Early this morning, veteran Kaufman, Tex. County prosecutor Mark E. Hasse, pictured above, was walking across an employee parking lot near the courthouse there like he probably has countless of times. But today was different: at least one gunman hopped out of a Ford Taurus and murdered him in broad daylight before speeding off. Witnesses described a scene that seemed ripped straight from a million generic Hollywood films: the assailants were wearing masks, vests and all-black clothing.
Mystery solved, sort of: It seems reasonably clear to me that Daniel Kaufman, a.k.a., Dan Kay, a.k.a. Dan Katze, a.k.a. the Busted Chef, a.k.a. the Montauk Grifter, never actually worked as a producer on Hell's Kitchen, as he repeatedly claimed to the people he conned. But he definitely managed to convince several of the show's former contestants that he worked there, which is some fairly acrobatic grifting.
Yesterday, we brought you the tale of Daniel Kaufman, a.k.a. Dan Kay, a.k.a. Dan Katze, the preternaturally prolific conman who told his victims, among many other things, that he was a world-class chef and a producer on Hell's Kitchen and Chopped—even though he can't cook. Since then, we've learned that he probably did manage to grift his way onto Hell's Kitchen. Also: We've gotten tons of emails from people who have crossed Dan's path, which we've published below.
He is Dan Kaufman, Dan Kay, Dan Katze. He is a celebrity chef, an internet entrepreneur, a television producer. He has worked for Apple, Google, AOL, the Rainbow Room. He hangs out with Steve Case, Gordon Ramsey, Tim Armstrong. He's a world-class surfer, a AAA baseball legend, the founder of a seminal punk band. He's one of the more persistent and obsessive grifters to ply the streets of New York City—not to mention online dating sites—in recent decades.