© UnknownGerhartsreiter pretended to be a Hollywood producer and an English aristocrat
A German man who pretended to be heir to the Rockefeller oil fortune has been jailed for killing his California landlady's adult son in 1985.

Christian Gerhartsreiter, 52, was sentenced to 27 years to life in prison at a Los Angeles federal court.

He had been living in Los Angeles under a false name when he murdered John Sohus, 27. His bones were later dug up at the house.

Sohus' wife Linda, 29, also vanished. No trace of her has ever been found.

In April, a jury found Gerhartsreiter guilty of first-degree murder with malicious intent, and of using a blunt object as a deadly and dangerous weapon to kill.

False identities

Gerhartsreiter proclaimed his innocence as he was sentenced on Thursday, accusing Linda Sohus of the killing.

"I want to assert my innocence and that I firmly believe that the victim's wife killed the victim, but be that as it may, once again, I did not commit the crime," he told the court, reports the Los Angeles Times.

After the killing, he fled to the East Coast in his victim's pickup truck, changing his name a number of times.

During his time evading justice, Gerhartsreiter - who came to the US more than 30 years ago - masqueraded as a Hollywood producer, a Wall Street financier and an English aristocrat.

He pretended to be Clark Rockefeller and even got married, fooling his wealthy British wife for 12 years.

But his mask was exposed after his 2009 conviction for abducting his daughter in Boston, Massachusetts, during a custody dispute, leading investigators to re-examine the California cold case.