Rockefeller case brings out San Marino residents
He had a way with words and surrounded himself with the right props. That how the man known to some as Clark Rockefeller was able to fool so many people, said friend Walter Kirn.
placed himself in surroundings that made his stories a hollister bout him seem true, Kirn said. Or Chichester. Or Mountbatten.
His name is Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, and this week the German national is in handcuffs at an Alhambra courtroom, accused of killing a San Marino man in 1985. Superior Court Judge Jared Moses finds the evidence strong enough at the preliminary hearing, Gerhartsreiter may face a murder trial later this year.
Former acquaintances, the town barber and San Marino friends of the deceased have packed the courtroom this week. He working on a memoir about his 10 year friendship with Gerhartsreiter.
was a lot like the people I knew at Princeton eccentric, pompous, dressed in stupid colors, Kirn said. did not, however, strike me as a con artist. Gerhartsreiter is not on trial for being a con artist.
Gerhartsreiter was living on the property of San Marino residents John and Linda Sohus at the time they disappeared, in February 1985. John Sohus bones were found on the Lorain Road property nine years later. Linda Sohus has not been seen since. Gerhartsreiter left San Marino at the same time the couple disappeared.
After being convicted of an unrelated crime in Maryland, he was brought back to face a charge for murdering John Sohus. He does not face any charges related to Linda Sohus disappearance.
Daniel Banks, on his way into the courthouse Thursday, said he met Gerhartsreiter at a San Marino church in 1983.
the time he was going as Christopher Chichester, the XIII Baronet of Chichester, Banks said.
Banks said he was doubtful of Gerhartsreiter background, but didn think much of it. wasn impressed by titles. I an American.
know the story and the guy, he said. was a really nice guy hollister , especially to the ladies. Eldnor last spoke with him, Gerhartsreiter said a family member had died and he was forced to fly to London to take care of a big estate.
was just another one of his lies, Eldnor said. But even so, he added, hard to believe he could done what he did. Mountjoy, 56, came to court to honor the memory of Linda and John Sohus.
Linda worked at a fantasy book store in the San Fernando Valley and John was a computer programmer, Mountjoy said. Mountjoy referred to them as the life of the party at social gatherings.
Mountjoy said she is convinced Gerhartsreiter is responsible for killing John Sohus.
she said. all Linda could talk about when they moved back in with John mom was creepy guy in the guest house. proving Gerhartsreiter should stand trial may be a challenge. Twenty seven years have passed, memories have faded and physical evidence is limited. Defense lawyers plan to challenge several of the documents and witnesses the prosecution has presented.
On Tuesday, the first day of what is expected to be a six day hearing, Los Angeles County Deputy District A hollister ttorney Habib Balian called Jose Perez, a laborer who was building a pool at the house in 1994 nine years after the Sohus disappearance when his father came across plastic bags of bones in a box a few feet underground.
saw my father grab [a] bag he pulled it off to the side and mouthed to me there was bones inside, Perez testified. thought it was a dog. It didn look like a dog, and I told him to drop it. witnesses have included former San Marino police officers who interviewed family members about the Sohus disappearance, neighbors who remember Gerhartsreiter, and experts who linked the bones to John Sohus.
Mountjoy said she felt it was important that someon hollister e be present in court on behalf of the victims.
has to have a voice for [the Sohus’], Mountjoy said Wednesday. kept referring to John as a bag of bones yesterday. That really bothered me. Wednesday Brad Bailey, one of Gerhartsreiter attorneys, asked Judge Moses if he could refer to his client as Rockefeller.