Police say Rockefeller is really a German immigrant named Christian Gerhartsreiter. California authorities want to question him about a couple who disappeared in 1985.
Gerhartsreiter has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping his daughter, Reigh Boss, on a Boston street during a supervised visit in July after losing custody of her to his ex-wife, Sandra Boss. A Berlin, Conn. family says they believe Gerhartsreiter lived with them in 1980 as a visiting student from Germany.
In a jail interview with The Boston Globe, Gerhartsreiter said he decided to take Reigh the day before the supervised visit, but police say he spent months planning the alleged kidnapping. He was captured in early August in Baltimore, where police said was hoping to start a new life.
"We had such a wonderful time," Gerhartsreiter, 48, said in the interview in the Globe's Sunday editions. "It was my six days of being - well, it was like a trance. It was so wonderful. It was so great to be with my daughter again."
During the interview, supervised by his attorney Stephen Hrones, Gerhartsreiter insisted his name was Clark Rockefeller. He portrayed himself as a doting father who read poetry to his daughter and taught her to read newspapers and scientific journals before she was 3.
Representatives of the Rockefeller family say Gerhartsreiter is not related to the descendants of John D. Rockefeller. He said his Rockefeller name was given to him by a man named Harry Copeland, who he described as his godfather from New York who died in the late 1990s.
Hrones deflected any questions about Gerhartsreiter's life before 1993, including the time authorities say he spent renting a guesthouse in San Marino, a wealthy Los Angeles suburb.
California authorities want to question Gerhartsreiter about the 1985 disappearance of newlyweds Jonathan and Linda Sohus. The guesthouse was owned by the mother of Jonathan Sohus.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has labeled Gerhartsreiter a "person of interest," but he has refused to talk to their investigators.
Gerhartsreiter declined to go into detail about the alleged kidnapping, saying only that he loved his daughter and that "you know, I lost, I lost big time in Boston."
When he and Sandra Boss divorced in December, he refused to provide proof of his identity and the court awarded custody of the daughter to Sandra Boss.
Gerhartsreiter refused to detail his decision not to show proof of his identity during the divorce proceedings and said he couldn't remember entire chapters of his life.
"I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to remember," he said. "I don't lose much thought over it."
"I don't have much family," he said. "I don't have any family."
In Bergen, Germany, Alexander Gerhartsreiter has told Boston Herald reporters that the man in custody is his brother, who moved to Connecticut as a student and never returned, and had not been in touch with his family since 1985.
During the Globe interview, Gerhartsreiter boasted of speaking seven languages and said he was working on a historical novel about the roots of Israeli statehood.
Gerhartsreiter also was interviewed by NBC's "Today." Hrones turned down requests by The Associated Press to be included in the interview.
Gary Koops, a spokesman for Boss, said she was focused on her daughter. "In light of Mr. Gerhartsreiter's history of deceitful behavior, any statements made by him should be viewed with extreme skepticism," Koops told the Globe.
Investigators say they are still digging into Gerhartsreiter's past, which they say is built on lies.