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Quote: 1997-04-30: John Ramsey Interrogation by Steve Thomas, Tom Trujillo

John Ramsey Interrogation by Steve Thomas, Tom Trujillo
Also present, Pat Burke, Bryan Morgan, Pete Hoffstrom, Jon Foster
April 30, 1997 - Boulder, Colorado

JR: Ah, well, I remember they took me aside, and we sat in John Andrew’s room which is the one next to JonBenet’s and she went through what I should do when we talked to the caller and I must insist that I talk to JonBenet and that we need until 5 o’clock to raise the money. I’d actually called my (inaudible) and arranged for the money. Ah, and I think we had by that time started to wonder if one of the housekeepers might be involved. And there was some activity around that direction. We waited until past 11 and then we, and then I think we were in the living room and Linda said why don’t you take someone and look through the house and see if there’s anything you notice that’s unusual. And Fleet and I, Fleet was standing there and said he’d go with me. And we went down to the basement, went into the train room, which is, you know, the train set is, and that’s really the only window that’s, would let in entrance into the basement.
And actually I’d gone down there earlier that morning, into that room, and the window was broken, but I didn’t see any glass around, so I assumed it was broken last summer. I used that window to get into the house when (inaudible) I didn’t have a key. But the window was open, about an eighth of an inch, and just kind latched it. So I went back down with Fleet, we looked around for some glass again, still didn’t see any glass. And I told him that I thought that the break came from when I did that last summer and then, then I went from there into the cellar. Pull on the door, it was latched. I reach up and unlatched it, and then I saw the white blanket, (inaudible).

ST: Well, let me follow up on this John. John I’m very sensitive to how tough this is, and you’ll appreciate that we need to get through this. On that trip to the basement, shortly after 1 p.m. on the 26th, Fleet showed you the window, the broken basement window.
JR: No, I, I think was the first one to enter the room.
ST: OK, but . . .
JR: I said, you know, this window’s broken, but I think I broke it last summer. It just hasn’t been fixed. And it was opened, but I closed it earlier and we got down on the floor and looked around for some glass just to be sure that it hadn’t been broken again.
ST: And Fleet had talked about earlier being down there, I think alone at one point, and discovering that window. When you say that you found it earlier that day and latched it, at what time of day was that?
JR: I don’t know. I mean it would have been probably, probably before 10 o’clock.
ST: Was that prior to Fleet’s first trip down?
JR: I didn’t know he was in the basement. I didn’t know that. I mean other than that trip with me.
ST: And on the trip that you latched the window, were you alone when you went down and latched the window?
JR: Yep.
ST: And on this, what I’m assuming is only your second trip to the basement on the 26th with Fleet, how much time did you spend in the basement before moving to the cellar room door?
JR: Not very much time. A minute maybe, or less, probably less than that.

ST: And on the morning of the 26th, you made one trip alone to the basement, and it was only on the second trip with Fleet that you, then shortly thereafter that you went to this basement room?
JR: Right.
ST: OK. When you had previously broken that basement window to gain entry to the home when you had been locked out, can you approximate what month that was?
JR: Well, I think it was last summer. Because Patsy was up at Lake (inaudible) all summer, and it would have been July or August probably, somewhere in that time frame.
ST: Did you remove that grate and get down into the window well?
JR: Uh-huh.
ST: And what did you use to break the pane?
JR: Ah, I don’t remember. Might have been my foot, I don’t know.
ST: OK. You reach in, I’m assuming, unlatched it and gain entry through that small window.
JR: Yeah.
ST: Did you then replace the grate onto that window well?
JR: Oh I probably would have done it that night. I’m sure I didn’t the next morning or, you know, or thereafter.
ST: Did you remove that whole grate off onto the, off the well, to jump down there and get in?
JR: Ah, probably. I don’t remember.
ST: Is there any reason that window went unrepaired?
JR: No. I mean it’s, Patsy usually took care of those things, and I just rarely went to the basement, so it just, I guess, got overlooked. Although she did think that she asked the cleaning lady’s husband to fix it over Thanksgiving when they were doing some repair work there, but I don’t know if that’s ever been confirmed whether he fixed it or not.
ST: And you mentioned when you went down in the morning, the 26th, and it was unlatched, did that strike you as odd or did you bring that to anybody’s attention?
JR: I, I don’t know. I mean when I was, I think, yeah, I think it probably struck me as a little odd, but it wasn’t, I mean sometimes that window would be open because the basement got hot, or one of those windows would be opened. So it wasn’t . . .
ST: Particularly unusual?
JR: It was dramatically out of the ordinary, but, that is, I thought about it.

JR: I mean, based on what I understand, there was a practice not and all of that. Somebody obviously spent some time there, and I guess found their way around the house the same time, but my, I mean my theory is that someone came in through the basement window.
Because it was a new Samsonite suitcase also sitting right under the window, and you would have had to, you could have gotten into the house without that, but you couldn’t have gotten out that window without something to step on. And to even have known those windows were there, wouldn’t have been obvious to somebody who just was walking by. But . . .

ST: You talking about the window in the back, was not obvious?
JR: Yeah. No, I mean, yeah, it’s not obvious, but that is to me because that is the way to get into the house, and we know that the grate could be pulled off and the windows were not painted shut and, you know, it’s just I guess that’s why we never gave it much thought about . . .
??: And we asked a couple of times that that grates kind of out of the way, and you have to, I wouldn’t have known it was there. I mean, you can’t see from the back alleyway, you can’t see from the front. It’s out of the ordinary, out of the way picture, excuse me, out of the way window.

TT: OK. And let’s also hop back to the grate for just a second, cause I picked the grate up, it’s really heavy, I mean fairly heavy. Picked it up, moved it out of the way, kind of hopped down, I mean first peaked into that window, hopped down into that window well, you ended up, have to kick the window, break the window somehow, reach in and unlatch it. How far of a drop is it, or is it difficult I should say, to drop from the window well.
JR: No.
TT: It seem like it’s, for me I think it’s probably . . .
JR: That high.
BM: Do you want an estimate of that?
TT: Certainly.
JR: it’s probably, I don’t know, four feel maybe, five feet.
TT: OK. But on the outside you’ve got that kind of skinny narrow window well. Did you have an difficulty sliding into that or sliding down the wall?
JR: Yeah, well, as I recall, I did it at night and I had a suit on, and I took my suit off and did it in my underwear. But, it’s not easy, I mean you can get in that way, you get dirty, but.
TT: It’s not a graceful way to get in.
JR: No, no.
TT: It’s difficult because of the angles.
JR: Right.
TT: All right.
ST: Tom, let me just ask John this. Do you sit down and slide through, buttocks first if you will, through a window like that or, do you recall how you went through the actual window, John?
JR: I don’t I mean, I don’t remember. Seems like, I mean, I don’t remember, but I think I would probably gone in feet first.
ST: Feet first, backwards?
JR: Yeah.
ST: And when you went through in your underwear, were you wearing shoes or?
JR: I still had my shoes on, yeah.
ST: And were those with a suit, were they business shoes.
JR: They were probably, probably those shoes.
St: OK. And what are those shoes?
JR: Business shoes.
ST: And for the record, are those, brown lace-up, men’s business
JR: Oxford, not these shoes, but they are shoes that I wear with a suit, just a pair of business shoes, dress shoes.
TT: John, when you went down in the basement the first time and found the broken window, it was unlock, you latched it, did you notice that the window, excuse me, if you notice if the room was overly cold or anything like that?
JR: No, it wasn’t. I didn’t notice that it was.

Quote:1997-04-30: Patsy Ramsey Interrogation by Steve Thomas, Tom Trujillo

Patsy Ramsey Interrogation by Steve Thomas, Tom Trujillo
Also present, Pat Burke, Bryan Morgan, Pete Hoffstrom, Jon Foster
April 30, 1997 - Boulder, Colorado

TT: Okay. Do you remember if John ever went down to the basement to check any of the windows down there before the police arrived?
PR: You know I, you’re just going to ask him I don’t . . .
TT: Okay.

TT: When did John break that window in the basement?
PR: He, I don’t know exactly when he did it, but I think it was last summer sometime when we, the kids and I were at the lake.
TT: In Charlevoix.
PR: In Charlevoix and he told me to come back from out of town or whatever and he didn’t have a key and the only way he could get in was to break the window.
TT: Okay.
PR: The little um, like door, little window to the basement there.
TT: He had to life the grate out of the way to, to get in there.
PR: Yeah, that’s the one, um hum.
TT: Okay. Any reason why that one wasn’t replaced or the pane wasn’t fixed or anything?
PR: No, I don’t know whether I fixed it or didn’t fix it. I can’t remember even trying to remember that, um, I remember when I got back, uh, in the fall, you know . . .
TT: Um hum.
PR: . . .uh, went down there and cleaned up all the glass.
TT: Okay.
PR: I mean I cleaned that thoroughly and I asked Linda to go behind me and vacuum. I mean I picked up every chunk, I mean, because the kids played down there in that back area back there.
TT: Um hum.
PR: And I mean I scoured that place when, cause they were always down there. Burke particularly and the boys would go down there and play with cars and things and uh, there was just a ton of glass everywhere.
TT: Okay.
PR: And I cleaned all that up and then she, she vacuumed a couple of times down there.
TT: To get all the glass.
PR: In the fall yeah cause it was just little, you know, pieces, big pieces, everything.
TT: Do you ever recall getting that window replaced?
PR: Yeah, uh, I can’t remember. I just can’t remember whether I got it replaced or not.

PR: And uh, they also washed the windows, so they may be able to recall whether that window, and he was going to do some odd jobs.
TT: Mervin was?
PR: Uh huh.
TT: Okay.
PR: Uh, fix some shelves in the playroom and some uh, closet doors that had come off their track and some stuff like that.
TT: Um hum.
PR: And so I would, it seems to me like she and I talked about that window or did, somehow I vaguely remember that if it would have gotten fixed he very likely would be the one to fix it. And at any rate they were going to wash all the windows, so they would have known……
TT: Whether it was fixed or not?
PR: Yeah.

ST: And I have spoken with Linda, and she’s identified this suitcase as belonging to, well not necessarily belonging to, but a suitcase that she has used and that John Andrew has used, and that John Andrew likely had left at your house.
PR: Right.
ST: Do you recognize that blue suitcase?
PR: Yes.
ST: OK. Can you tell me anything about it?
PR: Well, just it’s old hard Samsonite or whatever, you know.
ST: And what this something that John Andrew let at the 15th Street home while he went to school at CU?
PR: Yeah, yeah, that’s to my recollection. Yeah, he moved out here with a bunch of stuff and then he left a lot of stuff t our house that he didn’t want to take to the dorm.
ST: Do you know where he kept that in your home, or where you last saw that?
PR: No, I don’t remember where I last saw it.
PR: He, I don’t know.
ST: Where would John Andrew store his other items and affects?
PR: Some of the things are in his room I think, in the closet, and I think he put a bunch of stuff down in the basement. A computer, he had a computer and a printer, and I think that might have been in the basement too. It’s pretty big, I think it was in the basement.
ST: Do you know what room in the basement he would have, his stuff was stored in? Was it in the train room, or the…
PR: It wasn’t, I don’t know now, there was so much stuff down there. I can, it could have been anywhere.

Ramseys open up to press


Camera Staff Writer

Thursday, September 11, 1997

As the investigation into the slaying of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey marches through its ninth month, the Ramsey family has slowly opened their lives to more scrutiny by press and public.

Patsy Ramsey, the girl's mother, appeared on the television show "American Journal" and called Larry King's CNN talk show last week; the family agreed to allow the case to be featured on the TV program "America's Most Wanted."

Wednesday night, television journalist Diane Sawyer broadcast a tour of the Ramsey home granted her by a family representative.

The layout, condition and atmosphere of the family's spacious University Hill home are among the peripheral aspects of the case since JonBenet was discovered strangled in the basement on the afternoon of Dec. 26.

Despite efforts by the family and its representatives to keep press and public out of the house (now unoccupied and on the market), there have been breaches in security.

In early June, James Michael Thompson, 33, of Denver, was charged with arson after someone set fire to several items - including newspaper and pages from Anne Rice's novel, "Interview with the Vampire" - and thrust them through the mail slot with a disposable lighter. The ignited material landed on a marble floor and scorched wallpaper before burning out.

In mid-August, Boulder Police also responded to a burglar alarm at the home but found no intruder.

Earlier this summer, two Ramsey family representatives agreed to show a Daily Camera reporter through the house, on the condition that the information not be printed until a later date. This week, following revelations that Sawyer would show the home on "Prime Time Live," the Daily Camera was given permission to publish a rough description of the house.

Many of the family's personal effects, including a fish tank containing fish belonging to JonBenet's 10-year-old brother Burke Ramsey, furniture, and books - including "When Goodbye is Forever: How to Deal with the Death of a Child" on John Ramsey's night table - were still on the premises during the June tour.

The following is a rough description of the layout and condition of the house at the time of the tour.

Main floor

Cement steps lead up to an ornate front door that opens into a small, marble-floored foyer. Just outside the foyer, a staircase on the right leads to the second floor. Straight ahead, a short hallway leads into an immaculate kitchen in black and white, featuring a mini walk-in cooler with a stainless steel door. At the time of the tour, there was little in the cooler except for some non-alcoholic O'Doul's beer.

A large, carpeted sitting room with a fireplace in the southeast corner opens to the left of the foyer. Among the wall hangings: a relief of a sailboat and a framed print from the Capitol City Country Club in Atlanta.

Proceeding south through the living room is another sitting area with a bank of tall, south-facing windows. To the west is a dining area with a long table. That room leads to an entry hall, which connects to the kitchen.

The spiral staircase on which Patsy Ramsey allegedly found the ransom note alerting the family to their missing daughter rises from an area behind the kitchen.

The basement

Often described as "unfinished," the basement where JonBenet's body was found Dec. 26 is carpeted and the walls were repainted white not long before the girl's murder. The entire area has a claustrophobic feel, with low ceilings, small rooms and many close walls. However, it is well lit with bare bulbs, and clean, except for some water stains on the white walls.

The staircase from the main floor leads down to the right (east) and a small, gray-carpeted landing. A few more steps lead to the basement floor.

Immediately left of the staircase is a small bathroom with a toilet and sink. According to Ramsey family representatives, the commode was disassembled by investigators and left in pieces when the house was turned over the family following the initial, eight-day investigation.

A narrow, carpeted hallway leads west from the bathroom past a small cubicle containing a washer and dryer. On the other side of the hall is a large room the family called "the train room," where the children once played with a train set and other toys.

A similar-sized empty room lies at the end of the hallway. A window at the west end of the room looks out into a window well covered by a removable metal grate. Although often reported as small, the window appears large enough for a full-grown man or woman to crawl through.

(In police photographs of the crime scene that appeared in a tabloid newspaper, a blue suitcase rests beneath the window. When the house was turned over to the family, the suitcase was no longer there, family representatives said. Police also apparently removed a broken window pane - John Ramsey reportedly told investigators he had broken it in the summer of 1996 when he returned from a business trip and didn't have a key.)

Immediately adjacent to the bathroom on the east wall is a small room containing water heaters and other utility devices.

Next to the utility space, at the southeast corner of the basement, is the unfinished, windowless room where JonBenet's body was found behind a closed door. The room is dank and bunker-like, with water stained cement walls and a cement floor. Although some have referred to the room as a "wine cellar," the room appeared somewhat unused. The family used the room to store such things as Christmas decorations.

John Ramsey and his friend Fleet White found the girl's body wrapped in a blanket less than five feet inside the door, lying next to a small, gray safe embedded in the cement floor.

Family representatives said the Ramseys found the safe when they bought the home, but never had the combination. They said police investigators drilled the safe to open it, but did not reveal what contents - if any - they discovered.

Second floor

This floor contains guest rooms and the rooms where both JonBenet and Burke slept. The green-carpeted spiral staircase leads up to a landing. Immediately west is a small bedroom containing a bed, lamp and other furniture. John Ramsey's son John Andrew Ramsey reportedly stayed in the room when visiting.

The door to JonBenet's spacious, square room is across the landing from the spiral stairs. There is a bathroom at the southwest corner of the room and a window facing south.

A hallway proceeds south along the east-facing wall of JonBenet's room, then turns east past two "sitting" rooms and a bathroom. Burke's room, at the end of the hall, overlooks 15th Street and the front yard. The wallpaper features bi- and tri-planes, and the fish tank was situated in the corner.

Third floor

John and Patsy Ramsey slept in a long, rectangular bedroom, with a roomy bathroom at the west end and a fireplace and windows on the south wall. Their bed, featuring a flowered cover and a tall headboard, rested against the east wall. Two bed tables and several chairs also were in the room.

Two staircases lead up to the bedroom: The spiral staircase at the west end, and a straight staircase with a 90 degree bend near the bed.


The garage is adjacent to a yard, with the door facing west into an alley between 14th and 15th streets. A door from the garage leads inside to a room behind the kitchen.

The cement-floored garage is large enough to easily hold two cars, and at the time of the Daily Camera tour was filled with bicycles, toys, paint cans and sporting equipment.

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