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Arson Suspect Harry Burkhart Kept News Clippings of Arson Cases in Los Angeles and Germany

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When investigators searched the home of arson suspect Harry Burkhart they turned up something interesting: news clippings of arson cases in Germany and Los Angeles.

Some of the news clippings included stories about car blazes set in Germany last year, but investigators would not comment on whether Burkhart was considered a suspect in those cases, according to the Associated Press.

Burkhart has been charged with 37 felony counts of arson related to the more than 50 fires set in Hollywood, West Hollywood and the Valley over four nights last week. He is also considered a suspect in the arson case at his family's home in Marburg, Germany, which was set shortly before he left the country to come to the US in October. He filed an insurance claim after the fire, which raised suspicions for investigators.

Burkhart and his mother Dorothee Burkhart have a bizarre family history, but not all of the pieces have been filled in, AP reports:

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Their family history remains murky, but documents reveal both mother and son struggled with mental illness. They had a vagabond lifestyle, with addresses at various times in Germany, the U.S. and Canada, and the son holds a German passport but authorities say he was born in Chechnya. Medical records dated March 2010 and submitted in a lengthy dispute over commercial space the mother rented in Vancouver say she suffered from depression, anxiety, severe post traumatic stress disorder and panic attacks. A separate note, also dated March 2010, says Harry Burkhart suffered from autistic spectrum disorder since his childhood, and he has severe anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, depression and "is not stable mentally because of increase stress due to fear."


Dorothee also had a "tantra massage" website set up, and she was in the midst of deportation hearings that police believe may have spurred her son to go on an arson spree. Yesterday Harry Burkhart's arraignment was postponed until January 24.