Noted transgender activist Dana Rivers was arraigned Tuesday on charges of committing a brutal triple homicide in Oakland, California in the early hours of Friday, November 11. The victims have been identified as lesbian couple Patricia Wright and Charlotte Reed and their son Toto “Benny” Diambu-Wright.
Rivers allegedly stabbed and then shot the victims in their home, which he then set ablaze in an attempt to destroy evidence. Rivers was apprehended while attempting to flee the scene of the crime on Reed’s motorcycle. He was covered in their blood.
Police state Rivers made statements confessing to the crime. He was arraigned without bail on charges of triple homicide, arson of an inhabited dwelling, and possession of metal knuckles. He faces life without possibility of parole, and potential death sentence.
Rivers’ motive is unknown. The Mercury News reports: “Authorities have not released a motive but have indicated it might have been a dispute over some property”, while Fox Channel KTVU News reported: “Sources said the case is an isolated incident involving a domestic dispute.”
Dana Rivers (formerly David Warfield) rose to national prominence in 1999 when he was removed from his tenured teaching position as an IT instructor at Center High School in Sacramento following allegations that he inappropriately over-shared personal information with students following his on-the-job gender transition.
Rivers was subsequently featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, among other national media. He planned on writing a book and selling a movie version of his life story. With the help of an ACLU attorney Rivers negotiated a $150,000 buy-out of his tenured position and resigned.
A vigil was held yesterday for Benny Diambu-Wright at Berkely High, where the nineteen-year-old graduated from high school last year before enrolling in nursing school. Over a hundred people burned candles and shared memories of the young man and his mothers. Patricia Wright, a special-ed teacher, had worked for the same district for a decade until her retirement last year.
At time of publication, GenderTrender is the only LGBT website to report.
(And if you do a Google search, most news outlets are referring to Rivers as a "woman.")