• Rob Spectre
  • 02
  • Feb
  • 09

In the wee hours of the morning, the fiend struck once again.  Claiming the 21st victim since November, San Francisco’s scourge of temporary sanitation set light to his/her latest work of villainy.  On the 2000 block of Broadway in our North Beach, the Serial Shitter Arsonist laid waste to another portable crapper.

For nearly three months, port-a-potties in the North Beach and the Marina of our fair city have been burned to the ground.  Averaging seven shitters a month, no transient toilets required by city ordinance to be on site at all construction projects has been safe between Geary and the Bay.  This firebug of filth has cut a shit-eating swath of destruction that has gone so far as to attract attention from the national press.

Construction contracters have been forced to camouflage their endangered restrooms.  The SFFD’s Arson Task Force is baffled as to the torcher’s motivation.  Writers and editors worldwide are running dangerously low on shitcentric circumlocution.  It is quite nearly pooper pandemonium.

With the Serial Shitter Arsonist’s work now becoming a crime spree of global notoriety, we are tracking the pyromanic’s handiwork on Google Maps.  Each of the currently known 21 blazes are plotted on this map and will be updated with sources should this nefarious scoundrel immolate another innocent mobile commode.

View Larger Map

Update: Map has been updated with new icons. Months are color coded and the last strike is signified by the exclamation point.

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  • I don't know why the Trackback didn't come through, but Daniel X. O'Neil from EveryBlock made a killer annotated spreadsheet of the port-a-shitter burn spree he just posted:


    Includes links to EveryBlock police calls for the day of the arson, current overview of the entire block, and the probable call for the arson itself. Excellent detail.

  • fishbane

    It certainly is funny, in a fucked up way. But I think the person responsible is going to have a very, very bad day in the near future. Getting busted for serial arson is not funny.

    Burning Man might be a better outlet - at least there, we know how to responsibly set things on fire.

  • At the crazy count the spree's at now, the arsonist is looking at some pretty serious shit. Mill Valley Refuse puts the price of a new port-a-shitter at a cool grand (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-b..., making our count at least $22k in potty damage.

    I'm not sure if this is a state charge, but according to the guidelines I found off FindLaw (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/c... the Serial Shitter Arsonist of San Francisco would be sentenced under a conservative interpretation of arson as 451(d) - each count carrying a 16-36 month sentence. If a port-a-shitter qualifies as a "structure" and not "property," the cat is looking at 2-6 years per count.

    If successfully tried for the whole kit and kaboodle, lowest possible sentence is 29 years.

  • Hala Furst

    I haven't looked at the statute, but those sentences are likely to run concurrently. And if he's caught, he's going to plea out, so we're probably looking at closer to 5 years, total. Plus a "structure" has certain statutory connotations that probably aren't meant by a port-a-potty... permanence is usually a prerequisite.

    Sorry, but in the overcrowded prison system of California, poo burner doesn't rank too far up there.

  • Incredibly handy having a law student on board in these occasions.

    I can't wait to write the headline for that deal...

    "Pooper Combuster Pleas with Prosecution"

    This alliteration writes *itself*.

  • $220390

    I would like to add this one, spotted in mid-November, on Powell. I'm pretty sure it was near Vandewater St, between Bay and Francisco.


  • hrm. SFFD doesn't count this one - closest one to that date was 13 November a block and a half south and a block west.

    Definitely a scorched shitter and within the known radius - looks like this makes #22!

    Added as unconfirmed by media or SFFD.

  • George Smiley

    He's like the Zodiac killer. Of poop!

  • I think I'm going to start adding that distinction casually in every conversation I have for the next week.


    Nancy: Who keeps taking my Pepsi out of the office refridgerator?
    Rob: I don't know, but he's like the Zodiac killer. Of cola!

    Fred: Man, did you see Blagojevich last night on Letterman?
    Rob: Yeah dude. He's like the Zodiac killer. Of batshit political corruption!

    Daniel: Did you see the new 1 Man 1 Jar video?
    Rob: That guy is like the Zodiac killer of... OH JESUS GOD MAKE IT STOP!

  • Phil M

    I happened upon an AT&T home service van in the Marina district which was set alight. When I arrived, the flames had just begun to consume the cab; SFFD arrived moments later. I didn't get a good look at it because it was soon obscured by smoke, but it seemed like someone had put a paint can under the center of the van and lit that on fire. I wonder if it's the same villain.

  • Professor_Cold_Heart

    this serial shitter,
    he’s local,
    familiar to the North Eastern side of the city,
    he knows this area and his neighboring area as well
    he’s not a stranger,
    he has a job, or some sort of occupation
    no one would seek a thrill like this
    unless they sought for it
    is he bored? No, he’s curious
    like stacking playing cards too high
    how much higher will the stack go scenario
    but, he doesn’t not shit where he eats
    so he visits these locations
    becomes familiar with them
    records their height of inactivity
    structure of the avenues
    and the escape routes available to him
    he lives in a place that’s easy to hide
    like Tenderloin
    or West Add
    fast transit with several late night lines
    30 Geary and 49 Van Ness, late night indeed
    he doesn’t walk because that’s dangerous
    on the bus, you remain anonymous
    on the street of a heights district,
    you are seen suspicious at the hours he operates
    so he’s quick, in and out
    notice how he avoids North Beach
    and parts of Nob Hill
    no 24 hour lines
    except the owl, which is unreliable
    and usually represents the next days criminal lineup
    at the hall of justice.
    may I suggest a stakeout
    a decoy shitter
    box of donuts
    and an old Ford LTD
    check the Craig list postings
    sometimes these guys like to leave little Easter eggs for people

  • Capital deduction there, Mr. Watson - but what of his motive?

    21 shitters is a lot of shitters for a mofo to be razing without making a greater (shittier) statement.

    If the media account of $1k in damages per shitter, the perpetrator is now staring down some serious jail time if caught.

    What is he saying?

  • T-Dub

    He is raging against the poo of society. By casting the ashes to the wind, he is also highlighting both the plights of the rain forest, and oppressed Tibet. To borrow from Johnny Cash borrowing from a San Quentin inmate, he knows not where it is bound, but never the less, the highway doth call and that call must be heeded.

    It is performance art, not vandalism. Embrace the burning poo.

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