Charles Rothenberg is an American-born criminal who attempted to kill his son David Dave who was just six years old, in 1983. He tried to kill his son David firing up his motel room at Buena Park Motel.

Quick Info
Full NameCharles Rothenberg
BirthplaceNew York City, USA
Age82 years
Height5 feet 10 inches
176 cm
1.76 m
Weight79 kg
174 lbs
Hair ColorDark Brown
Eyes ColorDark Brown
WifeMarie Rothenberg
SonDavid Dave
Net WorthN/A



Charles Rothenberg was born in 1940 in New York City, USA. He holds American nationality, and as per his ethnic background, he belongs to the White Caucasian ethnicity. Further, he follows the Christianity religion.

Besides this, he has not mentioned his family members and other personal details, so there is still a question mark about it.

Charles Rothenberg
Charles Rothenberg Source: SFGate

How old is Charles Rothenberg?

As per his birth date, Charles Rothenberg is 82 years old, but his zodiac sign is unknown. Regarding his physical statistics, he has a height of 5 feet 10 inches (176 cm/ 1.76 m) and 79kg or 174 lbs of weight. Moreover, Charles has dark brown hair and dark brown eyes.


Charles Rothenberg and David Dave

Charles Rothenberg was married to Marie Rothenberg. They had a son named David Dave, also known by his other names, like David Charles Rothenberg and David Jordan Robinson. Dave was born on 18 June 1976. However, Charles and Marie decided to divorce when David was just six years old.

After their divorce, a conflict between them had created over custody of David. On 1 March 1983, he argued with his ex-wife at a motel in Buena Park on the telephone. After the argument, Charles Rothenberg gave his son a sleeping tablet so that he could fall asleep.

Later, he poured kerosene on the bed where his son was sleeping and set fire to it. After setting a fire, he went out of the room and watched from a telephone booth. However, many guests saw burning, so they tried hard to rescue David.

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Fortunately, Charles’s son David had became rescued, but he had third-degree burns on over 90% of his body. He was in a critical situation as he required finger and toe amputation. Similarly, David Dave also received a total of more than a hundred skin grafts. David became disfigured after the incident.

Charles Rothenberg
David Dave with mother, Source: NYTimes

Moreover, one grafting operation experienced brain swelling, which led to seizures and other complications. Besides this, Charles Rothenberg became arrested, and he stated that he had the intention to kill himself and his son. After that, Charles Rothenberg was sentenced to 13 years of prison in July 1983.

However, the guidelines changed later, so he later released in 1990 after serving seven years and three years of supervision. Later, he fled after two years. However, he turned himself in to authorities later.

Further, Charles Rothenberg also tried shooting in Oakland; Dave was 19 years old. Dave visited Charles, and he also read the statement to him where Dave stated that Charles was “not a father but an imposter.” Further, Charles changed his name to Charley Charles from Carley Rothenberg.


More about David Dave

He was sentenced to 25 years to life after various offenses in two other states. Later, his son David Dave made appearances in several TV shows, and he also met an American businessman and former businessman Michael Jeffrey Jordan. Michael is also a former professional basketball player.

Moreover, David also became the good friend of American singer, songwriter, and dancer Michael Jackson. Besides this, David’s mother married another man named Richard Hadahl, a police officer. Richard supervised the fire investigation, and David moved with them to Orange County, California.

Charles Rothenberg
Charles Rothenberg’s son David giving an interview, Source: ocregister

Charles Rothenberg’s ex-wife Marie Rothenberg also published a book named “David.” Later, It was adopted into the 1988 TV movie of the same name, “David.” Further, Marie and Mel White also published an expanded version of the book “David” as “David’s Story: Burned by His Father’s Rage, Heal by His Mother’s Love” in 2019.

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Besides this, David was interested in music and became a house music DJ, music producer, and rap musician. Later, in 1996, he also directed a music video for American country singer, actress, and charity fundraiser Kelli Lidell.


Is Charles Rothenberg still alive?

Unfortunately, Charles Rothenberg’s son David took his last breath on 15 July 2018 at Sunrise Hospital at 42. The cause of his death was the complication of pneumonia. However, Charles Rothenberg must be in jail for his crimes, as there has been no more update regarding his current situation.



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