Wendy Redal wrote
I actually provided some research assistance on Tracey’s first documentary, which interrogated the role of the media in establishing that ‘of course the parents did it.’ I came to the project assuming they probably were involved, but rather quickly came to recognize the amazing way in which those assumptions were shored up — created for me, even — by the deeply flawed media accounts that Tracey critiques. My role as a researcher was to examine in detail several months’ worth of broadcast coverage (both TV & radio) of the case, immediately after the crime and on into the spring and summer of 1996. What was so fascinating was to engage all this in a compressed timespan (i.e., watching hours and hours of this stuff at once, rather than over time as it actually unfolded). In such a context it was easy to see the presumptions, the leaps of belief, the insistence on the parents’ guilt based not on rationality but on media suggestion and ‘gut feelings.’
When I first agreed to join the project, I met Dan Glick (then of Newsweek), with whom I would be working, in the kitchen at the Ramseys’ home. I toured the house, including the so-called ‘wine cellar’ where JonBenet’s body was found. It was so interesting later, as I was reviewing the media coverage, to hear a reporter from American Journal stand in front of the house there on 15th Street and refer to “this maze of a house…with its secret room.” It was a large house, yes, but no “maze,” and the “secret room” was easily located with one right turn at the foot of the basement stairs. It struck me as I watched this guy that he had never been in the house, yet he was speaking as if he had. It was thus ludicrous to discover that the reporters interviewing the Ramseys’ housekeeper (Linda-somebody; I can’t remember her last name) were buying her statements that she “never knew of” this hideaway. If not, then she’d simply never opened doors in the basement, as it was no hidden room.

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