Arson, Jesse Thorn, Susan Orlean discussed on Bullseye with Jesse Thorn


Back to bullseye. Jesse thorn here with me. Now, Susan orlean she writes for the New Yorker has done for about thirty years, a bunch of other publications as well. Her books include the orchid thief Rin tin, tin and Saturday night. Her newest tells the story of the Los Angeles public library and so much more. It's called the library book hits bookstores this week. The arson investigators event eventually decided that arson had been the cause of the fire. Who was the person who was accused of having started. A young man in his twenties named Harry peak who was, I guess, predictably a wannabe actor, Aaron, boy, you know, did odd jobs, parked cars, that kind of thing was well what what happened was he had told a number of friends that he had started the fire. So very quickly once there was a reward associated with anyone having providing a tip for solving the fire, one of his friends, good to have friends like that came forward end basically connected the fire department to him and they began following them around and ended up interviewing him to figure out whether. His boasts of having sort of the fire were were in fact true because he was a charming liar. He was from every description I had from anybody. He was in a mentally likable guy, charming and just a crazy fibber own would just fifth about stupid things. Not just fifth, you'd say where where have you been say? I was having drinks with share, you know, he just couldn't tell a straight story and his friends would were exasperated by him. And at the same time also said he's a really good guy would give you the shirt off his back. And that was interesting to me. They all use that exact expression. He would give you the shirt off his back. He was beloved and also drove them crazy. So in a way, this is what might be called a true crime narrative, I guess. And I wonder if you felt pressured by the fact that you were telling a crime story too. Have narrative that resolved comfortably to provide an answer to the question. I did. I, first of all, I thought I'm gonna solve this, which is. Utterly vain. I mean the, there's no way that as civilian with no access to the evidence and no knowledge of how to investigate an arson would be able to crack the case..

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