[Transcript transcribed by myself using my own personal VCR recording of the show]
Date of show = May 4, 2001
KC: We've got more now of our exclusive in-depth look at the JBR murder investigation. All week long Vet Det LS who worked the case for 18 months and is speaking out for the first time, showing us never before seen evidence that he says supports his theory that an intruder killed the 6yo girl. His theory contradicts the popular theory that J and PR were involved in the crime and puts him at odds with the BPD which continues to keep the Ramseys under the so called umbrella of suspicion.
KC: This is where JBR is buried in a suburb outside of Atlanta. While there's no question that her young life was tragically, brutally cut short, there are lingering doubts as to exactly how it happened and who exactly got away with murder. Many people still think it was her parents, J and PR, but Det LS believes neither JB's parents, nor her brother burke, now 14, were involved. Instead he believes evidence like the open window in this crime scene photo, marks on JB's body he believes were made by a stun gun, the intricate and practiced appearance of the garrote, and the methodical lengthy ransom note, point to an intruder. A pedophile he says obsessed with the 6yo girl.
LS: people say that there was only 4 people in the house that day and they eliminate any possibility of an intruder. What the case tells me is that there is a 5th personality there. There's a 5th personality that is a very brutal, vicious personality that killed JB, that is not exhibited at all in any of the background of the Ramseys. It's just not there.
FROM FILM OF LS WITH JR: "I'm LS, I'm an investigator for the Boulder Co DA's office..."
KC: As this never before seen video shows, nearly a year and a half after the murder happened while working for the Boulder DA's office, LS spent three days questioning JR about JB's death.
JR: the last thing on our mind on Dec 26 was that we would be considered suspects.
LS: I've been able to interview many suspects in many homicides. I have never been able to interview anyone for that length of time. I didn't get vibes at all off of JR that he was lying to me.
KC: there is a perception also in the general public, that the Ramseys did not cooperate with police, that they didn't go down to the police station for interviews. In fact you believe that's one of the biggest mistakes BPD made?
LS: the main thing you learn as a detective when you go into a crime scene, is that you always try to get an interview with the people that are there. If you find the body and you realize there's a homicide that's occurred you always bring them into the station. If you find evidence that they've been involved in a violent death, and they have marks or bruises on them, that goes to their guilt. But if you find that they don't have these things, it also goes to their innocence.
KC: and you do it separately, you separate them
LS: Yes. And you take all of their clothing and you interview them separately. That's the time to do it.
KC: why wasn't that done
LS: I don't know. Somebody made a decision not to do that.
KC: In fairness to the BPD though they did try on several occasions reportedly to get the Ramseys to be interviewed down at the police station and the Ramseys reportedly refused. I mean if I'm a parent and I want to find out who murdered my child, God forbid, I would do everything in my power to help the police help solve the case.
LS: yes Katie but you would also go by what your lawyers advised you.
FROM FILM OF LS INTERVIEWING JR: "JR: I would love not to have attorneys and let's get on with this and figure out who did this."
KC: do you think their lawyers have done a disservice in some ways by protecting them too much? at least in the court of public opinion.
LS: yes in the court of Public opinion, that is the perception. But from the lawyers perception they were trying to keep their clients out of jail. That was their main, their main focus was to protect their client. Their main focus was not public perception.
KC: as LS began to put together the pieces of the murder, he says he suggested his theory to investigators with the BPD. Frustrated his views weren't being heard, Smit resigned.
KC: what was their reaction when you said "hey are you sure you're going in the right direction?"
LS: it, I could feel immediately the attitudes changing in that room. I think they seen at that time that I was not on the same page and that I might be looking in another direction. And I wasn't saying that the Ramseys did not do this, or did do this, I was just saying that we had to look further. And I think that certain walls went up there at that time.
SA: I mean nobody was saying oh that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard or anything like that but it was pretty clear that it was pretty clear that it was readily dismissed.
KC: Shortly thereafter, SA, a boulder Sheriffs Det, who was working with Smit, resigned from the case. As did former assistant DA Trip DeMuth. Meanwhile, questions began to surface about LS's credibility.
KC: one beef about you is that at one point, you prayed with the Ramseys..
KC: ...that you're a religious individual, that they're religious, and that somehow that clouded your judgement.
LS: I know I've read that also. It is part of my personality and the way I work a case, that I approach every case, when I pull in a crime scene the first thing I say is a little prayer. When I end a case that's the last thing I do. I started my day at the Ramsey home with a commitment to JB and a small prayer. And there was probably two reason for that. One I would offer compassion to this family, but the second reason is that I wanted to build a bridge with the Ramseys so that they would come across and supply information to the police dept and to the DA's office later. And it's not the first time I've done that Katie.
KC: have you later convicted anyone with whom you've prayed?
LS: Oh yeah I have. And it's my style of doing things.
SA: well I don't think there'd be that same criticism if he had prayed with them and then they said by the way we killed our daughter. You do whatever it takes. and i think that's why Lou is so effective at what he does.
TD: I can tell you that it is a very effective investigative tool to become close to the targets of an investigation.
KC: You came on board in mid march some 3 months, 2.5 months anyway, after the crime was committed. Did that put you at a disadvantage?
LS: yes it always puts you at a disadvantage. But where I had a great opportunity is that I had a chance to take a look at every scrap of information that came in so I had a chance to look at that case closer than probably anybody else working the case.
KC: there were observations made about how the Ramseys reacted to the mu4der of JB which seemed to point a finger at them. Is there anything about the way the Ramseys behaved either in the kidnapping phase and after JB's body was found that raises a red flag for you.
LS: Not really Katie and I've read all of the reports. Their emotional state is consistent with other people that I've run into in my experiences.
KC: what about PR's sort of sobbing and reportedly staring at an observer. Was that in the reports?
LS: that was in the reports. That's all subjective and it's not really evidence in a case. If you are going to convict people just because of the way they looked at you through splayed fingers I think you'd have a lot of people convicted in this country.
KC: who didn't commit crimes?
KC: according to statistics when a child is killed the likelihood that the parents or a parent was involved is something like 12:1
LS: I think that's one of the reasons that there is a perception that just because the statistics say that that the Ramseys did it. There's statistics also that should brought into bear on other facts in this case. Statistics have shown that there has never been a parent who has garroted a child in a murder case. If you want to throw statistics, throw them out both ways. Every case is different. Statistics don't make the murder case. Evidence makes the case.
KC: while BP officials say they have and cont. to investigate all leads, Smit and others accuse the dept of tunnel vision when it comes to the Ramseys
KC: but how could an entire police dept sort of be so narrowly focused on one theory
SA: well I don't know the answer to that. I could tell you, but I probably shouldn't though, I mean what my opinion is, because it'll get me in a whole lot of trouble.
LS: They're promoting Ramsey guilt. you have to work just as hard to prove their innocence as you do their guilt
KC: I know you've said you're not doing this to exonerate J and PR that you're doing it for one person.
LS: that's right. that's for JB and for the case. You have the responsibility to stand in her shoes.
KC: we want to note that officials with the BPD have insisted they have been open to any and all theories in the case and have pursued other leads. But they again declined to talk with us about their investigation. the BDA's office also refused comment.
Coming up in our next half hour, we'll get an independent observer's take on the case when we talk with investigative author Lawrence Schiller. We'll find out what he thinks about LS's intruder theory.
KC: All week long we've had an exclusive look at the evidence and heard from former investigator LS on his theory that somehow an intruder killed 6yo JBR and all week long we've been asking for someone from the BPD or BDA office to talk with us about Smit's theory. They have declined. So as we wrap things up we wanted to get an independent view of Smit's theory. Lawrence Schiller followed the Ramsey case closely and is the author of the best selling "Perfect Murder, Perfect Town, JonBenét and the City of Boulder" Larry Good morning.
Larry: Good morning Katie
KC: You know obviously we have been trying to get someone from the BPD or the DA's office to speak with us, it's an ongoing investigation they refused, but they must have some pretty compelling reasons to keep J and PR under this umbrella of suspicion. What in your view are the most compelling?
Larry: Well first you have the say the reason they've probably not responded to you have to admit that the Ramseys now have a civil lawsuit against the BPD I believe the City of Boulder and Det Steve Thomas. So you know with that case pending I don't think anybody in their right minds would respond because you know LS is a very fine Det. What do they have against the Ramseys? Well they have their inconsistent statements, which one need not go into because they're numerous, they have the fact that they start from the ransom note which the BPD believe through their experts and certain scientific evidence which I can't discuss on the air, that PR may have been the author of that note. They've had linguistic experts that have compared things that have been said within the Ramsey families previous writings. So the BPD starts from that ransom note and from there they lay out their own scenario as to what took place. I don't think bed wetting one way or the other plays into it. If this murder was committed by somebody in the family it's an atypical crime. It wasn't premeditated, it's almost an out of body experience, because PR the pathology of her life, does not fit a murderer. But yet the Det who interviewed PR extensively, Mr. Tom Haney from the Denver PD, believes that PR did it, just like LS who interviewed Mr. Ramsey extensively, believes that Mr. Ramsey did not do it.
KC: alright let me ask you was the intruder theory that LS has put forward on our program, was it ever taken seriously by the BPD, did they at least explore the possibility?
Larry: look I think LS brought together all the pieces in one very p9owerful presentation. I think independently these pieces were looked at. But there's no question when LS made his presentation, which I saw almost 2yrs ago, to the GJ and to the BPD, it emaluated a lot of things, but the BPD believes that you can't date a lot of that evidence. You can't date when the footprint is in the wine cellar, you can't date the hand print, you can't date when the suitcase was moved, when the window was opened. The only thing you can date is mark on JB's face which LS believes is a stun gun mark and that can be dated from the photograph taken that morning to the time of the crime
KC: well let's talk Larry, wait a second, let's talk about the stun gun for a moment cause the BPD has really sort of never come out and said it wasn't a stun gun or it was a stun gun but we did have coroner Michael Doberson who apparently is quite an expert on stun guns, also tell us this week that he believes those marks were made by a stun gun.
Larry: Well let me say this, I don't think anybody can tell you, unless you dug up the body and whether those tests would be valid this late, I don't know I don't have that scientific expertise, but the coroner in this case when he conducted his autopsy, he did not say that these were marks or burns or electrodes, and this is a very very experienced coroner, just like he believes like I've been told that the line between the two stun gun marks is not an arcing of it, but is in fact a blood vessel. Short of an eye witness who conducted the autopsy, you know I'd like to see coroner Meyer respond to this, but in fact he'll probably respond if and when this case ever gets to trial. Now you might say if the police have this much evidence why haven't they charged PR or another member of that family. And I think the answer is very simple: there is so much exculpatory evidence that a good defense attorney can deal with and get a client off that the BPD does not want jeopardy to attach and therefore may not ever be able to charge to somebody. If the science advances, technology advances, and something can rise to the surface to solve the crime. Short of a confession I don't think the crime's going to be solved.
KC: Alright let me just move on to a couple of other things that LS mentioned. As you know Det ST's theory is that JB was struck on the head by PR and later strangled by the garrote in the basement to cover up the crime. But in crime scene photos we see the indentation is quite red. And according to both the coroner Dr Doberson and to LS, if this had been done to after JB had been killed, the marks would be white there would not be scratch marks from the little girl trying to get this thing off her neck. So what about their perspective on that.
Larry: well let me say this. You're presenting one side of the case. There are experts who believe that the blow to the head took place at a different time. You have to remember there was no external bleeding. Nobody knows where it took place, when it took place, in fact the coroner didn't even know about the blow to the head until he peeled back the scalp. There is certainly possibilities of finger marks on the neck there's no question that the child may have woken up or may have screamed out during the time that she was being garroted there's no question that the garrote killed this child but the question still is was the blow just prior or just after the moment of her death.
KC: and what about the foreign DNA Larry that LS mentions.
Larry: right, again, very powerful when it's a one side presentation, and BTW I like LS, but yet he can't date it. How do you know that foreign DNA didn't come from earlier in the day when she was playing with somebody else that they haven't been able to test yet. How do you know she didn't exchange clothes? How do you know that the foreign DNA on her hand, her fingernails, her pants, didn't come from some other method earlier in the day. You cannot say it came from the time of the crime. Again, very powerful evidence but you can't date it.
KC: what about Steven Ainsworth coming forward as well as former assistant DA Trip DeMuth
Larry: Steve, Steve Ainsworth probably has more homicide experience short of LS than anybody on the case. But like LS he wasn't on the case from Day 1. Like LS he's got a wonderful overview and I respect Mr. Ainsworth. Ainsworth believes in her innocence as do many of the police officers believe in her guilt. The question is who committed the crime and I don't think you're gonna have that answer we have theories we have good objectivity, but each side is blinded to their tunnel vision just like the other side. You know it's a very difficult case, and we could sit for hours, there's over 800 pieces of real solid evidence, and a lot of it fibers on the body of the child. Over 70 fibers at the time of the murder were found. Many of them tested right away, some still being evaluated even at this late date.
KC: well it's a case that continues to fascinate much of America. Larry S. thanks for joining us and giving us your perspective on all of this, we appreciate it.
Larry: thank you Katie for having me.