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Denver's 9 News: Karr Won't Be Charged in Ramsey Case

From Denver's 9 News KUSA:

KUSA- 9NEWS has confirmed from two sources that the DNA taken from John Mark Karr does not match the DNA samples taken from the crime scene in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case.


9NEWS has also confirmed from different sources that no charges will be filed against Karr in connection with the Ramsey case by the Boulder County District Attorney's office.

Jeff Goldstein offers four possible reasons:

1) the high profile nature of the Ramsey case--along with the seriousness of the charge--allowed the Boulder DA and the State Department to get extradition, even though they must have know that Karr had an alibi; now, Karr will be tried on molestation charges in California, where the punishment is potentially harsher than in Thailand (where the maximum sentence is 7 1/2 years).

2) The Boulder DA bungled yet again and failed to do even a preliminary check into Karr's story--relying instead on some small similarities in handwriting and Karr's own obsession with the case and veiled confessions to a CU professor.

3) Karr is simply a glory hound who, knowing he was going to be arrested anyway for charges in Thailand, figured he may as well grab the spotlight and the international media attention that would come with such a confession.

4) Karr's obsession with the case ultimately convinced him he'd actually been involved in JonBenet Ramsey's death. Because, well, he's a crazy-ass pedophile.

I really want to believe it's number one, but I have a feeling the DA bungled the case. If DA Mary Lacy knew the DNA didn't match but took the opportunity to get Karr back to the states, why would she have put together such a self-congratulatory press conference when it was announced that Karr had been arrested? I'm sure we'll find out more soon.

Update: Charlie Qudnunc made a point in the comments that I would like to address. He said that DA Lacy's comments were measured and that tried to lower the expectations. I understand his point and I agree. She did try to lower the expectations. But she also spent a lot of time thanking the Boulder police, FBI, and Thai police like it was an awards show. Press conferences like that are usually saved for after the conviction.

If they knew Karr was not the guy or if the evidence was shaky, why make such a big deal out of the press conference? Yes, she tried to lower the expectations with what she said, but the tone of the press conference gave a completely different message.

Update II: The AP reports that Karr will be held for charges in California.

Prosecutors abruptly dropped their case Monday against John Mark Karr in the slaying of JonBenet Ramsey, saying DNA tests failed to put him at the crime scene despite his insistence he strangled the 6-year-old beauty queen.


Just a week and a half after Karr's arrest in Thailand was seen as a remarkable break in the sensational, decade-old case, prosecutors suggested in court papers that he was just a man with a twisted fascination with JonBenet who confessed to a crime he didn't commit.

"Because his DNA does not match that found in the victim's blood in her underwear, the people would not be able to establish that Mr. Karr committed this crime despite his repeated insistence that he did," District Attorney Mary Lacy said in court papers.

The 41-year-old schoolteacher will be kept in jail in Boulder until he can be sent to Sonoma County, Calif., to face child pornography charges dating to 2001, authorities said. Earlier in the day, the sheriff's department announced Karr had been released.

Lacy said Karr emerged as a suspect in April after he spent several years exchanging e-mails and later telephone calls with a Colorado professor in which he admitted responsibility for the slaying.

According to court papers, Karr told the professor he accidentally killed JonBenet during sex and that he tasted her blood after he injured her vaginally. But officials at the Denver crime lab conducted DNA tests last Friday on a cheek swab taken from Karr and failed to connect him to the crime.

Others blogging:

Sister Toldjah
Blue Crab Boulevard
Hot Air
The Political Pit Bull
Mary Katharine Ham


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Comments (20)

I think the media perhaps b... (Below threshold)
langtry:

I think the media perhaps bungled this case more than the Boulder D.A. The media ran with Karr being the killer long before the D.A. made any statement, and it was pretty evident to even casual observers that Karr's story didn't match up with the evidence gathered at the scene, as well as the Coroner's report, etc.

Is it too late to send him ... (Below threshold)
Candy:

Is it too late to send him back so we won't have to foot the bill on his incarceration?

I had been figuring that he... (Below threshold)

I had been figuring that he was trying to excape Thai justice and we should absolutely pay to send him back there to face it, but if he's looking at more time in California that would be okay too.

Karr probably figured a con... (Below threshold)

Karr probably figured a confession in the high-profile case, with which he was quite familiar, would get him taken back to the US. When he serves time, it will be in an American prison, not a Thai one.

If that was his plan, it worked.

The DA was far from self-co... (Below threshold)

The DA was far from self-congratulating in her press conference. Listen to her words. She was very measured and tried to lower the expectations. Listen here: http://podcast.medianext.com/clicktrack/?media=%2Fstations%2Fkcbs%2Fmedia%2Fmpeg%2FJon_Benet_Ramsey_Case-1155832571.mp3

"There is much more work to be done... John Karr is presumed innocent. We are rightly constrained by the code of contact ... to answer those questions. ... There are situations that mandate an arrest before the investigation is complete... Do not jump to conclusions, to not rush to judgement

I think the media perhap... (Below threshold)
Capt. Codger:

I think the media perhaps bungled this case more than the Boulder D.A. The media ran with Karr being the killer long before the D.A. made any statement, and it was pretty evident to even casual observers that Karr's story didn't match up with the evidence gathered at the scene, as well as the Coroner's report, etc.

Agreed. And, if you remember, Matt Drudge had the following headline, in quotes mind you, regarding this case:

"I killed JonBenet"
http://www.drudgereportarchives.com/data/2006/08/17/20060817_213941.htm

My Way also reported it as such.
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20060817/D8JI67383.html

Even at that time, it was understood, if one cared to read the actual news available, that Karr had NEVER actually said thsoe very words. Never. He had never specifically confessed to killing her. This was made quite clear by wiser heads, Dan Abrams on MSNBC, and the coverage on Court TV also kept repeating this to no avail apparently.

"I was with JonBenet when she died," Karr told reporters afterward, visibly nervous and stuttering as he spoke. "Her death was an accident."

Asked if he was innocent of the crime, Karr said: "No."

This is, as we see unfolding now, most demonstrably different than confessing to killing JonBenet. It could mean "I was there and witnessed it." and thus, somehow to blame. It could also mean, that Karr is somehow blaming himself for it somehow, imagining it. It is not being used as a tacit confession for that very reason, it would appear.

Can it be aluded that he is confessing? Yes, but again, the distinction is important, especially before the law.

The jump that so many in the media and the public took from what Karr did say and "I Killed JonBenet" is an excellent example of everything that is wrong with our media and with how we in the public assume without facts or critical judgement.

If people had simply bothered to deal with reality, rather than actually deigning to put quotes around words that were NEVER actually uttered...

That might be a good start.

In the old days, putting quotes around a comment meant it was ACTUALLY SAID.

And, doing so without it ACTUALLY BEING SAID was considered a breech of the public trust.

Are those in the media who breeched this trust going to be chastised for it?

Anyone here wish to call Matt Drudge on his obvious lack of credibility in this regard?

Charlie is quite right on t... (Below threshold)

Charlie is quite right on that point - it wasn't the DA hyping the story, it was the media, with the cooperation of the Thai police and presumably some at various US agencies to supply the leaks.

Mary Lace is the same DA th... (Below threshold)
kathie:

Mary Lace is the same DA that made wild statements in the CU sex scandal 2 years ago, saying that the football team was raping girls and the coach knows about it. No foundation what so ever. Actually lead every one to believe that black football players were responsible. I'm not surprised. She is a ding bat.

My guess is that his ex-wif... (Below threshold)
Corky Boyd:

My guess is that his ex-wife had some pretty convincing proof that he was home Christmas 1996. Hope some enterprising reporter will follow up with her. Today was to be the day for her interview with Boulder Co. authorities.

I live near Sonoma County, ... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

I live near Sonoma County, California; it is one of the most liberal areas on the planet. Karr will be well treated, have the finest taxpayer-paid attorneys, and even if found guilty, will likely serve only minimal time in a cushy prison. Can I vote to send him back to Thailand?

This circus can be blamed o... (Below threshold)
hermie:

This circus can be blamed on three parties:

1. The guy writing the book, who made a big deal out of this 'confession'.

2. The DA, who took the 'confession' at face value, without any substantive proof that this wasn't just some nut.

3. The media, who blew this up into near 24 hour coverage. They made this into a 'story' despite nothing to support it.

Color me totally unsurprise... (Below threshold)
Bill M:

Color me totally unsurprised. I think this was obvious from the start.

I suspect that there were m... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

I suspect that there were multiple levels of screw-ups here.

1. Karr is a loon who convinced himself that he killed her. He had researched the case so much tht, being a whack job, it was an easy leap to make for him. It wouldn't be the first time something like this happened.

2. The police used the fact that he knew details of the crime scene that had never been released as proof he knew something. Big mistake. First, just because they didn't know facts were out there doesn't mean some detective didn't shoot his mouth off somewhere when he had a snootful and say something he shouldn't have. What are the odds that anyone would confess to that if it happened? Zero? Second, when someone is a pedophile and has researched a case so extensively, he could easily have stumbled onto the facts accidentally leaked. He aslo could have made some educated guesses based on his research. The police wanted to believe him, so they took facts that were similar to the truth and believed them to be the truth.

3. The DA is an idiot. Stevie Wonder could see that this guy was a moron. Apparently, she ws so anxious to close the case that she jumped at the chance.

If I were a resident of Col... (Below threshold)
cj:

If I were a resident of Colorado, I would be demanding the DA's head on a pike.

Will He be charged as a Pee... (Below threshold)
914:

Will He be charged as a Peewee Herman lookalike??

Steve L:Remember, ... (Below threshold)
hermie:

Steve L:

Remember, that the author who went to the DA had been researching the case for his book. We only know of some of the conversations; not the ones where the lurid details were discussed with Karr. For all we know, Karr simply parroted back what he was told.

The Boulder DA should have ... (Below threshold)
Davidlin:

The Boulder DA should have arrested this idiot years ago. Every pediphile should be pursued to the ends of the earth and put in the slammer. She is going to reap a lot of criticism for her actions. And that's going to discourage similar actions in the future. That's too bad. This guy is a fugative. Protect the children. She should have snared him five years ago when he was in California. How many children have suffered because she didn't?

If you were facing any amou... (Below threshold)

If you were facing any amount of time in a prison in Thailand, wouldn't you do anything and everything to get your butt extradited back to the U.S.A.? IMHO that's exactly what this piece of excrement did. If they had any stones, the Colorado D.A.'s office and the Federal government should present Mr. Karr with a nice fat invoice for the costs of bringing him back to the States including food and wine, and when he can't pay that invoice, put him to work cleaning rest area outhouses until he's worked off his debt.

As to the news media, they ... (Below threshold)

As to the news media, they have blown this up into a feeding frenzy. The journalism professor with whom Karr was trading e-mails kept telling Larry King this on Sunday night (and in fact even said that the only reason he came on Larry King was to make that specific point) and do you think King heard a word he said? Heck no - he kept right on asking the inane and intrusive questions that the professor had clearly stated he would not answer!

Pinheads!

Morons.

This is too weird, here is ... (Below threshold)

This is too weird, here is a Profile which gives the birthdate I discussed earlier and posted on http://powdertracks.blogspot.com

The Profile of this Guy on Labor Law Talk forum http://www.laborlawtalk.com/member.php?userid=73513 shows his birthdate would make him 29 just like Omeed Azziz Popal. Is too coincidental? I bet the New York DA, Barry Weinrib, that put the Brother, Farid Popal from Fremont California in Jail, in May 2006, for murder of a 24 year old Law Student, Samiya Haqiqi, several years ago in Jail in May 2006 is Jewish too!.... Did this coupled with the "Arranged Marriage" Blues and the recent bad Press the IDF has had, and the success of the American led coalition forces in Afganistan make this Monster turn into a Rabid Antisemite too. See the Free Farid Popal Project @ http://www.freefaridpopal.com/background.html
View Profile: freefarid
freefarid http://www.laborlawtalk.com/showthread.php?t=146330

Birthday:
October 11, 1977
Biography:
My brother has been wrongfully convicted of a crime he didn't committ. the justice system has failed
Location:
USA

Thanks




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