Brett Schrauben: Confessed Hit Man with Vocabulary Woes

Brett-Schrauben-killer.jpg
Schrauben: Speak slowly and use only one syllable words in his presence
"I don't know what that [word] means."

That was today's answer by admitted hit man Brett Schrauben when asked by veteran public defender Derek Bercher if he'd been "altruistic" in confessing his role in the 1998 Rambo knife murder of Placentia's Jack Jessee.

Apparently, there is no vocabulary section for the test to get an official hit-man license in California.

The feisty Bercher is representing Jessee's wife Sandra, who is on trial as the evil, money-hungry mastermind of the criminal enterprise.

According to Schrauben, Sandra and her son from marriage prior to her union with Jack, Thomas Aehlert, hired him in what turned out to be a gruesome, ambush killing for $50,000.

The kill fee was paid without interest and in installments over several years.

The hit man has admitted that he personally knew the victim was "a nice, kind man" but craved furniture for his apartment, a new pickup truck and a Sea-Doo -- instead of the Merriam-Webster dictionary and patient, special ed tutor he desperately needed.

Schrauben, formerly a big-talking OC Target employee and club promoter who has moved his act to Arizona, served a mere 515 days in local jail in exchange for testifying against the mother-son duo and Mission Viejo's T.J. Garrick, who has never been charged.

Since a 2009 jury thwarted homicide prosecutor Michael F. Murray's case in an 11 to 1 vote for guilt, Aehlert changed his innocent plea, confessed to second-degree murder and testified against his mother in the early days of this new trial. Murray believes that Garrick, a U.S. Navy veteran, is the actual killer with the other defendants playing various supportive roles.

Schrauben's vocabulary woes didn't end with "altruistic." He also didn't know how to answer another Bercher question because it contained the word "afoot."

Jack Jessee was found stabbed to death in his living room in August 1998. Sandra had been shopping at the time of the crime. But Schrauben claims that he was told in advance when she'd be gone so that she'd have an alibi and was told to make the crime look like a robbery gone wrong.

Relentless cold-case investigators in the Orange County Sheriff's Department eventually pieced together the alleged conspiracy and cleverly drove a wedge between the once-tight plotters that produced the bulk of Murray's evidence.

Schrauben--the hit man who walks like a starving penguin who has spotted food--will resume his testimony tomorrow in Superior Court Judge James Stotler's 9th floor Santa Ana courtroom.

Go HERE to read my cover story about the crime, the characters and the first trial.

--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

(rscottmoxley at ocweekly dot com)

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8 comments
dougworm
dougworm

People contemplating and then commiting murder generally totally fail to understand how miserable the act is going to make them feel afterwards,  And the guilt is only aspect of the torture they are setting themselves up for so that even if they have developed that sort of cold morality that allows them to feel comfortable with what they have done morally, they neverthe less STILL face that nagging inability to rest comfortably for what they have done all the way until they are either caught, confess or die.   "Why?" you might ask?  Because generally people dont plan on slowly realizing all the holes they have left neclected in their original optimism, holes that continue to plague them day by day often being blown even larger by their own imagination working overtime to leave them without peace, and probably far too often without sleep also!  Everytime they bring to mind the FACT that there are no statue of limitations on the crime of murder and every time they read or heard about something in the news about cold cases being solved with the help of ever improving forensic methods.  Everytime they see a TV crime episode where people come forward after years to admit they know something about a case so that what was a stone cold case becomes finally red hot for police.  The nightmares that surely must play over and over again robbing them of whatever restful sleep they thought they were feeling to enjoy.  I speak on this point not just from 60 years of observation, but also from my own personal experience...no I never murdered another person (unless we count the abortion I urged a girlfriend to have...that is a whole other kind of life long guiltiness eased only by my hope that Christ has borne my guilt before Almighty God forever)  Rather my personal experience was with much lesser crimes like in my case things such as dealing drugs a young adult.  I did understand even then about  that police loved to turn busted user/buyers against their sellers in return for forgiveness as wonderful means of easily busting the seller.  And I knew they used all sorts of tricks and things like wire taps so I NEVER felt at ease...just on those relatively minor crimes (in comparison to murder!) made me miserable with many a nightmare waking me in a panicked sweat....I called those my police car dreams because often in my dreams there were cop cars  all over the place outside of my home.  I can tell you this about selling drugs, it is NOT "easy money" as so many will claim, not if one takes EVERYTHING that goes along with it!  Perhaps I am straying too far from the subject but I recall now that in addition to the "Police car dreams" I also had recurring dreams where I noticed that the drugs that I was selling had this really foul odor and that there these hard to see bugs and worms crawling all through them!  If illegal drugs produced those dreams, I can barely imagine the nightmares that being party to MURDER would inspire! Besides what I have brought up so far, we also ought to consider the physical danger many might feel that had played any role in murder ... After all, anytime there is more than one person involved in murder wheter you be a fellow executioner, or simply someone that became privy to the knowledge of the crime, you have to remember (how could anyone FORGET really?) that ANY person involved could be someone else's "loose end"  To be viewed as a "loose end" of course means that someone else will be more comfortable when you are finally DEAD!  So in between wishing that YOUR loose ends would curl up and die, you also are worrying that one of these loose ends may at anytime hatch a plot to HELP you curl up and die! .  I'll just close by reminding the reader of two very important things #1  Thou shall NOT commit murder and #2 Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  It is so much BETTER to love your enemy...better for YOU as well as him...or her.

Victor_carrillo78
Victor_carrillo78

Shit, Brett was my supervisor at target, hahaha, and I also knew TJ, wow

Maria Ruiz192
Maria Ruiz192

Oh my god I use to work at Fujitsu too with Jack in 1982 I am shocked, but glad that bitch Sandra is in jail and that piece of shit that killed him WAS ARRESTED RIP JACK!!!!!!

MC OED
MC OED

i don't know what afoot means either.  i mean, i don't read sir arthur conan boyle.  or is it doyle?  hahaha.

Marial
Marial

Shrauben is a jewish name,right?

Joe
Joe

Hey Mitch,

Your white pride is impressive!

mitch young
mitch young

Most of the white criminals featured on this blog are sorry specimens. But this guy looks bad ass. 

Soho_d J
Soho_d J

Why don't you offer to be his bitch Mitch?

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