INTERESTING - from Steve Thomas' deposition
#1
Q. (BY MR. HOFFMAN) All right. That's really all I need to know. Now, I want to ask you about
the 911 tape which was -- became controversial because of alleged background noise and voice,
possible voice identifications. Did you ever have occasion to listen to the 911 tape analysis that was
done by a lab in Los Angeles or somewhere in California purportedly to show that Burke's voice was
on the back of that tape?

A. Yes.
MR. WOOD: He listened to the analysis?
Q. (BY MR. HOFFMAN) Did you ever have occasion to hear the tape and actually hear what the
people were reporting as being Burke's voice in the background?
A. Not on the aerospace engineering equipment but on lesser equipment inside the Boulder Police
Department, yes.
Q. So it was actually audible on that equipment at the Boulder Police Department?
A. No, Mr. Hoffman, let me make sure I understand you. What are you -- what was audible?
Q. Burke's or the voice of someone who could have been Burke Ramsey talking in the background
at the very end of Patsy Ramsey's, you know, conversation with 911.
A. Well, you're cutting right to the punch line. There is a long story behind it but, yes, myself and
others listened to that tape and heard this third voice.
Q. So do you -- were you able to identify that third voice, you personally?
A. Well, I don't have any training in voice identification, but certainly it sounded to me to be a young
male voice.
MR. WOOD: Are you asking him, Darnay --
Q. (BY MR. HOFFMAN) Were you able to draw based on your own personal experience of
hearing this tape that there was a voice of somebody who sounded like a young boy?
A. Yes, that was my personal observation coming away from that.
Q. Do you have any reason to believe that that voice could have been the voice of Burke Ramsey?
A. That's what I believe.
Q. Is it based on ever having heard Burke Ramsey speak?
MR. WOOD: You're talking about just listening to the child speak, whether or not he has done a --
that's a sufficient voice exemplar for testing purposes?
MR. HOFFMAN: No, no. I just want to know in the same way that you can look at handwriting for,
you know, purposes of article 9 -- article 900 in the Rules of Evidence, that whether or not based on
his
own personal experience if he's ever heard Burke Ramsey and whether or not he thought that was
Burke Ramsey based on his own knowledge of what Burke Ramsey sounded like.
MR. WOOD: I understand. I'm not -- he can answer. But I'm certainly notacceding to your
interpretation of rule, whatever you're talking about, article 900.
MR. HOFFMAN: Okay. Well, I'm not asking you to accede. Actually, Lin, you don't really even
have to be involved in this, so quite frankly it's my question --
MR. WOOD: I will because I represent --
MR. HOFFMAN: And I don't know if it's appropriate for you to always to be trying to clarify it and
put your spin on it. I'm asking Mr. Thomas whether or not --
MR. WOOD: Why don't you ask him a question --
MR. HOFFMAN: -- he could identify the voice as being that --
MR. WOOD: -- that makes some sense and I might not have to try to clarify it.
MR. HOFFMAN: -- of Burke Ramsey.
MR. WOOD: Why don't you just ask him a straight-up question. I want to make sure and I have a
right to make sure that the record is understandable. You may not like that and I'm not trying to spin
it. I'm trying to make sure we understand because candidly and respectfully some of your questions
are difficult to follow which apparently --
MR. HOFFMAN: Okay. Well, you know, you have that problem yourself, Lin. So and I've --
MR. WOOD: I agree.
MR. HOFFMAN: -- heard Mr. Diamond have to go in and ask for clarification; lawyers sometimes
have that problem --
MR. WOOD: I agree.
MR. HOFFMAN: -- not personal to you or to me.
MR. WOOD: I don't disagree with you.
MR. HOFFMAN: The fact is --
THE REPORTER: One at a time, please.
MR. HOFFMAN: I would like to be able to ask Steve Thomas this question without your helping with
the clarification of it.
MR. WOOD: Well, just as long as the record -- go ahead and ask him the question. I just want to
make sure that I have the right to understand what you're asking, too. But go ahead and ask him and
let's get an answer.
Q. (BY MR. HOFFMAN) Okay. Do you have any reason to believe that the voice was Burke
Ramsey that you heard on the tape?
A. Yes, that's my belief and, absent there being other parties of whom or which I'm unaware in the
house that morning, this third party to me is believed to have been Burke Ramsey.
Q. What do you base that belief on --
MR. WOOD: I think your time is up, Darnay.
Q. (BY MR. HOFFMAN) -- that that voice is Burke Ramsey?
MR. WOOD: Darnay, I think your time is up. Is it up?
MR. RAWLS: Yes.
MR. WOOD: Go ahead and ask your last question. I didn't mean to cut you off.
MR. HOFFMAN: Given the fact, Lin, that you've interjected and eaten a little of my time up, I think
you should allow me that. Thank you.
MR. WOOD: As long as it doesn't cut into my time of what I know today to be 3 hours and 50
minutes.
Q. (BY MR. HOFFMAN) Mr. Thomas, can you answer that?
MR. DIAMOND: It cuts into my time, Darnay.
MR. WOOD: I don't think you have time today.
MR. DIAMOND: I've got time to go home. Go ahead, ask your question.
Q. (BY MR. HOFFMAN) Yes. Mr. Thomas, is there any -- what is the basis for your concluding
that the voice that you heard on the 911 tape was the voice of Burke Ramsey?
A. The basis of that and very -- having to synopsize this for you, Mr. Hoffman --
Q. Um-hum.
A. -- was Detective Hickman's travel to the Aerospace Corp. in Southern California, their
enhancement of that garbled noise at the end of that 911 call, those engineers preparing a report and
making findings I think identical to the detective who was there with the tape, her returning to the
Boulder Police Department with this information and then each of the detectives listening on
admittedly
lesser equipment inside the Boulder Police Department to these findings, I concurred with others that
there was a third voice on that tape that I believed to be Burke.
MR. HOFFMAN: Thank you very much, Mr. Thomas.
THE DEPONENT: Thank you, Mr. Hoffman.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MR. WOOD: If we can go for about five or a few minutes I want to just kind of touch on a few things
that you brought up, Darnay, and then we will break for lunch.Is that okay guys?
MR. DIAMOND: That's fine.
MR. HOFFMAN: Fine.
FURTHER EXAMINATION BY-MR.WOOD:
Q. The FBI analyzed the 911 tape and they did not find any such language, true?
A. I don't know what the FBI and Secret Service did because it was my understanding there may
have been equipment that was incompatible to conduct this testing or for whatever reason but bottom
line is the Secret Service and --
Q. The FBI?
A. Federal Bureau -- yeah, were unable to --
Q. They didn't hear the voice that Aerospace heard, right?
A. I don't know what they did or didn't hear or what they did or didn't test. I don't -- I think one of
those agencies didn't even have equipment to test the tape.
Q. So you think the FBI didn't reach a conclusion with respect to the 911 tape; is that your
testimony?
A. I don't know what the FBI or Secret Service concluded, I know what Aerospace did.
Q. And you also know that the tape was taken to a fourth group and they came up with different
words from the tape than what Aerospace had come up with, true?
A. I know that Mr. Hofstrom took the tape to his brother-in-law for enhancement.
Q. Are you suggesting that his brother-in-law somehow falsified a report?
A. Did I say anything like that?
Q. No, sir, I'm just asking you're not suggesting that, are you?
A. No, you mentioned a fourth testing facility and I simply replied that Mr. Hofstrom took the tape to
his brother-in-law.
Q. So for whatever reason the FBI doesn't hear the third party, the Secret Service doesn't hear the
third party, Aerospace claims to hear it and then the fourth group hears something different; is that a
fair generalization of the 911 tape?
A. I'm not sure that the first two agencies ever heard anything because I'm not sure they ever
listened to the tape. I'm just --
Q. Did you not bother to ask the FBI, I mean, you -- please, Mr. Thomas?
MR. DIAMOND: Two questions.
Q. (BY MR. WOOD) Did you ever bother to call the FBI and say, gentlemen, what did you find
about the 911 tape?
A. I'm sure Detective Hickman, whose assignment this was, may have done that.
Q. Well, what, did you ask Hickman what did the FBI say? You know, we've spent a lot of time
with the FBI, Tom, what did they say? Did you ask him?
MR. DIAMOND: Did he ask him what?
Q. (BY MR. WOOD) What the FBI had to say about the 911 tape?
A. Again, as I've said it's my understanding, Mr. Wood, that I don't know whether or not the FBI or
Secret Service even tested the tape. The first testing that was done on it, to my knowledge, was
through the Aerospace Corporation.
Q. And did you -- have you ever tried at any time as you sit here today to make any efforts to find
out about whether the FBI or the Secret Service even tested the tape and if so, what their results
were?
A. I don't know that.
Q. Have you made any efforts is my question?
A. No.
Q. As we sit here today, you've never made any effort to find that out --
A. No.
Q. -- right? Am I right? Sometimes the no comes out differently. The question is you've never
made any such efforts to find out about the FBI or the Secret Service testing of the tape?
A. I have not made calls or efforts trying to determine that to the FBI or SecretService.
Q. As we sit here today you have not done that?
A. That's right.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Q. (BY MR. WOOD) Mr. Thomas -- yeah, I've got it -- the 911 tape. Did you ever hear any
explanation as to why that tape was garbled in part?
A. At some point during the investigation I recall the tape coming to Detective Sergeant Wickman's
attention initially because the 911 operator who took that call thought there may have been
something at
the end of the conversation that was unintelligible.
Q. I appreciate that information. But I would like to get to my question because my time is limited
today at least and whether we finish or not is another issue. But my question is, did you ever, sir, hear
any explanation as to why a portion of the 911 tape was garbled?
A. I'm not sure I understand your question. Are you asking me why --
Q. Yeah, was anybody trying to figure out why -- the 911 tape is a tape in realtime, isn't it?
A. Yes.
Q. And one would think that you would hear in realtime voices that are on the tape. You say there is
something garbled. Was there ever any attempt to find out why this portion of the tape might be
garbled and not discernible to the human ear without some scientific analysis? That's my question.
A. I don't think that it was garbled in the sense that there was a defect in the tape or something,
that's certainly not my understanding. I think the description of garbled was meant to include the fact
that as this phone was apparently being attempted placed back into the cradle, there was some
conversation that was not as clear as Patsy Ramsey speaking directly into the phone, to the 911
operator.
Q. You knew the phone from your investigation was a wall phone, didn't you?
A. Yes.
Q. Can you hear any effort on the tape to try to hang the phone up, a banging or a tapping or
anything of that nature?
A. The call obviously concludes with the line disconnecting but, no, not that I recall today without
listening to the tape of the phone banging.
Q. Do you know whether the 911 tapes that were being utilized at the time were recycled in the
sense that they might be taped over after a period of time?
A. I don't know.
Q. Was any effort made by the Boulder Police Department, to your knowledge, to try to ascertain
that information?
A. I would certainly think they did.
Q. But do you know the answer?
A. I don't have any knowledge of that.
Q. Secondhand or otherwise?
A. No.
Q. Take a look at your book, if you will, for me, page 15. Are you with me?
A. Yes.
Q. "In preliminary examinations, detectives thought they could hear some more words being spoken
between the time Patsy Ramsey said 'Hurry, hurry, hurry' and when the call was terminated." Have I
read that correctly?
A. Yes.
Q. Is that the truth, is that accurate?
A. Yes.
Q. "However, the FBI and the United States Secret Service could not lift anything from the
background noise on the tape." Have I read that correctly?
A. Yes.
Q. Is that the truth?
A. As we discussed earlier, yes.
Q. I thought you said you didn't know what efforts, if any, they had made earlier?
A. I said in one case at least I don't know that they had the proper or necessary compatible
equipment to try to enhance this tape, nor did I know of them ever submitting a report.
Q. All I would like to know is did the FBI to your knowledge or the Secret Service to your
knowledge ever send the tape back and say we don't have the proper equipment to see if we can lift
anything from the background noise on this tape?
A. Again, we have discussed that and that's my testimony, that not being my assignment, it was my
understanding that the tape came back from the FBI and the Secret Service without anything
definitive,
but I recall there being an issue that somebody didn't have proper equipment to do the testing.
Q. Well, you don't say anything like that here. This is definitive. The FBI and the United States
Secret Service could not lift anything from the background noise on the tape. Is that a true statement
or not?
A. Whether, because they didn't have the correct machine or because they didn't lift anything if they
did do some testing, yes, that's a true statement.
Q. Why wouldn't you -- I mean with all due respect I don't think you were trying to do the Ramseys
any favors in this book. Why wouldn't you have said here that they couldn't lift anything from the
background noise on the tape but that may have been the result of inappropriate equipment. You
didn't
say that or discuss that in your book, did you?
A. If we're talking about the production of the book, it was certainly limited. I couldn't put
everything in this case into the content of the book.
Q. The bottom line is we're confident that someone in the Boulder Police Department can answer
the question about the findings by the United States Secret Service and the FBI about this 911 tape.
That's in the case file, isn't it?
A. Undoubtedly.
Q. Good. And I don't believe I asked you this; I wanted to. Are you aware of any attempts to take
a voice exemplar from Burke Ramsey and have it analyzed against the voice you think your human ear
tells you or because it's a third-party voice that it's Burke Ramsey, any efforts to do a scientific
analysis
by way of a voice exemplar between Burke Ramsey's voice and the voice you think might have been
his on the 911 tape?
A. I certainly never received an assignment like that, nor do I recall hearing or knowing of anyone
else who did.
Reply
#2
Highlights from last post -

Thomas said - "Detective Hickman's travel to the Aerospace Corp. in Southern California, their
enhancement of that garbled noise at the end of that 911 call, those engineers preparing a report and
making findings I think identical to the detective who was there with the tape, her returning to the
Boulder Police Department with this information and then each of the detectives listening on
admittedly lesser equipment inside the Boulder Police Department to these findings, I concurred with others that
there was a third voice on that tape that I believed to be Burke."

(That Aerospace report has never been released and I personally don't believe it says a third voice was present. Am I calling Hickman a liar? No, because I have never seen anywhere that she has said this. I am calling Thomas a liar because if the FBI and Secret service couldn't hear that third voice - if it is NOT there in the tapes released later by the District Attorney - there is no WAY Thomas and the others heard it on "lesser equipment.)
Reply
#3
Q. Take a look at your book, if you will, for me, page 15. Are you with me?
A. Yes.
Q. "In preliminary examinations, detectives thought they could hear some more words being spoken
between the time Patsy Ramsey said 'Hurry, hurry, hurry' and when the call was terminated." Have I
read that correctly?
A. Yes.
Q. Is that the truth, is that accurate?
A. Yes.
Q. "However, the FBI and the United States Secret Service could not lift anything from the
background noise on the tape." Have I read that correctly?
A. Yes.
Q. Is that the truth?
A. As we discussed earlier, yes.
Reply
#4
Q. I don't believe I asked you this; I wanted to. Are you aware of any attempts to take
a voice exemplar from Burke Ramsey and have it analyzed against the voice you think your human ear
tells you or because it's a third-party voice that it's Burke Ramsey, any efforts to do a scientific
analysis
by way of a voice exemplar between Burke Ramsey's voice and the voice you think might have been
his on the 911 tape?
A. I certainly never received an assignment like that, nor do I recall hearing or knowing of anyone
else who did.
Reply
#5
ST said:

"I don't know what they did or didn't hear or what they did or didn't test. I don't -- I think one of those agencies didn't even have equipment to test the tape."

This claim about the Secret Service or the FBI not having equipment to test the tape is absolutely absurd.  Even back then, hundreds of thousands if not millions of ordinary citizens all over the world had such capabilities on their personal computers.
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