Family friend says John Karr's mother tried to kill him as infant - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Family friend says John Karr's mother tried to kill him as infant

More startling new information on John Mark Karr.

A family friend tells ABC News Karr's mother tried killing him as an infant, saying Patricia Adcock basically tried setting him on fire.

The man says he's known Karr's father, Wexford, for 40 years and that Karr's mother died in 2000.

So we took this information to a local forensic psychologist to see if Karr's mother did in fact have a history of mental illness.

Could this explain several questionable events in the 41-year-old suspect's life?

In a shocking statement 76-year-old George McCrary says when John Karr was an infant, his mother Patricia, "Made a big round donut [of kindling] and put him in the middle of it."

Adding she boxed him inside, until his older brother ran in before it caught fire.

He says Patricia was later committed to a mental institution.

McCrary says ever since, paranoia settled in, calling Karr a pedophile haunted by a possessive need to own the girls he fixates on.

If this proves true, forensic psychologist Frankie Preston of Huntsville says the initial victim often feels helpless and never wants to be in that place again, therefore he can turn into the abuser, preying on one least likely to resist, someone smaller, younger, weaker.

"It's more the rule than the exception that persons who abuse children whether sexually or physically have some sort of trauma history themselves."

Karr was arrested in Sonoma County, CA. in 2001, accused of possessing child pornography, but reportedly skipped town before trial.

Preston says whether you side with nature or nurture, Karr's past likely had a strong impact on his future.

''We do find some correlates like mother's mental illness, his abuse, that would certainly indicate that he is more likely than not, to have significant psychological problems."  

Preston says 70-80% of sexual offenders have likely experienced some sort of abuse.

He says without treatment, usually the urges get more progressive and often repetitive.

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