In one hand the match, in the other the hose by underground
June 23, 2008, 10:35 pm
Filed under: Journalism | Tags: , , , , , ,

I’m not sure where I heard it, but apparently arsonists are often firemen. I would love to provide some statistics to support this wild claim, but my google search came up short. Who needs facts right? I did find this story from the US’s Staten Island and this American study on “Firefighter Arson”, so I’m not making it up. Apparently 33 firemen were charged with arson in 1993, according to the South Carolina Forestry Commission. I think that is only in South Carolina, which makes it all the more surprising. So I imagine these deranged firemen (Reader’s Digest’s most trusted 2008), walking around with cans of gasoline and boxes of matches, lighting bush fires and setting letter boxes alight. 10 minutes later they turn up with the boys in red, on the back of a firetruck, ready to douse out their earlier handiwork.

I don’t know how prevalent the problem is. And I don’t know why these guys do it. Are they bored? Do they not already have enough to do? Aren’t they just making more work for themselves?

Do other professions do a similar thing? What about journalists? What if it is a really slow news day? Should you just run another real estate story as your lead? Should you make a story up? Or, should you do as this Macedonian journalist did, and really make the news?

Although he has only been charged and not yet convicted for murder and rape, if Vlado Taneski did commit the crime, he did not do a very good job at hiding his guilt. He practically printed his involvement, by reporting facts that had not even been made public by the Macedonian police. So he came to the scene with malice and a weapon and returned later with a pad and a pen.

If convicted, it would be interesting to know the man’s motives. Not just for the horrific murders, but for writing about them afterwards. This is one of those stories that really shock you, like the German cannibal, or the Amish gunman. I just find that so bizarre.

Not too mention the ethical issue of getting too close to your story.

I suppose like not all firemen are heroes, not all journalists are superman. My perception of the world is shattered.


1 Comment

Alright, just did another one of those google searches I’m so good at and found this:
It does make much of that post redundant. I guess he did commit the crimes. I doubt his motive was trying to find stories. By the sounds of it he was a sick bastard.

Comment by undergroundnetwork

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