[updated information added to the bottom of this post]

Only this time "cherchez l'homme" might be a more useful suggestion.

Neither James E. Davis (41) nor Othiel Boaz Askew (31) had ever married. Both were described as bright, attractive, smart dressers, ambitious, real talkers - and at least a little kooky.

Today the NYTimes capsule story on Askew reveals something missing so far from other accounts of yesterday's tragedy.

"The councilman [Davis] began to think of himself as something of a mentor to him," said Amyre Loomis, who was Mr. Davis's spokeswoman. Ms. Loomis said Mr. Askew had asked Mr. Davis to write a letter for him saying that Mr. Askew had a promising future in public service.

But according to a law enforcement official, Mr. Askew gave a very different version of events when he called in a complaint to the F.B.I. against Mr. Davis yesterday, claiming that Mr. Davis had threatened him.

James Margolin, a spokesman for the F.B.I.'s New York office, said yesterday: "Late this morning, a caller who identified himself as Askew alleged that he was the victim of harassment by Councilman Davis in connection with the upcoming primary election. He expressed no intention to cause harm to Councilman Davis."

According to the complaint, Mr. Askew and Mr. Davis took a walk together earlier this month through Fort Greene Park, and the councilman said he had done a background check on Mr. Askew that he claimed revealed that he was gay and that the information might be exposed in the race. Mr. Askew considered this a threat, the law enforcement official said.

Ooops! This just in.

Now NY1 tells us a little more.

Police said [Askew had] been arrested in the past, convicted of harassment in 1996 after hitting his live-in boyfriend with a hammer in a domestic dispute and leaving him bruised and bleeding. Askew was also charged in 1999 with stealing a leather bag from another male friend. Both incidents were in Manhattan.


With sensible gun control laws, a background check would have prevented Askew from getting a gun so easily or have his registered gun taken away after his conviction for violence.Of course the NRA will say that Askew played Space Invaders while listening to Marilyn Manson.