compiled by Patrick H. Moore

While sleuthing around online, searching for new information on the San Diego County Brittany Killgore sado-masochism murder case (Killgore is a strange name for someone who was apparently kidnapped, tortured, raped and murdered), I came across the strange saga of Mark “Gator” Rogowski, a vertical skating wizard who once electrified the skateboarding world.  Gator, in an throes of extreme jealousy and mis-directed rage, murdered Jessica Bergsten, a woman he hadn’t talked with in years, when he was really mad at his ex-girlfriend Brandi McClain for dumping him for another man.  An odd twist to the story is the fact that Rogowski had become a born again Christian not long before he murdered Ms. Bergsten.  In fact, the case was cracked because he made a full confession to a “spiritual advisor” at his church.  Rogowski is currently being held at Men’s Colony in California.  He has been in prison since 1992 and will not be up for parole again until 2018.

In a 2012 article available at the COMPLEX SPORTS website,  entitled “The 50 Most Infamous Criminals in Sports History,” Sean Evans gives Gator credit for being the eighth most notorious criminal in the annals of sport.

8. Mark Rogowski

8. Mark Rogowski

Sport: Skateboarding
Criminal History: Rape, murder
Time Behind Bars: Currently serving a 31-year sentence

The MURDERPEDIA website provides an in-depth analysis of the deranged Gator and his slide into infamy, some of which we are excerpting here.  And remember, converting to Christianity may not rescue a truly troubled soul.



Gator’s popularity began to wane as the vert skating of the 1980s gave way to street skating in the 1990s. Gator began to struggle with the harsh reality of being a former “icon”. He converted to a strict Evangelical form of Christianity and changed his name to “Gator” Mark Anthony, saying Rogowski was the name of his father, whom he never really knew. At the same time, Gator had mounting problems with alcohol and drugs.

When his addictions began to take control, his mental issues began to show. When he had began getting into his Christian studies (due partly to an accident in Germany, and mostly to an ex-surfer turned street minister who lived near him in California), as always, he dove in head first, and alienated his girlfriend Brandi (who soon left him, due to his new found beliefs in celibacy before marriage), his fans, and his fellow skaters.

Rogowski said he had considered seeking psychiatric help at the time for his problems, but the born-again Christian sect he was involved with discouraged this, seeing psychiatry as the work of the devil and telling him that Jesus could solve his problems.

After Brandi had left him, Mark became obssessively jealous: breaking into her home to steal the things he had given her, calling her new boyfriend’s home with threats, and threatening Brandi directly. Brandi reported his behavior to the police, who produced a report but did little to follow up.

One fateful night Gator got a call from Bergsten (whom he had not spoken to in years) out of the blue, saying she wanted him to show her around San Diego, as she was moving to California. They spent a day together, shortly after which Bergsten was reported missing.

According to Rogowski, as she was putting on her shoes behind a couch and preparing to leave on March 21, 1991, he had come up behind her and hit her in the head with The Club (a metal auto theft device which locks the steering column).

After knocking her semi-unconscious by way of multiple strikes to her face and upper skull, he dragged her to his bedroom on the 2nd floor and raped her for hours (it’s been speculated to be 2-3 hours). He said he had done the worst things sexually he could think of as he was venting all of his misplaced anger into her.

After hours of rape, he placed her in a surfboard bag because she had begun to get louder and he was concerned about the neighbors hearing the noise, placing his hand over her mouth until she stopped breathing. He then drove out to the desert to bury her body in shallow grave.

A few weeks later, her body was found, but because of the state of decomposition, her identity remained unknown. Plagued by guilt, Rogowski confessed what he had done to his ‘spiritual advisor,’ the aforementioned ex-surfer turned born-again Christian, who encouraged him to confess his crime to the police – which Rogowski did, waiving his legal rights.

The police searched his home and found evidence of massive blood loss, soaked through the carpet padding and into the floorboards in two fairly small spots adjacent to where her head had rested.


5 Responses to World Class Skater Gator Rogowski’s Slide into Infamy: A Cautionary Tale

  1. Gale says:

    I have long believed in the evil organized religion propagates in the name of Christianity.

  2. ma says:

    Brandi mcclain leaves sd for ny, works in a flower shop, meets a heidi fleis call girl who turns her on to the call girl business with fleis. you just cant make this shit up.

    • jr says:

      doubt you’ll see this, but i was reading up on gator, googled brandi mcclain and read an article with her name about heidi fleiss, and i was like, this can’t her, can it? I read the flower part, which I remembered hearing about, and saw this comment. insanity.

      ‘the rise and fall of gator’ doc didn’t capature that side of brandi’s story.

      • TB says:

        Is the Fleiss whore realy the same person?
        Or a sharing of the same name?
        From a skater betty to the Fleiss prostitution ring?
        Better than Hollywood! lol

        Met Devon Jenkin by accident arround 92.
        Even though she was friendly and kind (and very hot) i had not the guts to ask her out.
        We just bandied some bland words.
        Every time i hear the Free Fallin’ song (Gator and her were in the music video)i have to think of the Rogowski Bergsten murder case…

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