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Pasadena Star-News, Walt Mancini, Pool, Associated Press
Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, right, a German man who masqueraded as a member of the famous Rockefeller family, appears in Alhambra Court, in California in the fourth day in court as Gerhartsreiter faces a preliminary hearing Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 in the cold case murder of John Sohus, 27, who disappeared from San Marino, Calif. in 1985.

ALHAMBRA, Calif. — Testimony by a former girlfriend of a Rockefeller impostor charged with murdering his California landlord 27 years ago suggests he lived the life of a hunted man.

Mihoko Manabe testified Tuesday at a hearing to determine if defendant Christian Gerhartsreiter must stand trial for the death of 27-year-old John Sohus, who vanished with his wife from the Los Angeles suburb of San Marino in 1985.

Manabe says that after she got a call in 1988 from a Connecticut detective looking for her boyfriend, who she knew as Christopher Crowe, he became panicked, had her dye his hair blond, grew a beard, exchanged his glasses for contact lenses, and made plans to leave the country.

Gerhartsreiter has a kidnapping conviction in Massachusetts, where he posed as a Rockefeller heir.