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CNN Larry King Live

Inside the Mind of John Mark Karr

Aired October 17, 2006 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN HOST (voice-over): Tonight, the many faces of John Mark Karr.

JOHN MARK KARR: Children don't deserve to be, number one, disenfranchised from their own bodies. If they want to come up to me, sit in my lap, kiss me.

I am saying that I've never harmed a child.

I knew that I had gone too far and I said, "Oh, JonBenet, please, please breathe for me. Please don't leave me. Please don't leave me. Please come back to me.

KING: Last night, he talked to me.

Today, psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow interviewed him on his show.

And, long before he shocked the world, he spent years communicating with Professor Michael Tracey, who first alerted the authorities.

Now, Dr. Keith, Professor Tracey, and I compare notes on a man whose stunning claims made him for an unforgettable moment the prime suspect in the JonBenet Ramsey murder.

It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: Good evening.

Quite a night last night, quite an afternoon today for Dr. Ablow, who is our guest. He's in Hempstead, New York at the campus of Hofstra University. Dr. Keith Ablow is the psychiatrist, best-selling author, and host of the brand new "Dr. Keith Ablow Show." He did a lengthy interview with John Mark Karr. That one-on-one was featured on his television show today.

Now, we'll start this way, Dr. Ablow. Mr. Karr told me last night that what you did was not an interview, said it was misrepresented, said he didn't know he was being taped. What's the story?

DR. KEITH ABLOW, PSYCHIATRIST: Well, it was certainly an interview. It was a four hour interview and he certainly knew he was being taped because he sat for that interview.

We had cameras. At certain points he says "no comment" to questions that he doesn't wish to answer. For instance, he says "no comment" four times to a direct question that I put to him, "Simply tell me, Mr. Karr that you're not interested in having sex with children that you don't think it's appropriate for adults to have sex with children." He says "No comment" four times. He knows this is an interview, Larry.

KING: When we see shots of it though, Keith, why does it appear at times like he's so far away, like the camera is sort of hidden?

ABLOW: Well, at times the camera is hidden. There are portions of this interview during which Mr. Karr is -- knows that he's being interviewed and knows he's being taped and there are portions of this interview that take place in an office where he doesn't know that he's being taped.

And what emerges which is the fascinating part, is two faces of a man. One face he wishes for us to know, the face of a dedicated teacher, and an empathetic professional who wants only to help children.

And then, another face comes to the fore when he doesn't know that he's on camera and that's somebody who says that if he were not to accede to what he considers the sexual desires of little girls that he would harm their self esteem and that he's better for them, he says, than an ice cream cone.

KING: Let me play you a quote from Karr from this program last night about the interview with you. Watch.


KARR: That was not an interview. That was something that was misrepresented and I have an entertainment attorney, Mr. Chris Reggie (ph), who is now handling that matter and we're trying to work something out before we got into litigation because this was not done with my permission.

KING: What was it then, John? In other words, did you sit -- you had to sit down with Ablow, right? I mean you had to sit down with him.

KARR: Well, there are some -- there are some very unethical circumstances surrounding that and I want you to know that I consider this to be my first sit-down interview with my permission where I have -- I've of sound mind and I'm sitting before a person that I respect. And, I consider this to be my first true interview.


KING: By the way, he added -- Karr's attorney, we learned, told another network last night, Keith, that Karr was wined and dined before the interview and that after about an hour and a half of constantly having his glass filled with white wine, he was -- he agreed to shoot a test. That sounds very unethical.

ABLOW: Well, that would be unethical but Mr. Karr received no alcohol. He wasn't wined and dined. In fact, he waited for me to get back from Houston, where I was doing radio and print interviews related to my talk show, waited for me until 10:00 p.m., waited all day with my staff because he wanted to sit down.

He says at the beginning of our interview in one of the clips that leads my -- that led my show today that it was his turn to tell the world what he really felt and thought.

And so, we're dealing here, Larry, with a manipulative person, a person who manipulated the press corps and legal authorities to consider him a suspect in the JonBenet Ramsey case when I don't believe he hurt her or harmed her or even knew that family. And, this is the same man who is able, we fear, to manipulate children into serving his base desires. That's what he wants at least.

KING: Why, Keith, did you need a hidden camera at all? If he'd agreed to the interview, why not everything above board for him?

ABLOW: Well, you know, I'm a forensic psychiatrist, Larry. We've done our work together here more than once. And, my fear was borne out. You're an excellent interviewer. You're a role model of mine.

He didn't really come to the fore with his heartfelt desires, his pathologic inclinations in his interview with you and nor did he with me when I sat down with him with the cameras in plain view.

It's another man that emerges from behind that mask of sanity a predator emerges when he's interviewed on hidden camera. That's why I did it and the strategy was borne out.

KING: So your conscience is fully clear that you did nothing unethical and nothing wrong using a hidden camera. That's a technique used a lot.

ABLOW: It's fully legal. It's a technique used a lot. And, my conscience would not have been clear, Larry, had I allowed this man to continue to display a face that is not his to the American public.

He's somebody who says he wants to teach again. He's somebody who nearly opened a daycare center. And he's in my office saying that if he doesn't commune with little girls sexually that it could damage their self esteem as they grow up.

He says that he has an interest, a particular erotic interest in feet but he says the feet can only be about that big. He's a dangerous fellow and I'm very happy to have exposed that.

KING: I want to move on to a lot of things. But, you legal department at your show or the legal department at NBC had no problem with the use of that camera, is that right?

ABLOW: That is correct. Now, we were on "The Today Show" three days talking about this interview. My legal department at Warner Brothers and Telepictures vetted this interview and had the courage and I believe the legal acumen to say absolutely we need to do this.

KING: All right.

ABLOW: Because, you know what, in this one case we wanted to be certain that we had alerted the public to a man who is a pedophile and I'm not the only one who said it. Fred Berlin was on my show today. He's the world's leading expert in paraphelias (ph) including pedophilia, said this guy is a pedophile and a very dangerous one.

KING: Here's a clip from your show in which you ask Mr. Karr, dealing with two faces, about his dreams. Watch.


ABLOW: Do you have any recurrent dreams?

KARR: No, I don't think I've ever had recurrent dreams. I've dreamed about the same situations time and time again.

ABLOW: Yes, like such as?

KARR: I can't recall that.

ABLOW: OK. The part about what's your reoccurring dream or your reoccurring thought?

KARR: Before I stumbled all over the place.

ABLOW: What's that?

KARR: Because I stumbled all over the place with that (INAUDIBLE).

ABLOW: What is it?

KARR: I mean everybody is haunted by stuff.

ABLOW: What are you haunted by?

KARR: Oh, man, I'm going to be haunted by this by what happened.

ABLOW: How did she end up dying? What went wrong? How did JonBenet die?

KARR: I'm sorry I -- it's too painful.


KING: We'll be right back with more of Dr. Keith Ablow and his interview and our interview with the guest last night, Mr. John Mark Karr.

And we'll be including your phone calls and e-mails and the like.

You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.



KARR: I don't want to do anything but just present myself as myself and let people decide from listening to me talk which is this is my first chance because all they've gone by is what other people have said.

I mean I loved that little girl so much, you know, and I miss her every day.


KING: Keith, he didn't kill her. What is his fascination with her?

ABLOW: Well, I think that John Mark Karr's Achilles heel is his narcissism. We would never have the opportunity to have this intimate portrait of a pedophile if Karr didn't crave media attention.

I believe that he is somebody who is very much cut off from the reality of his own pain as a child. After all, it's been reported that he was sexually abused by his mom and that his mom tried to kill him. But he says that she's nearly perfect as a mother.

So, I think he's kind of docked the ship of his self, if you will, which is free floating in a drama that he finds compelling and that will get him attention. The trouble for him is that that addiction to attention leads him into vulnerable, if you will, positions where he can really be known for his other pathologic desires.


ABLOW: And one thing that became clear on the show -- I'm sorry, Larry.

KING: No, go ahead.

ABLOW: One thing that became clear on the show is that while there are pedophiles for whom the desire to be with children sexually is ego-dystonic, in other words they don't like it. They want help with it. They consider this wrong in base. He doesn't have any of that conflict. He's somebody who is at peace with his desire to have sex with children.

In fact, he thinks that we need to change the rules. He said psychiatry, organized psychiatry has a bone to pick with us because just as homosexuals used to be years ago defined as disordered by psychiatry in its diagnostic manual, he thinks that pedophiles too should be removed from that manual that they're normal.

KING: So when he said on this show he hates publicity and wants to run away from it, he has no desire for the attention that's a complete reverse of what you think?

ABLOW: Well, I think he key is he said it on your show, how can a man who says he wants no publicity have been on both of our shows?

KING: All right. We have an e-mail for you from Kimberly in Richmond, Virginia. "In your opinion, is John Mark Karr a danger to society, especially children? What type of criminal personality theory would he be classified?"

ABLOW: Well, I think John Mark Karr is a danger to children. He refused to tell me after all -- one of the questions -- here are the questions he wouldn't answer when the cameras were rolling and he knew it.

He wouldn't say, four times he had the opportunity to say that he thinks that having sex with kids is wrong. He's not interested in saying that because he doesn't believe that. That's an odd kind of, you know, integrity that he wants to present. He's not going to say he doesn't believe that sex with kids is wrong.

He wouldn't tell me the particular cities around the world and certainly not the schools around the world where he's taught. Well why? I wonder why. I'm concerned about why. Has there been anybody harmed?

And, I'm particularly concerned because a guy who says he has the desire to be with little girls and that it's good for them to be active sexually with him says he'd make a fine teacher and he'd like to return to the profession, very concerning. He's a predator.

KING: Here's another clip from your show where Karr gives us a disturbing insight into his infatuation with young girls. Watch.


KARR: Well, I just think that sexuality is controlled and driven by one, by the law, by legalities and by the psychiatric community. I got a beef with the psychiatric community.

Children don't deserve to be, number one, disenfranchised from their own bodies. If they want to come up to me, sit in my lap, kiss me and stick their tongue in my mouth, then if that's what they want to do, I've got two choices to say stop and traumatize them because they wanted to do it.

Okay, they're allowed to take their tongue and lick an ice cream cone and they want that ice cream and I'm sorry to say that that ice cream is probably worse for their health than my tongue is. Where does it stop? I mean where does it stop? I guess my feet and then you've got people who are into feet.

ABLOW: There are people who are into feet...

KARR: OK, well...

ABLOW: ...whose energy is focused on their feet, sexual energy. KARR: I know that. I'm like that. I've got some of that in me myself but not for anyone but feet that are about that small.


KING: Dr. Ablow at what age does Karr think it's OK for a young girl to have a relationship with a man?

ABLOW: Well, I mean the simple answer would be because he suffers with pedophilia because his sexual orientation is that he believes that he can fall in love with and have a fulfilling sexual relationship with a little girl and that, moreover, it's sexually fulfilling to her.

But there's another deep psychological reason that could be in play here and that's, you know, with the things that happened to him by age four, when he was removed from his household, his mother having reportedly suffered with mental illness, reportedly having been that violent to him as to threaten his life and sexually abuse him, he could be stunted essentially psychologically at the age, emotionally, psychologically of a child.

It may be the only person, the only kind of person that he can possibly relate to because he never went onto those more refined, more complex stages of psychological development. That would set the stage for being a pedophile.

He also says that at age four he, himself, remembers being sexually gratified, remember coming to orgasm as a 4-year-old and those early sexual experiences maybe in the context of abuse do set the stage for later paraphelias.

KING: We'll take a break.

By the way, Keith Ablow's new show, and it's very well done, airs weekdays. Check local listings for times. Our guest is Dr. Keith Ablow.

We'll be including your calls, more e-mails. Don't go away.


KING: How did we, the collective we, the world we, know about you?

KARR: I know how you know about me.

KING: Didn't know about you -- didn't know about you in Thailand, didn't know about you in Atlanta, didn't know about...

KARR: You know what -- you know what, Larry...

KING: How did we know?

KARR: You know it's too bad that you didn't know about me in Thailand and Atlanta. And when I was walking through that pool of reporters taking all those photos, I thought to myself why am I not walking through this pool of reporters because I am a good, wonderful person to be acknowledged for being a good, wonderful person?

KING: Because you said you committed a crime that was terrible. If you didn't say that, I'm not even -- I'm not saying her name, if you didn't say that, we wouldn't know you. We would not know you.

KARR: Well, I understand that.

KING: That's why the -- so you have to say when you look in the mirror, "What the hell was I thinking? My DNA don't match. I didn't do this. I've never committed a crime. What are they all at the airport for, because I said it."

KARR: I understand and I wish that I could discuss that further but I can't.

KING: All right, so psychologically why would someone, why do you think someone, forget her or anything, why would someone say they did something they didn't do? What do you think?

KARR: Well, you said the word "psychologically," you know...

KING: Yes, why do you think?

KARR: ...that goes down a whole different path and I can assure you it has nothing to do with anything psychological.




ABLOW: When is the moment in your life that you were most in love?

KARR: Well, you know, I think that you can fall in love over and over again so I guess that might be a hard question for me to answer.

ABLOW: Is here anyone who has moved you so much that you had felt like since the end of your marriage that you would want to make a commitment?

KARR: As in marriage?

ABLOW: No, a commitment.

KARR: No, absolutely not.


KING: Mr. Karr will now always be connected to the Ramsey murder, still says he wasn't completed exonerated. Let's watch this clip from his tape with Dr. Ablow.


KARR: The Ramseys will not let go of me. They'll never forget me because I'll be the only person ever, and even if 25 years from now they'll still be struggling with this and they'll say, you know -- then they'll say and then nobody will be able to say any more 25 years from now. They won't be able to say well, you know, there was never even an arrest in this case.

ABLOW: There was an arrest in the case but this man was completely exonerated and, as you've said shown to be...

KARR: I wasn't completely exonerated. I wasn't completely exonerated. I was released based on the DNA evidence that was found that was partial that was contaminated that was taken during a time when DNA evidence was in its infancy.

ABLOW: And you didn't get to give Patsy closure. So, in other words, if they had done a more complete investigation...

KARR: Well, first of all, don't forget that the original investigation was full of problems.

ABLOW: Sure.

KARR: Contamination left and right. On thing that the -- some of the things that happened, her body was disturbed, had it not been and had DNA evidence recovery been sophisticated as it is now, it wasn't.


KING: Keith, did he say that there's still some DNA possible to connect him through JonBenet's underwear?

ABLOW: Yes. John Mark Karr says that the police erred that they sampled DNA from a pair of underwear that he put on JonBenet after he took an original pair of her underpants away that would have his DNA on them. And he says that that is in a safe hiding place. He's not turning that over.

Now, of course, he's willing to insert himself in the dramas of others and it's very important, I can tell you as a forensic psychiatrist, you look for symptoms of whether people have no empathy.

The idea that the man for narcissistic gratification, his own needs for attention, for publicity, for feeling like he exists, would insert himself in the drama of a bereaved father, would commandeer the time of others and the sincere interest in getting to the bottom of a terrible homicide.

See, it's all about John Mark Karr. It's all about him and his needs, physically and sexually. It's all about his need for attention. What people see here is I believe a rare glance into a pedophile and sociopath.

KING: All right, now Keith I... ABLOW: And, you know, they ought to see it clearly.

KING: Now, I want you to watch this clip from our show last night in which he's discussing the possibility of harming a child. I want you to explain this dichotomy. Watch.


KING: Let's set it straight. Are you saying you never said you harmed a child?

KARR: I'm saying that I believe that you're leading into an area that...

KING: No, but it's simple, John, you either said I did or said I didn't. I'm not asking you about (INAUDIBLE).

KARR: I am saying that I've never harmed a child.


KARR: I'm saying it right now.


KARR: I'm saying that I would protect any child who I thought was being harmed.

KING: All right.

KARR: I don't ever recall saying that I did harm a child.


KING: OK, which is the real John Mark Karr?

ABLOW: Oh, the real John Mark Karr is the John Mark Karr who doesn't know that the cameras are rolling. However, it's all about serving his needs. There with you, Larry, and I watched your show and was impressed with that question particularly, there he's cautious about whether he's going to run afoul of any perjury laws, et cetera, and he wants to present this face that he did with me. "I'm the empathetic professional."

He does it effortlessly, by the way. You know, he does it almost as though he's running for office and wants to avoid a very probing and damaging question. But when he doesn't know he's being taped, that's when he says what's in his heart. But here's the symmetry. He does not believe that it's harming a child for him to have sex with a child.


ABLOW: He does not believe that if he touches her sexually, if they French kiss that that would do her any damage.

KING: So, to him he's answering both questions truthfully?

ABLOW: To him in a sense he's answering both questions truthfully. Therein is the real danger because, remember, we've talked about this on your show before, this is somebody who says on the one hand that he was sexually abused by his mother, who on the other hand says it wasn't damaging for him and that she was nearly perfect.

And, you know what, when you're in that level of denial about your own pain, you're not going to be able to feel the pain of others or acknowledge their suffering.

KING: We have another e-mail from Ethel in Pineville, Louisiana. "Has John Mark Karr been tested for mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bi-polar, et cetera?"

ABLOW: To my knowledge he is not under treatment. He said he wasn't under any psychiatric treatment at present. The authorities clearly did not label him with any particular diagnosis, which I think he would find offensive because he thinks that the core of who he is, is appropriate even though it can be so dangerous to children.

And, I think Dr. Berlin, Fred Berlin, again associate professor at Johns Hopkins and the head of their sexual disorders clinic, did raise the question on my show. He said, "You know, it could be that he literally believes that he's attached to this family in some way, shape, or form, which would make him a delusional man in addition to his other diagnoses."

KING: Dr. Keith Ablow is our guest. We'll be back with more.

We'll include your phone calls; more clips from both shows, as we return on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


ABLOW: Were you saddened by Patsy Ramsey's passing?

KARR: I was.

ABLOW: Did you feel kind of kinship with the family?

KARR: I think they're a wonderful family. I think that JonBenet's mom was a fantastic mom and that she went through not only losing her child but she also went through being persecuted by the public. They thought that she was involved, which is an outrageous, ridiculous notion. And, I'm very sorry that she had to go through that.

ABLOW: If Patsy Ramsey were alive today and sitting here, what would you tell her?

KARR: I would tell her that I hope for her to have peace and closure in the matter of the loss of her little girl.


KING: We're back with Dr. Keith Ablow. Let's take -- he's, by the way, at Hofstra University at Hempstead, where he spoke this evening.

Let's take a call. Newburyport, Massachusetts. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. Hi, Dr. Keith. I was wondering, Dr. Keith, have you ever interviewed anyone else that is along the same lines as John Mark Karr? A pedophile, that sort of thing, and how you've compared with the other people you've interviewed?

KING: Excellent question.

CALLER: And (inaudible) compared like to (inaudible) for instance?

KING: Excellent question.

ABLOW: All right. So the question, if I understand it, is have I interviewed other pedophiles and how do they compare to John Mark Karr?

KING: Yes.

ABLOW: Is that right?

KING: That's correct.

ABLOW: OK. Well, I have interviewed other pedophiles, and I'll give you a good comparison. I worked with a man actually and treated him who was a pedophile, had a desire to be with little girls. He knew this about himself. And, Larry, because he knew that there were little girls out and about in spring and summer clothing, this is a guy who literally would not leave the house during those months of the year. He worked in people's homes, and he said, Keith, I just can't risk it. This is pathologic what I have inside me.

He wanted every medicine I could get him. He wanted a referral to Johns Hopkins to see if he could depo provera, to decrease his testosterone and decrease his sex drive. That is far and away from this man, who is at home with his desires, who thinks we have the problem in calling him pathologic. He's not sick, he says, this is normal.

KING: Let's go to another clip from your interview, in which he discusses having a manuscript with a fictional character called Daxis. Watch.


KARR: I have a manuscript with me.

ABLOW: You do? KARR: Yes. It's my life story. And all I've done is just changed a few little things, which makes me able, which allows me to say that it's...

ABLOW: That it's fictional?

KARR: Right.

ABLOW: In your manuscript, the character Daxis, who I take it, is with a young girl.

KARR: Right.

ABLOW: And is intimate with her the night she dies in some fashion?

KARR: Intimate, and not by your standards probably of what intimate means, but there was an intimacy, yes.


KING: What's the significance of that, do you think, Keith?

ABLOW: Well, I think John Mark Karr still wants to command our attention in every media venue that he possibly can. He has a novel. He's called it "Daxis." He's changed a few biographical facts, he says, in order to save himself from prosecution.

But therein in that manuscript, he says, are details about the Ramsey slaying that he hopes, I believe, will reinsert him in that drama, and again raise a question as to whether he ought to be considered the killer, one of the most notorious killers of the decade, but without paying any price for it.

He wants our attention, Larry. Doesn't matter if Mr. Ramsey suffers, doesn't matter -- he says the memory of Patsy Ramsey -- I'm sorry to say that unfortunately he has no feelings for other people like Patsy Ramsey. It's all invented.

KING: Annapolis, Maryland, hello.

CALLER: Yes, the question...

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: Hello. The question I have for Dr. Ablow is, I'm a kindergarten teacher and if John Mark Karr is looking for attention and publicity, isn't he getting exactly what he wants with magazine covers and the focus of talk shows? Couldn't this make him act out even further?

ABLOW: Well, the answer to that question is he is getting some of what he wants. He is getting on talk shows and he is getting in magazines. That's why I felt it was so critical to say and show who he really is. Because we ought not let him present a face to the world in which he says, I should be allowed to teach. So maybe I've made a mistake in the past. I inserted myself in this drama. But listen, people make mistakes. He used the analogy of a surgeon with me, Larry. He said, listen, you know, surgeons, they have malpractice occasionally, but they're allowed to continue their professions.

He wants to go back to teaching.

I felt strongly and so did my staff, headed by Kathy Tremmell (ph), my executive producer -- and I have to say how grateful I am to her and the staff -- we were committed to not letting him commandeer the media again.

KING: Is he a sociopath?

ABLOW: Is he a sociopath? In this -- in the sense that he lacks connectedness with people, in the sense that he's moved to fits of rage if his needs aren't met promptly, in the sense that he puts his own sexual desires above those of helpless beings, I suppose he might qualify for that diagnosis.

I think I would want to talk to him even longer than four hours before definitively settling on that, only because of this -- being a pedophile has symptoms associated with it that could overlap with those symptoms. In other words, he has such a desire for sexual gratification with children that it may drive everything for him.

KING: I know it's not in the -- in the psychiatric purview, but we'll ask it anyway. Is there anything you liked about him?

ABLOW: Ah, you know what, when John Mark Karr wants you to do something for him, whether it's to talk to him a little bit longer or to skip a question he very much wants not to answer, he can be very affable.

Like may be a strong world. He's affable when he needs something, and he's highly attuned as many -- and you raised the question -- sociopaths -- as many sociopaths are, he's highly attuned to the feelings and emotions of others, so he can be jovial with you, but always to an end. Always to his end. And you know what? Here's the very concerning thing: I can imagine children liking him very much.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more of Dr. Keith Ablow, and more of your phone calls and e-mails as well. Don't go away.


ABLOW: When you think about it now, does it -- do you still think about her a lot now? Like what went on?

KARR: Haunts, haunts me.

ABLOW: Haunts you or moves you, or both?

KARR: Lots of things. Like, have you ever been in love with someone and you remember... ABLOW: Absolutely.

KARR: ... having an intimate moment with someone? You have those memories, but then it gets mixed and tinged with something that resulted in something that was like the tragedy of your life? I mean, that's the way you think back on it. And then you start thinking about things, like how it hurts other people. And then you think about how -- what happened as a result of your interaction resulted in a funeral. And then you start thinking about all the pain and agony and all the tears that were shed, and how you can't bring that person back. And the only thing that you can do is provide information to finally close the book on the mystery. And first of all, foremost, to offer some kind of closure to a family.




ABLOW: Tell me about you as a child.

KARR: I was precocious and I was a child who was intelligent, who didn't like to have limits placed on me because I knew what I wanted to do and I was usually allowed to do that.


KING: Dr. Ablow, I don't know if you'll find this interesting, but I'll be interested in your comment. Our production staff was naturally taking care of him while he was here and before he flew back to Atlanta and Kelsey, one of our key operatives, when he was done with the interview, Kelsey accompanied him to a cemetery where he spent an hour with Natalie Wood, with the grave of Natalie Wood. I know he's a movie buff. You see anything into that?

ABLOW: Well, you know, I think celebrity -- I think it is telling. Celebrity moves this man and death moves this man. Because after all, psychologically he is aware at some level of his own demise because that's the story of pedophiles and sociopaths.

At a certain point it having become untenable for this man to feel his own pain, he decided to shut down and at that point he extinguishes what we recognize as humanity. He becomes unable to reciprocate in an empathetic way, in a way that we define being human.

Is he beyond help? I'm not sure anybody's beyond redemption, but he's a dangerous man and there are incurable cancers in the world and there are incurable psychological problems.

KING: Do you think that Natalie Wood's death was always regarded as mysterious, falling off the boat, was it violent, was somebody else involved? Do you think that might play into all of this?

ABLOW: Well, it certainly could play into this. And after all, this is somebody that we know became part of a fictional drama about death. He's writing a novel about it. And, you know, it concerns me deeply, you know, people sometimes do relate in fiction things that have occurred in some setting in fact.

I'm not saying that he truly has hurt anyone, but it's concerning to me and it's certainly concerning when a guy like that says he wants to teach again, that maybe he'd like to have the opportunity to operate a day care center. Why shouldn't he? He says I've never been convicted of anything.

And what arrives in my office shortly after his interview with me since we're sharing stories about post-interview John Karr, well, a Federal Express envelope with an application for a passport, a check for that and his birth certificate. Where is Mr. Karr going next and how many children will there be there and will their parents know him for who he is? Well, they will now.

KING: Stranger and stranger. E-mail from Lori in Houston, Texas. "It appears that John Mark Karr is very concerned with putting forth a certain image of himself to the public and gets very upset if anyone attempts to suggest things that conflict with his view of himself. Can you address how that might be explained in psychiatric terms?"

ABLOW: What an astute observation. I'll tell you, when you have constructed a mask of sanity and I'm borrowing the term from the great psychiatrist Hervey Cleckley. When you have constructed a face to greet the world, you do it for a reason. You do it because your own feelings feel like the end of the world to you.

To be the person you are is to be annihilated. And so whenever somebody pokes at that mask or suggest that perhaps you're another, it makes you very angry. It makes you resist at all costs. And no wonder he would be enraged at me for presenting information that portrays him in another light than he wishes to be portrayed. It would be enraging because we've gone behind the mask, we're looking at the real John Mark Karr.

KING: Lots more to go. We'll have some more clips as well. But right now let's check in with Anderson Cooper, the host of "AC 360" at the top of the hour -- Anderson, what's up tonight?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Larry, we're going to talk more about your interview with Dr. Ablow with our panel, senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and sexual behavior expert Dr. Fred Berlin. We'll ask them if they've agree with Ablow's assessment that Karr is a pedophile. And if he is, how the legal system could keep him off the streets.

Plus, a developing story out of North Korea. There is now word that North Korea isn't getting ready to conduct one nuclear test but maybe multiple tests. The stakes and tensions getting higher tonight. We'll have all that and more, Larry, at the top of the hour.

KING: That's Anderson Cooper at 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific, "A.C. 360." We'll be back with more of Dr. Ablow, some more clips from the interviews right after this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


ABLOW: You had the sense that he was drugging you. Were you experienced when it happened?

QUINTANA SHOTTS, EX-WIFE OF JOHN MARK KARR: Well, I would wake up in the morning. I would have my eyes would be just solid red.

KARR: No, that's outrageous, not true. I think that was said of Michael Jackson as well about this whole drugging thing. I think what happens is that sometimes, especially when there's a media blitz like that, that people just start throwing out everything in the mix.


KING: Keith, would you say he's smart?

ABLOW: I think he is very intelligent.

KING: Do you think there are aspects of him, as you mentioned earlier, probably a good teacher?

ABLOW: Well, look, you know, a good teacher obviously that pales in comparison to whatever risk he poses, but could he connect with children?

KING: Yes.

ABLOW: Yes, I guess he could. And that's part of the danger, that they would be moved to hang around this guy. After all, his favorite movie "The Secret Garden," right with a child in it. His favorite actors, they're all child actors. He is childish in some ways, but he's also a dangerous guy.

KING: Let's go to a tape from our interview discussing the sex change. And your thoughts on that, watch.


KARR: My private life is something that I'd like to have remain private, but if that's what -- if I'm preparing for a sex reassignment surgery, then it would be my decision after great deliberation. And it would be my choice and it would be something that I would be proud of. Because I don't think that -- I think that anyone who undergoes SRS should be respected for making the decision that's honorable. And I don't have anything against those who make that decision.


KING: Keith, your reaction.

ABLOW: Well, again, John Mark Karr isn't comfortable in some ways with his chronological age. He is in some ways emotionally a child. He's not comfortable with the fact that society and normality dictate that he be interested in adults sexually. He believes he ought to be free to be interested in children.

He's not at home it turns out potentially with his own gender. That was something that was also noted when he was on my show and I know he's it's going to be on Anderson Cooper's show by Dr. Fred Berlin, who happens to have been a professor of mine at Johns Hopkins.

This is a guy who doesn't even necessarily own his own gender. Here is a textbook case of what happens from a man that is cut free from the tethers that bind him to his own identity. And unfortunately he therefore doesn't appreciate the boundaries and personal identity of others, especially children. They're there for his pleasure and he projects upon them his own desires. He imagines that they want what he intends for them to do.

KING: Are you saying then in no way should anybody feel sorry for him?

ABLOW: Oh, I think people should feel terribly sorry for him. Well there you awaken the psychiatrist and compassionate professional in me that lives along with the journalists. Should anybody live through abuse as a child as John Mark Karr reportedly did? Absolutely not.

Was he born evil out of the womb? I don't believe it for a second. He didn't ask for this. He didn't ask to be a danger to others. He just is a danger to these and I wish it hadn't happened to him and I wish he didn't pose a risk to others. As opposed to the messages here, the message here is to protect kids. He needed protection, too. It didn't happen for Him.

KING: Back with our remaining moments right after these words. Don't go away.


ABLOW: Is your empathy, is it tied to having suffered with your mom? In other words, she tried to hurt you, you forgave her?

KARR: Oh, of course. I mean, sure. I was with my mother for four years of my life. The first four years, OK? My memory of her is really vague. I was taken out of the home quickly. I wasn't exposed to her long enough for it to affect me.



KING: One note. Michael Tracey, who produced some documentaries dealing with this was supposed to call in tonight and failed to do so.

We have an e-mail from Tammi in Windsora, Ontario. "If John Mark Karr loves his children, why is it he's had no contact with his own children in over five years?" Doctor?

ABLOW: Well, you have a very talented audience, Larry. That goes to the heart of the issue, which is that this man who says he loves children, he's incapable, I would believe, of love. It doesn't particularly, I don't think, move him. He expressed no sadness to me. He didn't shed a tear over the fact that he's cut off from his children at all. And I don't believe that he necessarily feels attached to them in any genuine way.

This is no man if you will. And to be clear again, should our empathy be extended to him for having been cut off from his own humanity? Absolutely, because to do otherwise would be to not -- to deny our own empathy in humanity.

KING: I want to get in one more clip from your interview about him teaching again, watch.


ABLOW: How many places have you served, put your head down for a period of time and...

KARR: .. Well, it's quite numerous because in the five-year period of time I've been around the world.

ABLOW: What are some of the cities?

KARR: I don't want to answer that.

ABLOW: I'm sorry. Why?

KARR: I said I don't want to answer that.

ABLOW: I'm sorry.

KARR: I can't say, here we go. Because what you're doing, you're locking me into the names of cities, which would also lock me into talking about the actual schools and -- you notice I said Central America. I didn't say the name of the countries.


KARR: Stop that.



KING: OK, analyze that for me. We have two minutes to go.

ABLOW: Well, to analyze that, there's John Mark Karr being honest if you will. He says there's no way I'm going to let you nail me down to certain cities because, what if you should visit them and talk to the -- let's say the kids who are in those schools. I had the sense that he very much wants that not to happen. And, you know, anybody I suppose would fear, whether any misdeed took place in any of those locals.

KING: Keith, key question. In your opinion, has he harmed children physically? ABLOW: You know what, I guess what I would have to say is that he told me enough of concern, Larry -- he didn't answer certain key questions like the one that you just saw, dodged them, to make me want to define it. I can't say if he hurt kids for sure.

I can tell you that he's unrestrained by what normally keeps us from doing so. Empathy for others, a normal sexual set of desires. He has an abnormal set of desires and he's unresolved by any moral quandary. He can go forward because he doesn't see anything wrong with it.

KING: You have 45 seconds. Is this a textbook case?

ABLOW: This is a textbook case of pedophilia. For anybody who watched my show or who has watched yours tonight or has seen you interview John Mark Karr, put it all together and say to yourself, you know what, if I get a bad feeling from somebody who seems to be interacting with my child a little more than I can explain or who doesn't have good boundaries and is turning up in places or at times that seem rather odd, professing for them is special affection. Keep your kids safe.

KING: Doctor, we're always doing things by remote and satellite. I hope the next interview, we're sitting together.

ABLOW: Well, I would love to sit with you, Larry. And your kind words about your television show are a precious reward because I've admired you for so long.

KING: Thank you, Keith -- Dr. Keith Ablow.

ABLOW: Thanks, Larry.

KING: Before we go, we want to give a special shout-out to Tim McGraw, one of my favorite people. The high-riding, Grammy-winning country music icon, was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame earlier today. Tim and his wife Faith Hill, a country superstar herself, have been very good friends to this program. So we want to say congratulations on the star and wish one of the best, Tim McGraw, all the best. There they are.

By the way, special program note. This Thursday night, we're going to spend a full hour with Senator Barack Obama of Illinois. He is the front cover of "Time" magazine this week. This is an amazing political story. In fact, it's more than a political story. Barack Obama on Thursday night, Jesse Jackson in a retrospective on Friday night.

Thanks for joining us. Right now, let's go to New York, Anderson Cooper and "A.C. 360." Anderson?