Sex change disguised infamous JonBenét murder suspect as transsexual Billabong teacher

A teacher who worked at Billabong High School in Male’ from Feburary until June 2009, Alexis Valoran Reich, has been revealed as the transsexual alter-ego of John Mark Karr, a man who falsely confessed to murdering JonBenét Ramsey in the United States and has been investigated for possession of child pornography.

The JonBenét case remains one of the most high-profile unsolved murder cases in the US. The six year old was discovered dead in the basement of her parent’s house in Boulder Colorado in 1996, apparently strangled with a garrote made from a length of cord and the broken handle of a paintbrush.

The case initially focused on Ramsey’s parents as the murder suspects, attracting extensive media coverage, which often remarked on her participation in child beauty pageants.

Karr, who was on the run in Thailand after being charged in the US for possession of child pornography, confessed to the killing in 2006 and was extradited to the US to await trial. He was eventually acquitted because his DNA did not match that discovered on Ramsay’s body. The five charges of possession of child pornography were also dropped after investigators reportedly lost the computer they seized from him in 2001, containing the images.

Boulder police reopened the case February 2009, although the case remains unsolved despite the unmatched DNA evidence.

Karr disappeared from the public stage and reportedly began working as a teacher in countries across Europe and Asia. He arrived in the Maldives on January 20 last year as a woman, ‘Alexis Valoran Reich’, and was employed at Billabong school as a preschool and grade one English teacher.

Karr/Reich left the school in June after “personal differences” with then-Principal Kevin Dillow, explained Billabong board member Ahmed Adhly Rasheed.

“Reich was employed through a reputable English teacher recruitment agency, which provided us a [clean] Seattle City police report in his name,” Rasheed said.

“We did several checks – the immigration check when [the staff member] enters the country, the check when the work permit issued, and we checked the referral letters from places where he had worked before. We also do our own checks, and were in the process of doing that when Alexis left. He arrived on January 20 and left four and a half months later.”

The connection between Karr and Reich only became public knowledge in March-May 2010, following news reports in the US on his sex change that led to an update of Karr’s entry on Wikipedia.

The photo of Reich in Billabong’s personnel file is unmistakably a feminine likeness of Karr, and his passport details – birthdate December 11, 1964, issued December 2008 in his hometown of Georgia – match Karr’s details exactly.

“We had the police in the school this morning asking where this person was,” Rasheed said, emphasising that Reich had left the school over a year ago, destination unknown.

During her time at the Billabong there were no allegations made against him or any evidence of impropriety, Rasheed said. Reich was by all accounts an excellent teacher – “he was in fact the most popular teacher at the school.”

“He left because of a conflict with the principal Kevin. I don’t mean to defend this guy, but he was actually very popular among the parents. When he left and parents found out it was to do with a conflict with management, some parents approached us and expressed disappointment that he was leaving, and desire that he [remain at the school].”

A Billabong teacher who worked alongside Reich concurred: “Sure he was a bit strange, but he was really good with all the kids. They all liked him – there was no seediness,” the teacher said. “I think he pulled a runner because he wasn’t enjoying the work. He used to complain, but just about normal work things. There were no issues.”

Rasheed said the school received no allegations about Reich while he was working at the school.

“Nothing of any concern happened while he was here – there were no allegations,” Rasheed said. “Our concern is the talk around town that this is somebody who is still working at the school.”

Reich’s passport identified her as male – it had been issued the month before he arrived, Rasheed explained.

“He spoke with a deep voice. I don’t know the extent of his sex change operation,” Rasheed said. “He was known as a man to co-workers, teachers and students while he was in the Maldives.”

Billabong’s unwitting employment of an infamous transsexual teacher acquitted of murdering a six year old beauty queen – a saga somewhat at odds with the conservative nature of modern Maldivian society – together with the allegations of child abuse facing the (former) Principal of the Maldives’ other private school, Lale Youth International – has raised questions among parents and the Education Ministry as to the efficacy of the country’s vetting procedures.

In a letter to Minivan News, concerned parent Muzaffar Naeem said that while he “was relieved that Mr Alexis Reich no longer works at the school”, he questioned the Education Ministry’s guidelines on the employment teachers, and whether the rules were as stringent for privately-owned schools as they were for government institutions.

Deputy Education Minister Shifa Mohamed said the same proceedures were required to be in place at private schools as those in government-owned schools.

“The Ministry expects all schools to follow the same proceedures and obtain police clearance before employing teachers,” she said. “It is also the responsibility of each school to take the initiative and check that teachers are of good quality.”

Rasheed reiterated that the identity of Alexis Reich was only revealed a month ago: “we followed our proceedures but of course in this case there was no connection between the two individuals.”

Current Principal of Billabong David Key, who took over from Dillow in November, observed that Reich’s Seattle City police record would have been clear if his history of charges was kept in another US county.

“It’s similar if you ask the London Metropolitan police for a police record check – they won’t check the rest of the country,” said Key.

“This school is putting in proceedures that are stock standard in every international school in the world – get records, references, call referees first, all these kind of things. Police records should not only come from the country where they were born, but should come country the person was last living in. This is very important – you can have a teacher who has worked for five years in Thailand but hands in a UK police report. They been in Thailand last five years, how do we not know anything [happened]?”

Most important, Key said, was the need for schools to interview teachers “face to face, person to person.”

“I think we need to actually meet people, because that gives you a better idea of nature of a person than Skype or a phone call. The teachers I would like to employ [at Billabong] are people I know would fit into this society and have an agreement with the way of life here – rather than necessarily having the best educational qualifications. Those are important, but it’s more important that the teachers we get fit into the Islamic culture here and the nature of the Maldives.”

Correction: Reich’s passport, issued December 2008, identified him as male, not female as previously stated.


44 thoughts on “Sex change disguised infamous JonBenét murder suspect as transsexual Billabong teacher”

  1. Alexis was appointed by Mr. Hassan Nashid (Gaha Nashid). I also worked at Billabong High Last year and I know that Mr. Dillow wasnt working at Billabong when the school opened. It was Gaha Nashid who gave Alexis that job.
    It would be great if all of you can ask your questions from gaha Nashid.

  2. At first glance, this news is actually hilarious! but on a deeper note, this shows our incapability in having a process that does proper background checks for people we hire, and in earnestness to provide quality education, we actually end up exposing our little innocent children to such eccentric and dangerous elements. high time that fool proof and tight selection procedures are followed while we recruit people from around the world. Its a shame that we, as a country fail to safe guard our little ones.

  3. Good investigative piece.

    This could have happened in any country - it is not a failure of governance. He had the required passport, CV. He had completely changed his sex and identity.

    Perhaps the school should have asked for references - but even then this can be fabricated.

    Or we can ask the governments of the world to provide us their list of sex offenders - but this is unlikely.

    Alternatively we could ask all prospective teachers to come to their interviews naked just so that everything matches!!

    Thank God no child in the Maldives was harmed but we shouldn't be too quick to call this a failure of the system.

  4. I urge JJ Robinson to get the record straight before publishing a story of this sort.
    When the school started in February 2009, Mr Nashid was the Principal and it was him who appointed Alexis. Although s/he was an excellent teacher, s/he did not get along with the staff well. When he played (not in a bad way)with the students during break/lunch time, the staff expressed their concerns to the management and frankly Nashid was not able to do anything about it. He left in mid-March and Dr Kevin Dillow joined the school in May.
    Dr Dillow did not allow Alexis to perform his own agenda. This was the reason why Alexis left, all of a sudden, without anyone knowing. You should actually be thanking Dr Dillow for getting rid of the paedophile, not accusing him.
    I recommend you apologise to him immediately... in fact he was the best Principal Billabong ever had!!!!!

  5. Maldives being small it is easy to know almost all other Maldivians. However when we recruit from around the world, it is now obvious that we have to be very thorough with the background checking. We have reports that some fraudsters have bluffed their way and taken employment as teachers, doctors and several other well paid positions in this country. Recently we had reports on a CEO (with an annual basic pay of USD180,000)for BML who fooled the Bank board who hired him and everyone else, simply because they failed to check the background.
    Hope somebody takes stock of the situation and find the true identity of these fraudsters before they destroy the young and everyone else in the country.
    New regulations on vetting needs to be in place, especially for professional jobs like teachers and doctors.

  6. Its time for Maldives to realise that not every white person who walks into Maldives is a Saint. The Maldives government ro the Immigration authorities should seek a 'Criminal Beureau Record Check' of individuals from their home country police service before they come to Maldives for work. This is the only way to prevent such people from entering the country.

  7. i am a parent of billabong school and i believe this school has got the best preschool programmes compared to other govt preschools. we are all blessed that nothing has happened while Alexis's was in school,

    the lesson that the school needs to learn is to strengthen its recruitment policy

    and perhaps there is a lesson education ministry needs to learn too, its that to look at such policies and ensure that they are as per the standards expected internationally.

    and perhaps even help such schools or do its own diligence with police clearances with the assistance of the police and other govts.

    I believe immigration should also conduct more thorough searches of such profiled individuals before issuing work permits.

    The school says it has obtained a security clearance from US state government, but in this case, this person was able to change his name legally, provide a valid passport and also provide a police clearance from United States.

    As per regulations, school had followed everything to the letter. so what else can be done?

  8. i agree with the 2nd comment above...Alexis was appointed by Mr. Hassan Nashid (Gaha Nashid). Alexis was there when the school 1st kevin dillow joined the school after that...

  9. Thank you Minivan for covering this story.

    I do hope the police passed on to American authorities the relevant that they r able to catch the sicko...and hopefully convict him too.

    Education Ministry and our schools need to take a lot of care in hiring teachers...not just foreign teachers...but even Maldivians. No person with even an allegation of child abuse, or related charge shud be allowed to teach or be anywhere near our children. And shud a teacher commit an offense as an employ in a school...they shud not be given a second any school.


  10. What bothers me most is the fact that he was exposed to little kids who may have been abused by him, but due to the topic still being taboo to talk of the kids/parents may hide it in turn having the children suffer their entire lifetime from the effects of the abuse they have gone through. I strongly advice all the parents to inquire their kids about their communications they had with him/her. And speak up with a counsellor. Mrs. Naz is now working in Central Clinic and I strongly recommend her.

  11. i think what the most schools neglect is making the children aware of how teachers should be treating to them. when i was in Aminiya there were few male teachers (like adhnan) who continuously asked about our private life when entered to council-ling. i was asked if i had my periods??? while i was continuously stared at my breasts. i thought it was very unethical for him to ask those questions but i didn't know i could report them because as soon as i mentioned that to his face he suspended me???

  12. oh yeah and also one supervisor asked me if my dad was married to a young girl too while laughing (all because they were rivals)... now i was thirteen and i went through my mothers and fathers separation, my reaction to it was swearing at him and then i got suspended again too for saying bad words at him. this is how our system works. how would a student know if the student is being verbally/mentally or physically abused? one single loose end of the government and these procedures results a murderer or a child abuser in schools playing around with hundred of young kids and fooling around with their parents. maybe its time kids should be taught how to identify when something is wrong!!

  13. RE: "I strongly advice all the parents to inquire their kids about their communications they had with him/her."

    Excellent point! There is a HUGE difference between wholesome, innocent attention or contact like hand holding or hugs and that which is manufactured by a pedophile.

    If you have more information about the actions or tactics used by this individual to secure access to young children, please contact [email protected]

    We would welcome hearing from you.

  14. I do not agree with Mr David's point that Alexis was a woman when s/he arrived in Male'. S/he dressed like a man eventhough he wore a pink watch.
    I wonder if Mr David Key was interviewd face to face.How do we know if the other foreign teachers working in that school do not have a criminal history?

  15. I should say, Ralph is correct. That's exactly how I know the story.
    I once met this Alexis weirdo, outside Billabong. My wife(a staff at that time) would always say s/he had a psychological problem.

  16. I have two daughters at Billabong and while we understand that this is a new venture in Mladives and we wait patiently for the school to get their managment in order..but this sort of thing should be identified by the school and through a more foolproof vetting process.we pay higher fees and send our children to private school expecting a higher standard than the public school and the first and foremost consideration should be the security of the children.we want teachers who respect our muslim religion and local culture..teachers often come and go at Billabong and such high turnover means that the teachers are not commited to the longterm development of the children. why Billabog cannot get the best Maldivian teachers is another question??Billabong managment should meet all parents and give them reassurance of what measures they have taken to guarantee such an incident dosent happren again..Billabong needs to get parents mnore involved in the management of the school and in this respect Billabong lags behind public schools who have active school boards where parents are well represented.

  17. "During her time at the Billabong there were no allegations made against him or any evidence of impropriety, Rasheed said"

    During HER time .. no allegations made against HIM.

    For GODS sake Rasheed didn't know the difference ?

    When Billabong introduced Alexis to all the parents Alexis was referred to as Mr.Alexis.

    Rasheed if you are married or if you have a girlfriend just double check if its a HE or a SHE.

  18. The lesson!

    Get a SEX VERIFICATION from IGMH or ADK before employing any foreign teacher!
    Locals, we should know as they can't possibly live an anonymous transexual life in Maldives!

    Yes. Parents. Delve into the conversation he or she had with your kids and try to find if anything went wrong and seek therapy without delay!

    Goose pimples!

  19. Ralph, I agree with every point you have made in your comment. It was Nashid who brought Alexis. Also Dr Dillow was the best Principal Billabong ever had. He was kind, caring, funny, strict and wise. He had everything a principal should have. In fact, he was one the best teachers ever known to us. We enjoyed his history lessons and studied history with passion. The assemblies organised by him was constructive. Our feelings and voices were listened and respected. Never saw him angry or yelling at students. Mr Rasheed should seriously think about bringing him back if he wishes the best for his school and students.

  20. The case has to be investigated to the deepest. If you read the cases of John Mark Karr & JonBenét Ramsey you will feel something strong is hidden within the period of Karr in Male'/Billabong. I believe Gender Ministry together with Child Care Society and NGO' s has to work on a base to find out from the kids if they have been effected.

  21. Mr.Rasheed should really think of getting our former principal Kevin Dillow. Alexis was not a bad (wo)man in my opinion, but s/he must have been a bad man in so many other peoples' point of view. Mr.Nashid isn't the only person to be blamed, it is also a problem of the immigration - they should cross check before allowing him/her to work in Maldives.

  22. "If you have more information about the actions or tactics used by this individual to secure access to young children, please contact [email protected]

    We would welcome hearing from you."


  23. This news is frightening indeed. I wonder how concerned were we about child sex abuse before?
    Oh thats right! The worst proven paedophile this country has seen was just sentenced to 6 years. When sentenced he probably thought "thank God I didn't get caught in a bigger crime" like stealing or using drugs or something which could have lead to a longer sentence.

    Ok then enough said, let discuss some more about
    Mr/Ms Karr, for a while until something more interesting comes along.

  24. I am a parent of Kangaroo Kids last year. Its by far the best Pre School in Maldives. Alexis use to be one of the favorite teacher. I do not beleive s/he had a chance with 3 to 4 teachers in every class. I feel management is aware and protective.
    However glad Alexis is gone in 5 months. Thanks to Kevin and Shafiu.
    As I understand Alexis had a Police report, Reference letter from his previous Employer and Teaching Certificates. We need Government to Government checks.
    To avoid such situations Police and Immigration together with Education Ministry must support all schools by initiating and providing assistance to conduct more effect checks on all teachers local or foreign.


  26. I'm a student of billabong high international school and i think that WE would know best about Alexis. He/She was pretty close with us. but THANKFULLY no harm done. It was Mr. Naashid (our previous principal) who was in the school when Alexis was here. so WHY NOT BLAME NASHID ? Why shoud Mr. Kevin Dillow take the blame for all this ??? HE was a GREAT head master for us & he was the one who kicked Alexis out. As for the Alexis story, i really hope it doesn't happen again. and i'm sure the school would take more SECURITY measures. 🙂
    Billabong is a great school. It's the best school I've ever been to.

  27. OH AND MR.JJ ROBINSON ? PLEASE apologise to Mr. Kevin Dillow. he didnt do anything wrong. YET accusing him of something like this would be VERY bad for his reputation. Please do more research BEFORE blaming people.

  28. I also was a Billabong high student. It is such shame that i have to admit that Billabong high is just another place for a money machine...
    Alexis reich was really close to all the students..
    When ever we address him MR. Alexis he'd get mad and he would tell us to just call him alexis.. We all thought he was weird but he was very close to us.. My friends would even ditch classes and go to him.. They shared really personal things..
    We should have known that something was wrong with this guy.. but for us when ever a teacher treats us like a friend.. we think he or she is COOL and stuff.. we start to like them and trust them..
    Alexis/ Karr knew exactly how to be with kids..!

    One day.. On Cnn I saw someone who looked really like Alexis.. i remember I doubled checked if his name was alexis.. I told my friends about it but obviously they wouldn't believe me..
    And as for those dumb people who let our innocent little children be exposed to such sickos, Whatever you say.. When we searched for Alexis Reich last year, MURDER was the first thing that came up..
    But we didnt want to see it.. We really admired Alexis Reich/ John karr..! I feel like washing myself over and over again.. for touching someone like him..! touching as in just handshakes..!!! When ever we greeted him. CREEPY!

  29. read about him..lucky he was not in our country for a long duration..
    In his web-page...
    Special Notes to Special Ones

    Dear Familie AlAzawi,

    I thought of you on my last visit to Dubai. UAE is so close to your country. Every time I pass through the Middle East, your are in my thoughts. Iraq is such a beautiful country and its children even more so. It was my pleasure to spend such happy times with your daughter Yasmin when last we connected in Europe. In all my contact with the children of Iraq, I have never known a better sense of family. I hope to see all of you once more in Europe or in your lovely Iraq.


    also his ex-fiance has recently spoke n the case is re-opened it seems..

    In one of his last messages to Spiegel, written on April 10, Reich wrote: "If you cost me my little girls I will hunt you down and kill you."

    Definitely that guy i ssickkkkkkkkkkkk

  30. As an American, I am appalled by this. Not by what this individual may or may not have done, but by how all LGBT people in your country are regarded as paedophiles or perverts even if that may or may not be true.

  31. I would like to know how this person was found.. if nothing happened at the school how was his case known..

  32. “It’s similar if you ask the London Metropolitan police for a police record check – they won’t check the rest of the country,” said me.........

  33. This is shocking and unbelievable.The fact is whoever gave this information to the Minivan news is very selfish.No one can compare Mr.Kevin with other principals'.He is the best and forever best Principal Billabong ever had.If the management thinks about the future of this school.. the best idea would be to bring back Mr.Kevin Dillow as soon as possible

  34. Just to clear some things up: John Mark Karr/Alexis Reich has never been convicted of a crime. If no one believes that he killed JonBenet Ramsey, why believe anything else one might hear about him? Where is the proof? Where are all the children that he is accused of harming? No where. There are none.

  35. I am a Billabong two kids are studying at Billabong and its a great school.From the beginning itself i did not like Alexis thou he did not teach my kids.I told many of my friends that i have a very bad feeling about him and even i was going to ask the management to keep close eye on him.but was afraid that management might say"mind my own business " as he did not teach my kids there was not much i could say.He was too friendly with kids and the parents love him. Thank Allah he left.I don't think there was any harm done with so many people around.that is one of the main reason he left.He did not get his own way.
    He was a man and appeared so at that time MUNA ai agree with you n thanks. It could happen any where. WHEN we are not able to put our Maldivians abusers behind bars how can we go after a world famous Abuser.
    RALPH yes we should thank Dr kevin Dillow.
    Please dont blame Mr Nashid he is a good man.If Alxis can change his identitty and Us police has colsed the case there is nothing he can do .

  36. actually we all called him sir
    from the news piece it says that we all knew him as a female teacher, but for all i know, I knew him as a male teacher

  37. when he or she was in billabong we(as in me and my friends ) use to love him but i always said he looks like a freaky scientist always wearing the white coat
    and the white wig too

    Kevin dillow was the best principal billabong ever had!!!!!!

  38. Join this group against John Mark Karr qui porfa to my page I leave the group!/home.php?sk=group_105944289471566


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