Decades-Old Grudge Leads to Torched Cars at Indiana Dealership

decades old grudge leads to torched cars at indiana dealership


We've heard of holding grudges, but what happened at an Indiana car dealership recently has set our minds on fire.


Fort Wayne is where 79-year-old Dewey Frederick was apparently sufficiently fired-up by a 1986 sale that he lit four cars across two car lots owned by the O'Daniel Automotive Group ablaze.

Frederick purchased a Jeep from O'Daniel way back in the heyday of hair metal and claimed it had a bad engine and that the dealer group never rectified the situation. His long-simmering grudge led to $82,800 in damage, with a 2019 Jeep Compass, 2020 Jeep Cherokee, and 2013 GMC Acadia being torched. It all started with a road flare dropped into the Compass's fuel-filler line.

Apparently not content, Frederick drove to the other lot and dropped another road flare into a Pontiac Solstice, cutting the roadster's roof to do so.

Frederick's anger didn't just flare up after years on the back burner -- he apparently super-glued the locks on his Jeep way back in the day.

According to the Washington Post, Frederick was "charged Saturday with four counts of arson and now faces eight to 48 years in prison if convicted of all four felonies."

He also apparently said that "it was time for the chickens to return to roost".

Frederick's own return to the dealership appears to have ended with him getting roasted.

[Image: Mikbiz/Shutterstock.com]

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  • Bobbysirhan Bobbysirhan on Aug 02, 2022

    Considering the rate of employee turnover at a typical car dealer, I doubt the parties responsible for ripping off the arsonist were in any way impacted by the crimes. Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but this one was too much, too late. O'Daniel Automotive Group makes no mention of ownership on its websites, suggesting that it is just another hedge-fund-held entity meant to provide the illusion of competition. It would have been much different 36 years ago.


  • Hifi Hifi 4 days ago

    Isn't one of the main arguments in favor of the dealer franchise by the NADA... customer service? Right.


    This guy held a grudge for decades. To some extent, most of us are.

  • Inside Looking Out Why EBFlex dominates this EV discussion? Just because he is a Ford expert?
  • Marky S. Very nice article and photos. I am a HUGE Edsel fan. I have always been fascinated with the "Charlie Brown of Cars." Allow me to make a minor correction to add here: the Pacer line was the second-from-bottom rung Edsel, not the entry-level trim. That would be the Edsel Ranger for 1958. It had the widest array of body styles. The Ranger 2-door sedan (with a "B-pillar", not a pillarless hardtop), was priced at $2,484. So, the Ranger and Pacer both used the smaller Ford body. The next two upscale Edsel's were based on the Mercury body, are were: Corsair, and, top-line Citation. Although the 1959 style is my fav. I would love a '58 Edsel Pacer 4-door hardtop sedan!
  • Lou_BC Stupid to kill the 6ft box in the crewcab. That's the most common Canyon/Colorado trim I see. That kills the utility of a small truck. The extended cab was a poor seller so that makes sense. GM should have kept the diesel. It's a decent engine that mates well with the 6 speed. Fuel economy is impressive.
  • Lou_BC High end EV's are selling well. Car companies are taking advantage of that fact. I see quite a few $100k pickups in my travels so why is that ok but $100k EV's are bad? The cynical side of me sees car companies tack on 8k premiums to EV's around the time we see governments up EV credits. Coincidence? No fooking way.
  • EBFlex "I'd add to that right now, demand is higher than supply, so basic business rules say to raise the price."Demand is very low. Supply is even lower. Saying that demand is outstripping supply without providing context is dishonest at best.
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