The Firefighter-Arsonist

Posted by Alessandra Malito

By Melanie Bencosme

In 2003, the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit compiled a profile of a Firefighter-Arsonist.

The FBI study found that firefighter-arsonists were mostly young firefighters eager to put their training to use and to be seen as heroes to their department and to the people of the community they served.

“He’s creating a job for himself, he’s seen as a hero and he’s getting notoriety for it,” said Kulbarsh, a nurse who performed in-the-field psychological evaluations on criminals including arsonists.

The Unit found that most firefighter-arsonists use unsophisticated methods for fire starting and tend to start fires with matches or cigarette lighters.

Here’s the Unit’s profile of a typical firefighter-arsonist:
• White male, age 17-25
• A dysfunctional family: with one or both parents missing from home during childhood. If from a home with both parents, the emotional atmosphere was mixed and unstable.
• Poor marital adjustment. If not married, still living at home with parents.
• Lack of stable interpersonal relationships.
• Interested in fire service because it provides an arena for excitement, not for the sake of public service.
• Suffers from Alcoholism, childhood hyperactivity, depression, borderline personality disorder, and suicidal tendencies.
• Average to higher intelligence but poor academic performance.

Chasing Fires - May 5, 2014 | Uncategorized