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Lawyer: ‘Rockefeller’ Innocent In 1985 California Murder

By Peg Rusconi, WBZ-TV
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(AP Graphic)

(AP Graphic)

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BOSTON (CBS) – His Boston attorneys describe Clark Rockefeller as eccentric, maybe crazy.  But they insist he is not a killer.

“He is not a violent man, his entire existence doesn’t speak to violence and that absolutely no violence has occurred here at least at his hands,” said Jeffrey Denner.

He’s referring to the 1985 murder of John Sohus.  His wife Linda also disappeared at that time and has never been found.  Rockefeller, known then as Christopher Chichester, was living in a guesthouse on the family’s property in San Marino California.

WBZ-TV’s Peg Rusconi reports.

A swimming pool excavation there in 1994 uncovered human remains.  Advances in forensic technology allowed LA officials to now confirm they’re the remains of John Sohus.  Officials say he was killed with blunt force.

His sister Ellen Sohus told WBZ-TV by phone it’s been a long ordeal.  “We are very grateful that this case is moving forward.”

The man her brother knew as Chichester had moved east and used many different names when he was arrested in 2008 for the headline-making kidnapping of his daughter Reigh on a Back Bay street.

Investigators learned the man then known as Clark Rockefeller was in fact a German national with a slew of aliases, including the Christopher Chichester L-A officials suspected might know something about the Sohus’s disappearance.

His lawyers say Rockefeller didn’t know them well.

“Not very much, had very limited interaction,” said Denner. “We need to see what this case is, understand it, then defend it zealously.”

Darryl Hopkins met Rockefeller as a livery driver and unwittingly helping him get away with Reigh.  He says what he’s learned since then makes the murder charge seem plausible. “I’m not surprised at somebody was as self serving as he was all his life.”

An LA County Sheriff’s spokesman would only call the case against Rockefeller overwhelming.

Rockefeller’s Boston attorneys are still waiting to see what the evidence is.  Rockefeller is serving a four to five year sentence for the kidnapping.  He is expected to be eligible for parole next year.  His attorneys say he is eager to contest the murder charge, move on with his life, and re-establish contact with his daughter.

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