Murder, Code and Hans Reiser

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2007-11-05 Print this article Print

Well-known open-source programmer murder trial finally goes to court.

Hans Reiser, well-known open-source developer, goes on trial Nov. 5 for the murder of his wife, Nina Reiser, in Alameda County Superior Court in California. Reiser is the founder of Namesys and creator and primary developer of the popular ReiserFS Linux file system. Nina Reiser, the estranged wife of Reiser, has been missing since Sept. 3, 2006. She had dropped off the couple's children at Reiser's home in Oakland's Montclair area, but never returned to pick them up. Her car was later found abandoned in another part of Montclair. Oakland police arrested Reiser and charged him with her murder on Oct. 11, 2006. Reiser, who has been held without bail ever since, continues to maintain his innocence.
The Reisers were married in 1999 but separated by 2004. The divorce, which has not been finalized, has been a bitter affair. Reiser had been accused of abusing Nina Reiser. He accused her of having an affair with Sean Sturgeon, his former friend. Custody of their two children had also become a major issue. The children are staying with Nina Reiser's mother's family in Russia.
No sign of Nina Reiser or her body have been found despite a reward offer. Despite the lack of physical evidence, Oakland police say they have built a detailed case using circumstantial evidence. Read the full story on Murder, Code and Hans Reiser
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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