using LinkedIn as he hunts for employment.
According to investigators, Bhasin stabbed Bradford Jackson more than 50 times in the summer of 2018 within Window Universe in Alexandria, leaving behind a horrifying scene.
When he killed Jackson, 65, a stranger he thought was a werewolf, Bhasin said he had a mental breakdown. Prosecutors consented to a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity during a mistrial while the jury was leaning toward acquittal, resulting in an three-year stint at a mental health facility.
A friend of Jackson’s named Sarah Bryen, 37, was alarmed by Bhasin’s recently discovered dating page and reported the online presence to law enforcement.
It’s misleading, Bryen said on Thursday to NBC News. “You never know who you’re going out on a date with when you meet someone online, after all. A man who stabbed someone 53 times might be responsible.”
Bryen claimed that when she first saw Bhasin’s extremely common profiles, she was speechless.
He left far sooner than anyone had anticipated, and I’m not sure what I thought other than “Whoa” when I discovered Bhasin’s social media presence. said Bryen.
Peter Greenspun, the lawyer for Bhasin, declined to speak particularly about the matter outside of court. In a statement to NBC News, he stated: “Mr. Bhasin is not a member of any dating or social media services. He has complied with all instructions given by the City of Alexandria Circuit Court and will do so in the future.”
Bhasin is “doing incredibly well,” according to Greenspun, and is “working hard with his treatment team.” He recognized that Jackson’s friends and family would still be “understandably” angered by his client’s freedom.
None of this lessens in any way the sadness of Bradford Jackson’s passing or the immense loss suffered by his numerous family members and friends, according to Greenspun.
“In every scenario imaginable, including during his treatment, Mr. Bhasin has voiced his regret for Mr. Jackson and others who knew him. While it is understandable that those sentiments may not be sufficient for individuals who are in pain, they are sincere, consistent, and have played a significant role in his recuperation.”