Investigation Discovery Profiles A Twisted Tale Of Deception On America's Most Notorious Con Man In THE GREAT PRETENDER

Investigation Discovery Profiles A Twisted Tale Of Deception On America's Most
                   Notorious Con Man In THE GREAT PRETENDER

- As part of Investigation Discovery's ID FILMS documentary strand, THE GREAT
PRETENDER premieres Monday, December 17 from 8-9:30 PM E/P -

PR Newswire

SILVER SPRING, Md., Dec. 13, 2012

SILVER SPRING,Md., Dec.13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --The life of Clark
Rockefeller exhibits a bizarre twist on the traditional American success
story... not because he had the last name of American royalty, but because the
story was a total fabrication. The lifelong con man who effectively
masqueraded as a member of the famously rich Rockefeller family for more than
16 years was in reality a poor country boy from a tiny mountain village in
Germany. Obsessed with America, Hollywood, and film noir, Clark Rockefeller –
born Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter – began his life of duplicity when he
arrived in the United States at age 17 with suspicious student visa documents.
Over the subsequent 30 years, he brazenly assumed a succession of false
identities, moving up the social ladder through exclusive communities in
California and New York by way of several larger-than-life personas, including
those of a USC film student, a Wall Street trader, a modern art collector, and
finally a descendant of the famous Rockefeller dynasty. Now, the twisted tale
of deception is chronicled in Investigation Discovery's 90-minute documentary
THE GREAT PRETENDER, making its world television premiere as part of the ID
Films strand on Monday, December 17 from 8-9:30 PM (E/P).

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"At its heart, THE GREAT PRETENDER is a captivating thriller about one of the
world's most ingenious con men, but it also speaks to the universal desire to
reinvent oneself in one way or another," said Henry Schleiff, president and
general manager of Investigation Discovery. "Clark Rockefeller's story is our
society's true life nightmare about a man who was willing to do absolutely
anything to live the American dream."

Christian Gerhartsreiter came to the United States as a young German hustler
with dreams of Hollywood super-stardom and American affluence. He eventually
turned into the greatest con man this country has ever seen. A man from humble
beginnings, the Bavarian dreamer hailed from Bergen, Germany, the type of
small town people live a lifetime without leaving. But Gerhartsreiter would go
on to live a life of extravagance, charming his way into the upper echelons of
American society. The serial imposter achieved his greatest aspirations, only
for them to come crashing down around him. In 2008, after his marriage fell
apart and he was arrested for kidnapping his daughter, Gerhartsreiter was
caught by the FBI, exposing a life of conspiracies and a connection to the
unsolved homicide of a California man and the disappearance of his wife. Now
awaiting trial for the 1985 murder of John Sohus, the demons Gerhartsreiter
will be forced to face are his own past identities making this, truly, a human
interest story of epic proportions.

THE GREAT PRETENDER is filmed, directed and produced by Louise Osmond. The
documentary is produced by Uli Hesse and Judith Dawson and executive produced
by Edmund Coulthard of Blast! Films. For Investigation Discovery, Liz Massie
is executive producer, Sara Kozak is senior vice president of production,
Kevin Bennett is general manager, and Henry Schleiff is president and general

About Investigation Discovery
Investigation Discovery (ID) is America's leading mystery-and-suspense
network. From harrowing crimes and salacious scandals to the in-depth
investigations and heart-breaking mysteries that result, ID challenges our
everyday understanding of culture, society and the human condition. ID
delivers the highest-quality programming to nearly 80 million U.S. households
with viewer favorites that include On the Case with Paula Zahn; Homicide
Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda; Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?; Disappeared; Stalked:
Someone's Watching; and Redrum. For more information, please visit,, or Discovery is part of Discovery
Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the world's #1 nonfiction media
company reaching more than 1.8 billion cumulative subscribers in 209 countries
and territories.

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SOURCE Investigation Discovery

Contact: Jordyn Linsk, +1-240-662-2421,
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