Friday, February 22, 2013

Who is Clark Rockefeller?

The kidnapping of Reigh Rockefeller in 2009 sparked a huge interest in her father and kidnapper, Clark Rockefeller.  Was he really the person that he seemed to be?  Or was he someone else -- an emotional vampire of the deadliest kind?

In fact, Rockefeller's true identity is Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, who was actually born in the small town of Bergen in Germany to parents Simon and Ermengard Gerhartsreiter.  As a teenager, he came to the United States, and soon began using aliases and adopting different identities.  At one period of time, Gerhartsreiter lived in San Marino, California under the name Christopher Chichester.  The high-society set there had been so taken with him that he'd actually run for political office and had his own television talk show, Inside San Marino.  During his time there, it is thought that he murdered his landlords, Jonathan Sohus and his wife, Linda Sohus, who had gone missing during this time.  Jonathan Sohus's skeletal remains were found years later, but the whereabouts and status of Linda Sohus have never been determined.

Eventually, Gerhartsreiter made his way to New York and gained membership into a prestigious church where he mingled with the movers and shakers of society.  He introduced himself as "Clark Rockefeller" and led hundreds of people to believe that he was part of the famous Rockefeller clan.  While still impersonating a member of the prestigious Rockefeller family, Gerhartsreiter met and married Sandra Boss, graduate of Harvard Business school and successful businesswoman, and the two had a daughter together.  Living off of his wife's income, Clark Rockefeller became a "house husband" and dedicated his life to the home, while the family lived off of Sandra Boss's hard-earned money as a business consultant.  They had homes in both Boston and New Hampshire, and lived an opulent lifestyle which forced Sandra to work even harder in order to keep up with Rockefeller's profligate spending habits. 

Finally, Sandra Boss had had enough of her husband's emotional abuse, controlling behavior, and financial recklessness.  She owned up to the fact that her husband had been deceiving her.  She filed for divorce, and gained custody of Reigh in exchange for $800,000 and the engagement ring that Gerhartsreiter had given her when they had agreed to marry -- a price that Clark Rockefeller himself had set in exchange for his daughter.

In July of 2008, Gerhartsreiter orchestrated a plan to kidnap their daughter which involved an elaborate ruse to separate Reigh from her chaperone, abscond the girl, and leave the city with her.  The two were found about a week later in Baltimore, where Gerhartsreiter was arrested and Reigh was returned to her mother.  Many people have been fascinated by the story, and wondering who the real Clark Rockefeller is.  Christian Gerhartsreiter has longed for fame and attention during the course of his entire life of lies, and now it looks like his "wish" has come true since the kidnapping of his daughter.  I'm sure that more information about Clark Rockefeller (or Christian Gerhartsreiter)'s life will come to light as his murder trial begins.

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