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Christian Gerhartsreiter
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    (February 21, 1961- )
    Born in Siegsdorf, Germany
    Murderer and serial impostor
    After arriving in the US in his teens, lived under a variety of aliases
    Eventually claimed to be Clark Rockefeller, a descendent of John D. Rockefeller’s brother William
    As Rockefeller, married Sandra Boss, a senior executive at the consulting firm McKinsey & Company (1995)
    Convicted of custodial kidnapping of his daughter with Boss (June 12, 2009)
    Sentenced to four to five years in prison
    Charged with the 1985 murder of Jonathan Sohus in San Marino, California (2012)
    Convicted of first degree murder (April 10, 2013)
    Sentenced to 27 years to life in prison (August 15, 2013)
    When not grafting himself to the Rockefeller family tree, he would claim that former child actress Ann Carter was his mother.
    He married an American woman to get American citizen, then left her the day after the wedding (1981).
    Three years after Jonathan Sohus disappeared in California, Gerhartsreiter appeared in Greenwich, Connecticut, and sold Sohus’ pickup truck; he disappeared under another alias before police could question him about Sohus.
    He was fired from a job at a brokerage firm when it was discovered that the social security number he had provided actually belonged to David ‘Son of Sam’ Berkowitz.
    Boss said that he became emotionally abusive during their relationship.
    He brought to the marriage little wealth (explaining that his father’s estate had been eaten up in litigation) and no salary (he claimed to work on debt restructuring for third world nations and said it would be ‘immoral’ to take money from such poor countries), but he did have a fantastic collection of modern art – or more accurately, a collection of fantastic forgeries of modern art.
    Although Boss earned all their income, he insisted on controlling the family finances.
    When Boss decided to divorce him, she hired a private investigator, who discovered that there was no Clark Rockefeller (but who failed to determine the real identity of her husband).
    In the divorce settlement, he agreed to give Boss custody of their daughter in return for a $800,000, three supervised visits a year, and no further investigation into his background.
    During one of the visits, he pushed aside the supervising social worker, grabbed his daughter, jumped into a waiting SUV and sped off (July 27, 2008).
    One of the key pieces of evidence in convincing the jury at his murder trial: when Sohus’ remains were found, they had been buried inside bags from USC and the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee – schools that Gerhartsreiter had briefly attended.
    His life was described by the Boston district attorney as ‘the longest con I’ve seen in my professional career.’
    He managed a perfect Eastern prep school accent.
    He knew how to dress the part of a Rockefeller.
    He had a knack for ingratiating himself with the upper crust.
    He became a member of several exclusive clubs in New York and Boston.
    Journalist Mark Seal noted, ‘He had a way of drawing you in more and more with these incredible stories. People would say, ‘He was eccentric, but I expected him to be. He’s a Rockefeller.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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