The mother of murder defendant Hans Reiser’s admitted in court Tuesday that he told her in a phone call 20 days after his estranged wife, Nina, disappeared that he wished she had been put in jail and their two children would be better off without her.
Called as a prosecution witness in Hans Reiser’s trial on charges that he murdered Nina Reiser, 31, who disappeared on Sept. 3, 2006, Beverly Palmer confirmed that in a Sept. 23, 2006, phone call that was recorded by police he told her that on one occasion she kicked him and then called police in an effort to get him arrested.
Hans Reiser said the officers who responded figured out that Nina had instigated the incident and wanted to arrest her, but he said he talked them out of doing so.
Reiser told his mother that letting Nina go “was a mistake I’ve paid for heavily” and said “things would have gone better if she’d gone to jail.”
In the phone call, Reiser said Nina “really was nuts,” “looks for every possible way she can screw me” and alleged that the couple’s son, Rory, now 8, was suffering from various illnesses “because she hated me and Rory was a proxy for me.”
After his mother told Reiser that Nina “didn’t deserve whatever happened to her,” even if she wasn’t a perfect wife or mother, Reiser said, “Yeah, and neither did I and neither did Rory.”
Reiser also said, “I think my children shouldn’t be endangered by her.”
Hans and Nina Reiser married in 1999 but Nina Reiser filed for divorce in August of 2004 and they had been undergoing bitter divorce proceedings for more than two years at the time she disappeared.
Nina Reiser was awarded both legal and physical custody of the couple’s two children, but Hans Reiser was allowed to have them one weeknight a week and every other weekend.
The body of Nina Reiser, who was last seen alive when she dropped off the couple’s two children at the house on Exeter Drive in Oakland where Hans Reiser lived with his mother, has never been found despite extensive searches in the Oakland hills and elsewhere.
Hans Reiser has insisted that he is innocent.