Ghost of William S. Burroughs Burglarizing Yogurt, Sex-Toy Shops in the West Village

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Burroughs in 1965. Or was this picture taken last week? Photo: Evening Standard/Getty Images

This morning, Times heir/scribe A.G. Sulzberger tells us about an eerie series of robberies at small specialty shops in Greenwich Village. It's not just that these are not stores that normally have to deal with robberies at gunpoint. It's that the man just looks so ... familiar:

Nearly two weeks ago, an employee at the Eskimix Flavor Boutique, a frozen yogurt shop on Bleecker Street, noticed a man outside who shared the thin, pale face and prominent cheekbones of Mr. Burroughs, the writer and Beat icon who was once a fixture of the neighborhood, and who died in 1997. Moments later, the man walked into Eskimix and ordered a blueberry, raspberry and banana smoothie.

“I kept thinking about how he looked like the author William S. Burroughs,” the employee, Andrew Smith, 22, said. Then the customer pulled out a handgun, pointed it at Mr. Smith and calmly told him to empty the cash register. The man took the money and left the $6.45 Berrilicious smoothie behind.


Dum dum DUM. How scary is that? Police have identified 46-year-old Bronx resident Timothy Honey as a suspect, but we don't want to rule out the other possibility: William Burroughs himself has returned from the grave to haunt the old bohemian streets of the Village. Because if the ghost of the queer, majoun-chomping beat writer were to become a petty robber in Manhattan, he would definitely be found sticking up "a frozen yogurt shop, a sex-toy boutique, a Tibetan clothing and jewelry store and a gift shop catering to gay men."

A Robber in the Village Who Looks Improbably Familiar [NYT]