Strange Things are Afoot at the Circle K.: Does Depression Lead to Arson?

Friday, October 15, 2004

Does Depression Lead to Arson?

Probably not. But I found two strange news stories today that both deal with depressed people starting fires for no good reason at all.

Police: Man Watches Sad Movie, Burns Home

CORDELE, Ga. - A sad movie and a night of heavy drinking led a south Georgia man to set his house on fire, the man told police. Charles Alton Adams, 32, walked into the Crisp County Law Enforcement Center shortly after midnight Thursday and told deputies he had burned down his mobile home.

He said that after watching the movie, he drank nine or ten beers and decided to set fire to pillows on his bed. Adams did not tell authorities the name of the movie.

'I have asked that question myself,' said Crisp County Sheriff Donnie Haralson. 'The whole thing just doesn't really make sense.'

Haralson said Adams has been charged with arson. He remained in the county jail Friday morning as family members attempted to raise money for his bond.

Haralson said the doublewide home was gutted by the fire.

Papers: Litter Box Full, Woman Sets Fire

PORT ANGELES, Wash. - Court documents filed in Clallam County Superior Court tie an alleged arson in an apartment complex to a smelly cat litter box.

Prosecutors on Wednesday charged Marie Adeline Calkins, 63, with first-degree arson, accusing her of setting a fire Tuesday in her apartment on South C Street. No one was injured.

She told officers she lit the fire because 'she was depressed and upset that her kitty litter box was full and smelled,' court papers said.

Judge George L. Wood set bail at $50,000 and ordered a mental health assessment.