The Profile of an Arsonist
Janine Peter, Branon Ryals
Florida Institute of Technology
This paper was prepared for CR4820 – Violent Crime, taught by Professor Thad Clancy. Abstract
In this paper we will discuss the profile of an arsonist. Discussed will be the various reasons as to why an arson is committed. The various demographics of the individuals that choose to commit arson are explored. The motivation for the arson plays a big role in when, where, and why an arson is committed by an individual. By looking at all of the concepts that are associated with the arsonist and arson, the reader will have a better understanding of how complexity of the arsonist profile. The Profile of an Arsonist
The crime of arson was one that many governments choose to ignore for many years. The “governments, public authorities and insurers adopted an ostrich-like attitude to the gathering crime of arson” (Woodward, 1988). It eventually became so bad in the United States that the public took it upon themselves to develop local task forces as a way to combat the problem, which in turn cause the United States Government to react to the growing arson problem.
Identifying when an arson has happened is only part of the issue facing law enforcement offices today. Understanding the reasoning behind why an arson has occurred, and who fits the profile for a particular arson is the challenge that investigators face. By identifying if a fire was accidental or