Call him crazy as a Rockefeller, but in May the multiple-alias man formerly known as Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter will use a temporary insanity defense when he first surfaces in court . That will be in Boston, where he will face charges he kidnapped his 7-year-old daughter from her mother last year, according to the Associated Press.
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Years ago the German-born Gerhartsreiter found that "Clark Rockefeller" rolled off American tongues much easier than his given name -- and didn't hurt when crashing schmanzy parties in New York and Boston. Before then, however, this social shape-shifter was known in California as "Chris Chichester," and is suspected of worming his way into the confidence of a young San Marino couple who disappeared in 1985. That couple, Jonathan and Linda Sohus, are thought by some L.A. County authorities to have been murdered by Gerh -- Rockefeller.
Gerhartsreiter (r) Photo: Essdras M. Suarez/POOL
"Suffice it to say," said Rockefeller's lead lawyer, Jeffrey Denner, "that there are independent experts who will testify that he was suffering from a serious and long-standing mental illness at the time of the alleged offenses in this case."
And suffice to say that Rockefeller might well be whisked to L.A. County as soon as his curtain-raiser in Boston closes.