Crime

Key West artist tells cop actress Shirley MacLaine's followers will set fire to the city

Thursday, the day before he was shot in a Key West home during an argument, artist William Selesnick called police to warn that a series of fires would be set by followers of Hollywood actress Shirley MacLaine.

Oh, and those fires will be followed by "cleansing rains," Selesnick added, according to a police report.

"When pressed whether these would be literal or metaphysical fires, Selesnick told me I would have to wait" to find out, Officer Todd Stevens wrote in his report.

Selesnick had called police from the Lighthouse Guest House, 902 Whitehead St., at 11:05 a.m. telling dispatchers there will be "a series of fires followed by a riot" in Key West, the report states.

Nothing in the report indicates Selesnick even knows MacLaine, 81, who spent part of her career making some wacky statements of her own about past lives.

Selesnick, 64, was promptly arrested for misdemeanor possession of about two grams of marijuana after officers noticed his room at a Key West guest house reeked of the stuff, according to the report.

Asked about a small mound of marijuana resting atop a laptop computer, Selesnick "asked us if he could roll one," police said.

Selesnick was released from the Stock Island jail before 4 p.m. later that day after posting a $328 bond.

The next night, William Lansford allegedly shot Selesnick in the thigh during an argument witnesses said turned physical inside 713 Southard St. Lansford is charged with two felonies and has bonded out of jail to await court proceedings.

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