Fire Lover is the incredible true story of John Orr. As a young boy growing up in Los Angeles, Orr watched with awe as firefighters put out blazes with a seeming disregard for their own lives. Wanting to emulate his heroes, he later became a fireman, a fire captain, and one of Southern California’s most renowned serial arson investigators. Though he successfully helped apprehend a string of petty arsonists, there was one serial criminal Orr couldn’t track down, one who was responsible for the deaths of four people. These perfectly executed blazes were set by a fire lover who used the same simple yet devastating device time after time. He went undiscovered until one day when he left a fingerprint, one clue investigators could match. When they did, they were stunned to discover that the print belonged to none other than John Orr.
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I especially enjoyed his analysis of a major failing in law enforcement profession. Law enforcement agencies don't work together which often results in crimes going unsolved. His take on federal law enforcement challenges the myths created by their PR units and Hollywood. Wambaugh's years as a police officer shine through his narrative on the judicial system. It brings to mind the comparison of this system to the making of sausage-you really don't want to see how it is made.
This book should be required reading of all public safety administrators who without question, embrace and promote the ambitious shining stars in their departments. Wambaugh shows that they are not always who they seem to be.