November 18, 2007
Glendale Heights, Illinois
Kaushik Patel coerces his sons Vishv (7) and Om (4) into a bathtub before dousing them with gasoline and setting them on fire
Friends stated after the fact that Kaushik complained to them of his declining marriage and placed the blame on his wife Nisha. The day before the fire, Nisha reportedly informed her husband she planned to move out of their house.
On November 18, Kaushik took his sons to buy toy cars and candy, and purchased more than a gallon of gasoline before the trip home. There, he prepared the boys for a shower and allowed them to take their cars with them to play with while showering. Kaushik next poured the gas on Vishv and Om and set the boys on fire. After the flames were extinguished he put the unclothed, burned, and crying children in their car seats and drove to his brother’s home approximately 5 miles away. The brother then called 911.
Om suffered second- and third-degree burns over 80% of his body while Vishv was burned over 90% of his. Om succumbed to his injuries on January 17 while his brother died on February 20. Kaushik himself was burned over 40% of his body.
Nisha claimed that, before he fell into a coma, Vishv told her “Dad did a fire, and we were burned.” She further claimed Vishv was aware the liquid being poured on the boys was not water as Kaushik claimed, as it burned the children’s skin and eyes on contact.
Kaushik gave conflicting stories of the incident, claiming the boys poured the gasoline on themselves, he had attempted suicide by self-immolation and the boys were accidentally splashed with gasoline as he lit the fire, or that he didn’t remember the events at all. Eventually, however, he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder under the condition the death sentence not be pursued. He received a life term. Judge Kathryn Creswell emphasized the “life” aspect of the sentence by telling Kaushik, “You have no possibility of ever leaving prison, and you will die in prison.”
Barnum, Art. “Father pleads guilty in sons’ burning deaths.” Chicago Tribune. May 18, 2010
Miller, Carlin. “Man Accused of Burning Sons Alive, Delays Burning in Hell: Kaushik Patel Expected to Plead Guilty, Avoid Death Penalty.” CBS News. April 19, 2010. Accessed: November 18, 2019. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/man-accused-of-burning-sons-alive-delays-burning-in-hell-kaushik-patel-expected-to-plead-guilty-avoid-death-penalty/
Heitz, David. “Second boy dies from injuries sustained in arson.” Times Reporter, Ohio. February 21, 2008. Accessed: November 18, 2019. https://www.timesreporter.com/x565321250