Skip to main content


Return to Transcripts main page


Panel Discusses JonBenet Ramsey Case

Aired August 22, 2006 - 21:00   ET


JUDGE LUIS LAVIN, SUPERIOR COURT: Mr. Karr, I'm holding up a waiver of extradition, do you see that?

JOHN MARK KARR: Yes, Your Honor.

LAVIN: Did you read and understand the form?

KARR: Yes, Your Honor.

LAVIN: Do you understand that by signing this form you're agreeing that you could be extradited to Colorado?

KARR: Yes, Your Honor.

LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, the JonBenet Ramsey murder suspect in court today, next stop Boulder. What did he say to the two lawyers who met with him in jail yesterday? We'll ask them.

Plus, was the suspect planning to have a sex change operation in Thailand? We'll talk to someone who spoke with the surgeon in question.

Also, a handwriting expert who thinks the suspect wrote the ransom note found at the Ramsey house, and more, all next on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: Good evening from Los Angeles.

Here in our studios is Charlie Brennan returning, the reporter for the Rocky Mountain News, who's been covering the Ramsey case since the start. He's broken many significant stories.

And, at the L.A. County Jail, Dan Simon, Dan you've learned that John Karr did some talking to U.S. authorities after his arrival in L.A. from Bangkok. What was that all about?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Larry, when he landed and was taken into custody by U.S. law enforcement, he just started talking and he -- and he gave some unsolicited comments. And, once again, he made these confessionary statements.

And I want to quote one of them. He says, "Everybody says I didn't know my way around the house but I got in the house around five o'clock and I stayed there all night." He goes on to say, "They (meaning the Ramseys) didn't come back until ten o'clock."

So, Larry, once again you have the suspect, you have this defendant who is going around and basically blabbing his alleged involved in this case. It's just astounding that he would do this in the presence of officers here in Los Angeles -- Larry.

KING: We'll meet his two lawyers in a couple of minutes.

Charlie, you were at the court, what was it like?

CHARLIE BRENNAN, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS: Well, it was an interesting proceeding in that well, for one thing, we were kept waiting about 90 minutes longer than we'd anticipated. And then when the hearing went off, it went off in three minutes and I might be -- that might be on the high side.

And, it was the three words heard round the world, "Yes, Your Honor" he said when asked if he would waive extradition. And, we were in and out of there in the blink of a eye once it did get going.

KING: What is the latest status, Dan? When does he go to Boulder?

SIMON: Well, he's free to go at any point now. As far as we know he is still here at the L.A. County Jail. This extradition hearing today paved the way for him to go now to Boulder, Colorado. And, from what we understand, it's just a matter of the authorities from there essentially grabbing him and taking him to Colorado. We don't know at this point if he's going to be going on a commercial jet or flying privately -- Larry.

KING: Charlie, first time to see him today right for you?

BRENNAN: Indeed.

KING: Impressions.

BRENNAN: He seemed very composed and he -- he was -- his chin was up. He appeared to be looking the judge directly in the eye. He seemed -- he didn't seem cowed by his environment but then again his face was fairly expressionless and it didn't really betray a lot of emotion one way or another.

KING: The L.A. Superior judge left the impression that he was formally charged but the Boulder D.A. says he has not been formally. What's the story?

BRENNAN: Several of us had five minute heart attacks hearing the words of Judge Lavin because the words that he spoke did leave the impression even with Karr's own attorneys that charges had now been filed formally in Boulder, Colorado.

I spoke with Boulder authorities following the hearing and that is absolutely not the case. His status remains the same. He is the subject of a warrant for his arrest for investigation on these various charges but no charging decision has been made and probably won't be for several more days.

KING: So you can be extradited without any formal charge?

BRENNAN: Absolutely, yes.

KING: Extradited under suspicion.

BRENNAN: Exactly.

KING: What was the bit in the glass box, Dan Simon? Why was he in a glass booth?

SIMON: Well that's just the way they do things there at the -- at the Los Angeles Courthouse. A lot of times when you have defendants who directly come from the jail they keep them boxed up essentially to protect all the folks who gather in the courtroom. You see that in a lot of courtrooms -- Larry.

KING: We have an e-mail question guys from Jay in Raleigh, North Carolina. The question is, "Did John Mark Karr's brother ever work for John Ramsey?"

Wendy Hutchins (ph), the California woman who claims she has tapes of John Karr claims he told her he had met JonBenet at her family Christmas party, a party he says he attended with his brother, who he claimed worked for John Ramsey. What do you know about that, Charles?

BRENNAN: Well, I know that the team at the Rocky Mountain News like a lot of other media, have been examining that question today. I don't believe that we have that question nailed down. But this business about a brother who might or might not work for John Ramsey being at that party is ludicrous based on the information that we do have.

We know the guest list for that party. It did not include any occasional employees of John Ramsey, much less any of their brothers. So, to me that one smells very fishy.

KING: What happens when he goes back to Colorado?

BRENNAN: There will be -- they will have 72 hours in which to give him his first advisement in court and then within 72 hours after that they need to either file charges against him or cut him loose.

KING: Are you going to go to Colorado, Dan?

SIMON: Well, we have some crews already there. When he actually leaves for Boulder, I certainly hope to go with him, but obviously CNN is covering this story aggressively. We got -- got a lot of troops on the ground -- Larry.

KING: Dan, is he a logistical headache for the L.A. Police?

SIMON: Not so much. I mean he's -- he's locked up in the L.A. County Courthouse or the jail rather. In terms of logistics I don't see it being a problem and, you know, I don't think they're going to really alert the media when he is going to leave.

So it's not like he's much of a security risk. I don't think in other words you're going to see all these local news helicopters following him when he leaves because I think they're going to do it probably late at night when everybody is asleep.

KING: Charlie, what was the scene like in court today, was it madhouse press?

BRENNAN: Not quite a madhouse and it was interesting in that probably at least the back -- the whole back half of the courtroom was just made up of much less famous or should I say infamous defendants waiting their turn on routine matters.

The first half of the courtroom pretty well packed with reporters, maybe about three dozen. The rest of the courtroom just people who had had the good or bad fortune to draw their ticket for court the same day as John Mark Karr.

KING: Thanks, Dan. Thanks, Charlie. We'll, of course, be calling on you frequently. You've been with us so many times.

BRENNAN: Well thank you very much, Larry.

KING: Charlie Brennan and Dan Simon.

When we come back two attorneys who have known John Mark Karr since he was brought up on child porn charges five years ago and they met with him here in L.A. today, their thoughts on him when LARRY KING LIVE continues.


LAVIN: A demand has been made for your surrender by the State of Colorado, County of Boulder, Mr. Karr. The complaint alleges that you are a fugitive from justice and that you are charged with five counts.

You are charged with one count of first degree murder after deliberation and one count of first degree felony murder, one count first degree kidnapping, and one count of second degree kidnapping, one count of sexual assault upon a child.



KING: And welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.

One reminder, tomorrow night's program will be on one hour earlier because of the bin Laden special that will air in this time period. We'll be on at 8:00 Eastern. The special guest is Sheryl Crow, Sheryl Crow tomorrow night, 8:00 Eastern, 5:00 Pacific, one night only, back to the regular hours on Thursday.

We welcome now Patience Van Zandt, who represented John Mark Karr in connection with his 2001 misdemeanor charges of possessing kiddy porn. She met with him in jail yesterday as did Jamie Harmon. She and Patience Van Zandt are member of the same law firm Harmon and Associates. She also met with Karr on Monday.

What happened in that case in 2001, Patience?

PATIENCE VAN ZANDT, ATTORNEY, REPRESENTED JOHN MARK KARR in 2001: Larry, in 2001, I was a deputy public defender with the County of Sonoma. Mr. Karr was charged with some misdemeanor offenses having to do with the allegation that he possessed contraband on his computer. So, I was assigned as a representative of the Public Defender's Office to represent him in that case.

KING: And what was the outcome?

VAN ZANDT: It's still pending.

KING: Really?

VAN ZANDT: And the Sonoma County Public Defender's Office still represents him in that case.

KING: Five years on a misdemeanor?

VAN ZANDT: My understanding is that the proceedings were postponed when Mr. Karr was out of the area.

KING: Went to Thailand or wherever he went.

VAN ZANDT: Or wherever he went.

KING: How did you come to get this case, Jamie?

JAMIE HARMON, ATTORNEY, MET WITH KARR YESTERDAY: Patience had a connection with Mr. Karr. They had a relationship that was pretty full, a full professional relationship. They spent a lot of time together and Patience developed a concern for him when we saw him on television speaking to the media.

So, we made contact with him. We attempted to contact him in Thailand unsuccessfully. And so we flew down. Patience flew down to be here the night he arrived from Thailand in Los Angeles.

KING: Is this pro bono?

HARMON: We're not talking about that aspect of it just now, Larry.

KING: How are you being paid? Will you go to Denver tomorrow?

HARMON: I don't think we'll go tomorrow but we are very likely to go in the near future.

KING: You are his lawyers?

HARMON: We are advising him currently.

KING: You may not be his lawyers?

HARMON: Well, I don't know how many he's going to have honestly. We may be one of a group.

KING: Now what about your client, Patience, what don't we know about him?

VAN ZANDT: I think that what you know about him is pretty limited and is limited to what the law enforcement and media folks would like you to know about him. Everything that's been presented has been snippets taken out of days and days that he spent with law enforcement and the media in Thailand before he came here.

KING: Do you know why, Patience, he is apparently confessing or admitting to things which any lawyer would tell you not to do?

VAN ZANDT: Sure. I don't believe that he is confessing. The statements that he's making and again, what we're getting are very small portions of conversations that he's having with law enforcement officials who worked him.

I mean I'm sorry to say that this is not an unusual practice with law enforcement. If they can intimidate somebody into making damaging statements, they will. In the event that they're not able to do that they will sometimes charm them into it and that's what they did with Mr. Karr.

KING: In Thailand?

VAN ZANDT: Yes. He's extraordinarily vulnerable as anyone would be. He was taken out of his home, locked up. He was -- he's charged with some pretty serious offenses. He's exhausted. He's been -- I'm sorry.

KING: I'm sorry, are you shocked at what he's saying Jamie?

HARMON: He's not saying it anymore.

KING: No, but what about today reported that he said "I was in the house at five o'clock. The Ramseys came home at ten o'clock"?

HARMON: Well, I'm hearing that second, third, fourth, fifth hand and...

KING: You don't know that he said that.

HARMON: I don't know that he said that. I don't -- I don't have any information directly that he said that.

KING: Is he a good client?

HARMON: He's a -- he's a very engaging person. It was a -- it was a powerful interview for me, as I think you may have heard me say earlier. Rarely have I connected with a client in the way that I connected with him.

KING: You like him?


KING: Do you, Patience?


KING: You don't have to like your clients right?


HARMON: No, a lot of times we don't.

KING: Do you think he did not do what he's apparently going to be charged with? He hasn't been charged yet right?

HARMON: That's our understand that he's not been charged. There's been a lot of speculation about that because it's sort of shroud of mystery that's hanging over the charging aspect of this case.

KING: We can say though, Patience, from what we do know he is different.

VAN ZANDT: He's certainly different and he's different from the vast majority of our clients. Mr. Karr is not a man with any experience with the justice system. He's not -- he's not at all what a person would think of -- would expect him to be based on how he's been portrayed.

KING: You described, Patience you said earlier today that he's been exhausted physically. No one has harmed him have they?

VAN ZANDT: Well he -- not intentionally but he was set upon by the media in Thailand with such aggression that he was injured. He has -- he has bruising to his ribs. He's got aches and pains and bruises all over him. He's in -- he's in a lot of physical discomfort.

KING: What do you make of this whole thing, Jamie? I mean what can you tell us?

HARMON: I think we've said it today relentlessly that Mr. Karr is being portrayed in a way that is unfair and inaccurate and we are standing up and letting the world know that this is the person that you are seeing in these sound bytes is not the person that we came in contact with. He is a human being. There's enormous humanity there. It's important to keep that in mind.

KING: If he's charged, can you definitely say he would plead not guilty?

HARMON: Yes, absolutely.

KING: That we can say definitely?

HARMON: Yes, as a technical -- as a technical process he would definitely plead not guilty.

KING: Have you talked, Patience, to the prosecutor?

VAN ZANDT: I have not.

HARMON: I have.

KING: You have.


KING: What did they tell you?

HARMON: Not a whole lot. Their information flow at this point is very -- they're keeping it very close to the vest. They've told us, in fact the words were used "You are not first in our loop of communication," so they don't tell us a whole lot.

KING: Have they taken or requested to take you client's DNA, Patience?

VAN ZANDT: They -- my understanding is they have not taken it nor have they requested to take it. It's -- it's surprising to me.

KING: Wouldn't you think that would be essential?

VAN ZANDT: Well...

HARMON: We would think so.

VAN ZANDT: ...I would think so.

KING: So you don't know what they have?

HARMON: Well and I don't think anybody does at this juncture, Larry, honestly but we have it on very good authority that DNA has not been taken in this case despite reports in the media.

KING: Is Mr. Karr scared?

VAN ZANDT: I think he's as frightened as any of us would be being taken from our home, dragged halfway around the world. He hears the things that are being said about him in the media. He's facing potentially capital charges. I think he's as frightened as anybody would be.

KING: But he doesn't look it.

HARMON: He looked it to us yesterday.

KING: He did?


KING: He looked pretty calm in court today. HARMON: Yes, he was much more composed today. I made that comment that I -- felt that, and I don't know if it was a result of anything that we were able to discuss with him but he seemed much more calm today, much more focused. I mean he's also, you know, he's starting to get here physically and mentally from being in Thailand.

KING: So your next move is you don't know when you're going to go to Boulder?

HARMON: We don't precisely.

KING: Do you know when he's going?

HARMON: No. I, you know, speculation, learned speculation within the next 24 to 48 hours.

KING: Thank you both very much.

HARMON: You're welcome.

KING: Patience Van Zandt and Jamie Harmon, the attorneys currently representing -- well advising the suspect.

Up next, just how important is DNA evidence in this case? Two former Boulder area prosecutors tell us what they think when LARRY KING LIVE returns.


KING: Now joining us in Boulder, Colorado is Bob Grant, the former district attorney of Adams County, Colorado, advised the Boulder authorities on the JonBenet Ramsey case at the request of former Boulder D.A. Alex Hunter.

And, in Denver, is Craig Silverman, who served 16 years in the Denver D.A.'s Office, was chief deputy district attorney, is now a criminal defense attorney. He also has a radio talk show on KHOW, KHOW in Denver.

Bob Grant, what do you make of all of this?

BOB GRANT, FORMER D.A.: Larry, it's another bizarre turn in a bizarre case. I'm withholding judgment until I see the results of the DNA tests. I think that tells the story.

KING: Are you surprised that apparently, according to the lawyers, they have not asked for the DNA?

GRANT: Well, as I understand it they took some swabs from his mouth in Thailand. I don't know that as a fact but that's what I've been told. I'm not surprised that they wait until they get back here to Boulder to take the samples they need under controlled circumstances so they can nail down the chain of custody and make sure the collection process is done right.

KING: During your part of the investigation and when you were looking into all this did his name ever come up?

GRANT: Never heard it before, Larry.

KING: So all this is a shock to you?

GRANT: Well, I wouldn't say it's a shock. I know that -- I know that the Boulder authorities have been working on the case pretty much steadily, pretty much steadily for ten years and certainly since Mary Lacy has been in office, so I suppose in the back of my mind I expected one day there would be somebody in the dock and we're just hopeful that there will be some justice for JonBenet at some point.

KING: Craig Silverman, you served 16 years in the Denver D.A.'s Office. What do you make of all this?

CRAIG SILVERMAN, FORMER DENVER CHIEF DEPUTY DIST. ATTY.: Well, I'll tell you, Larry, that arrest last week shocked the world and it certainly was surprising to me. You have to believe that Mary Lacy had more than this kooky confession we all saw on television.

Look at all that's developed since last Wednesday. All these events that are trending toward the prosecution as a result of the media exposure, Wendy Hutchins came forward from Petaluma, California. She has tapes of this guy sort of confessing to the crime and giving details that were not necessarily known to the public, including hiding under the bed.

These conversations were recorded in March and April of 2001. Louis Smith (ph) did not talk publicly about his theory until shortly after that when this guy was under arrest.

Look also at that yearbook. He says, "I shall be the conqueror" which is the best explanation of S.B.T.C. You're going to have a handwriting expert on and the Rocky Mountain News and I expect on your show handwriting analysis, which is not perfect but understand that a lot of people could be excluded.

The other big development of the day it's been four or five days since the family said, "We'll gather the evidence showing he was with us on Christmas." I don't think they have that evidence. If they did, they would have provided it to Mary Lacy. I don't think she would have gone forward with that hearing in L.A. today.

KING: Because, Craig, if he was with the family on Christmas morning he couldn't have got to Colorado that afternoon.

SILVERMAN: It would have been really difficult. I suppose he could have taken a flight on Christmas afternoon after all the crime occurred the evening of Christmas night.

KING: Bob Grant, we have an e-mail question about charges from Nicolle of Lake Elizabeth, California. The question is, "Why is this guy being charged with kidnapping when JonBenet was never removed from the house?"

GRANT: Two potential theories, Larry. One, first degree kidnapping in Colorado involves moving someone from some place to another and demanding ransom and that person ending up dead. That's a kidnapping.

And second degree kidnapping only requires some kind of movement that puts the person in further danger and this point from the bedroom down to the -- down to the basement would satisfy that particular element.

KING: Craig Silverman, does DNA supersede his own statements? I mean is that the key, the DNA?

SILVERMAN: Absolutely, Larry. DNA is the 600-pound gorilla. If it's a miss, the prosecution is going to be hard pressed to prove this case. But if it's a match, it is game, set, and match with -- for the state. Understand that even with his kooky confession if you have a DNA match a jury will convict.

KING: Bob, is that why he has not yet been formally charged?

GRANT: Well, you know one thing that you have to remember, Larry, is all of these statements that we've seen, the statements in that -- that Thai whatever it was, all of that stuff occurred after the arrest warrant was processed here in Boulder. So, whatever she has, whatever the D.A. has to establish probable cause was before any of those statements.

I have to believe that she knows something that we don't know in terms of what he said, either in e-mails to Tracey or in some other context that at least she believes is likely to be something only the killer would know.

But the DNA still is the key, still is the key, and she won't be charging him at least until she's got a good, solid anticipation that the DNA will be forthcoming very soon.

KING: Thank you both very much. We'll be calling on you again throughout this.

SILVERMAN: Thank you.

KING: Bob Grant and Craig Silverman, great to have them with us.

When we come back, was John Mark Karr really ready to undergo sex reassignment surgery? Find out what Karr's reported doctor had to say about it next.


KING: We're back.

Joining us again from New York, Dr. Keith Ablow, forensic psychiatrist, best-selling novelist, non-fiction author as well, he's the host of the Dr. Keith Ablow Show, which debuts on syndicated television on September 11th. You'll check your local newspapers for time and station.

Doctor, you've spoken with the sex change surgeon in Thailand who John Karr reported went to. What did you learn?

DR. KEITH ABLOW, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: What I learned is that -- this is an upstanding physician, first of all. He's certainly not going to talk about his patient in terms of the intimate medical details without a release of information, which is appropriate. However he did confirm for me that this is a man who he visited with. He also confirmed that he does well over 100 of these surgery a year that many of his patients come to him from the United States. And he also confirmed he didn't consider Mr. Karr to be an appropriate candidate because Mr. Karr hadn't lived a life as a woman. He hadn't dressed as a woman, hadn't used makeup extensively as a woman, hadn't grown his hair as the doctors suggest his patients do.

KING: So in other words, we would appear not suitable?

ABLOW: At the juncture the doctor evaluated him, it seemed to me that the doctor was saying he wasn't appropriate, given his standards, that's right.

KING: After talking with the doctor, Keith, and with all we know of fragments of what we know, what's your read on this man?

ABLOW: Well, my read on this guy is that he is somebody who is not at home in his own persona.

We know several things. One is that he's not comfortable apparently with his own gender. Now, there are many potential reasons for that but we know that to be the case. We know that he's not even comfortable with his chronological age. He says he feels most contemporary with adolescents. And he's also, of course, spoken about the fact that he feels more comfortable with adolescent girls than with males.

So we have somebody whose gender is not fit for him, whose age is not a fit for him, who has never been able to really hold down employment that seems consistent. He's never found a place for himself in the world. And so we could imagine how somebody like this, who's unanchored, could insert himself in a drama and consider that to be part of his life's story, because he can slip the binding of his own existence.

KING: ABC News is reporting that an old family friend says that John Karr's mother tried to burn him to death when he was an infant. What do you make of that?

ABLOW: Well, first of all, we know also that John Karr lost his mother tragically when he was 12, which I've said before, can sometimes lock somebody emotionally and psychologically at the age of that trauma.

But I've always found in every case in which I've evaluated somebody who has no empathy for others, and this is somebody who lacks empathy because we know other things about him -- his interest in children sexually or underaged women sexually -- underaged girls. His unkindness to previous wives with whom he's been married. And so those facts suggest that this is somebody who has suffered in the past.

That doesn't excuse what he's done, but certainly the fact that his mother apparently suffered with mental illnesses, that she apparently sought to end his life, or at least to hurt him very badly as a child, says this guy died emotionally earlier in his existence and he can't connect with other people the way that we do.

KING: Let's make it clear, when you say what he's done, we don't know what he's done, and is he presumed innocent of anything -- in fact, he hasn't been charged with anything.

ABLOW: No. No. By that I mean that he did, in fact marry somebody underage and did it twice.

KING: Just that.

ABLOW: Just -- if we just take that and the fact that he has expressed an interest in child pornography apparently.

KING: Let's take a call. Denver for Dr. Keith Ablow, hello.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I was wondering in light of the new information that Mr. Karr says that he was in there at 5:00 in the Ramsey house, couldn't he possibly have written the ransom note, sincerely believing that he was going to kidnap JonBenet, and then ended up accidentally killing her instead?

ABLOW: Well, I suppose anything's possible. I'm not a detective, I'm a psychiatrist, a forensic psychiatrist. But what I can tell you is that it's also possible that, in looking into this case, in great depth -- and I'm not suggesting I know that this is the case, but that in looking into this drama, he lost himself in the drama. Could he have written the note? Possibly. Did that mean he intended to kidnap and ransom a child? Maybe, but not for sure.

KING: What puzzle, as a forensic psychiatrist, what would you most like to know about him?

ABLOW: As a forensic psychiatrist, I would most like to know whether he has fixed in false beliefs of other kinds. In other words, is he reality-oriented or does he have delusional thinking? In what other contexts might he say things that are simply not true?

In other words, does he feel that he's connected to other crimes? Does he confess to other things of which he feels tremendously guilty?

So what I would want is a full mental status examination in which we determine whether his statements are in any way reliable.

KING: Could it be possible that he believes he did it, and didn't do it?

ABLOW: Absolutely. You know, I think there are three possibilities. One is he's telling us the truth and he did it.

Second possibility is he's lying to manipulate the system. And this is a frustrated writer of true crime stories who has found a way to sell a book, for instance, OK. A funny way to sell a book, but nonetheless interesting.

Third possibility he absolutely believes it, that he's guilty in some way because he loved this girl, and he was with her spiritually, when she died, and he saw through the eyes of the killer, the way it was done, and it was an accident that he couldn't intervene at that moment. And we may learn that's the case.

KING: This is going to be a long and difficult process. And I guess everyone's searching going to learn more. Would you keep him on suicide watch?

ABLOW: I would absolutely have this guy on suicide watch. Because you know what, Larry, if this is the man I believe him to be, who has too little to sort of anchor him in his own life story, doesn't feel to be at one with himself psychologically, he may decided that the best way to leave this story is as an unended mystery, that we will have to live with the indecision because he takes his own life. And they should be very careful of that, very careful indeed.

You know, I was stunned when his legal advisers just mentioned on your show that he'll plead not guilty. I mean, that's a rather, you know, stunning revelation, given that we know that he said that he was there, that he's not innocent, so if he's going to plead not guilty, I guess we do have to question literally everything he's said to this point.

KING: Thanks, doctor. We'll, of course, have you back.

ABLOW: I'd love to be there, thanks.

KING: My pleasure.

Dr. Keith Ablow. And of course, that's the big story so far. The lawyers revealing tonight, he will plead not guilty.

Up next, Patsy Ramsey's sister, what she'd like to say to John Mark Karr if she could talk to him. That's next. Don't go away.



PATSY RAMSEY, JONBENET RAMSEY'S MOTHER: I'm on cloud nine watching her, because she -- she's just so full of spunk and energy and it made me proud. (INAUDIBLE)



KING: Joining us now in Atlanta is Pam Paugh, Patsy Ramsey's sister, JonBenet's aunt. How is the family doing?

PAM PAUGH, PATSY RAMSEY'S SISTER: You know, Larry, at this point we're pretty tired.

KING: What are your impressions of the suspect?

PAUGH: I think that he has a long way to go before he's going to be out from under this umbrella of suspicion, to quote a phrase.

KING: Do you have that umbrella of suspicion or are you one of those who say the guy may be just a kook?

PAUGH: You know, I have been trying not to say either way, Larry, whether I think he is involved or whether I think he is absolutely, as you say, out on a limb somewhere. I've been trying to say, and I'm so glad that the female attorneys have come forward, to give this man some advice. I've been trying to say, can we just give it a rest, and quit analyzing everything. And like John, like Lin Wood, let's wait and see what the district attorney has, what they need yet to find out, and let's move on from there.

KING: Are you surprised, Pam that after 10 years, this still remains a huge story?

PAUGH: You know, I haven't really thought much about the public's infatuation with JonBenet, because, of course, to me, to my family, this is very tragic. It's very real. It's very hurtful, and so to us, it doesn't matter if it's 10 years or 80 years. I mean, when I'm 90-years-old, I'll still be just as hurt as I was 10 years ago, and as I am today over the loss of our baby.

KING: You know with all that John went through and his son, and everything, now we seem to go through it again. The media is obsessed, is it not?

PAUGH: You know, they seem to be. In fact, I had thought initially when this happened, you know, what do I do? What is the responsible thing to do? And I thought, well, I'll put myself out there. If I can answer some questions from the limited knowledge that I have, if I can give a face to our family, because of this attention that we did not seek, but people want to have a vision of what happens on the inside of our family, perhaps that would take some pressure off of John and Burke. But when I learned that the unscrupulous media even barged their way into his dorm room, I absolutely said, enough is enough.

KING: You're not kidding. Thanks, Pam. We'll be calling on you again.

PAUGH: Sure.

KING: Straight ahead, how does John Mark Karr's handwriting compare to that ransom note that Patsy Ramsey found the day JonBenet went missing? A pair of handwriting experts will give their opinions when LARRY KING LIVE returns.


KING: Welcome back. Joining us in Los Angeles is Bruce (sic) Baggett, handwriting expert, president of the Handwriting University, an organization that trains and certifies handwriting experts. And in Wichita, Kansas, is Barbara Downer, president, National Association of Document Examiners. Bart, you've examined copies of the Ramsey ransom note and the yearbook. What do you think?

BART BAGGETT, PRESIDENT, HANDWRITING UNIVERSITY: I think it's uncanny how much these handwritings look alike. For 10 years we've looked for any kind of writing or suspect that has anything similar to this bizarre, strange writing. And this is the first time I've seen something with not one, but four distinct characteristics.

KING: That's his yearbook and the ransom note.

BAGGETT: Absolutely. Well we think it's the yearbook. And we've verified that we've had a witness for the yearbook. That is one important question.

KING: So you think the same person wrote both these?

BAGGETT: I do think the same person. And there is a 10-year time difference and there are some differences. But I'm very comfortable the same person wrote it.

KING: Barbara Downer, what do you think?

BARBARA DOWNER, PRESIDENT, NAT'L ASSOC. DOCUMENT EXAMINERS: I disagree with that, Larry. The writing is contrived, it's embellished, it's obviously made to make a point for writing in the yearbook. It's a number of years away from the ransom note, and mere similarities do not make for genuineness.

KING: Bart?

BARGETT: Well you know, she says embellishment, and I have to agree, the embellishments are an important part of the yearbook. If you look at his signature on the indictment in Bangkok, it is in completely embellished signature. So he now has a current history of making embellished, ostentatious signature, which completely matches with the yearbook.

So I don't know how she's not getting a match there. If you look at those things. Now neither one of us has seen the originals, so there is a small shadow of doubt. But I think those A's that we're looking at, the D's, the T's, very, very similar.

KING: All right, let's start with the A's. Barbara Downer, comparison of the lower case A's?

DOWNER: Yes, in the ransom note there are manuscript A's. These are A's that we are not taught to make in school. They are A's that show up on a typewriter. However, just because he makes the manuscript A in his yearbook, doesn't mean that it is a match. Many people like manuscript A's. I make them myself from time to time and I didn't write the ransom note.

BARGETT: Well, it's kind of like algebra. You know, one variable is important, but if you get one variable plus another variable, that's rare. Plus another variable that's rare, plus another variable that's rare, the D's, the way they're shaped, the A's it becomes building a case.

KING: You would testify in court if subpoenaed?

BARGETT: If the originals don't have anything to do that disproves what I'm saying, which is normally the case, then I'd testify.

KING: Barbara, let's look at the double L's. What does that show you? Barbara?

DOWNER: Well, many times he puts a line through the double L. Or maybe that's an F, I don't know. I really haven't taken a look at the double L's. But my point is that just because you have two or three similarities, doesn't make for a genuine handwriting. There are not enough significant handwriting characteristics, individualizing characteristics that show up in the ransom note that you can match up with this yearbook.

BARGETT: She makes a good point. When you go to court, this is exactly how court goes. There's one expert against another. And what you have to find is not just a difference or is similarity, but a significant similarity or a significant difference. And often those are found under a microscope. I happen to think those double L's are very significant. You've got a shape, a concave L, which is very unusual. You've got one set off higher than the other and you've got it consistently. I mean, this could have been written in the dark, for all we know, in a closet. It's going to have some differences.

KING: But Barbara, this is what sometimes makes it difficult for a jury when experts are involved, right? Both of you could be testifying in this case under subpoena. You're an expert, you're an expert. Both of you are looking at the same thing and seeing it differently. The jury has to decide, right?

DOWNER: Yes, the jury has to decide, but I just don't think that the weight of the evidence goes to taking a 25-year-old document and saying that something 10 years later matches up.

Our handwriting evolves over time. You have to have something contemporaneous, something that's closer in the time to the time that JonBenet was killed of Mr. Karr's handwriting. And to this date, I think there's been a rush to judgment to match up a few similarities and to identify that as having been written by Mr. Karr, because you don't find in the ransom note a great deal of individualizing characteristics.

KING: Do you think, Bart, handwriting will play a big part in this trial, if there is ever a trial?

BAGGETT: Well, you know, the handwriting played a big part in the nonindictment of John and Patsy Ramsey. And one of my friends was on the trial, she passed away without giving up the information. But they may have messed up the evidence. I don't have access to the ransom note, which I think if they had that and we could get a handwriting sample beyond ten years ago, it may be a critical role. You bet.

KING: We'll be calling on both of you again. Bart Baggett and Barbara Downer, thank you very much.

Let's check in with Anderson Cooper who will host "AC 360" in about ten minutes. What's up tonight, Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Larry, at the top of the hour we're going to look in-depth at some of those new details in the JonBenet Ramsey/John Karr story, bringing you an exclusive report about what Karr is now saying happened the night JonBenet was murdered. It is new reporting you'll only see on CNN.

Plus, an exclusive interview with Andrew Young, the first interview with the former Atlanta Mayor and civil rights leader -- it's the first televised interview he's given since getting into hot water over comments that some say were racist. All than and more, Larry, at the top of the hour.

KING: Thanks, Anderson. That's "AC 360" immediately following this program.

When return, Dr. Keith Ablow is back along with a man who knows firsthand the pain John Ramsey feels. And a preview of tomorrow night's big interview with rocker Sheryl Crow.


KING: Welcome back. Joining us in San Francisco is Marc Klaas, founder of the Klaas Kids Foundation. His daughter, Polly, was abducted from her home in Petaluma, California in 1993 and later found murdered.

John Mark Karr lived for a time in Petaluma. And by the way, was fascinated by his daughter's case.

And rejoining us in New York is Dr. Keith Ablow, best selling novelist and nonfiction author whose own TV show premieres September 11.

Marc, what do you make of John Mark Karr?

MARC KLAAS, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: Well, he's -- as the good doctor said in a previous segment, he's absolute a wing nut, probably an incredibly dangerous individual. I'm very glad that they will be matching his DNA samples up against other cold cases. But as far as being responsible for this crime, I think it's way too early to tell at this point.

KING: Are we, in a sense, rushing to judgment?

KLAAS: I think it's absolute rush to judgment. The things that really strike me are, number one, during her preliminary press conference, the Boulder D.A. never made any mention of the law enforcement agencies out of Sonoma County, which leads me to believe that she might have had absolutely no knowledge of that connection.

She certainly seems to have not contacted his family, because they make a very counterclaim.

And then you know, one of the things that is relevant to the last segment, when they were talking about the ransom note is that, I don't know that you'll ever find another case in history where a pedophile has written a ransom note. So this would be an absolute aberration, given what we know about this guy at this point.

KING: And you've certainly studied that.

Dr. Ablow, are there -- is there a type of person who makes false confessions?

ABLOW: Oh, absolutely. I mean, as I've indicated, the people who are likely to make false confessions are the people whose own life stories aren't compelling enough to them, who want to participate in a drama bigger than what they consider their own life story drama to be.

Also, there are people who are highly suggestible, who are under the influence whether he was on medication, I don't know, the time that he may have been interviewed, et cetera, will decide that this is what they're going to tell people, just to get out of the clutches of the interviewers who are setting upon them. Or he may have decided he wanted to leave Thailand. So all of those things could be relevant here.

KING: Marc Klaas, were you ever considered during the time they were searching for your daughter's killer and your daughter, were you ever considered a suspect?

KLAAS: Well, we all are, Larry. Every parent of a murdered child is.

Certainly, the people that have run through your show over the years, Mark Lunsford, myself, John Walsh, Patty Wetterlein (ph) all of us -- Ed Smart -- were all considered suspects. And given that, we've all fully cooperated with law enforcement and the media, and tried to be as transparent as possible so they could get over that hurdle, so that they could then move on to what actually happened in the case. And I think that's what differentiates this case from all of those others, is that the Ramseys were never able to make that leap towards pure deniablity.

KING: Dr. Ablow, are there some suspects, whether they did it or not, who get so involved in the case, the old return to the scene of the crime bit to become obsessed with it?

ABLOW: Oh, absolutely. There are suspects or people who insert themselves into these dramas who are tremendously compelled by the details of a crime and who lose themselves in it.

And I have to agree with Mr. Klaas on what he said as well as that, you have to believe that, when people are innocent, and are facing the loss of a child, as he did, you'd want to say, look take my blood and my hair, give me a polygraph let's move on and find the real killer here. And if we see this gentleman plead not guilty, we'd like to see the same thing from him, in other words, to clear up any discrepancies, let's go, let's get the DNA done, let's do a polygraph, let's do it all. Because presumably he'd want to go and be set free.

KING: Marc Klaas, you only have a few seconds. This must be continuing, in a kind of sense, torture for John Ramsey, isn't it?

KLAAS: Well, it's a continuing torture for everybody. I think that, you know, we've forgotten the victims here. Certainly my own daughter and little JonBenet need to be given peace of mind. And right now they're in the middle of a media circus that seems to be built -- that seems to be no more stable than a tinker toy circus tent. I'm hearing the Calliope coming from behind me. I'm not going to get any more involved in this case. I think it's gotten totally out of hand. And I think we have to sit and wait for something substantive to occur.

KING: Thank you, Marc. Marc Klaas and Dr. Keith Ablow, both will returning we trust.

Before we go, a reminder about tomorrow night's show, a candid and powerful hour with superstar singer Sheryl Crow at a special time, 8:00 p.m. Eastern, 5:00 Pacific. It's her first prime-time interview on her break-up with Lance Armstrong, and her fears when diagnosed with breast cancer.


SHERYL CROW, SINGER: Probably most people have the same experience, where you're just overwhelmed with fear, and it really becomes one of those pivotal moments in your life and emotions start to well up. And even though she could say to me this is not going to end your life, it's going to change your life but it's not going to end it, it's still is not, there's no way to comforted really.


KING: I urge you to watch that tomorrow night, Sheryl Crow, a special hour at a special time, 8:00 p.m. Eastern, right before CNN's special investigation in the footsteps of bin Laden at 9:00.

But not least, as well, before we close things out, we are thrilled to welcome the newest edition to the LARRY KING LIVE family. Zachary Roddick Baker, 7 pounds, 10 ounces of bouncing baby boy, born yesterday to our producer Nancy Baker and her husband Keiran (ph).

As you can see, their daughter Abigail already loves being a big sister.

On that joyful note, we turn it over to "AC 360" and two hours of jam packed information. Anderson, it's yours.


© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines