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    Default Arrests made in the Alabama Church fires!

    Straight from MSNBC ,
    Fox News ,

    A local note for flavor: Birmingham Southern is a very exclusive and respected liberal arts college that was founded prior to the civil war. If I remember correctly, it also has an affiliation with the United Methodist Church. In other words, these two aren't bored local rednecks.

    --------------------
    Two Men Arrested in String of Alabama Church Fires
    Wednesday, March 08, 2006

    Police arrested two men Wednesday in connection with a string of rural church fires that plagued Alabama in early February.

    Ben Moseley, 19, and Russell Debusk were taken into custody early Wednesday, officials said, and charged with conspiracy and individual counts in the arsons at five Bibb County churches and four in west Alabama.

    A third suspect is still being sought.

    Police said they did not receive any tips to lead to the arrest and that it was due to "old-fashioned police work."

    Moseley and Debusk are students at the Birmingham Southern College and are expected to appear in federal court today. A press conference will be held early Wednesday afternoon.

    A joint federal-state task force has been investigating nine rural church arsons since Feb. 3. Those 10 involved church break-ins, with fires started inside. They also were all rural Baptist churches.

    Police had been looking for a pair of "bosom buddies," possibly two white males seen in a sport utility vehicle near a number of the fires.

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    Police said they did not receive any tips to lead to the arrest and that it was due to "old-fashioned police work."
    Important note to budding fire investigators. EVERY arson investigation becomes a criminal investigation when the science of the fire scene is completed. "Police work" means boring, tedious, painstaking investigation. Following up pon leads twice or three times. Talking, talking, talking to people. Good people, bad people, criminals, scumbags alike. Shutting your mouth and opening your ears when important.

    There is usually no glory in this phase. There are no cameras or reporters.

    It also means working WITH all levels of investigative assistance, whether it is the BATF NRT or Barney Fife. Check all egos at the door.

    That is the difference to whether an arson case goes down or not. This was an outstanding investigation.

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    The latest from Fox News says the third suspect is in custody and investigators have a confession from one of them.

    George, this MSNBC story talks about some of that good old fashioned police work.
    Last edited by EFD840; 03-08-2006 at 03:55 PM. Reason: Hit submit before I was finished

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Important note to budding fire investigators. EVERY arson investigation becomes a criminal investigation when the science of the fire scene is completed. "Police work" means boring, tedious, painstaking investigation. Following up pon leads twice or three times. Talking, talking, talking to people. Good people, bad people, criminals, scumbags alike. Shutting your mouth and opening your ears when important.

    There is usually no glory in this phase. There are no cameras or reporters.

    It also means working WITH all levels of investigative assistance, whether it is the BATF NRT or Barney Fife. Check all egos at the door.

    That is the difference to whether an arson case goes down or not. This was an outstanding investigation.

    We start a two week Arson course tonight at drill. Unfortunatly I cannot attend this evening but I will keep your advice in mind next week.


    p.s.- What is the NRT??
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    The news here is reporting one was a volly and a member of one of the churches torched.

    FTM-PTB

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    Here's a link to the US Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Alabama. There is a link to a pdf of the criminal complaint on the page.

    FFFred, I just watched a joint news conference on the case and neither of those things were mentioned. Not saying they won't turn out to be true, but nothing like that is being reported locally.

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    It was a quick blurb on News radio...we'll see if it is true.

    FTM-PTB

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    FFFred, I don't think the info you heard is going to be true. There are still no local stories with that information.

    There are a some local stories that give insight into these guys. WSFA TV has a story that talks about some postings one made on a social networking website. Click on the clip titled "Arson suspects post cryptic messages online". The Montgomery Advertiser where friends describe them 'goofy', 'personable', etc. Finally, NBC 13 had this:

    Friends Call Accused Men Smart, Involved In School

    If the men did set the churches on fire as they are accused of doing, their friends said they offered no hints about what they allegedly did. All three are described as smart, involved in school and having a bit of a wild streak, NBC 13 reported.

    Across Birmingham Southern College's tight-knit campus, where both DeBusk and Moseley go to school, words such as "shocked" and "stunned" flowed freely from students' mouths on Wednesday.

    DeBusk and Moseley are active in the theater program and were preparing for an upcoming play based on Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."

    "This is not anything that would be remotely expected. I was extremely shocked," said BSC junior Martin Landry, who spent several hours a day with Moseley and DeBusk in theater practice.

    DeBusk graduated from Hoover High School, where he was active in drama and debate. An entire page in the yearbook showed his many interests. His parents wrote to him, "Always know that you are loved and we will always be there for you."

    Moseley had a similarly robust resume upon graduating from Clay-Chalkville High School.

    "We were in chamber, theater, SGA, homecoming king, heritage panel, peer helper. This kid did everything," said Joseph Marshall, a friend.

    Marshall, who has been friends with Moseley since third grade, described his friend as talented and funny.

    "Everybody loves that kid. I've never met one kid who doesn't like Ben Moseley," Marshall said.

    Cloyd, the third suspect, used to go to Birmingham Southern with DeBusk and Moseley, but transferred to UAB last fall. Cloyd was an honors student at Oak Mountain High School.

    Marshall knew all three suspects, and said they were drawn to each other through their interests in theater and music and because of their fun-loving personalities.

    At Wednesday's news conference announcing the arrests, Jana Wright stuck up for her friends.

    "They never expressed any anti-religious views, so it's completely shocking to see people who haven't expressed views like that do something like that," Wright said.

    Wright hopes her friends aren't judged as bad people, but as good people who are accused of making bad decisions.

    The vice president of the Intrafraternity Council at Birmingham Southern issued a statement on Wednesday saying that students were "dumbfounded" by the day's events. The statement added that the campus stands united in its commitment to learning, discussion and the advancement of human dignity.

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    Not sure of the validity or accuracy of this, but on the morning radio news there was a comment that the first fire was set as a prank, and that the subsequent fires were done to 'cover up' the first one.
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    Default Hey FFFred, I found where your blurb came from...

    Of course, after I post I find the info that most likely triggered the news story FFFred heard and posted about.

    Here are AP bios on the three suspects:

    Ben Moseley

    Here's what probably triggered the story FFFred heard: Moseley's father is an elected Jefferson County constable and an appointed member of the board that oversees the Center Point Fire District. Not a firefighter, but close enough to trip up a reporter.

    Russell DeBusk

    If this excerpt is accurate, this might be a hate crime after all: Friends said he and Ben Moseley were Satanists, which DeBusk told friends was "not about worshipping the devil, but about the pursuit of knowledge," according to Burgess...Burgess said he and DeBusk discussed religion loosely, debating whether pets go to heaven and what heaven looks like. "He told me I was one of the more intelligent Christians he's talked to," Burgess said. "Coming from a Satanist, I didn't know quite how to interpret that."

    Matthew Lee Cloyd

    Here's an excerpt from that story that sure seems to clash with the Mr. Normal image portrayed in some of the other posts: Cloyd needed the SUV for deer hunting, a passion so strong he lists a hunting guide, "Hunting Whitetails by the Moon," as his favorite book on Facebook...By college, soccer was still an interest. But he added "killing innocent animals, running over squirrels with my 4runner" and "alcoholic libations."
    Last edited by EFD840; 03-09-2006 at 11:04 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EFD840
    Of course, after I post I find the info that most likely triggered the news story FFFred heard and posted about.

    Here are AP bios on the three suspects:

    Ben Moseley

    Here's what probably triggered the story FFFred heard: Moseley's father is an elected Jefferson County constable and an appointed member of the board that oversees the Center Point Fire District. Not a firefighter, but close enough to trip up a reporter.

    Russell DeBusk

    If this excerpt is accurate, this might be a hate crime after all: Friends said he and Ben Moseley were Satanists, which DeBusk told friends was "not about worshipping the devil, but about the pursuit of knowledge," according to Burgess...Burgess said he and DeBusk discussed religion loosely, debating whether pets go to heaven and what heaven looks like. "He told me I was one of the more intelligent Christians he's talked to," Burgess said. "Coming from a Satanist, I didn't know quite how to interpret that."

    Matthew Lee Cloyd

    Here's an excerpt from that story that sure seems to clash with the Mr. Normal image portrayed in some of the other posts: Cloyd needed the SUV for deer hunting, a passion so strong he lists a hunting guide, "Hunting Whitetails by the Moon," as his favorite book on Facebook...By college, soccer was still an interest. But he added "killing innocent animals, running over squirrels with my 4runner" and "alcoholic libations."

    Yep that might have been it....it is old news here so I haven't heard anything else. Interesting background story.

    FTM-PTB

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    Wright hopes her friends aren't judged as bad people, but as good people who are accused of making bad decisions.
    Uh, sure, whatever.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    ...An article in the Richmond Times Dispatch this morning suggested that alcohol may have been a factor in the arsons...

    Ya THINK???
    ...South of the James...By Invitation Only!

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