February 25, 2009


Wouldn't You Like To Be A Rockefeller Too?

Up to my chin in bubbles catching up on my Vanity Fair reading the other night (the tub is the only place nobody bugs me - much), I followed the fascinating, ridiculous, audacious story of Christian Gerhartsreiter - or the name you might more readily recognize, Clark Rockefeller.

You know, if you're going to go for it, you might as well go big. A con man (and perhaps murderer), he was finally caught recently after a globe-trotting charade that lasted over 30 years, included working for big investment houses (he has zip education, though his innate intelligence is pretty marvelous to read about), marriage to a hoity-toity upper crust princess - her Harvard degree apparently no shield for her blindness in marrying a guy with no discernible job, no source of income, and no social security number. Early on in his bogus career, it was noted that he had a fascination with Thurston Howell III. From Gilligan's Island. If that doesn't scream 'authentic', I don't know what does.

I bring this up now for two reasons: the story, linked here, is fascinating. And I learned the other day that he's pleading insanity. After reading the piece, you're going to think there's a whole lot of crazy people involved alright - but he ain't one of them. This is going to get interesting.

I also had a niggly little thing in the back of my head about the whole fake-Rockefeller thing. Found it. Eight years ago, Vanity Fair had a whole piece on another faker, Christopher Rocancourt. He assumed the name Christopher Rockefeller. And tricked a lot of people out of a lot of cash. Rich people must be really stupid. I mean, can't anyone find a family tree of one of the most renowned names in the world and figure out if there's a Christopher or a Clark growing down a branch? I mean, come one. Google's been around for ages now. And the library can be pretty useful too. Rocancourt was actually caught in British Columbia, and is now out of prison. What's he up to? You won't believe it - read here.

Ah, maybe it's just me. I grew up with the most distrustful man on the planet. My father thought everyone had a scam, and everyone was full of crap. He'd sort you out with a single look of his flinty grey eyes - and I can guarantee these two-bit (or to be fair, four-bit - they were pretty good) hustlers wouldn't have lasted ten seconds around here. I watched more than one charmer get bounced down the front steps.

Watch over the next couple of years. I think we're going to see more of this rather than less - but if you fall in love, keep your Amex card to yourself.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Arlene said...

Amazing.

February 25, 2009 2:59 PM  

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