Elite Phoenix Fire Investigation Comes Under Fire; Origin Doesn’t Fit, Dog’s Nose Doesn’t Match Lab Results

Pat Andler, Fire Investigator, Andler & Associates, says the point of origin was in an electrical short in the attic, not from multiple origins with accelerant.

A report from Byron Pitts, ABC News Nightline, shows two residents who were falsely accused by Phoenix Fire Department investigators: Barbara Ann Sloan (accused of Arson in 2009) and Carl Caples (accused of Arson in 2009). Sloan believes the source of the corruption comes from Jack Ballentine, a highly-decorated police detective, who had no background in fire investigations. The arson unit added Ballentine as leader and Sadie’s nose: The Phoenix arson squad’s case clearance skyrocketed. The squad went from making only 22 percent arrests in fire incidents in 2007 to making 65 percent in 2010, the highest in the United States.

Part 1 of the video: The country’s top arson investigation team is being accused of making questionable arrests.

Part 2 of the video: The nose of the unit’s arson dog is scrutinized, and an arson investigator’s stunning comments while working with the dog draw suspicion.

In one fire, where fire investigator Sam Richardson focused on the origin in a laundry room, where a clothing iron that was found face down, opened windows were discovered (presumed to feed the fire with oxygen), and a disconnected gas line in a laundry room (but no explosion) was discovered.However, the fire origin was reported by Sloan’s defense expert, Pat Andler, to be in the garage where a Toyota was parked. Even 9-1-1 calls reported fire showing from the garage. Fire investigator Sam Richards conceded that the fire DID start in the garage, and that he never even opened the hood of the Toyota that had been recalled for defects. He initially claimed the fire was intentionally started in the laundry room.

In the Caples case, Richardson, acting as interrogator, lied to defendant Carl Caples — saying that he had a video that showed him saying to Caples, “I got a good video of you coming back” and “I got a good eyewitness that saw you back there” … Neither statement was true.

Positive hits from Sadie’s nose, were later discovered to be false. Lab results showed that ignitable liquid could not have been present. Sadie also falsely reported presence of accelerants in the Sloan case, as the lab results were also negative.

And why is Sadie’s nose unreliable? In one video segment, investigator Fred Andes is caught telling Sadie to “fake it” — a command to the dog to give a positive hit on accelerants.

Prosecutors dropped the case against Sloan, saying Arson Investigator Fred Andes was …


Had no evidence tying Barbara Ann Sloan to the fire,

and that all his conclusions were speculative.

In depositions, Fire investigator Sam Richardson replied that he came to a conclusion before any lab result were performed. Another fire investigator (also in deposition), Captain Fred Andes, stated didn’t know how many times his dog Sadie’s positive hits, were confirmed by a lab. He said he didn’t feel the need for the confirmations. Andes insisted the dog was right 100 percent of the time.

Pat Andler, Fire Investigator, Andler & Associates, believes there are more cases that have accused innocent people.

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