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Understanding The Enemy: Profiles and Motivations of an Arsonist

Kendra Weikman | FireLink.com - For sources, see Editor's note.

Pathological Fire Starter:

• Very few in numbers
• Possibly have a high IQ but can have a history of sever emotional problems.
• Have had academic and behavioral problems and often have difficulty establishing relationships.
• Have a history of medical and or neurological problems.
• Are likely to have been a victim of physical or sexual abuse.
• Are a loner who has a life long fascination with fire.

Fire Setting Behaviors:

• Has a long history of fire setting with multiple indicants.
• Fires are sophisticated cleverly set and are often ritualistic with a distinct pattern.
• They are usually very destructive.
• They are secretly proud of the fires they set.



Family or social Dynamics:

• Come from various types of households, but they usually are raised in a chaotic environment.
• Possible instances of neglect or abuse.
• Have easy access to sources of ignition and a general lack of safety awareness.

Next: Vandalism-Motivated Arson


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