Setting up the
- All of these cases have the same MO: a gasoline-soaked tire starts the blaze.
- One of the locations (which was hit twice) had an ongoing housing dispute.
- Slices of toast are terrible witnesses, but make an excellent breakfast. Interrogated one for seemingly obvious connection, knew nothing. Sent downtown on unrelated charges.
We started by filling in a map of the fire locations over some brews. I had one printed from Google which covered the area I thought most of them were. Using local sources, we painted a picture of a neighborhood in flames.
- Jamaica Plain Gazette
- Another from the Gazette
- Universal Hub
- The Metro
(this is the article that started the whole thing)
We felt it was a good moment to take a break for some real hard vice. So we went through a half dozen vegan peanut butter cookies I'd baked the night before.
That's when a beep sounded from Franklin's pocket, and he spent a few minutes on the horn with his dame while I filled in the calendar with some dates. Despite misreading one of the Franklin's notes on the map, I did notice a pattern develop over the last few months. With the exception of March, there has been at least one fire every month since December. Which means three things:
- Something set him off, what Forensic Shrinks refer to as a "Stresser"
- Something stopped him in March.
- The Boys in Red have been kept busy.
There was a moment of panic when I smelled burning, and we thought that the arsonist had already tracked us here, to our office. Then I remembered we were still smoking cigars--those things'll kill you.
One other angle we needed to explore was where he was getting these tires from, and how he was transporting them. If he is getting them from a junkyard, which junkyard? My initial take on the Auto Body Shop was that it was an anomaly and he used it to restock on tires--however, uncovering the other articles proved that the houses were the anomalies. So the big questions we were left with were:
- Where was he getting the tires, and how was he lugging them?
- What is the connection? If it is race, how was he choosing targets?