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  1. #1
    RiverRat's Avatar
    RiverRat is offline FFJ Sr. Member Extraordinaire (Pictured at Left is Patsy Ramsey)
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    Nov 2001
    NoneYa Beessness

    Exclamation #1 - Ramsey circus returns to town

    #1 - Ramsey circus returns to town

    By RICHARD VALENTY Colorado Daily Staff Writer
    Thursday, December 28, 2006 9:07 PM MST

    The 2006 arrest of John Mark Karr as a suspect in the JonBenet Ramsey murder would have been a huge news story, even without the sideshows.

    Authorities seized Karr, a then-41-year-old schoolteacher, in Bangkok, Thailand in August 2006, and the news sparked a firestorm of reactions and questions locally, nationally and internationally.

    Certain locals with personal or professional interest in the 1996 murder of the six-year-old beauty queen hoped that Karr's arrest might bring closure to the Ramsey case - but most local officials were tight-lipped on Day One, perhaps at least partially due to memories of the intense 1996 media and citizen scrutiny directed towards Boulder.

    And sure enough, the Denver, regional and national media mobilized at blitzkrieg speed with the near-term strategy of setting up a satellite shantytown outside of the Boulder County Justice Center.

    But in fairness to the Fourth Estate, there were enough questions to be asked and answered after reading the initial press releases to fill pages of publications or hours of audio.

    What was the evidence on Karr? Did Karr's arrest remove the parents, John and (the late) Patsy Ramsey, from suspicion? How was Karr tracked down in Thailand? And the question was asked, if quite prematurely - would Karr face the death penalty if convicted?

    Boulder County District Attorney (DA) Mary Lacy set up a press conference for August 17 at the Justice Center. Hundreds of people attended, from Boulder citizens passing by on the Boulder Creek Path to print journalists to major-network TV reporters to personalities from cable presentations such as “The Insider” or “Entertainment Tonight.”

    Also in attendance was CU journalism professor Michael Tracey, and reporters swarmed around Tracey both before and after Lacy's formal statements as if he was a Beatle in 1964.

    Tracey had produced three previous documentaries about the Ramsey murder, and an anonymous person who turned out to be Karr began e-mailing Tracey after watching one of the documentaries. Tracey did not speak in detail to reporters about whether he thought Karr was guilty while at the press conference, but a roughly four-year-long series of e-mail and phone transcript records between Karr and Tracey soon became public information.

    Karr's communications, in short, included passages in which he claimed responsibility for JonBenet's death, although he said her death was an accident that occurred during a sexual encounter. Karr occasionally referred to himself by the name of “Daxis” and wrote that Daxis was JonBenet's lover. Karr said that he tasted JonBenet's blood after the encounter, and offered details about the crime scene.

    Tracey turned hundreds of pages worth of records over to the DA's office in the spring of 2006.

    Back to the press conference. Lacy gave a brief speech about the arrest and thanked a team of law enforcement professionals who worked on the international investigation. The list included officers and investigators from Boulder County and Thailand, the FBI, police and sheriff's departments from Georgia, the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

    The press fired semi-automatic rounds of questions at Lacy, who generally said she was unable to answer the questions because she was legally unable to comment on matters such as forensic tests, confessions by a suspect or anything regarding evidence in an ongoing case.

    But she did offer one key statement during her prepared speech that led certain pundits to wonder if Karr was really the guilty party.

    Lacy said two circumstances exist under which a suspect could be arrested “before an investigation is complete.” One reason was for public safety, and the other was “fear of flight” of the suspect.

    Meanwhile, many media outlets had already shifted into “All JonBenet, all the time” mode. Speculation about Karr's guilt or innocence, and whether Lacy made the right call in having Karr arrested, ruled the Internet, print media, cablecasts and the airwaves.

    Handwriting experts analyzed Karr's writing from an old yearbook, comparing it to the Ramsey ransom note. One analyst claimed near-certainty that the samples matched, others called the samples similar but with less certainty, and others said handwriting analysis wasn't an exact science.

    On the other hand, members of Karr's family claimed that Karr couldn't have been in Boulder at the time of the murder because they would have remembered if he wasn't at a family Christmas gathering.

    Locally, CU students, faculty and University Hill residents were getting ready for the beginning of fall semester but had at least one significant “distraction.” The Ramsey house is located on the Hill, and the vacant house was now abuzz with the presence of media and tourists driving by the house or posing in front of it for pictures. One nearby residence had a note posted on the front door saying, “Please do not disturb.”

    Also, Boulder-area journalists, including writers and editors at the Colorado Daily, received numerous requests daily for information from other media outlets - both nationally and from countries such as Australia, New Zealand and European nations.

    Karr remained in Thailand until August 20, when he boarded a flight to Los Angeles. Certain pundits widely ridiculed Karr's treatment on the flight, because he sat in business class, drank champagne and dined on fried king prawns while flying with Boulder County and U.S. officials. Other pundits suggested the “champagne flight” might have turned out to be a good investment if Karr gave authorities good information or evidence in return.

    Karr soon boarded a flight from Los Angeles to the Jefferson County airport, and was transported to the Boulder County Jail under strict security precautions.

    By late August, people following the case had heard about Karr's unusual “confessions” to having been present when JonBenet was murdered. They had heard reports that Karr was wanted on prior possession of child pornography charges, or that a doctor from Thailand claimed Karr had visited a clinic specializing in sex-change procedures.

    But one key question was becoming more common - did the DA's office have hard evidence that could lead to a conviction in the Ramsey case?

    The world found out on August 28 that a DNA sample taken from Karr did not match DNA taken from the crime scene. The case against Karr was considered “quashed,” and certain pundits howled in outrage.

    Notably, Colorado's Governor Bill Owens said that Lacy should be held accountable for “the most expensive and extravagant DNA test in Colorado history.” Karr's defense attorney Seth Temin also expressed outrage that Karr was arrested without forensic evidence.

    Lacy held another press conference on August 29, and began the conference by saying a Longmont man had called her to say she should be “tarred and feathered and run out of town.”

    But she also said she believed she had legitimate reasons for having Karr arrested, and said she was not embarrassed and had no plans to resign.

    Lacy said she believed Karr posed an active threat to public safety, in part because he was about to begin a job teaching elementary school in Thailand just before he was arrested and had expressed sexual interest in a particular child.

    Also, she said “surreptitious” (clandestine) DNA samples taken from Karr in Thailand could have been “mixed samples,” so authorities needed a clean mouth swab DNA sample for certainty.

    Lacy said Owens might not have issued his statement had he read the mountains of e-mail and phone correspondence between Karr and Tracey, although spokesperson Dan Hopkins said after the press conference that Owens stood by his statement.

    She also said that the DA's office and the Boulder Police Department had investigated about 200 other people with possible connections to the Ramsey murder to date, and said authorities would continue to follow up on good leads in the future despite the Karr troubles.

    And the 10th anniversary of the Ramsey murder passed in December 2006 - without closure.
    "Don't play dumb with me, RR! You're no good at it." The Punisher

    "Although no one is anticipating a prompt resolution to this long and much-detoured case, perhaps - just perhaps - might we see one of those moments “when a chance arrow of history scores a perfect bullseye on a deserving target”? Steve Thomas 2009

    "Justice hasn't had a chance so far. Anyone who doesn't have this as their prime goal, we'll have a falling out with." Fleet White - Time Magazine

    "What happens is that evil comes in," Fleet says. "If you don't have truth, all you have are lies, then what comes in is evil. And evil just does its thing. In the Ramsey case, it just did its thing, and it's eaten up so many people."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Somewhere over the rainbow


    I searched and searched for anything new on JonBenet at the Denver Post website, and turned up -0-. I guess the 10th anniversary was covered only by WestWord and the Ramsey Mountain News, eh?

    This is a good article, thanks RiverRat!
    "We're not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be." - C.S. Lewis


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Brooklyn, New York


    Notably, Colorado's Governor Bill Owens said that Lacy should be held accountable for “the most expensive and extravagant DNA test in Colorado history.” Karr's defense attorney Seth Temin also expressed outrage that Karr was arrested without forensic evidence.
    So, Owens is the freakin' governor for cryin' out loud. Just how, please, someone tell me how the GOVERNOR of the state held her accountable? Can't he do something??? HE'S THE GOVERNOR! You don't have to be the governor to know that he was arrested for no good reason and that Ms. Curtains should be held accountable. Geesh! Lots of talk.....

    ... spokesperson Dan Hopkins said after the press conference that Owens stood by his statement.

    Yeah, AND..................?????????????????

    And the 10th anniversary of the Ramsey murder passed in December 2006 - without closure.
    Yeah, we know, we know

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