Bourque 'Had Contempt For Everything'
Convicted Arsonist Focused On Religion
By KENNETH DEAN
The 20-year-old man who orchestrated last year's church arsons and now faces a life sentence has remained tight-lipped with prosecutors.
But an intensive study of Jason Robert Bourque's computer alone paints a picture of an individual absorbed with contempt for everything, including God, authorities said.
There are symbols of Satanism, voodoo, Christianity, Judaism, occultism and mythology along with writings and research on religious subjects and the effects of various narcotics, according to investigation reports.
Found also were news stories and photos of the church fires. In addition, he visited websites about fires and firefighting.
"Jason Bourque is a lost human in that he had the ability to accomplish a lot with his talents and intelligence, but he chose to take a different path," Tim McLemee, an investigator with the Van Zandt County District Attorney's Office, said in a recent interview. "He is a good example of how someone's computer use can mirror their mind and how it works."
McLemee, attached to the East Texas Church Fires Task Force during the string of fires that began Jan 1, 2010, and ended with the arrests Feb. 21 of Bourque and Daniel George McAllister, spent months analyzing Bourque's computer.
The two have been sentenced to multiple life terms in prison for the arsons of the 10 churches.
What McLemee found provided a picture of Bourque's thinking.
Religious books found included "Way of the Shaman," "Wicca & Witchcraft, A Complete Idiots Guide" "Living Wicca," "The Wars of Gods And Men," "Occult in America" and "Witchcraft A Spell A Day."
According to investigation documents, Bourque's fascination with God was extreme.
"... Bourque was bi-polar with religion. One minute he was talking about preaching and the next he was cursing God," a Texas Rangers report states.
The evidence also underscored Bourque being a former high school debate champion.
"He would pose as a person asking a question, then he would answer that question in his own rationality," McLemee said. "It was like he was playing both parts of a debate and was debating himself while analyzing himself."
Here is a glimpse of some of Bourque's thoughts"
• "I am in the trinity."
• "I am talking about truly understanding positive and negative to be the bridge between the two and to make it your existential duty to be the bride between good and evil in writing an infinite code. We are all just gears in a machine."
• "I am tripping hard, but right now I can focus. It is currently 2:46 and I wonder if I can reach the third or fourth plateau today."
McLemee said the writings numbered too many to count, and most indicated a religious conflict playing out in Bourque's mind.
McLemee, who has his own business delving into computers and cell phones in criminal and civil cases, said that in most cases, he looks for something specific. In Bourque's case, the entire computer had to be searched.
"In a child porn case, I am looking for media files," he said. "In a white-collar crime, I am looking for records or spreadsheets.
"In this case, I had to look at everything on his computer, and there was a lot of it. I could tell that he would research subjects for days just so he could debate the subjects."
Another witness from the Texas Ranger report said Bourque studied constantly.
"He would debate about anything," the witness said.
Another witness said she had "a gut feeling after seeing the church fires on television that Bourque could be responsible."
McLemee said the overall picture was a man full of contempt.
"His biggest issue is God," he said. "He has nothing but contempt for everyone, everything including God. His writings reflect that, and I don't know (how) you can change someone like him."