Questions Surround Confession in Ramsey Case

A teacher named John Mark Karr says he was responsible for the death of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey in 1996. Now in Thai custody, Karr is expected to be returned to the U.S. for further investigation. Colorado authorites have been guarded in their comments about Karr's arrest.


Well, the prosecutor in the JonBenet Ramsey case is dampening speculation that the murder has been solved. Here's what we do know.

An American teacher in Thailand told reporters yesterday that he was with JonBenet when she died. District Attorney Mary Lacey, though, was warning against a rush to judgment.

NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

JEFF BRADY reporting:

John Mark Karr had just begun a job as a second grade teacher in Bangkok when he was arrested. He told reporters in Thailand that he loved JonBenet and that her death was an accident. But so far the only hard evidence against Karr that's been made public is his own words.

At a press conference in front of her Boulder office prosecutor Mary Lacey said her investigation is continuing and she declined to discuss details.

Ms. MARY LACEY (District Attorney, Boulder, Colorado): There's a great deal of speculation and a desire for quick answers here. We should all heed the poignant advice of John Ramsey. He said, do not jump to conclusions, do not jump to judgment, do not speculate. Let the justice system take its course.

BRADY: Lacey's predecessor came under fire for an investigation that was focused on John Ramsey, JonBenet's father, and his wife, Patsy. She died in June of cancer. John Ramsey says his wife was told before her death that authorities were close to making an arrest, but in a statement he never mentioned Karr, only that he was pleased by this development in the case.

University of Colorado journalism professor Michael Tracey has long argued that the Ramseys were not responsible for their daughter's death. He made documentaries critical of the early investigation and the media coverage of it. Tracey says he's impressed with the current group of investigators.

Professor MICHAEL TRACEY (University of Colorado): When the details are out, it will be clear. They did an incredible job. Whatever the results, whether he's guilty, found guilty or found innocent.

BRADY: Tracey says he exchanged e-mails with Karr for four years, though he won't say what they discussed, only that the content prompted him to alert investigators in the Ramsey case in May.

Karr is still being held in Thailand. Authorities expect to announce within a few days when he'll be brought to Colorado.

Jeff Brady, NPR News, Denver.

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