Crime History: 25 people killed in revenge arson

Local,Crime,Scott McCabe

On this day, Sept. 4, in 1982, a teenager set fire to an apartment building in Los Angeles in a dispute with his uncle, killing 25 people including a pregnant woman and her unborn baby.

The Dorothy Mae Hotel building on Sunset Boulevard was informally known as "Little Salitre" because nearly all its 200 residents came from the Mexican village of El Salitre.

Humberto de la Torre, 19, lit the blaze after an argument with his uncle, the manager of the building. The uncle berated de la Torre in front of his friends over their involvement in a street gang.

De la Torre brought 98-cents worth of gasoline, splashed the liquid on the floor and lit it.

Police arrest de la Torre in Texas. He pleaded guilty to 25 counts of murder, the largest in plea bargain in U.S. history, and was sentenced to 625 years in prison.

-- Scott McCabe

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