Massachusetts Man With a California History: The Saga of Clark Rockefeller

The tangled story of the Boston man who claims to be known as “Clark Rockefeller”, continues to fascinate. This is quite a story. For those of you who may not know, Rockefeller first splashed onto the front pages (at least in Boston) when he allegedly kidnapped his young daughter, Reigh, while on a supervised custodial visit with her in July. The kidnapping caper itself was pretty creative: Rockefeller, lying to a limousine driver about wanting to safeguard his daughter from a person he recently concluded was a danger to her, arranged to have the limousine driver show up at a predetermined time at a certain date on Boston Common, then pushed aside a Department of Social Services (DSS) social worker who was accompanying his visit with his daughter, (the person he told the limo driver he was allegedly trying to protect her from,) threw his daughter into the limo, and had the driver speed away. That set off a massive, multi-state manhunt for Rockefeller and his daughter, complete with televised pleas for the girl’s safe return by her mother. Rockefeller, with his daughter, was apprehended by police in Baltimore, Maryland a few days later.

But that was just the beginning, and it makes the kidnapping caper on Boston Common seem very small by comparison. As part of the manhunt to locate Rockefeller, police discovered a fingerprint on an old application for an SEC brokerage license, under another name, which matched Rockefeller’s fingerprint. Subsequent investigation has uncovered that “Rockefeller” has apparently operated under over at least twenty five years under various aliases, including: A German student named “Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter”, who lived with families in Connecticut until he wore out their hospitality; “Christopher Chichester”, which he allegedly used while living in San Marino, California; “Christopher Crow”, which he allegedly used while working as a bond trader in the late 1980’s in New York (where he reportedly never closed a deal,) and “Clark Rockefeller” in Boston. At almost all times, wherever he was and whatever identity he assumed, Rockefeller allegedly painted himself as either a millionaire or the son of European royalty. Now, he is not only behind bars on multiple charges related to the alleged kidnapping of his own daughter, but his name is front and center in a long-unsolved mystery from California, allegedly involving the murder of a young couple who were his landlords in San Marino, California, in the mid-1980’s.

What crimes, if any, might Rockefeller be guilty of? I’ll address that in my next post.