Man confesses to 1996 murder of JonBenet Ramsey

Thursday, August 17, 2006

John Mark Karr, 41, a former elementary school teacher, has confessed to killing 6-year-old JonBenét Ramsey in 1996. Karr, an American, was arrested in an apartment located in Bangkok, Thailand. Karr called the killing an "accident", thereby implying that it was not murder, which requires intent.

"I was with JonBenét when she died. I loved JonBenét. She died accidentally. I am so very sorry for what happened to JonBenét. It's very important for me that everyone knows that I love her very much, that her death was unintentional, that it was an accident," Karr told reporters in a press conference yesterday. When Karr was asked by a reporter if he was innocent, regarding Ramsey's murder, he simply replied "no."

Karr also said that it would take "several hours" to describe what happened to Ramsey.

"It would take several hours to describe that. It's a very involved series of events that would involve a lot of time. It's very painful for me to talk about it," added Karr.

Despite the confession, ABC News is reporting that the ex-wife of Karr is supplying an alibi and says that he was in Alabama with her when the murder occurred.

John Ramsey, JonBenét's father, issued a statement shortly after the news of the arrest saying, "I want to have only very limited comment on today's arrest because I feel it is extremely important to not only let the justice system operate to its conclusion in an orderly manner, but also to avoid feeding the type of media speculation that my wife and I were subjected to for so many years."

Karr is expected to be charged with "second-degree murder. . . . He said it was unintentional. He said he was in love with the child. She was a pageant queen," said Lt. Gen. Suwat Tumrongsiskul, chief of the Thai police.

"Karr will be returned to Colorado within the next week and will face charges of first-degree murder, felony murder, kidnapping and sexual assault," said official for the Department of Homeland Security at the United States Embassy in Bangkok.

Investigators say that Karr was being investigated for months and was arrested on sex charges that were not related to the Ramsey case. United States authorities were watching Karr after he attempted to get a job as a teacher in Thailand.

Ramsey's lifeless body was found in her home just one day after Christmas in 1996. There had been no signs that anyone had forceably entered the home, but police did find evidence of DNA, from a male, under the fingernails of Ramsey; however, investigators had never been able to match the DNA to anyone.

A man with the same name, presumably Karr himself, founded PowerWurks, "a world wide support organization for kids, teens and college students." A March 7, 1996 newsgroup post to alt.missing-kids read "All my plans revolve around kids. I am very concerned about the well being of all young people. I'll do anything I can to help find a missing child. I have 3 children of my own and I don't know what I would do if they were taken from me." The message used an anonymizer to hide his email address.