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Is John Mark Karr Really JonBenet Ramsey's Killer?

karr-jonbenet-ramsey.jpg


John Mark Karr's confessed killing of JonBenet Ramsey has made for sensational headlines and reopened a case long thought unsolvable, but the main question yet to be fully explored is whether the JonBenet obsessed Karr actually had the means, motive, and opportunity to commit the crime. The evidence - as is stands now - is decidedly less definitive than Karr's Thai jailhouse confession.

First, some of Karr's claims (as reported) about the murder do not match even the most rudimentary facts known about the case. Karr claims that JonBenet was drugged, but no drugs were noted in any of the autopsy reports. Karr claims to have picked up (or kidnapped) JonBenet from school and taken her to the basement, but it's inconceivable that JonBenet was in school on Christmas day - the day of the murder.

The most vexing question is whether Karr was in Boulder in 1996. John Mark Karr's ex-wife says he was home in Alabama on December 25, 1996. Karr's brother has said that Karr spent Christmas with the Ramsey's in 1996, though none of the hundreds of sites dedicated to the case have any record of Karr's presence. According to

9News legal analyst Scott Robinson sums it up nicely...

This is either the break that we have all been waiting for, or the biggest hoax that's ever been perpetrated in the JonBenet Ramsey case, a case that has had its share of wacky people involved in it."

Given the recent history of bungled investigations in high profile cases, and the legacy of ineptitude on the Ramsey case in particular, Karr's confession should be viewed with heavy dose of skepticism until such time as he can actually be linked to the crime by something besides his own words.

Update: For background read Gaby Wood's June 2006 look at the investigators on the JonBenet Ramsey case in The Observer; most of whom are directly tied to the sudden arrest of Karr, and pay close attention to CU Journalism professor Michael Tracey, whose e-mail exchanges with Karr lead to the arrest. Tracey has produced three documentaries on JonBenet's murder and was scheduled to have finished a manuscript for a book entitled, "Shoes: The Killing of JonBenet Ramsey," in early August 2006. That puts Tracey on course to be the first to market with the story of how the investigation turned toward Karr.


Links

Getting away with murder - [Observer] (June 25, 2006)
Horrid Details Emerge In JonBenet Case - [CBS/AP]
Lacy: 'Much more work to be done.' - [Boulder DailyCamera]
Tracey to pen new JonBenet book - [The Campus Press]
JonBenet book says parents are innocent - [UPI] (May 15, 2006)
A Ramsey Case Primer - [Redd Herring]
JonBenet Ramsey Case Encyclopedia - [pbWiki]
The Daily Camera Ramsey Archive - [Boulder Daily Camera]


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Comments (23)

Hell, you threaten to lock ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Hell, you threaten to lock me up in a jail in Thailand, I'll confess to the Lindburg kidnapping in order to get a free ride home.

Does anyone else think the ... (Below threshold)
millco88:

Does anyone else think the guy looks like a younger version of the president from 24?? Lorie??

This is just bizarre. I've ... (Below threshold)
Candy:

This is just bizarre. I've followed the case pretty closely since it occurred, and my gut tells me he didn't do it. He is EVIL looking though, don't you think? Seems like it's high time for a one-way trip back to Thailand.

Does anyone else think t... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Does anyone else think the guy looks like a younger version of the president from 24??


Now that you mention it, yes he does. MAYBE, it's his son...

I can see it now Jack frees himself from the Chinese, makes his way to Thailand where he stumbles across the illegitimate son of the former President.

Karr confessed to being the killer of Jon-Benet Ramsey after Jack tortured the information out of him.

Tick Tock Tick Tock.

Drugging can mean alot of t... (Below threshold)
Buddy:

Drugging can mean alot of things. Maybe he fumed her with formadahyde or something like that. The Christmas Day 'school' thing is a bust, but then this guy sounds like a wackjob anyway, so who knows. Time will tell.

This is the kind of stuff W... (Below threshold)
Aeneas:

This is the kind of stuff Wizbang should stick to. Been dead wrong on most things - but gossipy murders - great coverage.

I smell a rat.The ... (Below threshold)
Marc:

I smell a rat.

The guy was arrested for some type of sex charge in Thailand and suddenly confesses to a ten year old murder.

Why? Maybe to get extradicted back to the States, avoiding the Thai charges, only to recant knowing the evidence isn't there to file charges.

Which of the following am I... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Which of the following am I least concerned about:

1.) Victory in Iraq
2.) Thwarting Iran's nuclear efforts
3.) Western capitulation to Islamo-fanatics
4.) Our porous borders
5.) Rising gas prices
6.) Yankees-Red Sox series this weekend
7.) The JonBenet case

I...just...don't....care.

Yeah, I smell a rat (not to... (Below threshold)
Skeptic:

Yeah, I smell a rat (not to mention a troll, too).

Looks like the guy is a pedophile and got caught in Thailand. He sounds like he has an abnormal interest in the Ramsey case, had enough information to generate interest to get him a "get out of Thai jail free" card to be returned back to the US.

I doubt he had anything to do with the Ramsey case, but he didn't want to be in a Thai jail for trying to have sex with a minor either.

One night in Bangkok Dennis... (Below threshold)
virgo1:

One night in Bangkok Dennis Kucinnich's kid got Shangheid..

One night in Bangkok Dennis... (Below threshold)
virgo1:

One night in Bangkok Dennis Kucinnich's kid got Shangheid..

One night in Bangkok Dennis... (Below threshold)
virgo1:

One night in Bangkok Dennis Kucinnich's kid got Shangheid..

Something about him "resear... (Below threshold)
sentinel:

Something about him "researching" the murders? You think he got so wrapped up in "research" that he convinced himself that HE did it? I'm getting this weird clippings on the wall, candles, petagram room vibe off this guy. He's obsessed with it and has lost his shit.

Anything's possible. ... (Below threshold)
epador:

Anything's possible.

Its too soon to tell.

Excellent post to demonstrate we need to be patient before convicting someone in the press (like JB's parents).

If you don't want to read a... (Below threshold)

If you don't want to read about it, then skip it. News is news, even if it's not the news you happen to be interested in. Some people are. It't not like the internet is going to run out of space any time soon, so quit wasting your time whining about how much you don't care and move on.

In america your inocent unt... (Below threshold)
krazy kagu:

In america your inocent until proven guilty and once proven guilty he should be banned from making any damn movie about it all

I can think of two likely s... (Below threshold)
Ken:

I can think of two likely scenarios:
1. The one mentioned here already - he wants to get out of Thailand, and did not kill Jonbenet.
2. He did kill Jonbenet, thinks the police are onto him, and is mucking up his story in a desperate effort to make it look like he really wasn't involved.

If he did kill Jonbenet, the DNA should make his muddy story immaterial, but what else can he do to try to beat the rap?

I had never heard that claim that his brother says Karr spent Christmas with the Ramsey's in 1996. Wouldn't that have been a big issue in the investigation? If the Ramsey's didn't disclose that to the police, I'm waiting for Rod Serling to step into the picture saying "submitted for your approval.. "

He looks like Harvey Lee Os... (Below threshold)
D:

He looks like Harvey Lee Oswald JFK's killer.

PPPPPPLLLLLLEEEEAAAAAAASSSS... (Below threshold)
map9671:

PPPPPPLLLLLLEEEEAAAAAAASSSSSSSEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! The Boulder DA should be ashamed of himself for even going this far with this guy. The minute he said he picked her up from school and it was the Xmas holidays.........should have been the end of the investigation with this guy. Obviously he's a kook! His fantasy. If this goes to trial, I could represent him and get him off.....and I don't even have a law degree.

There is DNA present and th... (Below threshold)
Ani:

There is DNA present and they can check his dna with the dna found on jon bennet ramsey's. That would be the most important evidence.

Fry 'em first, ask question... (Below threshold)
Palmateer:

Fry 'em first, ask questions later.

I love his polyester "Sans-... (Below threshold)
loaner1967:

I love his polyester "Sans-A-Belt" pants. It's 2006, does anyone other than 65 year old men at Luby's wear those anymore? Anyone that would choose to dress like that is seriously creepy to me.

Put this disturbing looking... (Below threshold)
ForM:

Put this disturbing looking man with a boy's body and clothing from 1989 away for a good long time. I can't look at another picture of this freak.




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