Fugitive gunman Chris Dorner told hostage couple: I just want to clear my name

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Pair held captive by murder suspect reveal how they found him in their holiday home

Los Angeles

The couple held captive by Christopher Dorner have provided clues to the fugitive gunman’s state of mind before he tried to flee the Southern California ski resort of Big Bear.

Dorner, 33, a former Los Angeles police officer suspected of killing four people, is thought to have died on Tuesday in a fire at a remote mountain cabin, following a shootout with sheriff’s deputies.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday evening Jim Reynolds, who is 66, and his wife Karen, 56, told how they had brought the week-long manhunt for Dorner to its climax after stumbling upon him in their holiday home in the San Bernadino mountains, close to Big Bear and the police command post from which the vast search was being conducted. It is now thought he may have been hiding in the house for up to five days.

The Reynolds, who have been married for 36 years, came forward to clear up any confusion, after police said Dorner’s hostages were housekeepers. The property where the suspect holed up is one of a cluster of holiday homes which the Reynolds lease to tourists; he would have had access to television news and the internet while he was there.

At around midday on Tuesday, the couple arrived to clean the house and found Dorner in an upstairs sitting room. His gun drawn, the suspect ordered them to stay calm. Mrs Reynolds ran down the stairs in a bid to escape, but Dorner caught her. He took the couple to a bedroom, where he made them lie on the floor, then bound their limbs with plastic zip-locks, gagged them with towels and covered their heads with pillowcases. “I thought we were dead,” Mr Reynolds said.

The gunman repeatedly insisted, however, that he would not kill them. He revealed he had watched Mr Reynolds shovelling snow around the property in the preceding days, and told the couple he believed they were “hard-working, good people,” saying: “I don’t have a problem with you. I just want to clear my name.”

Mr Reynolds said Dorner “huddled down beside me and said, ‘You’re going to be quiet, right? Not make a fuss and let me get away?’”

The couple said Dorner was calm and alert, and kept them captive for around 15 minutes.

Soon after Dorner left the couple tied up in the bedroom and drove away in their purple Nissan, Mrs Reynolds managed to climb to her feet. With her hands still bound behind her back, she called the police from her cellphone at 12.20pm, so beginning the pursuit that would lead to Dorner’s demise in the ashes of a cabin 30 miles away along icy mountain roads.

On Wednesday police insisted they did not deliberately set the blaze that consumed the building where Dorner is believed to have died, but that it probably began after CS gas was fired through the windows to flush him out.

Meanwhile the San Bernadino County sheriff’s deputy killed in the firefight with Dorner was named as 35-year old Jeremiah MacKay.

Mr MacKay had been quoted by the Associated Press agency on Saturday, saying of the hunt for Dorner: “We’re hoping this comes to a close without more casualties.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
glastonbury
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Shock of the news: Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Nightcrawler’
filmReview: Gyllenhaal, in one of his finest performances, is funny, engaging and sinister all at once
Arts and Entertainment
Shelley Duvall stars in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining
filmCritic Kaleem Aftab picks his favourites for Halloween
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington has been given a huge pay rise to extend his contract as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones
tv
Life and Style
Taste the difference: Nell Frizzell tucks into a fry-up in Jesse's cafe in east London
food + drinkHow a bike accident left one woman living in a distorted world in which spices smell of old socks and muesli tastes like pork fat
Sport
Luke Shaw’s performance in the derby will be key to how his Manchester United side get on
footballBeating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Life and Style
Google's doodle celebrating Halloween 2014
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Don’t send in the clowns: masks and make-up conceal true facial expressions, thwarting our instinct to read people’s minds through their faces, as seen in ‘It’
filmThis Halloween, we ask what makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?
News
peopleFarage challenges 'liberally biased' comedians to 'call him a narcissist'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior IP Opportunity at Major Firm

vary Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - AN OPENING AT A VERY HIGH Q...

Nursery Manager

£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Nursery Manager Long term Ran...

Sales Consultant – Permanent – West Sussex – £24-£25k plus commission and other benefits

£24000 - £25000 Per Annum plus company car and commission: Clearwater People S...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Bris...

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes