[Transcript transcribed by myself using my own personal VCR recording of the show]
Date of show = May 3, 2001
KC: On Day 4 of our in-depth look at the JBR murder investigation, veteran CO homicide Det LS talks with us about a key piece of evidence in this case, the ransom note. All week long, Smit has been explaining his theory about who killed the 6yo girl in Dec of 1996. Contrary to popular belief, he does not think JB's parents J and PR were involved in the death of their daughter. instead Smit who spent 18 months working the case for the Boulder CO DA's office believes that an intruder in the Ramsey home committed this horrific crime. We've seen him lay out in detail why he believes this using actual never before seen evidence from the case. This morning he offers his thoughts on the ransom note.
KC: "Mr Ramsey, listen carefully. We have your daughter in our possession. you stand a 99% chance of killing your daughter if you try to outsmart us."
Chilling words from the JBR ransom note reportedly found by PR on these stairs inside their home.
LS: She came down these stairs and seen the ransom note on the bottom step.
KC: 4.5 yrs later the note remains perhaps the most crucial and perplexing piece of evidence in the ongoing murder investigation.
LS: The person that wrote that note I do believe is the killer. The person that wrote that note shows his personality in that note. Very brutal and very vicious.
KC: According to Smit a number of phrases from the note are taken from movies with storeylines that revolve around kidnapping and murder. A case of life imitating art. Movies like "Ruthless People".
FROM THE MOVIE"If you deviate from our instructions in any way whatsoever she will be killed."
KC: "Any deviation of my instructions will result in the immediate execution of you daughter" a phrase from the Ramsey ransom note.
And from the movie Speed: "Do not attempt to grow a brain.
Compared to "don't try and grow a brain" in the Ramsey ransom note.
And Smit points out the movie "ransom" was playing in Boulder at the time. A film with eerie similarities to JBR's murder. A 6yo boy is kidnapped, his mouth covered with duct tape, his hands tied.
LS: whoever wrote this note was thinking of those particular type of movies. It's like a Ph.D. in ransom notes that was gained through watching movies and that it was incorporated into this note. And that's another reason why I believe that a lot of thought was taken prior to the writing the note and that the note was written before the murder rather than after the murder. It's not like a note that's written in panic after brutally murdering your child after you commit a very horrendous murder, whether it's parents or even an accomplished criminal, you do not have the presence of mind to sit down and write a 2.5 page ransom note in a clear and concise manner because of the adrenaline running through your system and because of the horrendous thing that you've done. Why would a parent have to write a 2.5 page ransom note. Why would they have to put in all of these references to ransom type movies.
KC: why? To cover up their own crime.
LS: Sure if they are a sophisticated criminal I can see them doing that Katie. These people do not have any type of criminal record at all.
KC: If an intruder came into this home, you believe he familiarized himself, came up to this first floor from the basement and this is where the ransom note was found. There was a table against this wall, is that correct Lou?
LS: right against this wall
KC: against this wall...
LS: there was a small table
KC: Smit's theory is that an intruder entered the home through this basement window while the Ramseys were at a Christmas party.
Perhaps one of the frequently asked questions Lou is why would an intruder sit down and write a lengthy ransom note with no clue as to when the family was coming home. I mean wouldn't that be awfully risky?
LS: well if the intruder had plenty of time in the house to begin with he would have all the time he needed to write a ransom note. He's a high risk criminal. In fact some people get extreme pleasure out of going through your house and watching you while you are even sleeping. There's a certain type of high risk criminal that does that.
KC: It's part of the thrill
LS: It's part of the thrill. You bet. And I think when we finally catch him, which I think we still have a very chance to do, that we're going to find that he's been arrested for some type of sexual offense in his past.
KC: Boulder Sheriff's Det Steve Ainsworth, who worked the Ramsey investigation, has his theories.
KC: Many people say, how could an intruder hang around the house and write this long elaborate ransom note. That's pretty risky stuff.
SA: Very risky.
KC: How do you answer that
SA: Could be part of the thrill for him. The risk of getting caught.
KC: Do you think this was a kidnapping that went awry somehow
SA: that's my own personal feeling, that it is.
KC: few people have been able to explain this section of the note:
"You will withdraw $118,000 from your account. $100,000 will be in $100 bills and the remaining $18,000 in $20 bills."
KC: "118,000 has been the source of a lot of attention because that was the amt. of JR's Christmas bonus.
LS: it was close to what the net amount was. Now his bonus was probably more but what he netted out would be close to $118,000
KC: So people think where did that number come from
LS: yes. and where would a parent who's writing that note, where would they come up with that figure number one, and why would they put in a figure that would pinot right back at themselves. We don't know why the killer put that in his note.
KC: Could the killer have been an employee or have had some association with "Access Graphics" JR's company. Did J or PR write it to point a finger at a disgruntled employee. Smit says both are possible, but why that relatively small amount of money was demanded he says remains a mystery to him. Another mystery, the final lines of the note:
"It is up to you now John. Victory. SBTC."
KC: What does SBTC mean?
LS: That means something to the killer. We don't know what it means. There has been all kinds of explanations for that.
LS: I've heard "South Boulder Teen Center", I've heard "Saved by the Cross", "Subic Bay Training Center". Many of these things have been put into the note because JR had at one time been in Subic Bay. But again we're only guessing when we look at the content of the note and what it meant to the killer.
KC: why not come with the ransom note?
LS: Well there's a couple of good reasons for not taking a ransom note into the house. If you're caught for instance taking in a ransom note you have it in your pocket when you come into the house for instance and there's an alarm that goes in, or the police check the house, or somebody sees you, it's pretty obvious what your plans would have been.
KC: why the practice note? what's that about
LS: that's a very important part of this too. and that I think shows that the person who is writing this note had plenty of time to do it. And it starts off with Dear Mr. and, and it starts the word M of Mrs. then it stopped. Between that practice note and the ransom note, by looking at the torn off pieces of the ransom note, I believe there was close to 6 pages that are missing. Those pages are not found in the house either Katie.
KC: when h/w analysis was done on the ransom note, JR was ruled out. PR could not be completely ruled out though.
LS: no, PR cannot be completely ruled out. The h/w examiners -- there was at least 6 of them that looked at all of the h/e exemplars and all of the h/w of PR. She does have certain characteristics which are close in nature to that on the note. But what some of the examiners have said, and the majority of them, is that there are many more differences, in other words it's not a positive at all that Pr wrote that note.
KC: in fact it's measured from 1 to 5, and she scored a 4.5 unlikely to have written the note
KC: which leaves a .5 possibility that she ..
LS: absolutely. there's a .5 possibility. But a 4.5 possibility that it's an intruder. And this is another great piece of evidence left behind by our killer. Katie I really believe that there's enough evidence left behind by our killer that we can catch him. And somebody better be looking for him.
KC: once again we should note all our requests for interviews with the BPD and the BDA's office have been declined. Tomorrow morning we will wrap our week long look at the case with some final thoughts from LS. Among other things he'll discuss the Ramseys behavior following the crime.