A man trying to burn his wife alive caught fire himself and is now in critical condition. The woman was unhurt.
That's the gist of newspaper articles that quoted sheriff's deputies in Hillsborough County, Fla., where I live. They said: He had covered windows in a rental car that held gloves, tape and a gasoline can. When his estranged wife left home this morning, she said, he was waiting with bottles of gasoline. He chased her through the apartment complex, trying to splash her, but getting gas on himself instead. A neighbor took her in, and he splashed gas outside the apartment and sparked a fire, but he went up in flames, too. Neighbors rescued him.
He had been arrested in 2000 for domestic battery, but the charges were dismissed. Deputies responded to a call at the home where the couple lived in 2010, but no one was arrested.
How many times have we read stories about controlling and abusive men "distraught over ... marital problems" who kill their wives and girlfriends, maybe even their children, once the women leave? What a relief that this woman survived.
In comments, readers have joked about the man, prompting a couple of people to ask for a little sympathy for the guy. But I can think only of the woman. Her youngest son is 18 -- did she wait until he reached adulthood to leave her husband? The man is suffering now, but how long did she suffer?
I hope the Associated Press doesn't classify this as Offbeat News.