wood cat


incidents and accidents, hints and allegations

wood cat
Kate kate_nepveu
Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Deadpan Court Decision of the Day

The first paragraph of United States v. Veysey, No. 01-4208 (7th Cir. June 26, 2003) [ 11-page PDF] reads:

John Veysey appeals from his conviction, after a jury trial, and sentence of 110 years in prison for mail and wire fraud, arson, and the related offense of felony by fire. The facts are amazing, but we shall resist the temptation to recount them at length. In 1991 Veysey set fire to his house and inflated the claim that he then filed with his insurer. The insurer paid, and the house was rebuilt. The following year Veysey married a woman named Kemp, increased the insurance on the house, removed the valuable contents of the house, along with himself and his wife, and then cut the naturalgas line inside the house, causing the house to fill up with gas and explode spectacularly, utterly destroying it. He grossly exaggerated the value of the property allegedly lost in the explosion—some did not exist and some he had removed before the explosion. The insurance company (a different one) paid, and he used part of the proceeds to buy another house. The next year he tried to kill his wife by driving his van with her in it into a river. When that failed he killed her by poisoning her, and collected $200,000 in the proceeds of insurance policies on her life. He placed personal ads in newspapers, seeking to meet women. He became engaged to one of the women he met through his ads, named Donner, but broke his engagement after failing to procure a $1 million policy on her life. He then took up with a Ms. Beetle. This was in 1996 and the same year he burned down his house, again submitting an inflated estimate of the loss and receiving substantial proceeds from the insurance company (a different one, again). He then married Beetle, and they moved into a rented house. She insured her life for $500,000 with him as beneficiary. One night in 1998, after drugging her, he set fire to the house, hoping to kill both her and their infant son, on whom he had also taken out a life insurance policy and who was in the house with her. They were rescued, and soon afterwards Veysey and Beetle divorced. The house was rebuilt and Veysey persuaded a woman named Hilkin to move in with him after she had accumulated some $700,000 in life insurance and named him as the primary beneficiary. He apparently intended to murder her, but he was arrested before his plans matured. There is more, but these are the highlights.

(Emphasis added.)

After dismissing Veysey's challenges to his conviction and sentence, Judge Posner dryly notes in the last paragraph of the decision:

We wish to remark finally the apparent carelessness of the insurance companies, particularly the fire-insurance companies, in failing to pool information concerning fire claims. As a result of this failure, the insurers who insured Veysey against the last three fires were unaware of his previous claim or claims. This is a matter deserving of the industry's attention—and, with recent improvements in electronic storage and retrieval, beginning to receive it. Bruce R. Fox, "Technology: The New Weapon in the War on Insurance Fraud," 67 Def. Couns. J. 237, 241- 42 (2000).

Uh, what he said.

(Why yes, I can't sleep, why do you ask?)

[ Link via How Appealing. ]


Can't sleep?

Have you been hitting f5 on
as much as I have?


Re: Can't sleep?

Tonight? No, though I have checked it. Have I missed a burst of activity in prior posts (I saw Narcissa's latest and the news about Harry)?

Re: Can't sleep?

No, nothing new since Narcissa's post. I am just waiting for someone else to comment on Harry. I keep thinking that there should be more response, at least of relief from Ron & Hermione.

Re: Can't sleep?

Well, for one thing, I'm not quite sure what time zone the game runs on, and how that relates to the time zones where the players live.

Right. Trying to go to sleep, now, for about the third time . . .

Re: Can't sleep?

I think about the time zones too, but still sometimes can't quite make myself stop watching. As it always seems that new posts/comments show up about 5 minutes after I log off.

(Deleted comment)

Re: thanks

Well, it depends what kind of practice. =>

Glad you're finding them interesting.


If one wrote a fiction piece like that, nobody would believe it was plausible. Reality, stranger, fiction, alla that...

Yes; there are cases that really make you wonder what the personalities involved were like.

There was another that provoked that reaction from me recently; I'll try to dig it up later.

if one wrote a fiction piece like that, nobody would believe that it was plausible

Iain Banks could probably get away with it. Chuck Palahniuk could definitely get away with it. Can't think of anyone else.

I'm reduced to the valley girl remarks: Like, dude.

And here I was considering insurance companies the most paranoid businesses in this country.


Log in

No account? Create an account