Transgender activist and former teacher found guilty of triple murder

Alameda County Sheriff's Department shows Dana Rivers
This undated photo provided by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department shows Dana Rivers, who was found guilty of triple murder. Rivers gained national attention when she had a sex-change operation nearly 20 years ago.
(Alameda County Sheriff’s Department )

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.

The court will hold a hearing to determine Rivers’ sanity starting on Dec. 5, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office said.


Officers arriving at the crime scene found Diambu lying in the street, bleeding, authorities said. He had been shot.

Officers heard a loud banging coming from the garage and saw Rivers walk out drenched in blood, authorities said. Officers detained her and found ammunition and knives in her pocket.

Police searched the home and found Wright and Reed dead inside. A fire was also burning in the garage.

Prosecutors said at the trial that Rivers killed Reed over a dispute that stemmed from Reed’s departure from an all-women’s motorcycle club called the Deviants. Defense attorneys argued there must have been another person at the house that night who committed the murders, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

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.