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Nancy Grace

The JonBenet Ramsey Case

Aired September 04, 2006 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Christmas 1996, 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey found strangled, apparently molested and beaten to death in the basement of her Boulder, Colorado home. Ten years later, still no justice. Tonight, inside the decade-long investigation, the crime, the clues, the multiple suspects, including the recent arrest and release of former school teacher John Mark Karr, Karr totally consumed with the life and the death of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Christmas Day, 1996. The Ramsey family had spent the evening at a holiday party.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They came home around 10:00 PM. JonBenet supposedly fell asleep in the back seat of the car. She was lifted out of the car by her father and up the back stairs, which was a spiral staircase to the second floor, and she was placed in her bed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Patsy helped tuck 6-year-old JonBenet into bed. They say it was the last time they saw their daughter alive. 5:30 AM the next morning. Patsy woke up early because the family was planning to leave town on vacation. She walked down the back stairs from her third floor bedroom in their 15-room Tudor-style home in Boulder, Colorado.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just before she reached the bottom of the staircase, on the third step, she noticed three pieces of paper that were spread out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ransom note. Patsy skimmed the words, "We`ve kidnapped your daughter. Don`t call the police or we`ll kill her. Get $118,000."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She ran upstairs, opened JonBenet`s bedroom door and discovered that the bed was empty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John Ramsey told his wife to call police immediately. Just before 6:00 AM, Patsy made a panicked call to 911.

911 OPERATOR: What`s going on there (INAUDIBLE)

PATSY RAMSEY, JONBENET`S MOTHER: We have a kidnapping! Hurry, please!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About 20 minutes later, police arrived, followed by the FBI. The case was designated a kidnapping, and phones were tapped. For the next six hours, Ramseys waited for the kidnapper`s promised call. Two different searches of the house turned up nothing. At 1:00 PM, a third search, and John Ramsey made the horrifying discovery.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Ramsey went to the basement, walked, I am told, to the door, which was the door into the room that`s been described as the wine cellar, opened the door and then made the announcement that he`d found JonBenet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Strangled with a garrote and bludgeoned.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John Ramsey had brought the little girl`s body upstairs, and the detective on the scene, Linda Arndt (ph), had then subsequently picked JonBenet`s body up and moved the body into the front room, fairly close to the location of the Christmas tree.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Christmas tree was here in the living room. That`s where JonBenet`s body rested for more than nine hours until the coroner`s office removed her from the home at 10:45 that evening. The search warrant for the Ramsey home was issued at 8:00 PM that night. It took three-and-a-half days to search the house again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The crime scene wasn`t limited just to, obviously, the basement room. The crime scene also included the entire residence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The more thorough search turned up clues that answered some questions but raised new ones. In the basement, a broken window in this storage room may have let in an intruder. In the wine cellar, two footprints next to JonBenet`s body. One still hasn`t been identified. Nearby, a partial palm print, and DNA evidence on JonBenet`s underwear and under her fingernails. On the ground floor in the hallway, the pad used to write the ransom note. In the kitchen, the pen. And on the opposite counter, a flashlight, possibly used to strike JonBenet`s head. Evidence collected 10 years ago that may be crucial in cracking the case today.


GRACE: Out to Steve Thomas, a special guest with us tonight. He was one of the initial detectives on this case who worked the case from the get-go. Steve, you never supported the intruder theory. What was your opinion when you first heard that they had actually made an arrest of John Mark Karr? There`s Steve`s book "JonBenet: Inside the Ramsey Murder Investigation." Go ahead, Steve.

STEVE THOMAS, FORMER BOULDER DETECTIVE: Nancy, my team of detectives took over this case two days after the homicide. And we inherited a case - - and I don`t apologize for the Boulder Police Department -- that had some egregious difficulties. But I have to limit my remarks in that regard. Suffice it to say, I am not a subscriber to the intruder theory. But the last time I spoke openly and frankly from my heart and gut and mind, I was a target of Ramsey litigation and lawsuits. So with that said, Nancy, I just think Keenan is in a world of trouble in the regard that she`s lost the support of the law enforcement community in Boulder, and I don`t know that she can continue to hold that job.

GRACE: Steve, without naming any potential suspects in this case, dead or alive, what points away from an intruder theory?

THOMAS: Well, what points away from the intruder theory, whoever -- I think everybody can agree -- reasonable minds can agree that whoever wrote that ransom note was involved, or in fact, killed the victim in this case. And I think there was some strong circumstantial evidence in this case that could be argued against an intruder.

And let me present a hypothetical to you, Nancy. We`ve just watched the district attorney make an arrest in this case. If the police detectives, hypothetically, had gone to the district attorney`s office with an arrest warrant in this case, we would have been run out of town had we not been able to corroborate, substantiate, provide a nexus. And I think we could have, hypothetically, made much more compelling argument in an arrest warrant affidavit in this case in one scenario than she`s made for an intruder.

GRACE: Regarding the intruder theory -- and it`s only natural that you first look at people closest to the victim, such as family members, the delivery boy, the next-door neighbor, the teacher, the family friend, those closest to the victim. That is normal procedure. But let`s think about thing through, Steve. No alarm went off. There was no sign of -- no clear sign of forced entry into the home. Nothing was stolen. The ransom note on, I believe it was Patsy Ramsey`s writing pad with Patsy Ramsey`s writing pen, was taken from the home. So somebody didn`t come in with that ransom note. They sat around the home and were not afraid of being detected in the home.

And then, instead of taking the child away, such as in the Elizabeth Smart case or the Danielle Van Dam case, they felt free enough to molest or pose the child as if she had been molested in the home, kill her, after feeding her pineapple and leave. That just points totally away from anyone that was in fear of detection.

THOMAS: Well, and let`s not forget the FBI advisers who assisted us in this case throughout had never seen an instance in which a pedophile kidnapper, who typically kidnaps for their own sexual gratification, had ever involved themselves in a kidnapping for ransom, for monetary gain. And this was just such an unusual and unique hybrid, and they had some difficulty with that.

GRACE: In your experience -- I`ve never seen it in my experience, but in your experience, as well, Steve, have you ever seen a pedophile leave behind a note?

THOMAS: Well, this case, Nancy, was unique in so many regards, and I think the FBI scratched their heads that they hadn`t seen anything like this in the annals of, you know, criminal history.

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


GRACE: Multiple theories exist as to how 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey was killed, one of them the intruder theory. However, some, including many of the investigators on that investigation from the very beginning, point the finger at mother and dad, John and Patsy Ramsey.


PATSY RAMSEY: The police that were there the morning of the 26th taking evidence have a lot of tangible evidence. They did a good job at collecting evidence. We have fibers. We have DNA. We have a lot of evidence. The problem was that then they did not take the evidence to where it would lead.

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Why did they think it was you?

JOHN RAMSEY, FATHER: Because the police always go after the parents. And we understood that after...

KING: In the death of a child?

JOHN RAMSEY: Absolutely, 100 percent of the time.


KING: Really?

JOHN RAMSEY: Absolutely.

PATSY RAMSEY: Well, I think, you know, in every case, parents are always suspected initially. At first, we were -- we were aghast at that, but then we understood that we need to be investigated.

KING: The police say...

PATSY RAMSEY: They stopped there. They didn`t go on.

KING: The police say that you would only -- you set -- you put guidelines up to the interviews. You`d only be interviewed together. Why?

JOHN RAMSEY: I don`t remember...


PATSY RAMSEY: ... guidelines.

JOHN RAMSEY: I don`t remember...

KING: You didn`t give them any guidelines?

JOHN RAMSEY: The only guideline I remember, the only request that we made -- and this was after a huge gap of mistrust developed. The police withheld JonBenet`s body for burial to force us to submit to their terms, which we were...


JOHN RAMSEY: ... that we -- the three of us be interrogated in the police station before we buried our daughter.



JOHN RAMSEY: We shouldn`t have to prove our innocence. The Constitution was drafted with that very cleverly put into it, that you`re innocent until proven guilty. But nevertheless, we`ve been forced through leaks, innuendoes and allegations to try to defend ourselves in the court of public opinion.

We have, as Lin said, not one ounce of trust in the Boulder police, and that`s sad. I wish that we did. We gave them our trust when this horrible thing happened, and they lost it by their actions that took place in the beginning. And they continue even through today. That is a difficult predicament.

We want the killer of our daughter found. The only thing we know to do now is to appeal to the public and say, Look, we`ve done everything we can that we know we can do. You need to realize there`s a killer of children that walks among us. It`s not Patsy, and it`s not I. Let`s get on with finding the killer. That is our single and only objective in doing any of this.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: JonBenet Ramsey`s death far surpassed her fame in life, even as a 6-year-old beauty queen. And her Christmas night murder remains one of America`s biggest unsolved mysteries.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In my 33 years, this is the most convoluted case that I`ve ever seen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tom Haney (ph) investigated the case and interrogated JonBenet`s mother, Patsy, for three days, but still cannot positively say who`s responsible for the crime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would hope that these people are not sleeping, or person is not sleeping, that they`re looking over their shoulder and that sooner or later, the knock will come on their door.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boulder police are still looking for JonBenet`s killer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s solvable. I mean, I don`t mean to be flip about it. The problem that I see right now is that I think it`s going to take somebody confessing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That cloud of suspicion police placed over the parents of the child has still not cleared, but an investigator hired by the DA is now working for the Ramseys to remove it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The case shows me that there was an intruder in the house that night. If it`s an intruder, it`s not the Ramseys.



JOHN RAMSEY: We were fortunate, from almost the moment that we found the note, to be surrounded by friends, by our minister, our family doctor, a personal friend of mine who is also an attorney, and we relied on their guidance almost from that moment on. And my friend suggested that it would be foolish not to have knowledgeable counsel to help both us and with the investigation, and we accepted that advice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most laymen, people who don`t understand the law, would say, Why? You`re grieving parents. You want to find somebody.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why -- Why an attorney?

JOHN RAMSEY: Well, we`ve -- it`s not just an attorney. We are also assembling an investigative team to assist.

PATSY RAMSEY: We have to find...

JOHN RAMSEY: I want the best minds this country has to offer to help us resolve this. This doesn`t come from anger, it comes from knowing that the only way that my family can move on now is to resolve why, who this happened.

PATSY RAMSEY: Who did this to our baby?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you`re going to get somebody independently to investigate this, independent of the police and the CBR?

JOHN RAMSEY: Well, in cooperation with and independent. The Boulder police have been absolutely marvelous.

PATSY RAMSEY: They were wonderful.

JOHN RAMSEY: They were instantly -- they were with us. They were caring.

PATSY RAMSEY: Sensitive.

JOHN RAMSEY: Compassionate. And I know this has hurt them in their hearts. They`re parents, as well, and I know they are working very hard. But I want whatever resources I can bring to bear brought to bear, and if that -- whatever it takes, we`re going to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you speaking of investigators that you will hire, private investigators, to look into this?


PATSY RAMSEY: If anyone -- if anyone knows anything, please, please help us. For the safety of all of the children, we have to find out who did this.


GRACE: More on John and Patsy Ramsey, the parents of 6-year-old JonBenet, as potential suspects of murder when we come back.


GRACE: The parents of JonBenet Ramsey, John and Patsy, vigorously defend themselves against accusations they are involved in their daughter`s death.


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

KING: Well, you`re asking them to prove their innocence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, they cast of the cloud and the initial doubt that hindered their presumption of innocence.

JOHN RAMSEY: Why, Steve?

KING: By not coming in?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it`s interesting...

JOHN RAMSEY: Why do we have to prove our innocence?


JOHN RAMSEY: That is fundamentally...

JOHN RAMSEY: You don`t, John.

JOHN RAMSEY: ... contradictory...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It may be wrong, but at this point, given the evidence...

JOHN RAMSEY: What evidence? What evidence, Steve?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How long do we have, John?

JOHN RAMSEY: Tell me one...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It took us two days...

JOHN RAMSEY: Tell me one tangible piece of evidence that`s presentable in a court of law...

KING: If I said to you...


KING: How about the idea that I were accused of killing my child and didn`t do it, I`d be down there at the police office. I`d sleep in the police office.

JOHN RAMSEY: This was the police!


JOHN RAMSEY: This was the police! This is who we had to work with.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How much time did you spend...

JOHN RAMSEY: We`re not fools!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... at the Boulder Police Department...

JOHN RAMSEY: We`re not fools.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t get back to that! We still don`t...




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In your mind, have you been as -- given your emotional state, of course, have you been as cooperative with the Boulder police as you possibly could have been?

PATSY RAMSEY: Absolutely.

JOHN RAMSEY: We wanted to get our daughter buried, and we have done that. Now we`re ready to get on with this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you return to Boulder, you will sit down with the Boulder police?

JOHN RAMSEY: Absolutely. Absolutely. We want them to know everything possible...

PATSY RAMSEY: Everything.

JOHN RAMSEY: ... that could help them.

PATSY RAMSEY: Whatever they want. Whatever anyone wants, we will cooperate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you fully convinced that your daughter was kidnapped by some outsiders, outside your family or circle of friends?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me ask this question...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, how about the convoluted sex crimes theory? I still haven`t heard that, John.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had to explain my theory. Let`s hear this pedophile kidnapper.

JOHN RAMSEY: What Steve Thomas`s theory is based on...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re not going to answer.

JOHN RAMSEY: ... is that our child wet her bed and we slaughtered her. That is so preposterous...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You weren`t there, John. You can`t know.

JOHN RAMSEY: I was there. I know Patsy.


JOHN RAMSEY: I`ve lived with her for 20 years. I know that she loved that child more than anything in the world. I would have given my life for JonBenet. Patsy would have given her life for JonBenet. And I`m sorry we weren`t able to do that.

KING: Are you saying that if it were Patsy, you would never have covered up?

JOHN RAMSEY: Absolutely not. Not in a New York minute.

KING: So you never doubted your wife...


KING: ... ever.


KING: Not for a second.

JOHN RAMSEY: There is sufficient evidence to a trained eye that an intruder came in our home. The forensic evidence supports...

KING: And who came with the idea of what?

JOHN RAMSEY: I don`t know for sure.

KING: Oh, the kidnapping...


PATSY RAMSEY: We speculate. The world -- one of the world`s leading profilers, John Douglas (ph), has said that this killer was angry with me or was very jealous of me.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoever it was, was familiar with your patterns.

JOHN RAMSEY: Well, that`s certainly our suspicion, for several reasons. One that -- one, it`s a large -- a fairly large house, and to know where JonBenet`s bedroom was, and the room that we found her in is in a remote part of the basement -- I don`t go in that room more than...

PATSY RAMSEY: A casual guest would not know where that room is. That`s -- that`s a -- it`s, you know, back, cellar, kind of out of the way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Again, it arouses suspicion, I would think, in the police`s mind, that this is someone who knew you.

JOHN RAMSEY: Possibly.

PATSY RAMSEY: If it is, I will just be -- I`ll just be crushed if it`s -- if it is. I mean, you know, I`m hoping it`s some -- you know, somebody that we don`t know, but they have some vendetta against the corporation or the parent company or -- and this was a way to -- you know, if it turns out to be someone that we have known and trusted in our home or has visited -- I just don`t know if I can take it.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The killer has to confess in this case because it`s arguable that Patsy could never be convicted because reasonable doubt...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And John, let me finish my thought. Patsy cannot be convicted because of some reasonable doubt, but an intruder cannot be convicted, either, because of the same reasonable doubt. This case requires a confession.

JOHN RAMSEY: No, it doesn`t.

PATSY RAMSEY: It requires DNA identification.

JOHN RAMSEY: We have the killer`s calling card. We have three pages of handwriting that this killer left for us...


JOHN RAMSEY: ... as a gift. We have DNA that might be a gift. We don`t know yet.


JOHN RAMSEY: When we find the right suspect and get enough samples, three pages of handwriting will allow us to make a conclusive match. That has been stated by experts in the handwriting field.


GRACE: The intruder theory, someone making their way into the Ramsey home the night of JonBenet`s murder, still a possibility in the JonBenet Ramsey mystery. What about other suspects?


GRACE: Early in the investigation, Boulder authorities focus on Ramsey family and their potential involvement in the murder. But over the course of the 10-year investigation, other suspects emerge.



ANNOUNCER: John Mark Karr was the prime suspect in the death of JonBenet but he wasn`t the only suspect. Over the past 10 years there have been others who at one point other another generated some degree of suspicion.

Including this couple, Bill McReynolds and his wife, Janet, they played Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus at the Ramsey home just two days before the murder. He says he gave JonBenet a card that read "You will receive a special gift after Christmas." That got the attention of prosecutors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Statements like that let me to have some suspicion about him. What was going on between Santa Bill and JonBenet? You know, again, here`s an individual whose involved with her, has an interest in her, was seen with her shortly before the murder.

ANNOUNCER: But after submitting DNA evidence they were cleared of the crime. Then there was Michael Hellgoth (ph) who died shortly after the murder. It was believed to be a suicide. Next to the body, though was a stun gun, kind of weapon that investigators believe was used on JonBenet. He also had a hat with the initials "SBTC."

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

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

PATSY RAMSEY, MOTHER OF JONBENET RAMSEY: There is someone out there.

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

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

GRACE: Let`s go to Ollie Gray and John San Agustin, private investigators hired by the Ramseys. To you, John. John you have always supported an intruder theory. What do you make of Karr?

To you, John, John, you have always supported an intruder theory. What do you make of Karr?

SAN AGUSTIN: You know, he may have done it, he may not have done it. The bottom line is: If he did it, there`s going to be physical evidence that ties him to that crime scene.

GRACE: Why were you so convinced an intruder did the crime?

SAN AGUSTIN: Based on the physical evidence, Ms. Grace. That`s strictly what we based it on, was on the physical evidence.

GRACE: Right, what specific evidence?

SAN AGUSTIN: Well, you have foreign DNA under her fingernails and in her panties that, back in January of 1997, we knew that none of that DNA under her fingernails and in her panties matched anybody in the Ramsey family, not John, not Patsy, not Melinda, not John Andrew, not Burke. Not one person in the Ramsey family`s DNA matched to that poor little girl`s DNA under her fingernails and in her panties.

GRACE: John, question: Media reports have stated that the underwear were not JonBenet`s correct size, that they were not actually underwear that she would have typically been wearing. Is that true?

SAN AGUSTIN: I can`t answer that. I never had a chance to see the underwear. That underwear is in the possession of the Boulder district attorney`s office, and they`re basically the ones that can answer that question.

GRACE: Well, wouldn`t the parents know?

SAN AGUSTIN: Absolutely, but they don`t know what was inside -- what evidence...

GRACE: I mean about the underwear.

SAN AGUSTIN: ... was recovered as far as...

GRACE: The underwear she was wearing, wouldn`t they know whether they were hers or not? It`s my understanding they were a couple sizes too big for her.

SAN AGUSTIN: Again, I don`t know if it was a couple sizes big or I would think that Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey would know their daughter`s panty size, yes, ma`am.

GRACE: Well, they hired you. You were privy to all the facts that they knew. OK, forget about the underwear being the wrong size.


GRACE: Let`s talk about forced entry. What can you tell me about forced entry? Here`s a shot of the crime scene photos.

SAN AGUSTIN: We know -- yes, ma`am.

GRACE: Let`s run those, Liz. Go ahead, sir.

SAN AGUSTIN: Yes, ma`am. We know that there were two possible entry or exit points. There is a window in the basement that was open. There was a suitcase that was found right underneath that window with some broken glass on top of it. We also know that there was a butler door that was noted to be open on the main level.

GRACE: Question...

SAN AGUSTIN: Yes, ma`am?

GRACE: ... do we know that the suitcase had been moved below the window? Do we know that it didn`t normally sit there? This was a storage area.

SAN AGUSTIN: OK. We don`t know if it was moved...

GRACE: Oh, there`s a short. Hold on, John. I`m just showing the viewers a shot of that suitcase you`re talking about.

SAN AGUSTIN: OK, yes, ma`am.

GRACE: OK, go ahead, dear.

SAN AGUSTIN: No, I was just going to say that suitcase, you know, we`re to assume that, when the Boulder Police Department came to process that scene, that that is, in fact, the location of that suitcase and nobody else had an opportunity to move that suitcase.

GRACE: Were there fingerprints on the suitcase?

SAN AGUSTIN: We`re not aware of any fingerprints. We were told that there was a shoe impression left on the top of that suitcase, ma`am.

GRACE: Let`s see the outside of the window, a lot of leaves and debris undisturbed outside the window. There is a footprint in sand outside the window, looks like it`s from a tennis shoe. Let`s get to the shot of the window with the leaves. There`s another close-up of that shoe print.

SAN AGUSTIN: Yes, that`s the shoe print that`s...

GRACE: Here are the leaves, John, that we`re showing.

SAN AGUSTIN: Right, that`s actually -- you`re looking in the room where her body was ultimately found by Mr. Ramsey.

GRACE: Right.

SAN AGUSTIN: Now, that photograph right there that we`re seeing is of the window well. All we can note there is that there was a disturbance noted in that area. You can see there in the middle that there is some type of disturbance...

GRACE: You know what I noticed? You know what I noticed, John?

SAN AGUSTIN: Yes, ma`am?

GRACE: That there were no leaves and no dirt on the inside of the basement. And we see it all around the window. If the window had been used as the entry point, wouldn`t there be leaves and dirt on the inside?

SAN AGUSTIN: Quite possibly. But what we do know is that there is some popcorn packing material -- if you look off to the right there, there is some popcorn packing material.

GRACE: Yes, I see it.

SAN AGUSTIN: There was actually some popcorn packing material found in the same room where JonBenet`s body was found. Also, if you look at that unidentified footwear impression, there`s a photograph that looks like JonBenet`s bare foot next to an unidentified footwear impression. And right in the middle of that is some leaf debris. If you take a close look at that, you`ll see that.


GRACE: Next, the media frenzy and the arrest of JonBenet murder suspect John Mark Karr.

RICHELLE CAREY, CNN HN ANCHOR: Hello everybody. I`m Richelle Carey. Here is your headline prime newsbreak. President Bush is Marking Labor Day with a promise to keep American workers competitive in global markets. He says the economy will also improve by reducing U.S. reliance on oil from other countries. The Democrats say the middle class is not reaping benefits from recent economic gains.

The world is mourning the death of the Crocodile Hunter. Forty-four year old Steve Irwin died Monday in a rare tack by a stingray. He`d been filming an underwater documentary in Australia when the stingray`s poisonous spine like that one right there pierced his heart.

Another tropical depression is gaining strength over the open Atlantic, forecasters say it may be Tropical Storm Florence by late Tuesday. That would make it sixth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.

And they are off, eight pups racing to earn the title of America`s fastest Chihuahua, the winner was 10-pound 2-year-old name is Tiger. He`s pretty big. That`s the news for now. Keep it here. I`m Richelle Carey.


GRACE: Colorado prosecutors do a 180, no longer calling John Mark Karr a suspect. Why? No DNA match linking him to the crime. After confessions, perp walks and lavish transport from Bangkok to the U.S., Karr walks on charges of murder.


ANNOUNCER: John Mark Karr`s attorney made it official.

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

ANNOUNCER: Boulder district attorney Mary Lacy reached that decision after determining there was no DNA match between Karr and blood evidence at the scene where JonBenet Ramsey was murdered nearly 10 years ago.

MARY LACY, BOULDER D.A.: Mr. Karr is no longer going to be proceeding through our court system.

ANNOUNCER: In a five-page motion to quash the arrest warrant, the D.A. makes it clear why the case against Karr could never proceed, some of it extremely graphic. The documents say Karr, in e-mails and conversations with Colorado Professor Michael Tracey claimed to have quote, "oral sex with JonBenet."

The D.A. said Karr`s DNA would have been present in blood obtained from jonbenet`s underwear but tests revealed it wasn`t. Karr`s lawyer says it was ridiculous he was arrested in the first place.

TEMIN: We`re deeply distressed that they took this man and dragged him here from Bangkok, Thailand with no forensic evidence confirming the allegations against him and no independent factors leading to a presumption that he did anything wrong.

ANNOUNCER: But district attorney Lacy in court documents suggests she had no other choice but to take Karr into custody. Citing the correspondence between Karr and Tracey, Karr admitted to killing JonBenet through, quote, sexual activities that included temporarily asphyxiating her."

She goes on to say that Karr, according to his own statements, accidentally killed her by becoming so sexually involved that he lost track of time, causing her severe injury and leading him to inflict a severe blow to the head. Since JonBenet was strangled and had head wounds, Lacy felt she had to investigate those claims.

GRACE: Legal bombshell -- just as he is set to appear in court for a formal court appearance, John Mark Karr walks free! What was the Colorado district attorney thinking? How can this case ever go forward with another suspect?

Straight out to Court TV`s Jean Casarez, standing by in Boulder. Jean, bring us up to date.

JEAN CASAREZ, COURT TV: Well, Nancy, I think the reason -- there are two reasons why the motion, the arrest motion, was quashed. I think, number one, the DNA of John Karr just didn`t match that unidentified male DNA that was found in the panties of JonBenet Ramsey. And number two, the district attorney, try as she might, she could not corroborate that John Karr was here in Boulder, Colorado, December of 1996.

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

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

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

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

TEMIN: The warrant on Mr. Karr has been dropped by the district attorney. They`re not proceeding with this case. We`re deeply distressed by the fact that they took this man and dragged him here from Bangkok, Thailand, with no forensic evidence confirming the allegations against him and no independent factors leading to a presumption that he did anything wrong.

There will be no hearing today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The warrant charging Mr. Karr in the Ramsey affair was quashed this afternoon. Mr. Karr was released from our custody on those charges. However, he remains in our custody and will be returning to the jail shortly, based on the fact that Sonoma County has given us a teletype and does want to extradite him on the five counts of child pornography that he faces in California. So he`ll remain in our custody for the officials in California. He`s no longer in our custody on any Colorado warrant.

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

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

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

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

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

LARRY KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Well, as I`ve always said, Nancy, DNA is one form of evidence. There are other pieces of evidence in the case. But clearly, DNA stands out as the most important piece of evidence. Now, what this tells me, they were hanging everything -- everything was hanging on that DNA result. And it seems to me that the other pieces of evidence -- there was no linkage. For example, the palm print -- apparently, there was absolutely no useful information to link Mr. Karr because had they had that, then the DNA would not have made -- would have not have been used to make the ultimate decision as to whether to charge him or not.

So the thing that shocks me, Nancy, is simply that the DA had him arrested without having any tangible evidence. And I still think that there should have been, surreptitiously, DNA taken and tested before this whole rigmarole. And I do not buy the excuse that they needed a pure exemplar, cheek cells. It just doesn`t make any sense because there have been cases that have been decided on DNA obtained through surreptitious means. The cases were adjudicated and the individual was convicted. So I don`t buy it. This is a poor excuse by the DA, I`m afraid.

GRACE: To Dennis Melfa, joining us from Petaluma, California. He says Karr went to Boulder in 2000 to research a book on JonBenet Ramsey. Dennis, were you surprised when you learned the DNA did not match?

DENNIS MELFA, SAYS KARR WENT TO BOULDER IN 2001 TO RESEARCH BOOK: No, I wasn`t surprised at all because John told me that he diverted his family on the way out. He moved out from the South in 2000, I think, in June of 2000 or something. But he diverted them on the way out up to Boulder and put them in a hotel room for a day or two while he went and walked around the grounds to get the feel for the crime and the whole thing, sort of like they do with these mediums on the TV shows, where they go in and they touch somebody`s clothing or something and they tell you who did the murder, et cetera.

GRACE: Right, right, right, right, right.

MELFA: The way he described it was one of those things.

GRACE: Dennis, are you telling me...


GRACE: ... that this perv goes up to, like, the house and puts his hand on it to get a psychic connection with this dead little girl?

MELFA: Exactly. That`s what he said.


GRACE: The arrest and release of John Mark Karr sparks a renewed interest in this JonBenet Ramsey murder. But at the center of it all, a beautiful little girl. When we come back, the voice unheard. JonBenet Ramsey.


RAMSEY: This 10-year long investigation has had some many twists and turns from Boulder, Colorado to Thailand, to California and back, still, the JonBenet Ramsey murder mystery remains unsolved. Still no justice for a beautiful little six-year-old girl, JonBenet.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a kidnapping. Hurry, please.



GRACE: Thank you. Thank you for being with us tonight. And this Nancy Grace special investigation of the JonBenet Ramsey murder. Thank you for inviting us into your homes. Nancy Grace signing off again for tonight. See you right here tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.

And especially for you this Labor Day, my mom Elizabeth playing the organ, alongside a little girl with a big, big voice, Allison Johnson. Singing our show`s favorite song.