Graham set to task by smashing windows on 12 new cars, placing rolled newspaper and petrol on the front passenger seat, then went car-to-car striking a match. Four flaming cars drew firefighters to the dealership. Graham's body was discovered on the ground beside the fourth vehicle.
It was concluded that Graham, 61, died of a heart attack while he was burning the vehicles at his dealership in Ligonier, about 65km southeast of Pittsburgh.
Graham was a third-generation dealer selling Buick, Pontiac and Jeep vehicles. His grandfather, Albert, started Graham Colonial Motors in the 1920s. Graham's father, Charles, later took over.
The dealership owed more than US$420,000 in 2008 federal tax liens and more than Us$11,000 in county property-tax liens, according to court records.