Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

News

Remember the Hollywood Serial Arsonist? His Mother is Still Fighting Extradition to Germany

LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.

Remember Harry Burkhart, the man accused of setting dozens of fires in Los Angeles around last New Year's weekend? His mother, 53-year-old Dorothee, is still facing extradition to her native Germany, where she is wanted on multiple fraud charges, including not paying for her own breast implants.

A federal judge heard arguments today in the extradition case, however no decision was made, reports City News Service. It was a hearing held late last year regarding Burkhart's tenure on American soil that may have set off her troubled son; his erratic courtroom outbursts found him earmarked by local law enforcement, which ultimately led to his capture after he allegedly set numerous cars on fire in West Hollywood, Hollywood, and the Valley.

In prior hearings, Mrs. Burkhart was prone to making wild accusations about Nazism and proclamations about her son's mental instability. Today, reports indicate she sat calmly and quietly taking notes.

Among the fraud and breach of trust accusations Burkhart faces are charges she became a tenant at apartments but did not pay rent, she posed as a landlady and falsely rented property to tenants, along with the aforementioned boob job debacle.

Support for LAist comes from

Her attorney's objections to the extradition include concerns about the statute of limitations on the German fraud charges, as well as the matter of her being subpoenaed by her son's defense as a key witness in the arson case. Other wilder objections include a fear she would be the target of assaults once back in Germany.

However, Assistant U.S. Attorney Cathy Ostiller countered that if Burkhart lost the extradition battle and exhausted all appeals, it would be "a year or two'' before she is returned to Frankfurt, so she would be in custody in Los Angeles for her son's trial for at least the next few years. And, certainly, she could be brought back to L.A. to testify if need be, or submit testimony via satellite. Bottom line: It's a non-issue.