'Rockefeller' Was Ultimate Pro of Cons

Regret at losing his 'one true thing' led to kidnapping
By Victoria Floethe,  Newser User
Posted Dec 7, 2008 11:29 AM CST
Christian Gerhartsreiter aka "Clark Rockefeller" is seen during his arraignment on kidnapping charges, Sept. 29, 2008, in Boston. A judge set bail at $50 million cash.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – How did a German student reinvent himself as the creepy Clark Rockefeller? After lifting the drawl and manner of the millionaire on Gilligan’s Island, accused kidnapper Christian Gerhartsreiter embarked on a 30-year con, Mark Seal recounts in Vanity Fair. He became a suspect in a double murder, charmed his way into Wall Street jobs, and hoodwinked Boston society—before his daughter came along.

Rockefeller, who gave up custody rights in exchange for $800,000 and no investigation of his true identity, deeply regretted losing his daughter—“the one true thing in his life.” Says one friend, “I think the moment he took that money he started planning on how to get his daughter back.” Which he did, only to get caught in what would be his last con.