by: Monique Ming Laven Updated:
Randy Terlicker was strong, he was dedicated, he was protective, and he was Kim Moen's big brother.
Kim said he always had an easy smile, and it was coupled with a powerful build that his nieces and nephews climbed all over. He loved being a firefighter. He loved being a brother, and he especially loved being a son to his aging parents.
It seemed fitting that Terlicker died in service, but cruel that he died so young. He was one of four Seattle firefighters killed in the Pang warehouse fire in 1995. Martin Pang had started the fire to get insurance money, but others paid the price.
Pang, who was sentenced in 1998 for arson, was in the news Tuesday after police he created a scheme while in prison to funnel money meant to go to first responders.
"I never thought he intended to kill anyone," Kim said about Pang, "but he did such a stupid, stupid thing and he knew it could have killed someone."
The Jan. 5, 1995, fire was deadliest firefighter incident department history.
Kim says the aftermath was like a strange movie, and it took years for her to accept what had happened. But, in time, she and her family had forgiven Pang. They're a tight-knit, spiritual family, and for them forgiving Pang was a release.
Kim had another incentive: in a strange twist of fate, she learned Pang's youngest daughter was one of her third-grade students.
"My hope was the he would be able to rehabilitate and change," she said of the 35-year sentence Pang received.
Instead, investigators said Pang wanted to steal the identities of firefighters, police officers and witnesses involved in his case.
Department of Corrections officers partnered with the Seattle Police Department's Major Crimes Task Force, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Snohomish Regional Drug and Gang Task Force to investigate the case.
"Pang saw this as an opportunity to make a ton of money, so he had a nest egg when he got out of prison," said Seattle police Detective Todd Jakobsen, who assisted in investigating the case.
Police believe Pang planned to take the money he accumulated from the scheme to Brazil, where he fled in 1995.
"It's very narcissistic and outrageous and a complete insult to not only the firefighters but the community," Interim Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel said Wednesday.
Authorities arrested McClain and searched Pang's prison cell, where they found a list of the names and Social Security numbers of 20 witnesses in Pang's 1995 arson case. They also reported finding he recently accessed records containing the personal information of firefighters involved in his case through his attorney.
Authorities said they were able to stop the fraud scheme before Pang was able to steal any of his victims' identities or any money from the Tulalip Casino. No casino customers were targeted.
Kim says there's always hope that Pang will find redemption, but she has little faith he will.
She had hoped prison would be a place for self-reflection, but she says Pang's dark side has proven deep and darker than she imagined.
"To target those who put him there means he feels he didn't believe he deserved punishment for anything he did," she said. "In fact, he was bitter about it, and it's just sad."
Now her family can no longer just consider Pang a person who had accidentally caused them pain. They say this latest plot shows his true heart.
"That's a step beyond selfishness," said Kim's husband, John Moen. "That's vengefulness and that's evil."
Police have forwarded the case to the Snohomish County Prosecutor's Office for charges. He is expected to be released from jail in 2018.
If convicted in the scheme, Pang could lose significant "good behavior time" he accumulated while serving his current sentence, and could face up to five additional years in prison.