For years, John Mark Karr had been begging to get caught for a crime, it seems, he did not commit.
"This guy confessed on numerous occasions in great detail," said Peter Maguire, a deputy district attorney in a Boulder, Colo., at a news conference Tuesday. "He confessed in e-mails. He confessed in telephone conversations. … He admitted it to a police officer."
Karr even confessed on international TV, telling the world that he was with JonBenet Ramsey when she died, a claim he had been making to University of Colorado journalism professor Michael Tracey for years.
It took more than 400 pages of e-mails for Karr to be arrested in connection with the murder of JonBenet, but it seems it only took three letters to get him off the hook: D-N-A.
Karr's did not match that found in JonBenet's clothing. Boulder District Attorney Mary Lacy said she would not charge him in the case, citing lack of evidence.
While people wonder why Karr was willing to take the heat, experts think he may sincerely believe he deserves it.
It was a stunning end to the latest chapter in a case that for years had engrossed the nation and the world.
The biggest question: "Why?"
Why would Karr confess to murdering the 6-year-old if he was not guilty?
In a news conference Tuesday, Lacy said the reason was simple: Karr "sincerely believes he killed JonBenet Ramsey."
In chilling, explicit detail, Karr recounted to Tracey exactly how he believed he had killed JonBenet on Dec. 26, 1996, providing minutiae about the murder not widely known.
"I have basically confessed at her grave," Karr wrote. "I talk to her out loud. … I was saying things to her like 'oh my God, I'm so sorry.'"
He even said why he supposedly chose Christmastime.
"I am very sentimental," Karr wrote on June 5. "I like special nights and it was a special night. … it was Christmas night."
Michael Welner, a leading forensic psychiatrist, told ABC News that he believed Karr had confessed because he wanted acknowledgement as someone who was close to JonBenet.
"By confessing to being the last person to see JonBenet Ramsey alive, he is able to establish a relationship that no one has," Welner said. "He has a special relationship that no one can understand, and it's a permanent relationship that even in death John Karr wanted to hold on to, in fantasy."
Welner said Karr's e-mails and phone calls revealed a deeply delusional man desperate for human attention.
He also cautioned that Karr's motives might have changed over time, as he became more and more caught up in his fantasy world.
"From what we know about John Karr, this started with him seeking acknowledgment by being attached to JonBenet in her last moments, and it ended with him seeking much more than acknowledgement. Perhaps fame," Welner said.
Lawyers from several high profile cases told ABC News that they had encountered many false confessions in their cases.
Even in Boulder, Lacy said that, over the years, dozens of people had confessed to killing JonBenet.
Karr's fantasies went beyond a detailed confession, though. They included visions of grandeur.
He had already picked out the movie star who would play him in a film.
In phone conversations with Tracey, Karr expressed a desire to have Johnny Depp play him in a film version of his life.
"He even looks like me," Karr said of Depp, adding he was sure the star would choose to take on the role.