Fleet White Address to Boulder City Council
Date: August 6, 2002
Address to the Boulder City Council, August 6, 2002
In February of 2000, a woman came forward with allegations and accusations against our family. The woman falsely alleged that we were ritual child sex abusers and involved in the homicide of JonBenet Ramsey. She also falsely alleged that we were part of a conspiracy that included prominent people in Boulder and elsewhere in Colorado. The woman and her allegations were first publicized by the E.W. Scripps owned Boulder Daily Camera in a libelous front page headline story on February 25, 2000 and the following day by another Scripps paper, The Rocky Mountain News. The Daily Camera article, authored by former Daily Camera editor Barrie Hartman, falsely implied that JonBenet had been tortured and killed at our home on December 25, 1996 when "an asphyxiation technique used to stimulate an orgasmic response during a child sex and porno 'party' went too far." The story noted that while the Boulder Police did not find the woman to be credible, former District Attorney Alex Hunter regarded her as being "very believable". The article included a warning from Mr. Hunter to the Boulder Police, if they failed to investigate the woman's accusations, he would take the matter to the US Attorney. It was Mr. Hunter's favorable assessment of the woman that emboldened the Daily Camera, its publisher Colleen Conant and Scripps' lawyers to publish the article, an article they knew would open the way for publicizing additional details and embellishments of the woman's false accusations. Those libelous details were quickly provided by the Longmont Daily Times-Call, CBS owned KCNC News, Clear Channel KHOW AM 630 talk radio, FOX News and Boulder Community Access Television. There were also months of Internet leaks, interviews and anonymous commentary.
The public dissemination of the woman's false accusations that was intentionally set in motion by Mr. Hunter and The E.W. Scripps Company resulted in the most damaging defamation that can be imagined.
Notwithstanding its justified skepticism of the woman's truthfulness, the Boulder Police Department responded to the goading of the Daily Camera and the bullying of Mr. Hunter by immediately commencing a highly publicized investigation. Unsatisfied, the Daily Camera published an editorial on March 22, 2000, criticizing the Boulder Police for not taking the woman's accusations seriously. In response, the Boulder Police Department dutifully strung out the investigation for eleven weeks. On May 15, 2000, Chief Beckner issued a public statement noting the conclusion of the investigation of the woman's accusations. In his statement, Chief Beckner indicated that none of her accusations and claims could be linked to the Ramsey homicide. What was not mentioned by Chief Beckner is the fact that the woman was a fraud and had broken the law by knowingly making false reports of serious criminal activity to the Boulder Police Department, the Boulder District Attorney and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Nor did Chief Beckner make any reference to the central roles played in her criminal episode by a number of people including Mr. Hunter, Mr. Hill, Mr. Singular and Mr. Hartman as well as other employees and representatives of the E.W. Scripps Company. At a meeting at our home on June 13, 2000, Chief Beckner told us that he doesn't "battle someone who buys ink by the barrel."
Earlier this year, we requested criminal justice records relating to the investigation of the woman's accusations from Chief Beckner and District Attorney Mary Keenan pursuant to Colorado criminal justice record statutes. The Boulder Police have refused to release any of the records in its possession. The District Attorney, however, has released to us all documents in its possession relating to the woman's accusations and the ensuing investigation. Among those documents are notes taken at a February 16, 2000 meeting at the home of Mr. Hartman. Present at the meeting were Mr. Hartman and Mr. Hunter, as well as a lawyer, Lee Hill, who was representing the woman. Also in attendance was Stephen Singular, a Denver author of true crime books. In 1999 during the Ramsey grand jury investigation, a book authored by Mr. Singular was published. The premise of Mr. Singular's book was that a group of people in Boulder and possibly a Boulder municipal employee, were engaged in pedophilia and pornography and may have been responsible for the death of JonBenet or participated in a conspiracy to cover up the circumstances of her death. Mr. Singular further speculated that the cover up conspiracy may have plagued the Ramsey investigation from the outset and could explain why charges had not been brought against someone for JonBenet's homicide. In his book, Mr. Singular claimed that he had met with Mr. Hunter on several occasions and that Mr. Hunter had urged him to pursue his theories. Mr. Singular dedicated his book to Mr. Hill.
The documents that we received from the District Attorney strongly support what we have suspected for some time. The investigation of JonBenet's homicide has been conducted in a moral and ethical vacuum and has been driven by petty self-interest, vindictiveness, and a profound disregard for the criminal justice system and common civility.
On June 24 of this year, we applied to the Boulder District Court for an order directing the City, Chief Beckner and the Boulder Police Department to show cause why they should not release its records relating to the investigation of the woman's false accusations. The Court has set a hearing for August 16th. Our family and the public are entitled to each and every government document that may shed light on the deceit and misconduct of Mr. Hunter, Mr. Hartman, Ms. Conant and anyone else responsible for promoting and publicizing the woman and her false accusations. Forcing us to bring this matter into the District Court further defines the leadership of Boulder municipal government to be little more than a group of selfish and cowardly civil servants with no genuine or abiding interest for the rights of Boulder citizens or their criminal justice system.
In May 2001, John Ramsey's criminal defense lawyer, Harold Haddon, appeared in Denver at a panel discussion. The topic was "The Media and the Bar." Ironically, the moderator was one of Patsy Ramsey's criminal defense lawyers, Patrick Burke. In response to a question from Mr. Burke regarding what ethical rules had applied to the interaction of lawyers with the press in the Ramsey Investigation, Mr. Haddon arrogantly decreed: "There weren't any rules that applied to anybody in the legal profession, members of the District Attorney's office or representatives of the Ramseys and various witnesses." Mr. Haddon was wrong. There were rules. And there were laws. What Boulder and the State of Colorado lacked were government leaders, prosecutors, judges and attorney regulation and law enforcement officials who possessed the courage and the integrity to enforce them.
We request that the City of Boulder reconsider its position and release the criminal justice records that we have requested pursuant to Colorado law.