USA v. Rathbun, John Michael
Longmeadow, MA


John Michael Rathbun was charged with two counts of attempted arson after the authorities said he tried to ignite a five-gallon plastic gas canister outside Ruth's House, a Jewish assisted-living home in Longmeadow, Mass., on April 2. Federal prosecutors said that Rathbun's DNA matched bloodstains that were found on the handle of the canister and on a partly charred Christian religious pamphlet that had been stuffed in the nozzle as a fuse. Rathbun's mother told federal agents that she prints and distributes Christian pamphlets, but did not recognize the one in the gas canister. In Nov. 2020, a federal jury convicted Rathbun of making false statements to a federal agent, but deadlocked on the arson counts, requiring a re-trial. In July 20201, he was convicted by a federal jury in connection with placing a lit firebomb at the entrance of a Longmeadow senior health care facility in April 2020.