Clark Rockefeller Speaks From Jail in Boston

Rockefeller from jail: "I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to remember."


Aug. 25, 2008 — -- For the first time since allegedly kidnapping his 7-year-old daughter, Reigh, on July 27 during supervised visitation, the mystery man who calls himself Clark Rockefeller spoke with Boston Globe reporters from a Boston jail.

Though the interview, which the Globe published Sunday, shed some light on bits of Rockefeller's enigmatic past and his relationship with his daughter, Rockefeller claimed to not remember much of his life before his 1994 marriage to Sandra L. Boss.

"I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to remember," he said. "I don't lose much thought over it."

Click here to listen to The Boston Globe's interview.

The man, who has been identified by police as German immigrant Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, was also unapologetic about the alleged kidnapping, which sparked a six-day international manhunt.

"We had such a wonderful time," he said. "It was my six days of being, well, it was like a trance. It was so wonderful. It was so great to be with my daughter again."

When pushed for details about the incident, he stopped.

"Well, there's nothing I have to say about that," he said. "I love my daughter very much. But, you know, I lost, and I lost big time in Boston."

Rockefeller, called an "enigma" by the FBI, is thought to have used up to a dozen aliases in search of fame and fortune throughout his life in what Suffolk County District Attorney spokesman Dan Conley called "the largest con I have ever seen in my professional career." Rockefeller claims to speak "five or six or seven" languages.

Authorities believe the man known as Rockefeller came to the United States from Germany in an exchange program in 1978 at age 17, under the name Christian Gerhartstreiter. In the mid-1980s, as Christopher Chichester, he moved to San Marino, Calif.

In 1985, Rockefeller's landlords, John and Linda Sohus, disappeared and now Los Angeles County detectives want to question Rockefeller about their presumed slaying.

When reporters asked about his possible connection, Rockefeller's lawyer, Stephen B. Hrones, who sat in on the Globe's interview, simply told the reporters to "move on to something else."

Rockefeller had no reservations, however, about talking about his courtship of Sandra L. Boss in 1993.

They met, he said, at a "Clue party" in which guests come dressed as various Clue characters.

During this period of his life, Rockefeller said he worked as a researcher whose subject "was whatever [his] clients deemed worthy" and could have been "literally anything." He could not remember the names of any clients, however.

He proposed to Boss in 1994, but the couple never got a marriage license.

"There is some disagreement as to who was supposed to take care of the legalities of the wedding, the marriage," Rockefeller said. "Ultimately, neither one of us took care of it."

In 2001, Boss gave birth to Reigh, a development that surprised Rockefeller.

"I had never, never thought of becoming a father," he said, "and then suddenly this little bundle came along. ... It made a huge, huge impact on me. It was a life-changing experience."

During the Globe's interview, Rockefeller spoke at length about caring for Reigh, including teaching her to read the newspaper by age 2½. By three, he said, she could read the scientific journal Nature. The pair also read Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem "The Daisy" repeatedly.

Rockefeller said the marriage began to fall apart in 2006.

He said he would sit at "the dining table in the evening, and everyone is tired, and somewhat bored, and the discussion is not really going anywhere."

When Rockefeller and Boss began divorce proceedings in December, he refused to provide proof of his identity. That denial, combined with a damaging report by a court-appointed advocate for Reigh, led Rockefeller to lose custody of the child.

"Everything about the report was negative," Rockefeller said. "There was not one single positive line about me in the report. Nothing. Nothing whatsoever. Even witnesses who had testified on my behalf apparently gave negative testimony on me."

Though authorities believe Rockefeller had planned for months to kidnap his daughter, as evidenced by his purchase of a $400,000 home in Baltimore with cash and under another assumed name, he said he bought the house simply to "live quietly."

Despite his arrest, as the center of an internationally reported mystery, Rockefeller seems to have found the fame that authorities believe he was seeking since he entered the United States three decades ago.

Other inmates have even asked for his autograph.

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