Gerhartsreiter in court in Los Angeles on Tuesday, April 2.
Christian Gerhartsreiter, the man who posed as a member of the wealthy Rockefeller family from the early ’90s until 2008, was found guilty Wednesday of the 1985 murder Southern California man John Sohus.
Jurors spent about a day deliberating before reaching a verdict in the “heavily circumstantial” case.
From the AP:
Authorities said Gerhartsreiter was a German immigrant who lived another life long ago, occupying a guest cottage at the home of Sohus’ mother in the ritzy suburb of San Marino …
The town folk didn’t connect him with the disappearance of [Linda and John Sohus] in 1985, but shortly after they vanished, so did he.
No trace of Linda has been found but John’s bones were unearthed during excavation of a swimming pool at the San Marino property in 1994.
Gerhartsreiter, 52, was charged with Sohus’ murder in 2011, three years after he blew his “Rockefeller” identity by attempting to kidnap his daughter. At the time, he was separated from his wife, Sandra Boss, a well-educated, successful financier who believed he was really a Rockefeller.
In 2009, Vanity Fair published an extensive piece about Gerhartsreiter’s con. TIME later named “Clark Rockefeller” one of the top 10 impostors of all time. In 2010, there was even a Lifetime movie about Gerhartsreiter’s marriage to Boss.
“He’s gotten away with it long enough,” prosecutors said in their closing argument. “Hold this man accountable.”
Gerhartsreiter will be sentenced on June 28.
- Robert L. Dear was identified as the suspected gunman in a fatal shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs. ›
- World leaders will meet in Paris starting Monday to discuss a potential global climate change agreement. Here's what you need to know. ›
- And how well do you know what happened in the news this week? Take our quiz. ›