Mid 1997 - starting may 1st, 1997
Ramseys questioned
Police interrogate couple separately in girl's slaying
Camera Staff Writer
Thursday, May 1, 1997
More than four months after John Ramsey found his 6-year-old daughter JonBenet murdered in the family's upscale Boulder home, police investigators conducted long-awaited individual interviews Wednesday with the slain beauty queen's parents.
"There was a lot of fighting going on between police and the Ramseys last week about interrogating the Ramseys, but police finally got to officially talk to them about the details of the day the body was found and other things like family history," a source said.
"And they talked to Patsy for about six hours and John about two. It really wasn't as informative as it could have been, though, because the Ramseys already had the police reports from that day the body was found, so they had a good idea of what police know before the interview even happened."
Boulder authorities began requesting a formal recorded interrogation with the couple after John Ramsey and a friend found the former Little Miss Colorado strangled in the basement of the Ramseys' home on Dec. 26. About eight hours earlier, Patsy Ramsey discovered a ransom note demanding $118,000 and called 911.
Police have not arrested anyone in the case or named any possible suspects.
Detectives, however, extensively questioned the parents on Dec. 26, according to a letter from the Ramseys' attorneys last week to Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter, who recently identified the couple as the focus of the investigation.
Beginning early Wednesday, Detectives Tom Trujillo and Steve Thomas questioned the Ramseys separately at the district attorney's office in the Justice Center at Sixth Street and Canyon
Boulevard. The interrogations also involved a representative from the prosecutor's office, an attorney for the Ramseys and a Ramsey family investigator, according to city spokeswoman Leslie Aaholm.
Conditions of the interview met the specifications police outlined last week, Aaholm noted:
Detectives, selected after consultation with Hunter, interviewed John and Patsy Ramsey individually. Ramsey attorneys accompanied the parents.
Authorities questioned Patsy Ramsey first.
The interviews had an "open-ended time frame" with reasonable breaks.
Investigators tape-recorded the interrogations.
Authorities questioned the couple at a neutral location "acceptable to the Boulder Police Department."
Detectives concluded the interrogations about 5 p.m. Hunter would not discuss if investigators would conduct more interviews.
"It's my understanding that this was a one-shot deal," another source said, noting the Ramseys have no legal obligation to submit to police questioning.
Ramsey lawyers, however, said the parents cooperated with police.
"John and Patsy Ramsey fully complied with the agreement and answered all questions posed to them," Hal Haddon, who represents John Ramsey, said in a press release.
In last week's letter to Hunter, Haddon and Pat Burke, one of Patsy Ramsey's two attorneys, noted that police rejected the parents' offer to consent to an interview Jan. 18. At that time, the Ramseys insisted investigators interrogate the couple together for no more than one hour in a doctor's presence at the family attorney's office, officials said.
On April 21, the family's lawyers obtained police documents discussing the Ramseys' statements on Dec. 26. "This was an absolute condition by the Ramsey attorneys before they would allow their clients to give interviews," Hunter said in a written statement.
But detectives on April 22 abruptly canceled two separate interrogations scheduled with the parents at the family's personal attorney's office. The FBI concluded the circumstances would not facilitate an effective interview, officials said.
Ramsey lawyers expressed "profound dismay" with the investigators' sudden decision.
"It is apparent that the leadership of the Boulder Police Department lacks the objectivity and judgment necessary to find the killer of JonBenet Ramsey," the attorneys said in last week's letter.
Law enforcement officials have launched a "cowardly smear campaign" against the Ramseys, the letter added.
Wednesday's interviews may demonstrate that the case has advanced, legal experts said.
"The fact that the parties were able to sit down and talk shows that the bargaining process worked and the conversations may very well represent progress in the investigation," said Christopher Mueller, a law professor at the University of Colorado. "The fact that the parties may have had conflicting purposes doesn't necessarily mean that progress can't be made. New facts may have come to light, and the two sides may have reached a better understanding of one another.
DA source of new info in Ramsey ad
Hunter admits provideing description
Camera Staff Writer

Tuesday, May 13, 1997

Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter acknowledged Monday his office played a role in the placement of the controversial phrase "an adult male approaching young children in Boulder in late 1996" in a Sunday advertisement seeking information on the slaying of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey.

The district attorney's request appears to indicate his investigators may be looking for a suspect that is neither of JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey. It also clears the family, which paid for the ad through a foundation, of criticism from some Boulder officials that the ad was a public relations ploy.

"As I have said all along, it is my intention to approach this case with an open mind, which means all leads are being carefully pursued, as they must be in any investigation," Hunter wrote in a letter to the editor appearing on page 8A in today's Daily Camera.

Hunter could not be reached for further comment Monday.

JonBenet was found strangled and bludgeoned in the basement of her family's University Hill home on Dec. 26. No arrests have been made and investigators have yet to formally name any suspects.

The latest controversy in the 4-month-old murder investigation peaked late last week, when the Camera reported that the Ramsey family had placed an advertisement for Sunday asking for information about the "adult male."

Public reaction to that revelation and the actual advertisement was swift and skeptical: Many observers, including Mayor Leslie Durgin, called the ad a cynical public relations stunt.

Bryan Morgan, attorney for John Ramsey, said he was "deeply grateful" for Hunter's public acknowledgment that the ad was "placed by the Ramsey family based on information developed in my (Hunter's) office."

Hunter and his deputies "are doing their jobs with a high degree of professionalism. There is strongly objective law enforcement work going on over there," Morgan said.

The language about a man approaching children was developed in consultation between the district attorney's office and Morgan, he said.

"DA's representatives were aware that information about the "adult male' would be included in the ad," Morgan

Morgan criticized those who spoke out against the advertisement without knowing the full background of the situation.

"It's a measure of how deep and angry the bias is out there," he said. "That kind of judgment is extremely dangerous to justice and finding the people who are really responsible for this."

Durgin, who called the ad a "public relations strategy," did not return telephone calls Monday.

In other developments Monday:

A Tucson, Ariz., woman who claims to have had an extramarital affair with John Ramsey appeared on a local morning talk show. Kim Ballard alleged Ramsey responded to her personal ad in USA Today. The couple had a total of three liaisons between November 1994 and April 1995, she claimed.

Boulder County Coroner Dr. John Meyer requested that the sealed sections of JonBenet's autopsy report remain closed "until such time as either criminal charges are filed or the investigation has been closed," a court petition said.

On Feb. 14, Boulder District Judge Carol Glowinsky entered an order restricting disclosure of certain portions of the autopsy report for ninety days or until an arrest.

On Monday, the court said the sealed portions would remain closed until the court ruled on the extension request.

Staff writer Alli Krupski contributed to this report.
Giving info to Ramseys a mistake?
Providing files unwise, some say
Camera Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 18, 1997
By providing the parents of JonBenet Ramsey with police documents and other evidence related to the girl's murder, authorities may have seriously damaged the homicide investigation, according to some legal experts.
Some close to the case, however, defend the release of details surrounding the slaying of JonBenet, the 6-year-old found strangled in the basement of her family's Boulder home on Dec. 26.
Police have not named any suspects or made any arrests in connection with the murder. But Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter has said the girl's parents - John and Patsy Ramsey - remain the focus of the investigation.
Since the murder, officials have supplied the Ramseys and their lawyers with several key items, including:
  • Police reports recounting the family's behavior the day of the homicide. "Those papers have a lot of serious information in them - they talk about witnesses' actions, police observations and everything John and Patsy said to police on Dec. 26," a source said. "And (the Ramseys) have seen other reports from the days following the crime, talking about things like John's interview with police on Dec. 27."

  • Extremely clear copies of the handwritten ransom note Patsy Ramsey discovered on Dec. 26.

  • Portions of the former Little Miss Colorado's autopsy report.

  • Access to the ligature looped around JonBenet's right wrist.

  • Search warrant facts concerning the Ramseys' Boulder and Charleviox, Mich., homes, according to documents filed Tuesday in Boulder District Court.
Investigators and prosecutors furnished some of the information - such as police reports - as part of an agreement for a police interview. The family received other facts - such as the autopsy report - when the court released certain documents to the public.
The Ramsey attorneys have inquired about other items as well. Lawyers reportedly have asked for the original ransom note to allow their own handwriting experts to analyze the papers. And although family attorneys rejected Hunter's offer to permit Ramsey representatives to observe DNA testing of evidence, the lawyers have requested - but haven't acquired - the results of those examinations.
Meanwhile, officials have meticulously guarded information re garding the case from the public, persuading the court to seal search warrants and other documents.
Hunter, through spokeswoman Suzanne Laurion, declined to comment on materials provided to the Ramseys, and Boulder Police Chief Tom Koby did not return Daily Camera phone calls.
But legal experts say investigators don't typically supply a victim's parents with police reports before filing charges against a suspect.
"The reason is that ... an investigation is still proceeding and the information is not public (before an arrest)," said Christopher Mueller, a law professor at the University of Colorado.
Gregg McCrary, a former criminal profiler with the FBI, agreed.
"It really is outrageous, and it's certainly not recommended procedure," McCrary said. "Any chance of getting any new information is gone when you give them the reports. The investigation needs to remain confidential with the investigative team and should not be shared with anyone outside that team, especially potential suspects."
Hunter has supported the furnishing of police reports to the Ramseys, calling the content of the documents "meager."
"To me, the issue isn't whether or not the information is meager or not meager, the issue is that that is the information that the police have, and when they share that, they compromise the integrity of the investigation," McCrary said.
Allowing the Ramseys to obtain the ransom note and parts of the autopsy report also may hinder the inquiry, McCrary said.
"They may not remember what's exactly in the note, and now they can study how to disguise their writing," McCrary said. "If they are guilty, you're just feeding them information they can now mold."
The public usually has access to autopsy reports, said Boulder County Coroner Dr. John Meyer, custodian of autopsy documents.
"The public records law allows that if, in the custodian's judgment, it would do substantial harm to the public's interest, the custodian has the option of sealing that record," Meyer said.
Nevertheless, in other cases, supplying such evidence may obstruct justice, McCrary said.
But Forrest Lewis, president of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, said sharing information may benefit authorities and the Ramseys.
"The government would not later be subject to a claim that they withheld information that was crucial to the defense investigation," Lewis said. "Basically, these are the parents of the child who was killed, and if they are the focus of the investigation, then they have a right to pursue their own investigation."

Ramsey pens letter to Camera
Investigation flawed, JonBenet's dad says
Camera Staff Writer

Friday, September 5, 1997

Correction: Clarification published 9/6/97 follows: A story in Friday's Daily Camera failed to include information that police did not locate child pornography in the home of John and Patsey Ramsey while investigating their daughter's death.

In a scathing, signed letter to the Daily Camera on Thursday John Ramsey berated the Boulder Police Department and pleaded for a shift in leadership of the investigation into his daughter's murder.

Ramsey also cited a Daily Camera article Wednesday regarding detectives verbal inquiries about search warrants for an airplane hangar and Ramsey's office. The Boulder County District Attorney's Office informed police that detectives did not have probable cause to investigate the hangar or the office.

"... had the police simply asked for access to my office, our company's hangar space, or any other facility, it would have been granted," Ramsey wrote. "... my airplane (which by the way is a 27-year-old airplane, not a sleek jet, as is commonly reported) is, and has been, stored in a public hangar, not the Access hangar space which is used for the storage of Access historical financial records.

"If the police thought my airplane was stored in the Access hangar, they obviously didn't do their homework very well."

Authorities, however, did not submit written requests for search warrants related to the airport hangar or Ramsey's office to Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter.

"A warrant needs to be in writing," Hunter recently told the Camera. "There may well have been preliminary discussions to the drafting of a warrant concerning those items, but it never progressed beyond discussion."

Police searched the Ramseys' University Hill house at 755 15th St. for eight days following the slaying of JonBenet, the 6-year-old found strangled in the basement of her family's home.

Ramsey's letter, included in today's Open Forum, marks the latest in a series of statements expressing "profound dismay" with the Boulder Police Department:

In April, Ramsey lawyers issued a blistering, 2-page letter to Hunter addressing a police decision to suddenly cancel two separate interviews scheduled with the parents of the slain beauty queen.

The family's attorneys lashed out at police in July after the Daily Camera reported police had searched for child pornography inside the Ramseys' home and asked an Arvada police detective to investigate child pornography computer databases in connection with the case.

Later in July, John Ramsey revealed his plan to hunt down the child's killer. Ramsey's press release included a profile of the type of person who might murder a 6-year-old girl and an announcement that the family would run a series of local newspaper ads seeking the perpetrator.

Wednesday, Ramsey attorney Hal Haddon called the police "cowards" and claimed the department leaked the ransom note Patsy Ramsey discovered Dec. 26 to the press.

City spokeswoman Leslie Aaholm did not return calls seeking comment about Ramsey's letter Thursday. In the past, police have said they understand the family's frustration and acknowledged "the unfortunate miscommunication" between investigators and the family.

In other developments Thursday:

Detectives reportedly found a broken paint brush in Patsy Ramsey's art supplies that matched the brush segment used to strangle her daughter, sources close to the case said. The killer allegedly connected the wooden stick to a cord and strangled the girl.

Police completed an interview with Boulder Police Commander John Eller regarding an allegation of misconduct against the 18-year Boulder Police Department veteran. Police internal investigators have interviewed 22 people in connection with a complaint raised by Sgt. Larry Mason against Eller, who has supervised the Ramsey case.

Mason, who worked on the Ramsey investigation in the first few weeks after the slaying, has also filed a notice of intent to sue Eller.

Eller did not return Daily Camera telephone calls Wednesday or Thursday.

Police will not begin an investigation to determine who furnished a copy of the note to Vanity Fair, according to Aaholm.
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 waterstained 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 bedtables 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.
Ramseys: No interview
Parents demand to review police evidence in case

Friday, January 16, 1998

The parents of JonBenet Ramsey will not submit to a second police interview because investigators won't let the couple's legal team review the evidence in the murder case.

The Boulder Police Department has received written notice from the Ramseys' attorneys that the parents of the slain 6-year-old will not cooperate further unless police first show "good faith" by allowing them to see the investigators' evidence, according to a statement from police spokeswoman Leslie Aaholm.

"I am disappointed in the position they have taken," Detective Cmdr. Mark Beckner said in the statement. "I expected the Ramseys to agree to another interview because I believed their public and private statements about their desire to do whatever was necessary to help resolve this case."

Spokespeople and attorneys for the Ramseys did not return phone calls Thursday.

JonBenet Ramsey was found slain in the basement of her parents' home Dec. 26, 1996.

After months of negotiations, John and Patsy Ramsey submitted to separate police interviews last April.

Aaholm's statement Thursday said the Ramseys' request to see evidence in the murder of their daughter is "unacceptable" and contrary to accepted investigative techniques.

Police also are waiting for clothing requested from the Ramseys in November and a final decision on whether they will be allowed to interview JonBenet's older brother, Burke.
Police: No Ramsey interview with restrictions
By MATT SEBASTIAN, Camera Staff Writer

Wednesday, January 28, 1998

Using an intermediary, John and Patsy Ramsey in recent weeks floated the idea of a private meeting in Atlanta with Boulder police, the head of the year-old investigation into their daughters death said Tuesday.

But Cmdr. Mark Beckner said he let 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey's parents know he wasn't interested in talking unless he could ask whatever questions he wanted.

"What we said is we would be willing to sit down anytime, anywhere," Beckner said. "But we had to be able to ask the questions we had developed over the last nine months of the investigation. Otherwise, wed come back no further ahead than we were before and wed have to ask for another interview."

That message apparently reached the Ramsey family, but "it never went further than that," Beckner said.

Although he hasn't been contacted by the Ramseys attorneys about the proposed meeting, Beckner said the intermediary indicated the family's legal team put a halt to the interview discussions.

Attorneys for the Ramsey family didnt return phone calls Tuesday.

The investigators reportedly were approached by the Ramseys close friend, the Rev. Rol Hoverstock of St. Johns Episcopal Church in Boulder. Beckner, though, said he would be "breaking some confidences" if he divulged who the intermediary was.

JonBenet Ramsey was found dead in her family's 15th Street home Dec. 26, 1996. After months of negotiations, police formally interviewed the Ramseys on April 30 and have long sought another interview to clear up earlier statements and ask about new evidence. Investigators recently turned down the Ramseys offer to submit to an interview on the condition they be allowed to review evidence in the case.

Beckner said his team still hopes to question JonBenet's 11-year-old brother Burke.

"We have not gotten a formal rejection," Beckner said. But he wouldn't say if police are actively negotiating an interview. "Were in a process right now that I'd rather not discuss."

When Police Chief Tom Koby announced last fall he planned to resign by the end of 1998, he said he expected the Ramsey investigation to reach some sort of conclusion within three to six months.

Now within that window, Beckner isn't ready to say when his team will finish its work.

"I'm not going to predict a time frame, because that thing can be so fluid," he said. "But certainly I foresee a time where we have the investigation to a point where we can say its completed.
Ramseys hire lawyer for son; won't submit to police questioning
By KEVIN McCULLEN, Scripps Howard News Service

Wednesday, February 4, 1998

BOULDER -- John and Patsy Ramsey have hired a lawyer to represent their young son, whom police want to question as part of the probe into the 1996 murder of their daughter, JonBenet Ramsey.

The Ramseys recently retained an Atlanta-based lawyer for their son, Burke. The lawyer will represent the 11-year-old in discussions about whether police can question him about what he saw or heard the morning his 6-year-old sister was killed, authorities said.

The lawyer also represented John Andrew and Melinda Ramsey, John Ramseys older children, when police questioned and then cleared them in March. Police say they are unsure whether they will get permission to speak to Burke.

John and Patsy Ramsey have declined a request to be interviewed again, unless they can review evidence in the case and have police questions in writing.

Boulder Police Chief Tom Koby said Tuesday that attorneys for John and Patsy Ramsey sent a letter to police several weeks ago saying they would have no further contact with detectives.

"The letter essentially said, 'We're not talking to you. Don't bother communicating with us,'" Koby said.

There was no comment Tuesday from attorneys for the Ramseys.

Detectives continue to plow through a task list outlined by Cmdr. Mark Beckner when he assumed overall command of the case in October, and Koby has said he believes detectives could complete their work and present a case to him by mid-spring.
Ramseys endorse grand jury investigation
Lawyers' letters lash out at Boulder police
By MATT SEBASTIAN, Camera Staff Writer

Tuesday, March 17, 1998

The parents of JonBenet Ramsey are "eager to assist" a grand jury investigation into their daughter's murder, although the couple's attorneys argue the panel also should examine the Boulder Police Department's handling of the highly publicized case.

"If referral of this case to a grand jury means that this investigation will at last be in the hands of competent and unbiased professionals, we welcome it," John and Patsy Ramsey's attorneys said Monday in a letter to Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter.

But the Ramseys' legal team made it clear the parents of the slain 6-year-old will have nothing to do with the Boulder Police Department.

"We have lost all confidence that the police can be either fair or objective," the attorneys wrote. "No investigation of this extraordinary case would be complete or thorough if it did not also review the conduct of the investigation over the past 15 months."

The letter to Hunter comes just four days after Boulder Police Chief Tom Koby and Cmdr. Mark Beckner, the lead Ramsey investigator, asked the district attorney to convene a grand jury in hopes of solving the case. It is signed by Hal Haddon and three other lawyers representing the couple.

Hunter has yet to decide whether to comply with the police request.

JonBenet Ramsey was found murdered in her parents' 15th Street home Dec. 26, 1996.

More than a year later, police have made no arrests and have named no suspects, although Beckner has said the girl's parents remain "under an umbrella of suspicion."

Suzanne Laurion, spokeswoman for the district attorney's office, said Monday, "We did receive the letter, and we're not going to have a comment."

The Ramseys' attorneys Monday also released a recent letter to Beckner accusing the police department of "incredibly unprofessional conduct."

"Because the investigation is thoroughly flawed, there is little hope of 'solving' the crime unless authorities can 'pin it on the Ramseys,'" the attorneys wrote in their letter to Beckner.

"It is our perception that the investigation is hopelessly compromised not only because of initial police errors but because your department has publicly leaked its reports and the existence of important physical evidence."

Jennifer Bray, Boulder city spokeswoman, said Monday she had been in contact with Beckner, but, "We have no response."

The letters aren't the first time the Ramseys or their lawyers have lashed out at police. John and Patsy resisted formal interviews with police until late last April, lambasting police over negotiations before the interviews took place and insisting on seeing police reports on the case before the interviews.

In recent refusals for second interviews, police said the Ramseys insisted on access to evidence in the case as one of the conditions for a meeting.

In both letters, the Ramsey attorneys berate police for repeated press leaks — especially surrounding negotiations to secure a new interview with Burke Ramsey, JonBenet's 11-year-old brother.

"In a media campaign orchestrated to pressure you into using a grand jury, Cmdr. Beckner and his strategists have consistently used the press to announce interview requests of the Ramseys rather than simply making a request in confidence," the attorneys wrote in their letter to Hunter.

"You have been quoted as saying that a grand jury may be appropriate to secure the Ramseys' cooperation," the attorneys wrote to Hunter. "There has not been a single request from your office for evidence, information or interviews which has not been honored. Now that the investigation has been turned over to objective and competent professionals, the Ramsey family is eager to assist."
Ramseys speak out on British TV

Associated Press

The parents of JonBenét Ramsey, who have not spoken publicly in more than a year, break their silence in a documentary to be aired this week on British television, Newsweek reports.

In the wide-ranging interview, the Ramseys address rumors in the case, proclaim their innocence and say the crime may never be solved, according to the report in this week's issues of Newsweek. The documentary will be aired on the United Kingdom's channel 4.

"I think this a very sick person," John Ramsey says of JonBenét's killer. "Regretfully, the police walked into our home that morning and said, 'Ah, murdered child, parents asleep, must have been the parents' and focused on that from day one. And God knows whether they will ever be able to capture her murderer now."

John and Patsy Ramsey have not spoken publicly since May 1997, when they met for a televised press conference with local reporters.

JonBenét, 6, was found beaten and strangled Dec. 26, 1996, in the basement of her Boulder home. There have been no arrests in the case.

The Ramseys were interviewed in their home in mid-February, producer David Mills said.

Ramsey said he can't understand why he and Patsy Ramsey remain under suspicion.

"The American public has been led to believe that we went to bed that night after a wonderful Christmas, brutally beat JonBenét, sexually molested her, strangled her, went to sleep, got up the next morning, wrote a three-page ransom note, called the police, sat around the house for four hours, (and) then I went downstairs and discovered her body and was able to act distraught," Ramsey said.

July 5, 1998

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