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'Rockefooler' identified as Bavarian man

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'Rockefooler' identified as Bavarian man
Photo: DPA
10:22 CEST+02:00
A con man who passed himself off as a member of the US Rockefeller dynasty until he was charged with abducting his daughter has been identified as Christian Gerhartsreiter of Bavaria.

Authorities have been struggling to unravel the true identity of the mystery man known as Clark Rockefeller since his arrest last weekend. Rockefeller is being held in a Boston jail for allegedly kidnapping his seven-year-old daughter, Reigh Boss, who normally resides with her mother, Sandra Boss, in London.

Now it's emerged that Rockefeller, who has taken on several guises including that of a British aristocrat over the past three decades, is actually Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, and hails from a small village in Bavaria.

A reporter for the Boston Herald received a positive identification after showing photos of Rockefeller to Alexander Gerhartsreiter, who said that the con man is his long-lost brother.

Gerhartsreiter said that Christian left the family's home in Bavaria in 1961 when he was 17 and had not been seen since.

He is believed to have traveled to Connecticut, where he lived with a family as the German exchange student, Christian Gerhart Reiter.

In 1985, he is alleged to have reinvented himself as Christopher Crowe Mountbatten Chichester, son of a British aristocrat. He lived in the guest house of a young married couple in San Marino, California, and is still listed as a suspect in their disappearance and possible murder.

In 1993, he reemerged in New York's high society as Clark Rockefeller, when he met his future wife, the Harvard graduate Sandra Boss. She gave birth to their daughter, Reigh, in 2001.

Rockefeller, or “Rockefooler” as he was dubbed by the New York Post claims not to remember anything about his life before 1993.

“There is so much stuff coming out from so many sources, I don't know what to believe,” the con man's lawyer, Stephen Hrones, told the Boston Globe on Friday.

In another interview with the paper, Rockefeller's supposed brother, Alexander Gerhartsreiter, speculated on the motive behind the trail of lies.

“I think Germany was too small for him,” Gerhartsreiter said. “He wanted to live in the big country and maybe get famous. Now that I see all this, he's really famous.”

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