By Esme Murphy

By Esme Murphy, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In the latest twist in the saga of former auto mogul Denny Hecker, WCCO has learned that Hecker and his then-girlfriend, Christi Rowan, were married last week at a church in Maple Grove.

The marriage took place Feb. 22 at the Lord of Life Lutheran Church. Hecker was on the phone from the Sherburne County Jail during the ceremony.

The marriage certificate was filed Tuesday in Hennepin County, which shows that Rowan has changed her name to Christi Rowan-Hecker.

It also states that Hecker and Rowan-Hecker were married by Lutheran Pastor Peter Geisendorfer-Lindgren. Lindgren is the same pastor who the U.S. Attorney accused of trying to conduct a stealth marriage between the two at the U.S. Attorney’s office late last year.

During the ceremony, Rowan-Hecker was at the church with the pastor and had her nanny act as a witness.

In a telephone interview from jail, Hecker said, “Our normal has never been like anybody else’s normal.”

Hecker said via phone that he and Rowan-Hecker had been trying to get married for months and that he was tired of reporters referring to Rowan-Hecker as his girlfriend.

“We are now husband and wife. The press can now print and say Christi Rowan, wife. Christi Hecker, wife, instead of Christi Rowan, the girlfriend,” Hecker said from jail.

Rowan-Hecker was arrested Feb. 23 by federal agents after she went to visit Hecker in jail. Prosecutors say she violated the terms of her pre-sentencing release when they discovered she had taken out more than $9,000 in December from a previously undisclosed Hecker bank account at U.S. Bank.

Hecker says Rowan-Hecker is one of the few people who have stood by him.

“Our family and myself have found out who your friends are. When you have lots of money, you have lots of friends and when you lose money, it’s amazing how many friends disappear,” he said.

Hecker insists that there is no financial or legal advantage to him getting married. A number of legal experts WCCO consulted agreed that there is nothing financially or, even in terms of jail visitation, that the couple can gain.

But the marriage may actually be getting the couple into more legal hot water because Minnesota does not recognize marriages by proxy, meaning when one person is not there. The Hennepin County Attorney’s office says both their criminal and civil divisions are reviewing the marriage.

Rowan-Hecker remains in jail and faces a much stiffer sentence than the zero to six months she was originally looking at after she pleaded guilty to lying on a credit application to purchase a Land Rover for Hecker and to lying while testifying under oath in Hecker’s bankruptcy case.

Now instead of a maximum of six months in prison, Rowan-Hecker could face a maximum of 10 years. But legal experts say the likely sentence will be less because she is deciding not to fight the charges, putting her at better odds with both prosecutors and the judge.

Both Rowan-Hecker and Hecker are in separate units at the Sherburne County Jail. Hecker is scheduled to be sent to a federal prison soon to serve his 10-year sentence for bankruptcy and wire fraud. No sentencing date has been set yet for Rowan-Hecker.

Hecker says he and Rowan-Hecker have not spoken since her arrest last week. The pastor who performed the ceremony is out of town and could not be reached for comment.

Comments (45)
  1. Always the Bridesmaid says:

    And I didn’t even get them a toaster.

    1. StraycatStrut says:

      The two now become ONE? Then how come she is not behind bars? Who is this idiot pastor that married them? What planet is he from? Appears to be a Blessed Wedding from the beginning.

  2. I Do says:

    I love a story with a happy ending, but this isn’t one of them

  3. Mary McFetiridge says:

    Nice move, Christi. Now your innocent children have you for a mother and a criminal step father. Child protection: please step in and place these children with grown-ups.

    1. Shelley says:

      No wonder they have said they are soul mates….both are criminals. Just hope the kids haven’t been ruined yet.


    too bad charlie sheen didn’t officiate with lindsey lohan as the maid of honor 🙂

  5. candice says:

    I think this is the worst reality show I’ve seen yet. Let’s quit giving them air time, it’s wasted air! I’m sick of these two!

  6. candice says:

    @Mary McFeitirdge: They also have a CRIMINAL for a mother. And yes, child protection needs to take these kids away!

  7. rjon says:

    If ever two people deserved each other!? The trainwreck continues.

  8. shirley says:

    I think they deserve each other. Stand by your man there Christi! !

  9. bergermeister says:

    …and you people think gays cheapen marriage

    1. CandyLee says:

      LOVE THIS!!!!

  10. bryan says:

    dumb and dumber get married!

  11. Willow says:

    I feel most sorry for their kids and other innocent relatives who have to put up with the constant press because of their actions.

  12. DENNY PROTHERO says:

    years ago i worked at one of denny’s dealerships…i had heard nothing but bad about him before he bought out the dealership…the man caused a lot of people to lose their jobs…i hope he has to rot in the worse cell in minnesota 🙂

  13. Victim Du Jour says:

    Funny how Denny Hecker filed a lawsuit against the banking system, then his business gets raided by the government before he was able to make a case.

    The banks were in on his crooked dealings too.

  14. Barbara says:

    Where does she get the money for a nanny?

  15. Kim says:

    This is another example of how ridiculous some people’s idea of “real life” is…you just CAN’T make this stuff up! I agree with all of you – I feel terrible the kids of these two goofs; I sincerely hope they turn out better than the parents. But boy, the decks sure are stacked against them… :p

  16. Sean says:

    I think Denny was concerned that Charlie was getting all the press. Yes, time to move on. Yesterday’s news…..

  17. Ins Sales says:

    Money? If Hecker has a prepaid term (not whole) life insurance policy that was bought at least two years before his bankruptcy he can rename her as beneficiary. While a whole life policy has value the bankruptcy trustee could have cashed in, a term policy has no cash value. HOWEVER, there are speculative companies that bet against the future, lending or buying future values such as potential insurance proceeds from heirs/beneficiaries (bought cheaply cents on the dollar).
    I would think Hecker would have purchased millions in prepaid term policies many years ago. And that is money my friend.
    Investment advisers to the rich are clever aren’t they?

  18. Murph says:

    Her recent photo was not very complimentary.There is definitely an angle to virtually anything involving Hecker.Decades ago I saw a sign splashed haphazardly on a very nice looking newer vehicle.”Buy from Hecker,you’ll need a wrecker”.All these years later,it still lingers! I think the news stories that have intimated that Denny’s problems were a recent thing were perhaps a wishful thought on the authors part.

    1. Howard to you says:

      hell dude – she’s still hot underneath for an ol’ hag now. Looky again 😉

  19. wise says:

    the wedding photos are lovely!l

  20. Stan says:

    Christi has had the Rowan’s fooled in Northfield for years, she has been using her families money and they believed her, she was wonderful she was rich and drove the BMW and worked for Kare11, (Executive).. She needs to be in prison.

  21. Sandy says:

    Sheen vs. Rowen/Hecker, which sickness is more pathetic? See how she feels when they don’t give out Viagra in prison! Got yourself a winner, both of you pos.

  22. Warden says:

    Better than Charlie Sheen’s rants —

    1. g8bbgg says:

      Charlie issue is Chemical dependency, you can be treated for that. Denny and Christi are plain nuts, you can be committed for that.

  23. rara62 says:

    You didn’t lose money Denny, you are being forced to give back money you stole.

  24. Follow The Money says:

    Loved their wedding photos above! This is obvoius isn’t it? She needs to be Mrs. Hecker to access the offshore cash he has socked away. They wouldn’t allow the marriage to happen earlier because Christine would have disappeared where the money is. Shes in custody for the duration; now they allow the marriage to happen. She will be a good tracer for the government to find Denny’s stash. If the Heckers think the feds won’t monitor her every transaction and move the new Mrs. H makes they are more foolish than I thought. If he doesn’t have 10% hidden offshore I would be very surprised. He’s no rocket scientist but you wouldn’t have to be one to figure this one out. Watch this one play out.

  25. Charlie S. says:


  26. Goob says:

    They look like siblings…cousins at least

  27. RSVP. No says:

    So where are they registered? Oh, I remember. Sherburne County jail.

    1. Jacob says:

      SEThatered on April 3, 2011 75000$ 30000$ Are you kidding me?Here at Stuttgart unevirsity (ger) a group of students constructed, made and installed a prototype. And it was less than 1000$ in total.And it was: carbon-fibre (blades), aluminium (support structure) and concrete (base).Replace cf with glass-fibres and it will be less than 600$.

  28. Hey there 'cco says:

    I guess even more than this non-story per se is the question — why do you give this BS ink and have this insane love affair with these 2 ‘cco?

    You feed their need and God already knows that was crazy big in the beginning. Let them just rot away peacefully eh

  29. g8bbgg says:

    More slop for the “Book” they say they are writing.

  30. Jerry says:

    Apparently neither one of them were, or are, there.

  31. KM says:

    Doesn’t the Hennepin County Attorney’s office (both their criminal and civil divisions) have more important things to so besides reviewing the legality of their marriage??

  32. Axel says:

    What a cute couple…from Hell.

  33. Dave Seavy says:

    Who carea? You have to lying thieving idiots on one hand, and prosecutors who would press charges against a ham sandwich if they could. The whole thing has turned into a circus.

  34. The Heckers Pastor says:

    The Wedding Music ” For Your Eyes Only

    Dollar Dance Anyone………….

  35. bunch of dunces says:

    To the County and to the State – we don’t care if they are married or not, the legality of it in your eyes and we do give a damkit about the tax money you are wasting away.
    If you actually think this is to somehow grant her some access, as spouse, to some crazy account somewhere you have totally fricken failed in doing your job anyway. You have been burning up our cash, grabbing every headline you can for self gain….and not discovered accounts by now? I think not but if so – you are incompetent I guess. Go away – take the Heckers wioth you – disappear for good. Today

  36. red says:

    Yesterday it was Charlie and his rants, then hearing about his kids being taken away, now this when I wake up at 4:30 am OMG will it ever end. BUt then Denny did they say they are in love

  37. vcolson says:

    The mug shots look like a movie poster.

    Two criminals married illegally by phone.
    Hmmmmm….where are all the ‘sanctity of marriage’ proponents?
    Gays can’t marry, but these two represent the ‘foundation’ of family values because they’re man and woman?

  38. Mookie says:

    This cat Denstar seems to have more than nine lives.

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