Hell hath no fury like a husband scorned, and the Contra Costa Times has the story of one particularly hellish husband who, following a breakup, allegedly exacted his vengeance upon his onetime groomsmen in devilish fashion.
From behind bars, 33-year-old Walnut Creek resident and alleged groomzilla Joshua Van Buskirk denied the charges against him, specifically that he had left a calling card of a joker after igniting his estranged friends' vehicles. However, Concord police discovered in his condominium an ominous "list of people with names crossed off" and two decks of playing cards.
Van Buskirk was previously employed by Wells Fargo, but lost his job in May and separated from his wife, whom he wed four years ago, this past August. Following their split, he was placed on a 72-hour mental health hold at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek and diagnosed as paranoid delusional. His ex has since cited his behavior as erratic and filed a restraining order against him.
Avowing the break from his groomsmen to the Contra Costa Times, said Van Buskirk: "It tore me apart because I'd been there for them... They didn't even reach out to me or care one bit. They didn't say 'Happy Thanksgiving' or 'Merry Christmas' or any of that shit. They just dropped me."
Police allege that from October through December, Van Buskirk poured gasoline on one groomsman's car near the site of their softball field, lit up another's truck in Antioch, and ignited a third's garage door. At the site of each crime was a joker playing card, by the truck was a bottle of "sex lubricant," and by the third was a smashed J&B Scotch bottle.
Van Buskirk's ex has told investigators that, while on their honeymoon, the couple saw a magician write on cards during tricks he performed. The J&B bottle, she speculated, was because of his initials. Other objects left at the scenes of the crimes, such as a dog collar and a Bacardi bottle, may have also held personal significance among his former friends.
Van Buskirk has pleaded not guilty to the crimes, which include making Molotov cocktails, and is being held on $2.1 million bail. When asked if he was the arsonist responsible for the incidents, he replied "I do." Just kidding, he said, "No, sir."