As Tom Wolfe, paraphrasing Philip Roth, put it: “The imagination of the novelist lies helpless before what he knows he will read in tomorrow morning’s newspaper.” Or (in less weighty terms): You can’t make this stuff up.
Here we have a couple by the name of Macy. Kip—KIP!—and Nicole Macy. They’ve invested in property in the Bay Area and have rented it out and, for as yet unreported reasons, decided the tenants were not holding up their part of the bargain. So instead of attempting to remedy the situation through legal channels, they
- doused the tenants’ belongings (including electronics) in ammonia;
- used an electric saw to cut a hole through the living room floor (while the living room was occupied by the tenants);
- requested that the property manager, Ricardo Cartagena, cut the floor joists so as to make the building collapse;
- then, when Cartagena refused, they went ahead themselves and cut the floor joists so as to make the building collapse (it didn’t), then changed the locks to Cartagena’s apartment in reprisal; and
- last but not at all least, set up a fraudulent email account from which they sent an email threatening to kidnap and dismember the tenants’ children.
When indicted in 2009, the couple fled to Italy, from whence they were extradited in 2012. Hey, if you're gonna flee, flee to Italy.
Honestly, I’m still hung up on the fact that the petty terrorist’s name was Kip. And that he was a former software engineer. Go figure.