Who is David Crawford? Maryland ‘serial arsonist’ is an ex-police chief who is now accused of murder attempt

Who is David Crawford? Maryland ‘serial arsonist’ is an ex-police chief who is now accused of murder attempt
David Crawford faces 20 felonies in Prince George’s County and 32 felony counts in Montgomery, Frederick and Charles counties (Prince George’s County Fire Department)

LAUREL, MARYLAND: A retired Maryland police chief was arrested on Wednesday, March 3, in connection with a series of arsons since 2011, according to a bevy of charges.

David Crawford, 69, the former police chief of Laurel, Maryland, is accused of a dozen arsons from 2011 to 2020 and also for attempt to murder. Crawford resigned from the police department in 2010. He is now charged with 20 felonies in Prince George’s County alone, according to The Baltimore Sun, four counts of first-degree attempted murder, four counts of second-degree attempted murder, one count of first-degree arson, five counts of second-degree arson, and six counts of malicious burning. But that is not the only jurisdiction where Crawford faces prosecution. He has been charged in Montgomery, Frederick and Charles counties and faces 32 felony counts in those three counties.


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Crawford used to approach the target, spilled gasoline from gallon jugs, and lit the flame with a stick wrapped in cloth. In a statement released on Wednesday, the Prince George’s County Fire Department said, “Through the course of the investigation, it was determined that the structures and vehicles that Crawford intentionally set on fire were connected to victims with whom he had previous disagreements.”

“All of the fires were at night. In six of the arsons, the victim and their families were inside their homes asleep,” the fire department statement continued. Investigators said Crawford hid his identity from surveillance cameras with hooded sweatshirts. He allegedly set aflame cars, garages, and even homes. Crawford allegedly went after public officials, the police chief who replaced him, a woman who had taught a training program for his wife that mentioned “white privilege,” two doctors who formerly treated him for a back injury, a neighbor in Ellicott City, Maryland, and his own relatives, including a stepson, whose home he allegedly attacked three times. Crawford’s search history included the addresses of several of his intended victims, police stated.

According to his LinkedIn account, Crawford painted a cheerful picture of himself, in the bio, he describes himself as a “Happily retired, but also happy to help!” and lists one of his personal mottos as: “Find the positive.”

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