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  McMenamin
Posted by: jameson245 - 01-12-2020, 11:37 AM - Forum: Handwriting - No Replies

 

 Gerald McMenamin's analysis of Patsy's writing in Forensic Linguistics  notes style markers and concluded Patsy's style differs from the ransom note writer's and she is therefore excluded as the author. He uses as an example of this that Patsy writes "pick up," John "pickup" and the RN writer "pick-up."

 PR 01 Correct spelling of "business"
PR 02 Correct spelling of "possession"
PR 03 Misspelling of "advise" as "advize"
PR 04 Lack of correction in spelling "denied"
PR 05 Misspelled "burial" as "buriel"
PR 06 Misspelling and correction of "advise" as "advize" with additional correction
PR 07 Misspelling of "scrutiny" as "scruitiny" in passes 1 and 2 (after which she spells it right)
PR 08 Use of capital "S" in "Southern"
PR 09 Presence of periods in "am"
PR 10 Periods (instead of "!") after "Victory" in passes 2 and 3 (and 4, 5)
PR 11 No periods used in "SBTC"
PR 12 "Unharmed" is one word
PR 13 Using the correct article in "an earlier"
PR 14 "Pick up" has no hyphen
PR 15 Writes "counter measures" (But she writes "countermeasures" in her individual word exemplars)
PR 16 Use of single word for "outsmart"
PR 17 Use of single word for "underestimate"
PR 18A $118,000. has no trailing zeroes PR 18b $100,000. has no trailing zeroes
PR 18C Wrote "100 dollar" without "$"
PR 18D Wrote "$18,000." with no trailing zeroes in pass 3 PR
18E Use of word "dollar" without "$"

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  story at end of GJ - not quitting
Posted by: jameson245 - 12-16-2019, 11:18 AM - Forum: Grand Jury Indictments - Replies (1)

Hunter: We're not quitting
By Karen Auge
Denver Post Staff Writer

Oct. 15, 1999 - BOULDER - John and Patsy Ramsey are still under that umbrella of suspicion.
In three separate news conferences Thursday afternoon, key figures in the Ramsey case admitted mistakes were made in the investigation, pledged to catch the killer and entertained the idea of having a special prosecutor pick up the case.
Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter and Police Chief Mark Beckner both stressed that efforts to find JonBenet Ramsey's killer didn't end Wednesday with the grand jury investigation - and said the grand jury's 13-month probe did not change the status of JonBene�t Ramsey's parents.
"We have not excluded the Ramseys,'' Hunter said.
In between Hunter's and Beckner's question-and-answer sessions at the Boulder County Justice Center, Gov. Bill Owens announced from the Capitol steps that he had assembled a seven-member task force to decide whether a special prosecutor should take over the case.
When asked about that possibility earlier, Hunter, a Democrat, responded that he wouldn't second-guess the Republican governor.
"We are interested in the pursuit of truth in this case. If he can assist in that, I don't think any of us would stand in his way,'' Hunter said.
Surrounded by his grand jury prosecution team, two of the district attorneys who have advised him and two Boulder police detectives, Hunter said he has an "aching heart about where this case is.''
He refused to discuss any element of the grand jury's investigation - including why John and Patsy Ramsey were not called to testify. Talking about the grand jury's work would violate the secrecy of the process required by law, Hunter and Adams County District Attorney Bob Grant said.
Hunter said the investigation into who killed the 6-year-old beauty queen was "significantly advanced'' by the grand jury's probe, but refused to elaborate.
The Ramseys, who released a statement Wednesday night saying they remain "committed to finding our daughter's killer,'' stayed out of the public eye Thursday. Their attorney, Hal Haddon, did not return phone calls.
"Tension and agony' Patsy Ramsey's sister Pam Paugh told CNN's Larry King on Thursday that she did not know whether her sister and brother-inlaw were relieved not to have been indicted.
"They had absolutely nothing to do with the murder,'' Paugh said.
She said Patsy Ramsey told her Thursday, " "Pam, someone has killed my child, I can never get her back and to this day we don't have her killer, so no, I'm not happy.' '' Mike Archuleta, a former pilot for the Ramseys, said he and his wife talked to them on the phone Wednesday night after the grand jury finished its investigation.
"Their prayers, our prayers have been answered,'' said Archuleta. "The tension and agony they have been going through is horrific. They feel very relieved. They're very grateful to the grand jury for doing what was right - the right thing for everybody.''
He said he hopes the grand jury decision will open new avenues to finding JonBene�t's killer.
"This whole case isn't about the Ramseys. This case is about JonBene�t. There is a brutal murderer out there. They need to be found. I don't know if they ever will. We pray and hope it can be so JonBene�t can rest in peace, so the family can finally rest in peace.''
Reporters queried Hunter about the possibility of other suspects, but the DA refused to elaborate on any suspects other than to say the Ramseys had not been cleared. Their daughter was found beaten and strangled in the basement of their Boulder home on Dec. 26, 1996.
The grand jury began hearing evidence in case on Sept. 15, 1998. Wednesday, the panel ended its work, and just over an hour later Hunter announced to scores of waiting reporters and photographers that no charges would be filed in the case.
"I and my prosecution task force believe we don't have sufficient evidence to warrant the filing of charges . . . at this time,'' he said.
Hunter has never specifically said that the grand jurors voted against issuing an indictment - or that they voted on the matter at all. And he refused Thursday to answer any questions about grand jury proceedings, including whether the eight women and four men had wanted to issue a report on their findings.
Lingering issues If the grand jury never even voted on an indictment, "I find that troublesome,'' said Denver attorney Scott Robinson, who has served as a commentator on the case. "It doesn't mean the process was tainted, it just means the grand jury wasn't as autonomous as we had thought,'' Robinson said.
Hunter and Beckner both stressed that the investigation is not over, and Denver DA Bill Ritter talked about a case his office solved after 20 years and more than one grand jury.
"The grand jury was one phase,'' Hunter said, of an investigation he called a "continuum.''
Beckner later echoed that, saying, "This is an open, active homicide investigation.''
Before becoming chief of Boulder police last year, Beckner took over as lead detective on the Ramsey case in October 1997 after the previous head of the case was removed.
Beckner, who admitted that police made mistakes in the initial stages of what grew to be a $2 million investigation, said there is still more evidence to evaluate. However, Beckner, who coined the "umbrella of suspicion'' phrase, said work on the case "won't be a daily thing. It's not something that takes eight, 10 hours a day like it did in past.''
In response to a reporter's question, Beckner said that information uncovered in the grand jury investigation would be available only to the detective who had been sworn in as a grand jury deputy.
The secrecy that by law surrounds the grand jury proceedings raised questions about whether the seven-member task force appointed Thursday by Gov. Owens to review the investigation could have access to testimony the grand jury heard.
At one point in the press conference, Hunter was reminded that he had once stood behind a microphone and told JonBenet's killer, "We will find you.''
Asked if he had any message for the child's killer now, Hunter began his answer by saying, "If I had that to do again, I might do that a little differently. I thought I might smoke the killer out.''
But this time, he said, his message is: "We are going to continue our efforts.'' And calling his prosecution team one of the best ever assembled, he added, "If I were the killer I'm not sure I'd like to have this group looking for me.''
Denver Post staff writer Marilyn Robinson contributed to this report.

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  story at end of GJ - not quitting
Posted by: jameson245 - 12-16-2019, 10:17 AM - Forum: Grand Jury Indictments - No Replies

Hunter: We're not quitting
By Karen Auge
Denver Post Staff Writer

Oct. 15, 1999 - BOULDER - John and Patsy Ramsey are still under that umbrella of suspicion.
In three separate news conferences Thursday afternoon, key figures in the Ramsey case admitted mistakes were made in the investigation, pledged to catch the killer and entertained the idea of having a special prosecutor pick up the case.
Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter and Police Chief Mark Beckner both stressed that efforts to find JonBenet Ramsey's killer didn't end Wednesday with the grand jury investigation - and said the grand jury's 13-month probe did not change the status of JonBene�t Ramsey's parents.
"We have not excluded the Ramseys,'' Hunter said.
In between Hunter's and Beckner's question-and-answer sessions at the Boulder County Justice Center, Gov. Bill Owens announced from the Capitol steps that he had assembled a seven-member task force to decide whether a special prosecutor should take over the case.
When asked about that possibility earlier, Hunter, a Democrat, responded that he wouldn't second-guess the Republican governor.
"We are interested in the pursuit of truth in this case. If he can assist in that, I don't think any of us would stand in his way,'' Hunter said.
Surrounded by his grand jury prosecution team, two of the district attorneys who have advised him and two Boulder police detectives, Hunter said he has an "aching heart about where this case is.''
He refused to discuss any element of the grand jury's investigation - including why John and Patsy Ramsey were not called to testify. Talking about the grand jury's work would violate the secrecy of the process required by law, Hunter and Adams County District Attorney Bob Grant said.
Hunter said the investigation into who killed the 6-year-old beauty queen was "significantly advanced'' by the grand jury's probe, but refused to elaborate.
The Ramseys, who released a statement Wednesday night saying they remain "committed to finding our daughter's killer,'' stayed out of the public eye Thursday. Their attorney, Hal Haddon, did not return phone calls.
"Tension and agony' Patsy Ramsey's sister Pam Paugh told CNN's Larry King on Thursday that she did not know whether her sister and brother-inlaw were relieved not to have been indicted.
"They had absolutely nothing to do with the murder,'' Paugh said.
She said Patsy Ramsey told her Thursday, " "Pam, someone has killed my child, I can never get her back and to this day we don't have her killer, so no, I'm not happy.' '' Mike Archuleta, a former pilot for the Ramseys, said he and his wife talked to them on the phone Wednesday night after the grand jury finished its investigation.
"Their prayers, our prayers have been answered,'' said Archuleta. "The tension and agony they have been going through is horrific. They feel very relieved. They're very grateful to the grand jury for doing what was right - the right thing for everybody.''
He said he hopes the grand jury decision will open new avenues to finding JonBene�t's killer.
"This whole case isn't about the Ramseys. This case is about JonBene�t. There is a brutal murderer out there. They need to be found. I don't know if they ever will. We pray and hope it can be so JonBene�t can rest in peace, so the family can finally rest in peace.''
Reporters queried Hunter about the possibility of other suspects, but the DA refused to elaborate on any suspects other than to say the Ramseys had not been cleared. Their daughter was found beaten and strangled in the basement of their Boulder home on Dec. 26, 1996.
The grand jury began hearing evidence in case on Sept. 15, 1998. Wednesday, the panel ended its work, and just over an hour later Hunter announced to scores of waiting reporters and photographers that no charges would be filed in the case.
"I and my prosecution task force believe we don't have sufficient evidence to warrant the filing of charges . . . at this time,'' he said.
Hunter has never specifically said that the grand jurors voted against issuing an indictment - or that they voted on the matter at all. And he refused Thursday to answer any questions about grand jury proceedings, including whether the eight women and four men had wanted to issue a report on their findings.
Lingering issues If the grand jury never even voted on an indictment, "I find that troublesome,'' said Denver attorney Scott Robinson, who has served as a commentator on the case. "It doesn't mean the process was tainted, it just means the grand jury wasn't as autonomous as we had thought,'' Robinson said.
Hunter and Beckner both stressed that the investigation is not over, and Denver DA Bill Ritter talked about a case his office solved after 20 years and more than one grand jury.
"The grand jury was one phase,'' Hunter said, of an investigation he called a "continuum.''
Beckner later echoed that, saying, "This is an open, active homicide investigation.''
Before becoming chief of Boulder police last year, Beckner took over as lead detective on the Ramsey case in October 1997 after the previous head of the case was removed.
Beckner, who admitted that police made mistakes in the initial stages of what grew to be a $2 million investigation, said there is still more evidence to evaluate. However, Beckner, who coined the "umbrella of suspicion'' phrase, said work on the case "won't be a daily thing. It's not something that takes eight, 10 hours a day like it did in past.''
In response to a reporter's question, Beckner said that information uncovered in the grand jury investigation would be available only to the detective who had been sworn in as a grand jury deputy.
The secrecy that by law surrounds the grand jury proceedings raised questions about whether the seven-member task force appointed Thursday by Gov. Owens to review the investigation could have access to testimony the grand jury heard.
At one point in the press conference, Hunter was reminded that he had once stood behind a microphone and told JonBenet's killer, "We will find you.''
Asked if he had any message for the child's killer now, Hunter began his answer by saying, "If I had that to do again, I might do that a little differently. I thought I might smoke the killer out.''
But this time, he said, his message is: "We are going to continue our efforts.'' And calling his prosecution team one of the best ever assembled, he added, "If I were the killer I'm not sure I'd like to have this group looking for me.''
Denver Post staff writer Marilyn Robinson contributed to this report.

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  Persecutor Kane talks
Posted by: jameson245 - 12-16-2019, 10:05 AM - Forum: Grand Jury Indictments - Replies (1)

[b]2001-12-18: Case haunts DA's aide who led grand jury[/b]

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_912183,00.html
Case haunts DA's aide who led grand jury

Kane says he never felt that Ramseys gave him the straight story during his interviews

By Charlie Brennan, News Staff Writer

Michael Kane says he still thinks about the JonBenet Ramsey murder every day.

"And at least once a week, when I'm out running or something, this case will be running through my head," he said, "and I'll think, 'What if we did this now?' or 'What if that happened?' "

Kane, 49, joined former District Attorney Alex Hunter's team in June 1998, about 18 months after JonBenet was found beaten and strangled in the basement of her Boulder home.

He led the 13-month-long grand jury probe that concluded Oct. 13, 1999, with no indictments issued in the case.

JonBenet's parents remain under an "umbrella of suspicion" in the death.

Kane spent many hours questioning John and Patsy Ramsey about their daughter's murder. He said he believes they have yet to give him the straight story.

"When I met with them, I never felt that they were genuine," Kane said. "I always felt like I was talking to a press secretary who was giving responses with a spin.

"I always felt like their answers were very careful and, in some cases, scripted. And that caused me a lot of concern."

Kane said one of the biggest mistakes in the case was that officials didn't take it to a grand jury in the early going.

"I think the major problem with this case was the hard-core evidence gathering," Kane said.

He believes a grand jury should have been impaneled promptly -- not necessarily to secure a rapid indictment, but in order to use a grand jury's broad powers to subpoena witnesses and, equally important, personal records.

"I had this argument with them until the day (former Boulder prosecutors) Pete Hofstrom and Trip DeMuth were off the case" in August 1998, Kane said.

"That's what a grand jury is for, because a grand jury can order someone to produce documents. It's up to the DA's office to say, 'There's an awful lot of things we need to know about, and the only way we're going to know about it is by getting these records.'

"Instead, it was almost two years later when we started issuing subpoenas for information, and the trail sometimes grows cold. A lot of businesses don't keep records that long," Kane said.

Many people connected to the case claimed they tuned out the constant chatter it sparked in the media. Not Kane.

"There were lots of times, sitting in the (Boulder justice center) war room at night, I'd flip on the TV and they'd be doing a program about this case, and somebody would say something, and I'd say 'Darn, I wish I'd thought of that,' " Kane said. "And then, I'd follow up on it."

On occasion, such brainstorms still lead Kane to call and share ideas with Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner. And, periodically, he'll get a call from Beckner seeking Kane's thoughts on any new wrinkle in the case that might have arisen.

Kane has had virtually no contact, however, with Boulder District Attorney Mary Keenan. She inherited the case from Hunter after his retirement in January.

"I don't feel slighted" by Keenan, Kane said. "I worked that case intensely. I had my shot. I did everything with the information that I had at the time to try to come up with an answer. And it didn't happen.

"Maybe what this case needs now is someone coming to the case for the first time, who may have a light bulb come on."

Kane moved back to his native Pennsylvania and spent the time since November 1999 in private practice doing primarily civil litigation.

He returned Dec. 10 to the Pennsylvania State Department of Revenue, as deputy director for taxation. He had been working at that Pennsylvania state agency when Hunter picked him to pilot the Ramsey grand jury.

Kane, a divorced father of two girls -- Kathleen, 17, and Madeline, 13 -- makes his home in Mechanicsburg, Pa., less than a mile from where his daughters live with their mother.

Asked if he's frustrated that no one has been charged in JonBenet's slaying, he didn't hesitate: "Lots. In a word, lots. I didn't sign on there to not come up with a conclusion that was not prosecutable."

Kane participated in two interviews with the Ramseys after joining the case. In the first, he was teamed with former homicide investigator Lou Smit for an interrogation of John Ramsey that spanned three days -- June 22 to 24, 1998.

More recently, he traveled with Beckner to Atlanta for interviews with John and Patsy Ramsey, conducted Aug. 28 and 29, 2000, in the office of their lawyer, L. Lin Wood. Those contentious sessions ended with the Ramseys and the Boulder officials calling the interviews a waste of time.

Reflecting now on his interviews with the Ramseys, Kane said, "I never felt like I was getting a spontaneous response

"John Ramsey always left me with the impression that he was a very smart man, and he is very careful at answering questions," Kane said. "Whereas, Patsy struck me as somebody that just had an answer in advance of the question, and just kind of resorted to an 'I don't know' if she didn't have an answer in advance."

Kane said that with more than half a dozen books published and two movies made about the case, people could assume they know everything there is to know about the murder -- other than who did it, of course.

But, he said, such an assumption would be wrong.

There remain "dozens" of secrets, he said. "Absolutely. Dozens. And a lot of what the public thinks is fact is simply not fact."

He wouldn't disclose any of the former or correct any of the latter.

The legacy of the Ramsey case for Kane, personally, is that it left him in bad need of a vacation from criminal law.

"I got burned out on the cat-and-mouse aspects of it, after spending a year and a half focused on nothing else but that case," Kane said. "The process of going from small point to small point to small point, trying to find the truth, can be very intense and frustrating.

"Sometimes it's rewarding, but after doing it for a year and a half on this one case, I was just glad to get a break from it."

Contact Charlie Brennan at (303) 892-2742 or brennanc@RockyMountainNews.com.

December 18, 2001

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  from Steve Thomas deposition
Posted by: jameson245 - 12-16-2019, 10:02 AM - Forum: Grand Jury Indictments - No Replies

Quote:Steve Thomas Deposition (Atlanta, Georgia)
Wolf vs Ramsey Civil Action File No. 00-CIV-1187(JEC)

(Grand Jury Discussion)

48
17 Q. Did you ever receive any
18 information about grand jury testimony or
19 evidence in the case?
20 A. Never.



(SNIP)



53
7 Q. Do you have any other documents
8 about this investigation, other than those
9 documents? Do you?
10 A. Oh, I'm sorry. If I understand
11 the question correctly, no, as I said, not
12 that I recall because post-August '98 began
13 the grand jury. And certainly I don't have
14 any information from the grand jury room.



(SNIP)



202
4 Q. (BY MR. WOOD) You said very
5 clearly to Mr. Hoffman you do not know the
6 state of the evidence with respect to the
7 JonBenet Ramsey investigation, as you sit here
8 today, the state of the evidence as of
9 September 2001, true?
10 A. After leaving the police
11 department, yes, that concluded my official
12 participation. I have followed the case
13 through the media, but as far as being privy
14 to anything that occurred in the grand jury
15 or continued evidence testing, I'm unaware of
16 that.
17 Q. You knew the state of the evidence
18 as it existed in the case as of March 2001,
19 true?
20 A. That was during the period which
21 -- no, the grand jury had concluded -- no, I
22 -- no, I wasn't inside the police department
23 reviewing evidence at that time either.

24 Q. But what you did know and you had
25 actual knowledge of was that a grand jury had


203

1 met for some 13 months and had not issued an
2 indictment against John and Patsy Ramsey,
3 right?
4 A. I don't know that. Do you know
5 that?
6 Q. Sir, was an indictment issued? Do
7 you have information there was an indictment
8 of my clients that nobody has bothered
9 telling them or me about?
10 MR. HOFFMAN: Actually, Lin,
11 Patrick Burke has information that he should
12 have told you about which he announced to the
13 media that according to him the grand jury
14 actually took a straw poll. Why don't you
15 ask Patrick Burke.
16 MR. WOOD: Let me tell you,
17 Darnay, that won't count against my time.
18 MR. HOFFMAN: Okay.
19 MR. WOOD: But you're right, it
20 was a straw poll; it was a vote not to
21 indict. Thank you for bringing something to
22 my attention that I already knew.
23 MR. HOFFMAN: Okay.

24 Q. (BY MR. WOOD) Would you answer
25 my question, sir? It's pretty simple. You

204
1 know that no indictment was issued by the
2 grand jury, true?
3 A. I don't know what the grand jury
4 did.
5 Q. I'm not asking you what they did
6 in terms of whether they voted or not, sir.
7 MR. DIAMOND: I think he's asking
8 you --
9 Q. (BY MR. WOOD) I'm asking you
10 whether they issued an indictment to indict
11 John and/or Patsy Ramsey?
12 MR. DIAMOND: -- are you aware of
13 any public report of such an indictment.
14 A. No.
15 Q. (BY MR. WOOD) You also know that
16 after the grand jury was dismissed that Alex
17 Hunter stated publicly that all seven of the
18 prosecutors in the case unanimously agreed
19 that this was not a case where they felt
20 that evidence was sufficient to justify at
21 that time a prosecution. You know that, too,
22 don't you, sir?
23 A. That Hunter --
24 Q. Made that statement publicly?
25 A. Made the statement that his

205
1 advisors supported that decision?
2 Q. Seven prosecutors, not his
3 advisors, seven prosecutors, you know that,
4 don't you, sir?
5 A. I know that statement was made.

.

Quote:
Steve Thomas Deposition - 09-21-2001
Chris Wolf vs Ramsey Civil Case

(Grand Jury Discussion)




(SNIP)



391
24 Q. Do you know of any prosecutor who
25 is familiar with the evidence that has

392
1 concluded that the evidence shows beyond a
2 reasonable doubt that Patsy Ramsey is guilty
3 of the homicide of her daughter?
4 A. No, because the prosecutors privy
5 to that evidence are bound by grand jury
6 secrecy and none have violated that with me.



(SNIP)



394
13 Q. Why did you not, when you had old
14 Barry Scheck, a nice guy, Henry Lee, all
15 these VIPs there, why did you not include the
16 intruder evidence in the presentation to
17 objectively give those individuals both sides
18 of the case?
19 A. Because the Boulder Police
20 Department's position was, as I understood it
21 and understand it, the VIP presentation was
22 to show that there was sufficient probable
23 cause to arrest Patsy Ramsey and for the DA's
24 office to move it forward through the use of
25 a grand jury with that end in mind.

395
1 Q. Of an indictment which is a
2 finding by a grand jury of probable cause to
3 charge or arrest, right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You've been in the business long
6 enough to know that the grand jury can, as
7 they say, indict a ham sandwich, right? It
8 doesn't take much evidence to indict or
9 arrest, does it, sir?
10 A. My understanding of probable cause
11 is facts and evidence and circumstances that
12 are within the knowledge of a police officer
13 that would lead a reasonable person to
14 conclude that, A, a crime was committed and
15 B, that a particular individual was involved.
16 Sometimes, depending on the case,
17 that can sometimes be a great threshold.



(SNIP)



424
24 Q. You state in your book there were
25 27 reasons for a grand jury and it's at page

425
1 309. But my question is, were those 27
2 reasons for a grand jury correlate to the 27
3 remaining tasks that were referred to in that
4 June '98 press release by the Boulder Police
5 Department?
6 A. Let me look at 309 real quickly.
7 308, 309?
8 Q. It's on 309 and I've got a copy
9 of that press release where he says there
10 were 27 tasks remaining. I'm just wondering
11 if that's the correlation.
12 A. Oh, if I understand you correctly,
13 did these 27 reasons correspond with the 27
14 tasks left on the to-do list?
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. No.



(SNIP)



439
6 Q. What I want to know is if you can
7 date that for me? "'The case is not being
8 handled well,' said the CASKU agents."
9 A. Shortly before I believe the
10 Ramseys' April 30, 1997 interview.
11 Q. Can you identify the three agents
12 for me?
13 A. Supervisory special agent Bill
14 Hagmaier, special agent Mike Morrow, and their
15 partner and the third special agent, his name
16 just escapes me at the moment.
17 Q. And those three agents prior to
18 April 30, 1997 said that the intruder theory
19 was absurd, Hofstrom needs to act like a
20 prosecutor not a public defender. Don't do
21 tomorrow's interview and get a grand jury as
22 soon as possible, right?
23 A. Yes.

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  Witnesses CAN talk!
Posted by: jameson245 - 12-16-2019, 10:00 AM - Forum: Grand Jury Indictments - Replies (1)

[b]2001-07-06: Ruling strikes down ‘permanent’ silencing of grand jury witnesses[/b]

July 6, 2001
Ruling strikes down ‘permanent’ silencing of grand jury witnesses
By B.J. Plasket
The Daily Times-Call

DENVER — A federal judge on Thursday said a Colorado rule requiring life-long secrecy by grand jury witnesses is unconstitutional, paving the way for witnesses in the JonBenet Ramsey grand jury probe to speak about their testimony.

In throwing out the rule, U.S. District Judge Wiley Daniel called it an impermissible restriction of First Amendment free-speech rights.

Daniel made the ruling in a suit filed last year by Linda Hoffman-Pugh, a former housekeeper for John and Patsy Ramsey . Hoffman-Pugh’s suit claimed she wanted to write a book but was fearful she would be prosecuted if she divulged information that she shared with the grand jury.

Noted New York attorney Darnay Hoffman, who represented Hoffman-Pugh, said the decision would free others who testified before the grand jury to tell what they know. He said enterprising journalists could “win a Pulitzer Prize” by digging into the testimony of the grand jury witnesses.

Boulder County Deputy District Attorney William Nagel said Daniel’s ruling will be appealed to U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Nagel did not request a stay of Daniel’s order until the appeal is decided, meaning any of the Ramsey grand jury witnesses are free to speak.

The ruling does not allow grand jury witnesses to divulge such things as what questions they were asked and does not allow them to comment on the proceedings of the jury.

The Ramsey grand jury met for more than a year before disbanding in October 1999 without returning any indictments. Then-District Attorney Alex Hunter, at the conclusion of the grand jury, vowed that the proceedings would remain secret forever.

In declaring the rule unconstitutional, Daniel said it was “virtually identical” to a Florida law overturned 10 years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court. Nagel argued the two cases were different because the Colorado rule — unlike the one in Florida — did not prohibit witnesses from discussing information they knew before testifying.

The Colorado rule prohibited witnesses from discussing their testimony unless or until an indictment was issued or in the event a report was issued in the absence of an indictment. The Ramsey grand jury was not permitted to issue a report, and those who served on the jury are still sworn to silence.

Nagel argued the Colorado rule provided “a good balance between free speech and the criminal justice system.”

Daniel surprised the attorneys who were arguing the case when he ruled from the bench in granting Hoffman-Pugh’s motion for a summary judgment, declaring the rule unconstitutional. Prior to the hearing, Hoffman said he believed there was “no chance” Daniel would rule immediately and predicted the judge would issue a written ruling days or weeks from now.

Daniel gave an indication of how he might rule shortly after the hearing began. He told Nagel he was concerned the rule constituted an “indefinite and permanent” silencing of witnesses.

Daniel said the federal courts — and courts in 40 states — allow grand jury witnesses to discuss their testimony as soon as it is completed.

“The suggestion here is that there is some sort of problem with the Colorado law,” he said. “What information are they seeking to keep her from revealing?”

Daniel said that in order to restrict free speech, there must be a showing of “compelling governmental interest.”

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  They tried to block Lou Smit
Posted by: jameson245 - 12-16-2019, 09:58 AM - Forum: Grand Jury Indictments - No Replies

[b]2000-03-15: Rocky Mountain News: DAs tried to block testimony by Smit[/b]

http://denver.rockymountainnews.com/extra/ramsey/0315smit1.shtml
DAs tried to block testimony by Smit
Grand jury finally did hear intruder theory
By Kevin McCullen
Denver Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BOULDER -- Prosecutors last year tried to stop detective Lou Smit from sharing with a grand jury his theory that an intruder killed JonBenet Ramsey.

Court documents unsealed Tuesday show Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter obtained a court order in February 1999 prohibiting Smit from testifying before the grand jury investigating the 6-year-old beauty princess's slaying.

Smit fought the court order, which was eventually lifted, and in March detailed for the jury the theories he developed during his 18 months as Hunter's special investigator on the case.

Smit's attorney accused Hunter of not wanting to give the grand jury all of the facts in the case, according to the court documents. Authorities have named only JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, as suspects in the case.

"The prosecution is either intentionally or unintentionally emphasizing and focusing upon evidence which points to involvement of the Ramsey family and is not presenting clear evidence of involvement of an intruder in the murder of JonBenet Ramsey," attorney Greg Walta argued in court documents.

Neither Hunter nor Smit could be reached for comment Tuesday.

A source close to the case said prosecutors were concerned Smit, a former homicide investigator in Colorado Springs, would offer grand jurors only theories in the case and not present any factual evidence.

Smit this week publicly revealed the evidence that he believes shows an intruder killed JonBenet. Smit is now helping the Ramseys investigate their daughter's death.

Smit said an aluminum baseball bat with carpet fibers from inside the Ramsey house was found outside a broken basement window. JonBenet's skull was fractured by a blow to the head before she was strangled Christmas night 1996.

He also said packing material and leaves were found both inside and outside the broken window, which indicates an intruder could have entered or exited the house.

He also said marks on the girl's face match marks that would have been left by a Taser stun gun.

Smit's testimony in March 1999 came just weeks after several alternate jurors were dimissed, fueling speculation that the grand jury's work was near completion.

After Smit and others testified, the jury continued to meet until last October, when it closed its investigation without indicting anyone.

Smit resigned from Hunter's office in September 1998, after Hunter decided to take the investigation to the grand jury.

Smit said he quit, in part, because he believed Boulder police and prosecutors "had developed tunnel vision and were focusing only on the Ramsey family and not on other suspects," according to the court documents.

Smit initially asked Hunter for permission to make a three-hour "intruder theory" presentation, but was rejected, court documents show.

Smit made the request to ensure "all aspects of the evidence are presented before criminal charges are filed," records show.

Contact Kevin McCullen at (303) 442-8729 or mccullenk@RockyMountainNews.com.

March 15, 2000

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  Beckner after GJ
Posted by: jameson245 - 12-16-2019, 09:56 AM - Forum: Grand Jury Indictments - No Replies

Quote: 1999-10-15: BPD-PR #72 - Statement from News Conference on October 14, 1999

News Release
October 15, 1999
Contact: Jennifer Bray, Media Relations
Jana Petersen, Media Relations, 303-441-3090
http://www.ci.boulder.co.us

Statement from News Conference on October 14, 1999

Mark Beckner, Chief of Police

Ramsey News Release #72

I want to first publicly thank the twelve citizens of this grand jury for their service to the community. Although by law, I cannot comment on the grand jury's work as it relates to this case, I am grateful to the District Attorney, Alex Hunter, for allowing a grand jury investigation. Contrary to public perception, we have made progress in this case over the past 13 months because of the work of the grand jury. If you recall, when investigators asked for a grand jury in the spring of 1998, it was for the purpose of assisting us in our investigation. In this regard, it has been a successful grand jury.

I also want to thank Mike Kane, Mitch Morrisey and Bruce Levin for their hard work. There's been a great deal of speculation about the working relationship between the DA's office and the police. Let me just say that we have a great deal of respect for one another, and the working relationship on this case has never been better. Over the past 15 months, we have worked hand in hand with the prosecutors on this case and have been very pleased with how things have been handled.

There has also been speculation that charges have not been filed in this case because of reluctance on the part of the District Attorney's office. In addition to Alex Hunter, we have had 3 experienced prosecutors working on this case. None of these prosecutors, in my opinion, would hesitate in taking this case to trial once the evidence is sufficient to do so.

The next obvious question is...where do we go from here? From the police perspective, this will remain an open, ongoing investigation. Contrary to the public perception and the rampant speculation that the investigation is over, this case is not dead in the water. I know you have grown tired of hearing this, but yes, we still have forensic evidence we are working on. We are committed to not giving up on this investigation. Like any other open homicide, we will continue to process and test evidence as necessary, and follow any reasonable leads that are developed.

(Anyone who's been in law enforcement can tell you of cases that finally come to resolution, often after many months or years of investigation, and sometimes when you least expect it. That's what keeps us going.)

If you believe what some of the pundits are saying, you might think it's futile to keep trying. Those of us close to the case know better. We know that the right and just thing to do is to keep going. Quite frankly, too much has been made of the conclusion of the grand jury. We have simply completed another phase of this difficult investigation.

In addition to the possibility of new evidence developing, new forensic technology is advancing at a rapid pace. As a result, cases that were once unsolvable have been solved. New technology in the last 2 1/2 years has helped us in this case. We never know what the next month, year, or several years will bring.

As Police Chief, there is something else I know I can count on. And that is the dedication of the four investigators who have been on this case from the beginning.

These four individuals, as well as all members of the Boulder Police Department, are committed to finding a resolution in this case, and they will not be swayed from that commitment.

Much has been made out of alleged mistakes early in this case. Yes, there are things we should have done differently and wish we would have done differently. Any time a crime scene is disturbed, it creates problems for the investigation. However, to say that mistakes have made this an unsolvable case is not accurate. Circumstances and evidence that raise questions for us today are not the result of a contaminated crime scene.

I know that this case has been frustrating for everyone, but I can assure you it has not been more frustrating than for the detectives who have worked full time on this case for almost three years. While we will continue to be criticized by those who fail to understand the complexities in this case, I am proud of the work our detectives have done to get us where we are today. For any mistakes that may have been made early on, there have been many times more right things that have been done in this case.

I would also like to say that while the intense scrutiny has not always been pleasant, there have been positives. We are not the same police department we were 3 years ago. As a result of learning from our experiences, we have taken steps to make some changes in how we operate. We have developed some new policies and procedures, adjusted some of our training, and made some changes in our detective section. And, we have also developed a more open philosophy when dealing with the media. As a result of these changes, I believe we are a better prepared, better trained police department.

I must take a moment to thank the local Boulder community for its support. City council, the city manager, and the many citizens of this city have been understanding and supportive in our efforts. For this, we are appreciative.

In the end, all of the media attention doesn't matter. All of the speculation doesn't matter. Legal analysts who will find fault with the work we've done doesn't matter. What matters is finding justice for JonBenet Ramsey.

To this day, two years and nine months after her death, we are as intent on that objective as we
were from day one.

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  jameson not a witness
Posted by: jameson245 - 12-16-2019, 09:39 AM - Forum: Grand Jury Indictments - Replies (1)

[b]1999-03-31: Webbsleuths Community Forum (http://munitrading.com)
on thread titled, "my request to see the grand jury"
[/b]

"my request to see the grand jury"
Posted by jameson on 19:10:55 3/31/99
Include Original Message on Reply

From the TimeLine ©
March 27th
.
personal news - ò¿ó - I received a letter from Michael Kane advising me that my petition to be seen by the grand jury was not acceptable. He was not denying my request, he said, he was simply stating that I had not presented my request properly.
.
"Because this is not a denial of your request to testify, but rather a determination that your petition does not meet the statutory requirements...."
.
I reworded my application and resubmitted it immediately.
(Will it take another month to get a response?)
.
Personally, I am offended by what I see as an attempt by Michael Kane to ignore certain information in this case. I fear Michael Kane is wantonly using his position in order to gain an indictment at all costs.
.
I have reason to believe a certain report that reached the DA's office six months ago through a perfectly legal, respectable and credible source was not followed up on. Was it an oversight or intended disregard?

Doesn't matter which it was. It is not too late to do the right thing.
.
I e-mailed this quote to Mr. Kane today.
.
"The issue is not whether mistakes were made, but how they are addressed when they are discovered."
.
I hope Mr. Kane does the right thing here

I expect the clock has run out and I will not be heard. I have hope that Marcia Clark and the others were right last week when they predicted that there will be no indictment. But I am still concerned that their report will be based on some misinformation.

I can only hope that when the grand jury returns next week they have an agenda and insist on hearing from others who may have something to add to the discussion BEFORE they write a report that will determine the future of this case.
 




3. "The way it is..."

Posted by jameson on 21:40:13 3/31/99

Include Original Message on Reply



I have information that the grand jury should know before they take ANY action - - before they vote OR before they wrote a report.



I have given this information to the authorities and the Ramsey representatives.



The authorities seem to wish I would disappear.



The Ramsey representatives are not yet in any position to use the information I got to them. Since I have never spoken to any of the Ramsey lawyers, I don't know what they can or will do with it in the future.



I have decided to go public with that information. The story will be out in April. It is scheduled to air on 48 Hours. Soon after, it will be on the internet.



This isn't how I wanted it to be, but it is how it is going to happen. I did not want to "go public" but feel forced to do this because it is the "right thing to do".



I have other information that will come out later, some of it is important as well, but the piece I want to bring to the grand jury will be out very soon.







10. "48 Hours, gj and stuff"

Posted by jameson on 07:49:33 4/01/99

Include Original Message on Reply



As it stands now, the show will air by the end of this month. (Yes, you will get to see me - don't get excited about that, I'm just another non-descript middle-aged housewife.)



I won't know what the show actually shows until you do - I get no preview and so I have to trust the editors are going to tell the story correctly.



The whole hour is not on me - (don't blink) - so don't expect to hear all I know - just one piece of the puzzle I felt had to come out now.



I have petitioned again to be heard by the grand jury. I may still get in. I understand it can be as little as 48 hours between the time they decide to let you appear and the actual appearance. Just have to hope they decide to correct a mistake.







11. "Wendy and Mikie"

Posted by jameson on 07:59:23 4/01/99

Include Original Message on Reply



Wendy - my sources clearly indicate who the target of the grand jury is - I think it is well known they aren't about to indict anyone whose name we have never heard.



Mikie - There is a very good reason why I want to personally present my evidence to the grand jury. I can't send them a file directly or I would be arrested for jury tampering.



And I don't trust the DA to give my evidence for me - you see, IMO, the DA has already shown through their actions that they don't want to see, understand, or present all the evidence in this case.
of this case.

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  Grand Jurors go to house
Posted by: jameson245 - 12-16-2019, 09:34 AM - Forum: Grand Jury Indictments - Replies (1)

Grand jurors inspect Ramsey house
Panel methodically examines home where child was found dead almost two years ago
By Charlie Brennan
News Staff Writer
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BOULDER -- Grand jurors took a field trip Thursday, spending several hours inspecting the house where JonBenet Ramsey was found murdered.

Clutching notepads and other printed material, they scoured the 15-room, 61/2-bath house unsupervised while Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter and his team of prosecutors huddled in the back yard.

The tour of the home, which JonBenet's parents sold in February, was supposed to be a secret, as are all grand jury proceedings.

But within 15 minutes of the jurors' arrival shortly after 9 a.m., reporters and photographers began arriving at the home at 755 15th Street. Prosecutors warned the media to stay 100 feet away from the jurors, as required by a court order.

Jurors methodically inspected the grounds, tested different doors, and even examined the southwest window well where the John and Patsy Ramsey have said they believe an intruder may have gained entry to the home.

The jurors, who began investigating the case Sept. 15, were chauffeured to the Ramsey home in a sheriff's van and dropped off in an alley behind the house.

Each keeping to themselves and working quietly, they traipsed for two hours and 20 minutes through all four levels of the residence, which the Ramseys bought for $500,000 in 1991 and called home until the morning of Dec. 26, 1996.

That's the day John and Patsy Ramsey told police they woke up before dawn, discovered their 6-year-old daughter missing and found a 21/2-page ransom note demanding $118,000 for the girl's safe return.

JonBenet's body was found early that afternoon beaten and strangled. Her parents, who moved to Atlanta in the summer of 1997, have been labeled suspects in the case but maintain they're innocent and welcome the grand jury probe, which began Sept. 15.

Legal experts said it's rare for a grand jury to visit a crime scene.

"That's very unusual," said Susan Brenner, a professor and national grand jury expert at the University of Dayton School of Law.

"They normally don't do this, because they normally don't have to. If you have got enough to indict, you don't need to tour the house. And if you don't have enough to indict, touring the house is not going to do it. But it can't hurt."

However, Christopher Mueller, who teaches evidence and procedure at the University of Colorado School of Law, said there's nothing startling about the visit.

"This gives them an idea how isolated the various rooms are from each other, that it would be easy for noises to happen in the vicinity of JonBenet's room that the parents wouldn't necessarily hear. And it's good for them to get a feel for that."

JonBenet's parents have said they put her to bed about 10 p.m. Christmas night in her bedroom on the second floor then went to sleep in their third-floor bedroom and never heard a suspicious sound. Their bedroom was three levels above the tiny windowless basement room where JonBenet's body was found behind a closed door.

October 30, 1998

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