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For ten years, a serial arsonist terrorized Southern California, burning down businesses in broad daylight. Four people were murdered. Then, a manuscript for a novel lead investigators to the last person they would have ever suspected.

New episodes every Wednesday.
13 Episodes
Coming Soon | Firebug

Coming Soon | Firebug


For ten years, a fire bug terrorized Southern California, burning down businesses in broad daylight. Four people had died. Then a manuscript for a novel leads investigators to the last person they would have ever suspected. Host Kary Antholis goes on a journey to figure out where fiction meets reality.
In 1991, federal investigators arrest an arsonist in Los Angeles. In his home, they find a manuscript for a novel about a firebug burning down California. Is the book a work of fiction, or the confessions of a prolific arsonist turned murderer? Host Kary Antholis investigates to figure out where fiction meets reality.
Arson investigator John Orr and his new partner Doug Staubs face off against a serial arsonist lighting up Glendale, California. Orr is one of the most renowned arson investigators in the state, but this arsonist always seems one step ahead.
A brazen series of fires breaks out around an arson investigators conference. Bakersfield arson investigator Marvin Casey gets a break in the case: a sophisticated incendiary device...and a fingerprint. For pictures relating to this episode, visit our website at
The worst brush fire in Glendale history sweeps across the College Hills. While arson investigator John Orr races to the scene, 13-year old twin sisters Jennifer and Christina Raggio flee their home just steps ahead of the flames. Is this the work of the same serial arsonist?
Fires break out all over Los Angeles, and ATF agent April Carroll is on the case.  When she widens her investigation, she meets Bakersfield arson investigator Marvin Casey, who leads her to a suspect she never expected...and a manuscript for a novel that reads like a confession.
It’s 1991.  Investigators finally make an arrest in the largest arson investigation in history.  Host Kary Antholis sits down with the author of “Points Of Origin.”  Is his book a confession?
Chapter Seven | The Trial

Chapter Seven | The Trial


The author of Points of Origin is on trial for murder. The evidence: his own words.
Almost thirty years after their first conversation, Kary tracks down America's most notorious serial arsonist, hoping to answer the question of 'why?'
Host Kary Antholis uncovers a hidden side of America's most prolific serial arsonist…by speaking to the people he was closest to.
Host Kary Antholis explores the two sides of America's most prolific arsonist, in preparation for one last confrontation.
Investigators believed that the novel Points of Origin was based on real fires set by its author. But did its darker passages detail a brutal assault and murder?
For decades, Washington D.C. was terrorized by a serial arsonist who set hundreds of fires. In letters to journalist Dave Jamieson, that arsonist discussed his strange motivations, and a murder no one knew about.
Comments (8)

Amy Pietrowski

Listened to the whole podcast in one sitting. Upsetting that someone in the public's trust could be so callous.

Sep 22nd

Erik Pabst

great podcast

Sep 22nd



Sep 12th


I stood on a hilltop watching the firefighters battle the fla mm es of Oles in South Pasadena Was very sobering to learn how people were trapped

Sep 2nd

Michael Grandfield

the story is a fascinating one, and if you don't know the story of the Pillow Pyro, then it's worth a listen. But in a series of short episodes each heavy with ads, a recap of past episodes, and sensationalized teasers for the next episode, you're really only getting about ten minutes of new information each week, which seems excessive, especially since a glut of true crime podcasts have covered this case.

Aug 26th
Reply (2)


The cover art caught my eye. Striking, simple, but with a dual message. Listened to the trailer. Great writing, and high production value. As the daughter of a volunteer firefighter, I grew up with fire and I can’t wait to listen to this.

Aug 8th
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