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Jon Benet Ramsey Suspect Mark Karr Abruptly Cleared

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Patsey and John Ramsey

Los Angelas Times

Ramsey Suspect Abruptly Cleared

John Mark Karr still faces child pornography counts in California, but link to killing dissolves.

August 29, 2006|

Stephanie Simon and Ralph Vartabedian, Times Staff Writers

BOULDER, Colo. Prosecutors on Monday abruptly dropped their case against John Mark Karr, the itinerant schoolteacher arrested in the decade-old killing of JonBenet Ramsey, saying his DNA did not match blood recovered from the crime scene.

Less than two weeks after flying Karr from Thailand to face charges -- an event that set off an international media circus -- Boulder County Dist. Atty. Mary Lacy closed the case against him, acknowledging that she could find no evidence he was in Boulder on the night the 6-year-old beauty queen was sexually assaulted and strangled in her family home.

The state "would not be able to establish that Mr. Karr committed this crime despite his repeated insistence that he did," Lacy wrote in a five-page motion to dismiss the case.

Karr's repeated confessions -- by e-mail, on the phone and in a televised news conference in Thailand -- met with skepticism from the start, both from investigators with knowledge of the case and from armchair psychologists who debated every twist and turn online. But he did reveal an intimate knowledge of the slaying, raising enough suspicion that the district attorney sent an investigator to Bangkok this month to follow Karr and stand outside his apartment door, trying to listen in on his phone calls.


"The Boulder district attorney's office has bungled this case many times over, but never as badly as this," said Craig Silverman, former chief deputy district attorney in Denver.

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