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Martin Pang’s Reported Confession

The following statement was handwritten by FBI Special Agent Gary Schoenlein and allegedly signed by Martin Pang. The initials “MP” appear at the top of all four pages of the statement and over six places where words were crossed out.

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil


I, Martin Shaw Pang, freely and voluntarily furnish the following signed statement to Special Agents Gary D. Schoenlein and David A. Burroughs, who have identified themselves to me as Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Special Agent Schoenlein explained to me that they wanted to interview me about the January 5, 1995, fire at the Mary Pang Warehouse in Seattle, Wa., and the purpose of my travel to Brazil. I have been given a form entitled Interrogation; Advise of Rights, by Special Agent Schoenlein, which I have read and understood and signed. No threats or promises have been made to induce me to give this statement.

I was born on November 12, 1955, in Hong Kong. I completed the twelfth grade and can read and write.

On January 5, 1995, I flew from Burbank, CA, to Seattle, WA, on Southwest Airlines. I paid for the ticket with cash and flew under an alias which I do not recall. I arrived in Seattle after noon and took a taxi cab to the International District of Seattle. The purpose of this trip was to start a fire at the Mary Pang Warehouse, which is a business owned and operated by my parents, Harry and Mary Pang. I wanted to destroy the business to relieve my parents of the burden of running it. My mother worked at that business every day since it started in 1955. She has been in failing health and refused to stop working.

The afternoon of January 5, 1995, I watched the warehouse from across the street. I wanted to be sure that nobody was in the building when I was to start the fire. At approximately 6:30 p.m. I observed that all the lights were off in the building. Therefore I knew that no one was still inside.

I then entered the warehouse through an unsecured piece of sheet metal siding near the loading dock. I knew that transients had previously entered the warehouse through that piece of unsecured sheet metal siding. I went through a sliding door to a portion of the warehouse which is on a lower level than the loading dock. Directly above this particular portion of the warehouse is the upstairs portion of the warehouse. I have provided Special Agent Schoenlein with a sketch of the warehouse which graphically depicts where the fire started.

There are walls in the warehouse which are constructed of old, dry plywood. I struck a match and set it to a bottom corner of plywood wall. I observed the wall burn until the flames burned up the wall approximately two feet in height. I then fled the building through the same unsecured piece of siding through which I entered the building. The portion of the building where I started the fire was not alarmed.

I did not watch the warehouse burn. I ran to the International District, where I caught a taxi cab to the Sea-Tac airport. From there I flew back to Burbank on an Alaska flight. I purchased the airline ticket with cash, and flew under an alias which I do not recall.

Subsequent to the fire, I knew, through conversations with my lawyer, that I had been charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution in connection with the investigation of the fire. Because I was afraid of possible consequences of being arrested and prosecuted for crimes related to the fire, I left California and entered Mexico. From Mexico, I flew to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

I have read this statement consisting of four pages, initialed each page and all corrections. I now sign because it is true and correct.

Martin Shaw Pang


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