[Note: The transcript of this show was transcribed by myself using my personal VCR]
Date of Show = April 30, 2001
KC: Now to the murder of JBR. It is one of the most talked about and sensational cases of our time. And to this day most people believe the girl's parents, john and patsy, were involved. But now in a stunning development, a respected CO detective, LS, who worked the investigation for 18 months, is speaking out for the first time. He believes that neither j nor pr was responsible but in fact it was an intruder who murdered the little girl on Christmas night 1997. All this week in an exclusive interview sure to ruffle the feathers of the Boulder Police Dept Smit outlines his intruder theory with many never before scene and autopsy photos from the investigation . But first, who is LS and why should we pay attention.
At 66, LS is as active as ever. You can find him at 7AM almost every morning working up a sweat in a racquetball court. He's used to a lot of action. After all he worked as a homicide detective for 33 yrs on more than 200 cases.
Sheriff John Anderson: Lou has tremendous dignity and respect for a victim of a crime, for a crime scene, for justice and the pursuit of justice that really separates him from many many people in the profession.
KC: you have an expression about being in the shoes of the victim. Tell me what that is and what that's about.
LS: that is probably one of the greatest responsibilities of the detective. it's something I read along time ago. The detective stands in the shoes of the victim to protect their interests against everyone else in the world and that's all you can do. That victim has no one else.
KC: In fact Smit's commitment to solving crimes prompted the boulder DA's office anxious to bolster its case to call him 3 months after JBR was murdered. LS was asked to come out of retirement to work on the highest profile murder investigation in the country.
LS: I think the J case was almost one of a kind.
KC: Trip DeMuth was the assistant DA in charge of the case.
TD: He was more experienced than anybody else that was working on that case. And that experience allowed him first of all to organize the evidence and the facts in a very effective way. And also to evaluate the evidence objectively for its significance and its true meaning.
KC: Steven Ainsworth still a detective with the Boulder Sheriff's office, and shown here on the right, worked the investigation with LS.
SA: L is a person who will look at the evidence and follow the evidence wherever it's going to take him. He doesn't go into a case with a theory and then try to prove that theory with the evidence. He takes the evidence and sees where the evidence goes. A lot of people say he's the best there is.
LS to John Ramsey: Give us your thoughts and feelings as to what happened to your daughter that night.
KC: In fact, as this never before seen video shows, it was LS's task, on behalf of the Boulder DA's office, to question JR about JBR's death.
JR: you hope that she didn't suffer. And if I let myself think beyond that it's too difficult. My hope is that she didn't suffer.
KC: as LS got deeper into the investigation and examined, among other things these crime scene photos never before televised, he began to think the Ramseys were not involved and instead the likely killer was an intruder but frustrated because he said his theory wasn't taken seriously enough, after 18mo detective Smit resigned.
LS: The BPD wanted to pursue the Ramsey path more. And there were people in the BOULDER DA's office and myself that wanted to do more on the intruder path and it was not a good working relationship. What happened was that suddenly everyone that was involved on the intruder side of the story was in effect removed from the case. I did not want to be part of perhaps persecuting people that I believed to be innocent at that time and so I had resigned and I felt I could do more outside the investigation.
KC: the BPD went to court to try and prevent Det Smit from making a presentation to the GJ about his intruder theory. Smit fought the injunction, won and testified before the GJ who would later decide NOT to indict John or Patsy Ramsey.
LS: I was very insistent on testifying. I felt it was very Imo to this case to do that to have a fair perspective of both sides.
KC: And you don't know why you were being discouraged from doing so.
LS: No I don't.
KC: No one ever told you.
KC: Frustrated that their theories weren't being listened to or followed up on, TD and SA also removed themselves from the case.
TD: It was very frustrating. In any homicide case, I think anybody who's committed to the case wants only one thing and that is to apprehend the killer. And to this date that has not happened for whatever reasons and that alone makes it extremely frustrating.
SA: the reasons why we weren't allowed to investigate any of the other things that came up I don't have the answer to that.
KC: As part of his agreement when he left the case, Smit was able to maintain possession of these never before seen crime scene and autopsy photos some of which are so disturbing they couldn't be shown on television.
4 and one half years later, J and PR remain under the so called umbrella of suspicion. While they have hired their own investigators to find who killed JB, LS is not one of them. He continues to work the investigation but is being paid nothing. It's something he says he feels he has to do.
LS: I'm not accountable to the authorities. I'm not accountable to the Ramseys. I'm only accountable to JB. and to this case.
KC: The Boulder Police disagree with LS but refuse to talk with us about the case both on or off camera. In our next half hour LS shows me around the Ramsey house and shares exclusive autopsy and crime scene photos which he says point to an intruder. We should note J and PR have never seen many of the photographs but are aware that we are showing them.
LOCAL NEWS BREAK
KC: Now more of our in-depth look at the JBR murder case. All this week we will be brining you exclusive interviews with CO Det LS a former lead investigator on the case and two others who were part of the official investigation into the murder. Before today they have never spoken out publicly. IN addition we will be showing you for the first time actual crime scene photos that Smit says support his theory that 6yo was not killed by her parents but by an intruder into their home.
KC: this is the image most Americans have of JBR. A little girl in makeup and high heels competing in a beauty pageant. (various pageant photos shown here ()
(with non-pageant pictures) This is the JB Americans don't know. A 6yo girl who her parents say loved ice skating, playing with dolls, and spending time out doors.
JB's brutal murder on Christmas night 1996, and the circumstances surrounding her death, have made her the most famous little girl in America. Her face recognizable all over the world. Her killer still not arrested.
3.5 months after her slaying, the BDA office called renowned CO Det LS out of retirement and asked him to join the investigation.
LS: I thought it was going to be a slam dunk case because most of the evidence seemed to be fairly out in the open. I thought I'd be involved in the case perhaps for 3 or 4 months, gather the case material, help present it to a GJ and it'd be over with. But it didn't turn out to be that way.
KC: walking around the Ramsey's former home in Boulder LS told me he quickly discovered he couldn't believe everything he'd heard or seen especially when he saw the crime scene photos televised now for the first time.
KC: A lot of people following the murder of JB said it was probably the parents because there were no signs of forced entry. And that was one of the big things that came out early on. If not the parents then who and how did they get in. one of the big claims was, for ex, that there were no footprints in the snow.
LS: I even talked to myself, how could anyone get into the house without leaving some type of footprint in the snow. And then once we got the photographs then you can see that there was no snow around the various doors and entry doors of the house.
KC: or the sidewalks.
LS: or on the sidewalks either, that's correct.
KC: but the camera crews from across the street when they were shooting the house they did see what looked to be a snow covered lawn.
LS: Yes and that's the way it looked din that particular shot. In the actual yard itself there was snow on the grass and there was snow more on the front of the house but this area which had been in the sun, there was no snow there.
KC: So the whole idea that no footprints meant no intruder to you was not necessarily true.
LS: No not once we'd seen the photos.
KC: You went into this case thinking the parents had committed this crime or thinking there was a good chance they had.
LS: yes but I still had an open mind the other way too Katie
KC: what was the first thing that you observed or saw in your investigation that led you to believe 'hey maybe there's somebody else who did this.'
LS: you know Katie it was the 2d day I was on the case. The very first photograph that I seen of that basement window, the window was wide open. And I said, wait a minute, take a look at that. That was one of the light bulbs that went off and one of the red flags that I seen.
KC: based on actual crime scene photos, again being shown here for the first time, Det Smit says there's evidence of debris being moved on the middle window sill, the same window Smit believes and intruder could have entered.
KC: I remember reading several Law Enforcement officials saying "there's just no way someone could get through this window." Can you show me how you believe someone could?
LS: Yes I've been in there several times myself. And even a large person can get in there.
KC: This grate is not the original grate the original grate was taken for evidence, correct?
LS: yes, yes.
KC: Why don't you show me how you believe it happened.
LS: You notice Katie too that this is an area that's real hidden from view there's fences all around, this is a perfect place to go in because nobody can see you.
KC: according to Smit, there are other signs of a possible intruder. Some as small as cob webs missing from the edge of the window, a shoe scuff on the wall, imprints of a high tek sneaker in the wine cellar where JB's body was found, and a suitcase placed under the window to help someone get out. The Boulder PD has contended it investigated all leads. But Smit insists the BPD never really pursued the intruder theory.
LS: the BPD has focused on the Ramseys. Some people call it tunnel vision. Perhaps that's the case. they have just stopped at the Ramseys. Plain and simple. They've gone to the Ramseys and they've stopped. Personally, I believe very strongly the Ramseys didn't do this. Professionally I have to leave that door open, and I will. And if there's anything that comes into this investigation which will point at the parents I'll be the first one to step forward with that evidence.
SA: I have not seen any evidence that would be compelling to suggest that J and P did kill their daughter at this point. And the evidence to me certainly suggests that someone other than them did commit the murder.
KC: Det SA of the Boulder Sheriff Dept who worked the case with Smit, is speaking out for the first time. As is former Assistant DA, Trip DeMuth.
KC: LS believes there is the possibility that an intruder entered the Ramsey home. Is that a theory that you think would have been worth pursuing.
TD: In homicide investigations you need to make sure that you pursue every possible, possibility or theory if you will. And especially since the burden of proof is to prove somebody's guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
KC: Det Smit believes if an intruder came in, it was while the Ramseys were at a Christmas party. Unsure of how long he lay in wait, Smit believes the killer climbed these back stairs from the basement, and entered JB's room after she had fallen asleep.
KC: Where was JB's bed in this bedroom?
LS: There was a bed here, another bed right over here. And I know that there's been a theory that perhaps Patsy in a rage over some bed wetting scenario had struck JB and perhaps thought she was dead or dying...
KC: Steve Thomas, a former detective with the BPD, wrote a book about the way he believes JB was murdered. He alleges the little girl wet her bed that night, causing PR to fly into a rage, subsequently killing her daughter.
LS: the photographs show that there is no bed wetting, the photographs shows no staining on the sheets, the lab reports don't show any bed wetting or the sheets being urine stained.
KC: Smit says he was further convinced his intruder theory had merit because he could not find a motive for a Ramsey family member to kill JB. Nor was there any indication of prior violent behavior.
LS: there is no past behavior on the Ramseys part after 4yrs and everybody in the world looking at them that shows that the Ramseys had any motive to kill their daughter or that they would go off the deep end.
KC: But in your experience don't good people sometimes do just terrible things. What about crimes of passion, crimes of anger, when people just for whatever reason snap.
LS: yes that does happen
KC: and they are sort of model citizens, church going, good people, solid individuals, everybody love them, great neighbors.
LS: Katie you're absolutely right. But usually when you look into the background of those cases there is a pathology there of some type. IN the ramseys case I can't find any pathology at all.
KC: And he believes his theory is further supported by the fact that the Ramseys were a high profile Boulder family particularly in the days leading up to the murder. JB was featured in a parade as little miss Colorado on Dec 6, and just 5 days before the murder, there was a lengthy article in a boulder paper about JR's company Access graphics reaching the billion dollar sales mark.
LS: he was referred to as billionaire JR. The family was very high profile at about the time of the murder.
KC: LS is not alone in his intruder theory or in his view that the BPD focus on the Ramseys is misguided.
KC: A remark I commonly hear when the Ramsey case is being discussed, as it has been discussed in every office and home in America practically, if not them, who? In other words, people believe them to be guilty because there's no other person in the picture. What's wrong with looking at it that way?
SA: you can look at it that way. But having been inside the case for the time that I was, and seeing the info that is there, it doesn't suggest that to me.
TD: I've seen police agencies fix on one suspect and believe they have the right person and then I've watched them let go of that suspect when they develop other evidence and other leads.
KC: Det Smit believes the murder was committed by a male sexual predator who was most likely obsessed with the 6yo girl.
LS: JB was a pedophile's dream come true.
KC: what would do if evidence surfaced that basically convicted J and PR?
LS: I would be, I would applaud it because the case would be solved.
KC: would you be surprised?
LS: I would be real surprised real surprised that there would be evidence. That's why, after all this time, I don't think there is evidence There's nothing to indicate that. The hardest part is to get beyond the Ramseys with the Law Enforcement agencies and to pursue the killer. That's the hard part. Yes I would like to find the intruder. And yes I believe an intruder is involved in this crime.
KC: we want to not e that we have repeatedly asked officials from the BPD and the DA's office to comment on what LS has to say. They have declined. We will cont. contacting them this week with the hope that they will change their minds.