Breaking: JonBenet Ramsey Murder Suspect Arrested in Thailand
CNN Breaking News: “Authorities arrest a suspect in Bangkok, Thailand, in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case, two law enforcement officials confirm to CNN.”
A man arrested in Thailand is being held in connection with the slaying of JonBenet Ramsey, U.S. law enforcement officials said Wednesday. Federal officials familiar with the case, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the man was being held in Bangkok on unrelated sex charges.
The girl was found beaten and strangled in the basement of the family’s home in Boulder, Colo., on Dec. 26, 1996.
Law enforcement officials from Boulder were flying to Bangkok to present Thai authorities with documents in the slaying of the 6-year-old beauty pageant contestant, officials in Washington said. They asked to remain anonymous pending an announcement in Colorado.
The girl’s parents, Patsy and John Ramsey, had been under an “umbrella of suspicion” in JonBenet’s death. The Ramseys said an intruder killed their daughter. A grand jury investigation in Boulder ended with no indictments, and no arrests had been made in the case. Patsy Ramsey died in July.
In 2003, U.S. District Judge Julie Carnes in Atlanta concluded that the evidence she reviewed suggested an intruder killed JonBenet. That opinion came with the judge’s decision to dismiss a libel and slander lawsuit against the Ramseys by a freelance journalist, who the Ramseys had named as a suspect in their daughter’s murder. The Boulder district attorney at the time said she agreed with Carnes’ declaration.
UPDATE: Blogswarm, activate.
- AllahPundit: “Thailand. Sex charges. Gobsmackingly vile.“
- Mary Katharine Ham: “I know it’s a Greta Van Susteren story . . .”
- LaShawn Barber: “Some people, including me, suspected that her mother, the late Patsy Ramsey, was involved with the killing. I’ll hold off making a statement until I get more info.” [A clear violation of the blogger code! – ed.]
UPDATE: The suspect, American John Mark Karr, has confessed.
The American suspect in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case said publicly Thursday he was with the 6-year-old when she died and called her death “an accident,” a stunning admission that will help answer 10 years of questions in the unsolved murder case. “I was with JonBenet when she died,” John Mark Karr told reporters in Bangkok, visibly nervous and stuttering as he spoke. “Her death was an accident.”
Police said Karr, 41, admitted to the killing after he was arrested Wednesday at his downtown Bangkok apartment by Thai and American authorities. Karr will be taken to Colorado within the next week where he will face charges of murder, kidnapping and child sexual assault, Ann Hurst, Department of Homeland Security attache at the American Embassy in Bangkok, said at a news conference in Bangkok.
Karr, speaking to reporters after the news conference, declined to say what his connection was to the Ramsey family or how long he had known JonBenet. Wearing a blue, short-sleeved shirt, he appeared ashen with an expressionless look on his face.
Lt. Gen. Suwat Tumrongsiskul said U.S. authorities informed Thai police on Aug. 11 that an arrest warrant had been issued for Karr on charges of premeditated murder. The warrant was sent to Thai police on Wednesday. At the press conference, Suwat said Karr insisted after his arrest that his crime was not first-degree murder. “He said it was second-degree murder. He said it was unintentional. He said he was in love with the child. She was a pageant queen,” Suwat said. The Thai officer quoted the suspect as saying he tried to kidnap JonBenet for a $118,000 ransom but that his plan went awry and he strangled her to death. Patsy Ramsey, JonBenet’s mother, reported finding a ransom note in the house demanding $118,000 for her daughter.
Hurst said Karr has been “very cooperative” with authorities and that he’s shown a “variety of emotions.” She said he has been a suspect “for a while” but wouldn’t specify how long. Suwat said Karr arrived in Bangkok on June 6 from Malaysia to look for a teaching job. It was not clear whether he had gotten a job, the police officer said.
If Karr is the real murderer, he will join a long line of infamous killers who use three names (John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, Mark David Chapman come readily to mind).