SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

March 20, 2013

Testimony begins in Rockefeller trial

(Continued)

Farrar said her new friend claimed to be rich

“But there were inconsistencies,” she said. “He had a really old car.”

Also, he often showed up at her home at dinner time, obviously hungry.

Gerhartsreiter later spent years moving through U.S. society under a series of aliases, most notoriously posing as a member of the fabled Rockefeller family.

He has pleaded not guilty to killing Sohus. Opening statements in the trial were made on Monday, when Gerhartsreiter’s attorney suggested that Linda Sohus was responsible for her husband’s death. Neither side has offered a motive for the killing.

In his statement, prosecutor Habib Balian connected the dots of the defendant’s later life. He depicted Gerhartsreiter as a liar who made up extravagant stories about being an heir to a South African fortune, a descendant of British royalty and a famous film director.

When police began asking questions about him, linking him to a truck owned by the Sohuses, he abandoned his $100,000 a year job as a Wall Street bond trader and went into hiding.

He was close to the end of a prison term for the kidnapping of his young daughter in a Boston custody dispute when the murder charge interrupted his chance to regain his freedom.

In 2008, Farrar saw a photograph of Gerhartsreiter in the Los Angeles Times and realized he was the same person she knew as Chichester. She contacted friends at newspapers and has become a well-known witness in the case.

Yesterday Gerhartsreiter didn’t react when Farrar identified him from across the courtroom.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • Chism attorney wants 'youthful offender' indictments dismissed

    Philip Chism's attorney will argue that the state's "youthful offender" law, which requires that the Danvers teen be tried as an adult in last fall's rape and murder of his teacher, is unconstitutional.
    In documents filed Monday, defense attorney Denise Regan contends that the statute, enacted in 1996, creates two classes of children within the court system, distinguishing them based solely on the charge.

    July 29, 2014

  • Whale watching boat snagged by lobster trap rope

    BOSTON (AP) — They weren't castaways, but like the tourists on Gilligan's Island, a group of whale watchers expecting only a three-hour tour got much more after their boat was snagged by a lobster trap rope off Massachusetts and they were forced to spend a long night at sea.

    July 29, 2014

  • Market Basket store managers vow to resign

    Store managers and assistant managers at Market Baskets in the area signed petitions Monday declaring they would work only for Arthur T. Demoulas, no matter who buys the grocery chain. "It was a voluntary petition," Salem store manager Dave Webber sa

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • Former law student gets jail term for stealing jewels SALEM -- A former law student who prowled craigslist for people selling diamond jewelry, then robbed them, all while falsely claiming to be a cancer patient, was sent to jail Thursday. Jeffrey Rosenspan, 32, of Walpole, had 10 diamond rings -- as we

    July 29, 2014

  • sculpture Ipswich approaches gift of art cautiously, with good reason

    Art, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder. Which is why politicians and public officials often seek to avoid making judgments on public art. A wrong decision can create a furor.

    That might explain the caution of Ipswich selectmen as resident Rick Silverman proposes to honor his late wife and grace the town with an elegant sculpture on the North Green. Treading lightly lest they offend or preemptively reject the offer, they voted last week to set up a board that will advise them on what is and what isn’t welcome in Ipswich’s public spaces.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos