SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – John Mark Karr bragged to his landlord's wife that sexually, he was "like a wolf," and said he "liked little boys and girls" when he worked in Costa Rica as an English teacher, his former housemates told The Associated Press.
Karr, now jailed in the United States after his arrest in Thailand, faces a Colorado warrant for the 1996 murder of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey.
Karr traveled around the world in recent years, including brief stays in Honduras and Costa Rica, where he rented a room in 2004 from Canadian John Hall, who now teaches at a private university in the capital of San Jose.
"I had to kick him out because he was obviously a pervert and I was worried about the safety of my wife and my stepdaughters," Hall told The Associated Press.
Hall, 42, told AP in an exclusive interview that he rented a room to Karr through an Internet posting, but asked him to leave after about five weeks because Karr was saying "rude and inappropriate things" to his Costa Rican wife and stepdaughters, then 16 and 20.
"I threw him out because he was causing problems for them," Hall said. "Eventually he told my wife that he 'was sexually like a wolf,' and after that I asked him to leave."
One stepdaughter, now 22, told The Associated Press that Karr had said several times that he liked the "little ones." The stepdaughter spoke on condition her name not be published.
Hall said that Karr would often either talk incessantly, or sit in his room and listen to dark rock music, like that of Marilyn Manson, something that also bothered the Halls, who are Pentecostal Christians.
"We started getting pretty scared," Hall said, when Karr described himself as "sexually ambiguous" in conversations with the family and even visitors to the house. Karr also said he "liked little boys and girls," and that "he thought my stepdaughter ... was cute," Hall said.
Hall said Karr never touched his wife or stepdaughters, or did anything else criminal in Costa Rica that he was aware of, so he didn't alert police. But after kicking Karr out, Hall said, he remained suspicious enough to do a computer search to see if he was a sex predator.
"I suspected he was a pedophile. I looked on the Internet to see if there was something on him, but I didn't find anything," he said.
The following year, Karr taught for eight months at a small primary school in La Esperanza, Honduras, 60 miles from the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, according to Renan Marquez, the school's chief administrator.
Marquez said Karr taught second grade but left because he had a contract with a school in another country; he didn't know which. Marquez told AP by telephone that Karr was always "reserved, shy, responsible, organized and punctual."
Karr "required a lot of discipline" of his second-grade English students, Marquez said. "I never saw anything strange in his treatment of the children."
Police in Costa Rica and Honduras told the AP they have no records of any complaints about Karr. "If Karr committed a crime in this country, nobody reported it," said Lorena Calix, spokeswoman for prosecutors in Honduras.