The Bizarre Kidnapping of a Girl Named “Snooks”: Yachts, Faux Rockefellers and Modern Art


Both the Post and the Daily News lead today with the kidnapping of 7-year-old Reigh “Snooks” Boss allegedly at the hands of her father, a man who goes by the name of Clark Rockefeller. The little girl was abducted Sunday in the posh Boston neighborhood of Beacon Hill, where Rockefeller was having a supervised visit with the girl. A black SUV with Red Sox license plates and stickers on the back pulled up to Rockefeller, Boss and a social worker. Rockefeller then grabbed the girl and put her in the vehicle. The pair made their way to New York and may be on a yacht headed to Bermuda.

Where the story truly gets bizarre is with the question of just who Clark Rockefeller is. The Post paints him as a “ROCKEFOOLER,” a con artist who claims to be a member of the famous clan. According to the News, Clark Rockefeller has also used the names J.P. Clark Rockefeller, James Frederick, Clark Mill Rockefeller and Michael Brown. Both papers contacted the Rockefeller Archive Center, which says that the man is not a descendent of William Rockefeller, who was a cousin of John D. Rockefeller.

Each paper takes a different tack with the sketchiness of Rockefeller’s life story. The Post comes out with guns blazing (as illustrated in the “ROCKEFOOLER” headline on page 7 and “CON MAN KIDNAP” on page one). The lead describes him as a “New York man who masqueraded as a Rockefeller and infiltrated high society.”

The Daily News takes its time in getting to the mystery surrounding Clark Rockefeller’s identity, but when it does, the News has much more information about the man’s background, albeit with still murky details. The man had some outward indications of wealth, including an impressive collection of abstract paintings. One source opined to the Post, “he really looked like a Rockefeller. Maybe he was illegitimate in some way.”

What this adds up to is one big mystery brimming with intrigue: Where is “Snooks”? Who is her dad, really? (This is not a question of paternity, but one of identity.) This story should have some serious legs over the next week.