With a combination of fraudulent identities and mysterious disappearances, the case of the murders of Jonathan “John” Sohus and his wife, Linda Sohus, kept the attention of the nations for a long time due to the sheer number of questionable elements surrounding the case. The story was covered in the eighth episode of CNBC’s ‘Blood & Money’ season 1 under the titled ‘Inventing a Rockefeller.’ Naturally, people are eager to know exactly what happened to the couple and just who was behind their deaths. Well, here is what we know about the same!
How Did Jonathan and Linda Sohus Die?
Jonathan and Linda Sohus were a newlywed couple living with the former’s mother after their marriage. However, in 1985, the couple seemingly got an opportunity that might just turn their luck around. According to their close friends and family, the two were looking forward to a government job interview for Jonathan in New York. While they stated that they could not share many details about it, they were quite happy with their fortune and hoped to make the best of it.
The New York trip that was supposed to last for two weeks led Linda to take her cats to a kennel with the payment made in advance. However, when the animals were not picked up even after eight weeks, Linda’s sister Kathy was contacted by the kennel. This struck the latter as extremely odd, and she talked to DiDi Sohus, Jonathan’s mother and the owner of the house where the two lived. However, DiDi did not seem concerned about the long absence and stated that the two were apparently on a “mission.”
Highly confused and concerned, Kathy filed a missing person report for Jonathan and Linda in hopes of discovering just where the two were. Three months after they had seemingly left for New York, one of their close friends received a postcard that claimed to be from Linda, who was apparently in France. However, the uncharacteristic nature of the message led the friend to file a missing person report of her own. Additionally, Linda’s family also received a postcard from France, which only raised their suspicions.
Soon afterward, DiDi too became concerned and revealed to the authorities that she had believed her family members were on a “mission,” as that is what her tenant named Christopher Chichester had told her. However, he suddenly vacated her property, and Jonathan’s pickup truck was also missing, which raised DiDi’s concerns. Said vehicle was found about around three years later in Greenwich, Connecticut, as a man named Christopher Crowe tried selling it without any papers.
It was not until May 1994 that a conclusive lead in the case was found. Did had moved out of her home in San Marino, California, shortly after filing the missing person report and had passed away about two years after that. As the new owners decided to build a swimming pool in the backyard, the excavation for the same found human remains buried about 4 feet into the ground. The three plastic bags contained the remains of a white male adult who the authorities believed was likely Jonathan, given the location of the remains. Unfortunately, no remains of Linda Sohus have been found as of writing.
Who Killed Jonathan and Linda Sohus?
In the case of the murder of Jonathan Sohus, a man named Christian Gerhartsreiter was convicted. The man in question spent many years of his life under false identities, including that of Christopher Chichester and Christopher Crowe. However, since the discovery of Jonathan’s remains, he once again changed his identity and started going by Clark Rockefeller. It was his stint as the latter that he was arrested on kidnapping charges in August 2008.
Shortly after Gerhartsreiter’s arrest, his various identities were linked together, and a case was built up against him regarding Jonathan’s death. Apart from the connection to the couple, the prosecution pointed out that two book bags were buried with Jonathan’s remains. One bag was from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the other from the University of Southern California, both of which Gerhartsreiter was connected to as a student and auditor, respectively. His possession of Jonathan’s pickup truck after the victim went missing also worked against Gerhartsreiter.
Given his past actions and the evidence against him, Gerhartsreiter was found guilty of Jonathan’s death on April 10, 2013. During his sentencing, he maintained that it was Linda who had killed Jonathan and not him. Nevertheless, on August 15, 2013, he was sentenced to 27 years to life for his crimes. As of writing, he is a resident of San Quentin State Prison in California and will be eligible for parole in December 2029 based on the outcome of his potential parole hearing in November 2028. Given that no traces of Linda, whether alive or dead, have been found to date, no one is certain exactly what happened to her.
Read More: Christian Gerhartsreiter: Where is the Killer and Con Artist Now?