Getaway Driver Says Clark Rockefeller's Child Was Crying

Alleged getaway driver claims "Rockefeller" talked like Thurston Howell III.

ByABC News
June 1, 2009, 12:16 PM

BOSTON June 1, 2009 -- When she married the man who called himself Clark Rockefeller, Sandra Boss considered him to be a scion of the famous American dynasty and the smartest man she had ever met.

Their wedding in 1995, however, consisted of only eight people and he quickly revealed a volatile temper. She says he became so controlling and jealous of time she spent with friends that he would walk her to work each morning and then walk her home again in the evening.

By the time Boss took the stand today in his trial for allegedly kidnapping their daughter and giving police a fake name, Boss referred to him only as "the defendant." She said Rockefeller never earned a penny, and that he told fantastic tales about growing up a Rockefeller.

Boss, a graduate of the Harvard School of Business, said she never questioned her husband's identity during their marriage despite his tales of why he had such a famous name, but no family or money.

Rockefeller's true identity is a German immigrant whose real name is Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter. He has lived as Clark Rockefeller since 1993, police have said, and has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

When police told her they had arrested Rockefeller and recovered their daughter in Baltimore after a six day search last summer, her first question to police was, "Who is he? Did you find out who Clark really is?"

Boss said she and Rockefeller met at a "Clue" board game-themed party; he came dressed as Professor Plum, she as Miss Scarlet.

"He was very enthusiastic about getting to know me and getting romantically involved," she said.

Boss testified that Rockefeller claimed he had a childhood accident at the age of 2 or 3 that caused him to be mute. He said he was home schooled while living on Manhattan's ritzy Sutton Place, and was accepted at Yale at the age of 14, she said.

He allegedly identified his parents at George Percy Rockefeller and Mary Roberts, but they were killed in a car accident when he was 18 and he blamed himself for their deaths. Boss said he told a tale of arguing with his parents against driving the family's large car to visit him at Yale because he didnt' want to leave with them. Instead, they drove a small sports car which didn't survive the subsequent car crash, Boss testified. If they had driven the larger car, they would have lived, he claimed to his future wife.

Boss said Rockefeller told her that he had a fortune that was tied up in a lawsuit that involved his father.

After their marriage, money became a problem for Rockefeller, Boss said.

"The defendant was unhappy with the limited amount I earned," Boss testified. "I observed that he could get a job that paid and contribute." But he angrily claimed that he was doing "debt renegotiation" for poor countries and while it didn't pay, he suggested it would "lead to bigger things...that he could get a [government] appointment of some kind."

When asked if Rockefeller ever made any money, Boss shook her short brown hair and replied simply: "No."

Earlier in the day, the man who was recruited to drive the getaway car when Rockefeller allegedly kidnapped his daughter said Rockefeller practiced kidnapping the little girl by hurling duffle bags into the back of a livery vehicle the day before he snatched her off a Boston street.

Darryl Hopkins, the wheelman on that July day when Reigh "Snooks" Boss was thrown into a waiting black suburban by her father, said Rockefeller paid him $3,000 to "get rid of" the "cling-on" following the dad-daughter visit.

The person Rockefeller claimed was a "cling-on," or unwanted friend, was a social worker appointed by the court to supervise Rockefeller's visit with his 7-year-old daughter.

Hopkins said Rockefeller tossed his daughter into the car, banging her head on the door, and shoved the social worker to the ground.

"Snooks was crying. She was saying, 'I really whacked my head daddy.' Clark was saying: Go! Go! Go!'" Hopkins testified.

Hopkins peeled away from Marlboro Street and testified that social worker Harold Jaffe desperately clung to a door handle.

"I could feel him pulling on the door," Hopkins said. "Clark was holding the door shut."

Hopkins said that Rockefeller had asked him for a ride to Newport, R.I., to "hobnob" with Sen. Lincoln Chafee, a former Republican senator from Rhode Island.

"They were going sailing with the senator's family," Hopkins said, although there is no evidence that he had an appointment with the former senator.

The driver ridiculed Rockefeller for talking like "Thurston Howell the third," the aristocratic character on the old TV show "Gilligan's Island."

On an previous trip, Hopkins complained that Rockefeller had stopped at a Manhattan bar to eat a rich meal and didn't buy his driver anything.

"He had steak tartare," Hopkins told the court, mimicking a Thurston Howell III voice. "I was his driver. He should have bought me a sandwich"

On the day of the abduction, Hopkins said he dropped Rockefeller and Reigh off at a cab stand and waited for them at a Whole Foods parking lot. It was only later that afternoon when he saw an Amber Alert emblazoned on a Massachusetts highway sign and heard a radio news report announcing police were looking for Rockefeller that Hopkins said he realized that he had been part of a kidnapping ploy.