The San Francisco woman who has a restraining order against the man who falsely claimed to have murdered JonBenet Ramsey said Wednesday the former suspect is living as a woman and trying to form a cult of little girls to have sex with him.
Samantha Spiegel, 19, told NBC's "Today" she had known John Mark Karr since she was 9, when he was a teacher at her school in San Francisco. Her attorney, Robin Sax, told The Associated Press Spiegel 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.
"I think I was just thinking that he was misunderstood." Spiegel said when asked why she reached out to Karr. "He was a victim of his childhood, of his family, of everybody, and that he needed to be saved in some sort of way," Spiegel said.
She wanted to reconnect to find out what happened to her former teacher. But things moved quickly and Karr began contacting Spiegel hundreds of times a day, Sax said. Spiegel said she and Karr became engaged, and he told her to help him recruit children. She thought about letting him meet her niece.
Spiegel now says that she was brainwashed and was addicted to drugs at the time. She's speaking out to help other potential victims.
"I think this is something I would have liked someone to do for me when I was in his grip," Spiegel said.
Karr as a woman goes by the name Alexis Valoran Reich. He drew international attention in 2006 with his arrest in Thailand over his bizarre, detailed confession into JonBenet's death. But DNA tests failed to put him at the crime scene.
Karr hasn't returned e-mails from The Associated Press. Sax said the court has been unable to serve Karr with the restraining order because they cannot find him.
A judge was to consider a request Wednesday to extend Spiegel's restraining order.