The startling news that a former second-grade teacher/pedophile has confessed to the 1996 murder of JonBenet Ramsey feels like a relief, but in these first 24 hours there are troublingly few details that convince me this fellow was actually inside the Ramseys' Boulder, Colo., home on the night after Christmas 10 years ago.
John Mark Karr, 41, has made several chilling statements about being with her when she died, but has deflected questions about details. Authorities say he gave certain details that only JonBenet's killer would know, but we must wait until Karr returns to American soil and begins his long journey through the justice system to find out more. A DNA match between the scrapings under JonBenet's fingernails and Karr hasn't been established. Despite Karr's "confession," I need just a little more proof that he's an insane, child-raping killer, and not just an insane, child-raping sicko with delusions of criminal grandeur.
Nobody has showed so far that Karr was even in Colorado, much less the Ramsey home that night. His ex-wife says she was with him in Alabama at the time of the murder, and his father -- who doesn't seem like the protective type -- says he didn't think his son was ever in Colorado. If John Mark Karr killed JonBenet, the twisted story of the crime promises to be sickening.
Karr is also reportedly unusually fascinated with both the JonBenet and Polly Klaas killings. He clearly didn't commit the Klaas murder, but is he seeking the notoriety that has obviously come with claiming to be JonBenet's killer? Could he be an extraordinarily well-versed but insane person who is guilty of many things but not JonBenet's killing?
In my heart, I hope he's JonBenet's killer and the whole sordid tale can be laid to rest. I hope the facts-to-come prove Karr is the monster he claims to be, for the sake of the family, the cops, Boulder and parents everywhere. I hope that the case ultimately proves that justice delayed is not always justice denied. And I hope if he did it, his journey to the death chamber is swift.
But more of this story remains to be told.