Skip to comments.Karr was eyeing sex change
Posted on 08/20/2006 12:32:53 AM PDT by I_Love_My_Husband
Karr was eyeing sex change
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August 20, 2006 - 2:30PM Karr (left) and JonBenet Ramsey
Karr (left) and JonBenet Ramsey AdvertisementAdvertisement
The man who confessed to killing JonBenet Ramsey had another bizarre secret up his sleeve in the months before his arrest - he was visiting a surgical centre that specialises in sex-change operations.
Staff at the Pratunam Clinic, Thailand's top transgender centre, told the New York Daily News yesterday that 41-year-old John Mark Karr was a patient of theirs - but wouldn't say how close he was to getting "sexual reassignment" surgery.
"Yes, he had treatment here," a representative said. "He was our patient. He came a number of times. But we cannot give out details on his treatment as we are ethically bound to keep these things private."
The disclosure came a day after The News reported that Karr sought cosmetic surgeons' help changing his face in Bangkok. In his nine months there, he made 12 phone calls from his hotel room - nine of them to plastic surgeons.
Two calls were to the Pratunam Clinic, which specialises in putting men under the knife to become "ladyboys" and also sponsors the annual World's Most Beautiful Transsexual competition. It charges $US1600 ($2105) for the surgery, which could cost $US25,000 ($A32,900) in the West.
Karr was nabbed in Bangkok last week for JonBenet's 1996 murder, telling police and reporters that he accidentally killed the little girl in an assault motivated by his obsessive love for her.
Colorado authorities tracked him down after reading four years' worth of emails between Karr and Michael Tracey, 58, a University of Colorado journalism professor who has produced documentaries about JonBenet's murder - and who tried to draw out more details about Karr through their hundreds of messages.
"You told me once that your mother tended to raise you as a girl," Tracey wrote in one exchange obtained by the Rocky Mountain News. "This must have had a powerful effect on your developing sexuality - confusion maybe?"
"Michael, I will not discuss my sexuality as if it is a psychological disorder," Karr wrote back under an alias.
The emails also show Karr felt a kinship with former child star Michael Jackson - who has his own experiences with facial surgery. "I am trapped in a world that does not understand," Karr wrote. "I can understand people like Michael Jackson and feel sympathy when he suffers as he has. . . . I do think that he is sexually attracted to certain children but could never divulge this."
The email exchanges began four years ago, after Karr met a Boulder writer when they were both staying in the same hostel above a Paris bookstore. They immediately revealed his fixation on the beauty princess' mysterious death.
"Until he started talking about the Ramseys, he seemed perfectly normal," Michael Sandrock, 48, told The News yesterday outside his home in the Boulder, Colorado, foothills, remembering his 2002 encounter with Karr. "I didn't get the feeling that he might have done it. I just thought he was obsessed about it," Sandrock said.
Karr, who identified himself only as John, said he had been to Boulder in the past and had come to Paris from Amsterdam. When he learned that Sandrock was a sportswriter for the Boulder Daily Camera and was a friend of Tracey, he wouldn't stop talking about the case until Sandrock left a few days later - mentioning Boulder landmarks, obscure pieces of evidence, even the names of reporters on the story.
"I'm really not interested in the case, and when I told John Karr that, he was kind of surprised," Sandrock said. "I said, 'I think the parents did it.' He kind of just smiled and said, 'The parents. Heh."'
Sandrock put Karr and Tracey in touch by email, starting their four-year exchange. Investigators working for the Ramseys used routing information attached to the messages to track Karr to the Paris area this year, and they briefly considered tracking him down there to surreptitiously obtain a DNA sample from him.
"We had traced this guy back to France, and we were getting to the point where getting DNA was a possibility," investigator John San Agustin told The News.
The Boulder County district attorney got involved in the case before they could travel to France, though, setting last week's arrest in motion.
Meanwhile, details emerged yesterday of an earlier chance to verify or discredit Karr's claim that he accidentally killed the 6-year-old. The Sonoma County, California, sheriff's department eyed him in the killing in 2001, when he was arrested in a child pornography case.
Karr's lawyer at the time, Marie Case, said cops told her, "'Hey, we're looking at this guy' . . . there was possibly some involvement," but inexplicably lost interest in him before testing his DNA. "Somebody dropped the ball," Case told The Washington Post. "It never went anywhere."
Boulder prosecutors have also been slow to try to corroborate Karr's confession, the Denver Post reported Saturday, never talking to Sonoma County officials, his former employers or his ex-wife to compare his handwriting with the ransom note or determine his whereabouts on Dec. 26, 1996.
Karr's ex-wife said she detests the man, but would have remembered if he had skipped out on Christmas with her and their three kids. Suspect to be flown to US today
The suspect in the murder of American child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey appeared nervous as Thai and US officials prepared to fly him back to the United States today, Thai police said.
John Mark Karr, is to be flown to Boulder, Colorado, where he faces charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping and child sexual assault in connection with the 1996 killing.
"Generally he is fine, but a little bit nervous as the time of his departure approaches," immigration police chief Lt Gen Suwat Tumrongsiskul told The Associated Press.
"We treat him well since he is a high-profile suspect. Yesterday he said that he wanted to eat American food so we ordered from Kentucky Fried Chicken for him, but this morning he had the standard breakfast" of Thai food, Suwat said.
Suwat said Karr would be taken out of his cell at the immigration department prison and driven to the airport at 3pm local time on Sunday for the US-bound flight.
A US Embassy official, speaking on condition of anonymity yesterday, would not confirm Karr's departure details and said authorities were working through legal paperwork to expedite his deportation.
ping, my friend.
This man is one sick circus sideshow. Sandrock seems to have changed his story, too. The part about Karr telling him he'd been to Boulder contradicts an earlier account.
Anyone else think he looks like a very skinny BEN AFFLECK?
Is a "ladyboy",
a female from the waist UP and
a male from the waist DOWN?
Its starting to look like he admitted to something he did not do, probably because he wanted the taxpayers to pay for his operation
These sickos think that lack of approval translates into a lack of understanding.
BUMP TO THE TOP
Ahhhh, thanks. I'll have to remember that one.
If I can answer any other questions, please drop me a not via FREEPmail. FR has lots of inside jokes, its own slang, and shorthand, which can sometimes be rather confusing.
Yeah, it's a common thing amongst message boards. Like THBDB (this has been done before). Thanks for the offer. I'll bear it in mind.
Oh, BTW, FR has an archive and several threads just for newbies; they explain FR's history and slang and some history on who's who here and/or who WAS who here. Just use the search engine.