Incident Summary:

08/07/1999: Members of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), Frank Ambrose and Marie Mason, torched two fishing boats owned by James Boydtson, a retired veterinarian and former mink rancher. One aluminum boat was completely destroyed by the fire, and the second, badly damaged. Additionally, the slogan "Fur is murder. ELF," was spray painted on his garage door. There were no casualties in the incident and the amount of property damage is unknown. Ambrose and Mason were indicted and sentenced for an arson committed at Michigan State University on New Year's eve of 1999, and during their trial, admitted to several other ecotage incidents including this case. Collectively, they were responsible for about a dozen acts of destruction.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:



Location Details:
at residence in Escanaba, Michigan

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Facility/Infrastructure Attack
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Maritime
Name of Entity James Boydston, retired veterinarian and former mink raiser
Specific Description two fishing boats of James Boydston, retired veterinarian and former mink raiser
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Incendiary Arson/Fire
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information Frank Ambrose was sentenced to nine years in prison for the MSU arson (due to his cooperation with the FBI in the case) and his ex-wife, and co-actor in the crime, Marie Mason, was sentenced to 21 years and 10 months in prison.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Earth Liberation Front (ELF) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 2
Number of Captured Perpetrators 2
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
Ed White, "Restitution tops $4M in eco-terrorism case," Associated Press State & Local Wire, November 7, 2008.
Ed White, "Woman gets 22 years for '99 Mich. campus arson," Associated Press Online, February 5, 2009.
"Ecoterrorism case restitution soars to $4M," Grand Rapid Press (Michigan), November 8, 2008.