Ex-Atlantan John Mark Karr has new name, familiar troubles

Since he was run out of town -- literally -- two years ago, Atlanta native John Mark Karr has undergone some big changes.

The man who claimed to have killed JonBenet Ramsey has legally changed his name to Alexis Reich and is reportedly preparing to undergo gender reassignment surgery. A former student of Karr's, 19-year-old Samantha Spiegel, alleges he's doing so in order to get closer to little girls, a charge confirmed by e-mails she produced at a court hearing in San Francisco last month.

A Seattle television station reported that Spiegel, who met Karr when she was 9 years old and he was her substitute teacher in San Francisco, produced e-mails in which Karr, now 46, said: "I want to hurt you."

"If you deceive me," he wrote, "I will kill you. I know where you live."

In one of his last messages, on April 10, Karr wrote: "If you cost me my little girls I will hunt you down and kill you," according to KING-TV.

Spiegel obtained a restraining order against Karr and San Francisco police want to speak with him regarding the threats. Karr has a Seattle address, but media outlets who've visited it report no residence, only a mailbox.

Karr emerged as a potential Ramsey suspect in 2006 before Boulder, Colo., officials cleared him when his DNA did not match the male DNA found on the young beauty queen's body.

"There is not a day that passes that I do not think of JonBenet -- a most precious little girl who passed through my life and made the most intense impression, " he wrote in a 2007 e-mail to the AJC. "There is no price that I could pay that would be worthy for the precious life she lost. Though if I could in some way atone for such an enormous sin, I would with all my heart."

In an interview with the AJC, he became visibly agitated when asked why he claimed to be involved in a killing he didn't commit.

"You weren't there, you don't know," he said.

At the same time, he claimed to want a normal life and was even briefly engaged to a local woman, Brooke Simmons, 23 at the time.

But Simmons later became afraid of her ex-fiance, telling the AJC that Karr was "angry and aggressive and abusive in every relationship he has had, including ours."

His first wife, 14 when they got married, said Karr was "different and possessive."

"I got scared by his ways, " said Quientana Shotts, who was introduced to Karr by a friend when she was 13. Karr, 19 at the time, was living with his grandparents in Hamilton, Ala. He later married a 16-year-old girl.

In 2006, Karr moved to his father's Sandy Springs home, where he lived for less than two years. He moved after rumors spread that he was moving to Grant Park. Residents there made it clear they didn't want Karr as a neighbor.

"He knew he'd never be able to live a normal life here, " said his father, Wexford Karr, in a 2008 interview with the AJC.

Karr has never been convicted of any crime, though he faced child pornography charges, eventually dropped, while living in California. But law enforcement officials familiar with his case say he's dangerous and needs to be off the streets.

Spiegel's attorney, Robin Sax, told Fox News that Karr has as many as 30 followers who provide him with essential resources, such as food and money. They also help him remain on the lam. Sax said his "minions" also help him recruit "Immaculates," young girls who look like JonBenet Ramsey, who was killed in 1996.

"He often lives in homeless shelters and uses Craigslist to find rooms for a few days at a time and eats in soup kitchens," Sax told Fox. "He usually wears a turtleneck to hide his Adam's apple. He is open about his transgender status."

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