Christopher Nolan’s brother was accused of being a hitman who murdered US financier

Christopher Nolan’s brother Matthew Nolan was previously accused of being a hitman in 2009.

The famed director, whose 12th feature film Oppenheimer arrives in cinemas this week, has two brothers; his younger brother Jonathan Nolan (known for co-creating Westworld) and an older sibling called Matthew Nolan.

The latter was previously arrested and charged in 2009 for the murder of accountant Robert Cohen in Costa Rica. A judge, however, refused to extradite Nolan to Costa Rica to stand trial on kidnapping and murder charges, ruling that there wasn’t sufficient evidence that he was a contracted killer.


As summarised in court documents, a man named Luis Alonso Douglas Mejia was initially convicted of the murder in 2005, but Costa Rica claimed Nolan was involved as a “hired killer”.

Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan pictured in 2018. CREDIT: Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

“Costa Rica contends that Mejia contacted the accused [Nolan] and for a still undetermined amount of money, hired his services, both of them planning the manner in which they would deprive the victim of his freedom, in order to later murder him,” a summary on casetext reads.

As reported by Q Costa Rica in 2014, Nolan is said to have been introduced to Cohen in 2005 by millionaire gem dealer Robert Breska. It’s claimed Nolan was under the alias “Matthew McCall Oppenheimer” – in what’s believed to have been an attempt to connect him to the Oppenheimer diamond family.

Court papers read: “Breska told Cohen this man was a multi-millionaire and a member of a family that was dedicated to the jewellery business.”

Nolan was never extradited to Costa Rica due to insufficient evidence to support the charges of Aggravated Kidnapping and Aggravated Homicide.


He was, however, later sentenced to 14 months in prison in 2010 for trying to break out of the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he was being held while a US judge reviewed Nolan’s alleged murder charges.

As reported by NBC Chicago, Nolan was found with “a razor, a harness, a metal clip (to unlock handcuffs) and 31 feet of rope made from bedsheets”. He later pleaded guilty to possessing contraband in jail and obstruction of justice.

Matthew’s brothers Christopher and Jonathan have never commented on the incident.