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CNN Larry King Live
Updates In JonBenet Ramsey Case
Aired August 24, 2006 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, the JonBenet Ramsey murder suspect is now in Boulder, Colorado, landing there just two hours ago. And, while questions still haunt the world, did John Mark Karr really kill the 6-year-old beauty queen?
We'll meet the woman who made chilling phone tapes of a man she says is John Mark Karr talking about JonBenet. That woman is here to play those tapes.
Plus, Karr's defense attorneys they broke the news he'll plead not guilty when they were here two nights ago. What more will they reveal tonight?
It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Good evening. By the way, one program reminder, tomorrow night the folks from Project Runway will be with us, led by Heidi Klum, the famous model, Heidi Klum tomorrow night.
Thanks for joining us. To get you updated on the latest news with JonBenet Ramsey murder suspect John Mark Karr, now in the county jail in Boulder, Colorado, he landed there just two hours ago after a three hour flight from Long Beach, California. His first Boulder court appearance could come as early as tomorrow morning, though the sheriff says he expects it to be on Monday.
Let's meet our first guest. Wendy Hutchens, an informant for the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office in a 2001 investigation into John Mark Karr, she gave authorities e-mails and tape-recorded conversations she says were with Karr. We'll hear portions of some of those tapes tonight.
With Wendy, her long-time friend A.J. Fardella; and, for the record, CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity of the tapes we'll be hearing. Mr. Fardella is a criminal investigator working with various government departments.
Wendy, when did you first have contact with John Mark Karr?
WENDY HUTCHENS, INFORMANT IN 2001 INVESTIGATION OF KARR: In March of 2001.
KING: What was the occasion? HUTCHENS: It just so happened to be a matter of timing. I had gotten a hold of Richard Allen Davis to kind of clear up an incident that happened in my childhood. We lived in the same town.
KING: He killed?
HUTCHENS: I was...
HUTCHENS: Yes, he killed Polly Klaas and I was curious about something that happened to my babysitter and John Davis was the one that had the answer, so I happened to contact him at the same time that John Mark Karr was trying to contact him.
KING: And did you call John Mark Karr, he called you?
HUTCHENS: Well, we actually both met a woman by the name of Barbara Gale (ph) who runs a visiting death row inmates' website and she hooked us up.
KING: First impression?
HUTCHENS: Of John, originally from the e-mails he seemed to be honest in what he was saying and I agreed to talk to him on the phone and we talked the first time for almost three and a half hours. And, at the end of that conversation I realized that he was a very disturbed individual and that I needed to alert the authorities.
KING: Why was he talking to you?
HUTCHENS: He was hoping to get Richard Allen Davis to be his spokesman.
KING: His spokesman?
KING: The serial killer?
KING: I mean the killer of a young girl.
HUTCHENS: Yes. He thought it...
KING: Spokesman for what?
HUTCHENS: Well, he thought if he could get Richard Allen Davis to confess that he loved Polly Klaas and that's why he did what he did to her that then John Mark Karr could go around on talk shows and stuff and spread the word that we should forgive Richard Allen Davis and that these men aren't bad.
KING: When did you start taping him? HUTCHENS: Well, I knew from past experiences that if I wanted anybody to believe my conversations with this man that I needed to have them on tape and I knew I needed if I wanted to use them in law -- against him in a court of law I needed law enforcement's help.
So, I contacted them immediately. They began an investigation and then we talked to the FBI and that's -- so I probably had maybe three or four conversations before we recorded.
A.J. FARDELLA, FRIEND OF WENDY HUTCHENS: That would be the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department.
KING: For a while they stayed out of this but now they have ascertained -- they have said that this is the case that the tapes are, in fact, the tapes.
FARDELLA: Yesterday the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department, Richard -- excuse me, Bob Giordano (ph) who is the head of their violent crimes unit put out a press release that acknowledged Wendy's involvement in the undercover work.
KING: Have you been involved in this from the start too?
FARDELLA: Only on a cursory level. I found out a little bit about it when it first happened in 2001 but Wendy realized that she was going to be a little overwhelmed with the media and I guess she ascertained that she thought I had the best skill set to help her out in this.
KING: You're long time friends.
FARDELLA: For a long, long time.
KING: And you're used to criminal investigations.
FARDELLA: I work with various government agencies, mostly in the cyber crime area.
KING: All right, let's hear some of this. The man Wendy Hutchens says is John Mark Karr is talking about JonBenet Ramsey.
KING: Let's listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: JonBenet. God, what a powerful thing to just be along with that little girl, that doll face. You know, she was just so incredible in life and so unreal in death. She's just so alive. She's so alive. She's so alive. She's so alive. I mean, she just was wonderful.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
KING: How did she come up? How did JonBenet Ramsey come up?
HUTCHENS: Well, we -- when I started to him and the detectives we realized that there was something wrong with him and so the detectives asked me to try to get him to talk about to give me specifics of a crime he had committed and so that they could tie him to something.
And they were frantically trying to connect things. And so, when I finally got him to give a name, when he said JonBenet that was the last name in the world I expected him to say.
KING: And that was five years ago.
KING: So, you've been sitting on this for five years. Did the Sonoma Police turn it over to Boulder County?
HUTCHENS: They notified Boulder County that he had this fascination with JonBenet.
KING: Did they coach you at all how to talk to him, how to draw things out?
HUTCHENS: Yes, they did. They asked me to pretend that I was interested in being a child molester as well and that I wanted to participate with him. One of the things we made -- I made him promise that he wouldn't do anything without me that I wanted to be with him the next time he touched a little girl. So, that was a way of trying to keep little girls safe while we were trying to get information out of him.
KING: And, Wendy, the guy sounds pretty creepy right?
HUTCHENS: Very creepy.
KING: Why did you continue talking to him?
HUTCHENS: Because I know he -- there's not a doubt in my mind that he's hurt little girls and...
KING: Other little girls too?
HUTCHENS: Yes. Whether or not it's been JonBenet but the police can't -- you can't arrest somebody just for saying these things or even writing these things. You have to have evidence against them.
And the fact that he was an elementary school teacher working with our children and talking about different little girls in his class, I mean that was really unsettling. So, I kept talking to him like I said Detective Beau Martin (ph) and his partners were frantically trying to connect him to something.
KING: Did you come forward with this or did the Sonoma Police tell you to come forward with this?
FARDELLA: Actually, Wendy was the one that initiated the first contact with Sonoma Sheriff's Department.
KING: That was in 2001.
FARDELLA: That's correct.
KING: I'm talking about now, coming forward now.
FARDELLA: Actually, I heard the story in a voice mail where Wendy had called me and said, "Look at Channel 4. I'm going to be on the news. Remember what I was telling you five years ago. It's all true. Call me. I need to talk to you" and you know that took place.
KING: You're not happy about this are you, Wendy?
HUTCHENS: Oh, man, when I -- when they told me they made an arrest in the JonBenet case I jumped up out of my seat and was like, you, it has to be this guy, has to be this guy.
KING: You knew it right away.
HUTCHENS: I knew immediately.
KING: Let's hear another portion of the tape. We got one more coming too in the next segment. In this next excerpt, we hear the man, purportedly John Mark Karr, talking about sexual attraction to children.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: 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.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
KING: Again, we are not saying that is John Mark Karr but the Sonoma County Police are. Our guest is Wendy Hutchens. A.J. Fardella is with her. And we'll be right back with more. Don't go away.
KING: We're back with Wendy Hutchens, an informant for the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department who provided authorities with e- mail exchanges and tape recorded conversations she says were with the suspect, Mr. Karr, and her long time friend criminal investigator A.J. Fardella.
Let's hear one more excerpt. This next audio clip contains a reference to Polly Klaas, the Petaluma, California girl who was abducted from her home and murdered in 1993. Listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO TAPE)
CALLER: Who else was I going to share that with? I've never driven by her house and said, there is Polly Klass' house. I want that because I want her. I want her. I mean I want her so bad.
(END AUDIO TAPE)
KING: Pretty cryptic. What was the context of this?
HUTCHENS: He's talking about how pedophiles become obsessed with a neighborhood child and drive by and then look at the child, then look at her and become more and more obsessed that they want her. They want them until they want them so bad and their fantasies reach a point that they just snatch the child.
KING: Wasn't it kooky for you to talk to a guy like this?
HUTCHENS: It was really difficult. It was really difficult. I would cry for hours after our conversations and it was really hard. But, you know, I had to do everything possible to try to get this guy off the streets.
KING: When you finally saw what he looked like...
HUTCHENS: Yes, I was...
KING: ...what did you think?
HUTCHENS: He doesn't look scare at all. He was very professionally dressed and educated and just a pleasant, sweet man that you would trust to take your daughters home from school.
KING: You're a criminal investigator. We don't know the -- we're not going to presume guilt ever on this show. We're not going to presume anything or enter into conjecture. What's your read on this guy, A.J.?
FARDELLA: Well, you know, I've had a chance to listen to all the tapes several times and I have to say that, you know, in my work in criminal investigation I have to listen to a lot of slimy things but I've never had so much difficulty sitting through any kind of evidence as I have listening to this man say these things about this girl. And, I wouldn't be able to put out a guess about whether or not he's guilty in the JonBenet killing.
KING: Because he could be fantasizing.
FARDELLA: He could but anyone who listens to all of these tapes and listens to this man walks away without a doubt with the impression that he has done these things somewhere to more than one girl. KING: Wendy, do you have concerns about your own safety during this?
HUTCHENS: Yes, I would be a liar if I said I didn't have some concerns.
KING: When was the last time you spoke to him?
HUTCHENS: That was five years ago when -- after he was arrested.
KING: Did he say he was going to call you back?
HUTCHENS: No. No, I don't know if he even knows that I tape recorded the conversations.
KING: Your name appears on 2002, 2001 legal documents involving him. Your name is beside the notation "Do not contact victim directly." What's that about? Were you a victim?
HUTCHENS: Well, they consider me a victim. They knew after he had been arrested and that he knew that I gave the e-mails over, so when they released him they put that because they were worried about him coming after me.
KING: In your reference, although not by name, in another 2001 legal document relating to the execution of a search warrant on John Mark Karr, a Napa County sheriff's detective says, "Karr claims he was e-mailing you because he thought you had assaulted a child and was trying to dupe you into a confession."
HUTCHENS: Right, he always had a backup plan for if any, you know, in case that so he would turn it around but the authorities were like, "He's mandated as a teacher to report such a thing and he had been e-mailing me for a month and hadn't contacted authorities."
KING: You have a website.
HUTCHENS: Oh, yes, I do.
HUTCHENS: We've been getting a lot of calls and from people.
FARDELLA: I'd like to address that, Larry. I mean really for Wendy it's been a long hard struggle, you know, for five years by no one's particular fault. We're not trying to affix any blame.
But what Wendy wants to do really is educate people about serial killers. And, according to the FBI there's over 100 of them in the United States responsible for eight to eleven deaths a day.
And, you know, when you think about, you know, I have a daughter which is one of the big reasons I agreed to help Wendy out with this after she showed me the evidence and we just want to get the word out to people about what to look for, about the experience that she had and hope that that helps people identify these people. And, on the website we're going to be changing it daily. We're just going to add content that Wendy has written about her experiences.
KING: Have you been in contact with Mark Klaas?
HUTCHENS: No, I haven't been.
KING: Never spoken to him?
HUTCHENS: No. I did contact Polly Klass Foundation immediately the next day after speaking to Karr the first time.
KING: Because he runs that foundation.
FARDELLA: Right. We do have plans to talk to him. I think that we have the same kind of goals overall but he's naturally shied away from people that are in this kind of situation. But I think once he meets Wendy and he sees that we have the same kind of goals in mind that we probably would be able to work together. I think we forgot to say what the name of the website though, it's wendyhutchens.com.
KING: That's Wendy, two words?
FARDELLA: Yes, W-E-N-D-Y-H-U-T-C-H-E-N-S.com.
KING: What do you make of all this Wendy? What's your read back on all you've been through and sitting for five years and now this breaks?
HUTCHENS: I definitely think that God has had a hand in the timing of all of this and that it all came about according to his timing and that there's certain things that he wants people to be aware of and that hopefully I'll be able to spread those things.
KING: In 2001, did you start to think he hurt JonBenet?
HUTCHENS: Yes, I did. I tried very hard to get the Boulder authorities to come down and at least talk to him. I called there and sent e-mails and stuff. So, at least I was hoping that they'd come down and maybe hold him longer where we could see what other things he might have done.
FARDELLA: You know if there was a key point in the process here where things broke down I think it's two things and it's another one of Wendy's goals through the website and through our activities and that's going to be to change the laws.
I mean this man was arrested on five misdemeanor counts of child pornography. I mean to me what's a misdemeanor child pornography? Any child pornography in our opinion should be a felony.
FARDELLA: And a guy like this should be around in jail long enough that you can do an investigation and a thorough investigation. Just one more thing, Larry, you know there's new technology that's coming into the criminal investigative field because of 9/11. It's called interoperability where different agencies and different jurisdictions can trade information right away.
And one of the things we'd like to do is promote an awareness or even promote the government creating a system where an investigator looking at a child molester or looking at a potential serial killer can use this new interoperability to go out and search among different jurisdictions through places this person had been to similar crimes.
KING: Good idea. A.J. thanks very much.
FARDELLA: Thank you.
KING: Wendy, you're a gutsy lady.
HUTCHENS: Thank you. Thank you.
KING: When we come back strange revelations from John Mark Karr's former 13-year-old bride. See and hear for yourself what she told psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow next on LARRY KING LIVE.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUIENTANA: Well I had to take a shower with him. I never got to take a shower by myself at all. I did want things my way like alone. In anything he would get enraged.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Returning now in New York is Dr. Keith Ablow, M.D., forensic psychiatrist, best-selling novelist, and host of the new Dr. Keith Ablow Show. It will debut syndicated on September 11th. You check your local newspapers for time and station.
Doctor, I understand you've taped an interview with John Mark Karr's first wife. Is it pronounced Quientana?
KEITH ABLOW, M.D., FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST: That's correct I have.
KING: And her parents. How did that get set up?
ABLOW: That was set up through colleagues of mine who are journalists and conducted in New York City and we sat with them for about 30, 40 minutes and went through some very distressing details that they remember about their daughter's life and Quientana remembering it herself of being married as a child bride to John Karr.
KING: What impressions off the top did you come away with?
ABLOW: Well, first of all that these are good people who are trying to be courageous in sharing what are tremendously painful details of their daughter's life. I suppose one of the chief revelations that she shares with us is that she claims and she's a credible historian, I mean she doesn't seem to be fabricating in terms of the way in which she reports what she has to say.
She claims that during her marriage to John Karr that she believes herself to have been drugged repeatedly, going to sleep one day, waking up two days later, and being injured in private areas of her body that suggested to her that she had been sexually assaulted.
KING: Do you believe her?
ABLOW: I believe that accusations like that of that severity have to be corroborated to the extent that they can. I can't as a forensic psychiatrist I did not get a feeling from her that she was after anything for secondary gain. And I sometimes do get those feelings. So, I didn't -- I didn't have the sense she was after anything for secondary gain.
She related these revelations often in tears. Her father, a good and decent guy, Larry, was in tears. Her mother was crying. They seemed as though they had reached very deep into themselves spiritually in order to decide to share this information. And so, I felt like I was sitting with people who were relating their story to the best of their ability as honestly as they could.
KING: Got you. We have four excerpts from the interview. We'll look at them one by one.
KING: You give us your thoughts after each. By the way, much more of this interview with John Mark will air during the first week of Dr. Ablow's syndicated show which debuts on 9/11, historic date, but that is a Monday. And we'll be in New York that night for a special show.
The first tape we're going to hear is Quientana alleging that John Mark Karr drugged and abused her. Here's a clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABLOW: You had the sense that he was drugging you. What did you experience when it happened?
QUIENTANA: Well, I would wake up in the morning. My eyes would be just solid red and I had blood blisters in places that I shouldn't.
ABLOW: So, what did you say to him?
QUIENTANA: I know I went to bed Tuesday and I know I'm waking up on Thursday, you know, and I said something to him about it. Then he did get angry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Dr. Ablow, is one of the dangers in this, and we tread on this in television, this girl may never testify if there is a trial. They may not allow this in evidence. Potential jurors seeing this they're certainly going to prejudge right? Do you see that danger? ABLOW: Well, I see the risk in broadcasting any information that comes without an eyewitness frankly and yet we have a guy who's put himself forward and said he was present while a 6-year-old girl died.
And we have a courageous woman who at 13 feels that she was transported across state lines in order to be married by a young man but a man, married to him against the wishes of her father.
She's coming forward with this information to share it and without any seeming desire for gain. And so, I guess there's that risk. And yet I think people can sense the truth, so I guess that's the mitigation of the risk. I believe that jurors are careful and that they put this in context.
KING: And the truth may be, Dr. Ablow, that he's a creep and he's a little crazy and he treated his wife bad but he may not be a murderer.
ABLOW: Absolutely. He may be completely innocent of killing this young girl. That doesn't mean that he is necessarily guilty or innocent of the very serious allegations you just heard.
KING: Now we'll hear another selection from the tape, the father, Quientana's father talking about why his daughter found John Mark Karr enticing. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABLOW: Tell me, first of all, how did you come to meet John Karr?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first time I ever saw him is when he brought my daughter back after he had carried her away.
ABLOW: How had they known each other before that do you know?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She met him at a friend's house. He was dating an older sister. And she said he immediately turned his attention to her and, of course, she came -- I remember her coming home that day and saying "Momma, momma, I rode in a Porsche."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: He obviously had some attraction right?
ABLOW: Well, he obviously did and I think that's a story that almost any concerned parent can relate to. You know, kids are impressionable. A young man with a fast car that's a story that almost comes out of a TV movie. And yet this was their private horror that this father didn't know what to do and he seems like a motivated fellow.
He went down to the courthouse, he told me, and he talked to a police officer. He said, "My daughter's been taken from our home. I don't know how to get her back." And he was told, according to him, "Listen, sir, kids go away. They come back. You got to wait for her back home."
He pursued it in various ways over the years, never getting satisfaction, never apparently finding his way in the law to actually extract his daughter from that situation until she finally called him and asked for his help very directly and said "I'm ready to get out of here" and he came and got her.
KING: Time for a break. We have more of Dr. Ablow's interview with John Mark Karr's first wife. She talks about how his (INAUDIBLE) for young girls led to all of this. That's next on LARRY KING LIVE.
KING: We're back with Dr. Keith Ablow. His show will premiere the week of the 11th and the complete tape that we're showing you excerpts of will air that week. In this sound bite Qientana, the ex- wife talks about how John Mark Karr wanted her to behave and his predilection for young girls. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABLOW: Were there things that he wanted that you look back on and say, that was kind of weird?
QIENTANA RAY, FIRST WIFE OF RAMSEY MURDER SUSPECT: When he talked about, he wanted me to look like a little girl, a younger girl.
ABLOW: And how would he ask you to do that, to look like a little girl?
RAY: He wanted me to smile in a certain way that made me look younger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Dr. Ablow how strange is this case?
ABLOW: This is a very strange case. Here's the way I think about, let's take this away from Mr. Karr. If you heard a tale about a man who likes to have intimate, quote unquote, intimate relations with a woman who is asleep and drugged, who asks her to be someone she is not, namely younger, and who wants to control every aspect of her behavior, as we'll hear later, I believe, in the clips, what you have is somebody who has no ability to interact in an intrapersonal and real way. No connectedness.
It doesn't matter to him, such a person, that you are an individual. It has nothing to do with you and the only kind of people who come to interact with others, as if they do not exist, have been crushed themselves psychologically early in their lives. Now, we do know that John Mark Karr is a man who was assaulted, apparently by his mother, endured significant psychological trauma of a kind that might sever his ability to relate to others as though they are real.
And listening to the audiotapes that you provided to your viewers, Larry, you hear him say that JonBenet was incredible in death, she's so alive. She's so alive. I'm not sure he even knows the boundary between those two things. What's alive and what's dead? What is the relationship and what is a manipulation? He's that hard to reach. He's that hard to touch and he has seemingly almost no interest in touching others in a genuine way.
KING: Weird, one more clip. If Qientana's recollections are true and accurate what does that say about Karr's psyche? Here we go. Qientana talks about how controlling John Mark Karr was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABLOW: What was he to you, how was he?
RAY: He was controlling.
ABLOW: Controlling, in what way, what would he tell you to do?
RAY: Well, I had to take a shower with him. I never got to take a shower by myself at all. If I did want things my way, like alone, in anything, he would get in a rage. If I didn't give in to him, every night, he would get really angry.
ABLOW: He wanted to have sex once a night or more than once a day?
RAY: More than once a day. All the time.
ABLOW: All the time?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Dr. Ablow, I know you've been skeptical about the final thought of here, of him being a murder, has that changed at all?
ABLOW: I'm still skeptical about him being a murderer, and one of the reasons, Larry, is because this seems to be a fellow who is not well anchored in his own life and own life experience. I really believe that if this young woman's recollections are accurate, it may be that this drugging and apparent physical or sexual assault that she describes, he says that he drugged a little girl, a 6-year-old, can he and does he have the ability to pull a chapter right out of his life story and reinsert it in a drama on the national or worldwide stage? I believe he might have that ability because unlike most of us, there isn't a real and genuine person running the ship there. It's a ship adrift and it can dock wherever it pleases.
KING: In other words, an incredible case study, right?
ABLOW: An incredible case study and we'll learn more and more and I'm sure, and I'm not presuming he's guilty of anything yet, but what I will tell you is, as a forensic psychiatrist, you start to line things up in the story and say, does it make sense? What's the explanation here that really seems to put everything together. And so far, for me, the explanation that puts everything together is of a person who becomes severed from those things that bind him to his own individuality, who is therefore not comfortable with his gender, not comfortable with his chronological age, not clear what is alive, or what is dead or whether he's alive or dead, really. And therefore, can commandeer a drama on the world stage and say that's my life because he doesn't have a life, not really.
KING: Can he get a fair trial?
ABLOW: I think people can give fair trials under extraordinary circumstances. Human beings seem to have the capacity to really take justice very seriously and to work so hard and I'm always so impressed by it, to exclude prejudice from their thinking, and I think that's a tribute to the judicial system. Yes, I think he can get a fair trial.
KING: Dr. Keith Ablow's show will show much more of this interview when it debuts the week of 9/11. Lots of good luck with that. We'll be having you on lots before then.
ABLOW: Thanks, Larry. I always enjoy being here.
KING: Thank you. One of the attorneys for the accused is next on LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
KING: Joining us now in San Jose is Jamie Harmon. She and fellow attorney Patience Van Zandt (ph) have been retained by John Mark Karr, to represent him in connection with the JonBenet Ramsey case. Do you head for Colorado right away, Jamie?
JAMIE HARMON, JOHN MARK KARR's ATTORNEY: Tomorrow morning.
KING: And as you told us before he will plead not guilty if arraigned tomorrow, right?
HARMON: I don't anticipate that he's going to be arraigned tomorrow, Larry. That would have required probably the filing of charges today.
KING: When do you expect formal charges?
HARMON: I don't know what to expect honestly. I received a communication from the District Attorney's office yesterday, advising me that there would be no court appearance in the case until early in the week, next week.
KING: So there is nothing tomorrow?
HARMON: Not as far as I know.
KING: Jamie, you've been listening, I presume, to the show so far. With the tapes that you've heard and the interview that you've heard, what do you make of all of this vis-a-vis your client?
HARMON: Well, if it's all right with you, Larry, I would prefer not to make a specific about my client. What I'd like to say is that I have a very difficult time with the kind of information that's being relayed by both doctor Ablow, as much as I respect him ...respect him, and Ms. Hutchens, in the fact that this is going out to millions of people in this country, who will then be tainted by what they have heard.
And you raised the point when you were talking, I believe, with Dr. Ablow about whether or not this would result in prejudice in a trial. And being an experienced litigator myself and being very familiar with the dynamic that gets set up in a courtroom in which a person who is accused of a sexual offense against children is being tried. I can't help but wonder how anybody could think that prejudice would not result as a consequence of these kinds of comments and assumptions and sort of, you should forgive the expression, armchair quarterbacking. It's appalling to me.
KING: How do you, as an officer of the court, as a lawyer, deal with the differences? In the British system, this could not be occurring. We would not be talking about this now in the British system. CNN would lose its license.
HARMON: That's right.
KING: And you can't talk about a case.
On the other hand, we have a strong emphasis on the First Amendment and free speech. Where do you come down?
HARMON: Well, the First Amendment is our primary right and the least assailable in the constitution from my experience as a lawyer. And so people have a right to say whatever they choose.
It's unfortunate, though -- and it has really nothing to do with the right of free speech as much as it does to do with mass media, you know, and the instant accessibility of information.
KING: And prejudging?
HARMON: Right. And it just terrifies me, I have to tell you, because you know, child sexual offenses are more serious in this country than even murder in so many ways in the minds of the citizenry. And it's been set up as a climate almost of a witch-hunt these days, not specifically with respect to this case, this case is a good example, but in general, with respect to cases in which allegations have been made of child sexual assault. And you can refer yourself back to cases like the McMillan preschool case where these horrific allegations were made against people who were completely innocent of any wrongdoing whatsoever. And their lives have been completely ruined. And it just horrifies me.
KING: How is your client doing? When did you last talk with him?
KING: How is he doing emotionally?
HARMON: Given the circumstances, I think he was doing well. He was distressed. He was emotional.
KING: I mean, obviously, he can't be laissez-faire about this, right?
KING: What do you make about all the different things breaking, though, about him? Stories here, stories there? How are you dealing with, as a lawyer, it's like you're being shot from all sides.
HARMON: Correct. And, you know, I've never been involved with a case that has received this kind of intense media scrutiny, so it's a very interesting and educational experience. It's very frightening from a trial lawyer's perspective.
KING: Why do you think it has captured the public so much?
HARMON: I don't know. We were talking about that yesterday, a group of my colleagues and I were discussing it yesterday. And I think there are so many terrible things going on in the world of such grand proportion: the war and people dying in other countries and hideous, vicious crimes being perpetrated against humanity, that something like this, although it does at its core involve a crime of violence, distracts people from greater issues, and has an impact as a consequence of its ability to distract.
And I think, too, that as a consequence of the O.J. case, you know, and the media's involvement in that, nothing has ever really been the same and people have a hunger for this.
KING: Is Mr. Karr aware of all of this, what's going on?
HARMON: You know, Larry, I'm not prepared to comment about what Mr. Karr is or isn't aware of at this juncture.
KING: I just want to know if he knew about all the news media and the television attention and the discussions he's brought about since he's been in kind of a secluded atmosphere?
HARMON: He's been very isolated, I can tell you that.
KING: And so you expect, if anything happens, it's going to happen early next week, from what they have told you?
HARMON: Right. If charges are filed, and that is still a point of speculation, for all concerned -- if charges are filed, I expect that to occur, tomorrow is Friday, so either tomorrow or Monday.
And then for us to proceed from that point forward.
KING: Thanks as always, Jamie, we'll be calling on you again.
Jamie Harmon, the co-attorney, thank you, for John Mark Karr.
Let's head now to New York and Anderson Cooper, the host of AC 360. What's up tonight, Anderson?
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Larry, coming up at the top of the program tonight, new details in the JonBenet Ramsey/John Karr murder investigation. We're learning Karr was once a suspect in the still unsolved murder of a 12-year-old girl in California. We'll tell you more about that.
And two journalists kidnapped in Gaza by an unknown group, their family pleading for safe return. Tonight, an update on their story.
And reporter Jill Carroll, remember her? She was freed in Iraq after being kidnapped. She talks about what it's like to be held captive by terrorists. All that and more, Larry, at the top of the hour.
More, Larry, at the top of the hour.
KING: Thanks, Anderson. The top of the hour, "ANDERSON COOPER 360,"
When we come back, Larry Sutton, the staff editor of "People" magazine. This is their newest issue. He talks about it right after this.
KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE Larry Sutton in New York, staff editor of "People" magazine. The latest "People" has this special report: "Did He Kill JonBenet?" Isn't that a little presumptive title, Larry?
LARRY SUTTON, PEOPLE: Well, it's the question everyone is asking this week, isn't it? Did he kill her?
KING: Yeah, but isn't a jury going to decide it?
SUTTON: Of course a jury will decide it. But I think what people are talking about now, what the American public is talking about, is, was this the guy who was the killer? Why has he come forth? Why has he said that he's the guy who killed her? It's the big question in America today.
KING: Tell me how "People" assembled this story.
SUTTON: Well, you know, we've got reporters all over the world, and in Thailand, too. Being "People" magazine we focus more on the personal issues here. We want to know what kind of guy is John Karr, what makes him tick, what's his personality like, and by interviewing everyone from his ex-wife to neighbors to his brother, I mean, two family members, we sort of got a good portrait of a man who is tightly wound, sort of a control freak type of guy, a guy who is very tense.
KING: Tried to come to any conclusions?
SUTTON: Well, some conclusions you come to is -- you know, he reminds me a little bit of those volunteer firemen who set fire to woodlands and then put it out and proclaim I'm the hero, I extinguished the fire when it turns out they are the once who committed the crime.
There is a little bit of that, I think, in John karr. There's a little bit of wanting to get the accolades, of look, I put an end to this great mystery. Look, I finally brought peace to the JonBenet family by telling them I'm the one who did it. I think there's a little bit of that in him.
KING: You spoke with his brother, right?
SUTTON: Yes. I mean, we spoke to lots of family members. And the family members all say, you know, to a tee, that this is not the guy who committed the crime.
KING: Is his brother found of him?
SUTTON: Well, family members are family members -- fond, I couldn't judge that. But I'll say that...
KING: Is his brother fond of him?
SUTTON: Well, family members are family members. Fond, I couldn't judge that but I'll say that they are looking out for him.
KING: What have you learned about his background?
SUTTON: Well, his background is he's been teaching the last few years, over in Thailand. He was teaching English to the people in Thailand. We knew that while he was teacher he was kind of strict. If you didn't go along with the program he would get a little angry. He would toss chairs around if he didn't think you were learning as fast as you should learn.
KING: Obviously, you were able to get a lot of pictures. The interest in this case, do you expect this, frankly, to be one of "People's" best-selling issues?
SUTTON: Yes, I do. This is a mystery that's been going on for 10 years. It's rare in America for a crime like this to, one, get so much public attention, and two, to last as long as it has. I mean, come on, think of things that went on 10 years ago that people have forgotten about already. This is not one of those cases. And because there is that element of mystery, because, you know, I think it is going to come down to so many people don't believe that he had anything to do with the murder. The mystery goes on. Yes, it is going to be a big seller for us, I think.
KING: Did you learn anything about the evidence the D.A. in Boulder is about to, presumably, present?
SUTTON: Not necessarily. We know that they tested him for DNA when he was in Thailand, but I don't think the D.A. in Boulder is going to use that. I think they want their own evidence. So I think he's going to be retested once he gets to Boulder and they have the facilities already for him and then they will do their own tests, so they will be sure of the DNA evidence that they are getting.
KING: This is going to be strongly covered throughout, the trial won't be for a while, though, don't you think?
SUTTON: No, I think it will take months and months, of course, before it actually gets to the trial stage. Plenty of time for him to build up a defense. Plenty of time for people to get set in their ways too, about what they think of him, or how they like him or how they will prejudge him.
KING: As usual, Larry, an outstanding job.
SUTTON: Thank you.
KING: Larry Sutton, the staff editor of "People Magazine." "People's" special report, "Did He Kill JonBenet?" on the newsstands now. When we come back Charlie Brennan of the "Rocky Mountain News," who's been atop this story for over ten years. Don't go away.
KING: Don't forget Heidi Klum tomorrow night. Joining us now is Denver is Charlie Brennan, a reporter with the "Rocky Mountain News" covering the JonBenet Ramsey case since it started. The attorneys tell us that nothing is going to happen until earlier next week. Is that what you hear?
CHARLIE BRENNAN, "ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS": That's right. A little clarification from something that was said earlier. His first court appearance will not be for filing of charges, Larry. That is going to be for what's called an advisement. He'll be told why he was arrested, which surely by now he knows. And he'll be told that he's being held without bond. And at that hearing, which should be a very brief, routine affair, he'll be given a date to return, which will be no more than 72 hours later and it is at that second appearance at which charges will or will not be filed. Even then, the D.A. could possibly request more time and if the judge agrees, they could extend that 72 hours.
KING: We're showing, I understand, the latest mug shot of John Mark Karr. I guess taken in Boulder today.
BRENNAN: Yes and speaking of mug shots, and all the publicity that this story has drawn, Boulder is an interesting community in which a lot of the people, while highly educated and worldly and sophisticated, are not necessarily all watching a lot of TV, not all of them are reading the local papers that closely necessarily.
I saw on the Kobe Bryant case, which of course, the trial was cut short when the case was dismissed, they were well on their way to picking a jury there. They found a lot of people up in Eagle County in that case who had not really appeared to have been swayed by all the media that had circulated on the case. And in Ramsey as well, they will find people in Boulder County just, you know, who have not bought "People Magazine," who may not be watching this show this evening, and they may be able to find a jury there.
BRENNAN: One would hope, yes.
KING: Charlie, is one of the key things against him the fact that those four initials that he's written on a letter to someone, was also on the ransom note?
BRENNAN: Larry, there has been so much trotted out in the past week, and I am not confident of the veracity of that report about SBTC on a prior letter, particularly, I'm not confident about the date that he might have written that. And I would have to see that letter before I would take that one to the bank. SBTC, the sign off on the ransom notes, actually it said Victory, exclamation mark, SBTC. That's been one of the greatest mysteries in this case, what does that mean? If he put that on a letter prior to JonBenet murder that could be very interesting evidence. It's proof of nothing, but you can't ignore it obviously.
KING: We have an e-mail question for you, Charlie, from Brenda in Dauphin, Manitoba. "I don't understand why they just don't take his DNA and see."
BRENNAN: Well, Larry, they will take his DNA, and my best information is that although it's been reported to the contrary, they had not done so in Thailand. Presumably that will be done very soon. And I'm sure it will be expedited. The process of it will be expedited but we saw in the O.J. Simpson case how even DNA evidence in the hands of a savvy defense lawyer can be assailed with some success, so I don't think that the DNA test in this case is necessarily going to answer anything definitively one way or the other, particularly in the hands of a good defense lawyer, who knows how to attack a state witness.
KING: Charlie are you continually amazed at all of this attention?
BRENNAN: Am I continually amazed?
BRENNAN: Absolutely. With the editor from "People" on, just in the prior segment, it struck me, I bet that JonBenet in death has been on the cover of "People Magazine" more times than all but a handful of living celebrities. It's absolutely astounding. I agree, the war in Iraq, the trouble in Lebanon, between Lebanon and Israel, is far more important stuff, but there does seem to be a near insatiable appetite for this story and I would have to have a sociology degree, I think, to be able to explain why.
KING: Is it on the front page of your paper? BRENNAN: You know, I don't believe it was. Our front page, being the format we have, we run a picture of the big headline and the lead local story starts on page 4. It was not, there was not a front page photo today. It is still obviously getting, concerning this story, I should say, we're still playing up very strong, we'll have thorough coverage tomorrow obviously and throughout. You know, for us, why the Japanese care about this is one question but for us, this is in our back yard. It's a story that matters to our readers so we're going to stay all over this thing.
KING: Thanks a lot, Charlie. We'll call on you again I'm sure tomorrow.
BRENNAN: Thank you, sir.
KING: We'll do more tomorrow on this, plus a major portion of the show tomorrow on Project Runway with Heidi Klum, the famous model and a lot of people from that program. See you all with that tomorrow night, but right now let's turn our attention to New York, Anderson Cooper and "AC 360," Anderson.
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