DA: UC Prof Plotted Killing Spree at Son's School
Dad charged with arson he planned to avenge son's suicide
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2012 1:59 AM CDT
Updated Aug 1, 2012 3:13 AM CDT
A mug shot of Rainer Reinscheid, 48.   (AP Photo/Orange County District Attorney's Office)

(Newser) – A California professor seeking to avenge his son's suicide set a series of fires and planned a killing spree at a high school, prosecutors say. UC Irvine professor Rainer Klaus Reinscheid has been arrested on felony arson charges in connection with the fires at University High School, an assistant principal's home, and a nearby park where his 14-year-old son killed himself after being disciplined at the school earlier this year, reports the Los Angeles Times.

After Reinscheid was caught trying to set a fire, investigators discovered emails on his phone addressed to his wife and himself detailing plans to "burn down University High School, commit sexual assaults, purchase firearms and murder school officials and students, and then kill himself," say officials from the district attorney's office. Reinscheid, an associate professor in pharmaceutical science whose research topics include psychiatric disorders, faces up to 12 years in prison if found guilty of arson. Because the emails were private, he won't be charged in connection with them, but prosecutors plan to use them at a bail hearing to demonstrate that he is a danger to the public.