August 31, 2006

Rest in Peace Chi-Chi

7 or 8 years ago, Teresa brings home a class mascot for the summer. A chinchilla named Chi-Chi. Over the summer we get a call from her 4th grade teacher. "Would you like to keep Chi-Chi? I am going to be teaching first grade now. The classroom is smaller and I have no room for class pets". We had grown attached to her in those short summer weeks and gladly took her. She was already an old chinchilla then. She was there when Helena, our oldest daughter attended school there. And, our middle daughter Amanda has the same teacher, so she too got to see Chi-Chi. Years back, when old students heard that we had Chi-Chi, the common response was, "You mean she's still alive!? She was old when I was there!" She quickly grew used to the routine here. I really think she liked it here, even though it was more laid back than being out in the hustle and bustle of a classroom. She seemed to like the dogs and even the cat. But, in the past few weeks, she was showing signs of slowing down. Then, she refused to eat her food. I could get her to take raisins, but she seemed to have some difficulty eating them. If I didn't know any better, she acted like she had had a stroke. Yesterday, she quit eating even raisins. So, it was only a matter of time. I found her tonight. Even though she was old, and had a good long life, it still hurts.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:55 PM | Comments (0)

August 30, 2006

I'll Be a Guinea Pig of Sorts

I actually bought this several months ago. I bought it for myself after an allergist recommended it for my daughter several years back. She would get sinus infections constantly. It seemed to help her. She hasn't had them for quite awhile now. I've had sinus problems for years. Here it is not even September and I am starting to have the problems that I get in the fall. Sinus headaches, post nasal drip, congestion, etc. So tonight, I finally broke open the package and used it. The verdict? Not as bad as I thought it would be. I was a little worried, thinking about the times that I have got water up my nose while I've been swimming. I was expecting the pain that comes with it. Nope. As long as you follow the instructions, you shouldn't have any problems. I actually feel a little bit better. The headache I've had all day seems to be going away. The reason I am calling myself a guinea pig is that I am hoping that if I get good results, that Mike will start using this for his sinus problems. Which are even worse than mine.

Posted by Valkyre at 10:36 PM | Comments (0)

August 29, 2006

Charges Dropped Against the Creep

Okay, so he got his 15 minutes of fame. Let's hope he drops out of site. Hopefully by rotting in a jail cell somewhere:

Article here:

Ramsey Suspect Abruptly Cleared

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

By Stephanie Simon and Ralph Vartabedian, Times Staff Writers
August 29, 2006

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.

Karr, 41, still faces five misdemeanor counts of possessing child pornography in California in a Sonoma County case that dates to 2001. An extradition hearing is scheduled for this afternoon.

If convicted on all five counts, Karr could face a one-year sentence. But he could also walk free on time served if he got credit for the six months he spent in jail in California after his arrest. For now, Karr remains in the Boulder County jail no longer a murder suspect but still under intense public scrutiny. Hundreds of pages of his e-mails and transcripts of his phone conversations have been posted online by prosecutors, disclosing his thoughts on bland topics such as the state of public education and also his fantasies and boasts about sex with 6-year-old girls.

Lacy suggested in her court filing that those fantasies were a key reason she moved against Karr so quickly, before investigating his alibi, testing his DNA or interviewing his friends and family. She had learned, she wrote, that he was about to begin teaching young girls at a Thai school, and in his e-mails he discussed sexual fantasies about some of his students, using phrases that he had also used to describe his "love" for his "princess," JonBenet.

But even given the potential threat to the Thai students, some experts questioned why Lacy had to arrest Karr with such fanfare and publicly name him a murder suspect.

They suggested that she would have been better off asking California authorities to arrest him on the outstanding warrant there, which would have to kept him in custody and away from the girls while she completed an investigation.

"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.

"It was a serious mistake," agreed Trip DeMuth, a former senior deputy district attorney for Boulder County.

DeMuth, who worked the Ramsey case for several years, said he also found it "odd" that Lacy would post all of Karr's e-mails online within hours of clearing him. "There are filing cabinets full of similar evidence about other suspects. We collect that evidence, index it, and maybe some day we'll go back to it. It's not good police technique to arrest a guy, release him and then disclose the evidence to the public."

The case against Karr leaned heavily on his extensive e-mail correspondence with a University of Colorado journalism professor, Michael Tracey, who has produced documentaries about the case.

Using the code names "D," "Daxis" or "December1996" (the month and year of the homicide), Karr wrote Tracey regularly beginning in 2002, using an e-mail account that masked his identity and his location.

They discussed many subjects, as mundane as Karr's new mountain bike and the palm trees outside his window at the Thai school. Always, though, they returned to JonBenet, whose body was found in the basement of her family home Dec. 26, 1996, ligatures around her wrists, a garrote around her throat and duct tape over her mouth. A three-page handwritten ransom note was found in the house; it demanded $118,000 the amount JonBenet's father, John Ramsey, had recently received as a bonus.

Police investigated the Ramseys at length but a grand jury convened in September 1998 declined to return an indictment.

Early in their correspondence, Karr told Tracey that he knew JonBenet's killers. Later, he confessed, both by e-mail and in several long phone conversations that were monitored by law enforcement. He knew a great many details about the case, describing JonBenet's gold bracelet, the hair bands on her ponytails and a red ink mark on her left hand. All that information, however, was contained in an autopsy report made public in 1997.

Frustrated that everything he said about the case had previously been reported, Karr at one point said that JonBenet had a runny nose the night she died and asked if that tidbit had been in the papers.

"It was an intimate love affair for me," Karr wrote, explaining his anger with the incessant coverage of the killing. "I don't want to share her with the media. I hate them and how they sell my darling little girl like a commodity."

In a rambling, self-important tone, Karr also spoke more generally about his sexual attractions to other young girls his "young Loves," he called them. He spoke of putting one "lovely little girl" in his care to bed one night, of calming her through an illness and making sure the night light in her room was adjusted just so. "I am a man who cherishes little girls and protects them with all that is in him," he wrote in an e-mail received Jan. 12, 2003.

Prosecutors apparently learned of the correspondence early on, but deemed the e-mails "not of substantial interest" because they seemed to be from someone obsessed with the case, not from a possible suspect, according to documents released Monday.

In April, however, Tracey's anonymous correspondent began to write in more detail about JonBenet, claiming that he accidentally killed her while trying to make her black out to enhance his sexual satisfaction. He also said he kissed her all over and tasted the blood she spilled during his sexual assault.

Prosecutors hoped to confirm that claim by matching DNA from the suspect's saliva to the droplets of blood found on JonBenet's underwear.

But they still didn't know the identity of Tracey's correspondent.

On Aug. 3, investigators met with Tracey and arranged for him to mail "Daxis" a photograph of JonBenet. Thai authorities kept the Mail Boxes Etc. in Bangkok under surveillance and saw Karr riding his mountain bike to pick up the package. They tracked him to his apartment and later inspected his passport under the ruse of a "spot check" of foreigners.

The following week, the district attorney sent investigator Mark Spray to resume the surveillance. He rented a room in Karr's building and tried to listen in on telephone calls between Karr and Tracey, though with limited success. Once, two strangers, apparently Thai citizens, chased him away with an admonition: "Don't come down here." At other times, he simply couldn't hear clearly through the walls of the apartment.

Thai investigators made several attempts to obtain Karr's DNA surreptitiously, by collecting items he had touched. But Boulder's DNA expert, Greggory LaBerge, told them they would need a clean swab of DNA from Karr's mouth to make a solid comparison with the DNA found mingled with JonBenet's blood at the crime scene.

"There was no way to obtain [this] swab without alerting to Mr. Karr to the fact that he was being investigated, creating an unacceptable risk that he would flee unless detained," Lacy wrote. A Boulder County judge approved the arrest warrant based on a 98-page affidavit outlining the e-mail correspondence.

Shortly after he was detained, Karr told reporters in Thailand that he had been with JonBenet when she died. "It's very important for me that everyone knows that I love her very much, that her death was unintentional," he said in a soft, measured voice.

Even after that televised confession, however, Lacy took pains to remind the public that the investigation was still very much open. "Do not jump to conclusion," she warned. JonBenet's father, John Ramsey, also cautioned against a rush to judgment.

Within days, the case began to unravel. Karr's ex-wife and other family members insisted that he was with them in the South during the Christmas holidays in 1996. JonBenet's body was found the day after Christmas.

Others who knew him said he was obsessed with the Ramsey case and with the 1993 kidnapping and killing of 12-year-old Polly Klaas in Petaluma, Calif. Karr spoke with "apparent fascination" of the Klaas murder case, said Sonoma County Sheriff's Lt. Dave Edmonds.

His conversations about Klaas with a Petaluma resident were suspicious enough that authorities briefly considered Karr a potential suspect in the 1997 slaying of another local girl, 12-year-old Georgia Moses. He was cleared, and authorities do not plan to reopen that line of investigation. Karr's release as a suspect in the Ramsey slaying came just an hour before his first scheduled court appearance in Boulder County.

Court spokeswoman Karen Salaz strode out of the Boulder County Justice Center flanked by police officers and holding a fat stack of statements for the reporters camped out in the parking lot.

Brusquely, she said: "There's no case."

Posted by Valkyre at 08:35 AM | Comments (3)

August 28, 2006

Stepping All Over the Queen

The Queen Mary that is. I had read that Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, would be making a stop at the Queen Mary. She's located down in Long Beach. Which isn't too far from where we live. Since I'm into all things Titanic, I wanted to catch it before it moved on to San Francisco. I finally managed to make the time to see it yesterday, Sunday the 27th. Which is a good thing, since it's last day here is September 4th. Unfortunately, I was unable to take any pictures while touring the display. None at all. That was their policy. No photography, videotaping, not even cellphone cameras. But, I did manage to take some of the Queen Mary and the Foxtrot- Class Russian submarine, codenamed Scorpion, that is tied up next to her. We also toured the sub. We also were able to take a self guided tour of the Queen Mary. But, I really wanted to see the Titanic display the most. They gave us each a "boarding pass" for the Titanic, that had a person's name on it. At the end of the tour, they had the names of the survivors, and the deceased on a wall and you were able to look up the person's name to see it they survived. My "person" didn't. They were a third class passenger. While I loved the tour and seeing the artifacts, the whole story made me depressed. What a waste.

Posted by Valkyre at 10:47 PM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2006

Experimenting With the Fuji

A couple of reasons why I took these. I wanted to take pictures using the different settings on the Fuji. Flash, existing light, macro, auto mode and manual. This is the first rose to grow after a major butchering. I love roses. They are so tough. A couple of weeks ago, the rose bushes were stunted, dying and covered with wilted blooms. The rose garden itself was weed choked and I couldn't see some of the smaller bushes. So, I yanked weeds, cut back the bushes till the canes were a couple of inches long and then laid down some new redwood bark. Now the bushes are coming back stronger than ever. Miracle-Gro helps.

Posted by Valkyre at 11:04 PM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2006

He Sounds Like a Whack Job

Okay, the more I read, the more I think that this John Karr guy is a flaming nutcase. I think he should be off the street though. I think he was just obsessed with Jon Benet and wanted the attention.:

Article here

Questions Arise in JonBenet Ramsey Case

Associated Press Writers

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -- If the stunning confession in JonBenet Ramsey's slaying has made the decade-old case any easier to solve, prosecutors aren't saying. And it may have made it more puzzling.

Hours after John Mark Karr told reporters in Thailand he was with JonBenet when she died, questions arose about his claims - including whether he sexually assaulted the 6-year-old beauty queen or was even in Colorado at the time of the slaying.

"It's clear to me that he's somewhat interested or maybe even obsessed by the case and the real question is whether he's inserting himself into it for some obscure psychological reason," said author Carlton Smith, who wrote 1997's "Death of a Little Princess: The Tragic Story of the Murder of JonBenet Ramsey."

District Attorney Mary Lacy refused to say whether authorities have evidence linking Karr to JonBenet's death at her Boulder home on Dec. 26, 1996.

"We should all heed the poignant advice of John Ramsey," said Lacy, quoting the girl's father. "Do not jump to conclusions, do not rush to judgment, do not speculate. Let the justice system take its course."

Lt. Gen. Suwat Tumrongsiskul of the Thai immigration police changed some details Friday of the account he had given of what Karr told investigators. In a telephone interview Thursday with The Associated Press, Suwat quoted Karr as saying he had sexually assaulted the girl and given her drugs. He also told reporters before a news conference Thursday that Karr had claimed to have picked up JonBenet at her school.

On Friday, Suwat confirmed to the AP his account of the sexual assault. But asked Friday if Karr gave the girl drugs, Suwat said the suspect described the encounter with JonBenet Ramsey as "a blur."

"It may have been drugs, or it may have been something else because (Karr said) it was a blur, blur," Suwat said.

Suwat also said Friday that his statement about the girl being picked from school was based on a documentary he had seen and not the interrogation.

JonBenet's autopsy report found no evidence of drugs, saying her death was caused by strangulation after a beating that included a fractured skull. While it describes vaginal injuries, it makes no conclusions about whether she was raped. Investigators later concluded there was no semen on JonBenet's body.

Karr's ex-wife, Lara Knutson, told reporters she cannot defend him, then insisted he was with her in Alabama that Christmas.

"She cannot think of a Christmas while they were together when he was away from the family on Christmas day or immediately thereafter," said her attorney, Michael Rains, though he added she could not specifically recall Christmas 1996.

Authorities have not said whether Karr could have written the ransom note demanding $118,000 found in the Ramsey home. And the professor who swapped four years' worth of e-mails with Karr and brought him to the attention of prosecutors in May refused to characterize the suspect either as killer or kook.

"I don't know that he's guilty," said Michael Tracey, who teaches journalism at the University of Colorado. "Obviously, I went to the district attorney for a reason, but let him have his day in court and let JonBenet have her day in court and let's see how it plays out."

Correspondence obtained by the Rocky Mountain News between Tracey and a person that investigators believe to be Karr included one message in which the professor was asked to visit JonBenet's home in Boulder to read aloud an ode called "JonBenet, My Love."

"JonBenet, my love, my life. I love you and shall forever love you. I pray that you can hear my voice calling out to you from my darkness - this darkness that now separates us," read one of the e-mails, which the newspaper said Friday it obtained from a source close to the investigation.

It said the message was part of a small sample of correspondence between Karr and Tracey. In other e-mails, Karr said he was under federal investigation for "child murder and child molestation" in four states and that he sympathized with Michael Jackson, who has been accused of molesting young boys.

"I will tell you that I can understand people like Michael Jackson and feel sympathy when he suffers as he has," Karr wrote.

"I can relate very well to children and the way they think and feel," one Karr e-mail said. "I think you are asking if I am much a 'Peter Pan.' In many ways, the answer is yes. In other ways, I suppose it is no because I am trapped in a world that does not understand."

In one correspondence, Tracey asked whether Karr's "fascination with little girls - which clearly has a strong erotic component - is a way of going back."

"Maybe I am not going back but have simply stayed consistent," Karr responded. "My peer group has not changed since I was a little boy, and girls were the people I was with always. Referring to them as a peer group is somewhat incorrect, but might also be the very definition of what they continue to be in my life."

Any previous relationship between Karr and the Ramseys remained a mystery, though both have ties to suburban Atlanta.

Karr's background includes an arrest in Petaluma, Calif., in 2001 on five misdemeanor counts of possession of child pornography, to which he pleaded not guilty.

He began teaching at Bangkok Christian College, an elite private school with about 5,500 male students in 12 grades, in early June, school officials said. He worked there for about two weeks before being dismissed.

"He was qualified to be a teacher. He had a diploma and has experience in teaching in Bangkok for some time," said Banchong Chompowong, assistant director of the English immersion program at Bangkok Christian. "John Karr came to us with a good resume and with credentials, but then we allowed him a trial (period) with students, we found he was too strict."

Banchong said Karr gave the students "time outs" and another teacher said he had a reputation for yelling at students.

Karr was arrested at a Bangkok apartment Wednesday. Hours later, Thai authorities sat him before a room of journalists, where he admitted: "I was with JonBenet when she died. Her death was an accident."

"I am so very sorry for what happened to JonBenet," Karr told the AP.

Suwat said Karr wants to return to the United States to fight the case. He said U.S. authorities were preparing documents and plane tickets for the return journey. The departure could take place at any time, he said.

Thai police said Karr told them the slaying was second-degree murder. One expert suggested his confession was geared to spare him a first-degree murder charge.

"He seemed convinced that what he said would make him guilty of a lesser crime," said Sharon Davies, a former prosecutor at the Ohio State University law school.

Legal experts said DNA evidence will likely be key: DNA was found beneath JonBenet's fingernails and inside her underwear, and authorities have never said whether it matches anyone in an FBI database.

Karr was given a mouth-swab DNA test in Bangkok, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation. The results of that test were not known. Karr will be given another DNA test when he returns to the United States in the next several days, the official said.

Asked if authorities could tell whether Karr had firsthand knowledge of the murder or had just picked up information from news accounts, Lin Wood, the Ramseys' longtime attorney, said: "There is information about the murder that has never been publicly disclosed." He did not elaborate.

Wood said he believes there is more to the case than correspondence.

"I feel like there must be something more here than some e-mail confession," the attorney said.

Karr's description of the case as an accident also rang false to experts.

"It's hard to imagine a more intentional, deliberate murder," said Craig Silverman, a former Denver prosecutor, referring to JonBenet's skull fracture and strangulation. "This has always been a case of deliberate murder."


Associated Press writers Jocelyn Gecker in Bangkok, Lara Jakes Jordan in Washington, Chase Squires in Boulder, Colo., Jordan Robertson in San Francisco and Marcus Wohlsen in Petaluma, Calif., contributed to this report.

Posted by Valkyre at 08:28 AM | Comments (1)

August 17, 2006

More on the Jon Benet Case

Until they have some hard evidence, I am going to just sit back and wait. This guy sounds like some nutcase who may have only been obsessed with the case. That may be why he knows so much. Even things that only law enforcement knew that they didn't make public. He could have deduced these things himself.

He looks creepy!

Article found here:

DA: Karr Presumed Innocent In Ramsey Killing

Teacher's Family Says Suspect Was Obsessed With Case

UPDATED: 4:02 pm PDT August 17, 2006

DENVER -- Authorities think they've solved the nearly 10-year-old mystery of who killed 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey, but they urged the public Thursday to avoid rushing to judgment.

Police in Thailand said the man accused of murdering JonBenet, John Mark Karr, claims he drugged the 6-year-old and sexually assaulted her before accidentally killing her. However, the Boulder County, Colo., prosecutor said there's still "much more work to be done" in the Ramsey investigation.

In a news conference Thursday -- where more questions went unanswered than answered -- District Attorney Mary Lacy stressed that Karr is presumed innocent. She then said the same thing when asked if JonBenet's father is still considered a suspect.

Lacy was also asked if she's worried that Karr may be making a false confession. To that she said she "can't comment on the evidence."

Karr is under arrest in Thailand, and according to Lacy he had just started working there this week as a second grade teacher. She said Karr has traveled extensively since leaving the United States, and it took months to identify, locate and arrest him.

A general who heads Thailand's immigration police said he wasn't there when U.S. officials questioned Karr but that he was told what happened. According to the general, Karr, 41, claims the girl was still alive when he had sex with her, but then realized he "accidentally" killed her.

The autopsy on JonBenet showed no alcohol or drugs in her body, though it said she had vaginal abrasions.

The general didn't say who briefed him, and U.S. officials could not immediately be reached.

The child was found murdered in her home in Boulder the day after Christmas in 1996. For many years, her parents were identified by authorities as possible suspects.

Karr said publicly Thursday he was with the child when she died and called her death "an accident" -- a stunning admission that may 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, a youthful-looking 41-year-old school teacher from Georgia, admitted to the killing after he was arrested Wednesday at his downtown Bangkok apartment by Thai and American authorities.

Asked if he was an innocent man, Karr said: "No."

Later, as he was escorted to his guesthouse by U.S. and Thai authorities to pick up his belongings, he told The Associated Press: "I am so very sorry for what happened to JonBenet. It's very important for me that everyone knows that I love her very much, that her death was unintentional, that it was an accident."

Asked what happened when JonBenet died, he said: "It would take several hours to describe that. It's a very involved series of events that would involve a lot of time. It's very painful for me to talk about it."

Karr, a divorced father of three boys, also said he wrote JonBenet's mother, Patsy Ramsey, before her death in June and told her "many things."

The head of Thailand's immigration police said Karr has told authorities that he had intended to kidnap JonBenet for a $118,000 ransom but that something went wrong and he strangled her. Patsy Ramsey reported finding a ransom note in the house.

Karr will be transported to Boulder, where he will face charges of murder, kidnapping and child sexual assault, said Ann Hurst, a U.S. official with the Department of Homeland Security.

Earlier Thursday, Lt. Gen. Suwat Tumrongsiskul told The Associated Press that Karr arrived in Bangkok on June 6 from Malaysia to look for a teaching job. The police officer said it was not clear whether he got a teaching position.

Suwat said Karr's visa had been revoked as an "undesirable person" given the accusations against him, and U.S. authorities are expected to take him to the United States in the next few days.

Some Doubt Karr's Story

Suspect says he killed Ramsey, but some have doubts.

Although Karr claims he killed JonBenet Ramsey, the many unanswered questions about the case are leaving some in doubt.

Lawrence Schiller, who wrote a 1999 book about the case, "Perfect Murder, Perfect Town," said there are reasons to question whether Karr is telling the truth. He said many people confess to crimes because they want the notoriety but are later found to have had no real connection.

Schiller said DNA evidence will prove crucial. Another issue is whether Karr can provide facts that help police fill in some blanks, such as what murder weapon was used and where it is hidden.

Attorney Gives Details

An attorney for the Ramseys is offering more details on the family's contacts with Karr.

Atlanta attorney Lin Wood said Karr tried to correspond with Patsy Ramsey in writing in the months before she died of ovarian cancer in June 2006. He said Patsy Ramsey didn't reply but added that she handed the information over to investigators and that it helped link Karr to the case.

Wood is also disputing news reports that said Karr spent a Christmas at the Ramsey home. He said that's not true.

He said Karr has been sending a number of e-mails in recent months to a Colorado professor, in which he made statements about JonBenet's death. He said the e-mails were a key development in linking Karr to the murder.

Wood said authorities should be able to tell whether Karr has first-hand knowledge of the case.

"There is information about the murder that has never been publicly disclosed," Wood said.

Karr's Family Says He Was Fascinated By Case

Long before his arrest, Karr had a deep fascination with JonBenet Ramsey, according to his family members.

His ex-wife, who lives in Petaluma, Calif., told a San Francisco TV station he often spent time reading up on the cases of Ramsey and of Polly Klaas, the Petaluma girl who was abducted and killed in 1993.

The Denver Post reported that Karr disappeared in 2001 when he and his wife divorced after his release from jail on child pornography charges.

Karr's father told the paper that while Karr was in college as an adult, a professor encouraged him to write a book about the Ramsey case after being impressed with a school paper. John Karr spoke with JonBenet's grandparents, but the Ramseys refused an interview, Wexford Karr said.

Wexford Karr said that until Wednesday's arrest, he had feared his son might have died.

An attorney for the Ramseys said Karr once lived near the family in Conyers, Ga., but the Ramseys moved to Colorado when JonBenet was a baby.

Ramsey Praises Arrest, But Keeps Mum On Specifics

John Ramsey said in a public statement Wednesday that his wife knew authorities "were close to making an arrest" before she died.

Ramsey declined to comment on the specifics surrounding the arrest. He told a Denver television station that wouldn't be proper, especially considering the experience of his family.

Not long after the murder, authorities said Ramsey and his late wife, Patsy, were considered to be under an umbrella of suspicion in their daughter's death.

John Ramsey praised prosecutors in Boulder for closing the case. He said the hardest part "by far" of all the family has been through was losing JonBenet.

The seemingly out-of-the-blue arrest has relatives and even a former prosecutor surprised.

JonBenet's aunt said that while the arrest was "a long time in coming," it still came as "quite a shock."

Pamela Paugh also dismissed the suspect's claims that he loved JonBenet. Paugh points out that she also loved the girl but never did her any harm.

Former Boulder Deputy District Attorney Trip DeMuth was also caught off-guard by the arrest -- and he knew the investigation was under way. DeMuth figured it would be like past investigations that never panned out.

DeMuth and Paugh agree investigators were too focused on JonBenet's parents and brother as suspects. The ex-prosecutor said some had "blinders on" that kept them from following the evidence.

Patsy Ramsey Always Maintained Story About Ransom Note

Patsy Ramsey always maintained that she found a ransom note on a back staircase demanding $118,000 for her daughter's return. John Ramsey said he discovered the body in the basement eight hours later.

A grand jury investigated the case but returned with no indictments. In December 2003, after investigators obtained a new DNA sample, a federal judge in Atlanta concluded that the evidence suggested an intruder killed JonBenet.

Although Patsy Ramsey didn't live to see the conclusion of the investigation, authorities continued to pursue clues from the evidence presented in 2003.

JonBenet and Patsy are both buried in Cobb County, Ga.

Tracked Online By Boulder Police

According to law enforcement officials, Karr was tracked online by Boulder police.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, federal officials told The Associated Press that Karr had been communicating with somebody in Boulder, who was cooperating with police.

A spokesman for the University of Colorado, Barrie Hartman, confirmed that journalism professor Michael Tracey communicated with Karr over several months and contacted police.

An attorney for Ramsey's family said the family had given authorities information about the man but would not say how they knew him.

Globe-Trotting Teacher?

Karr's resume painted a portrait of a globe-trotting elementary school teacher who is good with children.
This resume was posted on a Web site for teachers seeking jobs.
His mission statement said:

To provide excellence in education that develops academic and technological skills, instills strong values of superior character, develops interpersonal skills and nurtures leadership qualities amongst students to prepare them for a successful future with the expectation that such an education will result in a student of superior poise.

The resume listed places of employment in Honduras; Costa Rica; Germany; Heemstede, Netherlands; and Seoul, Korea.

It also said that Karr is "world travelled," having visited places such as London; Paris; Amsterdam; Zurich; Milan; Bologna; Stuttgart; Munich; Sydney, Australia; Taipei; Singapore; and Istanbul, among others.

The job list also noted his responsibilities at each of those positions. In Germany, Karr said that he taught English to two girls, ages 5 and 8, and a 10-year-old boy. He said that he awoke the children in the mornings and fed them breakfast. He also said that he helped the children get ready for school and "made sure the children had their evening bath, then put them to bed and read to them before they went to sleep."

The man also claimed to have worked at some of the "most prestigious schools in the United States."

Excerpt from his resume

Posted by Valkyre at 08:00 PM | Comments (0)

Arrest Made in JonBenet Ramsey Case

I thought this one would never get solved. I really hope that this is the guy:

Ex-teacher is arrested in JonBenet Ramsey case

Updated, 5:45 p.m. Officials say they tracked down the 42-year-old suspect online and arrested him in Thailand. A cloud has remained over victim's family since the child beauty queen's death captured the attention of the nation 10 years ago.

By The Associated Press

BOULDER, Colo. - A former schoolteacher was arrested today in Thailand in the slaying of 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey -- a surprise breakthrough in a lurid, decade-old murder mystery that had cast a cloud of suspicion over her parents.

Federal officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, identified the suspect as John Mark Karr, a 42-year-old American, and one law enforcement official told The Associated Press that Boulder police had tracked him down online.

The Ramsey family's attorney in Atlanta pronounced the arrest vindication for JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey. Patsy Ramsey died of ovarian cancer on June 24.

"John and Patsy lived their lives knowing they were innocent, trying to raise a son despite the furor around them," Lin Wood said. "The story of this family is a story of courage, and story of an American injustice and tragedy that ultimately people will have to look back on and hopefully learn from."

The attorney said the Ramseys learned about the suspect a least a month before Patsy Ramsey's death. "It's been a very long 10 years, and I'm just sorry Patsy isn't here for me to hug her neck," Wood said.

Karr was a teacher who once lived in Conyers, Ga., according to Wood. The attorney said the Ramseys gave police information about Karr before he was identified as a suspect.

Wood would not say how the Ramseys knew Karr. But JonBenet was born in Atlanta in 1990, and the Ramseys lived in the Atlanta suburb of Dunwoody for several years before moving to Colorado in 1991.

A source close to the investigation said Karr confessed to elements of the crime. Also, a law enforcement source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the AP that Karr had been communicating periodically with somebody in Boulder who had been following the case and cooperating with law enforcement officials.

District Attorney Mary Lacy said the arrest followed several months of work, but she said no details would be released until Thursday.

Karr was being held in Bangkok on unrelated sex charges, authorities said. CBS reported he will be brought back to the United States this weekend.

JonBenet was found beaten and strangled in the basement of the family's home in Boulder on Dec. 26, 1996. Patsy Ramsey reported finding a ransom note in the house demanding $118,000 for her daughter.

The image of blonde-haired little JonBenet in a cowgirl costume and other beauty pageant outfits has haunted TV talk shows ever since, helping feed myriad theories about her killer, and the case became one of the most sensational unsolved murder cases in the nation.

Over the years, some experts suggested that investigators had botched the case so thoroughly that it might never be solved.

Investigators at one point said JonBenet's parents were under an "umbrella of suspicion" in the slaying. And some news accounts cast suspicion on JonBenet's older brother. But the Ramseys insisted an intruder killed their daughter, and no one was ever charged.

In the months after the slaying, Patsy Ramsey went before the cameras, vigorously defending herself and her husband, chastising the media and blasting local law enforcement as incompetent.

In a statement Wednesday, John Ramsey said: "Patsy was aware that authorities were close to making an arrest in the case, and had she lived to see this day, would no doubt have been as pleased as I am with today's development almost 10 years after our daughter's murder."

The Ramseys moved back to Atlanta after their daughter's slaying.

Wood lashed out at the frenzy that long surrounded the case, and he accused the media of "the most obscene false accusations." "I think the public's mind was so poisoned against this family that no one was able for too many years to look at the evidence," he said.

Patsy Ramsey's sister, Pam Paugh, of Roswell, Ga., said the family was celebrating the news of the arrest. "We are elated. We are elated. If this is, in fact, the killer, then we have a very heinous killer off the streets to never harm another child," Paugh said.

Lib Waters of Marietta, Ga., visited the gravesites of Patsy and JonBenet Ramsey in the Atlanta suburb immediately after hearing news reports about the arrest.

Waters, who described herself as a longtime friend of the Ramsey family, taped a piece of notebook paper to JonBenet Ramsey's headstone that read: "Dearest Patsy, Justice has come for you and Jon. Rest in peace."

In 2003, a federal judge 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, whom the Ramseys had named as a suspect in their daughter's murder. The Boulder district attorney at the time said she agreed with the judge's declaration.

"Today is additional vindication of the family," Wood said.

Wood said he and the Ramseys "have been totally amazed and impressed with the professionalism of law enforcement" under Lacy's direction. Lacy became district attorney in 2001.

Lawrence Schiller, author of the 1999 book "Perfect Murder, Perfect Town" about the case, said Wednesday he understood the man had been on a list of sexual offenders who were suspects for a long time.

"There are a lot of facts about her actual death that the public does not know." Schiller said. "If he did confess to some facts of the murder, to reveal those facts of the case, that would finish the puzzle."

Among the facts he said were not generally known was the murder weapon and what the killer did with it.

DNA was found beneath JonBenet's fingernails and inside her underwear, but Wood said two years ago that detectives were unable to match it to anyone in an FBI database. It was not immediately known Wednesday whether investigators had any DNA evidence against Karr.

Bob Grant, a former Adams County district attorney who worked on the case, said there was never enough evidence to convince him that any potential suspect could be successfully prosecuted.

"I wasn't convinced it was an inside job, nor was I convinced it was an outside job," he said. "All the outside suspects were cleared after exhaustive investigation, and there were a whole lot of outside suspects."

Posted by Valkyre at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

August 06, 2006

Barbaro's Right Hind Leg Healing Well

Article here:

Aug 2, 4:36 PM EDT

Barbaro's Right Hind Leg Healing Well

AP Sports Writer

KENNETT SQUARE, Pa. (AP) -- By now, Barbaro should have been close to casting aside any doubts that he could make a full recovery from the devastating right hind leg injuries he suffered at the Preakness.

Instead, the Kentucky Derby winner still has a tedious, long recovery ahead because of the often-fatal disease that's stricken his left hind leg.

Dr. Dean Richardson said Tuesday that the painful hoof disease the Kentucky Derby winner has is preventing the cast on his right hind from being removed because the colt could not protect himself by bearing more weight on the left hind.

Barbaro suffered life-threatening injuries when he broke three bones above and below his right rear ankle at the start of the May 20 Preakness.

"If he hadn't had the founder (laminitis) on his left hind, he'd probably be out of the cast and he'd probably be in a splinted bandage on the shoe," Richardson said in a telephone interview. "That's where we'd likely be. I can't do that because his left hind is the more sore of the two legs right now."

Barbaro's left hind hoof, which was stricken with a severe case of laminitis, is improving and started to show slight signs of re-growing after 80 percent of it was removed. Barbaro needs to regrow the hoof if he is to have any shot of walking - albeit with a hitch in his gait.

Barbaro, still in stable condition, has the bandage on his left hind foot changed daily.

"It's too early to see true hoof wall forming," Richardson said from the New Bolton Center. "But the coronary band, the part of the hoof that's the equivalent of the nail bed where the hoof is going to grow down from, that looks very good. It's too early to see a lot."

Barbaro has been in an intensive care stall at the George D. Widener Hospital since his horrific injuries in the second race of the Triple Crown series. Barbaro sustained a broken cannon bone above the ankle, a broken sesamoid bone behind the ankle and a broken long pastern bone below the ankle. The fetlock joint - the ankle - was dislocated.

Richardson said after performing surgery the pastern bone was shattered in "20-plus pieces." With the X-rays in the right hind showing almost all the injuries healed, Richardson could have removed the cast.

"If they looked perfect and there was no chance of it breaking, I'd take him out of the cast," he said.

Richardson was concerned the 3-year-old colt would try to put too much weight on the rear hind if the cast was removed. Richardson said the left rear hoof has to regrow and stay healthy.

Richardson said the colt's prognosis was "poor" after it was stricken with laminitis, but eased off that grim outlook Tuesday.

"I don't know. Every day that goes by, it's great," he said. "He has so long to go I don't even think about the prognosis. We just work on the horse and hope he continues to be happy."

Barbaro looks bright and happy with a voracious appetite to those who see him. Owner Gretchen Jackson usually visits twice daily to feed Barbaro fresh-cut grass from her nearby farm.

"It makes me feel better about the poor guy stuck in there," she said. "He likes it."

Jackson and her husband, Roy, said they look at Barbaro's recovery as a day-to-day process and try not to let their emotions ride too high over good news or get discouraged over changes in his condition.

"Just looking at him, he hasn't changed at all from the way he's been all along," she said. "If you had that as all you could go by, you couldn't believe he wasn't going to make it."

Posted by Valkyre at 09:20 PM | Comments (0)