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July 31st, 2008
11:09 AM ET

Rockefeller Mystery Deepens

In this undated photo provided by the FBI, Clark Rockefeller carries his daughter Reigh on his shoulders. Authorities say Rockefeller, who is going through a bitter divorce with his wife Sandra Boss, snatched 7-year-old Reigh in Boston on Sunday, July 27, 2008 and may be trying to flee on a yacht from Long Island

In this undated photo provided by the FBI, Clark Rockefeller carries his daughter Reigh on his shoulders. Authorities say Rockefeller, who is going through a bitter divorce with his wife Sandra Boss, snatched 7-year-old Reigh in Boston on Sunday, July 27, 2008 and may be trying to flee on a yacht from Long Island

Gabe Falcon
AC360° Writer

Reigh Storrow Boss may nave no idea she is the focus of a massive land and sea search to find her and her enigmatic father, Clark Rockefeller.

Rockefeller, described as wealthy and eccentric, is divorced from Reigh’s mother, Sandra Boss, a London-based director of a management consulting firm.

This past Sunday, the police say he abducted his 7-year-old daughter in what they call a custodial kidnapping. According to authorities in Boston, the crime was daring and occurred in broad daylight on.

Here’s the incident report from the Boston Police Department:

On July 27, 2008, at approximately 12:44pm, officers from District D-4 (Back Bay/South End) responded to the intersection of Arlington and Marlborough Streets for a custodial kidnapping.


On arrival officer spoke with a social worker who hired to oversee a visitation of the child and her father Clark Rockefeller (a.k.a. J.P. Clark Rockefeller, James Frederick, Clark Mill Rockefeller and Michael Brown). The victim states that they met the father at The Algonquin Club 217 Commonwealth Ave. and proceeded to the playground at Commonwealth Ave. and Exeter St. They then walked down Exeter St. to Marlborough St. where they were walking to the Boston Public Gardens.

At about 5 Marlborough St., Clark Rockefeller who was carrying his daughter attempted to put his daughter down between two vehicles which were parked in front of 5 Marlborough St. when a black SUV pulled up. At that time, Rockefeller grabbed his daughter and jumped into the SUV which was being operated by a male driver and fled down Marlborough St. and took a right on to Berkeley St. to unknown direction. The victim attempted to hold onto the vehicle as it sped away, was dragged a short distance and then let go. The victim was treated for minor injuries.

Investigators believe Rockefeller then paid a second driver to take them to New York, where they were dropped off near Grand Central Station. New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says they are exploring the possibility that Rockefeller may be trying to leave the country with Reigh on a yacht or boat named Serenity.

But is he?

Police sources tell the Boston Herald a high-seas escape may be a ploy to get the FBI and other law enforcement agencies off his trail. As for the suspect, his identity is shrouded in mystery. Along with the multiple aliases police say he uses, Rockefeller has reportedly dodged questions over his famous name. But The Rockefeller Archive Center says it does not appear in any of its records.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. lizzylu

    to sympathetic father-
    i am in utter shock at your post--death to the mtr is the only real option b/c you feel the court may not treat a ftr fairly in a custody dispute/divorce??!?! are you even serious? and to assume that pregnancy & high divorce rates exist b/c women only want to control the situation if a divorce occurs–what?!??
    your comments are so omcpletely out of touch w/ reality that i almost think it's a ruse-almost.

    August 1, 2008 at 7:30 am |
  2. Ayse-London

    I find it really annoying when people (not people here), but in general seem to have a view that the mother has more rights for full custody of a child because she is a) maternal & b) she gave birth to the child. The father – any father – who has always treated his child well should have just as much rights as the mother.

    When people start screaming and moaning about women not being given equal rghts as men, they should remember that in custody cases the judges nearly always side with the mother.

    There is an organisation in the UK called Fathers For Justice. These are dads who have lost custody/visitation rights to their offspring simply because they have divorced, and yet are expected to pay child support.

    The plight of these fathers is never in our newspapers or tv, except for when they undertake gimmicks like dressing up as Jesus and climbing on top of Westminster Abbey, or dressing like Batman & Robin and climbing onto monuments.

    August 1, 2008 at 5:19 am |
  3. Luther K

    My heart goes out to the mother of the child alledgedly kidnapped by her father. I know exactly how she feels. Five years ago, my Japanese wife kidnapped my son and returned to Japan. In my workplace, another co-worker lost his son to parental abduction. Every year dozens if not hundreds of American children are being abducted by their parents and taken to haven countries like Japan and Saudi Arabia. What do parents like myself need to do to get the same kind of media blitz. We could really use the help.

    July 31, 2008 at 10:52 pm |
  4. Kim

    Anyone that is saying "the mother has custody for a reason," has never dealt with family court. Mothers basically have to show up. Fathers are put through the ringer. I have several friends that went through divorces and the courts were just brutal to the men. The mothers didn't even have to show ID to prove who they were, when men were asked for bank records, pay stubs, credit card receipts... Most men I know went above and beyond child support and payed for school clothes and toys and dinners. I know one man who even brought groceries to his ex's house every week, because he felt it was the right thing to do. (after paying child support and his share of after school activities) The judge told him that was his responsibility, just because the mother had custody and was getting child support, didn't mean she had always had to cloth and feed them, too. Imagine that. So, I can understand a man getting crazed after having his child taken away, moved to a foreign country, mother getting married to God knows who, and the daughter's name changed. Children need both parents. Unless one or the other is violent or abusive. It seems to me (as in many cases) the mother stared this fight, and now she doesn't like it. Now she wants to be the victim.

    July 31, 2008 at 9:54 pm |
  5. John

    Tom, Laverne and Cynthia are so right. I got a gold digger pregnant and married her when the crap went down. When we fight, we have child issues, big-time. The thought of me leaving freaks me out cause my daughter loves me so much but I know it will get ugly..UGLY. She has something on me that is not criminal but can be used against me, MY DAUGHTER. Boy, those whose parents have gone through this ugly mess ought to enlight us men on what to do when this day gets here. Drama all the way. I AM IN BIG TROUBLE!

    July 31, 2008 at 9:07 pm |
  6. Zoe

    Just viewed the video message from the mother and I strongly feel she is not concerned for her girl. WHY IS SHE NOT IN STATES? Furthermore the video is unemotional and she seems more annoyed. It's a shame that she had prepared statements obviously written for her. A concerned Mom speaks from the heart.

    July 31, 2008 at 7:27 pm |
  7. sympathetic father

    There is nothing worse than having your children taken away from you and being allowed to see them on alternating weekends is just that. what is alternating weekends.....4 days a month? 5? Well as long as females in this country are lead to believe that either pregnancy, divorce or both is potentially profitable and rewarding, we will continue to have high divorce rates and teen pregnancy. Its the reason Scott Peterson killed his wife and unborn child and men are killing there wife/girlfriend at alarming rates. Its the only recourse. The old joke " if I had killed her back then I'd be out by now." is actually and regretably the best alternative to how the court treats fathers. Everyone is entitled to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. this is the exception. you must fund it instead.

    July 31, 2008 at 7:11 pm |
  8. Nina Anne

    First off, it is wrong for us – the viewer – to decide who is right or wrong or to judge these people. Obviously this was done in a court of law that he, the father was not fit to have joint custody in their divorce and must be supervised. Just the nature alone in this case, where he had everything thought and planned out and then executed his plan shows that he is not a stable man which just goes to prove why he needs supervised visitation in the first place. If he is so rich, why does he have so many alias'? How come he can't give logical information like his real name? He probably chose Michael Brown or Clark Rockefeller because of the missing Michael Clark Rockefeller that is presumed dead and liked that name. Needless to say, no one knows why he does what he does and we shouldn't be judging them as a family. Leave that to the courts.

    July 31, 2008 at 6:38 pm |
  9. Fay

    TOM: I totally agree with you. My brother now has full custody of my niece, but not before going through hell to prove that he is the "fit" parent, while the mother is just out for money. It took him over a year of playing by the rules, and going almost 10 months WITHOUT seeing his child (while she was shuffled from person to person, to hide her), before the judge finally saw what the mother was doing. To the judge's credit, when he DID realize what was going on, he sided with my brother, completely, and gave full custody to him. But, meanwhile, my brother spent thousands of dollars (we all pitched in to help) to even get visitation enforced.

    The mother was very good at playing the victim. She deserves an academy award for using her child to garner sympathy, and receive government checks. She even joined the army and lied about having custody, just to get an additional stipend. It was all very frustrating and frightening.

    Unfortunately, the mother is always believed over the dad; and that is just WRONG!

    July 31, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  10. JC- Los Angeles

    Another lying, crooked, worthless guy living the high life, doesn't seem like much of a mystery to me.

    July 31, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  11. Paul

    Follow his money, and you will find them both.

    July 31, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  12. Rocky

    There is usually a very good reason that a father doesn't get to share custody and has to have supervised visits with his child.

    A good lawyer would ensure that he didn't get railroaded, and it sure looks like he had the money for a good lawyer.

    This guy is shady at best. His latest actions alone show he is putting the child at risk. They don't issue Amber Alerts and conduct nationwide manhunts for Father of the Year!

    July 31, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  13. Bev C Town of Tonawanda, NY

    There's obviously a reason why the mother has custody. Just because you have money. . .

    Yes, SOME fathers get a bad break, but not all.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  14. Heather

    It's like saying your a Rothchild, only your not Jewish. Did he actually think the Rockefellers wouldn't know about him. He is a dangerous crafty person who has gone to great lengths to hide his true identitity and his past. This poor child is in great danger.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  15. Tom

    Chris –

    Where are your children sleeping tonight? But thanks for the definition. Name calling just means your argument is weak and understated. Fathers should have rights, too. Not being able to see his child for months at a time is not right. Changing her name, with out the father's consent, is not right. Supervised visitation (unless he is proven to be abusive) is not right.

    Tammy,

    There was probably no prenup because his money is hidden and apparently he had no SS number, A prenup would have brought a lot of that out of the shadows.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  16. Mary Grace

    Truth is, we do not know all the circumstances surrounding the supervised visitation. Why did they need to be supervised? Has this "eccentric" individual shown hostility in the past? Has he threatened the child before now? The biggest problem is the lack of facts within the article. Let's just pray the child is found safe and unharmed.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  17. Chris

    Tom, You're a dork (dork=a person who is stupid, socially inept, or ridiculous; – always used disparagingly.) The mother has custody. Period. She makes the decisions for the child/ren. The father FLED with the daughter and did it knowing it was NOT RIGHT and he had no RIGHT to do so.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  18. Tammy

    If she was producing offspring with a "Rockefeller" shouldn't she have checked to see if he was the real deal? It would seem her attorney would have in handling a prenup (you'd think a real Rockefeller would sign a prenup to protect his interests) and in this day and age she'd want to protect hers. Kids being kidnapped in custody cases is nothing new. I guess when it involves a famous name it becomes worthy of press. I hope they find the little girl for her sake (assuming the mom is more stable than the dad, and not knowing anything about her husband really makes me wonder about her).

    July 31, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  19. Cynthia

    I agree mostly with Tom but it's interesting to se all facets of views. Straight up Tom is right. She isn't the only child and double standards are a problem. Particularly in the cases like Caylee, whose mother knows exactly where that child is, how could she not? This to me is where you put Casey the mtr in a room and beat her into submission. And it is always the children who get hurt. Always.

    Mother and divorcee.
    USA

    July 31, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  20. Michelle Fonthill Ont,Canada

    This is a truly sad story,kid caught in the middle ofthese two so-called "parents" ,dgragging this poor little girl all over the worls trying to punsih one another by using thier child as a bargening chip it's awful.

    July 31, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  21. Melissa, Los Angeles

    I'm over the coverage on custody battle cases like this. If this wasn't a wealthy family there'd be zero coverage on the issue.

    Since CNN spent two days on TV and two weeks blogging on Black In America – I'm surprised there's no coverage about 8 year old Jasmine Sanders getting shot by her 13 year old cousin who was aiming to shoot another gang member. Let's address the real issues as to why this child is already exhibiting such violent behaviors and leave the custody battles alone.

    July 31, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  22. LAVERNE

    For too long fathers have been treated badly by the court system when it comes to custody and or visitation. They are expected to pay child support (which they should). However, their parental rights are stripped from them all the while some mothers use the child as a pawn to make his life hell. So, the noncustodial parent gets frustrated and desperate. Desperate people do desperate things. I don't condone his actions, but I understand the desperation. I would have freaked totally out had my ex gotten custody and tried to keep me from my child and supervised visitation would have been almost as bad. I don't know what the solution is but I do know that the children suffer most in these situations. These times are filled with divorce and broken families. Until a solution is found to keeping families together, we will see more kidnappings. Hope they find them safe and sound because they are all victims.

    July 31, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  23. lizzylu

    sad, sad, sad that the wacky, but seemingly very wealthy, ftr can pay to help ppl kidnap his child. this is simply insane that anyone would be party to such actions. this poor child is most likely clueless as to why she can't see her mtr & her mtr can certainly take very little comfort that the child is w/ her ftr. let's just hope that little one is found safe.

    July 31, 2008 at 12:43 pm |
  24. Tom

    So let me get this straight... Her mother leaves he country with her and changes her name. That is okay. The dad leaves the country (maybe) with her and he is a criminal.... We've been talking "double standards" for the last couple of weeks.... Dads in this country are treated as second class when it comes to custody. If he is "eccentric," (eccentric = crazy with money, if you're poor, you're just crazy.) and shouldn't have custody, the mother's judgement should also be critiqued for marrying this man and having his child (gold digger, maybe?) Amber Alerts, National Press, Coast Guard, FBI Several state and city agencies on this case..... Wow is she the ONLY missing child.

    July 31, 2008 at 12:39 pm |
  25. Ayse-London

    While parents are embattled in their power struggles for control and ownership of thier property and offspring, it is always the children who suffer in these circumstances.

    July 31, 2008 at 11:38 am |