Life and death in the IT world: the story of a man

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It's a story I learnt about from FSdaily

It's a story of life and death.

It's a story of love and hate.

It's a story of talent and genius.

It's a story of friendship and trust, and things that made them fade.

It's a story of violent videogames and nightmares.

It's a story of sadomasochism and drugs.

It's a story of money that ran away.

It's a story of suspect, police, lawyers and jail.

It's the story of the fear of a man that the police were actively surveilling.

It's a story of a woman that mysteriously disappeared, and of a man accused of killing her.

It's a story of two kids that were taken away from their father, and he doesn't know where they are; two kids that have suffered too much, and probably still do.

It's a story that I didn't read in its entirety, for it was filled with too much sadness and cruelty for me to stand.

It's the story of Hans Reiser, the talented inventor of the Reiser File System.

Until a jury makes its verdict, everybody can make their own stories based on the facts that are evident. A lot of different ones are available, from the easiest (Hans Reiser killed his wife and found a way to hide most of the evidence and her body) to the most elaborated (Hans Reiser is innocent and them victim of a plot by his wife that has fled back to Russia, staging her murder, and who has reunited with her children there; she will then rejoin with her lover once Hans Reiser has been condemned).

As far as I am concerned, I let others talk while I listen in silence, knowing that the presumption of innocence is always the best thing. So, if you'd like to give your opinion on the story, just comment below.



Terry Hancock's picture

With or without the murder, it's a pretty appalling story. It's sad to find something like this happening in our community, but of course, it is an inevitable result as the community grows and becomes more inclusive. Eventually something bad is going to show up.

We like to think of our community as idealistic and equate that with moral and peaceful. But the truth is that ideals, peace, and morality don't always travel together.

I don't like to comment on a court case when so much is on the line, but this does look pretty bleak for Reiser, even though the evidence is circumstantial. All I can say is that I hope justice is served in the end, but it gives me a shiver. I can imagine a lot of different stories that would fit the available facts. I would so hate to be on that jury, obliged to pick which fits best, with lives and futures hanging on the choice.

Author information

Marco Marongiu's picture


Born in 1971, Marongiu graduated in applied mathematics in 1997; he's now a full-time system administrator for a well known software company in Oslo, Norway. He's also a Perl programmer and technical author and lecturer by passion.
Marongiu has been a Debian User since version 1.1.10 and he helped found the GULCh Linux Users Group (Gruppo Utenti Linux Cagliari), the first one in Sardinia.