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Nancy Grace

Details of New Information in JonBenet Ramsey Killing

Aired August 17, 2006 - 20:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, GUEST HOST: Breaking news tonight. New details in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case. A 41-year-old American school teacher being held by authorities in Thailand in connection with the beating and strangulation death of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey. In his own words, he says, quote, "I love her very much, and it was an accident." He also claims he drugged Ramsey and had sex with her. But the big question tonight -- can we believe him? John Mark Karr expected back in the United States in just days, where he could face charges of murder one, kidnapping and child sex assault.

JOHN RAMSEY, FATHER: I did not kill my daughter, JonBenet.

PATSY RAMSEY, MOTHER: I loved that child.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was never any need for vindication because I knew from the depths of my heart that Patsy, John, Burke, no one in my family ever harmed JonBenet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: John Mark Karr is presumed innocent.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you an innocent man?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, in tonight for Nancy Grace. New details emerging in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case, along with lots and lots of new questions. A suspect in custody of authorities in Thailand claims he was with JonBenet when she died, but there are some discrepancies that we will look into tonight.

For the very latest on these extraordinary developments, let`s go straight out to Court TV news correspondent Jean Casarez, who is in Boulder Colorado -- Jean.

JEAN CASAREZ, COURT TV: Good evening, Jane. Well, it`s the press conference that Boulder, Colorado, has not had for 10 years, but they sure did have it today. And it was announced that a suspect has been arrested, not here in the United States, but in Thailand for the death of JonBenet Ramsey. We hear it is an ongoing investigation. And as far as evidence, that`s where the prosecution stopped today. The district attorney, Mary Lacy, said, We will not comment on the investigation because it is ongoing and it`s just not right at this point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s listen to the suspect, John Mark Karr himself.


KARR: I love JonBenet very much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you just give us a brief statement, please?

KARR: I love JonBenet, and she died accidentally.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you an innocent man? Are you an innocent man?



KARR: Her death was -- was an accident.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you were in the basement?

KARR: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell us about your connection to the Ramsey family?

KARR: No comment on that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did you get into the basement to play with her?

KARR: No comment on that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And how do you feel now? How are you being treated?

KARR: I`m being treated OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How long had you known JonBenet?

KARR: No comment on that.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Very bizarre developments. Let`s take a look at some headlines. This is the headline of "The Daily News." Take a look at that -- " Solved!" OK? Similar headlines, undoubtedly, all around the world. But maybe there should have been a little question mark there because there are so many questions. I mean, the truth is proving elusive.

We are delighted to have with us tonight Court TV anchor Ashleigh Banfield. Ashleigh, so many discrepancies. Give us kind of a rundown of the discrepancies.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, COURT TV: Well, this suspect suggests that he did this, but at the same time, his estranged wife suggests that that`s not where he was on Christmas Day in 1996, that he was with her in Alabama. She did say that as a comment to a radio or a television reporter in the Bay area, and it was just on the heels of learning of all of this. So who knows what value we can give to that kind of a statement.

But you know, those, No comment, No comment, No comment, comments were about really unusual circumstances. He had already said, I did it. I was there. Why would he not comment on a little detail, and yet he would be so forthcoming about, I did it, I was there?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Norm Early, former district attorney of Denver and spokesperson for the National District Attorneys Association, are we giving the Boulder DA enough credit? I mean, come on! Isn`t that the first or second or third phone call you make is, Hey, ex-wife, where was he on Christmas 1996? Was he in Boulder or not?

NORM EARLY, FORMER DENVER DA, SPOKESPERSON NATIONAL DAS ASSOC.: Well, one of the reasons that the arrest occurred at this time, according to the Boulder district attorney, was because of fear of flight, as well as for public safety -- two reasons. And I think in the best of all worlds, she would not have arrested right now, but given those adjutant (ph) circumstances, that they were afraid he was going to run and they were afraid for public safety...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but I`m...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m asking you about the whole idea of whether or not he was there. Isn`t that an easy check?

EARLY: You know, if she`s telling the truth. I mean, to make the phone call is an easy thing. To test the validity of the phone call is quite something different. So just to say that she could have made the phone call and the ex-wife said, He was with me, and that`s dispositive of the issue, I don`t think that`s the case. I think that you still have to go further, and you can`t just let the word of an ex-wife exonerate the individual.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think you`re right because she might have a lot of reasons for wanting to say, Hey, he was with me. I mean, they have three children. How embarrassing is all of this. You can totally understand if she wants all of this just to go away.

Harold Copus, former FBI agent, private eye who worked on the Ramsey case, of all the red flags that I read today, this one really popped out at me from "The Denver Post," which says they spoke to his elderly dad, who said when he was arrested back in 2001 on five misdemeanor charges of child pornography, he told his dad at that time, back in 2001, that he was a suspect in the JonBenet Ramsey disappearance. (SIC) What do you make of that?

HAROLD COPUS, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR, FORMER FBI AGENT: Well, I think that`s just as bizarre as everything else we`re hearing. We`re going to have to wait and see as more evidence comes out from the Boulder PD and from the DA`s office. If he was a suspect at that time, they`ll certainly let us know. I just question that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You question whether or not he did this? In other words, you`re skeptical?

COPUS: Oh, I think that you have to have a heavy dose of skepticism if you`re in the business that I`ve been in. I`ve seen cases just go cold on me as I thought I was getting close. I think we have to give the guy the benefit of the doubt. After all, you know, he`s due his day in court. He`s got to have his chance. At the same time, the police have got to see they can put him in this case or take him out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go to psychoanalyst Bethany Marshall because what struck me when I was watching this whole media circus of him parading around and giving comments was his body language was very strange, and the way he spoke was very strange, his eye movements, his long pauses. What did you make of it?

BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: He seemed kind of disassociated and detached to me. And I also noticed he kind of had a waxy expression on his face, like he wasn`t really there. So either he was very traumatized by all the press or he was reliving some sort of fantasy.

I mean, certainly, whether or not he committed this crime, he was very taken with JonBenet Ramsey. He studied this. He wrote a paper about it in college. He talked to his father about it. And it`s as if this case was a form of erotica for him. So in retelling to the press in this disassociated, bizarre kind of way, it may be as if he stepped into the fantasy of this particular crime, whether or not, in fact, he committed it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Like he`s trying to insert himself into the case and possibly for attention.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean, look at all the attention he is getting.

MARSHALL: Well, one of the reasons behind false confessions often is that the person wishes for some type of notoriety or infamy. And look, he describes her as a little beauty queen and he`s in love with her and he`s confused and he thinks that this 6-year-old little girl was really an adult, and now he`s attached to her in the mind of the public, the celebrity, and in his mind, he`s celebrity, too.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. I`d like to go back out to Jean Casarez, who is in Boulder, and talk to her about two of the key discrepancies in this case. According to published reports, Karr said that he drugged this girl and that he had sex with her, and yet, according to the autopsy, that doesn`t match up.

CASAREZ: OK, that`s a great point because let`s look at the first one, that he drugged her. And you`re right, the autopsy report showed that she had no drugs in her system at all. But we also have to look at the reporting agency where they heard that. And what I read of the published report from Associated Press was that it was from a Thai official that said that, who didn`t hear it said personally but heard it from another person, who said that it was said. Well, that`s double hearsay, if you`re in a courtroom, right there. So Jane, I don`t know how much we can believe from what we`re hearing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Very good point. This could be like a game of telephone, and you know what happens with the game of telephone. All the facts end up different by the time you go through the entire game.

Let`s 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`s may be. So we have to wait and see what exactly what does he mean and what`s the confession contents. Of course, this 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.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me go back to Harold Copus, former FBI agent and private investigator, who worked on this case, undoubtedly has read the autopsy report. What do you make of this disconnect between what he is supposedly -- and we`re not really sure because it is hearsay -- saying, that he drugged and had sex with this girl, and what was in the autopsy? And is there a possible explanation for that discrepancy?

COPUS: I don`t see any explanation, quite frankly. And I think what happens here is because that sits out there, we have to say that`s the biggest stumbling block that you have to overcome. Now, you`ve gone over all -- some of the others, but certainly, this is a major one. I`m not sure we can get past it. We just have to wait and see what the police are going to tell us now and what the DA`s office will say.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And again, very important point, Ashleigh Banfield, did he even say this? Because this was reported by Thai police who were not at the interrogation, and as you mentioned earlier, they have kind of a vested interest in pushing this because Thailand has such a bad reputation as being a child sex porn capital.

BANFIELD: And they count on tourism dollars, so they want to work with the authorities. They want to work with the media. And PS, they`re not as used to the media as we are over here, so they may not behave in the same way there. The police authorities may not be behave in the same way that we do. They may not be as tight-lipped. They may be reporting what they overheard. They may have overheard half of a conversation.

What if an immigration official said, yes, I wouldn`t be surprised if the guy drugged and raped her and took her home from school, and this is what the Thai authorities are now reporting to us as fact?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And not only that, but take a look at what they did with him, parading him through, I don`t know, hall after hall. That was something that I would think that the Boulder DA wouldn`t have wanted to see.

BANFIELD: One of the perp walks of the decade.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I mean, this is a circus and this is an absolute, really, wild situation here. I don`t think the Boulder DA wanted this. You were mentioning that this could have been the Thai authorities who want to put on this big front of, Hey, we`re anti-child porn, we`re anti-crimes against children.

BANFIELD: We`re helping out, we`re doing our part, we`re making sure the kids are safe, that sort of thing. Sure. The other thing is, you know, some people are touching on the part that -- you and I would probably never admit to a crime, but a lot of people do. A lot of people confess to notorious crimes. I don`t know why, but a lot of times...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That they haven`t committed.

BANFIELD: Exactly. They`re false. And guess what? This fellow has been writing a book, right...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And writing letters to Patsy Ramsey.

BANFIELD: But what better way to get publicity for your book if all of a sudden, you come out in the international media, and then you`re exonerated and you`re clean and you can sell your book because everyone knows who you are?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There are a lot of bizarre aspects to this case, but it`s no laughing matter to the Ramsey family. Let`s listen to Pat Ramsey (ph), the sister, weigh in.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, you didn`t love JonBenet. I loved JonBenet. Saying it was an accident, well, by what accident were you even in her home? By what accident did you tie something around her neck and choke her? By what accident did you put an eight-inch crack in her skull? These things are not accidents. Accidents are falling off the couch and bumping your head when you`re a toddler.

I`m not really certain that there is a need for vindication because, in my mind, Patsy and John were never guilty of anything and those who know them, who knew them, who have stood by them knew the truth. And we were just waiting for this day, for this to come to light, and we always knew that this day would come.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we are very happy right now to go out to Bangkok, Thailand, to CNN correspondent Stan Grant, who is standing by. Tell us exactly where you are. We have so many questions for you. But notably, where was he living? We understand it was very seedy. And how long has he been in that area?

STAN GRANT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. First of all, where I am -- we`re actually at the police. So now, I don`t know if you can see much behind me here, but behind me, behind these windows, are actually the bars and the cells themselves. In there somewhere is Karr, is John Mark Karr. And that, of course, is the man with all the answers to the questions that you`ve just been posing on the program here.

The other question -- where he was staying. He was staying at an apartment here in Bangkok described, as you say, as one of the seedier parts of town, a seedy-looking apartment. He`d been here for a couple of months. He came in, in June. He had been in and out of Thailand, and authorities had been tracking him. He came immediately from Malaysia and was seeking work here as a teacher, was only in that work for a matter of days before he was nabbed by authorities, and of course, ending up where he is now, in these cells behind me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And how soon might he come back to the United States? And what`s the process going to be? We understand they revoked his visa, so he`s just going to be booted out. Or are there any extradition issues?

GRANT: Yes, they`re careful not to use the word extradition, Nancy. (SIC) They`re talking about it as a transfer. You`re right, they have revoked the visa, which means he no longer has a right to stay in the country. He`s been seen as, quote, "an undesirable person." Now, we know at the same time that he`s been arrested and there`s a warrant for his arrest now with U.S. authorities.

We`re hearing different things about the charge. We heard from the Colorado DA that they didn`t want to go into any detail about the charges being laid. But interestingly, the U.S. officials here from Homeland Security were saying he`s being charged with first-degree murder, amongst other offenses, including sexual offenses. So all of those things still to be worked out.

How long that will take -- we`re hearing those processes can take up to about a week. But in this case, because of the intense interest and the fact that his visa has been revoked and there`s such a need and urgency to get him back to the United States, it could happen in a matter of days.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`ve been talking about the Thai officials. I mean, don`t they have a vested interest in all this? Don`t they want to paint themselves as being anti-crime, sex crimes against children? Isn`t that why they had this wild perp walk today?

GRANT: Yes. There`s two sides to that. You`re right, the government here has been for some time wanting to display itself as cracking down on child sex crimes. We know that Thailand has been a haven for this. Just a few years ago, I did an investigation here, speaking to young girls who came across the border from Myanmar, known as Burma, Cambodia, Vietnam, who were smuggled across the border and sold, effectively, as sex slaves. I`m talking about girls as young as 8, 10, 12 who were being sold as sex slaves and used by foreign businessmen. They told me how foreign businessmen come here to have sex with them.

The government has been trying to crack down on that, introduced a couple of years ago stricter restrictions, tighter restrictions on opening hours and closed down some establishments that it wanted to close down. But it`s a trade that is so endemic here.

The other question, of course, is why was he paraded. We`ve actually heard that he wanted to attend the press conference itself. The police -- he then got nervous and couldn`t go through with it, Nancy. (SIC)



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: John Karr is presumed innocent. There`s a great deal of speculation and a desire for quick answers here. We should all heed the poignant advice of John Ramsey yesterday. He said, Do not jump to conclusions, do not jump to judgment, Do not speculate. Let the justice system take its course.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, sitting in tonight for Nancy Grace. A suspect in custody almost 10 years later in the infamous JonBenet Ramsey murder case. A 41-year-old father of three with prior child porn charges claims he was involved in the death of JonBenet Ramsey. He has confessed. The big question, do we believe him?

We`re going out to Dr. Werner Spitz, who is a forensic pathologist who worked on the Ramsey case. Dr. Spitz, thank you so much for joining us. My question to you is, we`ve been hearing that he reportedly said that he drugged her and had sex with her, and that that does not jive with the autopsy report. Please weigh in, sir.

DR. WERNER SPITZ, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Yes, that does -- that did not happen. She was not under the influence of any drugs. And I also understand that he indicated that this was an accident. This was not an accident, and I will tell you in a minute why and...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tell us right now.

SPITZ: Well, she did -- it could not have been an accident because she is hit in the head with a heavy instrument, which caused a rectangular fracture in the skull, into which it is possible to sink the head of a 3- mag flashlight. It`s similar to what the police carry, but the police carry a 5-mag. This is a 3-mag flashlight, which was seen on pictures on the kitchen counter. And you need to pick up this thing and heave it over the head and strike with force into the head. How can that be an accident?

In addition to that, there is a garrote that was prepared. A garrote is a rope with a handle on both sides. In this case, there was a handle only on one side, and that...



KARR: I love JonBenet, and she died accidentally.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you an innocent man?




VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, filling tonight in for Nancy Grace. An American school teacher claims he was with JonBenet Ramsey the night she died and says it was an accident. He`s in custody in Thailand as we speak and will head back to the U.S. to face charges.

We are very happy to have with us Cyril Wecht, forensic pathologist, who also wrote a book called, "Who Killed JonBenet Ramsey?" Knows more about this case than almost anyone. DNA has got to be key. So tell us what they`re going to have to do in terms of DNA testing to see if it matches up with this suspect?

DR. CYRIL WECHT, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: You`re quite right. They found something under one nail, and purportedly also in her underwear. They`ve already done some DNA testing. So it is a testable substance. And they`ll do the same thing now with Mr. Karr.

This will not exclude him if it is negative. If it proves to be positive, that probably is a wrap because I don`t see how they can have contact between him and her or even through some third party intermediary. But if it`s negative, that doesn`t mean that he might not have been there. So we`ll see. DNA and other things, question document examination is going to be important, too, get his writing exemplar and check that, and also some forensic psychiatric examination to test the psychodynamics and challenge his confession.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know that the public is very interested and hungry for information. This has been a case that has held everyone`s attention, even across the world, for 10 years. But, please, bear with us, if this is a function of criminal justice in the United States.

We cannot let the information out prematurely. The information that the public sees and has a right to know will come out through the regular judicial process, and I`m sorry we can`t do that now. We can`t (INAUDIBLE)


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, in for Nancy Grace. Ten years ago, during the Christmas holidays, 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey was found beaten and strangled inside the basement of her home. Now, Boulder, Colorado, officials say they have a suspect under arrest all the way in Bangkok.

We`re going to go straight out to another CNN correspondent, Kyung Lah, who is in Boulder, Colorado. We all heard that news conference by the district attorney today. Read between the lines, if you would, because I got the sense that she was trying to hedge her bets a little bit, indicating that she was kind of forced to act before she ideally wanted to because of a number of factors. What were those factors?

KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You`re absolutely right about that, Jane. She specifically pointed to two factors. Now, she says it wasn`t directly speaking about this particular case, but the two factors she cited was, one, that he had just started a job on Tuesday teaching elementary school in Thailand. And the second factor was she was afraid of flight. So because of those two factors, and the first referring to the safety of the public, she said that they had to sweep in.

Now if you`re reading between the lines, you listen to the entire news conference, she`s trying to speak specifically, but at the same time speak generally. And part of the reason for that is that this state, especially the prosecutors of this state, are under a strict law that prohibits them from speaking directly about any sort of case. And especially here, according to the district attorney, she`s under very tight restraint because this suspect has yet to be charged -- Jane?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But he is talking. He`s not charged, but he is talking up a mile a minute. Let`s listen in to more of what he had to say.


KARR: I loved JonBenet very much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) give us a brief statement, please?

KARR: I loved JonBenet, and she died accidentally.

Her death was an accident.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you were in the basement?

KARR: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell us about your connection to the Ramsey family?

KARR: No comment on that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did you get into the basement to play with her?

KARR: No comment on that.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go to the phone lines. We`ve had some people who have been waiting very patiently to ask their questions. And let`s start with Joyce in Kentucky. Your question, ma`am?

CALLER: Yes, what happens if he is innocent but confesses of this crime anyway, confesses?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, that`s the big question, Renee Rockwell, defense attorney. If this guy is not, in fact, responsible and he`s just kind of a child crime groupie who wants to be a part of it and get a lot of attention, what do authorities do? How do they tell him to go home?

RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, a good police officer is not just going to take this one confession and run with it. There is physical evidence. Don`t forget we have a ransom note. We have him saying on national television there that it as an accident. It was not an accident. I just don`t believe much of anything. There`s a whole lot going on in that guy`s head.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s listen to what the Thai police were saying about this case.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I called into my colleagues, my office in the detention center. He asked my officer that what his charge? My officer said that you are charged with first-degree murder. He said not first- degree, second-degree. What does it mean? I don`t know.


He said second degree. It`s not first degree, but not intentionally.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So much information about this man that we want to get to.

Let`s go to Cyril Wecht who is a forensic psychologist who has been studying this case. There`s what he said today and there`s also the forensic evidence in the home that you say points to someone other than this Mr. Karr. Why?

CYRIL WECHT, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Well, no, I don`t know to whom it points. We don`t know yet what the DNA will reveal. But I`m saying that, if it is not his, then certainly we`ve got to go back to square one.

And I think the question document examination, getting a writing exemplary will be important. I believe, assuming that he`s not lawyered up, that polygraph testing, which is not admissible in court, but which has a very important investigative purpose, utilized by our military espionage agencies.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I guess what I`m saying is that you`ve said all along that it would be very hard for someone, a stranger, to get into this house, creep upstairs, grab this child, go downstairs into a tiny, little room that`s within a room, and do all of this.

WECHT: Yes. You got it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, well...

WECHT: That`s the Locard`s principle, a very famous French criminalist of about 80 years ago. You`ve got this transference. And he said before there was DNA and all of this trace evidence. To do all of that, just think all of the manipulation, the mechanics, the movement and the so on, not to leave any trace evidence of any kind. It is inconceivable to me, as a forensic scientist, that this could have been done.

And then the things that we`ve talked about and your other guests, some of my distinguished colleagues and others have pointed out he has said that he drugged her. There is no evidence of that. He has said that he raped her. There is definitely no penile penetration, no evidence of sexual intercourse by an adult male.

He has said that he planned a kidnapping, but he did not write the note before, and he did not take even pen and pencil to write the note there. He had to go looking for it in the middle of the night in total darkness in a strange house. Come on, think about it. This is absurd!

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s hear what the D.A., who is prosecuting this case, if, in fact, she files these charges when he comes back, had to say today.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: John Mark Karr, 41 years old, was arrested for the murder of JonBenet Ramsey yesterday morning at approximately 6:00 a.m. in Bangkok, Thailand. Mr. Karr was living in Bangkok. He began his employment as a second-grade teacher in the international school system in Bangkok on Tuesday morning of this week.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Ashleigh Banfield, you were saying that, yes, it may seem absurd, but so many of these cases where people sneak in and steal these children seem absurd.

BANFIELD: Danielle van Dam, Elizabeth Smart, Polly Klaas, we disbelieved everybody and looked at the parents first. And it happens. Sometimes bad people break into good people`s homes, steal their children, and kill them. It happens. It`s implausible at times, but it can happen.

And I think that`s so key. And this is another reason also that the D.A. in this case didn`t clear John Ramsey today. She had the opportunity in front of the national press to say, "And John Ramsey is now clear," but she didn`t. She said, "Everyone is presumed innocent at this point."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right. I mean, you really got the sense that she wished that she didn`t have to hold a news conference -- which, of course, she didn`t -- but that she wished this had sort of happened quietly, that she could have brought this guy back, done the DNA test, waited for that to come back, hoped it was a positive, and, if it was, then hold the big news conference.

BANFIELD: Are you kidding me? She couldn`t park her car in the parking lot. If my assumptions are correct, that place is swarming with reporters.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, I want to go to Pat Brown, criminal profiler par excellence, Pat, let`s profile this guy, because we know certain things about him based on published reports. He`s divorced with three kids, three beautiful young boys from the last photo I`ve seen them. I`m sure they`ve grown up since.

He was reportedly fired from a teaching job in Alabama for what school officials described as inappropriate conversations with young students and being too affectionate. Then he moves with his family to Petaluma, California, becomes a substitute teacher, and then he`s arrested for possession of child porn in 2001.

That`s when his wife files for divorce. He misses the court appearance and disappears in 2001 and then proceeds to travel the world all over the place, Costa Rica, Germany, the Netherlands, you name it. What does it tell you about this man?

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, Jane, it tells me that he`s creepy. That`s obvious. He has pedophile tendencies. That`s obvious. But what it also tells me is that he`s worked in employment where he has access to children, access to children in Alabama, access to children in California.

So you wonder, if he didn`t know the family very well, if he wasn`t living in Colorado, why, instead of accessing other children that were easy, would he go all the way to Boulder, Colorado, to access this one child, if he knew nothing really about her, you know, except maybe some chance meeting in the past? It doesn`t make a lot of sense.

If he had been in Boulder, Colorado, and met the girl, you know, JonBenet through something in the area, that makes more sense. But we don`t have any of that evidence.



PATSY RAMSEY, MOTHER OF JONBENET RAMSEY: Keep your babies close to you. There`s someone out there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, in tonight for Nancy Grace. A 41-year-old American male who just started teaching second grade -- second grade -- at a Bangkok school arrested in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case. So many questions, so many issues,

Let`s go straight out to Norm Early, former district attorney of Denver, and a spokesperson for the National D.A. Association.

This case was broken because of e-mails and letters. Tell us what you know about that aspect.

EARLY: Well, about three years ago, Michael Tracey established an e- mail relationship with Mr. Karr. Mr. Tracey is an individual who does documentaries, and he did a very notable documentary on the Ramsey family.

He is not only a friend of the Ramseys; he`s an advocate for the Ramseys. And he has consistently maintained that the Ramseys did not commit this crime. He established this relationship with Mr. Karr over three years ago, but it is only recently that the e-mails turned towards Mr. Karr actually committing this crime.

One other thing is that Mr. Tracey has been shopping a book to different publishers and has been unsuccessful in doing so. Many people suspect that his involvement in this case, as it stands today, may be the impetus for him to be able to sign that book deal.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is everybody in this world promoting a book? I mean, that`s a very, very serious, serious charge. And, of course, we don`t have his response to that.

But, Harold Copus, I mean, this raises a very serious issue here, in terms of the genesis of all of this. I mean, when you think about it, you have Patsy Ramsey. She apparently got some letters. And then you had this gentleman who may be somewhat aligned with the Ramsey camp. And then, immediately after the story breaks, you have Mr. Ramsey, John Ramsey`s attorney speaking out. John Ramsey himself, the father of JonBenet, has a statement that is quickly issued.

Do you read anything into this, or are we just overanalyzing?

COPUS: Well, we could be overanalyzing, but you do have -- it`s a lot of coincidences. And, you know, after awhile, you have to start asking yourself, why are all these things lining up like this? You start to question it.

You know, Jane, we live in a world, you know, where we believe in microwave popcorn, and you just can`t get microwave justice. And so we`ve got to be careful here before we jump with some of these people and what they`re trying to advocate.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I agree with you. I think a lot of us desperately want this case to be solved because we all, as human beings, want closure, so we`re kind of like hoping for answers, and we have to be patient.

I`d like to go to Renee Rockwall, defense attorney, and talk to you a little bit about handwriting samples, because that ransom note is such a significant part of this case, Renee. And they could take a handwriting sample from him, right, and compare it with the ransom note?

ROCKWELL: They don`t even have to take a handwriting sample right now because he could actually try to write differently. If they find some writings that he may have made in the past, they can take that and compare that to the ransom note, which they have. That is physical evidence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, very good point. And what about a polygraph? I mean, why not sit this guy down and do a polygraph?

ROCKWELL: Well, I mean, that would be the first thing that I would suggest, from the prosecution point. But you know that`s not admissible in any type of court. But there`s so much going on in this guy`s head. You see he admits, yes, I did it. But when it comes to a specific, "How did you do it?" He`s not telling how he did it. "No comment."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I think what you say about this guy`s head is so right.

Bethany Marshall, psychoanalyst, this man was clearly obsessed, not just with the JonBenet Ramsey case, but also other child crime cases. He wrote an academic-style paper on JonBenet Ramsey. He was encouraged to write a book. He may have been trying to write a book. His brother reportedly said that he researched police and coroner reports and tried to contact several murderers of kids. This is like a child crime groupie.

BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: Oh, it was a child crime groupie. But also you have to think about multiple perversions. I mean, JonBenet Ramsey was a little beauty queen, even though she was 6 years old. So he may have had very voyeuristic tendencies.

If he did strangle her and murder her, he`s obviously a sexual sadist. And then he has the disorder pedophilia. And you have all these things going together. All day long, I vacillated, is he guilty, is he not? But when he made the comment, "It was an accident," I thought to myself, "This is how pedophiles talk."

Whether or not he did it, they do heinous things to children and then afterwards they say, "Oops, it was an accident." And because they confuse what`s in their mind with what`s in the mind of the child, and they`re sexually aroused at the point of perpetrating the crime, they don`t realize that the child is not enjoying it until the child is dead. As sick as that sounds, it is true.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let me get to criminal profiler Pat Brown on this issue, because, look, you can be obsessed with child crime and be a criminal, as well, but this obsession also could point in the other direction.

Let me give you some facts here. He was obsessed with the murder of 12-year-old Polly Klaas in Petaluma, California, in 1993.

BROWN: Which he did not commit, correct?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right. He didn`t commit it, because somebody else, Richard Allen Davis, was convicted and given the death sentence. But interestingly enough, his family, he and his family moved to Petaluma, California, exactly where that crime occurred, in the year 2000, seven years after the crime occurred.

Do you see anything there? Because both of these girls were kidnapped from their bedrooms.

BROWN: Right, well, he`s obviously got an obsession. He has more of a stalker mentality, which shows that he really wants to be connected with JonBenet. Any stalker does everything he can. He will contact the person. He will contact family. He will contact media, everything to get them in closer and closer to that person that they are fantasizing about.

So he`s showing all of that. It doesn`t mean he didn`t commit the crime. No, it doesn`t. But it certainly doesn`t show that he did commit the crime. And I want to also comment on the "no comments" he gave. It`s odd that he would have no comment about something that should be so obvious in his mind, but if he was there and did it, it should be simple to throw out what he did.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When my officer asked him, he said, yes, he loved the girl.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell in for Nancy Grace. He claims he was with JonBenet Ramsey when she died 10 years ago. Now he`s a suspect in custody in Thailand. We`re talking about 41-year-old John Mark Karr.

Quick roundtable as we wrap up this broadcast. Dr. Henry Lee, why don`t we start with you? Do you think he did it or not?

LEE: Well, maybe, but, you know, the DNA on the finger, handwriting analysis are only going to provide a partial answer.


LEE: The most important thing, for now, is he in Boulder that day or not?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let`s go straight out to Harold Copus, former FBI agent, what do you think? Did he do it or not?

COPUS: I don`t think so.


COPUS: That`s right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Pretty conclusive.

Dr. Bethany Marshall, you watched his performance today, if it was a performance. What do you think?

MARSHALL: I was more persuaded by Pat Brown. I agree with her. Even though he`s a pedophile, he does fit more the profile of a stalker. She`s right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Pat Brown, then, what do you say?

BROWN: Well, I`m not impressed with what he said so far, so I think we need either DNA, a handprint, or something he snuck out of her bedroom he couldn`t buy on eBay.


Norm Early, your thoughts?

EARLY: If the only evidence we have in this case are his statements, it`s not going to fly. It will not be filed, I don`t think, nor would there ever be a conviction. You need the DNA, or you need the handwriting exemplars. Without one or the other, you`re not going to convict.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Renee Rockwell, quickly your thoughts?

ROCKWELL: I don`t think he did it, but I think he thinks he did it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Best answer.

Ashley Banfield, could you top that one?

BANFIELD: There`s a reason charges haven`t been filed officially yet. I will leave it to the comments of the D.A. There is much more work to be done.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There sure is. And, boy, this is a humdinger. It is a cliffhanger. A team of Hollywood scriptwriters couldn`t come up with a more bizarre and just really wild set of developments that is so intriguing, I know it`s going to pretty much mesmerize everyone around the globe for some time to come.

Tonight, we remember Marine Major Michael Stover, 43, from Mansfield, Ohio. On his second tour of duty, Stover had a long, successful career in the military, an alumni of the Ohio State University with a degree in journalism. He leaves behind a loving, grieving family, including an older sister. Michael Stover, an American hero.

Thank you to all our guests. We would like to thank all of our guests for their insights. And thanks to you at home for tracking these important cases with us. We`ll see you right here tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. Until then, have a terrific and a safe evening.