Dateline   |  April 17, 2013

April 17: 'Behind Closed Doors', Part 3

A “noble” guesthouse tenant from years ago piques the detectives’ interest – but where is he?

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> news cycle and a body buried in a backyard. it was newsworthy.

>> there was no question it was murder. if john had been killed and buried in his own backyard, were linda 's remains in a shallow grave of their own? police looked but found no signs in the yard.

>> found nothing?

>> the thing is, after all that, they had one body and nothing else.

>> two key questions remained unanswered. where was linda , and where was the other person who lived on the lorraine road property then, the guest house tenant, christopher chi chester?

>> early on, the police decided they needed to find linda , and they needed to find chris. there was only a couple of options for how john's body got back there and how it got buried, and those two options were unaccounted for. chris and linda .

>> either one of them might have done that or certainly would know something about who did it?

>> it was imperative that they find them.

>> in any homicide investigation, the spouse is a natural suspect, often the first suspect considered. and linda was a large woman who could conceivably have overpowered her husband. but as police started interviewing anyone around town who knew any of the occupants of the lorraine road property, tips about the guest house tenant, christopher chichester , piled up quickly. tips suggested that he was the one police should be looking at. even those once friendly with him now recalled him in unsavory terms as a manipulator, dana ferrare said, always up for the next free lunch.

>> he would show up at my apartment, mm, that smells good. after a while, i just kind of kicked him out. i was like bye.

>> more weird stories of the 20-something chichester sometimes hit on younger girls. cory woods said he asked her out when she was only 12.

>> and my mom said a very definitive no. and then after that, you know, it got a little weird, and he started asking other inappropriate girls out.

>> not age appropriate ?

>> not age appropriate .

>> some dusty old stories, remains very nearly a decade, not a great start for a murder investigation, but that guest house was still standing, and detectives got to work to see if it had any clues to give up about the man who once lived there.

>> we did a luminol in the guest house , and they found four pretty large blood spots.

>> they couldn't tell if it was human or animal blood, but detectives thought the spots could be evidence of violence from years earlier, and they also learned something else that the guest was important.

>> a detective in san marino had made a connection that the tenant in the guest house had the victim's truck.

>> the truck had been john and linda 's prize possession. before they went missing in 1985 , they planned that first big road trip in it. years later, after they vanished, it was traced to connecticut and to the guest house tenant.

>> why would he take the missing person 's, couple's truck, and the truck would end up in connecticut.

>> and what's more, records show he changed his name from the baronet christopher chichester , to christopher crowestreet, and a deeper c heck found he was no royal, not even a brit, but a german national now racing through new identities like someone bent on covering his tracks.

>> and that's when he disappears.

>> he just in the wind again?

>> right.

>> and with that, the murder investigation stalled. the years went by, and in san marino , they might have forgotten all about poor dead john sohus and his missing wife and about the oddball tenant for the lorraine road guest house had it not been for this.

>> authorities search over land and sea for a man and his 7-year-old daughter.

>> a family drama playing out on a leafy boston street in the summer of 2008 , a custody battle that became a national story because of the name at its center.

>> a man who calls himself a rockefeller.

>> one of america's famous names, of course, but it was the face that got everyone's attention back in california. krista had retired as a detective by then, but she gasped when she saw the photo.

>> when i looked in the newspaper, i knew it was him.

>> could it be? could the fugitive with the famous name on the east coast be the same wanted for a forgotten crime? was there now a way to awaken the long dormant case of the murder on lorraine road?