This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," October 16, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Tonight, an inside look into the bizarre and strange world of John Mark Karr. No one knew who Karr was until he made this announcement to the world on August 17:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN MARK KARR, FORMER JONBENET MURDER SUSPECT: I was with JonBenet Ramsey when she died.
QUESTION: What happened?
KARR: Her death was an accident.
QUESTION: So you were in the basement?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Is Karr the man who murdered the 6-year-old beauty queen? Was he really in her basement in December of 1996? Colorado prosecutors flew Karr halfway across the world, business class, from Thailand to find out if he was telling the truth. Karr was arrested, went to court in Colorado, but a murder charge was never filed after science proved Karr did not kill JonBenet Ramsey.
But the trouble didn't end there. Karr was then shipped to California, where California prosecutors had charged him five years earlier with possessing child porn. But John Mark Karr walked free after prosecutors confessed they had lost crucial evidence: his computer that allegedly possessed that illegal child porn.
Now Karr is a free man and he's talking to us. You will be shocked to find out why Karr's lawyer reached out and asked us to put Karr on the air right away.
VAN SUSTEREN: Welcome, Rob. And let me to go to John Mark Karr. Let's establish one thing right from the get-go: Is it John or John Mark that you like to be referred to, since we haven't met before?
KARR: John or John Mark. John Mark is fine. I was called that when I was younger. That's fine.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK, I'll call you John Mark. John Mark, you've been out since October 6, and there's been sort of a whirlwind tour. And I understand that you were supposed to have — to go on television on NBC. Take me back to when you first got out, your connection with the media.
KARR: OK, well, you know what, Greta? Tonight, I just want to address something that I would like for my attorney to talk about. And I just really don't want to get involved with that and I would really like to address certain events that occurred today, and I would like for Rob to talk to you, actually.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, why...
ROB AMPARAN, ATTORNEY FOR JOHN MARK KARR: Good evening, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: ... don't the two of you help me out. Rob, why don't you help us out a little bit.
AMPARAN: Sure. One of the things that we wanted to speak with you about, Greta, was the Dr. Ablow interview that is supposed to air next Tuesday. Parts of it aired this morning on the "Today" show. And we wanted to talk with you and let people know the issues related to that interview, the fraud and the inducement for that alleged interview, the alcohol that was present and...
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, let me just stop right there because the viewers are not quite so familiar with the facts, Rob. Let me start. When did your client — when did John Mark first meet Dr. Keith Ablow?
AMPARAN: Well, I believe the — the — well, the — the airing was Thursday? I mean, the shooting was Thursday, or was that Wednesday?
KARR: I believe it was something to that effect, yes.
AMPARAN: Yes. At the end of last week, Mr. Karr was wined and dined by a production company, taken around New York City, taken to dinner, taken to "Phantom of the Opera," taken back to an office for wine and cheese. And after about an hour, hour-and-a-half of constantly having his glass filled with white wine, they decided to tell him, Oh, let's go in the back so we can shoot a test for the, you know, the higher-ups to see how this goes, see how you look on camera.
They promised Mr. Karr that that was not going to be aired. They made, you know, representations there's no film in the camera. This is a shooting of an alleged interview, Greta, that took place — I think it started about 11:00 o'clock at night and went until 2:00 in the morning — at various times — based on, you know, the lateness of the night, the level of intoxication, the tiredness — it was a ridiculous situation. It was completely fraudulent in telling him that it wasn't going to be aired, that this is for the higher-ups. And then to use it, both showing clips of it on the "Today" show and to have a special or air it at all is completely inappropriate.
We have made a cease and desist request on Mr. Karr's behalf. It's a completely illegitimate interview, and I think it speaks volumes as to who this Dr. Ablow is that he would engage in this kind of action for the purpose of having a show.
VAN SUSTEREN: Just so I understand, John Mark, I'm a little bit unfamiliar — did you actually meet Dr. Keith Ablow, the psychiatrist, or was it people that were — were working with him?
KARR: You know what, Greta? I have another attorney who's working with me on that cease and desist. And again, I'm just going to say that I'd rather just refer everything over to Rob at this point. I'd really like to not comment on it at this point. I just want to refer it to Rob, please.
AMPARAN: Greta, I believe that the doctor was not present when the alcohol was being served. It was through one of the production assistants who had a refrigerator in her office and had beer and wine in her refrigerator and kept pouring the wine in an attempt to get Mr. Karr under the influence and to lower his, you know, resistance to participating in an interview.
VAN SUSTEREN: So John Mark, how are you doing?
KARR: I'm doing OK. I'm doing fine. I appreciate that you're giving my attorney a chance to talk, and at this time, that's — that's who I want to — to hear. He has been a great attorney for me and...
AMPARAN: Obviously, you know, Greta, it's — when you start your day with a new talk show host going on TV, calling you a pedophile, a child molester, a danger to society, it's a difficult way to start your day, especially when there's absolutely no person has come forward ever saying that Mr. Karr has done anything to them. And for that individual to be so unprofessional to make those allegations and to cast those kinds of aspersions, I think is ridiculous. And I think it reflects on him and his show.
VAN SUSTEREN: John Mark, let me give you a chance now. You were arrested in Bangkok on August 16. Did you have any idea that anyone was coming for you at that point?
KARR: Like I say, Greta, you know, I've had kind of a lot of pressure on me because of what happened with Dr. Ablow, and I just really don't — I really don't feel like going into that right now. But I will at a later time.
VAN SUSTEREN: I guess, John Mark, people are curious. I mean, you know, it's been very strange to everybody that we are told — and you know, I haven't seen them, but we were told some unusual things. For instance, we were told that you sent e-mails off to a professor and that you claimed to have intimate knowledge of JonBenet Ramsey, which — and her death, and that certainly started a firestorm, without a doubt — interest. Can you shed any light on whether those e-mails were sent and your thoughts about them?
AMPARAN: Greta, I'm actually going to interrupt. We're in the process of seeking return of some of Mr. Karr's property from Professor Michael Tracy right now. And there were some e-mails that were sent, but there was a lot of — you know, even back in 2001, when his case initially started in California, there were e-mails, but not all — not everything that's said in an e-mail is true. There are some reasons to produce fiction to get a response or a result or for research or to find out how people respond.
And the problem is, is that everyone has taken words or thoughts and has taken it — concluded from that that Mr. Karr is some kind of, you know, deviant sexual offender, and he's not.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I don't think that's — I don't — I mean...
AMPARAN: If you want to criticize him for certain things, that's fine. But for people to come out in the press, whether it's Dr. Ablow or Nancy Grace or anyone else, realistically, you know...
VAN SUSTEREN: I think I've pretty plainly stated what I think are the facts, is that he's not been charged with the murder — in fact, nobody even said he did it. That he's not been charged with inappropriate conduct. He was charged and it was dismissed about possessing, which is vastly different than the other two.
But I'm curious, because I followed the JonBenet murder case back in December of '96. You know, we're all curious whether he does have some information. And so — let me put it to you, John Mark. Do you have any information that might help solve the JonBenet Ramsey murder, John?
AMPARAN: And again, Greta, I just can't allow Mr. Karr to answer that question. I'm sure, you know, you understand.
VAN SUSTEREN: Actually, I don't. I actually don't because if he doesn't have any information — I mean, I — Rob, I want to give him a chance to talk. You guys called me, and I'm happy to do this. I understand that he got put through a situation where he was plied with alcohol, where he was put in a room. He didn't know that it was going to be aired, he tells us, and I understand that. I know there's a cease and desist order. I know that he's never been charged with a crime. And I know that he's the subject of much infatuation because we don't — haven't heard from him. And this is his chance. I mean, you know, just tell us what happened.
AMPARAN: This isn't his chance, Greta, because there are still loose ends that I need to tie up before I can — you know, and though Mr. Karr has made some statements, I — I — you know, and that was — he is a free individual and he can do what he wants, and whether that's to follow the letter of his attorney's advice or not. You know, he's been locked up. He's been away for a long time, and he decided to do some certain things.
But realistically, in terms of your questioning, I would have to advise him, until I've tied up the loose strings and gotten all of his property back and feel that my work for him as his attorney is over, I don't feel comfortable having him discuss that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Let me just try posing a question to John Mark, see if he's interested in answering it. All right, here we go. This is a simple one. How are you doing, John Mark?
KARR: I'm doing fine, Greta. Thank you. How are you?
VAN SUSTEREN: I'm doing fine. What's it — is it good to be out?
VAN SUSTEREN: How bad was it in custody? Was it — losing your — nothing like it, right?
AMPARAN: It was miserable for both of us for him being in custody.
VAN SUSTEREN: I agree, especially...
AMPARAN: It interfered with the defense.
VAN SUSTEREN: Not as bad for you. Not as bad for you, Rob, as it was for John Mark.
AMPARAN: I got to leave every day.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. All right. How's your family, John Mark? Have you talked to your brother, Nate?
KARR: Oh, yes. Daily.
VAN SUSTEREN: And have they all...
AMPARAN: His brother — his brother and his folks have been a good source of support. You know, this is a very trying time when you're blasted nationally like this.
VAN SUSTEREN: I'm sure it is. John Mark, you want to stick around the United States, or have you had it now with us for a while?
AMPARAN: I think that there's a lot of people in this country that are concerned about where we are and what our country is doing, so — but for right now, we have some loose ends to tie up...
VAN SUSTEREN: How about letting — Rob — Rob, you're a great lawyer, but you know, you got to let your client talk once in a while. I mean, you got to...
AMPARAN: That's the problem. I — I — you know, I — the...
VAN SUSTEREN: Rob, you've got him as a prop. He's sitting there as a prop. That's the way he is. I mean, people want to get to know him. They want to talk to him, and you've got him sitting there like he's just a prop. He's not a prop. He's a man who got...
AMPARAN: He's not a prop. He's a person. But he is a man who has — who still has the potential — I mean, especially when you have people like Dr. Ablow getting on TV and saying this man is a child molester, this man is a child murderer, this man is a pedophile. I don't know whether or not that is going to inspire enough people to contact local law enforcement to try to bring something else up.
VAN SUSTEREN: I just want to ask him a couple of questions, and I'll ask him a question and — and if you want — give him a second, if you want to — you know before...
VAN SUSTEREN: If you don't want him to answer it, he can...
AMPARAN: Can we — can we — can we try a couple, then, and — but keep it short because I have a flight I have to catch.
VAN SUSTEREN: Sure. Fair enough. Fair enough. All right. Let me go back — all right, let's try to go back to square one. So John Mark, let me just ask you some quick questions about Bangkok. You were living your life over there for a short period of time, and suddenly, the police show up. What happened then?
KARR: Well, Greta, it's just such an involved story. Like I said, I've been through a lot since I've been released, and it's really not a time to talk about it. There will be a time when I have the stamina to go through with talking about it. But tonight, I just — I really wanted to come here and allow my attorney to talk on my behalf tonight.
AMPARAN: He's not a prop. He's not — he's not a puppet. He's a very intelligent person, and you know, this is just...
VAN SUSTEREN: You know what, Rob? Rob, you know what?
AMPARAN: ... not the appropriate time for a long interview.
VAN SUSTEREN: Rob, you know what? The viewers — you know, they'd probably rather — you know, they probably would rather enjoy, you know, a little bit hearing from him, and you know, just to get a little bit of an idea. John Mark, since you've been out, I mean, have things been difficult for you — I mean, since you've been out?
KARR: It's been stressful, and I would not like for tonight to have that continue, that I would have to think about the events that I've been through. It's just something that I'm really not prepared to talk about tonight, so...
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you have sort of a plan, at least in mind, about when you're going to talk about the events or how you want to talk about them?
AMPARAN: That's going to be based upon my tying up those ends that I discussed. Like I said, Greta, you know, I am not convinced that my work is done. And I am concerned about the possibility of, you know, statements leading to additional charges, where this man has been prosecuted basically twice for thoughts or words...
VAN SUSTEREN: Rob, I think the question was a rather innocuous one, which was simply whether he had some sort of plan in his mind of when to talk. The question was not, you know, Did you possess child pornography on your computer? It was not, you know, anything like that. It was a completely innocuous question so that the viewers can see your client not as a prop that was brought here to the studio to talk about this.
KARR: You know what, Greta?
VAN SUSTEREN: What?
KARR: It's forthcoming. It's forthcoming that I will talk.
KARR: And it is — it is based upon...
VAN SUSTEREN: Rob, let him talk!
AMPARAN: ... my advice to him not to say anything. I mean, I am advising him not to talk because of my concerns and because of the lateness of the day here.
VAN SUSTEREN: Rob, you've let him out of your sights. He's obviously done this Keith Ablow thing. You've let him out of your sights. I read about some incident with ABC reporters at some school. I mean, you are sitting there now with him. You can guide him through this, or you can let him go out and freelance, and he ends up all over the newspaper like he has, and people can draw all sorts of conclusions, or you can lay it out right now in candor and just talk.
AMPARAN: I can lay out the fact that the trip to the elementary Catholic schoolgirl — elementary Catholic school for girls in San Francisco, I believe, a week ago Friday at noon, where he was taking taken there in an ABC limo by ABC producers, was really a lack of judgment and a lack of professionalism by ABC. I think Walt Disney would probably be turning over in his grave. And I think that the people who send their young female — their young girls to that school, probably paying about $20,000 a year for that elementary school education, were probably not too excited that ABC was bringing my client to the school.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why were producers giving him a ride around?
AMPARAN: Because that was what I believe — when I refer to the media pimping and the attempt by morning shows to, you know, screw anyone or screw each other over getting a first story. But again...
VAN SUSTEREN: So at what point did — at what point did sort of ABC relinquish him to Keith Ablow? I'm missing that — that — you know...
AMPARAN: OK. That's an interesting story. Because ABC came out with a story saying, oh, they no longer were interested in Mr. Karr, or Mr. Karr was no longer a news story or a person of interest because he suddenly leapt out of heir limo as it was parked in front of this Catholic school. But what they don't tell is you that these two producers begged the police not to report that they were associated with ABC, and you know, though they were so disgusted with his behavior in jumping from the limo, they put him in a car and drove him out of state. So they apparently were weren't too disgusted...
VAN SUSTEREN: So that was...
AMPARAN: ... by the behavior at the time.
VAN SUSTEREN: So what day was that?
KARR: You're going to miss your flight.
VAN SUSTEREN: What day was that? Was that Monday?
AMPARAN: That was a week — a week ago...
VAN SUSTEREN: OK, Friday. So where does he hook up with — I'm confused. Where does he hook up, then, with Keith Ablow and NBC?
AMPARAN: That was in New York. That was outside of me and that was outside of Mr. Reggie (ph), when people had kind of taken advantage of him.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, who — who brought him up to New York?
AMPARAN: But Greta, at this point...
VAN SUSTEREN: Who brought him to New York?
AMPARAN: I believe the production company. One of the production companies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, if you thought that was — how do I say this — interesting, wait until you see what else happened in our bizarre interview. More from our sitdown with John Mark Karr and his lawyer later in the show.
VAN SUSTEREN: John Mark Karr was front page news on every newspaper after he told the world he was JonBenet — he was with JonBenet when she died. And the world stood up and listened whether we believed him or not.
Now a free man, Karr wanted people to pay attention again and that's why he called us. Karr says he was duped by a television show, plied with alcohol and then interviewed when his inhibitions were down. As you just heard, Dr. Keith Ablow says it didn't happen that way. And now, John Mark Karr is fighting back, hoping to stop the Ablow interview from airing.
That's where we came in. Karr and his lawyer came to us. He wanted us to get his message out there. And, as you saw earlier in our interview, his attorney and I clashed because he wouldn't let his client answer many questions. Later in the interview we found out why.
VAN SUSTEREN: He has never been accused of JonBenet's murder, never. He was brought over by a prosecutor who apparently didn't like some e-mails and reached over into another country and did this. He has never been charged with it. Nobody at this point suspects him of it. The DNA, you know, keeps him out of it. He is protected from it, if he has some...
AMPARAN: I still feel at this point I am not at ease that all prosecutions are over. I think that there are a lot of people that are angry and I think that there are...
VAN SUSTEREN: I think there are people angry.
AMPARAN: ...district attorneys that are angry and there are sheriffs that are angry and I think that there are taxpayers that are angry. And, you know, and just because a homicide investigator plies him with champagne on a flight back to Bangkok, you know, they try to make it seem like, "Oh, he's just taking advantage of the system." Or, "Oh, he had shrimp or prawns on the flight back." That wasn't what he chose. That's what he was given.
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