Told you So

August 29, 2006
St. Paul, Minnesota

By Ruben Rosario Pioneer Press, August 29, 2006

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Okay, I didn't officially in this blog or in my column. I frankly thought it was too obvious to put on record. But recent developments in one of the nation's most notorious child murders were about as glaringly apparent as my increasingly gray mane.

I thought this John Karr character was about as guilty of taking Jon Benet Ramsey's life as Mother Teresa turning into Jeffrey Dahmer. Strange? No question. But the killer of this little girl?

Let's just say that two dire strait folks on a street corner sharing a common sense brain cell among them could have told anyone this guy did not do it.

DNA evidence released Monday did not link Karr to evidence found on the beautiful and pint-sized kiddie beauty pageant contestant found dead inside her well to do parents Colorado home in Christmas Eve of 1996.

So why the hype? Blame authorities in Thailand and those in Boulder, where the murder took place. Thai police first fired the apparent suspect salvo after bagging Karr following his alleged confession. Boulder police, still suffering from a black eye over the handling of the unsolved murder, apparently swallowed the bait or at the least accepted at face value Karr's alleged involvement, if any. He was arrested, extradited here, and jailed pending charges that apparently dissipated like water at Death Valley.

Vernon Geberth, a retired New York City homicide squad commander and noted expert profiled in one of my recent columns, was as dubious as I was on Karr's alleged guilt.

"They once again look dopier than before,'' Geberth said of the way boulder authorizes handled, or did not handle, recent developments involving Karr. Geberth would have counseled the Boulder folks to keep mum or silent about the suspect until there was substantial evidence linking the suspect to the slain child.

"All of what has happened recently has pretty much been verbal diarrhea,'' said Geberth, who will receive an award next week from an international homicide investigators' organization for his teachings and body of work.

"Once again, they put the cart before the horse,'' he said.

This case, Geberth agrees, will now be solved if the true killer, if he or she is still alive, comes forward. That won't happen if they are dead. It may not even happen of they are alive, given now the cloud of ambiguity surrounding the case.

Don't hold your breath.

Rubén Rosario can be reached at

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