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‘Poor guy’ being mistaken in SLO County for alleged Scottish rapist

Scottish citizen Kim Gordon is suspected of staging his own death at a Carmel beach, prompting reports of sightings across northern San Luis Obispo County in a case of mistaken identity, authorities say.
Scottish citizen Kim Gordon is suspected of staging his own death at a Carmel beach, prompting reports of sightings across northern San Luis Obispo County in a case of mistaken identity, authorities say. Monterey County Sheriff's Office

San Luis Obispo County residents are mistaking a handyman with a Scottish brogue for a man wanted on suspicion of rape who Monterey County authorities believe faked his own death off a Carmel beach, local officials say.

Several law enforcement officials across the county say residents are mistaking a “poor guy” offering handyman services door-to-door for Kim Gordon, a Scottish citizen who was reported missing in Monterey County and is suspected of faking his own death.

“We have responded to multiple reports of a person with a Scottish/Irish/Australian accent going door-to-door selling home improvement repairs in North County,” San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office spokesman Tony Cipolla wrote in an email Thursday. “There was speculation that this might be the man who is being sought in Monterey County and Scotland. The Sheriff’s Office investigated and determined this man is not the missing man from Monterey County.”

Since news broke about Gordon’s disappearance, residents across San Luis Obispo County have speculated that he’s hiding out locally.

“So this man is Kim Gordon. He is a rapist that faked his death in Scotland to run from 24 rapes,” reads Facebook post written by Morro Bay resident Alisa Parrish that has since been deleted.” He has been seen in Los Osos, Morro Bay, and Atascadero area. He was last seen in Atascadero on March 5th, 2019.”

The post says that during a visit to a family members’ home in Atascadero, “Kim Gordon saw her through the window and knocked.”

“He tried to persuade his way into the house and when that didn’t work, he offered to sand bag their driveway,” the post reads. “When he was seen by her father, he ran off.”

Atascadero Police Chief Jerel Haley said Thursday his department has not received any reported sightings of Gordon.

But the Paso Robles Police Department has received several, according to Chief Ty Lewis.

“Most of them are a case of mistaken identity from what we can tell,” Lewis wrote in an email Tuesday. “There is someone in town (unrelated to this suspect) that has a Scottish accent… he’s been reported several times… poor guy.”

Lewis said the department is not aware of any credible sightings in San Luis Obispo County.

On Feb. 25, the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a person who went missing after going night swimming at Monastery Beach, a picturesque but notoriously dangerous stretch of coastline with a reputation for killing tourists unfamiliar with its strong currents, the Associated Press reported.

Sheriff’s officials’ search of the area turned up nothing, and details of the reporting party’s story began to fall apart, officials told the AP. They now believe Gordon — who is facing two dozen counts of rape in his home country of Scotland — staged his own death, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Repeated requests by The Tribune to the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office for an update on the search were not returned Wednesday or Thursday.

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

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Matt Fountain is The San Luis Obispo Tribune’s courts and investigations reporter. A San Diego native, Fountain graduated from Cal Poly’s journalism department in 2009 and cut his teeth at the San Luis Obispo New Times before joining The Tribune as a crime and breaking news reporter in 2014.
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