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Inside the cramped, white tents of Boulder’s latest media frenzy sits Michael Sandrock, the Daily Camera reporter who originally tipped off CU Professor Michael Tracey.
Sandrock gave Tracey information regarding John Karr, the man who recently confessed to murdering six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey ten years ago.
During a live interview with CourtTV anchor Jean Casarez, Sandrock sat upright and tense with little movement or facial expression. Casarez tried to ease his tension — “you be yourself,” she advised him.
Sandrock first met Karr in summer of 2002 in Paris at a Shakespearean bookstore.
Karr approached Sandrock and after finding out he worked as a Daily Camera columnist in Boulder, Karr became intrigued immediately.
“He knew details of the case and asked in-depth questions,” Sandrock said.
Karr’s obsession and vast knowledge of the Ramsey case made Sandrock uncomfortable, as did his intense curiosity of why the murderer killed JonBenet in such a way. After a series of such questions, Sandrock decided to “back up.”
“His focus was always on the case,” said Sandrock. “But he fit right in with other people; it was only when we were alone.”
Karr became even more fascinated when Sandrock informed him of his friendship with Michael Tracey.
Karr e-mailed Sandrock after their Paris encounter and asked to be put into contact with Tracey. With Tracey’s permission, Sandrock gave Karr his e-mail address.
“They’re both cerebral people. They have a good chess game going on,” Sandrock said.
Although Sandrock is unsure of Karr’s guilt, he does think that he “should be off the streets whether he did it or not. He has an unnatural obsession.”
He believes that Karr has some connection to the case and is involved in a ring of child pornography.
“I don’t get the feeling he did it; he wanted to talk about it so much,” Sandrock said.
Whether he is proven innocent or guilty, Sandrock believes that “something good will come out of (Karr’s arrest).”
Michael Sandrock photo essay