Rockefeller impostor's murder trial: Both sides rest


Sandy Boss was back on the witness stand Wednesday for cross examination. The two were together for 12 years, but she says she never knew his true identity.

"The marriage was very unpleasant, and very quickly, I began to focus on the unpleasantness, not the assertions," Boss said.

Attorneys for Christian Gerhartsreiter spent about an hour quizzing Boss about his made-up past history. They zeroed in on Gerhartsreiter's claims of attending Harvard and Oxford, trying to find out why Sandy Boss never figured out those claims were false.

Boss said she was earning more than $1 million a year, but she let Gerhartsreiter control the finances, forcing her to secretly and fearfully move money for a divorce attorney.

"I didn't have access to any money. I hadn't figured out how I could do that without him seeing it," Boss testified. "He controlled all the bank accounts, and he monitored all of my transactions."

When she was finally able to consult with an attorney, she said she did it by going to her firm and having them wire money directly to the legal counsel.

Gerhartsreiter is accused of killing a San Marino man in 1985. The remains of 27-year-old John Sohus were found by workers installing a swimming pool in 1994, buried in the backyard of his home. Gerhartsreiter lived in the guest house there for a time in the '80s.

Prosecutors say Sohus and his wife Linda are dead and that Gerhartsreiter faked their disappearance to cover his tracks. Even though Gerhartsreiter is not charged in the disappearance of Linda Sohus, she's playing a big role in the case for the defense. They pointed to three postcards allegedly written by Linda Sohus and mailed from Europe as proof that she is still alive and might be her husband's killer.

They called to the stand two handwriting examiners: one from a private company, the other from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department. They both determined the postcards were not forged. But the experts said there was no way to determine if Linda Sohus was forced or tricked into making those postcards. Prosecutors also presented evidence that Linda Sohus never had a passport and never left the country.

On Tuesday, Boss testified that she only knew the man as Clark Rockefeller, a member of the famed Rockefeller family, and said he became more and more secretive during their marriage. She said had no idea that he was German or that he had a German passport.

Boss testified that he had his mail delivered to post office boxes rather than at home. She said he always wore a hat and used her credit cards so that his name wouldn't appear on the bills.

The judge ordered attorneys back to court Thursday to discuss jury instructions and scheduled final arguments for Monday.

The Associated Press has contributed to this report.

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