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John Mark Karr

Crime Suspect

Born: 11 December 1964
Birthplace: Conyers, Georgia
Best known as:

The man wrongly arrested in 2006 in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case

John Mark Karr was arrested in Thailand on 16 August 2006 -- but then released two weeks later -- in connection with the 1996 death of JonBenet Ramsey. Ramsey was found strangled in her Boulder, Colorado home on 26 December 1996; the killing was heavily covered in the media, helped along by photos of the young victim's many appearances in junior beauty pageants. Authorities began to suspect in 2006 that John Mark Karr might have killed Ramsey, based on comments in emails Karr sent to documentary filmmaker Michael Tracey. Karr had been arrested in California for possession of child pornography in 2001, left the United States soon after, and had since drifted around Central America and Asia teaching English and taking other transient jobs. Shortly after his arrest in Thailand, Karr set off a media frenzy by telling reporters that he "was with JonBenet when she died" and that the death "was an accident." But by the time Karr was flown back to Los Angeles and then on to Boulder County Jail, questions had arisen about the accuracy of his confession. Among other things, his ex-wife told authorities that Karr had been with family in Georgia during the holidays in 1996. On 28 August 2006, Boulder County District Attorney Mary Lacy announced that DNA taken from Karr did not match DNA found at the scene of Ramsey's death, and said that charges would not be filed against Karr. Karr was later extradited to California based on the outstanding 2001 pornography charges there.

Extra credit:

According to the teaching resume he provided to an Asian teaching service, John Mark Karr graduated from Regents College in Albany, New York... The Boulder Daily Camera reports Karr's birth date as 11 December 1964... Karr was married to the former Quientana Shotts from 1984-85 (he was 19 and she was 13 at the time of their marriage), and to the former Lara Knutson from 1989-2001... According to this CBS News article, Karr has twice married teenage girls, one 13 (the marriage was annulled) and one 16 (Lara Knutson, who divorced him).

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More on John Mark Karr from Infoplease:

  • John Mark Karr - Biography of John Mark Karr, The man wrongly arrested in 2006 in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case

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