The Man in the Rockefeller Suit

The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter
The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter. Viking. Jun. 2011. c.336p. ISBN 9780670022748. $26.95. CRIME
When the story of a parental kidnapping in Boston went out over the newswires in 2008, it seemed initially like a routine family tragedy. But it took strange twists as time passed. The father, wealthy businessman Clark Rockefeller, was not who he seemed to be. In fact, no one at all knew who he was. This episode ended the long career of professional imposter and con man Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, originally from the tiny German village of Bergen. His ambition to emigrate to America and become a filmmaker took him from Boston to California and back. Charm, arrogance, and a wickedly sharp mind helped him create his personae but also enabled him to maintain his lifestyle by stealing, swindling…and maybe worse. In 1985, John and Linda Sohus, Gerhartsreiter's roommates, disappeared, and Gerhartsreiter was charged with murdering John on March 15, 2011, 26 years after the crime. While the subject's aloofness and arrogance keep the reader from rooting for him, one almost has to admire the chutzpah.
VERDICT The talented Mr. Rockefeller could have come right out of a Hitchcock film. For crime buffs and fans of flimflam.
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