This August, a garage in Old Monroe, Missouri burst into flames. There had been more than a dozen similar fires over the past year, a suspiciously high number for a town with a population of 265. When police reviewed security footage, they spotted a white Chevrolet Lumina parked outside the building minutes before it caught fire. They traced the car back to local volunteer firefighter Dustin Grigsby, the 19-year-old son of a fire district captain. Grigsby told police that he set the fires because he "needed a release."
If you were writing a script for a movie, or perhaps an episode of "The Sopranos," and you needed a name for a retired warrant officer who bought a South Jersey bowling alley called Pike Lanes Family Fun Center, talked big about putting the competition out of business, and then burned down a beloved local landmark in order to do so, what's the best you could come up with? How about Steven Henry Smink? Yes, Smink. That's the name of the 47-year-old man accused of arson in the fire that gutted the 50-year-old Loyle Lanes bowling alley in Vineland in the early morning hours of January 11th.
Man, everyone is beating a hasty retreat from association with Brian Schroeder, who set fire to a chapel that contained the remains of 9/11 victims. The former editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review, also a former Duke theater major (wow), was on deferral package from the firm of Sidley Austin. (You remember those: getting well-paid to do pro bono work for a year?) Except now he is not, as his employment offer just evaporated. Anyway, at least the Jews are happy to sit this one out.