Alleged LA arsonist had newspaper clippings, mother escaped German police through hospital window

Los Angeles Arson

Bill Robles/AP

In this courtroom sketch, Dorothee Burkhart appears in federal court on fraud charges Tuesday Jan. 3, 2012 in Los Angeles. Burkhart is the mother of suspected Los Angeles arsonist Harry Burkhart. (AP Photo/Bill Robles)

Los Angeles Arson

Mona Shafer Edwards/AP

In this courtroom sketch, Harry Burkhart, a native of Germany who has been living in Los Angeles and is suspected in a series of arson fires, is restrained by guards as he alternately tries to stand and sit during his arraignment in Los Angeles Superior Court, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 in Los Angeles. Burkhart was charged with 37 counts of arson in connection with a rash of fires that terrorized Los Angeles over the New Year's weekend. (AP Photo/Mona Shafer Edwards)


Unusual details about Harry and Dorothee Burkhart -- the German mother and son duo facing various charges including serial arson and fraud -- continue to emerge in Los Angeles courtrooms.

It was revealed today that four months after being arrested in Germany on fraud charges, Dorothee Burkhart fled from authorities by escaping through a hospital window, according to Michael Koch, the public defender appointed to Ms. Burkhart in Frankfurt, reports the L.A. Times.

Escorted by two prison guards, Ms. Burkhart had been taken to the hospital for cardiac problems and disappeared while un-handcuffed in a restroom.

A provisional arrest warrant from Germany led to her capture in Los Angeles. At Ms. Burkhart's Dec. 29 extradition hearing, her son Harry -- arraigned yesterday on 37 felony counts of arson -- ranted profanity and anti-American sentiments, saying "F--- the United States!" or "F--- all Americans," authorities said.

Newspaper clippings about the Los Angeles arsons, and German articles about car fires near Frankfurt, were found by authorities in Harry Burkhart's apartment.

The suspected arsonist, recognized from surveillance images taken at his mother's hearing, was arrested Jan. 2 near the Sunset Strip in a van with Canadian license plates filled with fire-starting materials.

He appeared dazed and alternated between sitting and standing during his first court appearance in Los Angeles. Documents reveal both mother and son struggled with mental illness.

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