Rockefeller impostor on trial for murder

After 27 years, the murder trial of a man who posed as a member of the fabled Rockefeller family is getting under way with opening statements to the jury.

FILE - In this June 1, 2009 file photo, Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, who calls himself Clark Rockefeller, enters court for his kidnapping trial in Boston. To his neighbors in an upscale Pasadena suburb, Gerhartsreiter was the man from nowhere, a newcomer who joined the church, ingratiated himself to elderly residents and called himself Chris Chichester. But he seemed to have no past and when he suddenly vanished it left everyone puzzled. (AP Photo/Lisa Poole, Pool, file)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — After 27 years, the murder trial of a man who posed as a member of the fabled Rockefeller family is getting under way with opening statements to the jury.

Seven women and five men were selected to as the jury to begin hearing the case Monday of Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter (GAYR'-hahrtz-ry-tur). He was known for 20 years as Clark Rockefeller. He says he is not guilty of the cold case killing of John Sohus.

Sohus disappeared with his wife, Linda, in 1985 while Gerhartsreiter was a tenant at the home of Sohus' mother.

The prosecution's case is circumstantial, based on a bag of bones found buried at the property and fuzzy memories of San Marino residents who knew the defendant.

The defense says there was no motive for the defendant to kill anyone. Linda Sohus vanished without a trace.
Associated Press
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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