L.A. Weekly Helps Solve String of Arson Fires

september 25, 2008  09:11 am
While investigating a string of rubbish fires started in trashcans near bus shelters this summer, Los Angeles Fire Department arson investigators caught a break when they found a witness who saw a man with a copy of the Weekly sticking out of his back pocket leaving the scene. Arson investigator John Little found the alleged arsonist strolling down the street, carrying a ripped out section of the Weekly in his back pocket. Little says he also found a "time delayed device" wrapped in burnt pieces of the paper in the trashcan. "It was a real CSI type thing," says Little. "We recovered newspaper out of the trash container and opened it up and saw a matchbook device. The section that was ripped out matched the papers in his back pocket ... He would set the newspaper down there and go across the street and watch." The 64-year-old suspect has been charged with arson. "And to think I believed copies of the newspaper flew off the racks because our readers couldn't get enough of our Calendar section," writes Christine Pelisek. "Guess again!"