Rockefeller Impostor Gets 27 Years to Life

Christian Gerhartsreiter sentenced for murder of John Sohus

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Aug 15, 2013 12:59 PM CDT

(Newser) – A man who assumed numerous identities including as a Rockefeller heir has been sentenced to 27 years to life in prison for a 1980s murder in California. Christian Gerhartsreiter was sentenced today in Los Angeles Superior Court for the killing of John Sohus, who disappeared along with his wife, Linda, in 1985. Gerhartsreiter fired his lawyers and acted as his own attorney after he was convicted of first-degree murder.

John Sohus' bones were eventually dug up in the backyard of a suburban San Marino home where Gerhartsreiter had been a tenant living under a false name. The German immigrant, meanwhile, vanished and spent three decades masquerading across the US under a series of identities including an heir to the fabled Rockefeller fortune, a movie producer, and a wizard of Wall Street. Publicity over his conviction in the Massachusetts kidnapping of his own daughter in a custody dispute led investigators to re-examine the California cold case. At a recent hearing, Gerhartsreiter hinted that he might have information about Linda Sohus' whereabouts.

This Monday April 8, 2013 file photo shows Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter listening during final arguments at his trial at Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles.
This Monday April 8, 2013 file photo shows Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter listening during final arguments at his trial at Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes,File)
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