The Worst Roommate Ever by William Brennan, New York Magazine, Feb, 2018

This piece is a long piece. I actually broke the reading of it into two sessions it’s so long. A small video is also on the website and informs the written account. I did really believe it was true until I saw the video. Until I saw the victims interviewed.

The piece is about a man named Jamison Bachman. By all accounts, he seemed quite normal to many people when they first him, but his true nature boarded on, dare I say, sociopathy (as overused and misunderstood as that word is these days).

Jamison, at first, portrayed normal social tendencies. Most of the people who let him stay with them enjoyed his company. But within weeks he would become reclusive and begin changing things within the house or apartment as though it was his right to do so. When confronted, Bachman would become overly confrontational. Rather than apologizing or making a case for his actions, he would try to make himself physically intimidating. Not long after this, he would refuse to pay rent. Again, when confronted he would become physically hostile, and then, since he had a law degree (though he never passed the Bar) would espouse jargon and his intricate understanding of lease agreements to sow doubt in his victims minds enough that they felt as though they couldn’t evict him without suffering serious financial burdens. If they filed a claim against him, he would turn around a file counterclaim. Typically, in the eyes of the court, he was polite, knowledgeable, and in the right. Later, when Bachman really lost his mind and met his match, a woman found files upon files of claims and suits people had taken against him and the actions he’d taken in retaliation.

Overall this is a fascinating piece, heartbreaking in its scope for both victims and perpetrator. A terrifying look at what people can do if they know how to take advantage of the system, and have the emotional capacity to do so.


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