Take a peek: Crime Time
This from City News Service, via the Los Angeles County DA’s Office:
Lifetime unveiled their heavily advertised made-for-TV movie this week. In case you missed it, here’s my review: (Snippet below)
Every now and again we in the newspaper business get packages containing DVDs of upcoming television programs.It’s never anything good like “The Sopranos” or “Man v. Food.” So usually the DVDs end up in the round file with the all the other junk that entertainment publicists send here.Needless to say that basket has been filled up with its share of Artemis Pyle CDs and “Dora the Explorer” lunchboxes.About two weeks ago I got a DVD from Lifetime Network as part of a package touting an upcoming movie titled “Who is Clark Rockefeller?”
Honestly I had no desire to watch it.
Besides re-runs of “The Simpsons,” my box set of “The Wire,” “Poorman’s Bikini Beach” “Kelly’s Heroes” “Dirty Harry” or just about any Jackie Chan movie, my boob tube diet is limited – and it doesn’t include Lifetime.
But instead of tossing it, I stuffed it in a box in my garage and forgot about it.
I understand why they sent it my way.
I’ll be on Dateline NBC tonight at 7 p.m.
The show will devote an hour to the mystery of John and Linda Sohus.
The couple disappeared in 1985 from their home on Lorain Road.
Clark Rockefeller, 48, whose real name is Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, has been identified as a person of interest in the case. Using the name Christopher Chichester, Rockefeller lived with the Sohuses and vanished several weeks after they did.
Too bad the show goes head-to-head with the Laker game…
Here’s an excerpt from a September episode on the case:
Clark Rockefeller has been found guilty on two of four counts in his parental abduction trial. Rockefeller, whose real name is Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, will be sentenced later this morning.
So far the jury has issued a statement, as have other officials.
Here’s what Suffolk County DA Spokesman Jake Wark wrote following the verdicts this a.m.:
In a complete rejection of his insanity defense, jurors convicted GERHARTSREITER of custodial kidnapping and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Jurors acquitted him outright — that is, not for lack of criminal responsibility — on charges of providing a false name to police and assault and battery. Judge Gaziano will sentence the defendant at 2:00 pm in courtroom 906.
As for the jruors, a panel of four men and eight women. They’ve issued a joint statement. Here’s what it said:
Jurors have reached a verdict in the trial of Clark Rockefeller, accused of parental abduction in Boston.
From the Associated Press:
BOSTON — Jurors deliberating kidnapping charges against the man who calls himself Clark Rockefeller asked a judge Wednesday to explain what prosecutors must do to show he was legally sane when he took his 7-year-old daughter.
The jurors sent a written question to Judge Frank Gaziano on Wednesday morning asking if prosecutors have to show either that he knew what he was doing was criminal or that he knew it was morally wrong.
Gaziano told them it is not enough for prosecutors to prove one of those things; they must show both.
The question appeared to show that jurors, who have been deliberating since Monday, are struggling with the legal definition of insanity.
Defense lawyers say Rockefeller, whose real name is Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, was delusional and legally insane when he fled to Baltimore with his daughter, Reigh, during a supervised visit in Boston last July after he lost custody of the girl to his ex-wife.
A psychiatrist who testified for the defense said Gerhartsreiter believed his daughter was
communicating with him telepathically and telling him she needed to be rescued.
Prosecutors call his insanity claim “preposterous” and say he is a con man who planned the kidnapping for months. A prosecution psychiatrist said Gerhartsreiter was not delusional and appeared to exaggerate his symptoms.
Gerhartsreiter, 48, is accused of snatching his daughter during his first visit with the girl after his December 2007 divorce.
He also faces two assault charges for allegedly pushing a social worker overseeing the visit to the ground and instructing his hired driver to “Go! Go! Go!” while the social worker grabbed onto the car door. The social worker suffered minor injuries.
The German-born Gerhartsreiter is also charged with providing a false name to police.
During the trial, several witnesses testified about elaborate tales Gerhartsreiter told during the three decades he has lived in the United States, including his claims of being a physicist, ship’s captain and debt negotiator for small countries.
Prosecutors say he used multiple aliases — including the famous Rockefeller name — to ingratiate himself in wealthy circles in New York, Boston and Los Angeles.
California authorities have labeled him a “person of interest” in the 1985 disappearance and presumed slayings of a San Marino couple, Jonathan and Linda Sohus. Gerhartsreiter, who then went by the name Christopher Chichester, was living in a guest house on the family’s property when they disappeared. A grand jury has been hearing evidence in the case. He has said he had nothing to do with their disappearance.
Clark Rockefeller’s attorneys are worried that pre-trial publicity linking him to the disappearance of John and Linda Sohus from San Marino way back in 1985 might prejudice a jury in Boston.
But a judge in Suffolk County Monday denied a motion by those attorneys seekign a change fo venue.
of Judge Frank M. Gaziano’s ruling:
Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter wants to be called Clark Rockefeller at his upcoming trial in Boston on charges of parental abduction. Speaking at a pre-trial hearing in the case, which goes to court on May 26, Rockefeller’s attorney Jeffery Denner said, “We take the position his name is Clark Rockefeller.
Rockefeller, 48, has been named by Los Angeles authorities in the 1985 disappearance of John and Linda Sohus from their home in San Marino. Here’s the latest from the Boston Globe:
Defense attorney Jeffrey Denner indicated today in Suffolk Superior Court that he will try to block prosecutors from referring to his client as Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter. In the last pre-trial hearing before jury selection starts on May 26, Denner told the judge that he wanted to find a way to refer to his client as Rockefeller during the proceeding.
“We take the position that his name is Clark Rockefeller,” Denner said.
The grand jury indictment, which includes a charge of giving police a fake name, referred to the defendant as Gerhartsreiter. Authorities allege that Rockefeller is one of a string of aliases used by Gerhartsreiter since moving to the United States from his native Germany as an exchange student in the 1970s. California authorities have labeled him a “person of interest” in the disappearance of a San Marino couple in the 1980s. He has not been charged with a crime in that case.
Suffolk Superior Court Judge Frank Gaziano ordered today that attorneys on both sides file final motions and paperwork in the case by May 18. The trial is scheduled to start May 26.
From the Boston Herald:
BOSTON — A lawyer for a man who calls himself Clark Rockefeller argued Wednesday that his client’s parental kidnapping trial should be moved from Boston to western Massachusetts because extensive media coverage has tainted the jury pool.
A survey done for the defense found that more than three-quarters of respondents in Suffolk County — where potential jurors would be culled — said they were aware of the case. Of those, roughly half said they believed he was guilty.
“That’s a staggeringly high figure, even for a high-profile case,” said Jeffrey Denner, an attorney for the man whose real name is Christian Karl Gerhartstreiter.
Rockefeller is the subject of a Los Angeles County Grand Jury probe into the disappearance of John and Linda Sohus, a San Marino couple, in 1985.