Indiana house exdplosion update

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wrote:

That may be a problem if you are looking for the perfect explosion but if you are just looking for a blast big enough to collect the insurance, the mix is not that important. It does not take one PSI, impressed on the total envelope of a house to take the roof off and blow the walls out, particularly in the 99% of the country that does not have a hurricane code. That is the main intent of the hurricane strapping we have in Florida. It protects against uplift.
One PSI of pressure from a mediocre explosion ends up being 230,000 pounds of uplift on the ceiling of a 1600 sq/ft house.
100 16d "toe nails" in 25 trusses is not going to hold down an uplift close to a quarter million pounds. The 5000 pounds or so of roof is insignificant to that much uplift..
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

And he doesn't even need to do that much. Have the blow out screw with the wood frame of the house and even moving it a few inches is probably enough in most cases to total out the house. People get fixated on the big outcome and think THAT is what the plan was. It was probably thought the boom was going to be much less.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

You can't bring "homicide charges" because "homicide" (the killing of one human being by another) is not, per se, a crime.
In my state, there are five kinds of homicide: 1. Murder 2. Manslaughter 3. Negligent homicide 4. Justifiable 5. Excusable
Only the first three are criminal offenses. Here are examples of the differences: Two men on a deer-hunting trip when one shoots and kills the other.
1. With premeditation, the first hunter simply shoots and kills the second. MURDER 2. During a heated argument, the second hunter is shot. MANSLAUGHTER. 3. Hunter one is drunk and improperly handles his gun. NEGLIGENT. 4. Hunter #2 shoots at #1 first, #1 returns fire killing #2. JUSTIFIABLE. 5. Hunter #2 jumps from behind bush wearing a deer costume. EXCUSABLE.
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The gas air mixture has to be right to get a good explosion. This can't be guaranteed before ignition takes place. And a source of ignition has to be provided somehow.
It's a murder like these stupid Hollywood films where the victim is deliberately murdered by dropping an electrical appliance in the bath. Concocted by idiots that know nothing. For idiots that know nothing to watch.
We have an alternative lesser charge of manslaughter over here for death by carelessness.
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harry wrote:

If you have a gas leak in the basement, I garantee that somewhere in the house the mixture will be perfect, and that somewhere will change over time as more gas fills the house.

The occupants of the house probably turned down the thermostat to somewhere between 60 and 65f before they left.
This would be a clever way to set off the explosion.
The furnace is working, the house is sitting at 70f. You set the thermostat to 65, you create your gas leak near the furnace, and you get everyone out and go to the casino where you'll be spending the night. It will take hours for the house temp to fall to 65, and all the while the house is filling with gas. You turn off the water heater (or dial it down to some low temp so it doesn't come on).
The house cools, the thermostat kicks in, the furnace ignition comes on, then BOOM.
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On 11/20/2012 9:30 AM, Home Guy wrote:

And, so what if it doesn't "go boom!" but just burns to the ground? The (presumed) objective to have a reason to file an insurance claim has been achieved...
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Didn't Arnold do this exact thing in the movie - ERASER -
disconnect the hose from the stove, turn the mechanical thermo to high - so it would cycle almost immediately - then run out -
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On Tue, 20 Nov 2012 06:51:12 -0800 (PST), harry

flow from an open pipe, figure out how long to leave it open to get the required mixture, and set up an electrical ignitor triggered by a timer set to the required time. Dead simple - and almost fool-proof. Now I'm sure Harry could screw it up using british technology - and a lucas ignition system.
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On Tue, 20 Nov 2012 06:51:12 -0800 (PST), harry

Even a bad explosion can get the job done. Not hard to do at all. Source of ignition? Give me 15 minutes and I'll have a few rigged. Give me $20 and an hour and I'll have a dozen rigged.
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The trick is doing it without leaving an incriminating piece of evidence. The best might be as simple as a candle burning at one end of the house and a burner on the stove turned on at the other. Put a pan of water on the stove to make it plausible that you were cooking something or simply adding humidity to the house.
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Lots of conjecture here by non-experts. Let's have some links to people found guilty of murder by engineering a gas leak and subsequent explosion.
It will also fail when the proposed victims smell gas.
Plenty of fictional cases out there. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?search=murder+by+gas+explosion&button=&title=Special%3ASearch
Hence the confusion in many minds on this group
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You don't have to INTEND to kill someone. Like in this case. It could have been done to collect insurance, not to kill someone. Still, if someone is killed unintentionally, you can be charged with murder.
As for previous cases, how about this one:
http://abcnews.go.com/US/josh-powell-kill-sons-hatchet-fatal-explosion/story?id=15520394
Josh Powell tried to kill his two young sons with a hatchet before the flames of the fiery explosion he had ignited engulfed them all, police said today.
Powell, 36, failed to kill his sons Charles, 7, and Braden, 5, but still wounded them horribly before they died -- smoke in their lungs -- in the gas-fueled explosion Sunday, according to police and the medical examiner.
Or how about this from, of all places, the UK:
"Gas engineer, 32, arrested on suspicion of manslaughter over blast that killed toddler and destroyed four homes 'may have examined boiler in one of the houses days before the explosion'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2165762/Oldham-explosion-Man-32-arrested-suspicion-manslaughter-death-toddler-Jamie-Heaton.html#ixzz2Crg0JsR3 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
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wrote:

But not deliberate. Just by bad luck all the conditions were fulfilled for an explosion. Most accidents are the result of several factors converging.
Like the Texas train smash. The truck stopped. The train was coming. The people on the float were disabled and couldn't escape.
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On Wed, 21 Nov 2012 00:47:38 -0800 (PST), harry

being heavier than air a basement gas leak can go undetected, smell-wise - and still explode. NG is a bit different - being lighter than air the smell gets around a lot faster.
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<stuff snipped>

If the gas is leaking in the basement of an enclosed house, it would probably escape through the attic vents or the chimney and be dispersed high above the ground. Then, since it's lighter than air it would rise up. A whole house could fill with gas without anyone at ground level having any idea there was a leak.
While there's a whole lot of circumstantial evidence here, it's going to be very hard to prove arson beyond a reasonable doubt short of toolmarks and fingerprints on the tools that made those marks.
-- Bobby G.
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websites about the workings of furnaces and/or furnace explosions past. If there was a timer or ignition device for the purposes of alibi establishment (or even just a lack of death wish on the part of the person setting up the blast) that can be traced back. There are many others. These guys aren't rocket scientists, so they likely left some kind of trail. The main problem will probably be finding it in the destruction. AT least when I was involved, the IFD arson guys were good and the ATF arson team was made up of wizards.
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wrote:<stuff snipped>

Yeah, that's a bit of a problem. I think you'll recall my post a while back about how all the handbooks of arson investigation, particularly regarding various accelerants, are being rewritten because many were based on anecdote, not science. The most damning was the discovery that what investigators had previously classified as accelerant trails on the floor were actually a peculiar distillation effect of the hot gas from melted plastic furnishing condensing when they met the cooler floor surface. They discovered this after one of the many test fires they set at the nearby Fire Institute at UMd.
People were executed on the basis of faulty data that "arose" from examining test fires from a time when there was very little plastic in a burning home. So the arson investigation profession took a big hit, along with a number of other forensic profession as more and more judges are requiring scientific and not tradition or simulation based testimony. You may have heard of Texas' recently discredited "dog lineup" that has been laughed out of court - finally.
http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/law-enforcement-military-homeland-security-discussion/113411-texas-s-top-criminal-court-tosses-murder-conviction-based-dog-scent-evidence.html

Somehow, a lot of these guys fail to detect the causes of deliberately set fires which makes their "hit" rate in past cases very suspicious. Reminds me of why cops score very high on detecting deception: they believe everyone's lying. Their apparently accuracy as human lie detectors is offset by their inability to detect the truth as often as other people.
Many accidental fires look very much like arson and vice-versa. I've sat through the testimony of a lot of fire and accident reconstruction specialists and have only been mildly impressed by some and complete flabbergasted by the chutzpah of others when it came to try to assess fault. Perhaps the prosecutors find more credible witnesses for criminal cases but I doubt it. As OJ showed, with enough money a good defense attorney could discredit Diogenes and Abe Lincoln both.
These cases are hard to prove (beyond appeal) because it's rare they can find a witness or a CCTV recording showing the defendant setting the fire. After a decade of CSI watching, jurors come to expect evidence that exists only on TV shows. No witnesses, to a good lawyer, is almost all the reasonable doubt you need. As you noted, when the crime scene is blown all to hell and evidence has not been collected with the same care as it would in a typical murder crime scene, you've got another evidentiary hill to climb.
These people were out of town, apparently, when it happened. Making it even harder for a jury to convict unless a timer device with a direct connection to the defendant is found. Plenty of people I've seen post on Usenet wouldn't hesitate to "Ben Quick" one of their neighbor once they realized they weren't home. As other posters have noted, some of those evil people have immolated themselves along with their target. As my WWII vet editor told me: "Never underestimate stupidity." If in doubt, see the thread where two of our regulars are arguing who is more stupid. (-:
-- Bobby G.
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(1) as you yourself noted the science is better and (2) we are talking about an explosion where the plastics melting is not a factor.

This was treated as crime scene from the get go.

ignition device was probably viewed as a requirement from the getgo.
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wrote:

time the explosion? Timers that have a legitimate reason to be in the house. Lots of them - and VERY hard to prove after an explosion and fire what they were used for.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

But how many would produce the needed spark on their own? You can also ask why they were in the place where you found them? That can be a tip.
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