A San Jose transgender activist and former teacher who gained national attention over a legal dispute with her one-time employer was found guilty Thursday of murdering three people in 2016, prosecutors confirmed.
Dana Rivers, 67, was found dripping in her victims' blood outside a home on Dunbar Street in Oakland on Oct. 11, 2016, according to police. At the scene, 57-year-old Patricia Wright and her wife, 56-year-old Charlotte Reed, were found stabbed and shot. Wright's son, 19-year-old Toto Diambu, was also shot to death.
Police arrived at the home after receiving reports of gunfire after midnight and found Diambu shot dead in the front of the house. Officers heard a loud banging coming from the garage and saw the blood-soaked Rivers walk out, authorities said. Officers detained her and found ammunition and knives in her pocket. Police searched the home and found Wright and Reed dead inside.
Rivers was also charged with dousing the garage with gasoline and setting it on fire, an apparent cover-up attempt that was thwarted by the police's arrival on scene.
Rivers was an Enforcer for All-Female Motorcycle Gang
According to prosecutors, Rivers was the enforcer of an all-female outlaw biker club who had followed one of the victims around after she left the group.
In the court filing, Rivers was described as an "enforcer" for an all-female "outlaw" biker club known as the Deviants MC. Authorities say she went by the nickname "Edge" and proudly wore tattoos indicating she was a "1 Percenter" — a term referencing the relatively minuscule number of motorcycle clubs that turn criminal — and a "supporter" of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.
Prosecutors allege that in the months leading up to the killings, Reed had joined and dropped out of the club, and that members, including Rivers, began threatening her. Reed became so fearful she began leaving a pistol by her nightstand, they say.
"There was backlash from the club for her departure," according to the trial brief. The Deviants wanted Reed to return its club patches — which signify membership — and a friend of Reed's recalled seeing Rivers at the Menlo Park VA "just sitting and staring at Ms. Reed."
Who is Dana Rivers?
Before the murders, Rivers gained national attention for suing the Center Unified School District in Sacramento in 1999 after she was fired for discussing her gender transition with students. She appeared on "Today" and "Good Morning America" to talk about her transition and the dispute with Center Unified School District in Antelope.
"I just want my job back," Rivers said at the time. "This is all about a very tiny segment of the community believing people like me shouldn't be in the classroom." Eventually, Rivers reached a settlement with the district and received $150,000 in exchange for her resignation.