Author Archives: Morgan Nelson

Kirn ’83 Writes About Being Duped By a Con Man

Walter Kirn by Beowulf Sheehan

Walter Kirn ’83 (Beowulf Sheehan)

Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade, by Walter Kirn  ’83 (Liveright)

The author: Kirn is a novelist and journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, GQ, Vogue, New York, and Esquire. Two of his novels, Thumbsucker and Up in the Air, have been adapted into films.

The book: One fateful summer, Kirn, a writer looking for inspiration, found himself driving from Montana to New York City to deliver a crippled hunting dog to her new owner in New York. From this errand grew a 15-year-long friendship between the author and Clark Rockefeller, a self-proclaimed banker and art collector who ultimately would be revealed as an imposter, kidnapper, and murderer. This story of a real-life Mr. Ripley examines the relationship between the author and the con man, causing Kirn to confront some hard questions about his own susceptibility to Rockefeller’s ruse in the process. Continue reading