Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Man Who Wanted Fresh Start Allegedly Tried to Burn Family to Death

Armin Wand III and Jeremy Wand

Armin Wand III and Jeremy Wand

Argyle, Wisconsin, man Armin G. Wand III, 32, had four kids to feed and a wife, Sharon, 27, who reportedly always complained about wanting more money. Wand decided he needed a fresh start — and some insurance money. So on September 7, 2012, according to police, he and his brother, Jeremy Wand, 18, allegedly set crumpled pieces of paper around the house and lit them on fire at around 3 a.m., with Wand’s wife and children in the home.

Armin and his brother allegedly fled when they saw that Sharon was awake and on fire. She soon emerged from the blaze, not badly injured, with Jessica, 2, in her arms. Sharon handed the toddler to Armin and re-entered the home to rescue her sons. It is unclear whether or not Wand could hear their cries for help during the blaze. According to the complaint, Armin took the child and “was going to put Jessica back inside the burning home when a woman arrived and he stopped.” The woman, neighbor Heather Penniston, said he was holding the toddler near an open window when he saw her. Jessica was not seriously injured; Sharon, however, was hit by a burning beam when she re-entered the structure. She was admitted to UW hospital with third-degree burns over 70% of her body, and, pregnant 17 weeks, she miscarried as a result of her injuries. An autopsy showed that the boys, Allen, 7; Jeffrey, 5; and Joseph, 3, died of smoke inhalation in the fire. Allen and Jeffrey’s bodies were found together, face down on the floor with the bedroom door closed and locked from the outside, according to the criminal complaint. Both Armin and Jeremy have been arrested and charged with first-degree intentional homicide, attempted murder and arson. Police have not said what evidence led to their arrest.

Slideshow: Fire Starters

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