This Was An E-MAIL Worth Sharing

This Was An E-MAIL Worth Sharing


The Reiser case resumes on April 1 (as I earlier posted) but that’s TUESDAY, not this Monday (as I posted yesterday).

As you might expect, I have been getting a high volume of e-mail about this trial. Until now it has contained analysis and comment, but no potential evidence. With a few exceptions I am in the dark about the actual identity of my correspondents.

Today I opened an e-mail from “WF” who, wrote the following:

“Hans Reiser, having briefly known him over the years, is a self-centered, super-geek with above average intelligence. He has an average amount of control over his emotions and doesn’t lose his temper easily.”

So now we have someone who tells me that he was an eyewitness to an aspect of the case that has been under discussion for some weeks. My correspondent then went on to add a number of observations, all in the realm of the same kinds of assessments we outsiders have been making, i.e., what is probable and likely.

Then he also added more. Consider this gem:

“I saw the car on Friday September 8th, 2006 AND the front seat was missing then.

“The interior of the car was full of trash and looked like he was living in it. We asked him that very question and he said yes. He noted even then, that he was living in the car to allow his mother to get custody of his children. He couldn’t live at her house to make that happen. That was 5 days after Nina disappeared.”

Now that is evidence; whether either side would want to touch it under these circumstances, in an entirely different question.

Another gem:

“I have friends living in St. Petersburg who know her mother and dad well. Her parents are good folks but not exactly objective when it comes to their daughter’s behavior. By the way, she is not currently living with them in St. Petersburg. She might be in Russia but she isn’t hanging around at Mom’s house.”


“We’ll see if Hans gets out of this jam. He’s simply making things worse for himself by babbling on the stand.”

There was more, of course, but the remainder of the e-mail was the sort of intelligent opinion that anyone looking in from outside might entertain. For example, this correspondent (who doubts Hans’ guilt) confirms what I’ve heard elsewhere — you can locate some of this input in the comments section of my earlier posts — about the prospect of actually being able to read these hard drives:

“Hans being paranoid about everything [he] probably encrypted the ‘important’ files. You’d have to get NAS to break that scheme and it’s hardly likely they can get the encryption-key in order to get evidence that would incriminate him.”

Here I tend to disagree. Both sides in the case already know that Hans’ emails, for example, were downloaded to one or both of the hard drives, and that – when arrested – Reiser was carrying one of his screeds with him in his fanny pack. Paranoid or not, Hans was careless.

I remain confident that Hans would not have encrypted everything for the same reason that he didn’t wash everything. He was under extreme stress, with a tight timeline (assuming arguendo, he is the killer) followed by even greater stress and a lot of scrutiny (even if he is not). Moreover, if the drives are recovered, Hans can be asked in front of the jury to assist in decrypting the drives or specific files. If he refuses, the jury can be instructed that his refusal will support an inference of consciousness of guilt.

We can infer that Hans probably wasn’t a lifelong fan of CSI. Instead he found it necessary to buy a couple of police procedural books, carrying them in the car the sought to conceal in what he calls the “arrogance of innocence”. Well the innocence part is up for grabs in this overlong trial, but the arrogance has probably been established by now.

Stay tuned…


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