Travis Reinking wrote he was being hacked, possibly delusional in letters to Taylor Swift, Oprah

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Posted at 1:33 PM, Feb 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-02 18:05:26-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — On the third day of trial for Travis Reinking, the man accused in the 2018 deadly Antioch Waffle House shooting, letters he wrote to Taylor Swift and Oprah Winfrey were presented as evidence.

Reinking pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to 16 charges, including four counts of first-degree murder.

Lead investigator Desmond Sumerel was called to testify by the prosecution as the morning's only witness. Sumerel spoke about a safe that was found inside Reinking's apartment in the hours after the shooting.

In court, Sumerel was asked to open the safe for the jury. Among the contents inside were letters addressed to Taylor Swift and Oprah Winfrey.

Reinking's defense attorneys asked Sumerel to read the letters aloud for the jury. Although the prosecution objected, Judge Mark Fishburn overruled and the letters were read aloud.

Read the full letter to Taylor Swift below, as dictated by Sumerel.

"Taylor, I’m really confused right now. I don’t know if it was you in the pictures on Instagram or someone who looks like you. Do you really have a twin sister? Which one am I in love with then?

I want the Taylor that wrote those beautiful songs and sang to me at her concert. Maybe Taylor 1 wrote half and Taylor 2 wrote half. Maybe I saw Taylor 1 in Morton and Taylor 2 in concert. Who is the girl in the music videos then?

If there is Taylor with different identities then who are those other people? Is Austin your brother? Maybe Calvin is boyfriend for Taylor 1 and Austin is boyfriend for Taylor 2.

Taylor, I wrote you a story a few weeks ago about a dream that I had. I know you’re really busy."

The five-page letter addressed to Oprah Winfrey had a return to sender stamp on the envelope. It was returned to Reinking at an address in Salida, Colorado on Feb. 9, 2017.

Read the full letter to Oprah Winfrey below, as dictated by Sumerel.

"Oprah, I’m writing you because I’m in love with Taylor Swift and I don’t know if I am delusional or not. I started writing Taylor June 2, 2015. The letters were about dreams that I was having. I saw Taylor for the first time September 29, 2015. It was at a concert and she mouthed the words ‘hello’ to me while she was singing a song.

After that, I started to noticed (sic) that what I was saying to her was getting repeated back to me on the internet. Also, things that I was doing on my phone and computer.

I wrote her and gave her permission to do those things because she was being nice to me and I didn’t want her to feel guilty.

Later I took back permission for her to do that because she started being cruel and lying about everything. She catfished me on the internet, made me fall in love with her and then started being nasty to me.

Taylor would link me videos that were correlated to my life. I would use algebraic substitution to assume identities between different characters. Normally I would see a character as me if they had the same life situations as me.

I remember that I wrote Taylor about a dream. She was falling because a female fan tried to hug her and there was no handrails.

After that, I watched a movie on Netflix that’s called ‘That’s Not Us.’ The female character says to the boy character, ‘you can help me keep my balance by learning to ride this bicycle.’

I told my family that I was bisexual after that. I never made the connection that the thoughts I had about men meant that I wasn’t straight. I just thought it was a sin.

It hasn’t all been bad but now she’s saying things like I’m gay and I have to hook up with a guy to see her. But only girls are allowed in her squad and that I’m a transvestite. She says things like she’s hooking up with other guys, she’s hooking up with girls, that she wants to be in a relationship with more than one person. She name-calls me names like Donald Trump because I told her about my science idea and she supposedly made money off of it. She tells me that I can’t trust anybody. She tells me things like she has a twin sister.

I have evaluated these things for myself and I know them to be untrue. If Taylor wants to live a lifestyle that’s (unintelligible), that’s her decision. Living my life the way I want to is my own decision and she needs to respect that.

Also, I feel like Taylor has been trying to get me to meet her places. Why she wouldn’t just call on the phone, I have no idea. I tried to meet her one night and I told my parents about it. They called ERS on me and had me forced by the police to get mentally evaluated. I was kept against my will for six or seven days. The doctor, without a root cause analysis, told me that I was schizophrenic because I was having paranoid delusions of grandeur. When I asked him how he knew Taylor wasn’t hacking me, he just said ‘trust me she’s not hacking you.’

I think that stealing someone’s intellectual property would be a very plausible cause for someone to hack someone else. Especially if it’s worth what Donald Trump is worth.

Last week I thought Taylor was telling me to come home. I don’t know the truth about her, so I thought the only way I’m going to know is to go see her. I figured that home is where she is so I went to her house in LA.

Taylor made it sound like I was all good for landing on my way there. She said that it was a trust fall and I just had to do it and trust her. I did it, but when I got there, the place was under construction and looked like it had been abandoned.

Taylor went there and I had driven 1,000 miles to see her. I was mad and posted a video on Twitter of me yelling outside her house.

Now I don’t know what to believe. I’ve reached out to the police, the FBI and even President Obama. I want the internet hacking to stop if it is in fact happening. I want to know for sure if I am delusional or not. Maybe this is someone else on the internet like the government. Maybe I was just wrong and saw different patterns. I’m pretty certain that it’s Taylor because that’s what they told me and only Taylor should’ve gotten my written letters. I’m so in love with Taylor and I’m chasing her the only way I know how. You’re her friend and I’m sure you would find out if this is real or not. Please you have to help me. It’s been a year and a half and if this isn’t real, I would really like to move on with my life. Taylor would probably like it too if strangers weren’t showing up and yelling at her door. If it is real, I want to know why she is pretending to be someone else. I want to know why she is hacking me and stealing from me. I want to be able to get her help if she needs it.

Maybe something like this is better suited for Maury. I know that you’re a caring and generous person, Oprah, and if there is an honest person in show business, it’s you.

Please help me figure this out,

Travis Reinking"