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UPDATE: Professor Allegedly Plotted Wild Murder Spree at Irvine School

Rainer Klaus Reinscheid, 48, who teaches at UC Irvine, is charged with multiple counts of arson. But authorities say he had far more sinister plans in mind.

UPDATE: UCI professor Rainer Klaus Reinscheid will remain in custody without bail, a judge ruled Tuesday afternoon.

Reinscheid, who is accused of setting several small fires, also had his arraignment postponed to Aug. 8. Authorities say Reinscheid also plotted to sexually assault and kill administrators and students at University High School in Irvine, which his son attended before committing suicide in May.

Dressed in a jail-issued orange jumpsuit, Reinscheid appeared to be chewing gum or tobacco while he sat in a chain-link holding tank and waited for the judge to address his case.

After the proceedings, Orange County Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz spoke to reporters on the northern side of the jail. 

"We clearly see him as a significant danger to public safety,” Katz said.

According to Katz, investigators found emails on Reinscheid’s cell phone that allegedly detailed his plan to murder the “unnamed students and named administrators” that he blamed for his son’s suicide.

In the emails, Reinscheid allegedly targeted three locations: Mason Park Reserve, where Reinscheid’s son killed himself; University High School, where Reinscheid’s son went to school; and the home of one of the high school administrators.

The emails contained "graphic depictions" of alleged planned sex acts and acts of violence, as well as a plan to burn down the school and then kill himself. 

“They (the plans) were graphic, and they were specific,” Katz said.

“We believe that it (the threat) was credible enough to want to keep him in custody,” added Farrah Emami, Orange County district attorney spokeswoman. 

Katz said the suicide of Reinscheid's son allegedly followed a school disciplinary matter, although Katz said he couldn't confirm the "nature of the discipline" and that authorities were looking into matters at the school.

Reinscheid’s emails haven't been released and authorities said they had no details about when that may happen.

ORIGINAL STORY:

A 48-year-old college professor who police believe was planning a rape and murder spree at a high school should not be released on bail, prosecutors plan to argue Tuesday in court.

Rainer Klaus Reinscheid, who teaches at UC Irvine, is accused of a rash of arsons. Reinscheid allegedly set items on fire at University High School in Irvine, at the home of a school administrator, and in Mason Park Preserve. 

After arresting Reinscheid on July 24, police allegedly discovered "violent" emails the UCI professor sent detailing plans to sexually assault and murder students and administrators at University High, burn down the school and kill himself, according to the Orange County District Attorney.

According to the District Attorney, Reinscheid’s 14-year-old son, who attended University High, was disciplined at school sometime in March. Sometime after, the teenage committed suicide in Mason Park Preserve in Irvine.

For a twenty-day stretch in July, Reinscheid is accused of setting a slew of objects on fire, including newspapers, fireplace logs, brush and vegetation, a book and a plastic porch chair. 

Irvine police arrested Reinscheid at 12:40 a.m. on July 24 in Mason Park Preserve, where he was allegedly trying to set a fire in the park with newspapers and lighter fluid.

Officers from Irvine Police Department, who were conducting increased patrols of the park because of the recent arsons, spotted Reinscheid and arrested him. He allegedly attempted to resist arrest. Later that day, Reinscheid posted $50,000 bail and was released from custody.

As the Irvine Police Department continued investigating, detectives found emails on Reinscheid's cellphone to his wife and one to himself in April.

According to the DA, the emails detail his plan to burn down University High School, commit sexual assaults, buy guns and murder school officials and students, and then kill himself.

Following the discovery of the emails and evidence allegedly linking the professor to additional arsons, Irvine police arrested Reinscheid again Friday evening.

Reinscheid "poses a serious threat to the community if released from custody," said the DA in a statement, and should be "held without bail in light of the dangerous, violent nature of his private e-mails."

According to his UCI profile, Reinscheid is an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Professional associations include membership in the Society for Neuroscience, International Narcotics Research Conference, International Neuroendocrine Federation and Sleep Research Society.

Among his listed research interests are psychiatric disorders, neurophysiology and molecular pharmacology.

Authorities believe Reinscheid acted alone.

"We don't have any evidence that anyone else was involved in the arsons or plans to commit murder at the high school," said Farrah Emami, DA spokesperson. "It's clear that he was targeting certain places and people. It was thanks to the good work of the Irvine Police Department that they discovered the emails in which he laid out plans to commit murder."

Reinscheid is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Santa Ana. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 12 years and eight months in state prison.

Anyone with additional information or who believes they have had suspicious contact with the defendant is asked to leave a message on the DA’s special investigations hotline at (714) 347-8544.

Lon Uso August 02, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Dan, we all have bad thoughts now and then, the difference is that most of us don't act on them. this guy was setting fires, he was getting primed up for something bad. Don't you wish you could have gotten to the guy in Colorado before he hurt so many people? a jury of his peers will now decide what the consequences are for his actions.
Dan Avery August 02, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Well, gee, Lon, I think Dylan's whole point is that we can't get to them. We can't know what's going on in someone's head. But, sure, we can lock up people for thinking stuff which it appears is what you're suggesting. I see the guy setting fires as wanting to get caught. Notice how they were all small and no one was hurt? Do I think he's a danger to others? Sure. I think each one of us is a danger to others. Most of us manage to control it. I've been where this guy has been...writing down violent fantasies...read my post over at the MV Patch...http://missionviejo.patch.com//blog_posts/dead-men-tell-no-tales#comment_4204468 I do wish we could stop these nuts. Better gun laws would really help. I wish they could have stopped the guy who set my sister and my niece on fire in a grocery store. But heck Reagan closed all the mental hospitals. Said we didn't need that level of a safety net or some other political bs for I'm selfish. So now they are on the streets windmilling their arms for the entire world to see and sometimes they buy a bunch of guns. But we don't want social programs do we?
Lon Uso August 03, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Dan, chill brother, i am not the thought police. i do believe that we have to stop making excuses for people that do bad things. its not the sugar in their diet or dad whipping them for being bad. A lot of people go through hell in their lives and find ways of coping. Some find religion, some find a sense of purpose that gets them through without starting fires, raping or killing. Some just cant find their way alone and need help but they first have to search for and accept that help. As a society we need to prioritize what social programs we can provide. if we all think that housing all mentally ill people is important we can encourage our representatives to do that but what we can't do is to be everything to everybody, there is not enough money in the whole world to run a truly socialist society for very long. i think most people are coming to grips with that in this economy and with this president. at some point in time you run out of hard working peoples money to take care of those that wont take care of themselves. BTW, if you are truly having these violent fantasies, are you getting professional help? think about it my friend.
Joaquin De Murrieta October 12, 2012 at 04:33 PM
YOu see your sense of poor judgement and poor lack of understanding leaves me to belive that you have very little mercy for someone who just lost a child. Which in turn as the Bible says " Those who show very little mercy God will show you little mercy when its your turn" Those who have not sinned throw the first stone " Or Frying pan in your case"
Joaquin De Murrieta October 12, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Frank your a God Send...The people we need to fry are the the upper freshmen and those parents..Along with that Bastard Vice Principle for letting it go on..Its them we need to fry..Its always the system that protects the system..Stop doing that..We need to crush out those who belittle others.

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