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Monday, August 21, 2006

What Is Truth? Oemposurvey Results 

On Friday, I posted the following survey question at http://oemperor.blogspot.com/2006/08/oemposurvey-please-participate-in.html as well as at http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=61035679&blogID=157292758:

Do you remember where you were on Christmas Day, 1996? If so, where?

Some of the respondents were able to recall exactly where they were on Christmas Day, 1996, while other weren't sure.

I fall into the latter category. I lived in Upland at the time, but I can't remember whether the 1996 Christmas was spent at home, or if we took a trip to the east coast that Christmas. I can tell you that I went to South Africa in early 1997, that I moved back to Ontario in the spring of 1997, and that I went to Brazil in late 1997, and if I thought harder I could recall some other events from that time, but I cannot honestly remember where I was during Christmas 1996.

Needless to say, you all know why I asked this particular question, about this particular year. Here's part of a CNN article that was posted the day that I authored the survey (emphasis mine):

[John Mark] Karr's brother, Nate, told Atlanta Fox affiliate WAGA that his family will provide information Friday to prove the allegation that Karr killed Ramsey is "just ridiculous."

Karr's ex-wife, Lara Karr, said she also doubted his admission that he killed Ramsey, saying the couple were together in Alabama that entire Christmas season.

Lara Karr filed for a protective order in October 2001 to keep him away from her and their three sons, citing his child pornography arrest that April. In court documents she said that in 1996 -- months before Ramsey was killed -- an Alabama school district dropped Karr as a substitute teacher over concerns he was "too affectionate" with children.

Bravell Johnson -- the school superintendent in Marion County, Alabama -- confirmed Karr's employment as an elementary school teacher in August and September 1996 and that parental complaints led to Karr's dismissal.

But another newspaper says that Lara Karr's divorce petition listed different dates for the Marion County incident:

In the affidavit filed with her divorce petition, Lara Karr said her husband "was told by one school in or about '97 or '98 that he would not be asked to continue to serve as a substitute teacher because he had a tendency to be too affectionate with children."

Perhaps John Mark Karr was ousted from another substitute teaching job, but if Lara thought the Marion County incident took place in 1997 or 1998, how can she be sure that she spent Christmas 1996 with her then-husband? Yet, even if she's wrong, she'll still remain sure:

Once witnesses state facts in a particular way or identify a particular person as the perpetrator, they are unwilling or even unable—due to the reconstruction of their memory—to reconsider their initial understanding. When a witness identifies a person in a line-up, he is likely to identify that same person in later line-ups, even when the person identified is not the perpetrator. Although juries and decision-makers place great reliance on eyewitness identification, they are often unaware of the danger of false memories.

There are implications of this that go far beyond JonBenet Ramsey. But that's a subject for another time and place.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

Well, Christmas is generally a celebrated major holiday, whether one is Christian or not. If John Mark Karr was with his ex-wife at the time, wouldn't there be pictures as proof?

I say the truth lies with the DNA. If it's his, then he's far more likely to be guilty. If it isn't his, then he's just a big liar.
I vote for the third option: he's a madman. Looney tunes. Cuckoo. Not playing with a full deck. And Ms. Lacy was some splainin' to do.
Speaking of pictures:

Meanwhile, a lawyer for Karr's relatives says a photo has been located showing Karr's three sons at a 1996 Christmas dinner gathering in Atlanta.

Lawyer Gary Harris said Karr's father, Wexford Karr, found the photo, and relatives are certain that if the sons were there, John Karr would have been, too. He told The Washington Post and The Denver Post that the photo is from 1996 because an infant pictured in it was born in December of that year.

"If he had flown to Colorado or somewhere at that time, they would have remembered it," Harris told The Washington Post.

Karr's ex-wife, Lara Knutson, has said he did not miss family Christmases. The couple lived in Alabama at the time.

Pictures, but he's not in them. I'm starting to think about a river in Egypt.
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