Revisiting the Boston dailies' Crockefeller battle


A couple days ago, I suggested that the Herald had been driving the "Clark Rockefeller" story more than the Globe. But I also reserved the right to weasel out of that assessment.

Let the weaseling commence. After hunkering down with a couple weeks worth of papers, I can say that the Herald did beat the Globe on a few key details of the story. But the Globe beat the Herald plenty, too--most notably on the connection between CR and the 1985 disappearance of Linda and John Sohus, which is the biggest, most intriguing part of this whole story.

For those who care about this sort of thing, here's a breakdown of who got what first. Dates reflect physical rather than online publication unless otherwise indicated.

What the Herald got first: CR's lack of a Social Security number (7/29); a denial of kinship from a legitimate Rockefeller (7/29); the fact that CR's marriage to Sandra Boss didn't yield a marriage certificate (7/30); Rockefeller's possession of $300,000 in gold bullion (7/30); the bogus nature of Rockefeller's alleged catamaran escape (7/30); those abusrd pictures of CR in "The Masque of the Golden Bull" (7/30); the name Christian Gerhart Stretier (8/6); CR's years as an irritating German exchange student (8/7); CR's 10th-grade report card (8/8).

The Herald also gets points for getting to CR's family in Germany first on August 8. But the Globe gets bigger points for posting its write-up of an interview with CR's family first online.

What the Globe got first: CR's status as a director of the Algonquin Club (7/28); CR's affinity for dressing all preppy and cruising around on a Segway (7/30); the name of the man who drove the abudction/getaway SUV (7/30); a full account of the getaway (8/1); the link to the Sohus killings (8/5); CR's use of a Nevada-based LLC to purchase his new home in Baltimore (8/5); CR's first marriage, to Amy Jersild of Wisconsin (8/8); CR's years as a shitty bond trader on Wall Street (8/8); a definitive link between CR and Christian Gerhartstreiter (8/8). 

Back in July 2006, I took a look at the Globe and Herald's competition following the Big Dig tunnel collapse that killed Milena Del Valle. In that particular case, the Herald got the early jump, but couldn't keep up with the Globe as the story unfolded. That's not exactly how the Crockefeller story progressed--witness the Globe's early reporting on CR's getway and the Herald's late exchange-student coverage--but it's reasonably close.

Globe types, Herald types, readers in general: have I missed anything?

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