SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5 / BCN) — A San Francisco man suspected of posing as a utility worker to gain entrance to a Russian Hill socialite’s apartment and then beating and stabbing her to death last month appeared in court Tuesday morning on murder charges.

Gary Scott Holland, 43, was arrested Friday in connection with the killing of 46-year-old publicist Kathleen Horan on Oct. 29.

Police found Horan’s body inside her second-floor apartment at 900 Chestnut Street early on the morning of Oct. 30. Investigators believe she was killed about 7 p.m. the previous evening.

Holland, who is charged with murder, attempted rape, robbery and burglary, did not enter a plea during Tuesday’s brief hearing in San Francisco Superior Court.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

Arraignment was postponed until Friday as Holland awaits the appointment of an attorney from the public defender’s office.

According to prosecutors, Horan was beaten with a pry bar, a construction tool similar to a small crowbar, and stabbed with a knife.

Police said Holland, who was dressed as a utility worker, with a hard hat, utility vest, belt and tool box, somehow gained access to the apartment building and knocked on Horan’s door, telling her he needed to check for a gas leak.

Police detained Holland Friday in the Outer Richmond neighborhood, when officers found him lying in some bushes at Sutro Heights Park.

Homicide inspectors later arrested him.

Holland is charged with one count of murder with the use of a deadly weapon, one count of attempted rape, one count of residential robbery and two counts of residential burglary.

Attached to the murder charge are special-circumstance allegations that would make Holland eligible for the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

At a news conference announcing the charges on Monday, District Attorney Kamala Harris called Holland “a true predator.”

According to prosecutor Braden Woods, both DNA evidence found at the scene of the murder, and Holland’s alleged statements to police, will play a role in the prosecution.

“He made admissions in the case,” Woods said Tuesday, without elaborating.

Holland is believed to have suffered an injury to his left hand, possibly from his own knife, as Horan was trying to defend herself, according to Woods.

Police said that at the time of the killing, Holland had been on parole after serving a prison sentence for attempted murder in Fresno County.

Holland remained in custody without bail.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

Comments (7)
  1. BOB THE BUILDER says:


    1. onsite says:

      This guy is a true preditor. He was convitted in 1999 for attempted murder with another woman. Was in prison for 11 years. Was released earlier this year, lives in the Fresno area. Had another girlfriend who had broken up with him recently because he resumed using drugs. He called her before this murder for money and threatened to kill her because she did not cooperate

  2. John Q says:

    Don’t worry, Kamala Harris will again choose to personally not follow the laws on the books and will not charge this predator with a capital crime. God forbid she becomes CA AG, no laws will be enforced. She acts like she can arbitrarily choose which laws to enforce and others she does not. Get ready for a santuary state where all law abiding, tax paying citizens will be out number 10 to 1.

  3. CMV says:

    Why do we see only a sketch of his face. Can you provide a mug-shot?
    We need to see what this guy looks like.

  4. lance says:

    John Q is obviously off his meds today and hasn’t paid his KKK subscription perhaps?

  5. deadzone says:

    I agree with John Q. Kamala will not seek the death penalty in this capital crime case. If she wins the AG spot, God help CA. There will be an uprise in crime in this State since the Death Penalty will be thrown out. My question is what will happen to the inmates already on Death Row?

  6. liberalism is mental disorder says:

    Hey Lancy Drew, John may be of his meds, but it law hating communists like you that he needs them for

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