The story of Samantha Scarano, accused of setting her ex-roommate's West Hollywood apartment on fire, got even more interesting overnight.
After Weho Daily broke the news that Scarano was arrested at her place of work, the legendary Body Shop strip club, a tipster told us that she was the daughter of Erika Scarano, a Hollywood anti-crime crusader who was fatally stabbed in 2009. The woman's adoptive son Christopher was arrested in connection with the case.
At least one background website seems to confirm that Samantha and Erika Scarano are related (see more here).
Erika Scarano was described as a community activist who helped to reduce prostitution on the streets of Hollywood and who inspired the establishment in 1986 of the L.A. County courthouse in Hollywood.
That facility was just last year nearly downsized into oblivion thanks to budget cuts, but the building on Hollywood Boulevard still has an inscription dedicated to Erika Scarano.
Cops alleged that she was murdered March 29, 2009 during an argument with the 19-year-old son in the 1300 block of North Genesee Avenue.
Christopher Scarano was later found at a Hollywood youth shelter and arrested.
Fast forward to March 4, 2012: Cops say someone threw an open container of charcoal lighter fluid and a burning object into an apartment in the 1400 Block of North Sweetzer Avenue in West Hollywood, which is 9 blocks west of Erika Scarano's former home.
View Scarano in a larger map
Authorities said a dispute between ex-roommates fueled the attack as much as the lighter fluid. Almost immediately the sheriff's department said an ex-roomy was the main suspect, but they never released a name until after Samantha's arrest.
According to Weho Daily, deputies received tips that she was working as a dancer at the Body Shop on the Sunset Strip. They arrested Samantha there about 4:30 p.m. Monday, as a DJ confirmed to CBS Los Angeles Tuesday night.
The club, which didn't have an alcohol license (and therefore could feature fully nude, 18-and-older performers) reopened in April, 2009 after a fire shut it down for six months.
Samantha Scarano's Flickr page has a photo with the caption:
Age 19! Me at the Body Shop with Tierra and Sydney. So drunk!
Other photos mention alcohol and cocaine use:
Self – shot of me at Raul's place. So Coked out every time!!!
One online profile states that Samantha Scarano, a 25-year-old from West Hollywood, attended Santa Monica College and National Bartenders School.
At least one woman who appears to be an acquaintance posted LA Weekly's Monday story of Scarano's arrest on her Facebook page and came to her defense, commenting:
Poor girl…kindof a bad ass way to handle a problem, and we really dont know much about it. But I do know the victim was a pretty terrible and unscrupolous lady. Thats not saying she deserved it but everyone has a breaking point. IMHO She should have worn a mask!!!
The WeHo blaze did an estimated $300,000 in damage, burned two units and reportedly left as many as three others soaked in water after firefighters doused the blaze. Several people were left homeless, at least temporarily.