The Country Goddess Store owner nearly set on fire in Southern Illinois

Attacker Attempts to Set Woman on Fire

JACKSON COUNTY-- Investigators are searching for the suspect in a bizarre attack. Police say the woman walked into a business and tried to set the store's owner on fire.

The Country Goddess is an uni-faith/multicultural store in downtown Carbondale...

"We actually have at least 6 different faiths represented in the store. We have belly dancing and organic soaps and aroma therapy and jewelry and candles. So it's a feel good store."

But for owner, Crystal Basler Payne, just two weeks ago the mood was much different.

"She came in just like any other customer and asked about bath salts."

After the woman made her decision, Payne rang up the customer.

"And then I just turned around and I told her how much it was, like $4.98 or something like that, and then she just threw the kerosene on me. Across the counter."

Payne says that's when the woman began to strike a lighter, trying to set her on fire. Payne says she ran for life, but tripped and fell just feet from the door.

"She actually said for me to be still so she could light me on fire. Like I was gonna do that. Cause I was in a fight for my life."

Payne says, during the ordeal, the woman never explained why she was being targeted.

"She had no emotion, no emotional change, whatsoever. At no point did she scream, she was extremely calm, I mean, it was as if she was making a cup of soup."

Kicking and screaming, Payne says, she managed to get away from her attacker, get to her feet, and escape. But, so did her assailant.

While Payne admits she was shaken by the attack, she says, she has no intention of closing her store.

"Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, we're gonna expand. This is a place of love and peace and cultural diversity, and I want it to reflect the community and the university, and there is nothing gonna stop me from doing that."

Since the attack, Payne has added a surveillance system and made other security upgrades. Carbondale police say they are investigating the crime. If you have any information, you're urged to call Carbondale Crime-Stoppers.

By: Rachel Gartner

Views: 1022

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What a creep. That woman must be sick, or part of a cult. Even the more extreme Christian religions have some sort of cuth about them, and go about spreading their beliefs through words (most of the time). This is just WEIRD.

Why can't diversity be accepted?
where was she carrying the kerosene, in her purse? what crazy people in this world....
Yeah, it's nuts. Especially that the attacker was so calm about it-kinda Twilight Zone.
Makes you wonder if the wackier groups are training up their own suicide bombers.
Maybe I missed it, but was the store owner injured?
Apparently not badly, luckily. Sounds like there was a struggle, and having kerosene dumped on you is no fun. I speak from personal experience.
Thats good at least. I do hope they find the attacker...I just may have another Justice spell in the works for this evening...
The attacker getting away is pretty worrying.
Dear Gods, people are just absolutely nuts! I certainly hope this whack job is found and brought to justice and a big kudos to the store owner for not letting such insanity stop her from not only continuing but now expanding her business!
wow what a creep!! I'm glad the lady is alright.
It's good to know the owner isn't going to let this close her down, but instead is planning an expansion. Hopefully the psycho will be caught and jailed for life so she doesn't have opportunity to find anyone else she see's as worthy of being burned to death.
sounds like the shop didn't have camera security, there are some psycho's out there.
Scary thought. I had a guy in HS threaten to light my hair on fire once upon a time. For no reason mind you, he was just a creep. I just thought I'd share. Now, what I don't get is they got the kid doing it again on the bus ramp later in the day, why didn't they take the lighter from him the first time???

Well anyway, thought I'd randomly share that. Frankly it was frightening as heck then, and it would be now, though this would freak me out a lot more...


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