The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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November 8, 2013

Police: Hindenburg inspired man to blow up house

CORAOPOLIS — Police say a western Pennsylvania man distraught over being unemployed and not having custody of his children blew up his house last month after watching a TV show about the Hindenburg, the airship that exploded in 1937.

Forty-seven-year-old Shawn Landa is still recovering from his injuries in the Oct. 12 blast that destroyed his Moon Township home, about 10 miles west of Pittsburgh.

Police on Thursday charged him with arson and related crimes and say in court papers that Landa confessed to breaking a natural gas line in his home, expecting that something would ignite it. When that didn’t happen while Landa took a nap, police say the man woke up and ignited the gas when he tried to light a cigarette.

Landa and his wife are separated, and he told police of other recent suicide attempts.


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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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