Writer Susan Orlean Susan Orlean is a staff writer at The New Yorker. In 1994 she wrote a profile of David Friedman, one of the Friedman sons. David was known as Silly Billy, a popular clown who was a favorite at children's birthday parties in New York City. David's father and brother were accused of molesting children, and the family's story is told through their own home movies in the documentary film Capturing the Friedmans. Orlean is also the author of the best-selling book, The Orchid Thief.