A slew of Internet searches about guns, gun laws and explosives lend credence to a theory that college professor Rainer Reinscheid wasn't just fantasizing when he sent emails about burning down a high school and murdering 200 students, prosecutors said Wednesday.
After his son's March suicide, Reinscheid, an associate professor at UC Irvine, allegedly did 60 searches related to gun laws, how to purchase guns, car explosions and bomb-making materials, such as C-4, according to Orange County Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz, speaking outside a Newport Beach courthouse on Wednesday.
Based on the alleged Internet searches and emails Reinscheid sent, prosecutors believe the professor "poses a severe danger to the safety of the public," Katz said.
Reinscheid is accused of setting a series of fires in July: at University High School in Irvine, where his 14-year-old son, Claas, had been a student; at the home of a Uni High assistant principal; and in Mason Park, where Claas hanged himself.
The professor appeared in a Newport Beach courtroom Wednesday for a short hearing.
Shortly before that, prosecutors filed three additional arson charges against Reinscheid. The professor's defense attorney was granted a request to again delay Reinscheid's arraignment by a week.
Authorities say private emails sent by Reinscheid in April show that he plotted to sexually assault and kill administrators and students at the Irvine high school.
According to Katz, investigators found emails on Reinscheid’s cell phone that allegedly detailed a plan to murder the “unnamed students and named administrators” whom he blamed for his son’s suicide.
“I will find this vice-principal and find out where he lives, then I will wait for him and kill him," Reinscheid wrote to his wife. "I will force him to tie a rope around his neck and if he is too coward, i will do it for him, in front of his wife and children. I will make him cry and beg, but I will not give him a chance, just like he did to Claas. I will make him die, slowly, surely. I know you agree that he deserves it. Next I will set fire to Uni High and try to burn down as much as I can, there should nothing be left that gives them a reason to continue their miserable school that goes over dead bodies, only to save their scores.”