Still searching for Brux's killer

Residents describe victim as eccentric, but not a street person

Posted: Sunday, May 28, 2000

Police are still investigating the death of Daniel Brux, 36, found beaten to death in his downtown apartment last Monday morning.

Some local residents, meanwhile, are concerned Brux is perceived by the general public as a street person and want to correct that impression.

``He had brain surgery from a bad automobile accident when he was in high school,'' said John Schauwecker, who worked with Brux for four or five months in central mail services for the state 10 years ago. ``He really wanted to work, to have a family, but he was challenged -- which made him a little cantankerous. But I don't know him to have been a drinker.''

``I was very sorry to hear what happened to him,'' Schauwecker said. ``Some of my co-workers called him `Dangerous Dan,' but only because he couldn't see when he was whipping boards around. His personality could strike people as odd, but he seemed harmless.''

Brux ``wasn't a vagrant,'' Schauwecker said firmly. ``He was trying hard.''

People who dine at the Glory Hole as Brux often did are commonly perceived as ``street people'' although they may not fit that description, said Sgt. Troy Wilson of the Juneau Police Department.

``If you eat there, you get lumped into that category,'' Wilson said.

Although Brux could be friendly, he could also be intimidating. For example, in 1999 he was convicted of assault for breaking an ashtray over a man's head because the head was blocking his view of the Super Bowl.

``But he never intimidated me because I stood right up to him,'' said shoe repairman John Lager, owner of Family Shoe Repair and one of many downtown businessmen who remember Brux.

``He got his shoes fixed here and he tended to haggle over every buck,'' said Lager. ``If you said $60, the next day he would come in and say, `Well, I've got the $58.'''

Poet Rebecca Yates was another local resident with a positive impression of Brux.

``He was not a street person; he was a very nice man,'' Yates said. ``He was not a person who looked for trouble, but there were some people who picked on him.''

``I will miss Daniel,'' Yates said. ``I met him at Heritage Cafe several years ago. We talked frequently. He was a very sweet, gentle man, and he never asked anybody for money. He was always clean and neat.''

``He dealt very well with his head injury. He talked to people if they talked to him, but he wasn't obtrusive. He cared about Juneau and he cared about people in Juneau.''

``He wanted to contribute. He wanted to have jobs,'' Yates said. ``I can't imagine anybody doing this to him, because he was not a drug person, not a drinking person and I never saw him associating with any questionable elements.''

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