A Confession, or Everyone’s 15 Minutes of Fame?

Despite the fact that Thailand is unfortunately an infamous refuge for paedophiles and other criminals, I couldn’t believe it when I heard a man in Bangkok was arrested for the 10 year-old murder of JonBenet Ramsey. My second thought was “I hope the FBI doesn’t leave this investigation to the Thai police.”

His name is John Mark Karr and he lived at The Blooms on Soi Sribamphen Yen-Arkard off Sathorn, and taught English at one of the international schools (no one has revealed which one). Despite his confession to Immigration Police, a cloud of suspicion looms over whether the confession is a hoax; in my opinion, a desperate attempt by everyone to get their 15 minutes of fame.

First of all, who arrests a paedophile-murderer and then hands him the microphone like a celebrity for a global press conference? If there was anyone desperate enough for fame or notoriety, clearly confessing to a violent crime in Thailand is the way to get it.

And it’s not just Karr. Immigration Police LTG Suwat Tumrongsiskul, pulling out all the stops to make his department look good, beamed in the spotlight, smiling and laughing through the press conference. After telling everyone Karr was arrested for first degree murder, he admitted he didn’t know what “first degree murder” meant or its difference from second degree murder.
To better understand the hype this case received in the States, consider some of its oddities:
JonBenet appears as a bizarre “child-woman,” provocatively dressed and caked in makeup at the age of 2 by her multimillionaire parents obsessed with freakish child beauty pagents. On Christmas Day, they find a ransom note asking for the exact amount of the father’s Christmas bonus in return for their daughter. But a week later, the parents find their daughter strangled and raped in their basement; she is in the house the whole time. The parents refuse to cooperate with investigators, and they, and even their older son, become the prime suspects. But for 10 years, a break was never made.

3 Comments so far

  1. aurix (unregistered) on August 20th, 2006 @ 2:54 am

    Check this out: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/19/opinion/19burdett.html

    An op-ed piece by John Burdett, the author of Bangkok 8, on the issues surrounding the arrest.

  2. Mike (unregistered) on August 20th, 2006 @ 3:55 am

    Two schools where John Mark Karr worked were revealed today: Bangkok Christian College and St. Joseph Convent School. However, neither school most recently employed Karr until his arrest; that school’s name has been withheld by all media sources.

  3. KorBua (unregistered) on August 20th, 2006 @ 3:02 pm

    Giving these criminals this kind of celeb attention… wouldn’t this encourage these people to do worse things just to be famous also? I get it that police wanna look good, but this is nothing new. they crave to make the Thai police image looks better anyway. How could someone kill a child anyway?

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