Video: True or not, Karr confession dramatic

By Mike Taibbi Correspondent
NBC News
updated 8/21/2006 7:25:54 PM ET 2006-08-21T23:25:54

While John Mark Karr may be a disturbed, sex-obsessed 41-year-old man with an unnatural interest in the murder of a child beauty queen, many experts say with each passing day his confession sounds less believable.

"He's a confessor who just wants attention," says Dr. James Foxx, a criminologist at Northeastern University.

Karr was in jail in Los Angeles Monday, returned to the United States from Thailand after confessing that he accidentally killed JonBenet Ramsey.

Karr wouldn't be the first false confessor — hundreds claimed to have kidnapped the Lindbergh baby, and among modern examples there's Henry Lee Lucas, who made phony confessions about some 600 murders. And the teenager who admitted his role in New York's famous Central Park jogger assault, only to be proven innocent by DNA testing years later.

In Karr, some see a confessor merely out for the attention he's attracted.

"He wants to be part of it, part of the excitement, part of the drama," Foxx says.

Any formal charges against Karr would be lodged in Colorado. Where Karr is ultimately housed at the Boulder County Jail will depend on several factors, key among them, his mental health evaluation. If he's at risk from other inmates or a risk to himself, he would be held in the maximum-security suicide precaution lockup, complete with special clothing.

"This blanketed smock, which is a garment that doesn't allow them to tie it in knots, or anything like that and use it to possibly hurt themselves," says Boulder County Jail Cmdr. Dwight Hill.

Whether Karr is a murderer or is just claiming to be one, the man is about to have his dramatic story revealed as truth or as the cruelest imaginable fraud.

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