Hans Reiser's trial on charges that he murdered his wife Nina resumed today after a 26-day break not with a bang, but with a whimper as a prosecution witness methodically described photos of the home in the Oakland hills where Reiser lived with his mother.
By presenting a mountain of circumstantial evidence, Prosecutor Paul Hora is attempting to prove that Reiser, a 44-year-old computer engineer, murdered his wife Nina, who disappeared on Sept. 3, 2006. Her body has never been found.
Nina Reiser, who was 31, was last seen when she dropped off the couple's two children at the house at 6868 Exeter Drive in Oakland where Hans Reiser lived with his mother.
Although Nina Reiser's body has never been found despite extensive searches in the Oakland hills and elsewhere, 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.
Nina and Hans Reiser 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 when she disappeared.
Hans Reiser has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
His attorney, William 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.
On the witness stand today, Oakland police officer Bruce Christensen described photos he took of virtually every nook and cranny of the Exeter Drive house.
Christensen also described photos he took of a house at 6952 Simpson St. on Oct. 10, 2006, which is where Reiser's mother's boyfriend lives. Reiser was arrested at that residence that day.
Christensen showed jurors a photograph of a computer screen on which a Yahoo search had been conducted before police arrived.
The top five searches all had to do with the highly publicized search for Nina Reiser.
The headline on the first search result said, “Police, FBI search Hans Reiser's house again.”
— Bay City News