Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hans Reiser Trial Quote Goodness

As long as the Hans Reiser trial is nearing an end, it seems fairly appropriate to provide some of the more interesting quips and moments from the trial. Remember, this thing went on for five months; sometimes in excruciatingly detail that was elicited in a painfully slow manner. It is a wonder that anyone on the jury still has hair (no one has pulled all of theirs out...yet) and it's also a wonder that no one on the jury has a concussion from beating their head up against a wall during the course of all of this. Thus, I probably find these quotes a bit more amusing than they do at the moment. And so will you.
  • "To get into a cleaning mood, when I start cleaning, I'm obsessive about it and I clean things too much."
  • "I'm sorry that might not be communicative. But somebody will understand." (Someone who doesn't need communicative communication might understand.)Hans Reiser Trial Sketch

  • "There was an intellectual limit to my procrastination." (Yep, your smarts will only allow you to put things off for just so long.)

  • "I was paranoid and this was on the same day that somebody was following me." (And the definition of "paranoia" was born!)

  • "The police were an expected problem."

  • Hans Reiser Trial Sketch

  • "Do you want me to go back in the history that causes me grounds to be paranoid?" (I'd have to assume that this would the the day someone was following him.)
  • "There are a whole bunch of things that have caused me to be progressively more, how do I say, hyper-vigilant." (Nothing wrong with hypervigilant. On an occasion. Or two. Not more than two. But occasionally. It's just being thorough. Kind of like now.)

  • "Random debris accumulates in my fanny pack." (What?)

  • Hans Reiser Trial Sketch

  • "Living in Russia and living in America contributes to your paranoia."

  • "Over time, the paranoia increased. Well, mentally, I was worried." ("Mentally worried" as opposed to another kind of worried?)
  • When William DuBois was asked, "How difficult is it defending someone as smart as Hans?" he replied, "Very difficult."

  • William DuBoisFollow-up question: "In what way?" Follow-up answer: "In every way."

  • Reiser: "I wish to change my attorney." (Said loudly at various points throughout the trial.)
  • "Do you wish to explain the remark about cannibalism?" Asked of Hans Reiser by Mr. DuBois after Reiser said that he had no problems with Nina's boyfriend, Anthony Zografos, because "he wasn't into cannibalism." (I'd like that explained! Alas, it was not.)

  • Judge Goodman: "Does the defense rest?"
Reiser:"No, it does not rest!" (Since Hans was clearly not resting, he continued voicing his complaints as he went down a list of his issues he had wrote down. He included false statements, the subornation of perjuy, witnesses "making things up," a DA Inspector taking out a piece of his mother's wall, testimony by an OPD criminalist Shannon Cavness, the cherry tree at the back of his house. And the list went on and one to the sum of about 75 pages!


  • "Mr. Reiser, I have about had it with you. You are rude. You Judge Larry Goodman Sketchare arrogant. There's not enough words in the English language to describe the way you are. You have been trying to make a mockery of these proceedings. You have mocked the court reporter. You have mocked the prosecutor -- oh you don't remember?" (The judge was referring to court reporter Annie Mendiola. He clarified because Reiser apparently disagreed.) "When she asked you to slow down, you said, 'Oh. O-K. I'll. Talk. Slower.' You have made a mockery of everything about these proceedings. You are not in control of this courtroom. You are not in charge of these proceedings. If you want to ask Mr. Fuery to come in tomorrow, we'll see if he's willing to come take up your defense. You're not going to have a continuance.You have your lawyers. I'm tired of hearing you talk. If you continue to disrupt this courtroom, I will have you removed from this courtroom."


  • "May I make a record?" Reiser asked.

Judge Goodman, "No, you may not."


  • Hans has previously stated that at some point after his wife disappeared, he did took the normal course of action and went looking for deer in the woods with a flashlight. (Of course he did.)

DuBois: "How would you describe the weather conditions?

Reiser: "I don't remember."

DuBois: "Was it dark?"

Reiser: "Yes."

DuBois: "Was there a moon?"

Reiser: "I don't remember."

Long pause.

Reiser: "I remember the owl." (Thank God no one asked him about the owl.)


  • "DuBois: Do you remember any details of the camping trip?"

Reiser: "Well, she was pissy at the Big Sur one. The Yellowstone one was more fun. And, just, kind of -- you should never go on a vacation with a woman at that time of the month. It's better to stay home and work the weekend than to go on vacation at the time of the month. You'll have more fun. The next time a woman brings a box of tampons on a camping trip I'll turn around. Yellowstone was fun. Bison came right up to the car." (Well, he's all-inclusive, I'll give him that.)


  • Reiser: "Scientists communicate by reference to data. If I can't give the examples, I can't communicate effectively because that's not how scientists talk. We don't just throw out assertions that can't be supported by data points that prove what we say. I have a habit, I have a compulsive tendency to say things that I know are true, that people do not want to be true, and I do this by reference to the data."


  • Email from Hans to Nina onAug. 24, 2005: "It is 1941 and you are the Nazis and you think we will not suffer the necessary amount to defeat you."


  • When asked by Prosecutor Hora where he had spent a night, Reiser said that he "either slept at his house or at a hotel, which, I don't know."Paul Hora

Hora: "Did you save all your hotel receipts?"

Reiser: "No."

Hora: "So I don't have all your hotel receipts?"

Reiser: "Um, that would be the logical implication."

Hora: "Right. 'Cause how would I get them if you don't have them?"

Reiser: "You're being very logical. You know, you're making a real good argument! I'm inclined to believe you!"


  • Hora: "Why are you saying things and you know they're not precise?"

Reiser: "Because I'm a fool."


  • When referring to a seat that had been removed from the Honda CRX, Mr. Hora asked Mr. Reiser, "Can you show us how you threw it in the Dumpster?"

Reiser: "Sure." (He got up and picked up the replica seat, put it in a reclining position and then briefly stopped to look over toward Hora's table.)

Hora: "Don't throw it on the table, please."

Reiser: "I don't want to throw it on the jury. Actually, I would like to be precise and say it was necessary to do a swinging motion because it wasn't easy to get it over the tip of the Dumpster. It was actually a tall Dumpster. It required a real swinging motion to get it over."


  • Hora: "What should you do if you're being followed by the police?"

Reiser: "I don't know."

Hora: "Run from them?"

Reiser: "Um, they did attempt to stampede me into -- I had a feeling they were trying to stampede me into a chase scene."

Hora: "And you thought the best approach if you were being followed by police, when your wife is missing is to "run and hide from them, right?"

Reiser: "I can see how this could be seen as inconsiderate and insensitive to the police and everyone else."


  • Reiser: "I am not consistent with my thinking."

    Hora: "That's a hallmark of lying, isn't it?"
Reiser: "It's a hallmark of real people."


  • Hora: "How smart are you?"
Reiser: Not very."

Hora: "Are you a genius?"

Reiser: "No, but I can fake it."

Hora: "What's your IQ?"

Reiser: "I haven't taken an IQ test."

Hora: "You claim to be world-famous, right?"

Reiser: "I've had the occasion to write that on papers, yes."

Hora: "Is the reason you described yourself as a world-famous, internationally-renowned scientist because you believe you are such a person?"

Reiser: "Yes."

Hora: "Still do?"

Reiser: ."I think the word 'renowned' is no longer appropriate."


  • Reiser: "Can you give me a nice, simple well-defined, complete question without any references to other questions? Can you give me a sentence in which you use the word 'contradiction' so I can understand it?"

Hora: "What was the second part of the reason for the erratic driving besides going to the bar?"

Reiser: "Um, I prefer not to answer that."


  • "You're kind of asking me for a legal conclusion, sir, as to whether I should have provided the police with my car. I guess you're implicitly asking me for a legal conclusion -- you didn't explicitly. I don't have a great deal of desire to give the government all of my possessions -- not my underwear, not my car, definitely not my children....Your question is ridiculous."


  • Hora : "I don't want you to comment on your appearance."
Reiser: "You are kind....I do look fat in that photograph."


  • Reiser: "I had a bad experience with family court with traumatic stress disorder due to violent computer games."


  • Reiser: ."Well, um, so you don't want me to give my cockamamie theory?"
  • DuBois: "So here are some numbers you don't remember correctly, your cell phone?"
Reiser: "Yeah. I know it's not very stereotypical, but computer-science people aren't necessarily all that good with addition, subtraction and remembering numbers."

DuBois: "So you don't remember numbers that well."

Reiser: "I guess it all depends on how interesting it is."


  • DuBois: "Was that the first time we met?" (Asked in reference to a Sept. 7, 2006 meeting in Oakland that they had together.)
Reiser: "Yes. You seemed to be a very likeable, avuncular gentleman."

DuBois: "Thank you for sharing."


Yes. We'd like to thank ALL of you for sharing.

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