San Jose woman Dana Rivers, 61, has been charged with murdering a lesbian couple and their adopted son in a violent attack within the victims’ California home.
Rivers is accused of murdering the family and attempting to flee the scene on a motorcycle, while covered in the victims’ blood.
Patricia Wright, 57, her wife Charlotte Reed, 56, and their 19-year-old son Toto ‘Benny’ Diambu-Wright were shot and stabbed to death before part of their home was set on fire.
Court documents state that Rivers was found to have ammunition and knives in her pockets at the time of arrest, and that she was making ‘spontaneous statements’ about her involvement in the triple homicide when detained.
She was charged with the murders of all three family members on Tuesday, and also stands accused of setting a fire to destroy evidence and of possessing brass knuckles.
Victims Patricia and Caroline were active members of the community who had been married for just over a year at the time of their deaths. Caroline was an Air Force veteran, Patricia a semi-retired elementary school teacher and their son Benny an aspiring nurse. The couple adopted Benny from West Africa.
Patricia’s other son, Khari Campbell-Wright, told the East Bay Times he believed it was a case of “wrong place, wrong time” but that he did not “know the whole confines of what was going on.”
The woman who stands accused of their murder made headlines in 1999, when she was suspended from her teaching post at Center High School in Sacramento after discussing plans to undergo gender reassignment surgery.
Born David Warfield, the award-winning teacher had begun hormone therapy when she was accused of inappropriate discussions with her students about her transition. She was later awarded $150,000 from the district in compensation.