Monday, August 18, 2008

When is a Con Man more than a Con Man?

by Pat Brown

Super-con man Clark Rockefeller was a good father and would never hurt his daughter, so his ex-wife
Sandra Boss claimed as she tearfully begged for her child's kidnapper to bring the little girl home.

"We both love her dearly and have only her best interests and well-being in our hearts. I ask you now, please, please bring Snooks back," said the child's mother (pictured above), using the child's nickname. "There has to be a better way for us to solve our differences than this way."

I received a number of terse e-mails after I did a few news commentaries making the point that since Rockefeller was clearly a psychopath (as he surely displayed all the traits of one), it should not be assumed that his daughter was safe with him just because he claimed to love her and had not been violent with her in the past.

Was it it unfair of me to conclude that because the man was a psychopath, a pathological liar, a con artist, and a kidnapper, he might also employ violence against his own child should she begin to annoy him or get in his way? Is the kind of psychopath who uses fast talk to charm people into giving him what he wants, the type who would commit violent acts as well?

"He's not a violent person,"
his lawyer said, standing outside of a Boston jail after conferring with Rockefeller. "There's no evidence of violence in his life, absolutely no record."

Clark Rockefeller AKA Christopher Chitchester AKA Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter (his real name) is now being investigated for the 1985 double murder of the landlords of the guesthouse he rented behind their San Marino home in Southern California.

It seems the newlywed landlords, Johnathan and Linda Sohus, went off on a honeymoon to Europe and were never seen again. Their bones, however, were discovered buried on their property nine years later by a company digging a swimming pool for the new owners. A postcard, supposedly penned by the honeymooners, was sent from France at coincidentally the same time Rockefeller was visiting the country.

In 1985, there is no question that folks thought Rockefeller was quirky, maybe even crooked, but it is likely they never considered him dangerous or violent. Because he was gregarious and charming, those who met him probably thought he would use his wits, not weapons, to achieve his lofty goals.

Sandra Boss probably now realizes how lucky she was to get Snooks home in one piece. A psychopath is not always serial killer and is not always a violent criminal, but by the time you figure out what kind of creep he is, it may be way too late.

8 comments:

Leah said...

My sister is separated from a sociopath, psychopath, or whatever you want to call him. Even though he has physically and mentally abused my sister, she is convinced he would never hurt their 3 year old son. She and I got into a hugh disagreement about this just yesterday. There is no doubt in my mind that if the circumstances were just right, he would indeed harm their son and even kill him. If for no other reason than to cause my sister pain and suffering. The anguish that my family and I have suffered because of this is undescribable.

Patty Beeken said...

What people don't get is even if Gerhartsreiter has not physically harmed this child, for the rest of her life she will have to deal with the psychological problems that these children face.
Until you get to the heart of what happens when a non custodial parent steals a child most don't think about all of the things that child is denied during the "on the run phase" of the kidnapping.
Many children are receiving poor nutrition, no Dr. Care or schooling, while living in some type of haphazard housing.
We have even had small children (age 6) who were left alone during the day while daddy went to work.

Colette said...

Only the body of the husband was found in during the dig for the pool. The wife has never been found.

Pat Brown said...

Sadly, that child now has to live with the fact her father is a kidnapper, a psychopath and possibly a murderer.

I think it is so important for women to wait a number of years AFTER marriage to get pregnant to be sure that the man is someone a child would be proud to have for a father.

Pat Brown said...

Sadly, that child now has to live with the fact her father is a kidnapper, a psychopath and possibly a murderer.

I think it is so important for women to wait a number of years AFTER marriage to get pregnant to be sure that the man is someone a child would be proud to have for a father.

Leah said...

Pat, that is so true. My sister knew her husband less than a year before they married, and they were married less than a year when she got pregnant.

Anonymous said...

http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/17333373/detail.html?treets=bos&tml=bos_12pm&ts=T&tmi=bos_12pm_1_11000208292008

Anonymous said...

http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/17316983/detail.html