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Self-Published 'Inspirational' Wyckoff Author Charged With Torching Former Home

Aftermath of the June 13 fire. INSET: Carolyn M. Kaetz
Aftermath of the June 13 fire. INSET: Carolyn M. Kaetz Photo Credit: Contributed photo / INSET: Facebook

A self-published Wyckoff author who wrote about suffering from depression and schizophrenia was charged with trying to burn down her former home.

Carolyn M. Kaetz, 54, “admitted to Detective Sgt. Kevin Kasak that she started the fire” at her former residence at 115 Huntington Court in March, destroying it, Lt. Joseph Soto said.

She was charged with one count of aggravated arson and sent to the Bergen County Jail after police said she confessed last month – only to be released by a judge hours later under New Jersey’s 2017 bail reform law pending a court hearing.

Kaetz, who previously worked as a dental assistant in Ridgewood and as a customer service rep at a nearby animal hospital, allegedly ignited the fire in a bedroom.

Firefighters put down the blaze, but the house had to be condemned.

In a blog, betterdreams.org , Kaetz says that she’d been a Third Order Carmelite and Charismatic for several years and has “suffered from major depression and psychosis” for nearly 30 years while enduring four abortions before having a daughter.

“During these years, every sin I ever committed was brought before my eyes and I was ridiculed, humiliated and degraded by the voices,” she wrote. “Each episode started by the voices lying to me and making me believe outlandish and grandiose ideas and then I was made fun of and ridiculed, laughed at and despised by the voices when I chose not to believe them any longer.

“For the first ten years, they didn’t let up,” she added. “They were there when I was awake or in my dreams when I tried to sleep, even while on medication. The only thing that made the voices stop was being pray over in front of a tabernacle, and eventually hospitalization with medication, but the nightmares were always there.

“I knew my illness was both physical, because the medication helped me and spiritual because of what the voices were saying.”

In March 2013, Kaetz independently published “From the Edge of the Abyss Hope Rises,” a book about “overcoming obstacles and perseverance” that she said includes “inspirational poems, prayers, psalms and teachings.”

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