TODAY | June 02, 2010
MEREDITH VIEIRA, co-host: And now to shocking allegations against John Mark Karr , the man who falsely confessed to the murder of six-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey . NBC 's Jeff Rossen has the latest. Jeff , good morning.
JEFF ROSSEN reporting: Hey, Meredith , good morning to you. The accusations are creepy and they come from John Mark Karr 's ex-fiancee. She says right now he's living as a woman out West trying to form a kiddie sex cult, recruiting little girls across the country. This morning, police in the West are trying to find him, but they have no clue where he is.
Mr. JOHN MARK KARR: And I love JonBenet .
ROSSEN: From his love of little girls to violence against them, John Mark Karr has admitted to it.
Mr. KARR: I was with JonBenet when she died.
ROSSEN: In 2006 , he confessed to killing JonBenet Ramsey , graphic detail how he did it, why he did it. Federal agents arrested Karr in Thailand and flew
him back to the US. But there was a problem: his DNA didn't match DNA at the crime scene. Police say he made it up, a kook hungry for attention, so they let him go.
Mr. DAN ABRAMS: No one believes you.
Mr. KARR: Well, you know, that doesn't really matter to me. I know what the truth is. Doesn't matter if I'm believed.
ROSSEN: Now a stunning new accusation. What's his mission now?
Ms. SAMANTHA SPIEGEL: His mission is to create a cult that he wants to call the Immaculates of little girls that would have sexual relationships with him and do whatever he wanted and just like be his little minions.
ROSSEN: Samantha Spiegel , now 19, met Karr when she was just nine years old. He was a teacher's aide in her California school. After Karr 's confession in 2006 , she reached out to him and they began a relationship online. Why would you want to contact somebody like that?
Ms. SPIEGEL: I think I was just thinking that he was misunderstood, that he was a victim of his childhood, of his family, of everybody, and that he needed to be saved in some sort of way.
ROSSEN: And you were going to save him.
Ms. SPIEGEL: Yeah.
ROSSEN: He proposed to you.
Ms. SPIEGEL: Yes.
ROSSEN: And what did you say?
Ms. SPIEGEL: I said yes.
ROSSEN: That's when she says Karr dropped a bombshell.
Ms. SPIEGEL: He typically likes five- and six-year-olds.
ROSSEN: Asking for help with his kiddie cult. What did he tell you?
Ms. SPIEGEL: He told me to go out there and recruit children and if I knew anybody that I could recruit, go ahead and do that.
ROSSEN: Did you consider doing it?
Ms. SPIEGEL: Mm-hmm. And I started.
ROSSEN: What did you do?
Ms. SPIEGEL: When I was on the street, I would kind of size up children , girls . I thought about him meeting my niece or, you know, other friends that I had that had young children .
ROSSEN: Didn't alarm bells go off in your head saying A, this is criminal and B, this is just sick?
Ms. SPIEGEL: No.
ROSSEN: Why not?
Ms. SPIEGEL: I think because of the feeling of having a family and because I didn't think there was anything wrong with him having sexual relationships with children . It just seemed like it was healthy for him. You know, like why keep him from doing what he loves in some very sick way.
ROSSEN: Do you look back at it now and say, what was I thinking ?
Ms. SPIEGEL: Mm-hmm. Every day.
ROSSEN: Samantha admits she was on drugs at the time and claims Karr brainwashed her. That's when she says she went to rehab and everything changed.
Ms. SPIEGEL: I was able to see through everything that he was telling me and that he was doing and I just -- I stood up for myself more than I had ever done before.
ROSSEN: She says Karr became so obsessed with the cult, he sent her hundreds of messages a week. "I always get crazy when I'm falling for a girl," he wrote. When she finally told him, `I can't help you anymore.' He allegedly made death threats. "If you cost me my little girls , I will hunt you down and kill you. I only kill the girls I love the most." In April , a judge in San Francisco granted Samantha a temporary restraining order against Karr . Problem is, police can't find him. Investigators say he may be here in California , but then again, there are other reports that have him hiding out in Seattle .
Ms. DIANE DIMOND (Syndicated Columnist and NBC News Consultant): He is propelled by an obsession to be with young girls .
ROSSEN: Writer Diane Dimond has done extensive reporting on the case.
Ms. DIMOND: He's crafty enough to elude police charges. They've been looking at him since 2001 . No charges, no placement on a sex registry, and he's still out there and he could prey on your children or my child.
ROSSEN: Karr has been married several times, twice to teenage girls . Still, he's never been convicted of a crime involving children . Now, Karr reportedly wants a sex change . Today, he's living as a woman, going by the name Alexis Reich . Does it scare you that he's on the run right now?
Ms. SPIEGEL: He can't help himself. If he's around children , he's just going to -- he's going to act upon his impulses.
ROSSEN: Samantha told me she's speaking out today to help other potential victims out there. Police in San Francisco and Seattle , Meredith , are searching for Karr , but finding him won't be easy. He reportedly has followers who give him money and shelter. Meredith :