The Most Famous Arsonist: Exploring Notable Fire Setters

Choose the arsonist you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 15, 2024 08:08
Step into the blazing world of infamy as we ignite your curiosity with our latest ranking - "Who is the most famous arsonist?" Here at StrawPoll, we've fueled the flames of thousands of polls and rankings, and now we want you to cast your fiery vote for the most notorious firestarter in history! Whether you're a fan of the cunning and calculated or the wild and reckless, our lineup of legendary arsonists is sure to spark your interest. Don't see your favorite pyromaniac? No need to fume! Simply suggest a missing option and watch their notoriety soar. So, what are you waiting for? Stoke the embers of debate and help us determine who truly deserves the title of the most famous arsonist!

Who Is the Most Famous Arsonist?

  1. 1
    John Leonard Orr is a former arson investigator for the Glendale Fire Department, he is believed to have set over 2,000 fires in Southern California. He was convicted of four counts of arson and four counts of murder and is currently serving a life sentence.
  2. 2
    Raymond Lee Oyler is a former firefighter who was convicted of starting the Esperanza Fire in California in 2006, which killed five firefighters. He was sentenced to death in 2009.
  3. 3
    Peter Dinsdale is a British serial arsonist who set over 90 fires in the 1970s and 1980s. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was sentenced to life in prison.
  4. 4
    Robert Dale Segee is also known as the "Apothecary Bomber," he set over 130 fires in Ohio and was convicted of several bombings in the early 1970s. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia and died in prison in 2017.
  5. 5

    David Berkowitz

    David Berkowitz
    David Berkowitz is better known as the "Son of Sam," he was a serial killer who also set over 1,400 fires in New York City in the mid-1970s. He was sentenced to life in prison.
    David Berkowitz, also known as the 'Son of Sam,' was an infamous American serial killer who terrorized New York City in the 1970s. He confessed to murdering six people and wounding several others between 1976 and 1977.
    • Birth Name: Richard David Falco
    • Alias: Son of Sam
    • Date of Birth: June 1, 1953
    • Number of Confirmed Victims: 6
    • Crime Period: July 29, 1976 - July 31, 1977
    David Berkowitz in other rankings
  6. 6
    Paul Keller is a former volunteer firefighter who set over 60 fires in Michigan, including one that killed nine horses. He was sentenced to 200 years in prison.
  7. 7
    Leonard Lake and Charles Ng is a pair of serial killers who also set several fires in California in the 1980s. They were convicted of multiple murders and sentenced to death.
  8. 8
    George Metesky - known as the "Mad Bomber," he set over 30 bombs in New York City in the 1940s and 1950s. He was eventually caught and diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He died in 1994.
  9. 9
    Daniel William Hiers Jr. is a former firefighter who set several fires in South Carolina in the 2000s. He was convicted of two counts of murder and several counts of arson and is currently serving a life sentence.
  10. 10
    Bruce George Peter Lee is a British serial arsonist who set over 20 fires in the 1970s and 1980s, killing 26 people. He was sentenced to life in prison and died in 2013.

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Ranking factors for famous arsonist

  1. Number of arson incidents
    The more incidents an arsonist has committed, the more infamous they may be considered.
  2. Property damage
    The amount of damage caused by the arsonist's actions can also be a factor. High-profile arson cases that have resulted in significant property damage and loss of life may be more widely known.
  3. Public attention
    If the arsonist's actions received significant media coverage or public attention, this can also contribute to their level of notoriety.
  4. Motive
    The reason behind the arsonist's actions may also be a consideration, and cases with particularly unusual, controversial, or extreme motives may stand out.
  5. Historical significance
    In some cases, the historical significance of the arsonist or their actions may be relevant. For example, an arsonist responsible for a major incident during a time of war or political unrest may be considered more famous or significant.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous arsonist. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or arsonist is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 139 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each arsonist once every 24 hours. The rank of each arsonist is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous arsonist

Arson is a serious crime that involves intentionally setting fire to property or structures. Arsonists are often motivated by revenge, financial gain, or a desire for attention. Over the years, there have been many notorious arsonists who have gained notoriety for their crimes. From the "Mad Bomber" of New York City to the "Angel of Fire" in Australia, these individuals have left a trail of destruction in their wake. But who is the most famous arsonist of all? That's what we aim to explore in this article. Join us as we delve into the world of arson and uncover the stories behind some of the most infamous arsonists in history.

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