The horrific murder took place in full view of surveillance cameras — so the murderer, who remains at large, disguised himself. A week since the murder, and the trail has gone cold. The cops have the disguise, rain gear; the escape vehicle, a bicycle; and very little clue as to the perpetrator’s motive or identity. They’ve offered a reward of $10,000; rewards are often a sign of cops having hit an evidentiary wall, and hoping some associate will betray the miscreant.

Deputies about 7 p.m. responded to the Rocky Ledge Shell Station, about 3 miles east of central Burney on Highway 299 in the Johnson Park area, for a report of a fire at the gas station. There, medics found [54-year-old David] Wicks, who works at the store, suffering from severe burns.

Emergency workers took him via helicopter to a local hospital, where he died, Bertain said.

The how mystery was solved when they reviewed the video tape.

Sheriff’s detectives reviewed video surveillance from the store, which shows an unidentified person walking in, spraying Wicks with a liquid and lighting Wicks on fire as he walks out from behind the store counter, Bertain said.

The suspect was wearing what appeared to be yellow rain gear over a black hoodie and gloves, according to a surveillance image provided by detectives.

Deputies have no other description beyond what’s shown in surveillance footage, though they did find a bicycle nearby.

via $10,000 Reward offered in burning death of Burney man.

And once again we see that murder does not follow from guns. It comes from the dark places in men’s hearts and men’s impulses, and can emerge in myriad ways.

There are several other stories about this heinous crime on the site, but none of them provides the welcome news that this monster has been identified and neutralized. Here’s hoping for a break in the case. They have found no one seems to have had any reason to wish poor Wicks ill, let alone to have slain him in such a barbaric fashion.

This entry was posted in When Guns Are Outlawed… on by Hognose.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

5 thoughts on “When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Lighter Fluid


Bicycles are quiet, untegistered, and portable. It’s about time we close the transportation loophole!

Lame sarcasm aside, this demonstrates that for under $100 you too can seek vengeance and leave very little useful evidence!




Just walked in, set the guy on fire, and left? I’d start looking at the late Mr. Wicks’s acquaintances and enemies. This sure doesn’t look like just a robbery gone wrong.

John M.

“via $10,000 Reward offered in burning death of Burney man.”

Burning death of Burney man? Too soon, Mr. Headline Writer. Too soon.

-John M.


Motion picture of perp would help. A person’s gait is a tell.