crimesider

'Crockefeller' Con Man Trial Starts Today

(AP Photo/Essdras Suarez)

"Clark Rockefeller" during his arraignment at a Boston municipal court, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2008.

BOSTON (CBS/AP) The man who calls himself Clark Rockefeller is headed to trial and, according to his lawyers, is likely to use an insanity defense.

Rockefeller's real name is Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter - a German national - who authorities say has used a string of aliases since the 1970s to work his way into wealthy circles in New York, Los Angeles and Boston.

Jury selection in Gerhartsreiter's kidnapping trial begins Tuesday in Suffolk Superior Court.

He is accused of fleeing with his 7-year-old daughter during a visit in Boston last July. Their disappearance touched off an international manhunt. Father and daughter were found in Baltimore six days later, and the girl was unharmed.

His defense lawyers, who have repeatedly said that Gerhartsreiter was distraught after losing custody of his daughter to his ex-wife, Sandra Boss, are reportedly planning an insanity defense. They say he is not criminally responsible because of psychological problems including bipolar disorder and depression.

Prosecutors say he is perfectly sane. They describe him as a longtime con man who earned the confidence of people in California, Wisconsin and New England since coming to the U.S. from Germany 30 years ago.

California authorities have labeled him a "person of interest" in the 1985 disappearance of a newlywed couple from San Marino, Calif. He has not been charged in that case.
  • Ryan Smith

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