At the Lake: Cops say "he shot her" Murder-suicide claims two South Shore lives
Investigators ruled evidence points to a murder-suicide of a married couple in their 60s found dead in their home on Bruce Drive in South Lake Tahoe.
The bodies of Stanley, 68, and Shirley Reinert were found fully clothed and wearing shoes, authorities said. Shirley, 69, was found in a hallway leading to the bedrooms. An autopsy revealed she died from a gunshot wound in the back of the head.
Stanley’s body was in the kitchen. A small-caliber handgun was discovered underneath his body, indicating he was the shooter in both cases, authorities said.
Larry Olsen, coroner for the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department, said autopsies completed Tuesday revealed each died from a single gunshot wound to the head.
There was no note, no sign of a struggle or forced entry, no indication the marriage was anything but happy and no reason to believe the couple was hit with bad news, such as a diagnosis of a terminal illness, before their death, according to police Detective Bryan Kuhlmann.
If he would have to guess, Kuhlmann said the shootings were spontaneous and not planned.
Aside from the scene of the crime, the rest of the house was “incredibly clean,” Kuhlmann said.
Kuhlmann estimated about 15 family members, friends and neighbors were interviewed regarding the case. He is still working on a timeline. It is not known the time between their death and Saturday afternoon, when they were found, but the final autopsy report should provide such information.
The final autopsy report, including what, if anything, was in their bodies at the time of their death, is due in six to eight weeks.
A concerned daughter and neighbor checked on the Reinerts using a Hideakey to gain entry into the house, said Sgt. Jeff Regan. The investigation will continue.
“We’ll continue to talk to people to try and understand a motive,” Regan said.
After a long meeting filled with many pleas and much consternation, South Lake Tahoe city leaders decided Tuesday to continue funding the area’s tourism agency but neither chamber of commerce.
The City Council heard proposals from both South Shore chambers ” one a joint dual-state organization and the other an independent offshoot ” but was left having to take sides.
“If we split the money up, we only contribute to the divisiveness,” Councilman Mike Weber said after hearing the presentations and two dozen people in the packed chambers speak to the issue.
Although there was no lack of diverse opinions in the room, Councilman Ted Long agreed with Weber. He added a secondary concern of angering “friends” on both sides of the chamber line.
Most members except Councilman Bill Crawford leaned toward wanting the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority to pad its $5.4 million budget with $225,000, the annual amount it’s received in the last few years. LTVA Executive Director Patrick Kaler whizzed through a complete update of its accomplishments and plans to make its case.
The panel voted 3-1 for LTVA, with Crawford opposing and Weber abstaining. Weber wanted to give the full $326,474 in the community marketing fund to the South Shore tourism agency.
Armed with a PowerPoint and many business people who spoke in favor of it, the merged Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce returned before the council requesting $101,000 ” the remaining amount of the fund. Ironically, this is the amount the city funded the disbanded South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce.
But in addition, an offshoot group led by former board members and executive director of the merged California chamber requested $101,400. This group, the South Tahoe Chamber of Commerce, brought El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer Laurel Brent-Bumb as reinforcements to their cause.
“The major reason why I’m excited to participate and assist the effort is because I believe the chamber was an unattended consequence of the merger. They have two separate business philosophies,” Brent-Bumb said. “I don’t think you can serve two masters.”
She supports the South Tahoe Chamber because of claims its 100 members are California based. But the point has become arguable to the merged Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber, which insists 60 percent of its 1,000 members are from the Golden State
The disagreements created wounds that some on both sides and on the city panel were hoping would heal over time.
About a year ago, the council placed the money routinely given to the chamber and LTVA in the generalized fund because it was disenchanted with a perceived Nevada influence over the merged chamber and its affiliation with LTVA. The council stressed seeing measurable results from its subsidies, which Crawford figured Tuesday added up to about $15 million in four decades.
Neither chamber got anything, and that money remains in the fund that entities like the city’s own Parks and Recreation Department may request for its plans to beef up its youth athletics programs, Gary Moore hinted, while sitting on the meeting sidelines.
Mayor Kathay Lovell read the city code to illustrate her strong feelings the money’s intent should have an emphasis that benefits the city.
At one point, Lovell was suggesting all groups may consider filling out request for proposals like El Dorado County requires.
Matters were complicated by a subsidiary issue attached to the community marketing fund item.
The Tahoe Arts League wants to renew its lease at the city’s Arts Building, a facility it’s used for 33 years. The lease has expired, and the South Tahoe Chamber indicated if it was able to rent out a city building it would share the space. But since a business plan and no remodeling estimates were brought to the meeting, the council shelved that side issue until its next meeting.
And adding to the confusion of two chambers, an arts building, arts group and an evolving tourism agency was a suggestion of the Tahoe Area Coordinating Council for the Disabled vying for space.
The full day left many appearing exhausted and scratching their heads.
Two of the nation’s largest public pension funds joined a group of investors, corporate leaders and California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer in a “call to action” on Monday to put pressure on a U.S. federal government they feel has not done enough to address the effects of climate change on the nation’s business community.
California’s Public Employees’ Retirement System and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System were among 65 signatories to the appeal.
“Global warming presents enormous risks and opportunities for U.S. businesses and investors,” said Fred Buenrostro, chief executive officer for CalPERS. “To tap American ingenuity and drive business to a leadership position in the low-carbon future, we need regulations to enable the markets to deploy capital and spur innovation.”
Cheryl Sillings, a financial consultant with Brookstreet Securities Corporation in South Lake Tahoe, felt the effects of climate change were still “under the radar” for a lot of local investors, but the stature of the retirement systems makes Monday’s announcement significant.
“They are two of the biggest holders of stock in the world, really,” said Sillings. “What they say has a lot of clout.”
State Treasurer Lockyer said the argument that it will take too many resources to properly address the effects of climate change persists, but he felt it to be incorrect. He believed just the opposite to be true, that it will cost too much for the federal government not to address the issue.
“States and local governments, no matter how aggressive, can only do so much. We need federal leadership now to preserve our future, safeguard our economic competitiveness, protect investors, and help businesses minimize their risks and maximize their opportunities,” said Lockyer in a telephone conference call. “The longer the federal government waits, the greater the cost our nation and its people will pay.”
In the “call to action,” the treasurer urged federal officials to develop a national policy to stabilize and eventually reduce emissions from 60 to 90 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
The group’s recommended policies also included incentives to develop cleaner and more efficient technologies and a request for the federal government to help investors and businesses better understand the risks and opportunities presented by climate change.
While sets of tire chains sat in their summer hiding places through much of this winter, a user-friendly new product could relegate traditionally frustrating chains to the garage for a larger part of winter seasons to come.
The AutoSock is “a fabric-based traction aid for cars and trucks that is easy to mount and provides a satisfactory grip on slippery surfaces,” according to company documents. “Specially patterned fibers optimize grip on slick surfaces by managing the thin layer of water on top of ice and snow.”
This layer of water allows skiers and snowboarders to slide down local mountainsides, but, in this instance, the water has been harnessed for the opposite effect.
“We took the friction theories from the skiing industry,” said Lars Saeboe, CEO of AutoSock, in a presentation at Harrah’s last Wednesday night. “But we don’t want glide, we want grip.”
After the presentation, much debate surrounded whether or not the AutoSock would effectively pass chain control checkpoints.
Although the product is perfectly legal, it doesn’t actually fall under the category of a “chain” in California. Chains are required to be made of metal under California law.
Representatives of the company said they were working with California and other states to modify the existing statutes, but the most important factor in their opinion, was to educate front-line Caltrans employees so they would be familiar with the product if it comes rolling through Meyers.
This education effort got off to a good start last Thursday morning during a demonstration of the product near Echo Summit.
Many Caltrans employees from the Meyers office were in attendance to see the AutoSock help a two-wheel drive sedan repeatedly achieve an uphill start on an otherwise treacherous stretch of snow-covered road.
Jack Tomkin, equipment manager for Caltrans, described the product’s performance as “pretty Impressive,” with his statement echoed by other Caltrans employees in attendance.
The product does have its limitations though.
AutoSock is not designed to barrel through deep snow because it does not have the same digging power as traditional tire chains.
While the traction aid may not be the equivalent to your powder skis, it may actually perform better on ice in terms of stopping power than traditional chains, according to Saeboe.
The user-friendliness of the product remained one of it’s main selling points throughout the demonstration.
Since the AutoSock can be quickly and easily applied to a car’s wheels to gain traction, it could allow people to get out of the house when road conditions deteriorate and they would prefer to stay at home rather than go through the hassle of putting on chains to travel short distances.
Jon Bergum-Furustez, sales engineer for AutoSock and former Incline Village resident, noted the AutoSock would be especially convenient in the Tahoe area for quick jaunts from unplowed side streets to frequently clear, main thoroughfares.
More information about the AutoSock, including purchasing information, can be found at http://www.autosock.us.