Watercooler Ammo: Is Karr the killer?


Remember how we said that August 16 was an excellent day for arresting murderers?

We swear, we didn't have any inside information.

Although, now that we look at the facts, we should have known something was up three years ago, when two judges declared that JonBenet Ramsey was probably killed by an intruder, and -- more significantly, perhaps -- scientists sequenced crime-scene DNA belonging to an "unknown male."

Now investigators have to figure out whether John Mark Karr's confession to Thai officials is real, or whether he's a sicko of a different kind -- a pedophile who became so obsessed with the case that he wanted to be a part of it. So far, here's what we can turn up to suggest that Karr is faking:

  • His ex-wife, Laura, told a TV reporter that she spent the entire 1996 Christmas season with her then-husband at home in Alabama. (JonBenet was killed the day after Christmas.) She also said that Karr was obsessed with the case and had researched it intensively, which could be evidence either way.
  • Karr also may have spent time that Christmas with his brother, who was living in Georgia at the time. JonBenet, of course, was killed in Boulder, Colorado.
  • Some details from the murder scene suggest the killer had inside information on the family. (For instance, the ransom note -- which we've posted after the jump -- demands $118,000, which is roughly the amount of John Ramsey's Christmas bonus from that year.) It's unclear how, or even if, Karr knew the Ramseys.
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"There are a lot of facts about her actual death that the public does not know," [author Lawrence] Schiller said. "If he did confess to some facts of the murder, to reveal those facts of the case, that would finish the puzzle." Among the facts he said were not generally known was the murder weapon and what the killer did with it.

They'll probably also want to see if Karr's handwriting resembles the garbled ransom note left at the scene. After the jump, we've reprinted it -- or you can check out the Smoking Gun's collection of case documents, a huge story from the Observer about detectives trying to crack the case (written just two months ago), and Karr's genuinely creepy teaching resume.

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