Suspect in Russian Hill killing was upset about child support

The man charged in the Russian Hill killing of a San Francisco socialite in her apartment called both his mother and ex-wife hours before the killing to complain about paying child support to his two kids.

Gary Scott Holland, 43, faces charges of murder, rape and robbery in the death of 46-year-old publicist Kate Horan. Police say Holland, who was on parole at the time of the murder, posed as a utility worker to gain entrance into her apartment on Oct. 29.

Between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. on that day, Holland made at least two phone calls — to his mother, Debbie Holland, and to his ex-wife, the mother of his two children. In what appears to be a random and tragic crime, the phone calls possibly offer a glimpse of what would motivate the parolee to allegedly engage in a robbery that turned fatal.

Gary Scott Holland told his mother the state would garnish his wages by $300 to help raise his children. At the time, Holland was employed as a construction worker. She said he seemed upset that his kids “did not want a relationship with him.”

“He seemed angry, but not ranting and raving,” Debbie Holland said. “He said he would call me back. He never did.”

At about 7 p.m., Gary Scott Holland allegedly knocked on Horan’s apartment door at 900 Chestnut St. He was dressed in construction clothes and claimed to be a utility worker checking on a gas leak, according to police.

Horan was found dead early the next morning. Police arrested Holland a week later.

The District Attorney’s Office is reviewing the facts to decide whether to seek the death penalty against Holland, spokesman Seth Steward said. An attorney for Holland, who has pleaded not guilty, did not return calls seeking comment.

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

Trail to her door

Gary Scott Holland is accused of killing San Francisco publicist Kate Horan in her Russian Hill apartment in October.

Oct. 13, 1999: Gary Scott Holland begins a 13-year sentence in state prison for attempted murder.

April 21: Holland is released from prison, placed on parole until 2013. He goes to live in a residential program at Walden House in San Francisco.

July 2: Holland starts a job with J.J. Albanese Concrete, where he obtains the reflective vest, hard hat, toolbox and tool belt allegedly used to fool Kate Horan into letting him in to check a gas leak.

Aug. 20: Holland is released from Walden House. He rents a room at the Castro Hotel in North Beach.

Oct. 29: Holland calls his mother and ex-wife to complain about paying $300 in child support between 4:30 and
5:30 p.m. Kate Horan is murdered in her apartment at about 7 p.m.

Oct. 30: Police are called to Horan’s apartment at about 3 a.m. and find her body.

Nov. 1: Holland does not show up to work.

Nov. 2: Holland’s mother begins calling authorities to locate her son. She files a missing person report.

Nov. 4: Investigators search Holland’s room and find jewelry belonging to Horan, bloody shoes and syringes, according to the hotel manager.

Nov. 5: Police in the Outer Richmond district find Holland lying in bushes in Sutro Park.

Nov. 12: Holland pleads not guilty in S.F. Superior Court to charges of murder, attempted rape, robbery and special circumstances.

 

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