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Murder Trial of ‘Clark Rockefeller’

Christian Carl Gerhartsreiter, 52, could get up to 26 years in prison if he’s convicted of killing San Marino resident John Sohus back in 1985.

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LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — The murder case against a man known for posing as a member of the Rockefeller family is now in the hands of a Los Angeles jury.

Christian Carl Gerhartsreiter, 52, could get up to 26 years in prison if he’s convicted of killing San Marino resident John Sohus back in 1985.

Gerhartsreiter is also suspected of being involved in the disappearance of Sohus’ wife, Linda. Her body has not been found.

Gerhartsreiter rented a guest house from the Sohuses in the early 1980s, using the name Chichester.

Shortly after John and Linda Sohus disappeared, Gerhartsreiter moved to Connecticut with the couple’s truck.

Police investigated the disappearance, but the case went cold.

It wasn’t until nine years later, in 1994, that workers digging a swimming pool for a new homeowner uncovered John Sohus’ bones.

Prosecutors allege that Gerhartsreiter crushed the victim’s skull, cut up his body with a borrowed chain saw and then buried him in the backyard.

The defense says that Gerhartsreiter is innocent, claiming the prosecution has not identified a clear motive for the killing.

Police say Gerhartsreiter used at least five different identities across the country fore more than two decades — including the name Clark Rockefeller — to avoid arrest.

He is serving a four- to five-year sentence in Massachusetts for a 2009 conviction for kidnapping his 7-year-old daughter in Boston during a supervised visit.

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — Closing arguments are set to begin on Monday in the murder trial of the man who once posed as a member of the famed Rockefeller family.

Christian Carl Gerhartsreiter, 52, could get up to 26 years in prison if he’s convicted of killing San Marino resident John Sohus back in 1985.

rockefeller-guyGerhartsreiter is also suspected of being involved in the disappearance of Sohus’ wife, Linda. Her body has not been found.

Gerhartsreiter rented a guest house from the Sohuses in the early 1980s, using the name Chichester.

Shortly after John and Linda Sohus disappeared, Gerhartsreiter moved to Connecticut with the couple’s truck.

Police investigated the disappearance, but the case went cold.

It wasn’t until nine years later, in 1994, that workers digging a swimming pool for a new homeowner uncovered John Sohus’ bones.

Prosecutors allege that Gerhartsreiter crushed the victim’s skull, cut up his body with a borrowed chain saw and then buried him in the backyard.

The defense says that Gerhartsreiter is innocent, claiming the prosecution has not identified a clear motive for the killing.

Police say Gerhartsreiter used at least five different identities across the country fore more than two decades — including the name Clark Rockefeller — to avoid arrest.

He is serving a four- to five-year sentence in Massachusetts for a 2009 conviction for kidnapping his 7-year-old daughter in Boston during a supervised visit.

Mark Seal, author of the book ‘The Man in the Rockefeller Suit’ discusses the bizarre case of ‘Clark Rockefeller’ and what to expect in the upcoming trial. Seal is also a Vanity Fair Contributing Editor.

The trial of the man who called himself Clark Rockefeller is being held in a downtown Los Angeles Courthouse.

While living in San Marino in the 1980s and calling himself Christopher Chichester, ‘Rockefeller’ was living rent free in garage apartment where a young man name John Sohus and his wife Linda lived in the main house with his mother.

John and his wife, Linda, disappeared – believed to have gone on a “secret government mission” engineered by Christopher Chichester.

Years later, the house was sold and the new owners were putting in a pool. The crew dug up the bones of what is believed to be the missing man.

For more information on Mark Seal and his book, you can follow the link to his website here.

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — Opening statements got underway Monday in the murder trial of a man who authorities say once posed as a Rockefeller.

52-year-old Christian Gerhartsreiter has pleaded not guilty to the 1985 murder of John Sohus, of San Marino.

Carolyn Costello reports.

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