Writings Give Insight Into JonBenet Suspect's Mind
BOULDER, Colo. – The writings are the stuff of love letters: unrequited obsession, reaching beyond the grave, from a man who pledges all to someone he can never have.
They were written to a dead 6-year-old girl by a teacher named John Mark Karr, who also claims he killed the child, JonBenet Ramsey, in her parents' home 10 years ago. And now anything he's ever written is headline fodder.
Boulder prosecutors are in contact with a former classmate of Karr's because a yearbook signed by him more than 20 years ago may explain why a ransom note in the Ramsey home was signed "S.B.T.C.", the Rocky Mountain News reported Friday.
In the 1982 yearbook, Karr ended his missive with the line: "Though, deep in the future, maybe I shall be the conqueror and live in multiple peace." Investigators wonder if "S.B.T.C" means "shall be the conqueror."
The newspaper also published excerpts of the worshipful e-mails Karr sent to University of Colorado journalism professor Michael Tracey, who produced several documentaries on the Ramsey case.
"JonBenet, my love, my life. I love you and shall forever love you," according to an e-mail Karr sent on Dec. 23, 2005, just before the anniversary of her death. "I pray that you can hear my voice calling out to you from my darkness — this darkness that now separates us."
"Sometimes little girls are closer to me than with their parents or any other person in their lives. When I refer to myself as JonBenet's Closest, maybe now you understand," he wrote in another message.
Police asked JonBenet's mother, Patsy Ramsey, if she would meet with Karr. The mother was willing, but she died from ovarian cancer in June before investigators went any further, family attorney Lin Wood said.
And she never saw Karr's words because his messages were secretly being intercepted by authorities. "He thought that he was corresponding with Patsy, but he wasn't," Wood told The Associated Press.
Karr, 41, is in a Thailand jail awaiting deportation to face U.S. charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping and child sexual assault. He told reporters he was with JonBenet when she died in the basement of her Boulder home on Dec. 26, 1996 but her death was "an accident."
A Northern California woman exchanged e-mails and recorded hours of phone conversations with Karr in which he described his fascination with JonBenet's and Polly's slayings, according to published reports.
Wendy Hutchens, 49, of Roseville, Calif., told police about her 2001 conversations with Karr weeks before the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office arrested him on five misdemeanor child pornography charges, The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa reported Friday in its online edition.
In Washington, federal officials said they want to question Karr about his writings and confessions, including an e-mail from Karr claiming he was under investigation in four states for child murder and molestation.
"There is no four-state federal case" in which Karr is wanted or even suspected, said a Washington official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the case is being handled by local prosecutors in Colorado.
Tracey, the professor, refused to discuss the e-mails he received from Karr.
The Ramseys' attorney suggested authorities may have more against Karr than his confession. "There have been e-mail confessions in the case before," Wood said. "John Ramsey has received e-mail confessions in the past and nobody was arrested."
Patsy Ramsey's sister said the family would wait and watch.
"We are optimistic, but it's wait-and-see," said Pamela Paugh from her home in Roswell, Ga. "We've been patient for nine and a half years, what's a few more months?"