Kansas Woman Charged With Burning Home To Kill Spider

220px-ArachnophobiaArachnophobia can come at a cost but rarely do those costs include criminal charges and a torched home. Ginny M. Griffith, 34, of Hutchinson, Kansas is accused of burning her home in an effort to kill a spider. She allegedly used a cigarette lighter to set some towels on fire and destroyed not just her home but half of a duplex.

The fire department was able to quickly extinguish the fire and there was no structural damage. It is the charge that I find notable: aggravated arson. It was aggravated because the other half of the duplex was also occupied. However, it was not an intentional act. It was an act of utter stupidity caused by a fire of spiders. I do not question that she should be held accountable but aggravated arson? That puts her in the same league as serial arsonists.

Here is the provision:

Statute 21-3719: Aggravated arson. (a) Aggravated arson is arson, as defined in K.S.A. 21-3718 and amendments thereto:
(1) Committed upon a building or property in which there is a human being; or

(2) which results in great bodily harm or disfigurement to a firefighter or law enforcement officer in the course of fighting or investigating the fire.

(b) (1) Aggravated arson as described in subsection (a)(1) resulting in a substantial risk of bodily harm is a severity level 3, person felony.

(2) Aggravated arson as described in subsection (a)(1) resulting in no substantial risk of bodily harm is a severity level 6, person felony.

(3) Aggravated arson as described in subsection (a)(2) is a severity level 3, person felony.

It adds a new modern spin to the nightmare if Little Ms. Muffet

220px-Little_Miss_Muffet_1_-_WW_Denslow_-_Project_Gutenberg_etext_18546

Source: St. Louis CBS

25 thoughts on “Kansas Woman Charged With Burning Home To Kill Spider

  1. Yes stupid, to be sure, brought on by a fear of spiders. Yet another case where the police overreact and engage in stupidity of their own.

  2. I agree, while they can charge her w/ aggravated arson because the elements are there, discretion could have also been used. If this woman was “connected” politically or economically, they almost certainly would show discretion. If you’re just a regular person, you get nailed! That’s the way it works, folks.

    Having a southpaw daughter, I became fascinated w/ their world. So, I read much on the subject. There was a study, some years back, that indicated southpaws who were forced to become northpaws as children, had a much higher risk of arachnophobia. When those nuns made southpaws stop using the “devils hand” they were messing w/ the hardwiring in the brain. When you do that, bad things happen. I wonder if this woman was taught by nuns?

  3. I went to a New Year’s eve party, and was warned, it’s like the Adams Family.

    They had pets: Cat, dog, parrot, pig, snake, lizard, and tarantula spider.

    I took a nap after the meal, in the living room. When I woke up, they either crawling on me, or napping near me too. No problem.

  4. Ahhhhhh, the penguins. Whenever I hear about nuns as teachers, I will forever think of The Blues Brothers. And my dad.

    I agree that aggravated arson is overkill. Would it be criminal negligence?

    So lucky no one was hurt.

  5. They doused the flames that arose from the clothes that smoldered and smelled inside the door lit with the lighter to scare the spider that frightened the woman.

    She bonded of course.

  6. I think the problem could be that, from my cursory research on the statutes, there is not a “Reckless Burning” type of statute in Kansas. It seems to be either Arson or nothing. If this is the case it is something that the legislature should take up.

  7. Don’t prosecutors have enough criminals to deal with without some dumb charge like this. It really isn’t arson to begin with, so how it become aggravated arson.
    BTW, my wife would have no trouble understanding this woman’s thought process in fighting spiders.

  8. Little Miss Muffett sat on a tuffett eating her kurds and whey.
    Along came a spider who sat down beside her and said:
    “Hey, what’s in the bowl, Bi!$h” ?!!!

  9. If she lived in a “duplex” and she caused a fire that burned half the duplex, then she probably burned her side of the duplex and not the other side. “destroyed not her home but half a duplex”. Yeah. Same thing. So, there was of course some carryover to the other side of the duplex. Maybe she damaged all of the duplex. Not just her half. By the way. Look at the Dow today. Blows to Obama. Right? What was the Dow when the guy came into the White House and stopped the depression? Dow was 9600. Today it is close to 17,000. This is related to the term “duplex”.

  10. Darren, The way I read it the prosecutor had the choice of simple arson or aggravated arson since there was a person in the unit. It’s akin to 1st degree or 2nd degree burglary. The prosecutor could have chosen the lesser arson, but decided to be a prick and hit this woman w/ both barrels.

  11. The only thing this woman is guilty of is stupidity. This is a matter for the insurance company to deal with, not the police.

  12. So if a person has a fear of anything whether real or imagined, such as a fear of heights or snakes, the “boogie man” or godless “commies”, and if that fear, however and by whom created in the mind of someone now afflicted, results in a sense of terror and or panic that they react in a way you would not if confronting their bete noire, they are stupid? No, sir, I think you are the stupid one, abysmally stupid.

  13. But did the spider survive or die? If it survived, then, yes, aggravated arson because of utter failure on the part of Ginny M. If not, then simple arson, but with a life sentence to safely lock away from society an incredibly stupid person. Prison will never cure stupidity, but confinement will protect the rest of us from her. Exile to Johnson Atoll would be ok, too.

  14. shafarnullifidian – She’s not stupid for having a phobia; she’s stupid for setting a stack of towels on fire inside her house, especially without having a fire extinguisher or water source nearby. Now who’s the stupid one?

  15. When you’re up to your ass in alligators (or have a phobia about spiders), the last thing you’re “thinking” about is that you were sent to clean out the swamp, or in a case of panic such as this very well may have been, the only thing occupying her mind was getting rid of that spider. You’re still the stupid one, not only abysmally so, but you can now add contemptibly so, but thank you for asking? Care to go for a triple?

  16. I like the common law definition of Burning the dwelling place of another. If I recall, you could burn your own dwelling unless it was pledged as collateral.

  17. But if she burned her own unit then that would be half a duplex. So if she burned just half a duplex then she did not burn the neighbor’s half. You gotta go round the Dupont Circle.

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