John Earl Compton: Mugshot Hall of Famer at Heart of Two Suspicious House Fires

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Hell of a way for a retired firefighter to spend his golden years...Police in the East Texas town of Alto say that 65-year-old John Earl Compton torched two neighboring houses last month.

He's only being charged with arson in one of the cases. Alto police chief Jeremy Jackson told KTRE that they had probable cause to charge Compton with setting a damaging fire in a vacant home on Alto's Sycamore Street on December 5. An incident report states that Compton was reckless enough to set fire to a cardboard box while sitting at the kitchen table in the empty house, and then admitted to leaving it unattended.

The other home belonged to his sister.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.