The HANS REISER Murder Trial. Timeline and Analysis.
THE HANS REISER MURDER TRIAL.
TIMELINE AND ANALYSIS.
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"I just keep thinking that I'm stuck in George Orwell's 1984," he said while shackled, dressed in a red, prison-issue jumpsuit, and locked in a cement room. "The government has taken away my kids, invaded my house, held me in solitary confinement and caused me all sorts of financial problems."
Name: Hans Thomas Reiser
Born: December 19, 1963
Race or Ethnicity: White
Height and Weight:
Occupation: Computer Programmer
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Creator of the Reiser3 and Reiser4 filesystems.
Father: Ramon Reiser
Mother: Beverly Palmer
Wife: Nina (m. 1999, sep. May-2004)
High School: (does not graduate, but goes straight to UC Berkeley at age 15)
University: BA Systematizing, UC Berkeley
Work: IBM Almaden Research Center, 1992-1993.
Work: Founded and ran Namesys, Inc., 1997-2006 (Naming System Venture).
Name: Nina Sharanova
Born: November 3, 1974
Race or Ethnicity: White (Jew)
Height and Weight: 5 ft 5 in, 114 pounds
Nationality: Russia (U.S. citizen May, 2004)
Mother: Irina Sharanova
Wife: Hans Reiser (m. 1999, sep. May, 2004)
1997: Han Reiser, age 32, founds Namesys, Inc., to develop a better computer filesystem. Most staff are in Russia, to which he takes frequent trips. Over the years, various Linux companies financially support the development, with the German company, SuSE, being the main contributor. After the American company, Novell, purchases SuSE, this support is stopped.
His filesystem, Reiser3 (ReiserFS) becomes the default Linux filesystem, the filesystem used by most Linux users. Although, Reiser3 is an outstanding filesystem, Reiser4 is better, again. The adoption of Reiser4, is actively resisted by Red Hat and associates. Their resistance, is taken to absurd levels.
1999: Hans contacts a Russian dating service, in St. Petersburg, to find a bride and meets Nina Sharanova, age 22. Nina has likewise been advertising for a husband. They date for a year.
Nina moves to Oakland and marries Hans while five months pregnant with their first child, Rory. Reiser claims his wife conceived their son, the first night they meet. Hans continues to go on frequent trips to Russia.
After their marriage, the Reisers lived for a time in Moscow. Hans Reiser, a software developer, employed Russian programmers to help with his business. Nina's mother, Irina Sharanova, said she often visited her daughter in Moscow.
1999-09-28: Son Rory is born.
2001-05: Daughter Niorlene is born.
Shortly, after the birth of Niorlene, Nina has an extramarital sexual affair with Hans' best friend, cross-dresser and BDSM enthusiast Sean Sturgeon, with whom she moves in. (Sturgeon had attended their wedding, in drag, as the bridesmaid. He was claimed to be addicted to pain pills and to have the word "rage" carved into his arm.)
2001: The Pentagon's R&D agency, DARPA, awards Namesys a $600,000 grant to build the filesystem of the future.
Hans' father, Ramon Reiser, takes a break from teaching high school science, to help out at Namesys.
Ramon Reiser soon becomes suspicious of his new daughter-in-law, who has taken the title of, chief financial officer, at Namesys. Ramon tells Hans that he believes Nina is stealing large amounts of money from Namesys and cooking the books. Hans does not initially believe him.
2004 Sturgeon lends Namesys $84,000 early in 2004.
2004, May: Nina gets US citizenship.
2004, May: Nina files for legal separation from Hans.
"She divorced me the day she became a citizen. I don't know whether it was the exact day, but same month -- close enough," Reiser said (ABC 20/20).
2004, May: Nina kicks Hans out of their home. Hans moves into his mother's house at 6979 Exeter Drive, in the Montclair District, Oakland hills. He pays $600 a month in rent. Nina and children eventually move to 49th Street, in Oakland, a few miles away.
2004-08: Attorney, Shelley Gordon, files divorce papers on Nina's behalf. Nina, is in Russia at the time. The divorce is still unconcluded two years later, at the time of Nina's disappearance. Child custody is heavily contested. On her return from Russia, Nina testifies that Hans has been psychologically traumatizing Rory (then aged 4) by making him watch violent movies (an example given was, "Saving Private Ryan") and play violent video games (an example given was, "Battle Vietnam"), causing him nightmares and was away so often on business as to be an ineffective parent.
Hans claims that Nina's boyfriend, Sean Sturgeon, is a danger to the children. He obtains a court order to keep Sturgeon away from them.
2004-12: Nina gets a temporary restraining order requiring him to remain distant, alleging he had "pushed" her and was "abusive."
2004-12-30: Sean Sturgeon, files a lawsuit against Hans, charging failure to repay an $84,000 loan, seeking $131,552 in damages.
2005-02-15: Reiser asserts that the money was loaned to Namesys, Inc. and that he is therefore, in no way, personally liable for repayment. He claims that Sturgeon is having an illicit affair with his wife and that Sturgeon is residing with her, and his children, in defiance of a court order (to keep away from Reiser's children). Nina, he says, spent most of the $84,000 loan during the divorce action and during Sturgeon's cohabitation with her. He notes that the lawsuit is not bought against the company, but against him as an individual and that the co-owner of the company, Nina Reiser, is not named as a defendant. Reiser claims, that this "is clear evidence of his malicious intent to destroy the defendant's marriage and leave the defendant to clean up the wreckage and pay the debts."
2005-09-08: Reiser, lodges a cross-complaint claiming that Sturgeon intentionally seduced Nina in an effort to "show that he was a better man than I and to convince my wife, Nina, to conspire with him to steal the Namesys company assets." Reiser states that Sturgeon acted as his financial agent from 1999 through 2002 and had access to and control over deposits, withdrawals and funds at the Patelco Credit Union. He also claims that Sturgeon had attempted to extort money from Hans and his mother by threatening to contact the Internal Revenue Service. The suits are eventually settled (one, just after Nina disappears).
2005-12: Nina wins full legal custody and shared physical custody of the children. Divorce legal proceedings, however, continue and Hans, is to have the children with him one weeknight per week and every other weekend. Hans is ordered to pay $5,400 a month child support. This amount is contested and later reduced to $1,000 a month.
Wed 2006-01-04: Nina withdraws her court motion for a permanent restraining order, and in exchange, Hans, without admitting guilt, agrees to be bound by a one-year civil restraining order prohibiting him from contacting, harassing or disturbing the peace of Nina at her home or place of work and ordering him to stay at least 100 yards away from her.
Fri 2006-04-28: Hans contributes $2,000 to Alameda County Supervisor Gail Steele's election campaign, as part of his new-found cause, to reform what he sees as a flawed family court system and sends her e-mail saying this cause may end up being his true life's work.
Thu 2006-05-08: Nina brings administrative law proceedings of civil contempt against Hans, alleging he has failed to pay 10 months child support, at $5,400 a month, and 50% of medical and child-care expenses, for a total of over $54,000. This amount is reduced to $12,161.
2006-07: Nina takes Rory to Russia, about two months before she disappears and (in defiance of a court order) arranges Russian citizenship for him. Nina had acquired Russian citizenship for daughter, Niorline, some two years earlier.
Sun 2006-07-30: Nina mets Anthony Zografos through the Craigslist Web site.
Wed 2006-08-16: Reiser's attorney, Gregory Silva, files a response to Nina's lawsuit, in which she claims Reiser is complying with the payment schedule that the parties had agreed upon.
Fri 2006-08-25: Hans pleads not guilty to civil contempt, his attorney saying the contempt claim "is not only inappropriate and unfair but underhanded and deceitful." Trial is scheduled for Wed 2006-10-11, but Reiser seems to have been found guilty, without the need for this trial (which never eventuates).