Saturday, March 12, 2016

Dateline "Burning Suspicion" about a bizarre murder-arson of a spouse in Kansas

NBC Dateline tonight aired a revised edition of its 2013 episode “Burning Suspicion” about the murder of Vashti Seacat by her husband, Brett Seacat, a police officer in Kingman, Kansas, in the north central part of the state.

This was pretty much a burning bed scenario.  His wife died of a gunshot wound in a bed when the upstairs of the house had been set on fire.  Brett tried to claim it was suicide.

Brett had also taught at the law enforcement school run by the University of Kansas, which makes the episode off for me as I attended graduate school there in the mid 1960s (in Lawrence).

He had claimed his wife was depressed, dissatisfied with the marriage and the house.  She had sought divorce.  After her death, a sister had to move up from Oklahoma to care for the kids.

An odd part of the evidence concerned the fact that Brett had been in the room, supposedly trying to extinguish the fire, but had very little singing of his rather uneven body hair, as shown in pictures.  I don’t recall another case where an issue like this was mentioned.

Seacat seemed to have a narcissistic personality and made a very odd, offensive statement at sentencing. Inquisitr has a story about the Dateline broadcast.

 Seacat was sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum of 30 years. The Kansas Supreme Court had ruled the state’s death penalty unconstitutional in 2004.

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