[Courtesy Justice Watch Forum]
Date = Aug 25, 2000
ZAHN: Welcome back to THE EDGE. In focus tonight, the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. For a little more than two years now, the Boulder Police Department has wanted to interview John and Patsy Ramsey about the murder of their daughter. Well, this Monday, they will have their chance.FOX NEWS CHANNEL's Carol McKinley has more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MCKINLEY (voice-over): The million- dollar home where JonBenet Ramsey was murdered stands abandoned and forgotten, much like the unsolved case has been since a grand jury looking into it stalled last fall. But the investigation just took on new life. John and Patsy Ramsey have agreed to be interviewed by the Boulder Police and prosecutors, the first time they've sat down with case investigators in over two years.
ALEX HUNTER: There really are a number of things that we want to talk to the Ramseys about.
MCKINLEY (on camera): And they can ask any question they want?
HUNTER: That's the agreement. And, you know, their counsel will be there so I expect that, you know, things can change at any moment.
MCKINLEY: It's been nearly four years since JonBenet Ramsey was murdered and you'd be surprised at some of the questions still out there that investigators have. For instance, they think they know the weapon which caused the eight-inch fracture in her skull but they can't prove it. And they're highly suspicious of her parents and her death but they still can't prove which one did what? And these interviews are going to be tricky because the Ramseys haven't been eliminated as suspects in their daughter's murder.
HUNTER: No, and they know that. They haven't been eliminated.
MCKINLEY (voice-over): FOX NEWS has learned there are seven crucial pieces of evidence police want to ask the Ramseys about, including duct tape found on JonBenet's mouth, the rope which was used to strangle her, the pineapple found in her stomach, and tape of the first 911 call Patsy Ramsey made from their home at 5:50 a.m. the day after Christmas 1996. The interviews will happen Monday and Tuesday if needed in the Ramsey attorney's office in Atlanta. Patsy Ramsey will go first, John Ramsey will follow. Seven investigators will take turns asking questions which the Ramseys will not have seen beforehand. In Denver, Carol McKinley, FOX NEWS.
ZAHN: And in a moment, the Ramseys' attorney, Lin Wood, will be joining me. But first, we go to Carol McKinley, who has more for us from Denver.
Welcome back to THE EDGE. Nice to have you with us tonight.
MCKINLEY: Good to be with you, Paula.
ZAHN: All right, Carol, what's going to come out of these questionings or interrogations, as Lin Wood describes them as?
MCKINLEY: Well, he calls them interrogations. He'd rather it be a discussion and a sharing of evidence but the Boulder Police won't have that. I think the question is: Will we see a smoking gun? Is there going to be a confession from someone? Is Patsy Ramsey going to tell the police anything that's going to help them find the murderer? Who knows? Probably not, but this could open up some kind of further talks between the Ramseys and the Boulder Police, whereas before, there as absolutely no trust between them.
ZAHN: You talk about some of the key evidence that the Ramseys are going to be questioned about. How much of this is new territory for them to discuss with the police department and prosecutors and how much of this is old stuff?
MCKINLEY: Well, think about the house, the Ramsey home December 26th, 1996. There was a lot of evidence taken out of that home, but since then, after almost four years, they still have the same old evidence. But they have some new questions to twist on that old evidence. I'm told about 75 percent of the questioning is going to be a new twist on old evidence and they have about 25 percent of new questions for the Ramseys.
ZAHN: Is part of the goal to try to find contradictions between John and Patsy? I mean, that would seem like an obvious strategy but is it?
MCKINLEY: Well, there's been a grand jury in between this time between the last time the Ramseys talked to the police, which means they've had a lot of witness statements. They found some new fibers, probably new fingerprints. So between the witness statements and this new evidence, the twist on the old, they'll have plenty of questions for them.
ZAHN: What do you think will happen in the months to come? Will the Ramseys hurt themselves by doing this? Because Lin Wood has told people he didn't even want them to do this in the first place but he'll stand by them when they're questioned on Monday and Tuesday.
MCKINLEY: Who knows? Nobody can ever predict this case. It's one of the most bizarre, unsolved murder cases this country has ever seen. I think what the Ramseys hope is -- and they say they didn't kill their daughter, that the door will be open so that they can call the police chief anytime and perhaps discuss evidence and what they've found into the murder of their daughter. The police, though, are very suspicious of the Ramseys still.
ZAHN: That umbrella of suspicion continues. Carol McKinley, thanks for that update. Always nice to have you with us. Coming up next, Ramsey attorney Lin Wood in a candidate interview. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN RAMSEY: I think there are no other suspects. Who else is under the umbrella of suspicion? You know, name one other person. I mean, the police have been very public about, oh, the Ramsey family is under the umbrella of suspicion. Who else is under that umbrella?
ZAHN: Welcome back to THE EDGE. That was John and Patsy Ramsey, who will be questioned by the Boulder Police and prosecutors on Monday. Earlier, I had the chance to talk with Lin Wood, the Ramseys' attorney, who advised his clients not to do the interview but will nevertheless join them for the questioning. I asked Lin why the Ramseys had finally agreed to meet with the police.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: Do you know what those new developments are?
WOOD: No. I mean, I can speculate. I know they've been conducting some additional forensic testing on some of the old evidence, perhaps fiber evidence. They, obviously, have some potential new evidence from witnesses in the grand jury that was held from September of '98 through October of '99. But we didn't ask about the subject matter. We didn't insist on knowing anything about the subject matter of the new evidence or the new information. John and Patsy were told by the chief that the Boulder Police needs John and Patsy to help in this investigation to move it forward. And John and Patsy said, "Yes, we'll meet with you. We'll do whatever we can to help because we want to find the killer of our child."
ZAHN: What have you done to prepare them?
WOOD: Well, not a lot, to tell you the truth. We haven't sat down and tried to prepare them other than to say, listen carefully, answer truthfully and try to help out.
ZAHN: Isn't that what you're paid to do, though, to prepare them and help them better anticipate what kind of questions they might be asked?
WOOD: Well, you know, we don't know the nature of the questions. It's an easy preparation when all you have to do is go in and answer the questions honestly. And so that's what they're going to do. They're not going to go back and try to remember what they've said before because they're not going to be asked the same questions that they've already answered.
ZAHN: The majority of people in America who think the Ramseys had something to do with the killing of their daughter think Patsy did it. Now she's going to be the first one questioned. Why?
WOOD: That's a question only Chief Beckner and the other members of the interrogation squad can answer. I know this, that the initial request was for simultaneous interviews. I told them I'm the only lawyer, I can't be in two places at one time. They said, "Fine, OK, we'll do it separately." John and Patsy said fine.
ZAHN: Unlimited questioning, no constraints on time whatsoever.
WOOD: They said, "We want unlimited questioning." No constraints on time in terms of duration of the interviews. That's why we ask in response to saying, "We do that, would you mind coming to Atlanta?," because I have a professional schedule and John and Patsy have a child entering the eighth grade and we asked would they accommodate us by coming to Atlanta. The answer was, sure, that's no problem. But when I suggested that we have John first, they said, "No, it's either Patsy first or we do not want to talk to either one of them.
ZAHN: So what does that signify to you? What does that mean?
WOOD: Well, I mean, Chief Beckner calls it a structured interview and I call it an interrogation. I think they're coming here to Atlanta with an Patsy's answers and reaction first. And then they'll come back and obviously ask, perhaps, some of the similar questions to John.
ZAHN: You're a smart lawyer.
WOOD: There are no blinders on here, absolutely.
ZAHN: No, and you are paid to try to anticipate what the enemy is going to do. Are they trying to trip Patsy up?
ZAHN: Do you think the majority of the folks in the Boulder Police Department think she killed her own child?
WOOD: Well, I know that the three prosecutors that are going to regular members of the district attorney's staff in Boulder. They are special prosecutors hired to conduct the grand jury that adjourned in going to be
ZAHN: So they are intimately familiar with the details?
WOOD: Well, they should be.
ZAHN: They know what the evidence is.
WOOD: Well, they should be familiar with it, but I also believe that those special prosecutors come with less than an objective view of that evidence.
ZAHN: Well, what you are telling me is you believe that most of these investigators that will be questioning Patsy Ramsey already believe she's guilty.
WOOD: I think that they come with a less-than-objective view of the evidence.
ZAHN: Well, that's a nice way of putting it.
WOOD: Yes, I think
ZAHN: Isn't that the same thing as saying they think she's guilty?
WOOD: I think they'd like to come to Atlanta, Georgia and find some information that would support their theory. They've been trying for over four years, millions of dollars, almost I would say, let's call them overzealous special prosecutors. They've been looking for four years. They can't find a case here that justifies bringing charges. They're going to give it one more shot. John and Patsy are willing to stand up and answer these questions. But sooner or later, the prosecutors, these special prosecutors have got to understand the case is just not there because these people were not involved in the death of their daughter. Four years is long enough. Sooner or later, this investigation has got to move in a different direction, Paula.
ZAHN: Help us understand the strategies that these attorneys are going to be using. You interview Patsy first. That could go on for what? Days?
WOOD: Well, you know, we told them that they could go as long as they wanted to, no restrictions or no conditions from John and Patsy Ramsey. Chief Beckner tells me, because I asked out of courtesy, "How long do you really think we're talking about?," he said he thought he could do this in a day, perhaps two days. So I anticipate that Patsy will take the better part of the first day, perhaps John for a short period of time and maybe push into Tuesday.
ZAHN: So the idea is you let Patsy answer her own questions and then if what you say is true, they want to put a noose around her neck and then have John contradict her in some ways. Is that what you're telling me?
WOOD: Well, you know, who knows what their strategy is. Maybe they want to try to get a contradiction. Maybe they want to try to get a reaction on a camera because it will be videotaped. But, look, let's look at the history. They have already subjected themselves voluntarily in what I would submit is almost an unprecedented action when you know that you're under suspicion, to voluntarily go in and already answer over four days of questions voluntarily. They've already been interrogated. They've already separated them and interrogated them simultaneously. They've been there, they've done that. These people are not going to be broken down because the truth is going to still rise to the top.
ZAHN: And we will have more of my interview with Lin Wood in just a moment. And a little bit later on, his dream of winning the gold at the Olympics was shattered by a tragic accident. But he is set to cross the finish line in Sydney and beat all the odds. It is a story of triumph over tragedy. Keep it right here on THE EDGE. Do not touch that remote.
ZAHN: Welcome back to THE EDGE. If you're just joining us, I'm continuing now with Lin Wood, John and Patsy Ramsey's attorney. As you may know, the Ramseys will appear before the Boulder Police on Monday for questioning in the death of their daughter, JonBenet. So if the Ramseys didn't kill their daughter, who did? This is what Lin had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: Is that the suspect that you're pushing the police department to go after? Because I talked to Governor Bill Owens a couple of weeks ago and he said, "That's ridiculous. These two cases have nothing to do with each other."
WOOD: When did Bill Owens learn about it? Well, Bill Owens, with all due respect, is probably the least objective person in the state of Colorado. The fact of the matter is there is a deputy -- now Boulder County deputy sheriff Steve Ainesworth (ph), who was working on the Ramsey case for the D.A. at the time. He wasn't even told about that incident when it occurred in 1997. The Boulder Police had three investigators who were at the time working on the Ramsey case, working on this second incident. They didn't even tell key members of the district attorney's office about the second incident. Now, what does that tell you. Let's look at the first possibility, that the crimes were related. The significance of that is obvious, but let's assume that they weren't related. That incident is still significant. It tells you that this police department was not willing to even investigate the idea that they were related because in 1997, just as John and Patsy have said for a long time now, the police department in Boulder was unwilling to look beyond John Patsy Ramsey. No matter what evidence might come in front of them, no matter what incident might occur, they had focused in on John and Patsy and they were never going to look elsewhere. That's the problem. They have been pursuing a theory now for almost four years instead of pursuing evidence.
ZAHN: Do the Ramseys believe anybody will ever be arrested in connection with the murder of their daughter?
WOOD: They believe that there's enough physical evidence that existed and was collected that one day, there is a strong chance that the person who killed their daughter will be found if that person's still alive. The physical evidence is there: DNA, palm prints, ancillary body hairs. It's there but we're not going to match it up with the killer until we stop looking at the family and we start looking outside the family in a direction that will take us to who killed this child.
ZAHN: So are you blaming the lack of an arrest on the incompetency of the police department or just due to the fact that you believe they've never focused in on anybody other than the Ramseys?
WOOD: More the latter than the former. The incompetency issue has been raised repeatedly. Let's be fair. They did a lot of things wrong. They did a lot of things right.
ZAHN: What is it like for the Ramseys to be out in public when they know so many Americans believe they murdered their child?
WOOD: It's surprising the people that come up to them and speak to them are only supportive. And I think that candidly, Paula, that creates somewhat of a false sense of security sometimes with John and Patsy. They don't really realize how many people think they may have been or were involved in the horrible, brutal murder of their daughter.
ZAHN: Once again, that was Lin Wood. And the Ramseys will be questioned in Atlanta by the Boulder Police on Monday. We'll bring you the latest next week.Coming up, John Register's dream of Olympic gold was shattered when he lost his leg in a tragic accident. But that didn't stop him from crossing the finish line. His amazing story is coming up next. Keep it right here on THE EDGE.