Huckaby and the Arson Fires

Discussion in 'Sandra Cantu' started by i.b.nora, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. i.b.nora

    i.b.nora I am polka dot

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    One of the first articles about this was in the Orange County Register on Sunday April 19, 2009.
    The article itself is a good long look at some of her adventures in Southern California, including her brush with fire.

    Woman suspected in 8-year-old's slaying grew up in O.C.
    Melissa Huckaby blended in at high school before hitting rocky patch.

    By SARAH TULLY and LOU PONSI

    excerpt

    "Before moving to Tracy, Huckaby rented a room for a few months in a four-bedroom house in La Palma in 2007.

    "She was very nice ... very cordial," said Evelyn Lloyd, her housemate who lived at the house for about 12 years. "Every girl who ended up in (that) house had a story. She (Huckaby) really didn't have a story. She was very secretive."

    At first, Lloyd said she "never detected any depression or craziness or any violent behavior."

    But then, in 2007, two fires were set at the house just eight days apart. Lloyd was arrested in the first fire on July 20, but the case against her was dismissed. Lloyd said Huckaby might have set her up.

    Huckaby and her daughter were at the house when the second fire broke out, on July 28, said La Palma Police Chief Edward Ethell. Everyone who lived at the house, including Huckaby, was questioned about the fire.

    Huckaby was considered a "person of interest," but she was not arrested, Ethell said. La Palma police officers are sharing information about the fire case with the Tracy Police Department and the investigation is ongoing, Ethell said."
     
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  3. i.b.nora

    i.b.nora I am polka dot

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    Thanks to the fine young journalists at Tracy Press we now have a new article about Huckaby and the fires.

    Huckaby linked to SoCal arson case

    by Justin Lafferty
    Wednesday April 22, 2009

    Tidbits only, its a must read article. and the Tracy Press articles seem to disappear fairly quickly. Their server isn't big enough, I guess.

    "Evelyn Lloyd, Huckaby’s roommate for eight months, said in a phone interview today from Southern California that police should look more closely at Huckaby’s involvement in the two fires that damaged the four-bedroom house they shared in La Palma."

    "After the first fire, Lloyd said, police found a baby’s bottle with gasoline, a threatening letter and newspapers stuffed in the side window of her first-story room."


    The previous article said Huckaby had lived there four months, this one says eight months which is a much more significant amount of time, imo.
     
  4. arielilane

    arielilane Justice for Morgan

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    i.b. nora, thank you for starting this thread.
     
  5. arielilane

    arielilane Justice for Morgan

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    Interesting part in the article bolded:

    After the first fire, Lloyd said, police found a baby’s bottle with gasoline, a threatening letter and newspapers stuffed in the side window of her first-story room.
     
  6. SeriouslySearching

    SeriouslySearching New Member

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    Couldn't they have run some forensics on the letter, the baby bottle, etc.? It sounds like another dropped ball to me! Sheesh! Wouldn't that be Arson Investigation 101?!
     
  7. passionflower

    passionflower Just 1 tip to find a killer

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    I think more stuff about MH will come out of the wood work soon............she seems very distructive, secretive and very odd..........
     
  8. arielilane

    arielilane Justice for Morgan

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    I agree passion... and she seems to like to leave letters/notes.
     
  9. oceanblueeyes

    oceanblueeyes Active Member

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    She seems very diabolical and dangerous imo.

    imo
     
  10. passionflower

    passionflower Just 1 tip to find a killer

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    do we have dates for the fires that were 8 days apart? TIA
    found my answer July 20 and 28th 2007
     
  11. desert

    desert New Member

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    Actually July 19 and 27, 2007
     
  12. txsvicki

    txsvicki New Member

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    The article sounds like the letter was threatening Ms. Loyd since the note was found in her window. I wonder what the note said, how much damage was done with the two fires, if Ms. Loyd lost all her belongings or had trouble getting insurance coverage since she was suspected. How evil. The note proves there was definitely no accidental fire.
     
  13. daisy.faithfull

    daisy.faithfull RIP Joey, Summer, Gianni & Joey Jr.

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    Great thread! I was wondering if someone was going to find an article that mentioned the fires, and this article was awesome... thank you i.b.nora!:clap:

    arielilane,
    The note part jumped out at me to, would that be part of her m.o.? I know that psychiatry has basically thrown out the diagnosis of multiple personalities, but I can totally see how the crimes that we know of present MH as a very Dr. Heckle/Mr. Hyde.
    * Bad MH writes a threatening letter, good MH tries to destroy it by fire (I know that at first glance the setting the fire is seen as the "bad" act, but thinking outside the box she could have trying to destroy her "bad" self. The crime is just so filled with symbolism: baby bottle usually associated with nurturing and motherhood is filled with gasoline, a poison, toxic substance. The note, symbolizing the voice of her guilty "bad" self is tried by fire, judged and destroyed.)
    * Good MH steals in an attempt by the "good self" to draw attention to MH, to get help, "bad" MH was probably resisting services.
    * "Bad" MH kidnaps and drugs a little girl, "good" Sandra returns the child to her home and would have been investigated were it not for the attitude of the police.
    * Before having to face treatment as a result of the theft charges, the "bad" self rapes and kills Sandra, the "good" MH turns herself in.

    Ya, I know the above is "out there":beamup:, I guess the fire and the bottle really caught my attention because of her family's background with the church. Fire = Hell:devil:, Bottle = Mary:baby:.... This case is just so out there to begin with. :waitasec:
     
  14. txsvicki

    txsvicki New Member

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    Or, if she did it, maybe she thought that she could get back with her husband or go live with parents, grandparents for free if there was danger and her home was destroyed. Some women have even set up fires to get rid of husbands and their own children.
     
  15. daisy.faithfull

    daisy.faithfull RIP Joey, Summer, Gianni & Joey Jr.

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    Do you mean she set the fire the her room so that it would be destroyed so she could tell everyone she needed to be rescued? I can see her thinking like that.

    If her little girl was young it seems kinda weird that her family would not want to provide a transitional place for MH and her daughter to stay, ya know not wanting their grandchild/neice to grow up around strangers. I wonder if she lived at that place because she did not want to be around her family or because they did not want to be around her.

    Since the baby bottle was in the fire I can see her telling them that next time the little girl might not be so lucky, they don't really know who set the fire etc. Do we know if she went from this place to stay with her grandparents? I wonder if there are other incidents like this that her family or friends know about but haven't mentioned because they didn't have any direct proof that it was Melissa?
     
  16. JoeFromLB

    JoeFromLB Active Member

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    I'm wondering if that house was some kind of group home or residence for mentally ill people. Her housemate lived there for 12 years?? Was she a member of the family that owned the home, or just a boarder?

    And then the part about "every girl who ended up in that house had a story" intrigues me. How many girls lived there during the 12 years the housemate was there? What kind of "stories" did they have??

    When you're a normal person and you rent a room in a house, they don't speak of you "ending up" there. "Ending up" from where? All those girls through the years "ending up in that house"...

    And the housemate "never detected any depression or craziness or any violent behavior." That's an odd thing to say, IMO. Was she expecting something along those lines, and surprised that MH seemed more normal?
     
  17. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    I'd like to say a bit about Brea Olinda High School, the culture of the area and why many may have had a certain perspective about MH and seem so surprised now. Of course, this is all JMO but it is from what I have observed and may lend some insight. I'm very familiar with Brea and Brea Olinda. My roommate/friend went there and worked there for 7 years. I know 3 other people who attended there during the time MH did. Two of my young brothers-in-law currently attend there and I drop them off almost every morning.
    In comparison with many of the outlying areas like Anaheim, much of Fullerton and La Habra, and Placentia, Brea is not a very diverse area at all. It is one of the whitest areas around, with just a couple, quite small low income areas where the few non-Asian minorities live. Everyone knows where those areas are and in my opinion, the people who live there are not well thought of by the rest of the town, and in many cases, by the school district.
    Brea is also one of the most religious areas of Orange County. It's a small town but there is a HUGE number of churches. Most of the people in Brea, from what I have seen, are either evangelical Christian or Mormon. Sports are hugely important in Brea and alot of money is put into sports there. This is a predominantly upper-middle class area, pretty affluent.
    I find that as a result of this, people there tend to be somewhat sheltered and very accepting of anyone who fits the basic demographic trends of Brea. So, if you're white and religious and not lower income, you are accepted and it is assumed that you are a decent, usptanding and NORMAL person. I feel that people will not look too deep if they see what they think they should.
    My roommate came from the lower-income area. She had a hard life and has a different perspective. She tells me that as a child and teen, she viewed the world a bit more cynically than most. She also viewed MH a a bit differently than most, it seems.
    As I talk to her more about the case, she reveals a bit more about her impressions from going to high school and taking a math class with MH.
    Simply, she found her to be "off". She said there was something she did not like about MH, something strange in the way she talked, the way she walked around the room, the way she talked about church or her church activities, the way she interacted with her friends, even the way she laughed. "Normal people don't laugh like that. I don't know how to explain it." She said today.
    I trust my roommate because she has always proven to be an excellent judge of character since I've known her, getting a sense about people from first, fleeting interactions. She's never been wrong yet. And although she never would have predicted anything like this she is not surprised that MH is (in my roomate's words) "crazy" now.
    Based in part on this, I just don't think MH was this completely sweet and normal person who suddenly went nuts and changed. I think that whatever she is now - disturbed, pedophilic, evil, attention seeking, whatever - was there back then, perhaps just not as developed. I just think that most of the people who knew her based their views about her largely on their assumptions about "nice" white Christian girls who didn't seem to stand out and thus they by-passed anything odd, or off or any gut instinct that might have told them that all was not perfect with MH. JMO.
     
  18. daisy.faithfull

    daisy.faithfull RIP Joey, Summer, Gianni & Joey Jr.

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    Went out to see if I could find out if there were any mental illnesses that have fire starting behaviors as their central characteristics. Didn't get that far in finding that, but I found one on a woman who murdered her mother by setting her on fire.

    I thought that it was significant because that is not an aspect to the fires that I had thought of was she fantasizing about burning her child, her self?

    Death by fire a grim example of toll of mental illness (Parts of the article I paraphrased, and others I copied and pasted as is. I did not change any of the official's names, but I inserted pronouns for everyone else. For the complete article written by Andria Simons on 2.17.09 for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, go to http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/gwinnett/stories/2009/02/17/mental_illness_toll.html

    Anyway the woman in the article "had been involuntarily committed to inpatient psychiatric treatment twice within the past six months. She had also been arrested twice since September for allegedly beating up her mother...

    The tragedy of [the mother's] slaying last Tuesday has turned a spotlight on the anguish of thousands of families who are grappling with mental illness. Many feel they have nowhere to turn.

    Family members said [the daughter], who was diagnosed with schizophrenia and depression, set her mother on fire last Tuesday because she thought she was being poisoned. She refused to take the anti-psychotic medication that doctors prescribed when she was released from a state mental health facility Jan. 29, according to her father..." The article goes on to say that the father reported that his wife was afraid of their daughter from all the beatings she received at her hands.

    The article says that these tragedies are not unusual. And here is the part that I found most interesting because it talks about the effects this stuff has on the family, I wonder if it was anything like what the Huckaby's were going through. We don't know if MH's was trying to sweep it under the rug but even if they did MH is still responsible for her behavior mentally ill or not.

    “I’ve talked to parents who have a hard time sleeping because they’re afraid of their loved one in the house,” said Lisa Roberts, president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness chapter in Cobb County. “It’s sad for the person who is ill and the family members who are suffering. They both suffer.”

    Families don’t want loved ones jailed or thrown out on the street, even when they are uncooperative or violent, said Sgt. Tracy Lee of the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department. Lee is a member of the county Domestic Violence Task Force. Reluctance to see a loved one imprisoned prevents some people from seeking a protective order, because a violation of the order gets the offender jailed, he said."
     
  19. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    There are some interesting comments attached to the above article. One compares MH to Laurie Dann, the schoolhouse shooter:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurie_Dann.

    I read a book about Laurie Dann. It really freaked me out. Very bizarre person who committed a horrific attempted mass murder of children. Although I think MH and Dann are very different, there are some scary similarities. But, I think Dann was organically mentally ill. I don't really think that about MH.
    One other thing, Dann's family were very good at hiding and denying her "issues".
     
  20. daisy.faithfull

    daisy.faithfull RIP Joey, Summer, Gianni & Joey Jr.

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    My high school and junior high had a similar split like that. Everyone was split among a couple grade schools that were every one was pretty much the same SES. Before we all went to those grade schools we went to the same school for kindergarden through 3rd grade while those grade schools were being built.

    So while there was that culture clash I think that it was minimized because we had been together before when we were too young to really be concerned about those things.

    To me there were cliques but I was just kinda introverted and nerdy, bookish, was in band :)eek:), but I was friendly with different people in the different cliques, my best friends were the same way. Two of us had started out junior high in the lower class area and moved to the higher classed area for our high school, but still I think that all of us had that nieveness (sp?) to us. A girl moved from NYC to our city in about 8th grade, and in NYC she had no illusions about the world even at that young age.

    Our senior year she made a comment that I will never forget about one of the "all american" boys we went to high school together, that he was bad news and that his life was going to reflect that. I remember it because it just didn't make sense, I'd sat next to him in a bunch of classes because of our last name. I'm pretty sure I had a crush on him for a couple of days:blushing:. I knew his sisters and had been over to their house a couple of times.

    About a decade latter I was reading the newspaper and there he was. He had gone on to a very prestigious college, went on to have a very prestigious career, and then committed a very brutal murder. He didn't look like the guy that any of us had known, except to my one friend. She was not at all surprised. She's a wise soul :curtsey:.

    I keep circling back to this paragraph you wrote:

    I've tended to not think that MH is a sociopath or psychopath, but that sounds like someone who can't quite connect with others trying to mimic humanness. Ya know she would laugh, but maybe your roommate wisely saw through the superficial stuff because it wasn't coming from the emotion of happiness or joy?

    Usually the more I understand something the less fearful of it I am, that is so not the case with MH. At this point, the more I know the more horrifying it is. :shakehead:

    I think tomorrow evening I better watch a Disney movie...:mears:
     
  21. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    (Snipped and bolded by me)

    I completely agree! The Disney movie comment made me laugh even though this situation is so horrific, because that's exactly how I have been feeling. A case like this can make a person just feel dirty. A nice Disney movie often helps me feel normal again!
     

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