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WI: Man arrested on suspicion of burning house intended for sex offender

Dane County authorities arrested a town of Cottage Grove man they say set fire to a house Sunday night in a vigilante effort to keep a sex offender from moving in there. Russell A. Speigle, 50, was arrested on a tentative charge of arson for the fire, which destroyed a home at 4721 Gaston Circle in the town of Cottage Grove, Sheriff Dave Mahoney said Tuesday. Investigators are now trying to determine if Speigle was responsible for another fire that damaged the same house in December, Mahoney said. Full Article

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  1. John B

    Ironically while I’ve heard of zero cases where the RSO registries have actually served to prevent an offense, we actually have thousands of examples of crimes like this occurring due to the fact that this information is so readily available to everyone, including the many unstable individuals who populate our country.

    Another day in paradox.

    Let me be clear, I’m not categorically stating that there are positively no cases where vigilant citizens have been able to prevent a crime due to knowing that someone could indeed be dangerous. It’s just that I know for a fact that any such situations are vanishingly rare while there are a multitude of examples of crimes DUE TO the registry. This is undeniable.

    • Q

      I totally agree with you; not only is there not one single documented case of anyone being saved by the registry or one single documented instance of the registry preventing anything, let alone a sex crime. Yet one doesn’t have to look very hard at all to find scores of documented instances where all manner of crimes are committed against registrants; all facilitated by public access to the registry. And fueled by the misguided belief that the public has the “right to know.”

      I think the public (and many cities too) has gone way beyond proving they are incapable of using this information responsibly. In fact, most of the people that regularly access the registry seem to be of the mentally unstable variety, and that includes politicians looking to boost their ratings.

      • Q

        Yuuk!!! Look at the picture! I wouldn’t want this creepy looking arsonist protecting any children within 100 miles of me!

        • c

          Holy smokes, Batman! He either burned his face or, while fleeing the scene, fell face first into a freshly painted fire truck.

          Talk about the instant karma of stoopid criminals. This genius reminds me of Daniel Stern’s character in Home Alone.

        • Q

          Yes, it does look like he ran face first into the fire 🙂 It also looks like someone on the registry may have tried to slap some sense into the misguided goon 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Harry

          Local RC should post signs at his house that a “arsonist live here”.

      • j

        Anyone committing crimes against a registrant should be on the registry.

  2. Timmr

    Exactly what is going to bring down the registry, its inherent tendency to create violence and its inability to prevent it.

  3. Eric Knight

    I’m curious. Who actually owned the house? Was it the RC, his family, the state, or a landlord whom the state contracted for? None of that was even mentioned in any article related to this mess.

  4. David

    In California, isn’t there a 290 Registration requirement for arsonists?

    • Harry

      Ya! However, there is no public shame is no wall of shame.

    • Joe

      California has both a Narcotics and Arson Offender Registry.

      California Health and Safety Code 11590 requires specified felony drug offenders be registered with the local PD or Sheriff within 30 days of release and change in residence.

      The term is 5 years after discharge–5 years after completing probation/parole OR 5 years after release if no post incarceration supervision applies. The 5 years must be consecutive. If one is returned to custody before the end of year 5, the clock starts again.

      PC 457.1 requires those of certain arson related offenses to register for life (after 1994) or 5 years (before 1994) if convicted as an adult.

      Apparently the Arson Registry is handled by the same program at the DOJ as the SOR.
      Sex and Arson Registration Program
      California Department of Justice
      P.O. Box 903387
      Sacramento, CA 94203-3870

      PC 290 deals exclusively with Sex Offender Registration.

  5. Janice Bellucci

    Thank you, Dane County, for arresting a man who attempted vigilante violence upon a registered citizen. While there are no reliable statistics that state how often this happens, I have personal knowledge of several registered citizens in California who died at the hands of vigilantes — Michael Dodele, Bobby Ray Rainwater, Donald Crisp. How many registered citizens must die violent deaths before violence against a registered citizen is recognized as a hate crime?

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