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Police looking for man who once falsely admitted to JonBenet murder

SAN FRANCISCO — Police are seeking the man who once falsely claimed to have murdered JonBenet Ramsey after a former acquaintance told authorities that he threatened to kill her if she revealed his attempts to form a cult of little girls to have sex with him.

Samantha Spiegel, 19, said in a request for a restraining order against John Mark Karr that he made "ongoing death threats" and "threats of sexual exploitation to children" in e-mails and instant messages. The order was granted on April 19, but Spiegel's attorney said Karr has not been served because he could not be found.

Officer Alberto Esparza, a department spokesman, said Wednesday that Karr's "whereabouts are unknown."

"Our primary concern is the victim's safety," he said. "San Francisco police takes these threats very seriously, and we're doing everything we can to continue the investigation and bring it to a close."

Spiegel told NBC's Today show that she had known Karr since she was 9, when he was a teacher at her school in San Francisco. She said they later became engaged.

Karr is now living as a woman.

Spiegel's attorney, Robin Sax, told the Associated Press that she reached out to Karr after he confessed to the death of 6-year-old child beauty queen JonBenet, whose body was found in 1996 in her parents' home in Boulder, Colo.

"She sought him out trying to reconnect, wanting to find out what happened to him," Sax said.

Things moved quickly, to Karr contacting her hundreds of times a day, Sax said. Spiegel said Karr told her to help him recruit children, and she thought about letting him meet her niece. Spiegel now says she was brainwashed, and that she's speaking out to help other potential victims.

Police looking for man who once falsely admitted to JonBenet murder 06/03/10 [Last modified: Thursday, June 3, 2010 12:03am]

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