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Forensic expert called again
DA asks Henry Lee to consult on Ramsey case
By Christopher Anderson
Camera Staff Writer



Renowned forensic expert Henry Lee will be returning to Colorado to meet with Boulder County District Attorney's officials to discuss the JonBenét Ramsey homicide investigation, which a grand jury has been reviewing for seven months.
Lee, the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Safety and former consultant for the O.J. Simpson murder defense team, reportedly will be in the Boulder area later this week, marking at least his third trip here in connection with the Ramsey case.
Lee, who is working as a consultant to District Attorney Alex Hunter on the Ramsey case, said Tuesday from his Connecticut office that he did not know exactly when the meeting would be or what the prosecutors wanted from him. He did say the prosecutors had called the meeting.
Hunter's spokeswoman, Suzanne Laurion, declined comment on Lee's visit other than to say a meeting has been scheduled.
"We were hoping this would be a private meeting," she said.
In March, Lee met with Hunter in Connecticut as part of a crimes-against children symposium held at the University of New Haven.
When Lee met with prosecutors in February 1998 at a private room at the Denver International Airport, he said he believed the case had a 50-50 chance of being solved. He also attended a case presentation in Boulder in June 1998.
When asked Tuesday what he thought of the case, Lee said he has consulted with Hunter on crime scene photos and laboratory work in the past but couldn't comment on the case at this point because he hasn't been kept appraised of the day-to-day developments of the case.
"I really don't have the whole picture about the case," Lee said. "It is not going to be fair to them to make a comment."
It is not known whether Lee will be called to testify before the grand jury.
The grand jury investigating the Ramsey case met again Tuesday, but it is not known what was discussed.
Adams County District Attorney Bob Grant, who has also consulted with Hunter on the case, said it his belief the grand jury would be entering into its deliberative phase later this month. The grand jury, which has been convened for almost a year, can meet until April 22 before the district attorney must request an extension.
Grant said an extension is not unlikely since prosecutors would want to remove any "artificial" perceptions by jury members that they are under a time constraint to make a decision.
Unlike trial juries, a grand jury can come back after deliberations and ask to see more evidence or more witnesses.
Laurion said Tuesday a decision on whether to ask for an extension might not be made until the last day. Hunter has given indications it is being considered.
Six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey was found beaten and strangled in her family's basement Dec. 26, 1996.
Her parents John and Patsy Ramsey have been the focus of the investigation, although they maintain they are innocent.
It is not known whether the Ramseys have testified or will be called before the grand jury.

April 7, 1999
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#2
The BoulderNews Ramsey Archive

Articles from the Daily Camera

Lee reviews Ramsey evidence
By CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON, Camera Staff Writer
Saturday, February 14, 1998
DENVER -- Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter blasted the parents of 6-year-old murder victim JonBenet Ramsey on Friday, saying the investigation is hindered by their lack of cooperation.
After a six-hour meeting with Boulder police and expert criminologist Henry Lee, however, Hunter and others expressed optimism that the case is moving forward.
"I am disappointed that we have not had more cooperation from the Ramseys in helping us get to the truth. We need to have that in order to answer questions that remain that are critical to finding out what happened in this case," Hunter said.
John and Patsy Ramsey recently refused to submit to an interview with Boulder police unless they were allowed to review evidence collected in the case. Boulder police said the condition was unacceptable.
Hunter's statement is one of the strongest he has made about the Ramseys since the 14-month investigation began Dec. 26, 1996. That day, JonBenet was found strangled and beaten about eight hours after she was reported kidnapped.
Friday's comments came moments after the prosecutor's office and eight Boulder police detectives met privately.
Hunter's statement is one of the strongest he has made about the Ramseys since the 14-month investigation began Dec. 26, 1996. That day, JonBenet was found strangled and beaten about eight hours after she was reported kidnapped.
Friday's comments came moments after the prosecutors office and eight Boulder police detectives met privately with Lee, who became widely known for his work in the O.J. Simpson murder trial. Lee specializes in crime scene reconstruction and DNA analysis.
Hunter said his office is handing over documents and materials for Lee to analyze.
Officials would not comment specifically on what the material was or what was discussed during the meeting at Denver International Airport. But afterward, Lee said he was much more optimistic about progress in the case than before the meeting, saying he believes there is at least a 50/50 chance there will be a resolution.
Lee said the team of investigators and prosecutors "went over quite a bit of material," reviewed the case and looked over the direction of the investigation.
"This case is an extremely difficult case," said Lee, who has about 40 years experience in criminology. "Todays meeting was a very fruitful meeting."
Lee also said he was happy to see a "spirit of cooperation" between Boulder police and Hunters office. He said the progress of the case is attributable to "diligent detective work."
Cmdr. Mark Beckner, who is supervising the Ramsey investigation, said little about the meeting or the investigation except, "I am very pleased with how things went."
Lee declined to comment on specifics of the case, including questions about a palm print, footprints and DNA evidence. When asked if he believed the Ramseys were responsible for their daughters death, Lee said he wasnt in a position to answer the question. He said most investigations include a process of elimination, and Boulder police do not have tunnel vision, focusing on only one suspect.
"Everybody is a suspect until we clear all the facts," Lee said. "Thats the reason I am here, is to look at the scientific facts."
Hunter described Lee as "the best of the best" of his field.
Lee is director of the Connecticut State Police Forensic Science Laboratory in Hartford andworked for the O.J. Simpson defense team.
Hunters office contacted the criminologist - along with Simpson attorney Barry Scheck, a DNA expert - early in the investigation.
Friday marked at least the fourth time Lee has met with Ramsey investigators.
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