Left: Accused arsonist Matthew Lee Cloyd, courtesy of CNN
(Toledo, OH) Authorities arrested three Alabama college students on Wednesday on charges of setting fires that damaged or destroyed nine Baptist churches in the state, in what one suspect allegedly called "a joke that went too far."
Prosecutors identified the suspects as Ben Moseley and Russell Debusk, 19-year-old students at Birmingham-Southern College, and Matthew Lee Cloyd, 20, who transferred in 2005 from BSC to the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
There is plenty of information available on the case, but what I found intriguing was the amount of information available about these young men from existing Internet sources.
Birmingham-Southern College has already pulled the public profiles of these students, but they can still be obtained through the Internet Wayback Machine.
Russ DeBusk is a theatre major from Hoover, and he worked on part of the set for "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten." There is also a picture of Debusk's father at his workplace.
Matthew Cloyd was a student volunteer at the 2005 Latin American Studies Symposium at Birmingham-Southern College. He was also a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity, although the group has since removed his name.
Ben Moseley played "Raul" BSC's production of William Mastrosimone’s "Extremities." The school proudly lists him as a 2004 Legacy Class member the son of Stephen Moseley, a 1982 graduate of the college.
Moseley left the following message at the web site of actor friend Jeremy Roberts:
Hey buddy! I meant to call while you were in town. Your sister left me your number, but I forgot to call. I hope to see you in the summer, when you visit. Don't forget, I'm still working on my acting, and I'll be onscreen soon. We need to talk. See you, man. You're the best!And remember: this was just a joke that went too far, man. It's all good, right?
Addendum: CBS News has .pdf files of the official BATF complaint.