|Alexis Valoran Reich|
|Born||John Mark Karr
December 11, 1964
Conyers, Georgia, U.S.
|Alias(es)||John Mark Karr|
|Conviction(s)||possession of Child pornography
Obstruction of justice
|Penalty||6 months (2001)|
|Occupation||Former English as a Second Language schoolteacher|
|Spouse||Brooke Simmons; Samantha Spiegel|
Patricia Elaine Adcock
Alexis Valoran Reich (born December 11, 1964) is an American trans woman formerly known as John Mark Karr who in 2006 falsely confessed to the unsolved murder of six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey. She has, on other occasions, faced a number of other criminal charges.
Reich was born as a male named John Mark Karr in Conyers, Georgia and spent her early childhood in Atlanta. Her father, Wexford Karr had married Patricia Elaine Adcock (John's mother) on August 21, 1958, when he was 37 and she was 18. Wexford filed for divorce in 1973, saying the marriage was "irretrievably broken," and that Karr and her older brother, Michael, were in his custody. Soon after, Wexford Karr, then 52 years old, married 29-year-old Susan Simpson, his neighbor in the same apartment complex. His marriage with Simpson ended in divorce six months later.
A family friend, George McCrary, has said that Karr's mother believed her child was possessed by demons. Karr's mother allegedly built a pyre of kindling around her infant child, and then attempted to burn her alive. Adcock was committed to the Central State Hospital, a mental hospital in Milledgeville, Georgia, and later lived in a group home, according to her stepmother Shirley Adcock.
Karr moved to Alabama to live with her grandparents when she was about 12 years old. She grew up in Hamilton and graduated from Hamilton High School in 1983. Karr returned to live in Atlanta at least twice: once to attend one semester at Riverwood High School in Sandy Springs from January to May 1981, and again some years after graduating from high school.
In 1984, Karr married 13-year-old Quientana Ray Shotts. Karr evidently told Quientana to lie about her age, and took her out of Alabama, where they both lived, to marry her. Karr and Shotts lived together as a couple in Hamilton after their wedding, and Karr "was abusing her every way there was," according to Melissa Shotts. Court records show that, in 1985, a 14-year-old girl sought an annulment of what the records call a "ceremonial marriage," saying she had feared for her life when she agreed to marry Karr in 1984. Karr admitted to the court that Shotts was a minor, but disputed Shotts had been 13. The marriage was annulled in 1985. Shotts later remarried and now bears a different surname.
Karr then married Lara Knutson in Alabama on May 19, 1989, when Karr was 24 and Knutson was 16 and pregnant. She was carrying twin daughters who were delivered via a home birth on September 1, 1989. The girls, named Angel and Innocence, died later that day. The couple went on to have three boys in close succession, the oldest, John born in 1990, Damon in 1992 and Seven Exodus in 1993. The couple divorced in 2001 following Karr's arrest for five misdemeanor counts of possession of child pornography in Petaluma, California. In the divorce petition, Karr's wife wrote that Karr was never physically violent towards her, but that Karr was "very controlling" of her. A restraining order against Karr was granted. Knutson said she (then he) purposely set out to get her pregnant, telling her the pregnancy would allow them to skirt the law and get married, according to statements she made in divorce records.
In 2007, Karr became engaged to a 23-year-old woman named Brooke Simmons who had a three-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.
Karr had been working as a substitute teacher in Petaluma, but Bob Raines, the Superintendent-Principal at Wilson Elementary School in Petaluma said she was an ineffective substitute teacher: "He just seemed like somebody who thought he wanted to be a teacher... After a day, I could see it just wasn't for him." She worked from December 2000 through June 2001 in as many as 14 schools in the Petaluma, Old Adobe, Liberty and Wilmar elementary districts. Karr's last paycheck for teaching work in Petaluma was issued in April 2001, the same month that Karr made her first court appearance for the aforementioned pornography charges. When she failed to show up for a readiness conference in December 2001, a judge issued a warrant for Karr's arrest, which was still outstanding as of August 2006.
In March 1996, Karr registered the domain Powerwurks.com and used it as a cover, claiming on Usenet to be "a world wide support organization for kids, teens and college students." As well as seeking troubled or depressed children, she also solicited discussion on sex.
Karr also operated a day care center in northwest Alabama. The Marion County Department of Human Resources issued a license for Karr to begin operating a day care out of her home in June 1997. Under the license, Karr was allowed to care for as many as six children at a time, ranging in age up to 14 years old.
2001 arrest 
On April 13, 2001, Karr was arrested for possession of computerized child pornography. She pled not guilty four days later. On October 15, 2001, after a series of court hearings, Karr was released from jail, but was ordered to report to a probation officer. The court records in the case were sealed. In December 2001, Karr failed to appear and a "No Bail" warrant was issued by a Sonoma County Superior Court Judge. Karr then went on the run, living in Asia, Europe and Central America, until her arrest in Thailand.
Events of 2006 
Initial investigation 
In June 2006, the Boulder District Attorney's office received copies of the suspect's emails from Tracey, who received the emails from a person with the email address "December261996@yahoo.com." December 26, 1996, was the date of JonBenét's murder. At least one of the emails was signed with the signature "Daxis."
Armed with the email address and Internet service provider, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) determined the general location of the suspect in Thung Maha Mek, a neighborhood in Bangkok, Thailand. At the time, the suspect's name and exact location was not known.
Discovery of whereabouts 
Authorities identified and found Karr when she sent an envelope to Tracey by regular mail with a return address bearing the name of a major thoroughfare in Bangkok, but no number or cross street. Tracey sent Karr another kind of mail – a photograph delivered to a Thai post office box. Agents arranged a controlled delivery and were ready to spot their suspect. The man who arrived to pick up the mail delivery was using a 21-speed bicycle, the purchase of which was mentioned in e-mails sent by the suspect. The agents followed Karr to her residence and learned her name.
On August 11, 2006, they notified ICE officials, and from that point on, Karr was placed under surveillance by Thai immigration officials. A sealed arrest warrant, signed by Boulder County District Judge Roxanne Bailin, was sent by the Boulder District Attorney's office to officials in Thailand on August 15, 2006. The next day, upon receipt of the warrant, Thai immigration authorities revoked Karr's visa.
Detention in Thailand, deportation to United States 
Karr was detained in Bangkok, Thailand, on August 16, 2006. Karr said she was with JonBenét when she died, and told a press conference that her death was an accident. She said: "I love JonBenét," and "I was with JonBenét when she died; she died accidentally." When asked if she was an innocent person, she said: "No." Thai Immigration Police Lieutenant General Suwat Tumrongsiskul stated that Karr admitted attempting to kidnap JonBenét Ramsey for an $118,000 ransom to be paid by the Ramseys, only to strangle the child after her plan went awry. While detained in Thailand, officials there had Karr on a 24-hour suicide watch.
Karr returned on a business class flight. She was not handcuffed or under arrest during the flight, ate from a free choice of menu and drank Champagne on the Thai Airways Airbus 340-500 she took to the United States. Experts, such as Denver attorney Larry Posner, have speculated that Karr was given the food and drink to get her to start talking about her involvement in the murder of JonBenét:
|“||What the cops want most is this guy to talk. They say he is not under arrest. Then they do not put him in handcuffs on the plane. And they say he is over the age of 21, free to drink, he is therefore free to talk.||”|
Karr was escorted by investigators working for the Boulder district attorney. Karr had been detained in Thailand because her visa had been revoked by request of Boulder County, Colorado, but Karr was released to United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to ensure Karr returned to the U.S. Karr was not legally arrested until August 20, 2006, after the airliner touched down at Los Angeles International Airport. She was first admitted into the country, then she was arrested at the airport on a warrant from Boulder County by the waiting officers of the LA County Sheriff's Department, and taken by helicopter to Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles. Citing Sheriff's Department policy regarding inmates who are "accused child molesters", deputies stated that Karr was held in isolation while she was at the facility.
Extradition to Colorado 
On August 22, 2006, Karr waived extradition during a three-minute hearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court, clearing the way for her transfer to Boulder. According to CNN, on the way back to the correctional facility after the extradition hearing, Karr was quoted as telling an officer, "Everybody says I couldn't know my way around the house, but I got in the house around 5 o'clock ... and I stayed there all night."
On August 24, 2006, Karr was handcuffed and driven by Los Angeles Sheriff's deputies onto the tarmac at the airport in Long Beach, California, where she boarded a State of Colorado twin turboprop airplane. Karr arrived more than 3 hours later at Jefferson County Municipal Airport in Broomfield, Colorado, and then was driven to the Boulder County Jail.
Although Karr had been represented by public defenders in Los Angeles and Boulder, two California-based attorneys, Patience van Zandt (who worked with Karr on the 2001 child pornography case) and Jamie Harmon served her in an advisory capacity. In Boulder, Karr was assisted by Boulder County Public Defender Seth Temin, despite the fact that three dozen lawyers had offered to represent Karr (for free in many cases) against the charges.
Charges dropped 
On August 28, 2006, the Boulder County District Attorney's Office announced "the case of the People vs. John Mark Karr has been vacated." According to Denver's NBC affiliate, KUSA, the DNA taken from Karr's hair and saliva after her arrest and tested by the Denver Police Department's crime lab did not match the DNA found on JonBenét Ramsey's body; as a result, the District Attorney's Office would not file charges against Karr for the murder. Boulder County District Attorney Mary Lacy estimated the total public cost of the investigation at about $13,000; other estimates have put the cost at $30,000. Colorado Governor Bill Owens said Lacy should be "held responsible for the most expensive DNA test in Colorado history."
Prior to August 28, George McCrary, a longtime friend of the Karr family, insisted that John Karr is innocent of the murder. "He's a pedophile, not a murderer," said McCrary, who also called John Karr a "genius" whose "confession" was a deliberate tactic to avoid jail in Thailand, and be taken to the United States where she knew she would be found innocent.
Following Karr's release on August 28, she was quickly rearrested after prosecutors in California indicated that she was to face charges of possessing child pornography.
Extradition to California 
On August 28, 2006, the Sonoma County DA's Office announced their intent to have Karr extradited from Boulder to face the five misdemeanor counts of possessing child pornography that had been filed five years earlier. On September 12, 2006, Karr arrived in Santa Rosa, where she stood by her original plea of not guilty. On September 19, 2006, prosecutors offered Karr a plea bargain in which she would plead guilty to two of the five counts, in exchange for dismissal of the remaining three counts and a sentence of time served in jail and three years probation. Karr would also be required to register in California as a sex offender. San Francisco based criminal defense attorneys Robert Amparan, Gayle Gutekunst, and Benjamin Prince represented Karr in Sonoma County. Karr turned down the plea bargain offer in the case. On September 25, 2006, however, Judge Cerena Wong agreed to consider a defense motion to dismiss all charges against Karr, in light of the Sonoma County sheriff's department's alleged 2002 junking of a computer believed to contain the pornographic images that are the basis of the prosecution's case. The prosecution maintained that it printed the photos from Karr's computer before it went missing; it is these printed copies that the prosecution planned to introduce as evidence if the case went to trial.
Charges dropped 
On October 5, 2006, all of the child pornography charges against Karr were dropped after investigators lost the computer seized from Karr in April 2001. The Deputy District Attorney Mary Maxiemer was put up on the stand and questioned by defense attorneys. It was determined she withheld information from the Court and she was appointed an attorney. The case was immediately dismissed by the court. She was immediately released from jail per orders from Judge Rene Chouteau.
Later developments 
On October 6, 2006 Karr already found herself being questioned again by police when she decided to stop by a school where she used to teach. A limousine carrying Karr and two producers from ABC's Good Morning America was stopped and questioned by police but they determined that no crime was committed. Karr was apparently giving the producers a tour of the neighborhood where she used to live and work when she suddenly exited the limo and approached the school. According to Jeffrey Schneider, senior vice president of ABC News, "his behavior gave us serious pause, and ABC decided not to proceed with the interview." Karr was the guest on CNN's Larry King Live on October 16, 2006.
On October 26, 2006, Karr sent an email to Bill Hammons of Bill's List of Literary Agents and Their Authors' Books from a "phoenix rising" email address and stated that "I seek a literary agent who can help me publish a manuscript that some might find controversial."
2007 domestic argument arrest 
After a long break from being in the media, Karr was again arrested and jailed July 6, 2007 after being involved in a domestic argument at her father's house in suburban Atlanta. The argument was between Karr, Karr's girlfriend and Karr's father. Karr was charged with battery and obstruction. Karr later was released.
- Karlinsky, Neal & Burke, Mary Kate. "Does Karr believe he did it?", ABC News, August 30, 2006.
- Aglionby, John. "Thai police hold man for JonBenét murder", (The Guardian, retrieved August 17, 2006.
- "Judge issues gag order in Ramsey case", CNN, retrieved August 26, 2006
- "Karr's life combed for clues to slaying", The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, retrieved August 22, 2006
- Francescani, Chris. "Karr's Mother Tried to Kill Him, Family Friend Says", ABC News, August 21, 2006.
- "JonBenet suspect agrees to face charges in Colorado"[dead link], Dallas Morning News, August 22, 2006.
- "Karr's former classmate speaks with WAFF 48 News", WAFF48News, retrieved August 23, 2006
- Vaughan Kevin; Burnett, Sara; Mitchell, Nancy. "Georgia native, 41, in eye of storm"[dead link], Rocky Mountain News, retrieved August 17, 2006.
- "Karr drove flashy car, wedded teens", MSNBC, August 17, 2006.
- Bartels, Lynn. "JonBenet suspect once married to 12-year-old"[dead link], Rocky Mountain News, August 17, 2006.
- "Ex-wife says she was intimidated into marrying at 14", Atlanta Journal-Constitution, retrieved August 17, 2006.
- Tsai, Catherine. "More questions arise in JonBenet case"[dead link], Associated Press, August 18, 2006.
- Fimrite, Peter. "Who is John Mark Karr?"[dead link], The News & Observer, August 18, 2006.
- Tyler, Carolyn. "Ramsey Suspect's Bay Area Ties", ABC7, August 17, 2006, retrieved August 16, 2006.
- "Former Petaluma substitute teacher nabbed for JonBenet murder", Argus Courier, August 16, 2006, retrieved August 17, 2006.
- "CNN - Erica Hill Interview with John Mark Karr", CNN, August 16, 2007
- Tsai, Catherine. "After 10 years, man arrested overseas in JonBenet Ramsey slaying"[dead link], Associated Press, retrieved August 17, 2006.
- Digitale, Robert & Carter, Lori A. "Former Petaluma teacher suspect in JonBenet murder", Press Democrat, August 17, 2006, retrieved August 17, 2006.
- "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Web.archive.org. 2007-02-16. Archived from the original on 2007-02-16. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
- "JonBenet case suspect operated day care center", Associated Press, retrieved August 25, 2006.
- "Timeline of John Mark Karr", "ABC News", August 17, 2006.
- "Karr's email address is date of JonBenet death"[dead link], Rocky Mountain News, retrieved August 21, 2006
- "Exclusive: How John Mark Karr Was Caught", ABC News, retrieved August 22, 2006
- Deutch, Linda."Ramsey murder suspect awaits extradition"[dead link], Associated Press, published by Yahoo.com August 21, 2006, retrieved August 22, 2006
- "Police make arrest in JonBenét Ramsey murder: report". Reuters. Retrieved August 16, 2006.[dead link]
- "Questions swirl around Karr's admissions", CNN, August 18, 2006.
- "Much work ahead despite JonBenét arrest, prosecutor warns" CBC news, 17 August 2006, accessed 17 August 2006
- "EXCLUSIVE: How John Mark Karr Was Caught" ABC news, 18 August 2006, accessed 19 August 2006
- "Karr returns to U.S."[dead link] Rockey Mountain News, 21 August 2006, accessed 21 August 2006
- "JonBenet Suspect Gets Wined & Dined On Flight"[dead link] CBS News, 20 August 2006, accessed 20 August 2006
- "Karr gets royal treatment for a reason"[dead link] CNN, 20 August 2006, accessed 21 August 2006
- Arkcity.net: Community - Former Ark City cop helped escort JonBenet suspect 08/28/06
- "Ramsey Case Suspect is Back on U.S. Soil", LA Times
- "JonBenet suspect awaits court date", CNN
- "Next stop: Boulder"[dead link], Rocky Mountain News, retrieved August 25, 2006
- "Source: Suspect says he hid in Ramsey house", CNN, August 23, 2006.
- "Karr leaves California to face charges in Colorado", The Oxford Press, retrieved August 25, 2006
- "JonBenet suspect lands in Colorado", CNN, retrieved August 25, 2006
- "Karr Waives Rights, Will Transfer to Colorado"[dead link] LA Times, August 22, 2006.
- Weber, Harry R. "Attorneys Battle Over Representing Karr"[dead link], Associated Press, retrieved August 24, 2006
- "People vs. Karr Case Vacated", Boulder County District Attorney's Office, August 28, 2006
- "Boulder D.A. Defends Karr Arrest"[dead link], Los Angeles Times, August 29, 2006
- "Officials spent thousands on Karr's extradition", The Sydney Morning Herald, September 9, 2006
- Costly flight for suspect in Ramsey case defended August 30, 2006
- "JonBenet Slay Suspect Waives Extradition Rights", Fox News, August 22, 2006.
- "No DNA match, no JonBenet charge", CNN, August 28, 2006
- "John Mark Karr Stands by Not Guilty Pleas in Child Porn Case"[dead link], Fox News, September 14, 2006.
- "John Mark Karr Offered Plea Deal", CBS News, September 20, 2006
- "Judge Agrees To Hear Motion To Drop Karr Porn Case", TheDenverChannel.com, September 25, 2006
- "Charges dismissed against Karr"[dead link], CNN.com, October 5, 2006.
- "US judge drops Karr porn charges", BBC News, October 5, 2006.
- "John Mark Karr, TV producers stopped after Karr seen near school"[dead link], Associated Press, October 6, 2006
- "Karr stopped by police after approaching Bay Area school"[dead link], Daily Breeze, October 8, 2006
- "Show Pages - Larry King Live - CNN.com".
- "John Mark Karr Email"[dead link], wrhammons.com, December 8, 2009.
- "John Mark Karr Gets a Sex Change". Inside Edition.
|Wikinews has related news: Man confesses to 1996 murder of JonBenet Ramsey|