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Buncombe County News 

This news item expired on 7/31/2013, so the information below could be outdated or incorrect.
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$1500 Reward Offered for Thomas Wolfe Arson Tip


Jim MacKenzie, Asheville resident, writer, public speaker and Thomas Wolfe enthusiast hopes that a $1,500 reward will generate information that leads to the arrest of the person, or persons responsible for the arson of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial fifteen years ago.  The reward is being held in escrow by Asheville Buncombe Crime Stoppers.

“I’m so happy to be working with Crime Stoppers this year,” said Jim MacKenzie. “The amount of the reward is meaningful. We are offering fifteen hundred dollars for the fifteenth anniversary of the arson.  If anyone has information regarding the fire at the Thomas Wolfe Home, please call Crime Stoppers at 255-5050. Someone out there knows what happened.  Hopefully, they’ve wanted to come forward before. Maybe this reward will provide a little incentive to finally do so and help solve this mystery.”

The Thomas Wolfe Memorial arson occurred here in Asheville on July 24, 1998.  The home known as the Old Kentucky Home boarding house was immortalized in Wolfe’s autobiographical novel Look Homeward, Angel, and is one of American literature’s most famous landmarks. 

"Arsons are hard to solve. Most of the evidence is lost in flames. The local investigators have done a wonderful job with the case. They have worked hard and remain dedicated to solving this arson. Hopefully, this modest reward money will open up a few new leads or bring in a tip that will give some answers,” MacKenzie said.

Please contact Asheville Buncombe Crime Stoppers at (828)255-5050 if you have any information regarding the Thomas Wolfe Memorial arson.

For more information, please call Natalie Bailey at the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office at (828)250-4469.