Thursday, December 4, 2008


I am having some difficulty with my paper, there is plenty of information available to me, but I am unsure how to incorporate it into the paper. I have written over the topic of causes, I have mentioned many different types of arsonists. What can be done for these arsonists has also been mentioned, I gave a paragraph about prevention and what programs are available to help prevent a child or adult from becoming an arson. I have written about the psychological aspect of arson and also on Firefighter arson. I am still only about four pages into my paper and I am struggling to come up with four more pages worth of information that I can present and then give my opinion on.

Another struggle for my is my works cited page, I believe I am doing it correctly, but I am still unsure about some of them. I have the required amount of sources both "dead tree" an on-line. It is my belief that I will be able to pull this paper together, it may take some dedication and motivation. but I believe it is possible.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


While I was continuing to write my research paper, it crossed my mind that I really did not know when arson had started being investigate. I tried looking up when the first recorded case of arson was, but with no success, what little information I found suggested that arson is a fairly young criminal act, and since very few arsonists are ever caught there is not a whole lot of information on said cases.

Arson history may not be very detailed, but arson has excited throughout the centuries in fact I remembered that in fact one of the worse supposed cases of arson a cured as far back as 64AD when the Roman Emperor Nero was said to have intentional set fire to Rome so that he could build a more beautiful Rome. I have yet to complete the search throughout history on some of the other cases of supposed arson, but I believe that I will continue to find more and more cases of arson as I go.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I have gone back and look at my two page rough draft of my research paper. I have come to the conclusion that while arson is a subject that just about everyone knows something or other about, there are many details that are not common knowledge. While starting to write this paper I had some difficulty making my paper sound like a persuasive paper instead of a research paper. There is lots of information that a reader should know when learning about arson, and in my case having chosen to write about treatments for arsonists it is doubly important to out line the different causes of arson. However, while doing this I am constantly struggle to stay on track and not wonder into subject matter that is not relevant to my work.

The research has been hard, and the writing even harder for this paper. However, I have enjoyed the learning and hopefully I will be able to convey my enthusiasm for the topic into my research paper.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


While I have enjoy learning more about arson through my research, it is starting to become more difficult to find information related to my topic. I have done extensive research not only on line, but I also went to my local public library and attempted to find some sources that were not just posted on the internet. There were many books published on the subject of fire and the dangers of fire, but there was not much in the way of arson. I tried to look up books that would talk to arson and arsonist but was unable to find any.

I continue my search for information about this topic, and am hopeful that I will be able to find information that is not everyday knowledge.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Book of Fire

"The Book of Fire" written by William H. Cottrell Jr. covers many different subjects such as; types of fires, fire fuels, fire classification system, and many more topics. This book was helpful in identifying the actions of fire and the danger that is involved in many types of fire.

This book was easy to read and understand. I enjoyed learning about fire and it components. I recommend this book to anyone who has ever had an interest in Fire.

Cottrell, William H. . The Book of Fire. second edt.. Missoula: Mountain Press Publishing Company, 2004.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Motives and Solutions

According to Richard N. Kocsis; "Invariably whenever arson occurs, one question always stirs the public conscience: why do some people deliberately light fires to cause harm? The purpose of this paper is to provide an introduction to the motivational and psychological factors operating in some individuals who commit arson, and to offer suggestions aimed at tackling the problem of arson"

"Arson: Exploring Motives and Possible Solutions" by: Kocsis, does exactly that, it explores motives, such as; profit, animosity, vandalism, crime concealment, political objectives, and psycho pathological factors. putting them in perspective that helps the reader to see where the arsonist may get his or her motivation.

While reading this article it accorded to me that there are many different reasons that someone would participate in arson. Many times the reason that an arsonist strikes is unknown and if we could only find out why someone would wish to damage or hurt someone or something it may help us to better treat the individual.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Serial Arsonists

"interFire" contains an overview of what a serial arson is; "Serial arson is an offense committed by firesetters who set three or more fires with a significant cooling off period between the fires (Douglas, et al, 1992)." The information contained in the article within this sight, is based off of: "the result of on-going research conducted by the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC)"

This sight was created to help law enforcement to better understand who they are fighting. I greatly appreciate how in depth the information in this article is, it give a new meaning to arson and arsonists. It also was helpful in defining what exactly an arsonists is.

Monday, November 10, 2008


FireFocus is a web-page designed and ran by psychologist Rebekah Doley, her sight has many different links pertaining to the subject of arson and arsonists. I found this sight helpful because of its information about the profiling of an arsonist. According to the web page, "Arson is predominantly committed by males, a trend which is consistent with patterns of participation in criminal activity" The web-page also gave information in which arsonists where commpared to other arsonists and then compared to other criminals.

When comparing female arsonists to male arsonists the web-page states; "
Female firesetters are more likely to set fires for emotional reasons and to target residential property. Male firesetting behaviour tends to target commercial property and has a more instrumental focus.

When the article speaks on arsonists in relation to other criminals the thesis is; "
In terms of their demographic profile arsonists are typical of offenders generally. Where arsonists differentiate themselves from other offenders is mainly in the type of anti-social behaviour they undertake.

The information in this sight was helpful due to the fact that it gave different points of view on the topics of arson and arsonists. I was greatly surprised by all of the information contained within this web-page. I

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Having almost extinguished my research opptions, I came cross the sight "Australian Institute of Criminology" this sight covers several topics on arsonists. There are links on this sight that speak on the prevention of arson, the treatment of arsonists, programs to help young arsonist, and many different related topics. The information in this article is based off of research done in Australia, and the cases of arson done there. the thesis I pulled from "Australian Institute of Criminology" is that arsonist is actually preventable, and that if caught and treated can be "cured". According the article; "Two main approaches are used in these intervention programs: educational and psychosocial." The intervention programs mentioned above, are those that involve both young children (5-10 years of age), and older children ( 10-17 years of age)

The information contained in the articles within this sight were most in lighting, and have helped me to considerably further my knowledge of arsonists. This article gave me several different points of view on the treatment of arsonists, and also raised questions which have been helpful to me in helping me to continue my research.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


When looking for information on arsonists, I came across an article that contained information that could be considered somewhat disturbing. The article "FIREFIGHTER ARSON: LOCAL ALARM" talks about the many different cases throughout the U.S. where the cause of the fires, were those people who were suppose to be fighting the fires.

The author
, Ken Cabe, summons up the feeling of on this topic quite well. He states:"Righteous indignation comes easy when the guilt is somewhere else. But when the headlines scream “Fireman Arrested for Arson,” it gets downright personal.

In truth it does become personal. When looking at firefighters I see true heroes, firefighters are people who put their life on the line to save and protect others. However, when those heroes becomes the cause of that which they are saving us from, not only does it shake the faith in them as individuals but it also shakes the faith in the entire firefighting force.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Upon continuing my research on arsonists, I came across several articles that talked about the early life of arsonists. Many of the arsonists who's backgrounds were researched, showed early childhoods' characterized by abuse, ether physical or emotional. So when considering the best way to treat an arsonist, the back ground of the arsonist should be taken into account.

If in fact the arsonist was abuse and that is why he or she is setting fires, than the treatment plan for the arsonist should revolve around that abuse and should address the psychological and physical pain that they were and are going through.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


While doing research on the apparent reasons that arsonists set fires, I came across an article on In this article, they speak with psychologist Joel Dvoskin, who is a member of the "American Board of Forensic Psychology" Dr. Dvoskin states that the mane motivation behind arsonist's is anger. While not always the motive, it is the leading cause. This web sight was also helpful in giving the common age range of arsonists. Many arsonists, according to the article, are teenagers between the ages of 12 and 19.
All in all this article was helpful for informing me of the basic model of arsonists.


Welcome to my blog page, my name is Kathryn, and I have created this blog for my English composition II class. This blog will be following my research as I learn about the different treatment plans available to arsonists. I plan on writing an essay on this topic, and will post my finding on the subject. If you would like to makes suggestions or just give me your opinion that would be fantastic. Thank you for visiting my blog.