Hans Reiser rules out innocence, leads police to body

When jurors found file system creator Hans Reiser guilty murder last April, some members of the Linux community held on to their belief that Reiser was innocent. As SFGate reports, however, Reiser has confirmed his guilt by leading police to his wife’s body as part of a bargain for a lighter sentence.

Through the discovery of Nina Reiser’s remains, SFGate says Hans may get away with a second-degree murder sentence rather than the first-degree sentence he would have otherwise received. The latter conviction would have seen Reiser spend 25 years to life in prison, whereas a second-degree murder sentence carries a potentially shorter term of 15 years to life.

SFGate explains that Reiser admitted to fighting with his wife, strangling her, and burying her body “on the side of a steep hill off a deer trail between Redwood Regional Park and the Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve.” The site lies less than half a mile from Reiser’s home, where witnesses last saw Nina alive in September 2006. Reportedly, police successfully exhumed a body as Reiser looked on handcuffed to his lawyer. The body hasn’t yet been identified.

Comments closed
    • evermore
    • 11 years ago

    Sentencing and conviction are different things. If he was found guilty of first degree murder, doesn’t that mean he’s guilty of first degree murder in the eyes of the law? Or can the judge just downgrade what crime was committed for convenience?

    Sentencing is determining what punishment is to be given, not to determine what level of crime was committed. At least I’ve never before heard it used to refer to the degree of crime.

      • just brew it!
      • 11 years ago

      Welcome to the wacky world of the US legal system…

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 11 years ago

      He has been neither convicted, nor sentenced yet if Cyril’s abstract is accurate. This is probably part of a plea bargain, so the prosecution will only charge him with 2nd degree murder. </not a lawyer, but I’ve watched a lot of law and order>

        • just brew it!
        • 11 years ago

        He was convicted several months ago. Very first line of Cyril’s news post.

        The plea bargain actually involves reduction of the charge after the fact, thereby (possibly) giving him a reduced sentence.

    • indeego
    • 11 years ago

    s[

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      She probably would’ve been identified already, had they defragmented her first.

        • Thresher
        • 11 years ago

        Shame journaling wasn’t on, he could have just restored.

        • firestorm02
        • 11 years ago

        I’m sure with today’s forensic technologies they can identify her from her Volume Boot Sector.

          • Meadows
          • 11 years ago

          But not every specialist uses Linux. 😉

            • Darth Willis
            • 11 years ago

            I don’t care what you all say, Hans is still innocent even after showing the cops where Nina’s body is. The fact that he could find it in order to cut a deal is just a testament to how efficient his journaling and storage algorithms really are.

            • eitje
            • 11 years ago

            except now ReiserFS will be buried by the Open Source community.

            • indeego
            • 11 years ago

            I know of a forensic investigator for PC’s for litigation, and they do indeed use Linux as one of many tools…

            dd is handyg{

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      chmod 777 *.body

        • just brew it!
        • 11 years ago

        California has capital punishment… he’s lucky it isn’t *[

          • derFunkenstein
          • 11 years ago

          As an Illinoisan you should know that a death penalty without enforcement is meaningless. California has had an effective moratorium since 2006 as no doctor was willing to administer it.

          §[<http://www.ktvu.com/deathrow/7233502/detail.html<]§ I can't find where there's been one since.

            • DrCR
            • 11 years ago

            Why not go back to hanging?

            • ludi
            • 11 years ago

            Proper hanging is trickier than it looks. If you don’t drop the body hard enough, the victim may suffer painful dislocated vertebrae and strangle to death on the rope, finally emptying their bladder and bowels as the body loses muscle control (or at least strangles until the platform is reset for a repeat), which would probably qualify as cruel and unusual. Dropping the body too hard causes a messy decapitation.

        • pedro
        • 11 years ago

        Are you implying that others were involved in her execution?

    • ludi
    • 11 years ago

    Where did the G(eek)Q picture come from? He sure didn’t look that young and vibrant in the courtroom photos.

    • SGT Lindy
    • 11 years ago

    I dont get it???? With out a body, how could he be convicted of anything?

    That said only CA would let him off with anything less than Life with with out parole.

    Why have laws at all when you ignore them?

      • d2brothe
      • 11 years ago

      Umm….lots of cases can be made on circumstantial evidence, even without a body, its not terribly uncommon.

      Also, are you kidding, even first degree murder usually only carries a sentence of 25 years to life, you have to do something particularily hienous to get life in prison with no chance of parole, or live in texas….

    • Hattig
    • 11 years ago

    I’m glad that he finally saw some semblance of sense and that will allow her family and friends to finally close that chapter of the book.

    I wonder how much time he would have got if he had called the police after killing her, said he’d killed her during an argument, maybe even claim she had come at him with a knife. If she was cheating on him, he probably could have got diminished responsibility as well.

    I guess he gambled it all on the never being found guilty horse, but that horse fell when he took the stand in the trial.

      • jinjuku
      • 11 years ago

      It’s call hubris. Mr. Reiser was as smug as a son of a bitch as they come.

        • Buub
        • 11 years ago

        That’s what I read, too. His over-inflated ego got in the way of his sense of reality.

    • porov
    • 11 years ago

    I thought he was innocent, too bad

      • poulpy
      • 11 years ago

      Really? I was clearly surprised when the story first hit the fan but his cover up story was pretty bad (wife ran away, I’m a geek that’s why I acted silly) compared to the facts IMO..
      Extracts from the police report: his car was /[<"a few miles from his home, they found the interior waterlogged, the passenger seat missing, and two books on police murder investigations inside. They also found a sleeping-bag cover stained with a 6-inch wide blotch of Nina's dried blood"<]/ §[<http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/hans_reiser_trial/index.html<]§

        • Swampangel
        • 11 years ago

        One of Nina Reiser’s exes, a Mr Sturgeon I believe, is a confessed serial killer. Many people thought he was a more likely suspect, including me at first.

        The car was certainly weird. And certainly, had he been innocent, he could have vindicated himself simply by explaining where the seat was, and why the sleeping bag cover was bloody. But weird is not necessarily criminal and the strength of that evidence alone … I don’t know. My tent’s gotten my blood on it more than once, so even the sleeping bag might not mean much.

        But he did a great deal of harm to his position by testifying. A person as smart as he should have a clear reasoning for decisions (like sleeping in an apparently waterlogged car, as he claimed to have done) or a clear excuse for not having a clear reason. Nothing he said (that was reported) made any kind of sense. Being weird and geeky to an extreme does not imply erratic behaviour, but rather the opposite: actions which look weird in isolation but fit consistently in SOME kind of logical framework.

          • Glorious
          • 11 years ago

          Confessed? Yes. Actual? No.

          Sean Sturgeon has a vivid fantasy life involving domination and SM-play. He wasn’t confessing to anything, he was acting out a sexual desire. The police don’t believe him because there isn’t any proof Sean Sturgeon killed anyone. I mean, the people touting this are sort of expecting us to ignore the fact that a real serial killer confessing to 8 murders would clearly make the national news. Was Sturgeon charged? Oh right, they mysteriously don’t say…

          What an incredible piece of misdirection. It’s a shame that’s it’s so effective on people who are supposed to be smart enough to know better.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 11 years ago

            oops wrong article.

    • d0g_p00p
    • 11 years ago

    That’s what that was. I live about 2 blocks away.

    • poulpy
    • 11 years ago

    Not familiar with US laws but why would him -finally- stopping to lie and owning up would make his crime a lesser offence and -potentially- give him a 10years sentence reduction?!
    If he’d given himself up explaining everything in the first place I -maybe- could have understood but he didn’t and actually tried to weasel his way out..

      • d0g_p00p
      • 11 years ago

      Yeah, It’s strange. If he plays everything well and has no issues in prison he could be released with in 7 years.

      • nerdrage
      • 11 years ago

      It was probably done to give the family closure (so they could have a proper funeral, etc).

      • StashTheVampede
      • 11 years ago

      he didn’t get a 10 year sentence reduction: he got 10 years less before he is up for parole (release). so, potentially he could be out in 15 (vs 25) years, but is unlikely for a murderer to be set free so soon.

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      The discretion of the prosecutor and the court has to consider not only the value of closure to the victim’s family (as someone arleady noted), but also the actual amount of evidence they have to work with, plus the value of the future police work and court time that would be necessary to locate the body (if ever) and exclude other suspect parties.

      In other words, while the immediate issue is crime and punishment, there are dozens or even hundreds of other people impacted now or in the future, plus a potential future expenditure of millions of dollars in public money.

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