Michael "Scuba Man" Marin's Account of Events Surrounding the Burning Down of His Biltmore Estates Mansion Disputed by Investigator

You will remember the quirky case of Michael Marin if you read our paper regularly, but here is the link to the original story, "Burning Man," about the man, the fire and the repercussions, which now include a prison term for Marin if the jury at his criminal trial in downtown Phoenix convicts him.

This week, jurors listened to a recorded interview with then-suspect Marin by a Phoenix fire captain in the aftermath of the July 2009 blaze that destroyed Marin's Biltmore Estates Mansion.  


In the interview, Marin sounds as glib as the attorney and Wall Street trader he once was, calmly going over the alleged inventory in his burned-out residence.

Prosecutor Christopher Rapp would stop the tape at various points and ask Captain Peabody (who was on the witness stand) if the evidence at the crime scene comported with what Marin had told him in the interview.

No, Peabody repeatedly replied.

The State of Arizona (actually county prosecutors) hope to prove that the financially beleaguered Marin torched his place to collect insurance before lenders foreclosed on it.

Marin says he did nothing of the sort.

What made this case stand out, other than the size of the home, was that Marin escaped from the second-story after donning scuba gear and shimmying down a roll-out ladder that also happened to be in his bedroom.

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Paul Rubin
Contact: Paul Rubin