Ramsey's mother was asked to meet suspect
But she died before investigators could proceed with inquiry
BOULDER, Colo. -- Only weeks before she died, police asked JonBenet Ramsey's mother whether she would meet with the man now suspected in her daughter's slaying -- a schoolteacher whose worshipful notes described an obsession with the 6-year-old beauty queen he called ``my love, my life."
Patsy Ramsey was willing but she died from ovarian cancer in June before investigators went any further, family lawyer Lin Wood said yesterday. She never saw the notes because they were secretly being intercepted by authorities, Wood said.
``He thought that he was corresponding with Patsy, but he wasn't," Wood said. Police in Roswell, Ga., where Ramsey spent the last days of her life, declined to say whether they conducted the correspondence ruse.
Karr, 41, is in a Thailand jail awaiting deportation to face charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping, and child sexual assault. He told reporters that he was with JonBenet when she died in the basement of her Boulder home on Dec. 26, but that her death was an accident.
He said this week that he thought Patsy Ramsey had read his letters in which he ``conveyed to her many things, among them that I am so very sorry for what happened to JonBenet."
Yesterday, a Thai official backed off other details he gave of Karr's story -- details that raised suspicions about whether Karr was really involved or just a wannabe trying to insert himself into a high-profile case.
Lieutenant General Suwat Tumrongsiskul of the Thai immigration police initially quoted Karr as saying he had sexually assaulted the girl and given her drugs, even though the autopsy showed no drugs in the girl's body. He also told reporters before a news conference that Karr had claimed to have picked up JonBenet at her school, though her death occurred during the holiday break.
Yesterday, Suwat confirmed to the AP his account of the sexual assault. But asked whether 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 his statement about the girl being picked from school was based on a documentary he had seen and not the interrogation.
Other of Karr's writings also drew scrutiny yesterday. Prison guards searched the death row cell of Polly Klaas's killer after learning he may have corresponded with the suspect. No letters were found.
The Rocky Mountain News reported that Boulder prosecutors were in contact with a former classmate of Karr's because a yearbook signed by him more than 20 years ago may reveal why the ransom note left for the Ramseys was signed ``S.B.T.C."
In the 1982 yearbook, Karr ended his missive with the line, ``Though, deep in the future, maybe I shall be the conqueror and live in multiple peace," raising the question of whether S.B.T.C. means ``shall be the conqueror."
The newspaper also published excerpts of e-mails that Karr sent to Michael Tracey, a University of Colorado journalism professor, who had produced several documentaries on the Ramsey case.
``JonBenet, my love, my life. I love you and shall forever love you," read an e-mail Karr sent on Dec. 23, 2005, just before the anniversary of her death. ``I pray that you can hear my voice calling out to you from my darkness -- this darkness that now separates us."
The e-mail asked Tracey to visit Ramsey's former home in Boulder and read aloud the ode he called ``JonBenet, My Love."
``Sometimes little girls are closer to me than with their parents or any other person in their lives. When I refer to myself as JonBenet's Closest, maybe now you understand," he wrote in another message.
Karr, a divorced father of three who was once detained on charges of possessing child pornography, had also once lived in the Atlanta suburbs where the Ramsey family lived before moving to Boulder.
There is no known piece of evidence tying Karr to Colorado. Eric Yoder, an investigator for the Colorado Department of Education, said Karr was never licensed to teach in the state and there is no record of him applying for a teaching job.
The correspondence between Karr and Tracey was voluminous. In other e-mails, Karr said he was under federal investigation for ``child murder and child molestation" in four states.
In Washington, federal law enforcement officials said Karr's comments since his arrest have piqued their interest and they want to question him.
Regarding Karr's purported contentions in e-mails that he was under federal investigation for child murder and molestation, one law enforcement official said ``there is no four-state federal case" in which Karr is wanted or even suspected. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is being handled by local prosecutors in Colorado.