Also posed as USC student in 1980s
Copyright Â© 2008 by Dave Copeland. All Rights reserved. Attribute all references to Dave Copeland.
Legendary vulture capitalist Stan Phelps fired Christopher Crowe — now believed to be the same man being held under the name Clark Rockefeller in Boston for abducting his seven year old daughter — for submitting a securities license application that used the social security number of David Berkowitz.
“Stan called me and said ‘You got to fire this guy’,” said one of Crowe’s former co-workers at Nikko Securities International, where he went to work after being fired by Phelps. Phelps “told me when he put the guy’s social security number through, it came back as David Berkowitz…I’m not sure if it was the same guy as Son of Sam, but it was strange.”
The source talked about working with Crowe with Dave Copeland, author of Blood and Volume: Inside New York’s Israeli Mafia. Copeland was the first to report that Crowe posed as a Wall Street trader. His reporting raises new questions on how Crowe was able to skirt the tight background Securities and Exchange Commission requirements for employees of investment firms. In addition to working for Phelps and Nikko, Crowe worked briefly for Kidder Peabody.
The job at Kidder Peabody ended suddenly when Crowe told his supervisor he needed a leave of absence to travel to South America, where his parents had been kidnapped and where he needed to pay a ransom. Crowe — who is believed to be he same man as Rockefeller — was fired and never heard from again.
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But one day later, two sources told Copeland, a FBI agent and a Connecticut State Police officer arrived at the offices of both Nikko and Kidder Peabody, looking to question Crowe about his possession of the truck of John Sohus. This week fingerprints matched Rockefeller to Christopher Chichester, a man listed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department as a “person of interest” in the 1985 disappernce of Sohus and his wife, Linda.
The source Copeland interviewed Thursday morning said Crowe once threatened a co-worker by saying “The next time you touch something on my desk, I’ll bring in my German Luger.” He also confirmed a previously reported story by Copeland that Crowe claimed to be the director Christopher Crowe, as well as hinting to links to European nobility.
“He affected this accent — I could never tell if it was that of a European national or German,” he said. “I just always assumed he was a German national.”
Meanwhile, Copeland learned Thursday that Rockefeller — under his Chichester persona — posed as a University of Southern California student in 1983 and 1984 and claimed that he was the Baronet of Chichester. Crowe also claimed he was the grandson of Sir Francis Chichester, the first person to sail single-handed around the world by the clipper route.
Rockefeller even had a business card made up, which alluded to his noble ties and which he handed out to friends and business associates:
Arleigh met Rockefeller in a film class at USC, when he was presumably living in the guest house of the Sohus’s San Marino home. Kerr and three other friends occasionally had dinner with Rockefeller before class, but soon grew suspicious of his stories.
“We were all interested in England, and traveling to England, yet he never wanted to talk about England,” Kerr said. “In fact, he was quite ignorant of England, and told us he had actually grown up in South Africa.”
Similarly, Rockefeller seemed to know little about sailing or the accomplishments of the man he claimed was his grandfather. As their suspicions mounted, the students reported their concerns to USC administrators. It was at that point it was learned that Rockefeller was not a student at the school and simply showed up at classes. Kerr said USC officials asked Rockefeller — who was then known as Chichester — to leave campus. He never saw him after that.
This week investigators arrived in Boston from Los Angeles after fingerprints matched Rockefeller to Chichester. The Sohuses disappeared without explanation in 1985. Nine years later human remains were found in the backyard of their home when the new owners hired contractors to install a pool. Those remains are believed to belong to John Sohus, who was 26 when he disappeared.
Dave Copeland is an investigative journalist who will continue to follow the Rockefeller case and report on his findings at www.davecopeland.com and other outlets. Tips and comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.