Burn your depression to the ground?


Why do people commit arson? There have to be reasons as to why someone would intentionally burn a house, building, vehicle or any other structure. For many, money is a primary motivation, as people hope to file false insurance claims. Other reasons may include vandalism, excitement, crime concealment or murder. There may be psychopathological factors. PTSD could also be a cause, as was the case with Eugene Bryant.


Eugene Bryant is a 66-year-old Vietnam veteran suffering from PTSD. With his home in foreclosure, Bryant’s depression grew and he stopped taking his meds. That was when things took a turn for the worse. In Bryant’s eyes, the only way to deal with his depression and situation was to burn it all to the ground.


In the article, “Depressed veteran charged with arson,” Frank Abderholden of Chicago Sun-Times writes, “On June 6, the Waukegan Fire Department was called to a home at 3117 Cornell Road around 8:30 p.m. where they found heavy fire showing on the back of the house. Firefighters learned from Eugene Bryant’s wife that she fled the house when he lit a back room on fire.”


When authorities arrived on the scene, Bryant was simply sitting in his car right in the driveway, wanting to watch his life burn to the ground. Arson investigators were quickly brought in. After questioning Bryant, they quickly learned that he rather have the house destroyed than anyone else living in it.


Although Bryant committed a crime and could have seriously injured, or even murdered, people in and around the home, he does need help. According to his wife, the family will be taking him to The Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago. Hopefully he finds the help he needs.


Whether it is PTSD or depression, some may feel forced into corner and see arson as a way out of a situation. If you suspect someone is considering arson, contact local authorities immediately. If you have been the victim of arson, contact the team at John Michael Agosti & Associates today.




*Image courtesy of Jakub Gojda