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JonBenet Ramsey Murder: 10 Years Later

Aired December 26, 2006 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight: inside the 10-year investigation of the JonBenet Ramsey murder case -- Christmas 1996, the 6-year-old beauty queen found strangled, beaten to death, and apparently the victim of a sex assault, all in the basement of her Boulder, Colorado, home -- a decade later, still no justice.
Tonight: the crime, the clues and the multiple suspects, including the recent catch, arrest and release of former schoolteacher John Mark Karr.


STEVE THOMAS, FORMER BOULDER DETECTIVE: If the police detectives, hypothetically, had gone to the district attorney`s office with an arrest warrant in this case, we would have been run out of town, had we not been able to corroborate, substantiate, provide a nexus.

There`s only three ways to solve a crime, through witnesses, through evidence, or through a confession. And they acted solely on confessionary statements from this 5150 cuckoo, without any other corroboration. And it just simply boggles before my mind.

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "ANDERSON COOPER 360" (voice-over): Paraded before the cameras during a bizarre press conference in Bangkok, his stare alone was unsettling. This was our first look at John Mark Karr, these his first words to the world.

JOHN MARK KARR, DEFENDANT: I loved JonBenet, and she died accidentally.

QUESTION: Are you an innocent man? Are you an innocent man?


QUESTION: What happened?

KARR: Her death was -- was an accident.

COOPER: The statements were shocking. But, as we know, the biggest surprise was yet to come.

First, what was Karr doing in Thailand in the first place? Over the summer, he lived there on the ninth floor of this rundown apartment building in Bangkok. Although he kept to himself, Karr definitely made an impression.

BIJAN SARDJAD, FORMER NEIGHBOR OF JOHN MARK KARR: I think he was very paranoid. I think he was -- he looked like he had something on his conscience, guilty about something, and he would never talk to anyone.

COOPER: He found work as an English teacher. This school hired him. But Karr was fired after a few weeks. Administrators thought he was too strict with the students.

With his arrest in Thailand, the life of a drifter, and his alleged connection to JonBenet, became an open book.

QUESTION: What happened in the basement?

KARR: It`s -- it would take several hours to describe that -- to describe that.

COOPER: Within a few days, Karr was on a plane, headed for Los Angeles, the first leg of a very strange journey.

The flight was surreal, the murder suspect surrounded by cameras and gawking passengers. On the plane, Karr was not handcuffed, as he drank alcohol and ate roast duck. If the authorities were trying to loosen him up and talk, it didn`t work. Karr never spoke.

Karr`s next appearance would be in a Los Angeles courtroom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The People vs. John Karr.

COOPER: He waived extradition to Boulder, Colorado, where he was wanted for the murder of JonBenet Ramsey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You understand that, by signing this form, you`re agreeing to be extradited to Colorado?

KARR: Yes, Your Honor.

COOPER: Two days later, Karr was flown to Colorado, and then driven to Boulder. By this time, however, the case against him was falling apart. JonBenet was murdered the day after Christmas 1996, and Karr`s father said he would never miss a Christmas with his family.

But there was one piece of evident authorities hoped connected Karr to the crime.

BOB GRANT, FORMER ADAMS COUNTY, COLORADO, DISTRICT ATTORNEY: The answer in this case comes from the DNA. If the DNA is his DNA, then he was in that basement on that night, no matter what the family says.

COOPER: In the end, there was no DNA match, which gave prosecutors only one option.

SETH TEMIN, ATTORNEY FOR JOHN MARK KARR: The warrant on Mr. Karr has been dropped by the district attorney. They`re not proceeding with this case.

COOPER: Today, John Mark Karr is a free man, but he may never escape the questions about his obsession with a crime he didn`t commit and a little girl he never met.


GRACE: Let`s go out to a special guest joining -- joining us, "People" magazine staff editor Larry Sutton. He has researched this exhaustively.

Larry, what was your first impression of John Mark Karr? In the first few moments, I heard his statement, I thought he was a crackpot that was fabricating...

LARRY SUTTON, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Well, I -- I think everyone thought that. I think everyone thought that.

If you found anyone there who said, yes, this is the guy who did it, from the start -- that didn`t happen. This is a guy who, you know, his own family said he wasn`t even in the states moments after the arrest was made known. So, there`s a lot of suspicion.


GRACE: But, Larry, as an old trial lawyer myself, you have to take anything a family says -- God bless them -- with a box of salt, because I don`t think there`s anybody here on this studio that night not be tempted to lie to save a family member.

SUTTON: Well, absolutely true. But, as they pointed out, no one had evidence that he was there in Colorado at the time of the death. I mean, they made some good points right from the start, even though they were family members.

GRACE: So, Larry, how did it get this far? How are you going to stand in front of a jury five years from now and go, OK, you know what; we -- we think we were wrong with the mom and dad; we think we were wrong with Santa Claus; we think we were wrong with Helgoth; you know, we even brought somebody home from Bangkok, Thailand; yes, we were wrong about that, but, this time, we`re pretty sure?

SUTTON: I don`t think it`s that much of -- I don`t think it`s that much of a problem, to be honest with you. They tried. They went out. They -- they investigated. They came up with the conclusion, this isn`t the guy. Well, they will go out and try again.

Just because they failed one or two times in their attempt, that doesn`t preclude anyone from coming along down the road a year from now. Maybe they will find the killer.

GRACE: Maybe.

You know, Larry -- hold the camera on Larry just one moment.

Larry, did you just say, maybe they will find the killer?

SUTTON: I don`t know.

GRACE: I mean, it`s already been 10 years, Larry.

SUTTON: Sure. Absolutely. Stranger things have happened. It doesn`t look likely. But can it happen? Sure, it can.

GRACE: The eternal optimist there, Larry Sutton, "People" magazine staff editor. But I have got to say, when I read your article -- stunning.

Out to a special guest, an expert on so-called -- on so-called false confessions, his name, Richard Ofshe.

Richard, thank you for being with us. What do you make of John Mark Karr`s so-called confession?

DR. RICHARD OFSHE, FALSE CONFESSIONS EXPERT: His confession or his statement is really very troubling.

It starts with the fact that we really have no idea who interrogated him, how long they interrogated him. For the first time today, I saw something on an AP wire that actually admitted he was interrogated. Up to that point, it wasn`t clear exactly what happened. In the beginning, people thought he had just sort of volunteered this statement.

But what`s really troubling about what he said were things such as, I was present when it happened, and it wasn`t -- her death was an accident.

Those two statements are not inconsistent. In fact, they are consistent with classic interrogation tactics used to elicit statements from people that are not infrequently false.

The first one is the result of a strategy in which the interrogator tries to sell someone, as happened in the Central Park jogger case, on the idea that, you were only a witness to this, and you need to tell us about what you saw. That got five false confessions to the assault and rape of Patricia Meili in the Central Park jogger case.

The other one, She died by accident -- well, we know that that`s not true, based on the forensic evidence. And, somehow, transforming what is obviously an intentional killing into...

GRACE: Well, Richard, other than the few recent things that we`ve heard that he said, what about those volumes and volumes of e-mails and conversations he`s had with people other than police?

OFSHE: And I don`t know of one statement in any of that that goes beyond showing that he had a very extraordinary and perhaps distasteful fascination with JonBenet Ramsey. But I don`t know of anyone saying he ever confessed or admitted to harming her.


MARY LACY, BOULDER COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Why didn`t you surreptitiously take DNA in Bangkok before you took this person into custody?

We did. We took surreptitious DNA on multiple occasions. Immediately upon locating this person, we went to mailboxes to pick up a package that we sent to him. Two different officers took DNA off of the bicycle that he rode back.

On a separate occasion, they obtained a cup that he used to drink from and a tissue or wipe that he used to wipe his hands.

The bottom line is that after we did that, our expert -- and we put a great deal of respect in our expert from the Denver lab -- said that the sample in the underwear of the victim was a mixed sample, and that we do not want to compare a mixed sample with a mixed sample.

We need a pristine sample. That means a buccal swab. A buccal swab can only be taken by consent or by court proceeding or court order. We couldn`t get his consent, because he didn`t know he was under investigation, and we couldn`t alert him at that time.


GRACE: Joining us now, a forensic scientist who actually examined DNA in the Ramsey case way back when, Mark Stolorow.

Sir, thank you for being with us.

What did you learn from your examination of the DNA?

MARK STOLOROW, FORENSIC BIOLOGIST: We determined that there was DNA that did not match any of the family members in that particular household.

GRACE: Mark, is it -- the DNA in JonBenet`s underwear, is it a mixture of her DNA and the perp`s DNA?

STOLOROW: From what I understand, the relevant stain that is being examined, or under investigation presently, is a bloodstain which is known to have come from a male. And, so, the presence of -- of biological fluids other than blood has not been substantiated.

GRACE: Mark, I`m showing the viewers now the way that an oral DNA swab is taken. It`s really simple. It looks like a long Q-tip, and it`s simply run along the inside of the mouth. From an oral swab, it`s very easy to do. The DNA match will be made.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, GUEST HOST: Let us go straight to Dr. Henry Lee, noted forensic scientist.

We are very delighted to have you with us tonight, Dr. Lee.

I know you worked on this case. You have been hearing all these reports about he reportedly said, according to someone who wasn`t there at the interrogation, that he drugged this girl and that he had sex with her. You have studied the autopsy. What does the autopsy tell you, vis-a-vis those two points?

DR. HENRY LEE, MEDICAL EXAMINER, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: There`s two issues. First of all, there`s no drug was found in her system. Secondly, no male ejaculate was found. In other words, no semen was found. But they did found small amount of foreign DNA on her underpants.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Isn`t it possible, though, that what he is referring -- if, in fact, he referred to this -- as sex is not necessarily -- not to be too graphic -- penile penetration, but something less, like digital penetration or penetration with a foreign object? And weren`t there splinters and abrasions in the vaginal area in the autopsy that would point to something like that?

LEE: Well, it -- maybe. So, we have to wait and see what exactly what does he means and what`s the confession contains of.

Of course, they say is some information, detailed information. Only the people involved in the case knows about it. So, there are so many issue we have to work out, generally, forensic investigation and forensic evidence.


GRACE: Right here on the set, a very special guest with me from Alabama. Teresa Alligood went to high school with John Mark Karr. And, coincidentally, she brought her annual. That`s Alabama for yearbook, yes, no?


GRACE: Show me. What do you have in here?


GRACE: What was he like, by the way, in high school?

ALLIGOOD: He was very quiet, very to himself, very nice.

GRACE: He looked like John Travolta in high school.

Teresa, show them what you consider to be the most important part of this yearbook signing.

ALLIGOOD: Everybody seems to be focusing on the "shall be the conqueror." I`m focusing on, "Deep in the future, maybe I shall be the conqueror." He`s saying "deep in the future." This was written in 1982. The ransom note was written in 1996.

GRACE: "Sometimes, so blurred by my own eyes, I have seen the best things come and go simultaneously, though, deep in the future, maybe I shall be the conqueror and live in multiple peace."

OK, you don`t expect that type of a signing in your high school yearbook.


GRACE: OK. Let`s show the viewers what really stopped me in my tracks, when I saw this because I find his intruder theory to be crazy, wacky and unbelievable.

But you`ve got to see this. Do you have that graph for me? The comparisons between the -- OK, we`ll start at the top.

"Will" -- that is from the high school yearbook. Notice the curving in the parallel "L`s." "Still" -- got it in the ransom note. "All" -- the "A" with the umbrella, "A," umbrella, still the curved parallel "L`s." "Excellent" -- and I`m looking at the "T."

Catch this for me, Dusty (ph). If you see, the "T" has a tail. There`s a tail here. There`s a tail here in the ransom note. Same thing in these "T`s." They`ve got tails and umbrellas over the "A." The umbrella over the "A," very unusual.

Really unusual is the teardrop "D," as in "dog," "D" -- "around" and "delivery adequate." This is years later -- the W," the same. And very importantly, the "A."

Next: JonBenet`s parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, under a cloud of suspicion in the murder of their 6-year-old girl.


THOMAS: Until the Ramseys satisfy the Boulder Police Department that they are not involved in this case...

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": You are asking them to prove their innocence?

THOMAS: Well, they cast the cloud in the initial doubt that hindered their presumption of innocence.

KING: By not coming in?

JOHN RAMSEY, FATHER OF JONBENET RAMSEY: Why, Steve? Why do we have to prove our innocence?


THOMAS: You don`t. You don`t, John. It may be fundamentally wrong, but it...

JOHN RAMSEY: That is fundamentally contradictory to the Constitution.




JOHN SAN AGUSTIN, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: If you look at the physical evidence in this case, it`s abundant. We have unidentified footwear impressions in the room where her body was found. There`s a paint brush that`s missing. There`s rope. There`s tape. There`s a number of things that point to an intruder. You have an open window. You have a suitcase at the base of that window with glass on top of it. These are all obvious signs that an intruder entered this home.


GRACE: Multiple theories on how child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey was killed, including the intruder theory -- an intruder breaking into the Ramsey home.

Still, investigators on the case point the finger at mom and dad, John and Patsy Ramsey, who hire a legal team to defend themselves.





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You want to hold the microphone for me?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, let`s see, JonBenet. What do you want to be when you grow up?

JONBENET RAMSEY: I want to be a doctor or a nurse to help people get well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what kind of doctor do you want to be?

JONBENET RAMSEY: A pediatrician.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much, JonBenet.

Please give her a big hand.



KING: Was that her last pageant? Was that the last pageant she did?


KING: Yes.

The judges ask questions and people score it, is that what -- they just ask them a few questions? That`s awfully hard to watch.

John -- are you OK?


KING: All right.

DNA was found under the fingernails, right, DNA from a stain found on the underwear, cord and duct tape, pubic hair found on the blanket, palm print found on the cellar door, footprint found by the body. Where has all this led?

JOHN RAMSEY: We think it will lead to the killer eventually.

KING: What do the police say about these findings?

JOHN RAMSEY: We don`t know. They haven`t told us.

KING: What`s the DNA -- what -- it`s not your DNA, right?

JOHN RAMSEY: We know that the DNA has not been matched to anyone. We know...

KING: So, it matches someone, but they haven`t found it?

JOHN RAMSEY: They haven`t found it. We heard one of the special prosecutors say the DNA is a problem. The DNA is a huge clue, we believe. It`s not a problem. It`s a wonderful clue.

KING: It`s a problem in convicting you.

JOHN RAMSEY: It`s a problem in convicting the parents.

KING: But it could have been there from a month ago, couldn`t it?

JOHN RAMSEY: I don`t think so.

P. RAMSEY: It couldn`t have been there from a month ago.

KING: Because DNA lasts a long time, but you don`t think that...

JOHN RAMSEY: Well, they have looked everywhere to try to match it. They have looked at everybody she has been with. They have looked at our family. They came back to Atlanta.

P. RAMSEY: Playmates, everybody.

JOHN RAMSEY: Looked at playmates. They looked at people that hadn`t been with her for eight months. They can`t identify it. It is a significant clue that will lead us to the killer, I believe.

KING: There was a made-for-TV movie, which wasn`t very complementary -- did you see it?

P. RAMSEY: No, we didn`t. We don`t have television.

KING: Did you hear about it?

P. RAMSEY: We took television out of our home two years ago.

KING: Why?

P. RAMSEY: Because it was not fun to turn on the television and find yourself being accused of killing your child.


GRACE: Out to a very special guest joining us tonight, Steve Thomas, a former detective on the JonBenet Ramsey murder case.

It`s a pleasure to have you on the air. Thank you for being with us, Mr. Thomas.

THOMAS: Thank you, Nancy. My pleasure.

GRACE: What were they thinking?

THOMAS: What I continue, Nancy, to witness from this district attorney`s office is simply inconceivable.

She had an insufficient and incomplete case. And there`s only three ways to solve a crime: through witnesses, through evidence or through a confession. And they acted solely on confessionary statements from this 5150 cuckoo, and, without any other corroboration, and it just simply boggles my mind.

Next: Different suspects emerge during a 10-year long investigation.


GRACE: A highly unusual ransom note left at the crime scene. During the early stages, Boulder police focus on the Ramsey family and their potential involvement in JonBenet`s murder.

But, over the course of 10 long years, other suspects are added to the list.


KARR: I loved JonBenet very much.

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): John Mark Karr was the prime suspect in the death of JonBenet. But he wasn`t the only suspect.

Over the past 10 years, there have been others who, at one point or another, generated some degree of suspicion, including this couple, Bill McReynolds and his wife, Janet. They played Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus at the Ramsey home just two days before the murder.

He says he gave JonBenet a card that read, "You will receive a special gift after Christmas." That got the attention of prosecutors.

TRIP DEMUTH, FORMER BOULDER, COLORADO, DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Statements like that led -- led me to have some suspicion about him, I mean, what was going on between Santa Bill and JonBenet. You know, again, here`s an individual who`s involved with her, has an interest in her, was seen with her shortly before the murder.

SANCHEZ: But, after submitting DNA evidence, they were cleared of the crime.

Then, there was Michael Helgoth, who died shortly after the murder. It was believed to be a suicide. Next to his body, though, was a stun gun, the kind of weapon that investigators believe was used on JonBenet. He also had a hat with the initials SBTC.

DEMUTH: I remember that -- that he had footwear that was consistent with the footprint evidence. He had a stun gun. He had reportedly made statements to a friend, very similar to the types of statements that we`re hearing about today in the press with the arrest of John Karr.

SANCHEZ: Like Karr and McReynolds, his DNA was not a match. Those cases fall into a category of the intruder theory, that the killer, who may or may not have known JonBenet, entered the Ramsey home from a window, murdered her, wrote the ransom note, and then left.


P. RAMSEY: There`s someone out there.


SANCHEZ: But, from the beginning, officials weren`t so sure about that, focusing on John and Patsy Ramsey as possible suspects. They, though, were also eventually cleared.

So, now the investigation is back at square one. What was, just a short time ago, a hot case suddenly has turned cold again.


GRACE: Next: the arrest and release of the confessed killer of the 6- year-old beauty queen, schoolteacher John Mark Karr, the media frenzy, and the botched investigation by the Boulder DA`s office.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello. Morning. Can you hear me? Our mission is the pursuit of justice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please bear with us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I cannot discuss a confession or a refusal to make a confession.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We cannot let the information out prematurely.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you brought him and he stepped off the plane in Boulder, Colorado, what other evidence did you have? Anything?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m sorry, we can`t do that now. We can`t help you there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, in other words, you had nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I cannot talk about anything with regard to the evidence in the case.


GRACE: An alleged confession. Perp walks on every channel, and a luxury first-class trip from Bangkok, paid for by taxpayers. All this, and it turns out DNA does not link Carr to the crime scene.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The newly unsealed arrest affidavit outlines months of e-mails and secretly taped phone calls between a clearly obsessed John Karr and Colorado journalism Professor Michael Tracey.

On Christmas night, Karr claims he hid in the Ramsey`s house while the family was out, carried the six-year-old beauty queen to the basement after everyone went to bed and in vivid detail describes an erotic sexual assault and brutal murder.

Even though law enforcement sources say some of the graphic information was previously undisclosed, most of Karr`s claims include widely known details and turned out to be pure fantasy. In short, Karr`s DNA did not match the DNA found on JonBenet Ramsey`s underwear.

SETH TEMIN, PUBLIC DEFENDER: We`re deeply distressed by the fact that they took this man and dragged him here from Bangkok, Thailand, with no forensic evidence.

CANDIOTTI: He`s right. Authorities acted solely on Karr`s gruesome and at times bizarre claims.

JOHN MARK KARR, SUSPECT IN JONBENET RAMSEY INVESTIGATION: I loved JonBenet, and she died accidentally.

CANDIOTTI: Investigators did not rely on scientific DNA samples taken in Thailand. The D.A. insisted secretly obtained samples from Karr`s belongings would not have been good enough. Other DNA experts disagree.

DR. LARRY KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC EXPERT: I don`t buy that they couldn`t take surreptitious DNA. It`s done many times here in the states. People get convicted on that basis. I don`t buy it.

CANDIOTTI: Instead, the Boulder district attorney flew Karr from Thailand and took a DNA sample in Colorado. In a statement, Colorado`s governor, Bill Owens, long a critic of the nearly 10-year-long, at times mistake-riddled, investigation, blasted the D.A.`s office.

"I find it incredible that Boulder authorities wasted thousands of taxpayer dollars to bring Karr to Colorado, given such a lack of evidence. Mary Lacy should be held accountable for the most extravagant and expensive DNA test in Colorado history."


JEAN CASAREZ, COURT TV: Well, Nancy, I think the reason -- there are two reasons why the motion, the arrest motion, was quashed. I think, number one, the DNA of John Karr just didn`t match that unidentified male DNA that was found in the panties of JonBenet Ramsey.

And, number two, the district attorney, try as she might, she could not corroborate that John Karr was here in Boulder, Colorado, December of 1996.

GRACE: Jean, is it true -- can you confirm DNA was taken in Thailand and they couldn`t get a match, so they brought him home to get a match here in the U.S.?

CASAREZ: You`re exactly right. What we can confirm is that the district attorney has said that they tried to get DNA from him in Thailand, through a drinking glass and through some other means. But because of the type of DNA that was mixed with her blood in the panties, the unidentified male mixed with the blood, they had to get a very pure sample of Mr. John Karr, so they couldn`t get it in Thailand. They had to bring him over to this country.

GRACE: I`ve just got in my hands, literally as I`ve sat down on the set, the affidavit in support of the search warrant. In this, we will learn what the district attorney was relying on. It`s about 90 pages of documents. The staff is looking through it immediately so you can know why the Colorado district attorney has chosen this colossal blunder. Maybe the answers are in here.

In the meantime, this is what the defense attorney had to say today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The warrant on Mr. Karr has been dropped by the district attorney. They`re not proceeding with this case. 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 that he did anything wrong.

There will be no hearing today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The warrant charging Mr. Karr in the Ramsey affair was quashed this afternoon. Mr. Karr was released from our custody on those charges.

However, he remains in our custody and will be returning to the jail shortly, based on the fact that Sonoma County has given us a teletype and does want to extradite him on the five counts of child pornography that he faces in California.

So he`ll remain in our custody for the officials in California. He`s no longer in our custody on any Colorado warrant.


GRACE: We`re taking a look at portions of what the district attorney had. From the supporting affidavit, for instance, Mr. Karr`s description of his sex involvement with JonBenet during events leading to her death included oral sex. He promised to provide details of his recollection of how JonBenet died in a way that supported the conclusion he believed he loved her.

Can we go back a graf? Tasting her blood -- this guy stated he tasted this child`s blood. "It was apparent that the DNA found in blood spots on her underwear will be crucial to confirm his account of his involvement."

I went on to read a lot of the documents. I`m reading them as we`ve gotten them here on the set.

I want to go out to Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, forensic scientist. Kobi, in this case, the affidavit lays out very specifically how he claims he killed JonBenet Ramsey. He lays out that he was strangling her on purpose during a sex act on this child and that he was so engrossed in the sex act that he strangled her for too long.

Kobi, is there any way, without a DNA match, that he could have been telling the truth?

KOBILINSKY: Well, as I`ve always said, Nancy, DNA is one form of evidence. There are other pieces of evidence in the case. But clearly, DNA stands out as the most important piece of evidence.

Now, what this tells me, they were hanging everything -- everything was hanging on that DNA result. And it seems to me that the other pieces of evidence -- there was no linkage.

For example, the palm print -- apparently, there was absolutely no useful information to link Mr. Karr. Because had they had that, then the DNA would not have made -- would have not have been used to make the ultimate decision.

GRACE: Next, we hear from John Mark Karr himself.


KARR: For me, painful. It`s been something that`s been unpleasant. It`s never been pleasant, not once.



GRACE: For the first time, one-time murder suspect John Mark Karr speaks out about JonBenet Ramsey with whom Karr is totally consumed.


JOHN MARK KARR, SUSPECT IN JONBENET RAMSEY INVESTIGATION: What it amounts to is, I think that most of us are capable of having any of those fantasies, and it`s hard for me to differentiate between what, what they mean, you know. Instead of thinking she`s pretty, you start to think she`s sexy. I guess at that point, you`re probably having a sexual attraction to that child.

Who else was I going to share that with? I`ve never driven by her house and said, "There`s Polly Klaas` house, I want that because I want her -- you know, I want her -- I mean, I want her so bad."


GRACE: Joining us right now, the woman who recorded those phone calls. She alleges this is John Mark Karr. We have no reason to disbelieve her. CNN has not been able to confirm that.

I want to advise you that Wendy Hutchens, the woman who taped those calls, was asked to tape calls by Sonoma County police. As you recall, 2001, John Mark Karr had child pornography charges leveled against him in Sonoma County, and these allegations and information was sent in 2001 to Boulder authorities.

Joining us tonight, a very special guest, Wendy Hutchens, Sonoma County sheriff`s department informant. She taped numerous conversations with John Mark Karr, many of them about the 6-year-old beauty queen, JonBenet Ramsey.

Ms. Hutchens, thank you for being with us.


GRACE: Are you a little stunned that all of this information was sent to Boulder in 2001 -- hold on. Yes, it`s 2006.

HUTCHENS: Yes. It`s been really hard to live with this for five years, whether or not he actually killed JonBenet, knowing that this is a creepy guy out here teaching our children. And it`s been so hard for me to live with it for five years knowing he was out there.

GRACE: But did you take some comfort in the fact that you tried? You tried. I mean, what can you do, go throw yourself on the steps of the police department?

HUTCHENS: I know. I tell you, it`s been really hard. There was, you know, especially five years ago, the Ramseys were in the news a lot. And I was like over here, "Come over here. He`s right here. He`s right here." You know? And it`s a very frustrating...

GRACE: Ms. Hutchens how did you meet this guy, John Mark Karr?

HUTCHENS: Well, it`s just kind of a matter of timing. I had happened to decide to contact Richard Allen Davis to resolve an issue from my childhood that he happened to know about. And John Karr was actually trying to contact Davis at that same time.

And Karr and I met a woman by the name of Abigail who has a death row inmate`s visitation Web site, and we had both contacted her and she connected us.

GRACE: Everyone, Richard Allen Davis is the convicted killer of the daughter of Marc Klaas, Polly Klaas. Davis behind bars right now on death row for that murder.

Now, question: Back to how you ended up meeting John Mark Karr. It`s my understanding you grew up in the same neighborhood as Richard Allen Davis, the same town?

HUTCHENS: Yes. We lived in La Honda, California. And so he used to come over to my house with my babysitter when I was like 11, 12, 13 years old.

GRACE: Now, why did you want to get in touch with a convicted killer of a little girl?

HUTCHENS: Because my babysitter died, and I thought that he had something to do with it. I know he was there the night that she died. And I had seen -- I`ve been like across the street from what happened. And he was the only one who could tell me what actually happened that night. And it was something that I just had always wanted to know, and I finally decided to write him and ask him if he would tell me what happened that night.

GRACE: Did he tell you?

HUTCHENS: Yes, he did.

GRACE: Did he have anything to do with it?

HUTCHENS: No, he didn`t. He actually found her and called the authorities to let them know that she had killed herself.

GRACE: Well, with Richard Allen Davis involved, I would just naturally assume that he was the killer, since we know that he killed Polly Klaas. So, frankly, I don`t blame you for trying to find out on your own.


GRACE: So, in trying to reach him, you somehow got hooked up with John Mark Karr, who was also trying to reach Richard Allen Davis. Why was he trying to reach Richard Allen Davis? I mean, I understand your motivation, but what about him?

HUTCHENS: Well, you know, these kind of serial offenders have a really twisted sense of logic. But in his mind, he thought, if he could meet with Richard Allen Davis, that Richard Allen Davis would confess to him that he had the same feelings about Polly Klaas that John Mark Karr had about JonBenet.


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: So you didn`t want to be well known under any circumstance?

KARR: Absolutely not.

KING: Did you know though you would be?

KARR: Never.

KING: You thought nothing would come of it?

KARR: No, I thought nothing would come of it.

KING: So you were surprised?

KARR: Yes, I was surprised.

KING: At everything that occurred?

KARR: Of course.

KING: Let me go back a little. Where did you grow up?

KARR: I was born outside of Atlanta, lived in Atlanta the first few years of my life, and then went to my grandmother and grandfather`s house. And I was raised on a beautiful estate in Alabama.

KING: Brothers and sisters?

KARR: Yes, I have an older full brother -- his name is Michael -- and a younger half-brother named Nate. And my brother Nate has been extremely supportive during all this time. He`s just a wonderful brother, and I`ve learned the meaning of the word "brother."

KING: From the half-brother?

KARR: Yes. Yes, because, I mean, you know, the whole world is saying all of these horrible things about me. You could imagine how that would affect people who know me, like my brother, and he`s just been supportive, giving me support and love and understanding. It`s beyond all belief what he`s done for me. I really appreciate it.

KING: How about your older brother?

KARR: My older brother I`ve talked to on the telephone I talked to. He`s a family man and he`s got a new job I understand. I wish him all the luck in the world. He`s a great brother. I grew up with him. I love all of my family.

KING: And you got married, right?

KARR: I`ve been married, yes.

KING: Had twin kids die?

KARR: Yes, it was very difficult for my wife and I.

KING: How old?

KARR: She was five months into the pregnancy. You know, I will tell you something, Larry, something I`ve promised my wife, my ex-wife, that I want to protect her and my children from any of this and I tend not to discuss that part of my life to protect them.

KING: Totally understandable. But, given it all, she was the one who caused the complete change of opinion about you because she was the one who said, "He wasn`t -- he was with me Christmas."

KARR: Right.

KING: Don`t you think she helped you a lot?

KARR: I think that she is a fabulous mom, and she was protecting our children, and I think that that was a wonderful thing that she did. She`s a wonderful person. I have nothing but respect for her, and I certainly want my children to be taken care of and protected. And she`s done a fabulous job with that.

And, you know, I love my sons and I want the best for them. And right now the best I can do for them is to keep them out of the limelight.

KING: So she was in a sense covering for you?

KARR: No, I don`t think that could be said. I think she was just telling the truth about what she thought was the truth, and our children are involved in this and we don`t want our children to be involved.

KING: How old are the kids?

KARR: Well, I`ve got a -- my oldest son will be 16 his next birthday, and 14 and 13 for my other two sons.

KING: Do you see them?

KARR: I haven`t. I haven`t. I`ve been out of the country for five years and haven`t seen my family.

KING: Talk to them?

KARR: Haven`t.

KING: Isn`t that sad?

KARR: It is, very much so. It`s very sad. But you know what? I find comfort in knowing that they`re happy, because I know they`re happy.

There`s one thing I know about my ex-wife is that she`s a good person and a great mom, and she`s given them the best life. And, it comforts me in knowing that they`re happy because it`s not whether I talk to them or have contact with them; it`s that they`re happy.


GRACE: More on the little girl`s confessed killer, John Mark Karr, when we come back.


GRACE: Thanks for being with us tonight for this NANCY GRACE special investigation on the JonBenet Ramsey murder case.


BEN FOLDS, MUSICIAN (singing): Once there was a way to get back homeward...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: John Mark Karr was arrested for the murder of JonBenet Ramsey.

FOLDS: Once there was a way...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our mission is the pursuit of justice.

FOLDS: ... to get back home. Sleep, pretty darling, do not cry...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s been a kidnapping. Hurry, please.

FOLDS: ... and I will sing a lullaby. Golden slumbers, fill your eyes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you an innocent man?

FOLDS: Smiles await you when you rise. Sleep, pretty darling, do not cry...

PATSY RAMSEY, MOTHER OF JONBENET RAMSEY: We`re very determined to find JonBenet`s killer.

FOLDS: ... and I will sing a lullaby.

P. RAMSEY: We will not stop until we do.

FOLDS: Once there was a way to get back homeward...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John Ramsey wants the person who brutally murdered his daughter to be brought to justice.

FOLDS: ... once there was a way to get back home. Sleep, pretty darling, do not cry, and I will sing a lullaby.


GRACE: Released as a murder suspect in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case, John Mark Karr not off the hook yet. Karr still facing serious child porn charges, Sonoma County, California. That case, too, eventually dropped after investigators admit they lost the key evidence: Karr`s personal computer containing all the alleged child porn.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The warrant charging Mr. Karr in the Ramsey affair was quashed this afternoon. He remains in our custody, based on the fact that Sonoma County does want to extradite him on the five counts of child pornography that he faces in California.


GRACE: NANCY GRACE signing off for tonight. See you right here tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.


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