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Students say church arsons meant as ‘a joke’
NBC News ^ | March 8, 2006

Posted on 03/08/2006 11:03:17 AM PST by presidio9

Two college students arrested Wednesday in a string of nine rural Alabama church arsons told authorities that the first fires were set as “a joke” and later blazes were intended as a diversion, federal agents said.

A third college student was arrested later Wednesday in the serial arsons, according to WVTM-TV of Birmingham.

Benjamin Nathan Moseley and Russell Lee Debusk Jr., both students at Birmingham-Southern College, appeared in federal court Wednesday and were ordered held on church arson charges pending a hearing Friday.

Matthew Lee Cloyd, reportedly a student at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, was arrested midday, the WVTM reported.

An ATF affidavit said Moseley told agents on Wednesday that he, Cloyd and Debusk went to Bibb County in Cloyd’s Toyota sport utility vehicle on Feb. 2 and set fire to five churches. A witness quoted Cloyd as saying Moseley did it “as a joke and it got out of hand,” according to the affidavit.

Moseley also told agents the four church fires in west Alabama were set “as a diversion to throw investigators off,” an attempt that “obviously did not work,” the affidavit said.

Arson investigators scheduled an afternoon news conference at the Tuscaloosa airport to discuss the arrests.

The first two suspects were arrested Tuesday night, NBC’s Pete Williams reported.

WVTM-TV, citing the state fire marshal’s office, said the two are students at Birmingham Southern College and were arrested at a college dorm.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives made the Alabama church arson case a top priority as scores of agents joined state and local law officers in the probe.

Authorities analyzed tire tracks and traced the purchase of the tires to

-snip-

A federal source said the apparent motive was that the three students just liked to set and watch fires.

(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Front Page News; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Alabama
KEYWORDS: afewbadapples; arson; atf; bendover; benjaminmoseley; churchburning; cloyd; debusk; fbi; hamuslimsdidntdoit; jailtime; joke; jokes; matthew; matthewcloyd; moseley; nojoke; nojokenow; pete; petewilliams; realfunny; russelldebusk; tomfoolery; whatnoterrorism; williams; yutesgonebad
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1 posted on 03/08/2006 11:03:20 AM PST by presidio9
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To: presidio9
Ha! Some joke.

were ordered held on church arson charges

Is that distinct from ordinary arson?

2 posted on 03/08/2006 11:05:16 AM PST by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: presidio9

Arson a joke? For college students? They need educating on their "sense of humor."


3 posted on 03/08/2006 11:05:30 AM PST by newzjunkey (All I need is a safe home and peace of mind. Why am I still in CA?)
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To: presidio9

What's funny about setting fire to five buildings? Either these kids are complete morons, or there's more to this than they're lettin' on (or both).


4 posted on 03/08/2006 11:05:32 AM PST by LIConFem (A fronte praecipitium, a tergo lupi.)
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To: presidio9

After about 50 years in prison, it's gonna be hillarious.


5 posted on 03/08/2006 11:05:44 AM PST by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: presidio9

Joke? I think not. These kids were up to more than laughs. Maybe a thrill, but look deeper in to their backgrounds. Could be even more.


6 posted on 03/08/2006 11:06:24 AM PST by oyez (Appeasement is insanity)
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To: presidio9

College students. I'm sure their parents are proud.


7 posted on 03/08/2006 11:06:27 AM PST by mlc9852
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To: presidio9
Church fires as a joke?

Holy smokes!

8 posted on 03/08/2006 11:06:52 AM PST by N. Theknow (Kennedys - Can't drive, can't fly, can't ski, can't skipper a boat - But they know what's best.)
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To: presidio9
Why do I think there's an angle to this story that we'll probably not see in the MSM and if we do it will only be briefly. I'm referring to a leftist inspired act.
9 posted on 03/08/2006 11:08:42 AM PST by Hillarys Gate Cult (The man who said "there's no such thing as a stupid question" has never talked to Helen Thomas.)
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To: Izzy Dunne

It opens them up to possible "hate" crimes as well.


10 posted on 03/08/2006 11:08:44 AM PST by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll.)
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To: newzjunkey
"Arson a joke? For college students? They need educating on their "sense of humor.""

Where they are going the education they will get will be far from "Funny"

11 posted on 03/08/2006 11:08:50 AM PST by Abathar (Proudly catching hell for posting without reading since 2004)
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To: newzjunkey
Arson a joke? For college students?

Drunk pyromaniacs.

I've seen stupid, but torching a church, thats stupid.

12 posted on 03/08/2006 11:08:56 AM PST by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")
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To: Izzy Dunne
Could be. The Feds didn't get involved just for fun. There might be some "civil rights era" reactive law which distinguishes between mere arson and torching of a church by arson.

I know Clinton's stories of numerous church arsons in his childhood were bogus but there is a stigma over church arsons especially in the South.

13 posted on 03/08/2006 11:09:03 AM PST by newzjunkey (All I need is a safe home and peace of mind. Why am I still in CA?)
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To: cripplecreek

They are going to be a real hit at the state pen.


14 posted on 03/08/2006 11:10:00 AM PST by oyez (Appeasement is insanity)
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To: newzjunkey

Wasn't Condoleeza Rice's church burned when she was a child?


15 posted on 03/08/2006 11:10:30 AM PST by presidio9 ("Bird Flu" is the new Y2K Virus -Only without the inconvenient deadline.)
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To: Izzy Dunne

When I heard they were letting retards into college, I didn't believe it. This story appears to be proof of it, however. Hang 'em high.


16 posted on 03/08/2006 11:11:14 AM PST by Lady Jag ( All I want is a kind word, a warm bed, and world domination)
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To: presidio9
Ha ha. Funny. Here's another "joke" for you jokers:

Sic semper arsonists.

Don't think that is funny enough? Then try this...PLEASE! Fulfill my desire, and do us all a favor.


17 posted on 03/08/2006 11:12:11 AM PST by ApplegateRanch (Islam: a Satanically Transmitted Disease, spread by unprotected intimate contact with the Koranus.)
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To: mlc9852
College students. I'm sure their parents are proud.

Look like the're going to have to finish their degrees via correspondence courses. At least their parents will save on dorm fees. ;~((

18 posted on 03/08/2006 11:12:37 AM PST by Ditto
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To: presidio9
A joke. Uh-huh.

I guess they would find it hysterically funny if someone set fire to their parents house.

19 posted on 03/08/2006 11:13:53 AM PST by jess35
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To: presidio9

I am so glad these guys were over 18. Their next jokes will be performed in the State Dept. of Corrections. They can be tough comedy critics. ;o)


20 posted on 03/08/2006 11:14:42 AM PST by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: Ditto

Good point - lol


21 posted on 03/08/2006 11:15:40 AM PST by mlc9852
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To: oyez

I predict an extreme fear of this in their future: http://news.mywebpal.com/partners/680/public/news701956.html

"Three Floyd County Jail inmates were arrested on sodomy charges Tuesday for their alleged roles in the Friday night sexual assault of a fellow inmate, authorities said..."


22 posted on 03/08/2006 11:16:09 AM PST by flying Elvis
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To: presidio9

Here's the amazing part of the story: "Authorities analyzed tire tracks and traced the purchase of the tires to Cloyd." I mean, wow. Who knew they could really do that stuff? It's like something off of CSI.


23 posted on 03/08/2006 11:16:17 AM PST by polecat pete
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: presidio9

"That one?"---"A joke."
"That one?"---"That was a joke too."
"And that one?"---"Ditto."
"That one?"---"That one was a diversion"
"That one?"---"Another diversion"
"That one?"---"We went back to jokin'"
"And that one?"---"Jokin' was a runnin' strong"
"That one?"---"Back to diversions"
"And this one?"---"Hell, we'z just drunk for that one."


25 posted on 03/08/2006 11:19:02 AM PST by Sax
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To: presidio9

HAHAHA [sound of cell door slamming] HAHAHA [laughter fades, replaced by sound of clock ticking loudly].


26 posted on 03/08/2006 11:19:14 AM PST by IronJack
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To: presidio9
Benjamin Nathan Moseley and Russell Lee Debusk Jr., both students at Birmingham-Southern College, appeared in federal court Wednesday and were ordered held on church arson charges pending a hearing Friday.

I wonder what their DUmmie screen names are. And I would bet large money they are DUmmie posters.

27 posted on 03/08/2006 11:19:24 AM PST by Always Right
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To: presidio9
Two college students arrested Wednesday in a string of nine rural Alabama church arsons told authorities that the first fires were set as "a joke"

Your new cell mate has some even funnier jokes, about how long it's been since he's had any and how nondiscriminating he's become as a result....

28 posted on 03/08/2006 11:19:29 AM PST by steve-b (A desire not to butt into other people's business is eighty percent of all human wisdom)
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To: newzjunkey
Arson a joke? For college students? They need educating on their "sense of humor."

Oh, I bet they will get a real education by their cellmates.
29 posted on 03/08/2006 11:19:45 AM PST by Kozak (Anti Shahada: " There is no God named Allah, and Muhammed is his False Prophet")
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To: flying Elvis

The feds will probably charge them.


30 posted on 03/08/2006 11:20:14 AM PST by jess35
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To: presidio9

Unbelievably stupid. I am honestly stunned by how idiotic this is.

Our kids REALLY need to be taught to respect authority. They honestly thought that if they set MORE fires they would throw off the cops who they assumed are idiots. Unbelievable.


31 posted on 03/08/2006 11:22:47 AM PST by pollyannaish
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To: All

I bet the fact that nothing but Baptist Churches were burned is easily explained, too? </sarcasm>


32 posted on 03/08/2006 11:23:13 AM PST by moondoggie
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To: presidio9
Moseley also told agents the four church fires in west Alabama were set "as a diversion to throw investigators off," an attempt that "obviously did not work,"

No s#!^, Sherlock.

33 posted on 03/08/2006 11:23:58 AM PST by steve-b (A desire not to butt into other people's business is eighty percent of all human wisdom)
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To: Izzy Dunne

Nobody was laughing at your stupid joke.


34 posted on 03/08/2006 11:24:25 AM PST by Ursus arctos horribilis
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To: Izzy Dunne

Nobody was laughing at your stupid joke.


35 posted on 03/08/2006 11:24:31 AM PST by Ursus arctos horribilis
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To: Izzy Dunne

Nobody was laughing at your stupid joke.


36 posted on 03/08/2006 11:24:33 AM PST by Ursus arctos horribilis
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To: presidio9

Afterall, didn't Louis Farrahkan say the other day at the State of the Black Union that America needed to burn.


37 posted on 03/08/2006 11:24:44 AM PST by fightin kentuckian
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To: presidio9

I guess it was just an accident all the buidling were Baptist Churches?


38 posted on 03/08/2006 11:25:18 AM PST by rightinthemiddle (The Liberals/Media Hate Us Just as Much as They Hate Bush.)
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To: presidio9
Life in prison with a very hairy and smelly cell-mate with a thing for young college boys would be justice.
39 posted on 03/08/2006 11:25:57 AM PST by NavyCanDo
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To: presidio9
Two college students arrested Wednesday in a string of nine rural Alabama church arsons told authorities that the first fires were set as “a joke”

Yeah, right. As if someone was going to respond to a burning church by saying "Oh-ho-ho-ho! A church in ashes! Ha-ha-ha! This is just the knee-slappin' funniest thing I've ever seen!"

40 posted on 03/08/2006 11:26:04 AM PST by Denver Ditdat (Melting solder since 1975)
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To: presidio9
I’ve been doing some research. Looks like these guys might be involved in the theatre (just like Hollywood lefties)

Here Ben Moseley is pictured in a school play.

Russ DeBusk has a photo from another school play.

I’ve also found a Matt Cloyd listed as a student at Birmingham Southern College. At least two of thesee guys are involved in frats.

I’m out of time, but if someone else wants to poke around the ‘net…

41 posted on 03/08/2006 11:28:30 AM PST by inkling
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To: NavyCanDo

I think they should be more afraid of what awaits them in the hereafter.


42 posted on 03/08/2006 11:29:25 AM PST by flying Elvis
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To: cripplecreek
After about 50 years in prison, it's gonna be hilarious.

WERD...

43 posted on 03/08/2006 11:30:17 AM PST by TampaDude (If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the PROBLEM!!!)
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To: inkling
Eeris isn't it? He may be playing that role for a long time.

“Extremities” takes a profound look at sexual violence, revenge, and just how far we can be pushed before we respond in a way we may regret. Described as a “white-knuckle psychological thriller,” this intense stage drama has been known to keep audience members riveted.

44 posted on 03/08/2006 11:31:56 AM PST by flying Elvis
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To: presidio9
According to Wikipedia, Brimingham Southern is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

Press Here

45 posted on 03/08/2006 11:32:04 AM PST by fso301
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To: inkling
As part of the January 2005 Interim Term, the students are producing All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten...

Apparently Russ didn't learn everything he really need to know in kindergarten. His nap time must have coincided with the "Don't play with matches" lesson.

46 posted on 03/08/2006 11:32:20 AM PST by Denver Ditdat (Melting solder since 1975)
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To: inkling
Looks like these guys might be involved in the theatre

Did they enjoy "Brokeback Mountain"?

47 posted on 03/08/2006 11:33:04 AM PST by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 44-48)
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To: presidio9
A federal source said the apparent motive was that the three students just liked to set and watch fires.

Mebbe so, but you have to wonder why churches specifically. I'm thinking there's a little more to this than just that.

I had a conversation with an insurance investigator one time in which he stated that arson, especially among adolescents, is often linked to sexual abnormality. Don't know if it's widely true but it certainly was in the case of the arsonist he did end up catching. Little SOB had burned my boss's house down.

48 posted on 03/08/2006 11:34:11 AM PST by Billthedrill
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To: presidio9
Actually.. a GOOD DEFENSE!... Good sense of humor! :)

Well, they are going to need their sense of humor now... I am already laughing! :)

49 posted on 03/08/2006 11:34:39 AM PST by ElPatriota (Let's not forget that we are still friends despite our differences!)
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To: Ursus arctos horribilis
I fail to see why you addressed that to me.

Three times, even.

I made no joke.

50 posted on 03/08/2006 11:37:46 AM PST by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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