CNN Breaking: Karr Knew Murder Scene Secrets
Source: Karr knew murder scene secrets
Cell of Polly Klaas' killer searched for Ramsey link
Friday, August 18, 2006; Posted: 5:22 p.m. EDT (21:22 GMT)
BOULDER, Colorado (CNN) -- John Mark Karr gave authorities graphic details about the condition of JonBenet Ramsey's body that have been kept secret for nearly a decade, a U.S. law enforcement source told CNN on Friday.
Those details were known only to the medical examiner and the investigators investigating the December 26, 1996 slaying of the 6-year-old beauty pageant competitor, the law enforcement official said.
Some of the details Karr shared were gruesome -- and accurate -- the source said. (Read about the crime scene)
In a new twist, prison guards at San Quentin State Prison in California searched the death row cell of Polly Klaas' killer, Richard Allen Davis.
The 12-year-old Klaas lived in Petaluma, California, when she was killed in 1993. And Karr, who lived there with his wife in 2000, had researched the girl's case, as well as that of Ramsey.
Tip Kindel, spokesperson for California State Department of Corrections, confirmed the search took place Thursday, and that nothing was found in relation to John Karr.
Lt. Eric Messick said officials decided to search Davis' cell after learning that Karr had told detectives in 2001 that he had a letter from Davis and was researching a book on him, AP reported.
Meanwhile, Ramsey family attorney Lin Wood told the AP that Ramsey's mother, Patsy, had agreed to meet with the man who claimed to be her daughter's killer to help investigators.
But Patsy Ramsey died of ovarian cancer in June before the meeting took place, the AP said.
Karr, 41, said he believed Patsy Ramsey read his correspondence expressing remorse for JonBenet's death before she died. (Watch Karr describe contacting the Ramseys -- :44)
But Wood told the AP that Patsy Ramsey never received Karr's letters or e-mails because the correspondence was routed to police.
"He thought that he was corresponding with Patsy, but he wasn't," Wood told the news service.
Friday's developments lent further mystery to the high-profile murder case.
Karr was taken into custody Wednesday morning in Bangkok, Thailand, where he had just started a teaching job.
A U.S. warrant called for his arrest on suspicion of first-degree murder, kidnapping and child sexual assault.
He said he loved JonBenet, and killed her by accident. Asked if he were an innocent man, Karr replied, "No." (Watch Karr's stunning admission -- 1:15)
Despite Karr's startling confession, many questions remain to be answered before authorities can say the case has been solved.
Questions about whereabouts
One of those questions was raised by Karr's former wife, Lara Karr, who says he was with her in Alabama or Georgia during the 1996 Christmas holidays.
JonBenet's body was found in the basement of the Ramsey home in Boulder, Colorado, early on the morning of December 26. Karr told reporters in Bangkok that he was with JonBenet in the basement when she died.
But Lara Karr's attorney, Michael Rains, said his client "sincerely believes there was no Christmas ... anytime between 1989 and 2000 when they were married ... when her husband was not with her and her family at Christmastime." (Watch forensic pathologist describe some of the holes in Karr's story -- 4:13)
Evidence from the Colorado crime scene contradicts Karr's version of events. JonBenet's death was violent, investigators found. An autopsy showed she received a massive blow to the head and was strangled with a rope that the killer tightened by twisting an attached paintbrush handle.
Karr has not publicly given details about how he got into the Ramsey house and, if he did so, how he found his way around the maze of rooms, hallways and closets.
Even police overlooked the storage room where JonBenet's body was found during their first search after the girl was reported missing.
Karr's connection to Colorado is also vague. Although his e-mail correspondence with a University of Colorado journalism professor led to his arrest in Thailand, authorities said, they have produced no evidence to show Karr was ever in Colorado.
The Rocky Mountain News published on its Web site Friday excerpts of what investigators say they believe are e-mails between Karr and professor Michael Tracey, including one that read: "JonBenet, my love, my life. I love you and shall forever love you. I pray that you can hear my voice calling out to you from my darkness..." (Read paper's account of e-mails)
None of the e-mails include statements from Karr about his possible role in JonBenet's death, the paper said. In one e-mail, Karr said he was under federal investigation for "child murder and child molestation" in four states, the paper reported.
Another question is Karr's familiarity with the Ramsey family.
Ramseys didn't know Karr
JonBenet's father, John Ramsey, said in an interview Wednesday that he did not know Karr. But a ransom note, found in the Boulder home after JonBenet went missing, addresses John Ramsey in a familiar tone, repeatedly using his first name and calling him a "fat cat."
The ransom note demanded $118,000, the amount he had received in a company bonus before his daughter was killed.
At a news conference Thursday, Boulder County District Attorney Mary Lacy said the case is still under investigation. "There is much more work that needs to be done now that the suspect is in custody."
"John Karr is presumed innocent," Lacy said. "Do not jump to judgment. Do not speculate. Let the justice system take its course."
The professor who put authorities on the trail of Karr took a similar tack.
"I don't know that he's guilty," Tracey told the AP. "Obviously, I went to the district attorney for a reason, but let him have his day in court and let JonBenet have her day in court and let's see how it plays out."
U.S. and Thai officials are working on clearing Karr's return to the United States, although no date for the transfer has been set.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and Thai authorities worked closely on the case for two months before Karr's arrest on Wednesday, ICE attache Ann Hurst said.
Officials in Bangkok said he had traveled to Thailand -- a country notorious for its child sex trade -- five times in the past two years.