Thursday, July 27, 2017


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On October 12th a fire in a mixed-use building took the lives of two Kansas City firemen. Larry Leggio and John Mesh have been remembered across the city for the last month. The fire also injured two other firefighters.

This week, however, a Kansas City woman has been charged for murder in the case of Leggio and Mesh’s deaths. The fire was the result of Thu Hong Nguyen, 43, starting a fire in a salon that operated inside of the building. She has been charged with first degree arson as well as two counts of murder.

The two firefighters died when the building collapsed.

Evidence points to Nguyen starting the fire to engage in insurance fraud, something that she may have done earlier this year. She will be held responsible for the firefighters’ deaths because they were a result of her original crime of arson.

Investigators determined that the fire originated from the LN Salon and Spa, where Nguyen worked. Security footage showed her being the last to leave the salon the evening of the 12th and just ten minutes later, the first signs of smoke emerged.

A fire in 2013 in the Kansas City suburb of Lee’s Summit may also be linked to Nguyen.

Nguyen bought four bottles of acetone and four bottles of isopropyl alcohol the day of the fire, which would under other circumstances not be an issue for a nail tech to purchase. Her story involved cellphone calls that did not match her phone records, and the other lie about leaving has trapped her in a pretty damning situation.

Arrested Monday evening, her bail has been set at $2 million.

The Kansas City Fire Department declined to comment for privacy issues during the ongoing investigation. The families of the victims are protecting their privacy and has remained silent about their reactions.

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A lesbian couple in Venore, Tennessee, burned down their own house–and then blamed it on their neighbor committing a “hate crime,” in order to collect a $276,000 insurance payout, a court recently decided.

Carol Ann and Laura Jean Stutte reduced their home to rubble back in September 2010, after writing the homophobic slur, “Queers” on the side of the house.

The couple described it to police as a likely hate crime–and in subsequent interviews with local media, they blamed it on their neighbor, Janice Millsaps.

They claimed that, a month before the fire, Millsaps had said, “Do you know what is better than one dead queer? Two dead queers.” And they claimed that Millsaps had repeatedly threatened their lives and even threatened to burn down their house.

Millsaps was investigated by both the FBI and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, but never charged. The Stuttes, however, filed a lawsuit against Millsaps, the status of which is unclear at this point.

The Stuttes’ ruse soon fell apart–when the insurance company, American National Property and Casualty Company, launched their own investigation into the cause of the fire. It became clear that the arson of the Stuttes’ house was part of an insurance scam, and not the work of a homophobic neighbor.

Now, a federal jury has now ruled in favor of American National Property and Casualty Company–saying that, because the Stuttes torched their own house, the insurance company doesn’t have to give them a penny.

The Stuttes have not been charged criminally in the arson of their house.


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