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Fresh Details on Mystery Man Clark Rockefeller as Trial Opens

Eleven jurors selected in abduction trial of man known as Clark Rockefeller.

ByABC News
May 25, 2009, 4:36 PM

BOSTON, May 26, 2009— -- When the man who calls himself Clark Rockefeller was captured for kidnapping his 7-year-old daughter last year, his ex-wife had an urgent question for the police.

Grabbing the arm of a Boston police commander, Sandra Boss wanted to know, "Who is he? Did you find out who Clark really is?"

By then, Deputy Police Superintendent Tom Lee had learned that Rockefeller's real name was Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter and that he was also being eyed in connection with the unsolved homicide of a California couple. He had used the name Rockefeller since 1993 while claiming to be a physicist, an art dealer and a mathematician, police said.

Today 11 jurors, six men and five women, were selected and another five are expected to be empanelled Wednesday. Opening arguments are sscheduled to begin Thursday morning.

Gerhartsreiter emerged from 10 months in jail today when jury selection began in his abduction trial.

Clean shaven and freshly-groomed in a gold-button Navy blue sport coat, a red tie, pressed khaki pants and loafers without socks, he looked every bit the moneyed trust fund blueblood that he pretended to be for decades. He listened silently as the lawyers went through the long process of selecting his jury.

That was in stark contrast to his disheveled appearance during the time he was held at Boston's Nashua Street jail. One prison source said Rockefeller had grown a long "Grizzly-Adams-like beard" at the jail.

Despite the fact that one of the charges against him is giving police a false name, his lawyer argued that the defendant be referred to as Clark Rockefeller.

The well-coiffed defendant listened as Superior Court Judge Frank Gaziano ruled that prosecutors could refer to him as Gerhartsreiter, while his defense attorneys could call him Rockefeller.

For his own part, Graziano declared he will refer to the 48-year-old accused conman, who was indicted as Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter a.k.a. Clark Rockefeller, as "the defendant."

Also revealed in court today is the fact that one of the witnesses to be called in the trial is Amy Jersild Duhnke, who married Rockefeller in 1981 in Madison, Wis., so the German immigrant could get his green card. Divorce papers filed 11 years later show that Rockefeller left her the day after the wedding.