Spartanburg County cat helps solve arson case

Cat helps solve arson case
Gina Campsen and home
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A Spartanburg County, South Carolina woman is now out on $15,000 bond after being charged this week with the October 22, 2013 fire that destroyed parts of her home.

The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Department describes how Gina Campsen arranged to have her Chandler Downs Trail home in Boiling Springs set on fire. Back in October, only David Freeman and Joann Kennedy were arrested and charged with burglary, grand larceny and arson charges.

A 13 page arson report by investigators found several small fires had been set throughout the home. They found fire damage on one bed that extended to the walls. An extra bedroom suffered damage, as well as a child’s bedroom, where small piles of clothes were found burns.

Apparently Campsen allegedly gave permission to Freeman and Kennedy to remove anything they wanted, since insurance would cover any damage. Four television sets, some artwork and two computers were removed from the home, but have been recovered. Campsen has been charged with arson and insurance fraud.

Cat who helped solve arson case
The cat who helped solve arson case. I don’t think we know his name.

Now for the cat. It was Campsen’s cat who eventually broke the case, because the cat wasn’t in the home at the time of the fire. Investigators say the homeowner told the others to burn down her home so she could collect the insurance money.

Campsen was out of town when the incident occurred. The cat survived the fire, because someone took the family cat from the home and dropped it off with Campsen’s father. This led investigators to believe whoever committed the crime had inside knowledge of the family.

It’s nice to know someone thought to get the cat to safety before setting the home on fire. It’s just a shame this cat will likely become the biggest victim of all, because if Campsen is convicted, she may be incarcerated for a very long time. People should learn to be happy with what they’ve got.


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25 thoughts on “Spartanburg County cat helps solve arson case”

  1. I’ll eventually be voted “most likely to start a riot” or assault on an animal hater. But stealing or insurance fraud….naaa…

  2. I can’t help but think that this woman had to be in some sort of desperate way to concoct a burglary and arson of her own home.
    I’m happy, too, that the cat was in a safe place.
    A good lawyer (is there really such a thing?) will get her off unless the accomplices have nailed her.
    Long ago, I had a close friend who decided to become a criminal. The one thing I remember him telling me is that it is always best to “work” alone.

    • lol he decided to become a criminal but yes it seems to pay to ‘work’ alone.
      Well they say crime doesn’t pay but it seems it does!
      A ‘friend’ was a conwoman in disguise and got away scot free because she was a good actress. She left a trail of people and businesses conned and robbed and is still living the life of riley and no doubt doing it all again with a new name and for at least the fourth time we know of.

      • I could never pull off the conwoman.
        I can’t lie worth a damn.
        Plus, it’s just too much work to keep track of lies.

        • I don’t know how she did it, but she turned every one she knew against each other so we didn’t talk and find out her lies until after she’d gone. We knew she was on top benefits for a supposedly bad back, even fooled doctors! But she told another ‘friend’ her husband had won the lottery then died and she was awaiting his winnings, she managed to get £1000 out of her, but the poor soul had no proof! After she’d gone and it all came out it was astonishing the people she had conned and robbed, with different stories under different names, she’s very clever! Our late mother always said ‘Lasses, liars have to have good memories’ and boy was she right!

        • I won’t go into the whole story of Jeff, but I have never really gotten over it. We were really close friends and, at that time, male nurses were in high demand and paid a BUNDLE. He could have named his salary at any large hospital.
          I don’t know where he is today.

  3. What a devious but stupid plan to try to defraud an insurance company! I’m glad all three involved are being charged because it’s people like them who cause the rest of us who would never cheat like that,higher insurance payments.
    But thank goodness they took the cat to safety first, was her father involved too, why did he think he had to look after the cat? Did he usually when his daughter was out of town?
    I just hope the cat doesn’t suffer for their crime by ending up homeless.

    • They didn’t say who took the cat to the father. If the homeowner did before leaving town it would be a great defense. Lots of people drop their cats off with a relative while they’re gone. But if the two who set the fires did it that totally changes perspective. I still don’t know whether a jury would convict her.

  4. No one has mentioned the cats name. I don’t know. The specifics, but I wonder if her defense will be the cat was left with dad because she was out of town.

    Fox Carolina News is really doing a great job with dogs and cats in their broadcasts. They’ve even helped with shelter needs.

    • If she actually arranged for her cat to be out of the home while it was being set on fire, I have to warm to her! Insurance companies are sh*ts anyway 😉 The anarchist in me coming out.

      • There have been a lot of cats rescued from fire in SC news this past week. Three rescued in Columbia but one of them had to be euthanized. I’m just glad the cat wasn’t there.

      • Oooh Michael you must have had some bad experiences with police and insurance companies in the past to feel that way lol
        I suppose we are lucky to only have good ones

        • Well, insurance companies do tend to behave in a slightly immoral manner by raising insurance premiums at will and then resisting making payments when claims are made. They operate a little bit like the banks in my experience.

          • It sometimes seems every one is at it!
            Our window cleaner is owed £40 by one household, he said if they don’t pay up he will have to put his price up to the rest of us! Whaaaat? If he does then it’s bye bye, outside our upstairs windows can stay mucky lol we can clean the downstairs ones ourselves.
            But this is what happens you see, like with insurance scams, honest people are penalised by cost rises because of dishonest people.
            I wonder where you go to learn these scams, maybe we are stupid for being honest 🙁

      • I am with you on this one Michael. I have no problem at all ripping off insurance companies. Infact I would love to rip them off given a reasonable chance one day.

        So if she cared for her cat that’s good enough for me – she just wasn’t clever enough about it I guess.


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