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Episode 166: On Fire

2021-06-04 | 🔗

On November 12th, 2012, the Accomack County volunteer fire departments got a call. An abandoned house had suddenly gone up in flames. And then, just hours later, a second fire was reported. Then a third. Over the next few months, there would be a lot more fires—nearly 90 in all. It was all anyone could talk about in Accomack. Someone was burning down the entire county.

Monica Hesse's book is American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Before we start we're in the final days of our radio Toby a fundraiser, thank you to everyone who is already donated were very grateful for years. if you haven't donated yet there is still time to join your fellow the sinners before the fundraiser ends on June twenty. Second, in the last year, the radio Tokyo community listened from almost every corner of the world to six hundred and forty eight new episodes across the network. If you spend time with us this year or told someone about something you heard on this podcast, I hope you'll make a gift today, at radio Toby Adopt FM. Every single gift makes a difference thanks very much and now here's the show, support for criminal comes from bright side, haven't felt like yourself for a while you to serve fast, personalized and effective help for your mental health. That's bright side
Bright side offers life, changing anxiety and depression care from your home connect with your ex provider online and get a personalized treatment plan of medication therapy or both within forty eight hours. Take your free mental health assessment and get up to one hundred dollars credit on your first month of treatment at bright side, dot, com, slash criminal, that's bright side, dot, com, sash criminal, This episode contains adult language, please use discretion, so there is an act that you can download in two thousand and twelve that went broadcast police scanner activity around you and there was a period of time in late without twelve in early, two thousand thirteen, where the third busiest unity where people were listening to police activity was New York and the second busiest was LOS Angeles and the first busiest play
is where people were listening to find out what crimes were happening with Accomac County Virginia because Everybody who is listening pending arsonist, Missus Sefton Movies, are made of these. You know these hallmark made for tv movies have been. It was in a. We got lots of stuff people offered volunteer. Fire Fox Marylin Delaware Virginia offered to come here and help us and we're like not stay home. Do don't get into mess we had offers from view. Equipment and I'm stunned, I'm actually stunned, that out of those fires, no far truck ever rolled over in any of our voters were heard. This is Jeff down into them. and twelve, he was the fire chief of a small volunteer fire department in tacitly Virginia He says for most of that year it was business as usual and his crew him, that too fires a week here
author and journalist, monarch, assay on November twenty third, the Volunteer Fire Department of Accomac County. I got a call for a fire that at first seems pretty routine. It was an abandoned how's that had suddenly gone up in flames, undone noble knew why it had gone up in flames have electricity, it didn't have it wasn't occupied, but it was a dry night, a lot of kids genes. You were out, maybe lighting bonfires. So at the time that you seems like this. Isn't it and in house that's caught on fire will put it out and go on with the rest of our lives. They put out the fire I'll get back to their to their fire departments. All start, putting away their houses and taking off there meant and their tired and their study. just as there are beginning to wrap up there.
Yet another alert for another fire The second fire that night was reported twelve miles away from the first, a woman had stepped outside to let her dog out and seen flames. To abandon farm buildings on her property, were burning down the firefighters headed back out and then less than ten minutes. After that, a third call came in and then they have three in a row and one night, and what first had seemed like a routine call suddenly starts to feel like a very odd evening, eat as one of the fire fighters described to me after the third fire. She just looked at her her colleagues and sort said so it's one of those nights, but they thought one of those nights meant it. Some kids, acting up. It's some vetoed drunk high school students. Getting into trouble
that point. They knew it was weird, but they really didn't know what they are getting into the very next night, a fourth fire was reported. Then a fifth and sixth one of the fire department officials describes common home from his father, their fists and thinking what is going on in my neck of the county. So he starts calling around. He starts calling around to his his chiefs. In other who work for other departments in saying I have the fire tonight. Did you ever fire tonight and when everybody says yeah, we what's going on at that point, he calls the calls the fire marshal any calls the Virginia State Police and he says, I don't know if you know what's going on, but I think we got an hour. Over the next few months, there would be even more fires, a lot more fires, Nearly ninety in all,
it was. All anyone could talk about an Accomac someone was burning down the entire county. I Phoebe judge this criminal tell me about the part the country that you live in its task, Virginia what it this is. A unique is kind of a special part of the country where you make to the fact that We are one hour from a metropolitan area, known as Virginia Beach are there in one hour, south of one in Maryland and I was very Maryland and world volunteer here, because it would just an hour outside of these metropolitan areas. And we are. at the station solely volunteer.
Come out counties on Virginias Eastern Shore, the narrow piece of land between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic. Accomac is just south of Maryland its best. on four June critique an island the term to wild horses. The county border is marked by a gas station called Dixie Land, that sells fireworks and souvenirs and has a soul, that reads, the south starts here in eighteen, eighty, four, a big Malta state railroad was built and it went directly through Accomac County by ninety ten. It was one of the wealthiest rural counties in the: U S, but by the middle of the twentieth century the Economic boom was long over people had cars and trucks and didn't have to rely on the railroad they start to take the more direct roots up and down the east coast. Like I ninety five
The decades people moved away and local businesses closed by two thousand twelve. There were hundreds of abandoned buildings and Accomac County, and it was quickly becoming clear. Someone was picking them off one by one and burning to the ground. All the houses that were burning down were uninhabited, and I've been uninhabited for years even decades, but what is really interesting is that they were. They were sort of. local landmarks, so someone just driving down rout. Thirteen might not know that these houses were about but they were, they were the sort of This is where someone might say you know it's that house. There is always a goat, tied up out front or its that house, where the turn is where the road always gets muddy. The arson set fire to an old airplane hangar, an old restaurant. No one was hurt.
in any of the fires, but people were worried, especially he thought someone could mistake. Their house for an abandoned house people put up sign, seeing someone lives here, please don't burned down, do state fire investigators were brought in they inspected each. In looking for footprints tire marks burn patterns, any evidence at all Accomac County is, perfect place for someone to light a fire and disappear. The houses are far apart on isolated by roads without many lights to sometimes the fires would burn unnoticed. Four hours by the time the police would be alerted, the arsonists would be long gone, they realized all they could really do, was wait for the next fire to be reported and hope that they might catch some one in the act. The county sheriff Todd. Godwin came up with a plan he put together.
Steve buildings. He thought the arsonists might target next, they were hundreds of options. Then he sent a deputy to a basque pro shop to by all the camouflaged. Hence they haven't stock. So you would have basically nightly camp out two men per pop ten sitting behind these abandoned properties with night vision, our goals and and walkie. Talkie is just watching these empty places to see if anyone stopped by there weren't fires every night, but there were fires, pretty darn close to it, and I got to the point where the fire departments just anticipated. They were gonna, be called out. So the way that the fire department and Accomac would typically work is that you would sleep at home, with your page or on, and if you got, if your page or went off, you would get in your car drive to the fire department and go out for the fire, but but they started realizing that that their pages, but going off every night. So so these young men,
and an older man, and it was mostly men would break laundry baskets full of clothes and basically move into the fire department because they knew That they were gonna get called out anyway, and because this was a volunteer, they're, running on no sleep and their having to get up and go to their day jobs. The next day, Facebook groups popped up with names. who's, trying to burn down Accomac county and arson and Accomac. The groups are mostly just full of gossip. It was clear. No one really knew anything, but most people thought that the art This must be someone local investigators agreed. Accomac was so remote. Why would end one go there night after night justice at all these fires. One man told the reporter: it's not just a plain Joe doing it it somebody that we all know and probably kind of a prominent part of people here on the shore.
we're going to know who he is for months have passed since the first fire, so their law enforcement had placed these. These cameras all over the county in spots that they thought were likely to be targeted and they were set up so that if one of the cameras caught movement it would ping the phones of of the law enforcement who was connected. So you'd get like a boy before a tremor. If the phone on north side, Rome went off or Bayside Road or seaside road went off and one night someone's camera had gotten something and so they raised to the scene to take down this camera and to try to preserve it for and to see what the camera had recorded and they look at it and they can't really what it is accepted. Its a shadowy figure walking away from the cap
Look at it and they look at it and finally, one of the fire marshal said. Gentlemen. I've seen enough ass to know that there is a woman we'll be right back. support for criminal comes from progressing. Are you thinking more about how to tighten up your budget? These days, drivers who saved by switching to progressive, safer seven hundred dollars on average and customers can qualify for an hour. which have six discounts when they signed a little off your rage. Each month goes a long way get a quote today and Progressive Doc
The progressive chastity insurance company in affiliates national annual average insurance savings by new customers surveyed in twenty twenty potential savings, will very discount very and are not available in all states and situations. On March, fifth, two thousand thirteen after four months of fires, investigators finally had led a photo emotion, detecting security camera, one of the many place throughout the county by the police, had captured an image of a person standing by an abandoned house by the time the
as to gaiters arrived on the scene. The person was gone and the house was consumed with flames. The photo was blurry and the person had their back to the camera. It looked like they were wearing a sweatshirt with the hood pulled up over their head. It was very hard to tell, but the investigators thought it might be, a woman for a long time. The investigators had been working with this theory that it might be too arsonists, and that was for a couple of reasons one because the house
those were so far out of the way that that you would have needed a car to get to them, but the county was so swarming with police that if someone had left their car by the side of the road to go light a fire, the police would have seen it so they thought. Well. Maybe this is a two person job, one guy stays in the car. One guy gets out to go light the fire and they assumed that if this was happening, it would have to be to people with a really close knit bond. Like a father sign or maybe two brothers- they never imagined that one of them would be a woman Tanya, but was born and raised in Accomac County her face they had been in the county for generations. Since the sixteen hundreds choose forty and lived in a small ranch house she had two kids and was a really devoted mom, a really good bomb, and so people knew her
from seeing her round school functions where she would bait cupcakes or she would always make sure her kids were dressed in clean and tidy clothes. She worked as a nursing assistant and in the evening people in town said she hung out at bar called suckers too said to have a lot of friends, peep wanted to wear what she was wearing and hang around her to buy her drinks. Someone said she's the queen own little world, They are one night in two thousand eleven when she met a man and his late thirties named Charlie Psmith, so Charlie Smith was. he was known to a lot of folks in the community as a sort of bashful shy screw up hooray a body shop and did good work for fair prices on your car
grown up in Accomac. He had struggled with the drug problem. He had gone to jail for a few times for things to support that drug problem, but but he seemed to want to do well and people kind of liked, Charlie people kind of liked how self effacing he was and how ass. He was about his own, his own mistakes and how he would say yeah. I messed up that time, so he was with some one that was known the community and dumb- and he also like alive of men in Accomac had volunteer with the fire department since a very young age. He was due to full and really passionate ball each year for the fire department He was a year and a half This whole time. It was a simple man and he was a magician. Doing body work and he was good to have on a call if you are doing what we can
busy highways well and we had multiple car accidents where we had to extricate people, and he was pretty amazing with the Java life in everything. Goes. He knew where to cut how to cook. Where would be the heart pointed to the body in them. Pliable points a word to get people out. He was a valuable asset and then he disappeared Jeff Bell says he sees that a lot. If there's any and of change in someone's life, a new job, a new baby. They might have to give firefighting up Charlie. It was a new relationship with tiny binding when we first met at checkers. Charlie thought Tanya was way out of his leak. According to my I see a mutual friend told Charlie Tanya wants to have your number in her phone shortly after she invited him over Her sons from a previous relationship had a new play station and she said she wanted him to help them set it up.
They spent more and more time together. Eventually, Charley was the first to say: I love you Antonia teased him about how nervous he was to say it. But then, a few days later, Charlie got a series of text messages from Tanya eight messages in total, each containing just one letter spelling out. I love, Soon, after that, Charlie moved in with Tanya under two sons but your wallet and painted their beds pink in purple, they created Facebook page under the name teacher and wrote it goes back and forth for everyone to see once You posted having Terry chicken and vegetable straight from the oven for dinner. and, from the same account, Charlie responded its charm? You make the best Teriyaki Chicken Young, a few months into their relationship trolleys.
it is on auto body shop and an old post office. Building There is more room than he needed, so he suggested Tanya could start around business that way They could be together all the time she agreed cited to open a small boutique. as Tanya put it. She wanted to sell going out clothes inexpensive prices Charlie put us outside the building that Red Charlie's, auto body and beneath tat was the name of Tommy's clothing, store. A tiny tasted. dude toot was her nickname. It was what Her father had called her when she was little near the end of two thousand eleven Charlie bought a ring he took Tawny out to lunch to propose he was so nervous. He kept having to leave the table to try and collect himself in the parking lot. He ended up are the ring underneath the table
it's getting down on one knee like planned, Tanya said yes, but she wanted a different proposal sided. Charlie would propose on her birthday at checkers in front of everyone. They coordinated their outfits. They both were yellow to match the cake. There was a barbie cake, Tanya like Twin Charlie, said she looked like Barbie this time. He got down on one knee. They start planning a wedding, Tanya told everyone he's gonna, be big more than three hundred guests were there. Corruption at truckers, even though the details have been finalized. she told people to rsvp as soon as possible. She said security will be tight. Tom. You told friends, the wedding theme would be November rain guns and roses music video. She liked people thought that was strange because in the video a couple gets married, but a storm interrupts. The reset
and the bride dies in the end just fell, so Charley was looking for any extra work. He could go. to afford the wedding Tawny wanted Jeff, who knew Charlie well, told him. It all seem too expensive. He worried Tanya was asking too much of him. Charlie got mad and he and Jeff didn't we They speak after that. I cannot comment on the relationship because I saw Tanya at his shop. I didn't communicate with her. First two times I saw her there. I was like some painted or some like this. You know I've been electronic. Can you paint a roof of my old floor for me to paint build off, and I want to sell it you're sure she would, sit. There were in a hoodie with the hood pull down and she be looking into ground, but I never can indicated with her nothing you know, and it was that was it once. The fires began Jeff Bell had other things to worry about one evening. He got a call
whispering. Pines is burning down, whispering pines at once. Popular resort. It was built in ten thirty one and was a well? on vacation spot for people travelling from New York to Florida. This by far the biggest fire, yet a man who drive Where the scene later said it look like hell was coming up through the ground, it took the firefighters nearly six hours to put it out Jeff Bell remembers telling the neighbours across the street to get out there garden hoses just in case when it was finally over, he was interviewed. On television. The reporter Clio Green asked him. If he had a message for the arsonists us again take a break. We need one very next night. His Peter went off again
dude. It was starting to feel like the fires would never end and then, on April first, someone finally saw something too of the men in tents men who had come from other parts of Virginia and had been had been up kind of freezing or buts off in this pop ten, behind an abandoned property on airport road. It's there last night there there are ready to go home, they ve been out in Accomac for a couple of weeks, it's cold and they are about to give up their about to go back and be reassigned, but instead late at night, they look up and they see this
an pull up to the house that they're watching and someone gets out of the ban. The figure runs toward toward the house that they're watching. And the officers know that something is going on, but they also know they can't go after the guy, because getting out of a ban in front of an abandoned property is not a crime there, trying to catch and arsonist. They have to wait till this figure tries to late something on fire and that's exactly what happens? The figure gets some kind of rag and at a later and he lights, the rag on fire and sort of stuff sit under the sideboard of this house. And takes a while to get it lit, but finally he does. Finally, the rag is blazing. Another figure turns and runs back away from the house. The minivan pulls up again. it drives away and that's when they
radio in that they ve got something and the dancers barreling down airport road and a half mile down the police Lloyd over. We heard on the radio we think they got him, that the police have em pulled over. You know half a quarter to half a mile from the scene and our truck saw it when they were gone up supply Water, and we heard him say on a radio. We think we think they got nobody knew. I was so tired. I came home and to send a message to the guys on the tanker Let me know if you need anything, I'm going home, I'm going to bed and I never heard back from him and then the following morning. I was, They also I was sleeping in. I was dog, tired and my wife came in and she had been preparing she's a teacher and shoes
go to school and she turned on the news and it gave his name and showed his picture, and she came in the room and just screamed at me. It's Charlie and I woke up. You know out of a dead sleep and I'm like, but what the hell does he want. I thought he was at the door, and I said what does he want and she goes he's. The fn arsonists and I was like no way. No one suspected him, no one. None of us, none of us suspected him and he was it. He worked in a body shop. There was it you just didn't we caught pretty much everyone off guard. By that point, how many fires had been set in Accomac by the time, The police pulled Charlie Antonia over more than
Eighty fires close to ninety had been sat in a four month period. These questions, Charlie Psmith Antonia, Abundant separately Tanya, said she and Charlie had been out for a drive, something they did often together, and Tanya says he asked her to stop. the van and let him out so that he could pay rises I did the road and she did that and then she went back and picked him up again and that she, had no idea that he had used that time to go light a fire. She had no idea that he'd lead any of the other fires. She couldn't account for her time, at night but then again, most The fires happens late at night when she would have been sleep, anyway. So how could she account for her time? Charley was questioned by Sheriff Todd, Godwin and Virginia State Police investigator Robert Barnes, and he now
was he knows both of these guys. They go way back, he's known them for a long time and he comes clean pretty quickly to say that yeah He let the fires, it was him. But he doesn't say is that he had any help. He heaps trying to take all the blame and and the sheriff and and their police investigator keep going after him and saying you know it's. I think it's real they're gonna be be best for you. If you just come, really clean with what happened and they keep asking If there was something if there was some
then going on in his life. If there was something that caused him to do this Charlie, we ve known you for a long time. What would make you do something like this and finally after hours and its two o clock in the morning, Charlie just says: fuck, it I'll come clean and he decides that he's gonna to tell it all, and what to say what are you launches into? Is this weird sad love story What he starts talking about is how much he loves Tanya and how she's, the best thing that happened to women, and he knows she's too good for him and how. he was always afraid of losing her.
He knew he was gonna lose her because of this problem that he was having and the problem was a bedroom problem. He couldn't satisfy her here because he couldn't perform and that was killing em, and so they end up lighting all of these fires because he thinks it's the only way to keep her happy, Charlie told cheer of Godwin. I really fell in love with the skirt and most people that I've been within the past. They were just there. I settled for all of them, even the ones I was with four years. I was never happy with them and I was happy with this one. He told police they hadn't had sex and almost eighteen months and that he was very rate of losing her. They were just in a really low spot and
and Charlie says that he told Tanya Hill Do whatever it takes to keep her happy and their driving pass. This abandoned house Antonia says get out and let that house on fire and Charlie in Charlie's recollection Charlie sort of laughs like he thinks it's a joke, but then Tanya poles over because she's the one is driving and says to get out and that the house on Fire- and he still thinks it's a joke, but decides to just kind of play along and go pretend to set them, was on fire and when he returns, Tanya seems later somehow. She, teams happier, she seems like setting up something in flames, really helped let go of of whatever was way.
On her, so they drive around and they drive around and Antonia keeps wanting to drive by the house again and saying: why isn't it burning Finally, Charlie admits that it's not burning because he didn't Ashley laid on fire he he thought that it was a joke, and at that point he realizes that it's not a joke so, they do go set on fire and they do burned down, and then they burn down. Eighty houses after that, so with Charlie says, is basically he's he's Mercedes he's not satisfying Tanya. He he is sleeping with her ease worried, I mean it seems like he's kind of madly in love, with her knees, terrified that she's gonna leave him in. So if this is
but she wants a light. The fires yeah. He thinks that Tanya is this beautiful? smart, lovely woman who here doesn't even know why she's with them- and he doesn't I fully understand how our mind works, but if, if this is what she wants, Then how do what it takes? An what it takes he decides is lighting up, half the county
Charlie walked Sheriff Godwin through the fires there had been eighty six he sat on the beginning. Tanya was the one who, but most of them, because she was the one who he said. I ve got the most out of lighting the fires, but he said that after a while there was once fell where, where she came to close to getting caught, and then he couldn't, he couldn't stand the thought of her get into trouble when she had kids who depended on her and who needed her? So he said that he would like the others. So, in his recollection, Tanya lit the first handful the first dozen or so and then they settled into a pattern where she would drop him off and he would go do the deed at one point: an arsenal investigators. Ass, Charlie quote, was it like a relief for her Charlie answered? I think so. The investigator asked
curly. If there were any fires he liked more than others. Charlie said I hated every night still for a while Charlie in time you were both held at the Accomac jail witches a tiny little place, because it doesn't really need to be much bigger is the kind of place Where the visitors room is also the janitors closet, so if you visit an inmate there, you'll probably do so room with a bucket and a mob. So far away both of them were held at the Accomac jail one on the women side, one on the men side and Charlie's does they were, they would communicate, they would communicate by. Form of leaving each other notes in the prison yard. For the other two five. and when they were walking around for their scheduled exercise time. Try the entire would conceal their notes back and forth. In chopsticks tubes in one Charlie wrote I'm out,
you scared. If I get too much time, I'll lose you sometimes I dont think you really know just much I love you eventually, Tanya was based on bail while Charlie State in and then they community hated by by a letter and Tanya would right Charlie frequently and he would write her frequent and the content of the letters was that they, they still planned to get married. They were gonna get married while Charlie, in jail. They were gonna, they were gonna, come somehow salvage. All of this and stay together at the end was she. To get him to take the blame. Did you go that you're trying to manipulate Charlie. You got the sense that
Maybe she wanted them to be married because then they wouldn't have to testify against each other that they would have some sort of spousal protection. You got the sense that Yeah she was she wanted, Charlie to take. The blame whether that was because that's what they had agreed on before that but she thought was fair now worse or she thought he really was at fault. but she wanted him to to say he had lied and that it wasn't. She didn't have anything to do with it. It was all him around this time sheriff I visited Charlie in jail? He told Charlie. There was something he should know he said, if she really loved you why, on bond seeing another guy.
The sheriff showed him photocopies of letters. Tawny had written from jail addressed to another man. The letters were graphic Charley was devastated. He reluctantly agreed to testify against Tanya under some per second, two thousand thirteen Tanya was arrested for the second time, and this time she was charged with sixty one additional counts of arson. Her trial would place across the trust, a peak be bridge in Norfolk. Virginia it couldn't take place, an academic. There was just no way they would have been able to get a jury of of twelve people who were in impacted by the fires. Everybody, everybody either owned a burning property or knew somebody who did the first trial took place on January 13th. Two thousand and fourteen Tanya's lawyer had asked to try each charge one by one hundred and sixty two separate trials,
started with the most recent count of arson from the night Tanya and Charlie were arrested. Charley was brought into testify and what tin, Charlie say it at the trial. So at the trial, Charlie said what he'd sort of been saying all along, which was that he hadn't wanted to light these fires. Tanya had he was doing what it took to keep her, he still loved her. He was sorry
but that they had done this together. Was it clear that he was emotional distraught at having to testify against Tanya include her Charlie seemed and the journalists were watching. The trial commented amongst themselves that Charlie seemed really broken a few times tiny. His attorneys said things that seemed designed to make him really angry And everybody said you know where they were just waiting to see Charlie explode and he never really dead. He never seemed angry. He mostly just seem sad time. Familiar tried to argue that Charlie's, testimony against her was unreliable. The Charlie love Tanya so much. He would say anything to keep her from going free, while he spent time in prison. He asked Charlie. You know
you're in here and she's out there she's not gonna, wait around. Don't you, Charlie, replied. Well, yes, I'm concerned about that. Tanya testified the next day she sat on the night of April? First, Jean Charles, went to Walmart to buy birthday presence for her sons, Charlie, wanted by Steak and Tanya told him. No, they were on a budget, they started fighting. They got back in the car. Tanya such he told Charlie. If things are too hard to deal with, all you gotta do is walk. Tanya said I asked her to stop the car and let him out tongue. You said he after a little while later to come, pick him up and she did and then she said the cops just came out of nowhere. Monica ass, he was at the trial. She reported. The tiniest lawyers were worried. They thought Charlie had come across
in his testimony is honest and kind of dumb. The prosecution had characterize Tanya as the one who's in control and very capable of manipulating so Tanya lawyers recommended that she enter and Alfred Clean, a plea that acknowledges that there is sufficient evidence to find her guilty without her should the admitting killed ITALY go mechanism that allows you to formally enter guilty plea, while asserting that you did not commit a crime. The hope is that you may get a lighter sentence in the second trial. There is a new character: witness for Tanya a man named Frank Dickerson. He testify the Tanya was brutally honest and that it.
Wouldn't be in her nature to commit arson. When the prosecution question Frank, they revealed that he was Thomas new boyfriend. She did not enter and Alfred plea in the second trial jury found her guilty and she still had sixty trials ahead of her Tanya fired. lawyer and found a new one. Her third trials scheduled to begin in April of two thousand fifteen, but them running before it began, the prosecutor got a phone call. Tanya wanted to arrange a deal. She decided to enter another offered plea, but not just for this trial. this time the plea was for all remaining counts. She was sentenced,
seventeen and a half years and total. Two days later, Charlie, who had pledged guilty from the start, was sentenced to fifteen years. The two it already served in the Accomac jail counted, one of the things that, after Charlie and on your were caught that need this story. they so popular was that it became a story about sex. The way the media would describe it is that they would go. There would go lights hang on fire and it would really turn them mine and then they would have like a night of passionate making it's not really what happened because the fire didn't help Charlie perform in bad? They still work having sex that the fund. There wasn't stoking their sexual passion. It was.
It was more of an emotional bomb, so it wasn't lake ass. It wasn't like a sexy arson story. It was like a sad arson, love story, which I always thought was much more nuanced and kind of much more painful right that this was a type grand gesture. That was the feeling for the ways in which he might not have felt like he was being adequate TED Titania we could at least do this right Ray, and this is what she was asking him to do right, Only abundant and Charlie Psmith, currently incarcerated Jeff Bow is still the fire chief. For the tacitly Volunteer fire department, you're still a fire fighter. Yes, why he'll keep doing at what? What do you love about the
I find it a challenge, it's more of a challenge today than it was in the seventies when I started out as a kid doin it- and I just do it because I still do it. I can't do it I'm only sixty three Kemal Gimme a break. You'll never see another year like two thousand twelve. Ever again, very disheartening was George slap in the face for US butter, Neighbours in the community was very supportive of us. Nothing has changed, cars are standing in. The committee met effect, I'm sitting right here now. Talking to you, know new firehouse, that people merely gave money towards and everything in it But we're still going on, we wished elaborating. Can you fire house was built right across the street, from the sight of Charlie Antonius largest fire. The old hotel, whispering
Criminal is created by born spore and me. Needy Watson is our senior producer. Susanna Rob hence our producer engineering digress, Henry What do you mean by John, even seven's, Michael ratio and Rob buyers of final finally to Julian Alexander, original illustrations preach episode of criminal. You can see them. This is criminal dot com. Monica has his book. Is american fire love, arson and life in a vanishing land you can follow us online and let us know what you think the story where, if you than another Are you like to hear us cover we're on twitter at criminal show in the grand at criminal underscore podcast and on Facebook at this criminal court. was recorded in the studio of North Carolina public radio to be you and see where a proud member of Radio Toby from corrects a collection of the best podcast around
I'm Phoebe Judge this criminal, Radio do me before we go. We want to tell you, but a new pod cast serious from radio Tokyo called blind eye travels. It's a part of radio Tokyo presents a pot cast the Dubuque Limited, run artist on series from new and original voices law
I travelled is written in hosted by Matthew, Schiffer and a twenty three year old college student and musician has also blind from birth. You'll join Matthew as experiences a marks brothers comment, create an online dating profile, collaborates with Lego to develop instructions for blind builders and prepares for college graduation. By the end of the series, you may see your own world differently wine. I travels as an official selection of the twenty twenty one Tribeca film Festival as part of the festivals. First, ever podcast line up, you can find out more listen, unsubscribe at Red Utopia, presence, DOT, FM.
Transcript generated on 2021-06-30.