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Burn Boston Burn

The Story of the Largest Arson Case in the History of the Country
Narrated by: Chris Monteiro
Length: 15 hrs and 35 mins
Categories: Nonfiction, True Crime
4 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Burn Boston Burn is an astounding true crime narration. A conspiracy of nine men, including three Boston cops and a Boston firefighter, burned Boston and surrounding communities in the early 1980s due to tax-cutting measures that caused layoffs of hundreds of police and firefighters. 

Over two years, these fire buffs-turned-arsonists torched 264 buildings, causing millions of dollars in damages and hundreds of injuries. The city was ablaze with nightly fires, sirens wailing through the streets, and people too afraid to sleep. 

This book interweaves the activities of the arsonists with those of the investigators, the firefighters, and the citizens of the area. Listeners will shake their heads in disbelief at the brazen and wanton actions of these political terrorists. The author Wayne Miller, now a retired ATF special agent, lived this case for three years. A TV cameraman helped break the case when one of the cops waved his gun in the air at a massive fire as if he were at a rodeo. 

The case included a stolen police car dumped in Boston Harbor and a threat letter consisting of cut-out letters and plans to murder witnesses. After the Boston police officer/arsonist became a witness, they utilized 17 undercover contacts to perfect a federal case. 

Agent Miller spent innumerable hours with those perpetrators who became Government witnesses. An arsonist’s journal provided the basis for chilling insights into their words, actions, and thoughts. Mr. Miller now has regular contact with that arsonist who has provided additional information in support of the book. 

Every firefighter who has heard of the story wants to read or listen about it. Also, anyone interested in true crime, investigative procedures, the inner workings of a criminal conspiracy, and fires would have strong interests in this book. The case was covered by national media in the early to mid 1980s.

©2019 Wayne M. Miller (P)2019 Wayne M. Miller

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A little less than I wanted it to be

It was good. It was loaded with details of all the fires. But I found I wanted either less of a list of fires, or a shorter book. Would have liked more of the trials and investigations. This seemed to skim the surface a little.

Writing not bad despite a few corny lines and lots of cliches.

The narrator took a chapter to get used to, but it worked as I got into the rhythm. He just sounds so.... bright.

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    1 out of 5 stars

A real disappointment

So let me get this straight, Federal Law enforcement in Boston during the 80's ..... (FBI, DEA, and ATF) , 20 murders that the FBI was complicit in, numerous FBI Agents implicated, Massachusetts (Boston) US Attorney William Mueller, chided by congress for prosecuting 6 innocent men who spent 30 years in prison, and then 240 unsolved arsons by 7 bad guys that took the ATF 3 years to solve? Miller writes like Joe Friday of Dragnet. Lots of case numbers and federal statutes to impress the reader. Not a spoiler but really? 7 defendants whose (the author agrees) combined IQ was double digit at most and it took them that long to make an arrest? No doubt Mr Miller is a decent man, his whining about how difficult this case was is laughable. Lastly, I almost fell off my chair when he spoke about how unsuccessful he was as an undercover narcotics Officer on Cape Cod in the 70's. As anyone who spent more than five minutes on the Cape in the 70's, drug were plentiful and readily available. Having read dozens of real crime books, I find this story lacks balance and credibility. Maybe this was the "Largest Arson case in the history ot the country" for a reason......incompetence?