Ramseys not called to speak
Parents of slain girl not subpoenaed to testify
By Charlie Brennan
Denver Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer

BOULDER -- The JonBenet Ramsey grand jury will hear from new witnesses
when it returns to work Thursday, according to a source close to the case.
And they're not John and Patsy Ramsey.
The parents of 6-year-old JonBenet, considered suspects in their child's
Christmas night 1996 slaying, still have not been subpoenaed to testify
before the grand jury probing her murder, the source said.
The Ramseys, who now live in Atlanta with their
12-year-old son, Burke, have steadfastly
maintained their innocence.
The grand jury's 18-month term expires Oct. 20.
Exactly who will testify is unclear.
Burke Ramsey is the only family member known
to have testified before the eight-man,
four-woman panel. His testimony came just prior
to the grand jury's May 25 meeting, which was
followed by a layoff lasting all summer.
The list of those not yet called as witnesses
contains another surprise.
A former executive at Access Graphics, the $1
billion Boulder computer software firm where John
Ramsey worked as president and chief executive
in 1996, said no one from that company has
"I don't know anybody from Access who has been
called," said the executive who stays in touch with
past and present company officials.
A 21/2-page ransom note Patsy Ramsey said she
found in the house Dec. 26, 1996, when JonBenet
was discovered missing suggested a possible
business connection in the murder.
The note said the culprits represented "a small
foreign faction" who told John Ramsey "we respect
your business, but not the country that it serves."
Former FBI criminal profiler John Douglas, hired
by the Ramseys, also concluded the crime was
likely committed by someone outside the family,
and possibly by someone with a business-related
grudge against John Ramsey.
Scott Robinson, a Denver attorney who has
followed the case closely, said the fact that
apparently, few people -- if any -- from John
Ramsey's former business have testified, could be
"It means either the Boulder police have
exhausted, independently of the grand jury, every
slimly related lead, or the grand jury -- for
whatever reason -- has focused elsewhere in the
search for JonBenet's killer," said Robinson.
"The police, in general, have long had the
Ramseys as their principle and apparently sole
suspects. But even with that in mind, it would be
beneficial to any eventual prosecution to rule out
business jealousy or business-related anger as a
potential motivation for the murder of JonBenet."
Robinson said the fact that more witnesses are
scheduled to appear before the panel, which
resumes its meetings Thursday after a four-month
break, shoots down one popular theory.
"This suggests that the jury has not been spending
the last few weeks working out the bugs on a
report, in lieu of indictment -- which had been a
plausible explanation for the hiatus," said
Robinson, "and that they have not yet decided
what to do. They want to make sure that no voice
goes unheard before reaching a determination."

Those who have not yet appeared include former
Ramsey neighbor Melody Stanton. Stanton, who
has since moved out of Boulder, lived across the
street from the Ramseys and told police she heard
a child's scream not long after falling asleep
Christmas night.

Her comments to police about the scream have
been the subject of much analysis for what that
scream might say about the possible time of
death, and for what it might say about where, in
the Ramseys' expansive home, the killing might
have taken place.

Authorities have never specified a time of death in
the case. The Ramseys told police they put
JonBenet to bed shortly after arriving home from
a party shortly after 9:30 p.m. on Christmas
Among those witnesses who might still be
scheduled could be some of the same case
investigators who passed through the courtroom
in the grand jury's first days last fall.
Former prosecutor Dave Heckenbach, who ran
grand juries for the Denver district attorney's
office from 1986 to 1992, pointed out that as
recently as early summer, some of those
detectives were still actively interviewing
witnesses and seeking additional evidence.
"If they've done a lot of work, between the last
time they met and now, the grand jury would
have to meet a few times -- or have one
megasession, depending on how much work the
police have done in the interim."
September 22, 1999

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