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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77740 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Adult Firesetting Behavior - A Typology
Author(s): A L Pisani
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 116
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This thesis is a study of 138 arson cases in New York City to ascertain the relationships, if any, between the fire scene and the firesetter's motive and to form a typology of firesetting behaviors.
Abstract: The study is based upon three hypotheses: (1) a pyro firesetter sets a fire in a public portion of the building, without regard to the consequences to the occupants, usually using available materials as the plant and rarely using a flammable liquid; (2) a revenge firesetter usually starts a fire at night, in an occupied apartment, in the bedroom and uses a flammable liquid; and (3) a vandal firesetter usually sets a fire in a public portion of the building using available combustibles. Motives and other information about the fires and the firesetters were obtained through the Fire Marshall's official report. Data were cross-tabulated by computer to compare the relationships between seven firesetting motives (pyromania, revenge, vandalism, insurance fraud, welfare fraud, psycho, and crime concealment) and a number of variables such as place of fire origin, area of origin, point of origin, object set on fire, use of flammable liquid, etc. From the data results, typologies were established for the different types of firesetters. However, because the samples are small and are only representative of those firesetters caught and arrested, the value of this research lies in its reminder that arson investigations should be distributed to those investigative agencies best suited to arson cases. Tables and footnotes appear throughout. A bibliography of 19 references is included, and a coded data sheet and a chart of arson behavior taxonomy are appended.
Index Term(s): Arson; Arson investigations; Arsonists; Behavior typologies; Crime Causes; New York; Offender profiles
Note: John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York - masters thesis.
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