News clippings on arsons allegedly found at suspect's apartment
Authorities found found newspaper clippings about the Los Angeles fires as well as German newspaper articles about suspected arsons near Frankfurt in the apartment of arson suspect Harry Burkhart, according to court papers.
Prosecutors allege that Burkhart torched cars, garages and homes across a significant portion of Los Angeles "to harm and terrorize as many residents" as possible. More than 50 fires were set during four days over the New Year's weekend.
In addition to the Hollywood fires, Burkhart, a German national, is now under investigation for a fire near Frankfurt.
Prosecutors with the Hesse state government in central Germany disclosed that a 24-year-old named Harry Burkhart was being investigated in connection with a suspected arson at his family's home in the Schwalm-Eder district about an hour's drive north of Frankfurt.
A half-timbered house belonging to the Burkhart family suffered major damage in a fire three months ago that investigators said left evidence of having been deliberately set.
Owners of the vacant home near the Medieval fortress town of Marburg filed an insurance claim after the blaze caused about $50,000 in damage; the incident is being investigated as a case of arson and insurance fraud, said Annemarie Wied, spokeswoman for the Marburg regional office of the Hesse state prosecutor.
The alleged anti-American views of Hollywood arson suspect Burkhart has become a central piece of the criminal case against him.
Burkhart terrorized Los Angeles residents with a four-day rampage because he was "motivated by his rage against Americans," prosecutors alleged in court papers filed Wednesday.
Burkhart torched cars, garages and homes across a significant portion of Los Angeles "to harm and terrorize as many residents" as possible, authorities wrote in a court filing asking that Burkhart be denied bail.
Deputy Edward M. Nordskog of the sheriff's arson unit wrote in a declaration filed with the court that Burkhart would be a danger to the public if released because of his hatred of Americans and the U.S. government.
-- Richard Winton and Victoria Kim
Photo: Harry Burkhart, 24, is detained by the Sheriff's Department. He is being closely monitored in custody, the LAPD reported, to ensure that he doesn’t harm himself. Credit: Gene Blevins / Reuters
Image: A map shows the locations of fires possibly linked to the recent arson spree. Credit: Los Angeles Times