‘Radioactive’ grave leads to arrest

A 77-year-old Winder man was arrested Monday after telling cemetery workers he’d placed radioactive material at a loved one’s grave site.

Barrow Memorial Gardens is not radioactive, officials say.

Barrow Memorial Gardens is not radioactive, officials say.

Thomas Donald Finch was allegedly upset that flowers he’d placed at a the grave were missing, according to a press release from the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office.

In the presence of several cemetery workers, Finch said he’d released a hazardous substance at Barrow Memorial Gardens to harm future thieves. Employees became concerned when Finch held up a pill bottle and said anyone that got near the grave would need the medicine.

Atlanta Highway was shut down for two hours while Barrow emergency services workers and Gwinnett hazardous material technicians inspected the area. Several side streets were closed for a shorter period.

No substances were found that posed a threat to the public.

Finch is charged with making terroristic threats.

11 comments Add your comment

Obama Baby Moma

September 12th, 2011
9:35 pm

What a douche bag. Perhaps someone should shove a flower vase where the sun don’t shine so Harold Finch will have something else to worry about.

S GA Victum

September 12th, 2011
10:23 pm

Don’t be so hasty to judge…
I know how this guy feels….. I can’t count how many times we have had flowers and containers stolen from our family’s graves. Where we live, it is a constant problem for everyone. One can only take so much. He made the mistake of telling them anything at all.. If I knew what to get to deter theives, I might do the same.


September 12th, 2011
10:33 pm

Give the man a break. He is 77 years old. While he may not have handled the situation as he should have, I have a very hard time believing he meant any harm. Sounds like he was just trying to protect his loved one’s final resting place. If I’m on the jury, the man walks free. There are more important people to spend our tax dollar bringing before a judge and/or jury.


September 12th, 2011
11:07 pm

What kind of lowlife would feel good about giving someone flowers he had stolen from someone’s grave? I guess the concepts of civility and KARMA are completely lost on some people.

Reality check

September 12th, 2011
11:20 pm

What, are you five years old? If you have driven anywhere in this city, or have seen a few news programs, you would know that civilty and Karma are meaningless, if not unknown, concepts these days. Not to mention, what used to be common sense, judging by your remark.


September 12th, 2011
11:44 pm

Folks in my hometown are always accusing others of stealing their cemetery flowers yet everytime I visit the cemetery I am amazed at the number of arrangements that have blown off the graves. You can find arrangements all over the cemetery. Just saying…


September 13th, 2011
7:55 pm

“Atlanta Highway was shut down for two hours…”

How absurd. The typical stupid local yokel overreaction. Too many gomer cops with too much time on their hands putting on a show.


September 14th, 2011
5:44 am

It seems to me the story isn’t that one man made some outlandish threats against an unknown thief, it’s that (a) he got charged for doing so and (b) the charge included the magic word ‘terrorist.’ Certainly sounds like ‘cops with too much time on their hands’ to me.


September 15th, 2011
9:59 am

its usually your teenage children doing such pranks. and grown adults who steal the bronze vases to sell for scrap

Neal Kelley

September 20th, 2011
2:53 pm

I understand how the guy feels… What kind of a low life steal flowers from some one else grave and give it to some one .. or place it on some else grave…

Don Juan

September 20th, 2011
3:53 pm

Ever heard of a camera and a baseball bat?