Tuesday, August 5, 2008

High Crimes and Misnomers

For the past week, I’ve been completely fascinated with a real-life Lifetime Original Movie that’s unfolding in Boston. I’ve considered writing about it but put it off because I figured no one else would care. Then I remembered I don’t care what you think, and decided its high time you heard this story.

It’s the story of a father who kidnapped his daughter amidst a nasty custody dispute. Sadly a common occurrence, but what’s unique about this case is it involves false identities, yachts to Peru and a possible connection to an unsolved murder in California.

Oh, and Segways. It also involves Segways.

I first got intrigued when I was reading a Boston news site two weekends ago to check on the Red Sox. I saw an Amber Alert had been issued for a girl named Reigh Rockerfeller who’d been kidnapped in the Back Bay. The Back Bay is an anciently upscale neighborhood in Boston where all the old money lives. And obviously, “Rockerfeller” is about as blue blood as you get. This was odd.

But wait – Google tool bar informed me that the Standard Oil family spells it “Rockefeller.” Maybe this girl was a mere commoner after all.

Over the next few days, I start finding out more. A lot more. The Web site’s spell check was off – the girl’s name is in fact “Rockefeller.” Reigh Storrow Mills Boss Rockefeller to be exact. That’s five names, two of which (Storrow being the other) are navy blue blood in the northeast.

The girl’s mother is a Stanford and Harvard educated marketing executive who divides her time between Boston and London and sits on the board of Edith Wharton’s estate. OK. Big money. Check. But the father, who snatched the kid…He’s another story.

His name is Clark Rockefeller, but no one can figure out if he’s one of the Rockefellers. He’s always been vague. He’s also gone by a host of different aliases. He claims he owns a yacht on Long Island and police think he’s taking the daughter on it to Peru.

This guy is quite the character. He acts like he comes from money – speaking in a faux British accent, dressing like an uber-preppy and riding everywhere on a Segway. Yet no one knows anything about his family or where he comes from. He claims to be a scientist, but apparently doesn’t work. Information leaks that at least one reason he and his wife got divorced is because he lied about his background. He lost custody of the girl because he wouldn’t show ID at a hearing.

Finally, over the weekend, the police catch the guy. He’d taken his daughter to Baltimore and rented an apartment in a converted carriage house in a tony neighborhood. He had a boat in Baltimore, but it weren’t no yacht. He was arrested and taken back to Boston.

Now, homicide detectives in LA are flying to Boston to interview Rockefeller – if that’s his real name – because his fingerprints were somehow connected to an unsolved murder there. The little girl and her mom, by the way, have been reconnected and are said to be doing just fine.

Isn’t this crazy!? I know I’m not supposed to feel this way, but the fact that fabulously rich people with questionable pasts are involved make this case ten times more interesting. I’m not gonna lie. And I didn’t even mention how the father dragged a social worker behind his car when he first kidnapped the girl, or the mom’s emotional plea video that the Boston Police Department posted online.

Call me a sicko, but I really hope this guy turns out the Zodiac Killer or something. If he’s just some failed actor or White Snake’s original drummer, I'm going to be really disappointed.

You're totally the one on the upper left, aren't you "Rockefeller"?


words words words said...

I bet this dude kidnapped the Lindbergh baby, too. I can't wait to turn this into a movie starring Eddie Murphy as all this guy's identities!

Falwless said...

cannot. stop. laughing.

I love the ending of this post. Hahahahahaha. Seriously. Ohmy.

It's no wonder you work as a reporter, Liz, you have a gift for what I like to call "THE WRITING, GOOD."

Seriously, this case is NUTSO! I am intrigued! And, please, whatever you do, don't ever not bring us Lifetime-Movie-Worthy news items. I live for stuff like this!

I'm gonna go read this again so I can laugh some more when I get to the end. I'll pretend it's the first time I've ever read it.

Man I have no life.

Red said...

That's crazy, man.

And what's the deal with Segways? They make you look like such a 'tard.

MelO said...

Whoa! What an intense story! So glad the little girl is ok... but am I the only one who would NOT be disappointed if this psycho ended up being the original drummer from White Snake? I mean, seriously.... what a THS episode that would be!!

Stefanie said...

As I am watching this case play out near by, I have to admit i have become a little obsessed. I do however, think you left out some crucial information (or maybe not even remotely crucial, but little fun facts i liked).

First off, Rockefeller "has the same fingerprints" as the guy they think murdered the california couple, Christopher Chichester (chichester as in a Chai latte. what kind of john hancock is that!?). So he is the same person as Chichester? they won't say. But how can you have the same fingerprints and not be the same person?

Oh and a Chris Chichester applied for a license in California using a passport for a german citizen named Christian Gerhard Streider in the 80's. Streider is not as cool as Rockefeller, or even Chichester (who by the way claimed to be the son of Bristish aristocrats).

The last time this Chris Chichester was seen was when he was pulled over in Greenwhich CT driving a car that was registered to the dead guy in California. Why he wasn't arrested back then I can give no explanations other than... it was the 80's.

And the best part? Whenever they ask Mr Rockefeller questions, he is quite cooperative, but answers with "I don't remember". But don't worry, his lawyer doesn't claim that he has amnesia,.... Clark just simply can't remember.

Your article probably would not have been as entertaining if you added all these details, but I can be the boring person on your blog, I'm ok with that.
Plus.. this story is almost as good as an episode of Passions.

Wow,.. sorry that was long. You told me I should post some day. Who's fault is that.