Letters

New Times' exclusive interview with the Preserves arsonist generates passionate response

My children still have nightmares; my youngest child sustained a second-degree burn, but it has healed. We still live in fear for our safety. My husband still has nightmares and a tough time talking about this, but we are trying to work through this as a family and with God's grace.

I want people to see what the other side to this is, the pictures of my injuries. I want the people of our community to band together and prevent this from continuing. There are other ways to make a statement and accomplish things without being a terrorist. If these arsonists are truly educated, they would see this.

They are not God and need to stop acting as such. Someone is going to get hurt. My prayers are with the law enforcement officials to catch these individuals without anyone getting injured.

This is one of the pieces of mail that arrived at New Times in response to the interview.
This is one of the pieces of mail that arrived at New Times in response to the interview.

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Name withheld by request


Kudos to you on your fair and well-written articles on the arsonist over the course of the past few weeks. As a former journalist, I'm delighted to see a writer and his/her editor have some guts and a backbone and say, "This is what we do. If you don't like it, you don't understand the role of the media!"

I applaud you for the articles you wrote on the arsonist. Unlike the Republicand broadcast media, they were balanced and fair. I think journalists often forget these aspects when presenting stories. Please keep to your guns and protect your source(s). It's a sad day when the media keep valuable information from the public because the authorities take over. I don't consider that free press.

Name withheld by request


Hey! Anybody know a tall, athletic male, who is a management professional, with a degree (maybe advanced), makes good money, works in downtown Phoenix, is into mountain biking or hiking, is against growth, is a Christian, may have a family, and two weeks ago told co-workers he was going to the gym at lunchtime? If so, he is probably the arsonist interviewed by New Times in downtown Phoenix.

Anybody know a female, who works in health care, is into mountain biking or hiking, is against growth, is a Christian, may have a family, and listens to KTAR talk-show host Preston Westmoreland? She could be the female member of the preserves arsonists.

Hey! Anybody know a guy who works at an outdoor equipment store, is into mountain biking or hiking, is against growth, is a Christian, may have a family, and may have special training in the military, police, or fire departments?

Know a guy who works for a government agency, is into mountain biking or hiking, is against growth, is a Christian, may have a family, and may have special training in the military, police, or fire departments?

If you know either of these guys, they may be one of the other male members of the preserves arsonists.

The article didn't say where the arsonists live, but I'm guessing all of the above people live in Phoenix, possibly close to one of the Phoenix mountain parks. And since they hang out together, they may live close to each other.

The New Timesarticle said these arsonists were smart, but with all the information they gave away about themselves, I would disagree with that.

Mark Villa
Tempe


Once again New Times has (pleasantly) surprised us with coverage of the Valley arsonist(s) which is fair and balanced to a degree that is uncharacteristic of media in this country. Too often, news stories focus on and sensationalize small-scale individual acts of "violence" (such as property destruction) while ignoring the wholesale systematic violence that is business as usual for governments and multinational corporations: irreversible environmental raping, slave-mongering in Third World sweatshops, and, most abhorrent, war profiteering.

When governments systematically limit their accountability to the people they claim to represent, and when the mainstream media continually fail in their self-proclaimed role as watchdogs over government and industry for the people, it is inevitable that some people will engage in direct action to call attention to injustice. Didn't a similar situation cause the founders of our country to engage in a direct action destructive to property called the Boston Tea Party?

When law is enforced more severely against those who commit "crimes" for their political beliefs than it is against those who commit crimes for financial gain, a value judgment is implicit that regards the pursuit of money to be more desirable and justified than aspirations for political change. Alternative media that seek to fulfill a role of social conscience must never abandon a critical view of the policies and actions of the status quo.

So, in conclusion, thanks for the good work; keep it up, for there is still so much work to be done.

Phoenix Anarchist Coalition (PAC)
via Internet


James Hibberd feels that it is okay to hide behind his reporter status to interview and then let loose an arsonist, but I don't think he would feel this way if these fires burned his home to the ground. I believe that there is more than property being destroyed here. These are people's lives and dreams and hard work going up in smoke! I feel that Hibberd should be held responsible for any future fires that result from him not taking the proper action and stopping this madman from continuing on this rampage.

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