Keenan's Letter to Wood

Date: Dec 20, 2002

Dear Mr. Wood:

Since I took office in January of 2001, the Ramsey case has weighed heavily on my mind. I assigned Bill Nagel to review the file. Bill and I have discussed at length the history and the status of this investigation.

In early October, shortly after much of our review had been completed, you sent me a letter outlining a request from Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey that an Independent investigation of this case be initiated. I discussed your letter with Chief Beckner and I let both of you know that I would consider that request seriously and thoughtfully before responding.

In deciding how to proceed at this point in time, I met with you and Chief Beckner to discuss your request. I have consulted extensively with my senior staff. I have also conferred with many of my metro area colleagues individually and with the Attorney General and the prosecutors who assisted with the Grand Jury. In short, I believe I have been thorough in my consideration of the options.

There are overriding principles that dictate my approach to this request:

1) My oath of office to uphold the Constitution and the law.

2) My obligation to seek to ensure that the Ramseys be afforded the protection of the Constitution in that they are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

3) My belief that this case can benefit from additional investigation by fresh eyes;

4) My belief that the Boulder Police Department has done an exhaustive and thorough investigation of the Ramseys as potential suspects.

Based on the above and after consultation with Chief Beckner, I have made a decision to conduct further investigation from within my office, using our investigative resources. Our efforts will focus on following up on leads which have not previously been investigated or that are brought to our attention in the future. We will not exempt the Ramseys from this investigation. We will work cooperatively with Lou Smit, the Ramseys, and the Boulder Police Department. I will make every effort to communicate openly with you. I will not go to the press now or in the future to publicize this decision. I will act in good faith in all matters and of course will continue to keep and protect the secrecy of the Grand Jury proceedings. Please understand that this decision is being made for one reason only, the fact that a violent child murderer is at large.

I believe that we can move forward in this matter in a spirit of good faith and cooperation. I cannot expend unlimited resources in this case. However, I will use what resources I can to pursue the investigation until the case is brought to justice in a court of law or until I believe that no further forward progress can be made.

I met again with Chief Beckner today. He joins me in the decision and has agreed to cooperate in our efforts.

Please feel free to contact me to discuss this matter at any time.

Mary T. Keenan
District Attorney
Twentieth Judicial District