The Man in the Rockefeller Suit
The One That (Almost) Got Away
A sophisticated gentleman known as Clark Rockefeller owned famous paintings supposedly worth hundreds of millions. But the gentleman—like the art collection—turned out to be a fake. Arrested in 2008 for the kidnapping of his daughter and now charged with the murder of his former landlord, the fellow born Christian Gerhartsreiter in Bergen, Germany, created a charmed life of lies. According to Mark Seal's riveting The Man in the Rockefeller Suit (Viking), from the age of 17, Gerhartsreiter began switching identities as a woman does lipstick, even, at one point, giving himself an aristocratic title. He conned everyone from college admissions officers to pastors to his own wife, a graduate of Harvard Business School. Was he born a psychopath? Seal never really decides, choosing instead to ask the question: Why did so many people fall for him? Would you?
— Carolyn Sun