Little Hope Was Arson

April 06, 2015


Theo Love


About the Documentary

East Texas, affectionately referred to by locals as “the Buckle of the Bible Belt,” is home to over 1,400 churches. Life is centered around these congregations, which provide a backbone for communities to gather, worship, and practice fellowship with one another.

On New Year’s Day 2010, Little Hope Baptist Church, on the outskirts of Canton, Texas, burned to the ground. Officials concluded the fire was caused by an electrical problem in the century-old church’s wiring. But when nine more churches went up in flames over the span of just a few weeks, the rural communities of East Texas feared for the worst.

With the clues beginning to point towards arson, hundreds of local law enforcement, Texas Rangers, and investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives scoured the area in what became the largest criminal investigation in East Texas history. No stone is left unturned, and even Satan himself is considered a suspect in this investigation of a community terrorized from the inside out.

Unfolding as a tense real-life whodunit, Little Hope Was Arson details the manhunt for the mysterious arsonist intent on dismantling the faith of these small towns with every burned church, as the truth becomes as damaging as the fires themselves.


The Filmmaker

Theo Love, Producer/Director

Headshot of Little Hope Was Arson director Theo Love.Theo Love is an international storyteller. Growing up as an American in Southeast Asia gave him a curiosity for culture and characters that don’t quite fit in. After traveling the globe documenting everything from villages in Tanzania to urban areas of London, Love landed in Los Angeles and launched his career as a director. In addition to his work in the documentary field, Theo is an award-winning short filmmaker and is planning his next jump into narrative features. Little Hope Was Arson is his first feature documentary.

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Join the Discussion

Has your community ever had to heal from arson or other tragedies? Would you turn in a member of your family if they’d committed a crime, as happens in the <em>Little Hope Was Arson</em> story? What should communities do to look out for members suffering pain and loss?


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