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New suspect arrested in 1996 Jon Bonet Ramsey murder

 
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 1:33 am    Post subject: New suspect arrested in 1996 Jon Bonet Ramsey murder Reply with quote

BOULDER, Colo. - A man suspected in the slaying of 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey was arrested Wednesday in Thailand in a surprise breakthrough in one of the nation’s most lurid murder cases — a decade-old crime some feared would never be solved.

District Attorney Mary Lacy said the arrest followed several months of work. She would not disclose any details about the suspect, but the Ramsey family’s attorney in Atlanta said the man was a schoolteacher who once lived in nearby Conyers, Ga.

Federal officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, identified the suspect as John Mark Karr, a 42-year-old American, and said he was already being held in Bangkok on unrelated sex charges. CBS reported he will be brought back to the United States this weekend.


The Ramsey family attorney, Lin Wood, refused to say if the Ramseys knew the suspect and said he knew nothing else about the man. JonBenet was born in Atlanta in 1990, and the Ramseys lived in the Atlanta suburb of Dunwoody for several years before moving to Colorado in 1991. The couple moved back to Atlanta after their daughter’s slaying.

Wood said the arrest was vindication for JonBenet’s parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, who had come under suspicion in the slaying. The attorney said the Ramseys learned about the suspect a least a month before Patsy Ramsey’s death June 24 after a long battle with ovarian cancer.

“It’s been a very long 10 years, and I’m just sorry Patsy isn’t here for me to hug her neck,” Wood said.

Murder and ransom note
JonBenet was found beaten and strangled in the basement of the family’s home in Boulder on Dec. 26, 1996. Patsy Ramsey reported finding a ransom note demanding $118,000 for her daughter.

The image of blonde-haired JonBenet in a cowgirl costume and other beauty pageant outfits has haunted TV talk shows ever since, helping feed myriad theories about her killer.

Investigators said at one point that JonBenet’s parents were under an “umbrella of suspicion” in the slaying. But the Ramseys insisted an intruder killed their daughter, and no one was ever charged.

In the months after the slaying, Patsy Ramsey went before the cameras, vigorously defending herself and her husband, chastising the media and blasting local law enforcement as incompetent.

Over the years, some experts suggested that investigators had botched the case so thoroughly that it might never be solved.


In a statement Wednesday, John Ramsey said: “Patsy was aware that authorities were close to making an arrest in the case and had she lived to see this day, would no doubt have been as pleased as I am with today’s development almost 10 years after our daughter’s murder.”

Lib Waters of Marietta, Ga., visited the gravesites of Patsy and JonBenet Ramsey in the Atlanta suburb immediately after hearing news reports about the arrest.

Waters, who described herself as a longtime friend of the Ramsey family, taped a piece of notebook paper to JonBenet Ramsey’s headstone that read: “Dearest Patsy, Justice has come for you and Jon. Rest in peace.”

Work of an intruder, judge concluded
In 2003, a federal judge in Atlanta concluded that the evidence she reviewed suggested an intruder killed JonBenet. That opinion came with the judge’s decision to dismiss a libel and slander lawsuit against the Ramseys by a freelance journalist, whom the Ramseys had named as a suspect in their daughter’s murder. The Boulder district attorney at the time said she agreed with the judge’s declaration.

Wood said Wednesday’s arrest further vindicated his clients.

“I am sure there were still doubts in the minds of individuals whose thinking had been poisoned against this family because of the years of false accusations,” Wood said.


“Today is additional vindication of the family, but I think that knowledgeable individuals familiar with the evidence in the case have known for many years that this family was falsely accused, that they were innocent and that what they lived through in the last 10 years was an American tragedy.”

Wood said he and the Ramseys “have been totally amazed and impressed with the professionalism of law enforcement” under Lacy’s direction. Lacy became district attorney in 2001.

KUSA-TV of Denver, citing no sources, reported that the suspect has confessed to certain elements of the crime.

Bob Grant, a former Adams County district attorney who worked on the case, said there was never enough evidence to convince him that any potential suspect could be successfully prosecuted.

“I wasn’t convinced it was an inside job, nor was I convinced it was an outside job,” he said. “All the outside suspects were cleared after exhaustive investigation, and there were a whole lot of outside suspects.”

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So many questions come up when talking about this case. If this guy never stepped foot inside the house, how did he know his way around? The note that was left on the stairs? The reason why the father STUPIDLY moved his daughters body when he found it in the basement, destroying an forensic evidence that could have been around it?! Why the father didn't look in that ONE ROOM when he searched the whole house when she was noticed missing? Finding peaches in her stomach during the atopsy, when the parents never remember serving her peaches when she got home from the christmas party (they weren't served at the christmas party, either). Too many questions
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I kinda remember hearing about the case. It totally slipped my mind till I saw her picture. I was to young to understand any of this, but I kinda do remember hearing about it though.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jarjar23 wrote:
So many questions come up when talking about this case. If this guy never stepped foot inside the house, how did he know his way around? The note that was left on the stairs? The reason why the father STUPIDLY moved his daughters body when he found it in the basement, destroying an forensic evidence that could have been around it?! Why the father didn't look in that ONE ROOM when he searched the whole house when she was noticed missing? Finding peaches in her stomach during the atopsy, when the parents never remember serving her peaches when she got home from the christmas party (they weren't served at the christmas party, either). Too many questions


For sure. I has the oppurtunity to read the ransom note. It was very strange. Plus, the other things you listed too, the whole thing is really weird. I'm not so sure this wasn't some type of inside job or somebody who knew the family. Who knows if we'll ever know what really happened.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like the weirdo was just looking for attention. His DNA wasn't a match.

BOULDER, Colo. - 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 sexually assaulted and 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.

"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.

The district attorney vowed to keep pursuing leads in JonBenet's death: "This case is not closed."

Karr was never formally charged in the slaying. In court papers, Lacy defended the decision to arrest him and bring him back to the United States for further investigation, saying he might have otherwise fled and may have been targeting children in Thailand as well.

Lacy said Karr emerged as a suspect in April after he spent several years exchanging e-mails and later telephone calls with a University of Colorado journalism professor who had produced documentaries on the Ramsey case.

According to court papers, Karr told the professor he accidentally killed JonBenet during sex... But the Denver crime lab conducted DNA tests last Friday on a cheek swab taken from Karr and were unable to connect him to the crime.

"This information is critical because ... if Mr. Karr's account of his sexual involvement with the victim were accurate, it would have been highly likely that his [fluids] would have been mixed with the blood in the underwear," Lacy said in court papers.

She also said authorities found no evidence Karr was in Boulder at the time of the slaying. She said Karr's family provided "strong circumstantial support" for their belief that he was with them in Georgia, celebrating the Christmas holidays. JonBenet was found beaten and strangled at her Boulder home on Dec. 26, 1996.

Defense attorney Seth Temin expressed outrage that Karr was even arrested.

"We're deeply distressed by the fact that they took this man and dragged him here from Bangkok, Thailand, with no forensic evidence confirming the allegations against him and no independent factors leading to a presumption he did anything wrong," Temin said.

In an interview Monday with MSNBC, Gary Harris, who had been spokesman for the Karr family, said he knew the DNA would not match.

Karr has been "obsessed with this case for a long time. He may have some personality problems, but he's not a killer," Harris said. "He obsesses. He wanted to be a rock star one time. ... He's a dreamer. He's the kind of guy who wants to be famous."

Earlier this month, Ramsey family attorney Lin Wood pronounced Karr's arrest vindication for JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, who had long been suspected in the killing.

On Monday, the attorney said: "From day one, John Ramsey publicly stated that he did not want the public or the media to jump to judgment. He did not want the public or the media to engage in speculation, that he wanted the justice system to take its course."

Wood said he still has great confidence in the district attorney. Patsy Ramsey died of cancer in June.

JonBenet Ramsey's aunt, Pamela Paugh, said she was disappointed there won't be a prosecution of someone in the case, but added: "I think our justice system worked as it was supposed to."

"We asked the DA to do her thing. She did it," said Paugh, who is Patsy Ramsey's sister. "My disappointment came about the end of December 1996 when we didn't have the killer then. We've had 9 1/2 years of disappointment and waiting."

Nate Karr, John Karr's brother, said he was elated by the news. "We're just going to be celebrating with family," he said.

Scott Robinson, a Denver attorney who has followed the case from the beginning, said prosecutors may now be back at square one in the JonBenet case. He said Karr may be charged with lying about his role in the case.

"Seems to me there should be some criminal consequences," he said. "He has cost the taxpayers an enormous amount of money."

Karr was arrested in Petaluma, Calif., in 2001 on charges of possessing child pornography but fled before he could be tried. Colorado authorities said that after the Boulder case against Karr was dropped, California officials asked that he be turned over to them for prosecution.

In court papers, prosecutors said Karr began exchanging e-mails with professor Michael Tracey in 2002, signing them "D" and later "Daxis." The meaning of "Daxis" was not immediately clear.

At first, Karr seemed to be just someone with an intense interest in the case, but he soon claimed responsibility for the crime, and provided more and more detail about that night, according to court papers. He claimed that he accidentally killed JonBenet during sexual activity that included temporarily asphyxiating her, prosecutors said.

He began telling his story in hopes of being included a book Tracey was planning to publish, according to the court papers.

Authorities eventually traced his calls and identified Daxis as Karr, prosecutors said.

The district attorney said there was no way to take a cheek swab from Karr without alerting him that he was under investigation, and that would have created an "unacceptable risk that he would flee."

Also, Karr was about to start a teaching job in Thailand, and in his correspondence began to describe an interest in several girls "in much the same terms that he had described his interest in JonBenet," Lacy said in court papers. Authorities confirmed he was involved with at least one of the girls, Lacy said.

___

Associated Press writers Chase Squires in Boulder, Sandy Shore in Denver, Harry R. Weber in Atlanta and Scott Lindlaw in San Francisco contributed to this report.

(Edited by azumanga: Removedc some unsavory details that may be inappropriate for this board.)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a shame for the family - who finaly thought they had thier killer. Triste
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jarjar23 wrote:
It's a shame for the family - who finaly thought they had thier killer. Triste


Of course, that is assuming both or one of the parents wasn't the killer or involved.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's what was thought at the start and I've been thinking. The whole thing has been weird. I'm also wondering if this guy was paid or asked to say that he did it as a cover up. This whole thing has seemed weird to me, unless it's because it's not an 'ordinary' case. But then if it wasn't a family member I'm also wondering if someone such as another beauty pagent girl's parent's or reletive had a grudge or something. It just seems really strange to me about the whole thing for it not to be a family member such as one or both her parents or someone close to her. Also that they didn't hear nothing at all.

At least the recent suspect will hopefully not be a danger to others now especially that they do have him and he's in custody.

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