Arson

The People of the State of New York vs. Jacob J. Kaiser, 27 September 1893 (Case 38)
Jacob Kaiser, 30, a clothing manufacturer, is charged with arson in the third degree. Fire broke out at 438 Broadway, near Canal Street, on the evening of 22 April 1893. Michael McEvoy and Joseph McGill, both firemen, testify that they discovered two five-gallon cans, one containing benzene, the other turpentine, on the premises. Thomas Freel, a deputy fire marshal, says that the defendant gave contradictory accounts of his whereabouts that evening. The defendant had taken out three insurance policies for a total of $3500 on goods in the building. James Mitchell, fire marshal, testifies that the defendant had been connected to similar outbreaks of fire in New York in the past. There is no record of a jury verdict.