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The Tampa Times from Tampa, Florida • 8
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The Tampa Times from Tampa, Florida • 8

The Tampa Timesi
Tampa, Florida
Issue Date:
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

THE TAMPA TIMES, Saturday, April 12, 1975 S-A 11 1 3 corps Va Brassing son After a sleepless night, the Wallaces called the Plaquemines Parish sheriff's office one of hundreds of calls from frantic parents the department was to receive, But deputies couldn't offer any reassurance to Mrs. Wallace. The physical descriptions were almost identical. So were the dental charts. Furthermore, Charles Wallace had required 40 stitches inside his mouth after a fight nine years ago and the coroner found a similar scar in the mouth of the corpse.

So Mrs. Wallace flew to New Orleans. Plaquemines Parish sheriff's deputies met her at the airport and took her to the Mothe Funeral Home. There was no conversation as she was led to the sheet-draped stretcher in a little-used corridor of the funeral home. Her face was expressionless as the funeral director lifted the-sheet from the She only stared for about two minutes, then said quietly, "No, it's not him.

"It resembles him, but then it just doesn't look like him. The hair's too dark. But then, of course, he's so very pale." "I have wanted to do this for over a year," wrote the boy before he hanged himself. "Mom and Dad, I feel I have acted very methodically and coolly in my action and my words. It is best if I cease to live, quietly, than risk that later I will break and shatter by violence." That sounded to the Wallaces as though it might have been Charles, who had vanished in February from a Memphis home for teen-agers with drug problems.

Over the past year, he had tried to kill himself several times, Mrs. Wallace said. NEW ORLEANS (AP) "No, it's not him," said Mrs. Charles Wallace of Lexington looking down at the corpse of an unidentified teen-ager, found hanging from a tree on Valentine's Day. There was relief in her voice as one nightmare ended, but also the fear that some day one of those bodies would be her son Charles, 19.

The nightmare began when neighbors came to her rural home in Lexington, between Memphis and Nashville, bringing an AP story of an unidentified teenager found hanging from a persimmon tree near Belle Chasse, La. fl5 tn RCA 14 inch meas. diog. QJEES KvAAAAAAAA, A Yff (fiJ built in antenna. UHF-VHF 1 t.

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Fire last year topped $3 bil lion for the first time. Fire experts assume that the main culprit is arson by businessmen 0 property 1 owners taking an incendiary shortcut around financial problems. Insurance companies are increasingly concerned, some offering large rewards for information- lead-, ing to arson convictions. The cause of many fires often remains undetermined. But the number of known fires is' sparing; up by ''about 17 per cent last year.

"In my opinion it's the fastest growing crime in the nation," says Dan Carpenter, chairman of the arson committee of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). With an arson conviction "rate of 5 probably less than 1 per cent, he adds, "it is almost the perfect crime." Although the basic reasons for arson are well known (sometimes revolution), profit, or disturbed state of mind all too little is known about how best to 'its rising incidence, experts say. President Ford signed legislation last year setting up National Fire Prevention and Control I under the U.S. Department of Commerce. It brings together a number of previously scat tered agencies and establishes a national fire academy (NFA).

According to. one official one academy course will train arson investigators. The aca demy also will endeavor to train the nation's 25,000 fire departments to be alert for.and not destroy, evidence of arson. Robert May, executive secretary of the International Association of Arson Investiga tors (IAAI), hopes for greater police expertise in fire investigations. A governor's bill before the Illinois Legislature would grant police Dowers to the state Arson Bureau.

Carpenter's arson commit tee now is working on a na tioriwide survey to discover the best methods of arson investigation already in use. Iii addition to known arsons, most fire chiefs as sume that 25 to 60 per cent of fires of unknown origin also are caused by arsonists." In particular, they note: During an economic downturn the incidence of fires goes up in line with the number of business failures. The pattern was visible 40 years ago, says Edward Hack-ett, an official in the newly formed Federal National Fire Prevention and Control Administration, "and it seems to be happening again." i "Large loss" fires follow the fiscal calendar. According io John Ottoson of the Boston-based National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), large-loss fires peak at the beginning of each month (after people see end-of-month financial statements), at the end of each quarter, and at the end of the year (when an end-of-year reports come in and preliminary tax statements are due). Arson also has a much more devastating impact than that of many other crimes.

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