Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Arsonist Gets Day in Court

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:09 am

This is from Wednesday, and I am dilatory in posting on it. Still, a fascinating story on Harry Burkhart, the man who set dozens of fires in Southern California, apparently in an attempt to terrorize Americans.

In the video, you hear that prosecutors believe Burkhart set numerous fires because he was angry about extradition proceedings involving his mother. The prosecutor arguing against bail in the video gets the distinction of being able to say the f-word — in court! in front of his boss! — as he quotes the suspect saying “Fuck all Americans” at his mother’s hearing. (The TV bleeped it out, of course.) Hours later, the fires started.

Later in the story we learn a bit more about some of the evidence against Burkhart. According to the story, a U.S. Marshal remembered the above outburst and notified authorities after seeing Burkhardt on a televised surveillance video. We are told that police found bombmaking material in Burkhart’s vehicle — always damning evidence in a case of domestic terrorism. We are also told that police found newspaper articles about the fires in his apartment, as well as newspaper articles about similar car fires in Germany. The story reports that he was also a suspect in a fire at a residence of his in Germany.

Steve Cooley is quoted in the story as saying that the series of crimes “merits a life term” in light of “the harm he did to the psyche of the citizens of these particular communities and all of Los Angeles County.” I am going to boldly agree with my boss here. Terrorists, including domestic terrorists, victimize not only their immediate victims, but also terrorize entire communities and wreak havoc in people’s lives. A life term certainly seems appropriate for someone who engages in a campaign of domestic terrorism of this nature.

UPDATE: This is the second post in recent weeks that seems incapable of taking comments. It is set up to take comments, but for some reason the software is not cooperating. I just tried to submit one as a test and could not. So if you’re trying to comment on this post and failing, it’s not just you.

UPDATE x2: Given the technical glitch, I have disabled comments for the post, but created a new page where you can leave your comments. Comments to this post can be left here.

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