Jacob “Jake” Nolan was taken into custody on November 12, 2012, after an attack on psychiatrist Dr. Michael Weiss in Manhattan, New York. The authorities soon discovered that it wasn’t a random attack and that Jacob was connected to Michael. CBS News’ ‘48 Hours: The Psychiatrist and the Selfie’ focuses on what led Jacob to swing a sledgehammer at Michael and the aftermath of the attack. So, if you’re wondering what happened and where Jacob might be today, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Jake Nolan?
Jacob (or Jake) was the third child born to Debbie and Jim Nolan. When he was younger, he was a gifted child but had his fair share of problems. Jacob was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of five and, as a teenager, dealt with depression and anxiety. After trying to kill himself, Jacob was hospitalized and later diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He was prescribed several medications, and he started drinking and doing drugs while in college.
At that point, Debbie’s niece, Dr. Pamela Buchbinder, stepped in and offered to help. In exchange for Jacob helping care for her son, Calder, she agreed to give him therapy sessions and monitor his medication. So, Jacob began living with Pamela and Calder in New York City, New York. He later said, “Pamela and I had formed a relationship when I was really young. This is my cousin. This is someone I really knew. And I entrust everything into this one woman. I mean, this woman is gonna save my life.”
Calder’s father was Dr. Michael Weiss, and in the time leading up to the incident, they had agreed on the mother receiving full custody. Michael had generous visitation rights and had been paying child support. While Jacob was Calder’s godfather, he and Pamela appeared to have an unhealthy relationship. There were pictures of him in bed with Pamela and Calder, but he was just in his underwear.
Regarding the photo, Jacob said, “I guess that just goes to show you the level of comfort that I really felt there. It was not unusual in the morning … for her to invite me into bed … with Calder and I, and to share that familiar moment, you know, really feel like a family together.” He later claimed that Pamela told him about Michael being a bad father; she accused the psychiatrist of molesting Calder and not paying child support, which she repeated to Jacob daily.
According to Jacob, Pamela eventually talked about wanting him to kill Michael. He said, “She wanted me to inject him with some, you know, poisonous chemicals. She wanted to burn him alive in front of a group of people.” On November 11, 2012, Pamela was recorded by security cameras at a local store paying for a sledgehammer; she was with Jacob. The following day, Jacob went to Michael’s office with a duffel bag containing the hammer and a knife. He attacked the doctor, stabbing him multiple times during a struggle before he was injured as well. After the attack, Jacob took a selfie while covered in blood.
Jacob told the police that Pamela wanted him to torture Michael before killing him; she had also bought zip ties along with the sledgehammer. He further claimed, “She was hysterical, crying tears as she put the sledgehammer into a duffel bag with the kitchen knife.” While Jacob waited to attack Michael, he talked about what went through his mind, saying, “I think I was really nervous. I think I wanted to back out. But I didn’t have the means to do it. ‘Cause I couldn’t go back to Pamela without this done. I felt like I had no choice.”
Where is Jacob Nolan Today?
However, Jacob was seen as an unreliable witness because he provided different versions of what happened that day. In one version, Jacob claimed that Michael pulled the hammer out of the duffel bag and attacked first. But he later admitted to being heavily medicated when he made that statement. Furthermore, Jacob also mentioned Pamela handing him a hand-drawn map of Michael’s building.
In March 2016, then 23, Jacob was convicted of attempted murder, second-degree assault, first-degree attempted assault, and first-degree burglary despite the defense arguing he had diminished capacity. In July 2016, he was sentenced to serve nine and a half years behind bars. Jacob said in court, “No words can express how sorry I am for the pain I caused Michael Weiss and his son. I still do not know what came over me that day.” Prison records indicate that he was released from the maximum-security Sullivan Correctional Facility on October 26, 2023, but will remain under parole supervision until August 2028.
Read More: Where is Dr. Pamela Buchbinder Now?