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Rockefeller Kidnapping Trial Begins

This article is more than 10 years old.

Opening statements have finished in the kidnapping trial of the man who calls himself Clark Rockefeller.

Assistant District Attorney David Deakin described how Rockefeller, whose real name is Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, "dazzled" his ex-wife with "his personality, his charisma, his likeability," but remained vague about his past.

Prosecutors say Gerhartsreiter is a German-born con man who created an elaborate plan to snatch his daughter while on a supervised visit. They say he assumed multiple aliases including the descendent of British royalty.

Defense attorney Jeffrey Denner said Gerhartsreiter is not guilty of kidnapping his 7-year-old daughter in Boston because he has two mental illnesses and was not aware of what he was doing.

Denner said Gerhartsreiter "broke" after he lost custody of his daughter in December 2007, and later believed she was telepathically telling him she needed to be rescued.

Gerhartsreiter's first and second wives are expected to testify. The defendent is not expected to take the stand.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This program aired on May 28, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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