I think I just threw up a little in my mouth
It’s Thursday, that means it’s me once more. I thought about staying off the blog but then I heard about the big story of, well, the rest of the week, if not longer:
CNN) — An American arrested in Thailand
said Thursday he was with child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey when she
died in her parents’ basement in 1996 and called her death “an
“I was with JonBenet when she died,” suspect John
Mark Karr, 41, told reporters Thursday in Bangkok. “I loved JonBenet,
and she died accidentally.”
Asked by a reporter if he was an innocent man, Karr replied, “No.”
There’s video included in that link, too. And it gets worse:
John Mark Karr displayed a deep fascination with JonBenet Ramsey long before he was arrested in her death.
Karr, who told reporters Thursday that he was “with JonBenet when she
died” but that “her death was an accident,” began teaching children in
Georgia and Alabama before he became a substitute in Petaluma, a
bucolic wine country town where he lived until 2001 with his wife and
Lara Karr of Petaluma,
who divorced Karr in 2001, told KGO-TV in San Francisco that he often
spent time reading up on the cases of Ramsey and Petaluma resident
Polly Klaas, who was abducted and slain in 1993.
His father told The Denver Post that while Karr was in college as an
adult, a professor encouraged him to write a book about the Ramsey case
after being impressed with a school paper.
“He researched everything he could about her,” Wexford Karr said.
I could keep posting links all day with more information (like the fact that Karr fled California in 2001 and taught children in Germany, the Netherlands, Honduras and eventually, Thailand) but I think the point’s pretty clear: in hindsight, it’s so unbelievably obvious that an intruder did it. And that’s where the throwing up part begins.
Ten years ago the case was everywhere, and chatter was insistent to the
point of being intrusive. But the JonBenet Ramsey case was probably the
first big murder case that played out not only in the mainstream and
tabloid media, but online. Thousands of people congregated on message
board and USENET groups to discuss, speculate and indict.
I should know. I was one of them.
I wish I could say that I always thought an intruder did it, but the
ransom note, the collective stomping on Patsy & John Ramsey had an
effect. I know I entertained theories of whether JonBenet’s older brother, Burke, was responsible. Then, a few years later, when a partial DNA sample was found on
JonBenet and it didn’t match either of the parents, that was
interesting. And I sort of forgot about it, because time passed, I
wasn’t a chattering college student any longer, and life went on.
Now it’s all flooded back. And I can’t help but think we haven’t
learned a damn thing. Because if anything, media saturation has only
worsened. Guilty parties are still arrested in far greater quantities,
but innocent people might be even more subjected to witch-hunt-like
In five years or so, there’s going to be an amazing, amazing book on what really happened. And the sociological effects. But that’s not going to help any of the surviving Ramseys. Not by a longshot.