Winston Brenner was an anti-military radical in Boston during the 1990's. After attending M.I.T., he expressed his dissent through the use of explosives. One of his bombs, planted at a recruiting station, killed several soldiers. Indicted by federal authorities in Boston, Brenner faked his death and made his way to San Francisco, where he was hired as an engineer for the electric company, under the alias Gene Edelson.
Leading a mostly reclusive life, he managed to get a "pity date" with the company's attractive public relations representative, Michelle Rivas. In Rivas's own summation, he took her country line dancing, got drunk, "groped [her] for half an hour and threw up on the mechanical bull."
In 2003, he attended a country music concert being held for San Francisco's bicentennial celebration, where he was flummoxed to be embraced, close-up on camera, by Stacy Michelle during her number. Terrified that someone watching the concert would recognize him, he planted two bombs at the power company, to black out the city during the two re-broadcasts.
Brenner was still in contact with his old roommate from M.I.T., Alby Drake, a radical environmentalist. When Drake heard that three innocent people died as a result of the first blackout, he threatened to expose Brenner, who responded by killing Drake.
Needling Michelle about her bad date with Adrian Monk (to which she admitted was actually better than her date with Edelson), he panicked when she retorted that Monk was close to solving the case. Sneaking into Monk's apartment, he sabotaged the block's power and phone lines, and broke into the apartment with a knife. After knocking Sharona Fleming unconscious, he confronted Monk, but tripped and broke his flashlight. He was then forced to stumble around in the dark, while Monk stalked and evaded him with a pair of night-vision goggles, delaying him long enough for the police to arrive.
Brenner was indicted in federal district court for his crimes.
Background Information and NotesEdit
- Brenner's alias, "Gene Edelson," is a possible reference to PG & E, (Pacific Gas & Electric), the electric company for the San Francisco Bay Area. Likewise, the name "Edelson" is likely a play on Thomas Edison, credited with inventing the light bulb.