Chat transcript

The Clark Rockefeller case

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size +
August 12, 2008

Globe reporter Michael Levenson answered readers' questions about the increasingly curious Clark Rockefeller case.

Michael_Levenson Hi all, Michael Levenson here, from the Globe's metro staff. I'll be happy to answer questions about the Clark Rockefeller case, so please send them my way.
hellogrl Does anyone know if "Clark" has had plastic surgery? His nose in the teenager picture looks alot different than it does in the more recent photos...
Michael_Levenson Hi Hellogrl. Interesting question. I haven't heard anyone talk about him having had plastic surgey, but it's worth looking into. More about this case seems to develop every day.
tallsteve Do you think that this guy has mentalissues and should be subjected to a psychiatric eval soon?
Michael_Levenson It's a serious question. I'd be interested to talk to psychologists about the type of person that engages in this sort of deception and assumes different identities.
Michael_Levenson So far, I haven't heard anyone official suggest that he has a mental illness, however. And Clark Rockefeller's attorney has not suggested that his client suffers from any mental illness, either.
curious any news if he is divorced from the first wife? is the first wife guilty of polygamy?
Michael_Levenson I believe his first wife did obtain a divorce several years after they were married in 1981 in Wisconsin. She is now remarried and still living in Wisconsin.
mysteriew Question Most of the media is saying that Rockefeller came here as an exchange student
Michael_Levenson right. the term "exchange student" is not really apt, however, because he was not part of any formal exchange program. By his family's account and the accounts of the families who hosted him in Berlin, Conn. in the late 1970s, he had come to the US on his own, seeking fame and fortune.
tallsteve is the evidence strong for his connection to the murder in CA?
Michael_Levenson the officials in California are saying they are still a long way from bringing charges in the presumed slayings of John and Linda Sohus, the young married couple that had rented a guesthouse to Clark Rockefeller in the early 1980s.
Michael_Levenson For starters, the bones that were unearthed behind the Sohus home in 1994 are presumed to be those of John Sohus, but have never been definitively identified. Police have said they are performing DNA tests on those bones to try to make a definitive match.
tallsteve what did you htink of he lawyer's statemetn about teh acceptbility of using aliases?
Michael_Levenson (Rockefeller's laywer said yesterday that there's nothing wrong with using aliases, as long as they're not intended to defraud).
Michael_Levenson I'm not a lawyer, and would have to check with legal experts to be certain. But my sense is he's right. I think of all the actors who use stage names, the writers who adopt noms de plumes, and I imagine there's nothing illegal there.
jkstraw If anonymity was Rockefeller's lifeblood, why would he do something so dramatically public?
Michael_Levenson Great question. I assume you're referring to the charge that he kidnapped his daughter off a Boston street on July 27.
Michael_Levenson We don't know why he would engage in an alleged crime that would almost certainly draw the attention of police.
Michael_Levenson His lawyer, Stephen B. Hrones asserted yesterday that "He had the right to take that child. He loved it, he raised it. Morally speaking, he is the one who should have the child."
curious is it likely that there may be charges against his first wife? why isn't she talking?
Michael_Levenson I haven't heard anyone suggest that the first wife, whome he married in Wisconsin in 1981, will be charged. It's not clear why she isn't speaking publicly. Her current husband had initially said that the family would release a statement. They have not done so, to date.
plus Have they taken the DNA samples yet?
Michael_Levenson A law enforcement official said yesterday that the authorities are seeking to take DNA samples from the family in Germany. As of yesterday, those tests had not been taken. The tests are, of course, part of the effort to definitively determine Rockefeller's identity.
tallsteve what are the next steps in this case? any predictions?
Michael_Levenson The immediate next step, according to the LA County authorities, is to interview the 10 or so people who have come forward since this story broke to say that they knew Rockefeller when he was living in San Marino in the 1980s.
Michael_Levenson Police in California also floated the idea of going back and X-raying the grounds around the home where the Sohus couple lived, to see if there are more remains buried there.
Michael_Levenson they have not done so yet, however, and say that an X-ray survey is not the first priority in their investigation right now.
therealrockefeller Can you tell us anything we don't already know???
Michael_Levenson I will try to answer all your questions to the best of my ability. Certainly, if we find anything out in this case, we'll report it as soon as possible.
Nicky Am I the only person wondering if there are other unsolved murders in this person's wake?
Michael_Levenson I haven't heard police suggest that he is wanted for questioning in any other murder cases. They are, of course, still trying to unravel his long and winding journey across the US.
tallsteve did he do any work at all?
Michael_Levenson Amazingly, he worked for several years in the late 1980s as a coroporate bond salesman on Wall Street. He bounced between several jobs there and his former colleagues say he didn't seem to know much about corporate finance.
Michael_Levenson Yet he was quoted in a trade publication, talking about his analysis of the market, and was mentioned in a press release when he was hired by Nikko Securities International in 1987.
Lindy So, Clark "Rockefeller" is obviously not insane but he is delusional. My question is, is he trying or is his lawyer trying to lay the foundation for him pleading not guily by reason of insanity when he is tried for the murder of the two people in California? The selective amnesia act is a nice touch.
Michael_Levenson His lawyer, Hrones, has not raised the possibility of an insanity defense and has noted that Rockefeller is not charged with anything related to the disapperance of the Sohus couple.
Michael_Levenson Officiallly, he's a "person of interest" in the case, LA authorities say.
Michael_Levenson the FBI is involved, and has been working with federal authorities in German to identify Rockefeller.
Michael_Levenson Thank you all for your questions.
Michael_Levenson I've enjoyed this chat, and hope you'll stay in touch. You can reach me at
Michael_Levenson thanks

  • Email
  • Email
  • Print
  • Print
  • Single page
  • Single page
  • Reprints
  • Reprints
  • Share
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Comment
  • Share on DiggShare on Digg
  • Tag with Save this article
  • powered by
Your Name Your e-mail address (for return address purposes) E-mail address of recipients (separate multiple addresses with commas) Name and both e-mail fields are required.
Message (optional)
Disclaimer: does not share this information or keep it permanently, as it is for the sole purpose of sending this one time e-mail.