Officer photographed apparent Reiser diatribe
By Jeff Shuttleworth
January 17, 2008
On the day that Hans Reiser was arrested on suspicion of murdering
his estranged wife, Nina, he apparently wrote an angry diatribe
against the family law court system, according to testimony at
his trial yesterday.
Oakland police officer Bruce Christensen said he photographed
the text on a laptop computer on a kitchen table at the home of
Mark McGothigan, a male friend of Reiser's mother, on Simson Street
near Mills College in Oakland on Oct. 10, 2006.
According to previous testimony in Reiser's trial, Reiser was
arrested at that location that day and police believe he had slept
there the previous night.
Nina Reiser's body has never been found, despite extensive searches
in the Oakland hills and elsewhere.
But Hans Reiser was charged in October of 2006 with murdering
her after Oakland police said they found biological and trace
evidence tying him to her death.
Christensen didn't have any proof that Hans Reiser wrote the
text on the laptop, but its theme is consistent with complaints
that Reiser lodged against the family law system in conversations
and email messages with Alameda County Supervisor Gail Steele
over a long period up to two days before Sept. 3, 2006, when Nina
Under a subheading entitled, "Protecting the Children,"
according to Christensen, who read the text aloud to jurors, the
text said, "There is something about protecting children
that attracts the very worst sorts of people, at least as much
as it attracts the best."
The text, according to Christensen, said, "Prior to meeting
divorce lawyers, I have to tell you I have never met a demographic
group before with the majority of persons who enjoy hurting others.
In the name of protecting the children, family law suspends every
constitutional right that matters."
Nina, who was 31 when she disappeared, and Hans Reiser, now 44,
married in 1999 but she filed for divorce and separated from him
in 2004. The couple was in the midst of acrimonious divorce proceedings
and a struggle over custody of their two children, Rory and Nio,
when she disappeared.
Nina had primary physical and legal custody of the children but
he was allowed to see them several days a week.
Hans Reiser has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
DuBois has said that he thinks Nina may still be alive and in
hiding in Russia, where she was born and where she was trained
as a physician.
According to Christensen, the text said, "Rory and Nio are
available to do root-beer commercials. I guarantee they will be
convincing. I don't need to offer root beer to get him to play
politically incorrect computer games."
Christensen testified on Monday that he also took a photograph
on the screen of a desktop computer in another part of McGothigan's
house that shows that someone had done a Yahoo! Search that yielded
a long list of news articles about the search for Nina Reiser.
Several other Oakland police officers testified yesterday about
Hans Reiser's suspicious activities in the days after Nina disappeared,
including hiding his car when he parked on a quiet street in Berkeley
nearly 9 miles away from the house in the Oakland hills where
he lived with his mother.
Officer Eugene "Gino" Guerrero said the Oakland Police
Department had "a giant, giant plan" to conduct surveillance
on Hans Reiser and wiretap his phone calls and undercover officers
such as him were ordered to put their narcotics investigations
on hold so they could help with the investigation.
Guerrero said a number of officers followed Reiser on Sept. 18,
2006, including officer Leo Sanchez, who spied on Reiser from
a fixed-wing airplane that flew about 5,000 feet in the sky.
Guerrero said the officers' efforts paid off when they followed
Reiser the night of Sept. 18, 2006, as he drove his car, a 1988
Honda CRX, from Berkeley to Monterey Boulevard in the Oakland
hills, leaving it on the street several miles away from the home
on Exeter Drive where he lived with his mother.
Prosecutor Paul Hora told jurors in his opening statement that
when officers examined the car the next morning, they noticed
that the car was missing its front right passenger seat, indicating
that Reiser might have used it to carry Nina's body to a site
where it could be disposed.
Lee's blog, SFGate.com
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