Inside the Mind of an Arsonist - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Inside the Mind of an Arsonist

Dr. Mustafa Hussain, Local Psychiatrist Dr. Mustafa Hussain, Local Psychiatrist
Dr. Keith Price, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at West Texas A&M Dr. Keith Price, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at West Texas A&M

Connecting the outbreak of fires together would mean our area has a serial arsonist on the loose. Both experts we spoke with agree it takes a very specific kind of person to act in these criminal ways.

Dr. Mustafa Hussain  is a psychiatrist in Amarillo, and he tells us there are two different types of people who could be arsonists. Those who do it in an isolated event for individual gain, and those who have developed habits over the course of a lifetime, who suffer from conduct disorder.

"These kids time and time again get involved in illegal activities, and they also get a kind of high from setting fires. Usually with small fires at home, but then it escalates," said Hussain.

Dr. Keith Price is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at West Texas A&M, but before that he was a prison warden for 30 years.

He says he recalls some arsonists from his days as a warden, and most of them were very similar.

"Most of the ones that I recall were a little flaky. There personalities were twisted. The idea of embracing fire as something lovely is a little different. Based on the conditions that we have right now, that one little event can be extremely destructive and bring a lot of attention to that particular criminal."

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