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Wed June 8, 2011
New Charges in Hereford Arson
By Dan Verbeck
KANSAS CITY, MO. – A Kansas City Federal Grand Jury indicts two men accused of burning down the landmark Hereford House Restaurant nearly 3 years ago. Earlier charges accused the owner of hiring-out the arson.
The secret indictment opened today alleges restaurant owner Rodney Anderson hired 56 year old Vincent Pisciotta and 45 year old Mark Sorrentino to burn the 20th and Main Hereford House for insurance money.
The new indictment replaces one returned in 2010 naming only Anderson. He allegedly claimed a nearly 2 and a half million dollar loss.
Just after the fire, ATF Agent Kenneth Chisholm spoke of what was found in the wreckage-- "a video system was recovered from the restaurant and has been sent to our video lab for enhancement." It's believed the pictures show figures moving inside the building just before the fire.
Also at time of the fire, Kansas City Fire Chief Smoky Dyer said the intensity of the blaze posed a real potential to hurt or kill multiple firefighters.
The indictments spell out what allegedly happened leading up to the Oct, 12th, 1980 fire. It accused Anderson of spending 50 minutes with the defendant Sorrentino, conducting a walk-though instructional tour.
Anderson allegedly told Sorrentino a way around the building alarm system.
Sorrentino and Pisciotta remained in federal custody, at least until a detention hearing scheduled for June 10th.