Note - handwriting attributed to Patsy
#3
One year later
Camera Editorial

Sunday, December 28, 1997

Earlier this month, the media coordinator for the Oklahoma City bombing trial surveyed news organizations about their interest in attending the trial of the person accused of killing JonBenet Ramsey, if the trial ever takes place. According to Time magazine, 162 said they would attend - compared with the 74 on hand for the trial of Timothy McVeigh, the man convicted of the deadliest act of terrorism in American history.

Whatever else may be said about those numbers - and about the priorities they reveal - they underscore a hard fact. As the first anniversary of JonBenet Ramsey's death passed on Friday, the worldwide interest in the case remained undiminished. JonBenet and her family are still front-page news in the tabloids. National print and broadcast news organizations scrape for new angles, and talk shows recycle familiar themes. Behind it all is a question: Will the case ever be solved?

As always, the answer depends in part on whether investigators can overcome crucial mistakes made in the first hours and days after 6-year-old JonBenet was found murdered in her parents' Boulder home. The failure of police to secure the crime scene on Dec. 26 apparently was responsible for the loss of crucial evidence. Police neglected to pursue what now seem to be obvious lines of inquiry, even in the neighborhood surrounding the Ramsey home.

The investigation now seems to be in good hands. Boulder Police Cmdr. Mark Beckner, who took over the case late this year, is straightforward in his approach to police work and in dealing with questions about the case.

As police attempt to negotiate a further interview with John and Patsy Ramsey, District Attorney Alex Hunter is weighing whether to take the case before a grand jury. We trust that Hunter, a seasoned prosecutor who isn't seeking re-election or running for higher office, won't be pushed in that direction for political reasons. A jury must find the accused murderer guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Hunter should not present a case that in his view falls far short of that standard.

Elsewhere in the nation, the Ramsey case is a murder mystery with high emotional power and endlessly bizarre twists of plot. For residents of Boulder, it is that and more. It is, and always has been, a public safety issue. The handling of this murder, and indeed of any violent crime, tests the caliber of local police work and the candor of law-enforcement officials who are accountable to the public for their actions. Those are issues with daily relevance to the lives of Boulder citizens, as a brutal murder in the past week made all too clear.

Susannah Chase, a University of Colorado student from Stamford, Conn., died on Monday night after a severe beating near her Spruce Street residence. There was no sign of robbery or sexual assault, and no initial sign of witnesses to the crime.

Will the national media descend on Boulder to demand answers in the murder of Susannah Chase? Probably not. But her life was as precious as that of JonBenet Ramsey, and her death under different circumstances on the streets of Boulder raises public-safety questions no less pertinent to every citizen's life. Among those questions: Were the mistakes that surrounded the investigation of JonBenet's death an aberration, or were they indicative of deeper problems? And what have local law-enforcement officials learned from those mistakes?

If law-enforcement officials have the right answers now, the people of Boulder won't have to ask a more painful question next December: Will this case ever be solved?
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RE: Note - handwriting attributed to Patsy - by jameson245 - 05-08-2017, 12:00 PM

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