Opening Statements to Begin in 'Rockefeller' San Marino Murder Case
Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter – a.k.a. Clark Rockefeller - is accused of killing his landlord's son and burying his body in the backyard of a San Marino home.
Opening statements are scheduled to begin Monday morning in the case of a trial of Christian K. Gerhartsreiter, the man accused of the 1985 slaying of his landlord's son in San Marino.
Gerhartsreiter – a.k.a. Clark Rockefeller – was convicted of kidnapping his 7-year-old daughter during a supervised visit in Back Bay in 2009. He was sentenced to 4 to 5 years in prison for both the kidnapping and for assaulting a social worker overseeing his supervised visit. A Massachusetts court upheld the verdict in September.
Gerhartsreiter called himself Christopher Chichester in San Marino in the 1980s, and rented a guesthouse on Lorain Road and is accused of murdering his landlord's son John Sohus, who lived in the main house with his wife, Linda, and his mother, landlord Ruth "Didi" Sohus.
The married couple went missing in 1985 and John's remains were later found in 1994 when contractors digging a backyard pool at the Lorain Road home unearthed his bones. Linda has never been found.
The Pasadena Star-News says that up to 100 witnesses could be called in the case and says the trial will last six weeks.
Gerhartsreiter, who has also claimed to be well-to-do Clark Rockefeller of the famous American family—though the Rockefellers have claimed no such relative exists—is currently serving a four- to five-year sentence in a Los Angeles jail for kidnapping his daughter during a supervised visit. He was previously serving the sentence in Massachusetts, but was extradited to California in 2011 after the murder charge arose.
Correction: A previous version of this article said Gerhartsreiter was charged with killing his landlord. He is charged with killing his landlord's son. Patch apologizes for the error.