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07-09-1998 Michael Tracy's "Who Killed JonBenét?" documentary airs in Britain.

Michael Tracey, professor at the University of Colorado, and creator of a documentary on the case which ran in Britain and in the United States; and Dan Glick, special correspondent for "Newsweek" magazine, who consulted with Michael Tracey on the documentary

09-28-1998 Documentary from A&E, the Arts and Entertainment network -- their documentary on the Ramsey case entitled "Investigative Reports: The Case of JonBenet: The Ramseys Versus the Media."


The Documentary Transcript

Opens with various clips of the media talking about everything pointing to the Ramsey's guilt. Saying they are possibly the most hated couple in America. Shows the Ramseys at a distance walking in the woods & JonBenet in a pageant.

Man: Did you have anything to do with JonBenet's death?

Patsy: No

John: That's the most difficult question I've ever been asked and I've been asked that before. I would have given my life for JonBenet and I regret, I will regret for the rest of my life that I wasn't able to that night. To answer your question, no we did not.

Patsy: Certainly not - I mean -- How so you say no any clearer than NO.

Man: Do you realize that most people in the US and many people outside the US think you are responsible for killing JonBenet?

JR: Well, I don't know that but if that's true I have to ask why. Because we loved our children with our whole hearts? Because we gave them everything we could give them? Because we loved them more than life itself? Or, was it because we were asleep in the house the night she was murdered? I'm dumbfounded - The only possible reason that it could be is because of the media. The media has told the lie so many times that people start to believe it's the truth.

Man: Ramseys had been in Boulder 2 years. JonBenet was 3 and Burke was 6. The family then was the very model of the American dream. A successful businessman married to a former beauty queen. PR had won Miss W.Virginia pageant in 1977. Two years later she met JR, a divorcee with three children. They were married in Atlanta the following year.

JR brought his family to Boulder in 1991 with his computer business, Access Graphics. The business had grown up out of one he had set up in his garage. Their move to Boulder, a prosperous, peaceful place, known for its beauty not its crime, marked a turning point in their lives.

JR: We came from a big city where crime was around you and you were aware of your security. We very strongly felt that we had moved to a very safe small community.

Man: And Boulder liked the Ramseys. They met a lot of new friends here including Susan Stein.

Susan Stein: I've always said I thought the Ramseys were the nicest people I ever knew and I say this 15-months after it happened that I'm more and more convinced that they're the nicest people I've ever known.

Christmas 1994: Photos

Man: Despite appearances, tragedy was already stalking the Ramseys. JR's 22-year-old-daughter Beth, from his first marriage was killed in a car crash and Patsy had been diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer, a disease with 95% mortality. Mrs. Ramsey says her cancer did reveal JonBenet's emerging personality.

PR: You know the children would come into my hospital room. Burke was a little standoffish you know, he was 5 to 6 about that time and you know, hands in his pockets- kinda looking around you know but didn't want to touch. Well she would come up - 'here's the bag with blood in it' and she would squish it & say 'what is this - where is this going?' and she'd follow it up [the tube going into Patsy's chest] and she'd ask how does that go in there like that and she'd want to look and wanted them to explain to her how it worked and how it was helping Patsy. JonBenet would say, "It's all right" she'd say, "It's all right, it won't hurt very long". PR: She was like my little cheerleader.

Man: It was when she had cancer that Patsy Ramsey made a fateful decision. She renewed her interest in beauty pageants and began entering JonBenet in children's competitions.

JR: She really enjoyed that type of activity and at home she would dress up and put on a performance that she and her friends would just cook-up in the kitchen. These pageants were of a way that she had to be a little more formal to enter.

Man: Popular in parts of the South, much of the rest of America sees these pageants as tacky & exploitative but the Ramseys defend them.

PR: All the children there had the same penchant for performance and the pageants were kind of a venue for that. All the parents knew each other.

JR: The audience was just parents and grandparents.

PR: Just parents and grandparents, you know - it was fun and she looked forward to it. We just had a really fun time.

Man: The Ramseys did something else in Boulder that marked them out -- They became rich. Seven days before JonBenet's murder, John Ramsey threw a party for his employees in Boulder's leading hotel. It was a celebration of his companies annual sales of 1 billion dollars. The party identified John Ramsey as rich, a man who would be able to use his wealth to escape justice. But he regrets the party and for a very different reason

JR: You know, I just had this instinct that I didn't want that in the paper. I over-rode my instinct and let that happen. In retrospect I wonder, well you know, could that have been a trigger event for a crazy person. Could that have focused them on us as a family.

Man: Patsy Ramsey says she has similar regrets. She was always inviting people to her home. She made this video and even held an open house for the Boulder Historical Society.

{shows video}

PR: And we had probably from 1500 to 2000 people come through our home in 2 days. But in retrospect I thought, you know, that was just an open invitation to a murder. I mean, if somebody was trying to scoop out your house, find out whose bedrooms were where, I mean there were a lot of people.

Man: The Ramseys had people in their home for the last time just two days before the murder. It was a children's party.

Man: The Ramseys had people in their home for the last time just two days before the murder. It was a children's party.

JR: Well, she and one of her little friends were hanging up the coats and that kind of thing - she did that, that night - I remember that.

PR: I had gotten gingerbread houses and each family was going to decorate a gingerbread house. I had all these gum-drops and I'd bought a gallon of frosing and they were just having a ball. It was just a really fun evening.

JR: She was a spark-plug in our family. She was a ball of energy. That's just something you can't not remember. Man: Christmas morning, 1996. On that day, JonBenet woke early.

JR: I can remember Burke and JonBenet running up to our bed to get us up. The little kids would pass out the gifts to whoever they were for and we would go around the room and open each gift – We did that that morning.

Man: This is the next to last photograph of JonBenet. John Ramsey took it that morning.

JR: JonBenet had gotten a bicycle that Christmas and we played most of the day. We were going to go out to dinner and I remember we were trying to get everybody organized to leave and JonBenet was on her bike and wanted me to take her around the block. I said, no - no we don't have time, we'll do this later. She said, "Oh Daddy please," and I can remember that and that kind of hurts because we didn't do that.

Man: On their way home around 9 PM, they dropped off gifts. Susan Stein and her husband were the last people known to have seen the family before the murder.

SS: They came to our house and I talked to Patsy for awhile maybe 10 or 15 minutes and they all seemed perfectly normal. They were all the same - bubbly about Christmas and about where they were going and we, my husband and I, waved good-bye to them as they were leaving and that was the last time we saw them as an intact family.

Man: The Ramseys say they were anxious to get the children to bed because the next day they were flying their small plane to their holiday home on Lake Michigan.

PR: By the time we got home, JonBenet had fallen asleep in the back seat.

JR: I carried JonBenet upstairs and it was kind of a usual routine. I took her shoes off then Patsy would come in and get her ready for bed.

PR: So I undressed her down to her little knit top that she had on and put some long underwear bottoms on her and tucked her in real tight and kissed her goodnight.

JR: Burke was downstairs trying to put together a model that he'd got for Christmas and I couldn't get him to go to bed. We were going to get up in the morning and leave to go to Michigan so I help him put it together so I could get him to go on to bed. So he went to bed and Patsy and I went to bed.Man: The following morning, Dec. 26th, the Ramseys got out of bed early in their third floor bedroom. They were due to take off to the local airport at half past seven. Patsy Ramsey says she went downstairs at about 5:30 to put together clothes for the trip from the laundry cupboard just outside JonBenet's bedroom.

PR: I was fussing around getting some clothes and glanced at her door and the door was closed. I always left it ajar a little bit. I just started downstairs & there were these pieces of paper lying on one of the rungs of the stairs. I kind of turned around and looked at it to see what it was and I started reading the first couple of lines. It just wasn't registering but somewhere it said, 'we have your daughter' it clicked, you know, 'Your Daughter' and I just bounded back up the steps and threw her door open and she was not in her bed.

Man: The note, written on one of the Ramseys own notepads began, 'Listen carefully! We are a group of individuals who represent a small foreign faction and at this time we have your daughter.' Patsy: And at this time I remember screaming to John, he was still upstairs dressing.

John: I knew something was very wrong. I came down and she had the note and I read it quickly trying to take everything in. I screamed.

Patsy: We don't know what to do - I mean, what do you do? You know you just don't know what to do - What do I do? You're just panicked.

John: You don't know where to start.

Patsy: You just can't think fast enough.

John: That was the worst moment. Suddenly realizing that someone had your daughter, your child, someone has taken her, she's gone and we didn't know where she was and it was dark, it was cold outside.

Man: The ransom note said, speaking to anyone about your situation such as the police, FBI etc., will result in your daughter being beheaded. If you talk to a stray dog, she dies. But the Ramseys did call the police. Police reports from that morning show the uniformed police who came were suspicious from the start. But by then the Ramseys were already raising the ransom, an odd amount, just $118,000.

John: The place that I bank - I know the banker - I called him at home and said I've got to raise this money and so he kind of mobilized.

Man: The ransom note said the kidnappers would call John Ramsey between 8 & 10 AM. The phone would ring, it rang half a dozen times and it was always somebody else. Every time it would ring, my heart would stop.

Patsy: I kept looking out the window, staring out the window, and just expected any second she'd come running down the street. I just kept looking for her and looking and praying.

John: And yet there was just not a whole lot that we could do, we were relying on the police to do what they knew was necessary.

Man: It is now accepted the police made basic errors that morning. There was no proper search of the house nor any attempt to protect any possible forensic evidence. Friends were allowed to walk around the house. The scale of the failure became apparent that afternoon. A detective asked a friend of John Ramsey to take him and do a search of the house for anything unusual. They started in the basement.

John: As I was going through the basement, I opened the door and knew immediately that I'd found her because I saw a white blanket. Her eyes were closed, I feared the worse yet I'd found her and she was back in our safe protection again. And yet when I found her, even though there was this rush that I'd found her, I was fearful that she wasn't OK and just, I couldn't say anything, I screamed to attract attention and carried her upstairs. The detective was there that had helped us that morning, spent a minute with her and looked at me and said to me, she's dead. I think up to that point, I just kind of hoped we could bring her back that she was just asleep.

Patsy: I think uh, we walked into the living room and she was there and … John said, she's gone.

Man: The autopsy report revealed that JonBenet had been garroted. She also had a fractured skull, there was tape over her mouth.

Man: Later that afternoon the Ramseys were escorted by police to a friends house on the outskirts of Boulder. Susan Stein later went there. She first saw Patsy.

Susan: She was extremely distraught. I've never seen people as sad as these two. We didn't know what to say. We didn't know what to do. And she just kept saying, who would do this to my baby? And we just kept saying, I don't know - I don't know - there were no answers. It was a very hard - hard time. None of us could imagine how this could have happened.

Man: While the Ramseys were being cared for by friends, their home became a major crime scene. Few of the police here had ever handled a murder before but they immediately assumed the parents were involved. The fact that JonBenet was found in her own home by her father was considered damning. By the time her body was taken from the house that evening, some of the suspicion had been passed to a local journalist. The tragedy of the murder was about to enter a new phase.

Man: Friday, Dec. 27th, while police activity at the house intensified, in nearby Denver a local newspaper ran the first story hinting police suspicion about the Ramseys. They quoted an assistant District Attorney saying it was very unusual for the kidnap victims body to be found at home. It's not adding up he said. Reporter Charlie Brennen said he knew from the beginning the parents were the only real suspects.

Charlie Brennen: I had that sense at that time, I had that sense at that time, yes. I had the belief that the police were under a strong suspicion from the very beginning that it had to be the parents.

Man: A local television reporter who also covered the story on the 27th gave the same conclusion.

Julie Hayden, TV Reporter: Early on there, definitely before the five o'clock newscast, we were beginning to get the sense that the police were not hunting Boulder for some mad kidnapper – That the police were looking more inside the family.

Man: From now on, a clear pattern was to emerge. While police chief Tom Koby said little, others continually leaked information and often it was misleading information intended to implicate the Ramseys. The pattern began that day. A story was leaked that suggested ONLY a family member could have

CBrennen: I had a trusted law enforcement source tell me the first officers there noted that it was rather strange, they thought, that there were NO footprints in the snow outside and this is a source that has been infallible in my experience.

Man: The Ramseys, now under police protection, were unaware of the mounting pressure but an attorney friend was already concerned.

Mike Bynum: I showed up as John and Patsy's friend although I was not initially thinking in terms of what help I should give them legally, I don't know what to say other than I sensed some things. The police going around the house, I just had a sense that they ought to have representation and I just said to John, will you trust me to do the right thing? He just said, yes I'll trust you.

John: And I had no idea what he was talking about. Later, I don't remember if it was later that day or the next day, he said we're going to retain councel for you and for Patsy. What in the world for - OK - We began to realize we're suspects and I was OK with that because I assumed it was a broad investigation.

Man: By the following day, Dec 28th, police and media were closing on the Ramseys. That morning, Denver's Rocky Mountain News, intimated they were suspects. The story introduced the issue there were no footprints in the snow which began the first part of the media's case against the Ramseys - That no one else got into the house.

CBrennen: When police first arrived, at least one officer noted, thought it was worth noting in his report, strange - no footprints.

Man: The absence of tracks in the snow was later reported as one of the first clues that led police to suspect members of the family. Soon, another story appeared -- There had been no break-in. Charlie Brennen covered that too.

CBrennen: That was coming from sources, and you know, I know that you know this is a story that was heavily reported through unnamed sources and I'm not going to name the source now but law enforcement was telling us from December that they saw no signs of forced entry.

Man: Then another story appeared - The room where JonBenet was found was so hidden that whoever murdered her knew the house - even the mayor of Boulder said so.

Mayor: By all reports, there were no visible signs of forced entry. The body was found in a place where people are saying, somebody had to know the house.

Man: Television hammered the message home. {Shows American Journal saying JonBenet's body was found in a 'hidden' room.

Linda Hoffman - Housekeeper - When I cleaned that house, I cleaned that basement many times and I didn't even know that room was there - It tells me somebody had to know that house.}

Man: What is the basis for these claims. Take the snow cover that night. News video's shot on the night of the 26th shows large areas around the house had no snow at all. The lack of footprints was an irrelevancy as some journalist knew at the time.

Julie Hayden: We looked at the video tape, once the relevancy of the footprints in the snow became an issue and one of the things I observed was, there did not seem to be snow going up to all of the doors. So in my opinion, this footprints in the snow issue, has all been much ado about nothing. It seemed clear to me that people could have got into the house, whether they did or not, without traipsing through the snow.

Man: Nevertheless the story stuck. Even more doubtful was the claim of no forced entry. An intruder would not have had to break in. Police noted on the 26th a number of open windows and at least one open door – A story that courteously took a year to leak out. And beneath this lift up grill, there was a basement window known to have been broken sometime before Christmas Interview of Charlie Brennen: Would it be reasonable to assume that the information about 'no forced entry' was false that was being leaked by the authorities

CBrennen: False, false, wrong, misstated, mistaken, yes - that would be fair to say. Particularly in light of where you can start at least from the broken window in the basement. In Jan. 97, Feb. 97, March 97, we didn't know about the broken window in the basement.

Man: The reality of the situation is that an intruder could easily have got in, and once in, moved around undetected and unheard. From the parents bedroom on the third floor, it is no less than 55 feet and one floor below to where JonBenet was sleeping. There are thick carpets, sounds do not carry and there is no hidden room. A carpeted spiral staircase, a few feet from her room, leads to the kitchen. From the kitchen it is only a few steps to the door to the basement stairs. At the bottom of these stairs, at the end of a short corridor is the room where her body was found.

On Sunday, Dec. 29th, four days after JonBenet's murder, there was a memorial service which the church videotaped. As the Ramseys mourned their daughter, police and media started developing the second part of the case against them – That their behavior showed they were guilty. One story said that John Ramsey had left the house after police had arrived. Vanity Fair implied he had used the excuse of getting the mail. The story was false and it arose from confusion and a leaked police report.

Julie Hayden: It was reported in Vanity Fair that John Ramsey had left the house to get the mail for about an hour. That looked suspicious to me, frankly, and I think it looked suspicious to a lot of people and I know it looked suspicious to the police who believed that initially to be the case. It is my understanding that the police initially believed he left the house but very soon thereafter they learned he did not leave the house. However, the police never bothered to correct the Vanity Fair article. I don't know why the police and the law enforcement in Boulder would allow things they knew were not true to continue to be widely reported. I can speculate that they didn't mind having stories like that out there because it put some pressure on the Ramseys.

Man: Perhaps the harshest accusation, already circulating by the memorial service, was the Ramseys show of grief was just that, a show and had been from the beginning. Vanity Fair quoted a policeman saying that on the first morning, Patsy Ramsey had been peering at him through splayed fingers. Such accusations anger those who were there.

Jeff Ramsey: Patsy was in a state of shock. Couldn't sit up, couldn't stand up, couldn't walk, could barely talk. I spent most of the nights up out there with John – he couldn't stop crying for ten minutes at a time.

Man to Mike Bynum: How do you know John wasn't acting, that he wasn't pretending to be in grief?

Mike Bynum: Not only have I never been asked that question, I've never even thought of it that way. I guess the best way to say it is the thought never crossed my mind based on everything I saw - everything I felt based on what was happening. I don't mean to be rude to you but that is an absurd question for anybody who was there.

Susan Stein: I'm a very cynical person. I'm not a person who gets fooled very easily and certainly not by somebody trying to act in a way that isn't genuine. There is just no possibility that they were not in the pain that they appeared to be in.

Man: Monday, the 30th of December, the Ramseys have now returned to Atlanta to bury JonBenet and a story about how they got there fueled feeling against them. It was said that John Ramsey piloted his family in their private jet.

Charlie Brennen: I was told he flew it so I reported he flew it.

Man: Did you subsequently follow up on that story?

CBrennen: I didn't follow up on that story because in the early days that did not stand out as something in my mind that needed a lot of scrutiny, and as soon as I say that, I suspect that what one's concern might be is that creates an image of a man that may be is the wrong image. I mean maybe - perhaps you can tell me it wasn't his own plane or that he didn't fly it.

Man: It wasn't his own plane and he didn't fly it. Access Graphics, John Ramseys company, had now been bought by Lockheed Martin and they'd sent one of their company jets.

John Ramsey: We were just devastated and it was very difficult for us to go to the airport and buy tickets. Of course we had media all over the place and that was just a wonderful thing for them to do. It meant so much to us that they delivered us from Denver to Atlanta along with a few friends and got us back to Atlanta.

Man: JonBenet's funeral took place at her parents family church in Atlanta, New Year's Eve, 1996. Video of Funeral: {Minister} To be honest the mind cannot grasp and the heart refuses to accept the death of one so young.

Man: That day friends and family were having to shield the Ramseys from growing hostility. The R's say they were still unaware of this.

John: I do remember at the funeral there were photographers - It was kind of going on around us - We were just kind of not really paying too much attention to it - it wasn't important.

Patsy: I was aware that there were photographers everywhere, but I wasn't really sure why. Obviously a murder had taken place but I wondered how all these people found out about it. How did they know where we were or how did they know we were coming to Atlanta to bury JonBenet.

Man: What the Ramseys did not know was that day, the day of the funeral, the most damaging story yet had appeared. It said they'd hired top criminal lawyers to defend themselves. Many saw that as final proof of their guilt. In fact, the attorneys had been hired by Mike Bynum. Bryan Morgan who took the case, defends his decision.

Bryan Morgan: It is foolish to blindly through oneself into the law of the justice system and to trust the result – One must be thoughtful about the way one acts, especially in a case where media attention reaches the point of near hysteria and especially in a case of media attention which from the outset portrays certain people as clearly guilty. That is the way towards conviction of innocent people in this country.

Mike Bynum: If you're guilty you should have a lawyer and I want to tell you what, if you're innocent you'd better have a lawyer. There is no difference.

Man: But the lawyers made one mistake which made things worse for the Ramseys. A news story emerged that they had hired publicists. It convinced many that they were now using their wealth to escape justice. In fact the publicists had been hired by their attorneys who admit now that it was a mistake.

Bryan Morgan: By the end of the first week, my law firm in Denver had received 200 phone calls. They clogged the switchboard, we got letters at home, I got notes stuffed through the mailbox of my house at home proposing that I meet people at night to discuss this, journalists. We hired someone to try to take that away from us so we could function as lawyers. I don't know how we could have done it better but we clearly should have.

Man: As the Ramseys prepared to bury their daughter, they were still unaware of the storm breaking around them but friends were now alarmed and that evening after the funeral, urged the Ramseys to go on television.

John Ramsey: There was a lot of commotion in the media and one of our friends was very adamant that we respond. Maybe if we presented ourselves on camera that they would see we are who we are.

Man: The day after the funeral the Ramseys appeared on CNN. The introduction reflected the growing suspicion.

CNN video: Body found stashed in the basement of her own home. The parents of little JonBenet Ramsey are in Atlanta and on the advise of friends they have retained defense lawyers. Earlier today the Ramseys break their silence and share their grief with CNN's Brian Cabell in this exclusive interview. {shows CNN video of Patsy saying, 'hold your babies close.'}

Man: For the Ramseys, the broadcast was a disaster. It was taken as further evidence that they were playacting - talking to television rather than the police. Boulder's mayor rejected Patsy's claim.

Mayor Press Conference: People in Boulder had no need to fear that there is someone wandering the streets of Boulder as has been portrayed by some people, looking for young children to attack. Boulder is safe, it's always been a safe community and it continues to be safe.

Patsy: You know, I don't know why she said that -- To this day I don't know why she said that but boy do I think that's what touched it off and it seemed like after that all the dominos started falling.

John: Plus it was so bizarre because we knew there was a killer out there and how could she say there wasn't? It made no sense.

Mayor: It was done in large part to allay the fears of the children in our community and to let people know that the information I had at time was that we did not have some crazed person wandering the streets of University Hill.

Man: And who did you clear it with?

Mayor: The police chief.

Man: The Ramseys left Atlanta to return to Boulder to help with the police investigation but as they did so, the real nightmare was just beginning. A video of JonBenet appearing in a beauty pageant had just appeared on American television. It was to lead to the most terrible accusations of all. On their return to Boulder, Thursday, Jan 4th, the Ramseys moved in with friends. They were immediately besieged by the media who were now building the third element of the case against them. News stories appeared reporting the police views that JonBenet had been sexually abused at the time of her murder. With pageant images already circulating, the implications that her parents may have sexually abused JonBenet turned the story into a media firestorm. Soon there were over 300 reporters in Boulder pursuing the Ramseys and everything counted against them.

John Ramsey: The arrangement was made, uh - look if we give you the opportunity to take their picture - will you leave them alone. What we agreed to was we'd come out of the front door of the church and walk to the community center and not try to shield ourselves from being photographed.

Man: However, during the service, the minister had suggested to the congregation that they should line the pavement as a gesture of support.

Penny Beuf: We were wanting to protect them because they'd been through so much grief already and we felt that this was not the time or the place so the congregation basically tried to shield them from that sort of thing. That's what happened.

Man: It proved to be another disaster for the Ramseys. It was reported as a cynical attempt to manipulate public opinion. What actually happened was never reported. Instead, media pressure intensified. Mainstream journalists followed the tabloids. The Ramseys pulled in readers and pushed up ratings. {Reporter roundtable video repeating misleading or false stories about the events pointing to the Ramseys guilt.} Everywhere in the media, the Ramseys were accused of obstructing the police. Once more, the reality was rather different.

Bryan Morgan: Ramseys were interviewed on the 26th. The Ramseys were interviewed on the 27th. On the 27th they gave samples of physical evidence, blood, hair, fingerprints. When they returned from Atlanta the Ramseys gave five handwriting samples, voluntarily in the case of Patsy, two in the case of John. To say the Ramseys have not cooperated in this investigation is a gross mischaracterization.

Man: But cooperation with police was short lived, their attitude toward them changed dramatically after they got back to Boulder.

John Ramsey: We went back to Boulder specifically to sit down with the police and help solve the crime. That was the only reason Patsy would come back to Boulder. She had just a vile distaste for even seeing the place again.

Man: But their friend, Mike Bynum, stopped them from coming to police headquarters. He warned them that the previous week the police had tried to delay the funeral so they could interrogate the parents.

Mike Bynum: I'd received a call from the assistant DA. He had asked would it be possible since the family was leaving that day for Atlanta for the funeral, would it be possible for John, Patsy, and Burke to come give hair, blood, and fingerprint samples. When we got to the sheriffs department, the assistant DA said, we've got a problem. The police are not going to release JonBenet's body until they have an interview with John, Patsy, and Burke.

John: And we said … Oh boy - the worm has turned. What are these people about. It changed the whole chemistry and how we looked at the police. They were not there to help us, they were there to hang us and we became very suspicious, defensive, untrusting.

Mike Bynum: I said to the assistant DA, you know - right now nobody knows what happened so maybe they did it and maybe they didn't do it but what you do know right now is that those are the parents of a murdered child and they deserve the respect that that requires because that much you do know.

Man: Mike Bynum managed to get the body released. The funeral went ahead but after this there was no trust on either side. As the weeks passed, the law enforcement agencies became more robust in putting pressure on the Ramseys. In February, Alex Hunter gravely told journalists, 'I want to say something to the person or persons who took this baby from us - The list of suspects narrows - Soon there will be no one on the list but you.' Few doubted he was talking openly to John Ramsey who was now being openly branded as a murderer. But it was another leak from confidential police records that deepened the sense of Ramsey guilt. This was that police had sought warrants to search the Ramsey homes for pornographic material. It fueled a media frenzy. Television developed the story further.

Man: In May, the Ramseys talked to journalists in a last desperate attempt to prove their innocence. No one believed them. What is the media's evidence, what about pornography. It was alleged that John Ramsey had used a porn book shop in Denver.

Man to John: It has been repeatedly said that you are a frequenter of shops dealing in pornography in Denver Colorado.

John: I couldn't tell you where a pornography shop was in Denver, Colorado if my life depended on it. That's false. Absolutely, totally false.

Man: The book shop John Ramsey was supposed to have used was never identified. No one came forward to support the story. The extensive police search for pornography yielded nothing. But a brief statement admitting this was hardly reported at all. The key accusation against the Ramseys is not pornography, but sexual abuse.

John Ramsey: It's disgusting to even have to respond to that. It's absolutely false. I don't know how to be more strong about that. Nothing could be further from the truth. Absolutely utterly false.

Man: One of the basis for public reaction to you is that when they saw the pageant videos that what they saw was a sexualized child.

Patsy: That was a sick mind looking from that vantage point, it was not happening that way.

John: These were little girls on a little stage performing for parents and grandparents that happened to be videotaped by the people putting on the pageants. I felt that Patsy was probably particularly anxious to do those kinds of things with JonBenet because, quiet frankly, she had cancer in remission and didn't know if she would be here when JonBenet was 16 and 18. She's never said that, I've never said that to her but….

Man: The pageants in themselves prove nothing. But some stories pointed to other evidence. One was that in the four years before her death, JonBenet was taken to this pediatric clinic 27 times.

Patsy: How could that be child abuse for heavens sake. My child is sick, I'm going to take my child to the doctor. You know, I mean you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Man to Dr. Beuf: JonBenet was brought to see you on 27 occasions. Does this number of visits strike you as excessive?

Dr. Beuf: No, I don't think it's excessive under the circumstances. I went through her chart and summarized the types of visits she had in the office in the few years prior to her death. She was here three times for annual well-child visits, one time for stomach ache, one time for vaginitis, one time for a bruised nose from a fall at a local market, and 21 times for colds, sinusitis, ear infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, hay fever, and possible asthma. A pretty wide spectrum of generally allergy and respiratory system associated problems which are not uncommon with kids her age.

Man: So that number 27, one would expect that other children would have similar numbers of visits?

Dr. Beuf: Some more and in some cases less than others.

Man: In that kind of time frame?

Dr. Beuf: Yes.

Man: Did you see any signs of any kind of sexual or physical abuse of JonBenet Ramsey?

Dr. Beuf: No. Absolutely no signs of sexual abuse. I had no suspicion of it.

Man: Other media stories suggested that vaginal information released in the autopsy report suggests previous sexual abuse. This suggestion is not supported by the balance of medical opinion.

Dr. Thomas Henry: {Denver Medical Examiner} From what is noted in the autopsy report, there is no injury to the anus, there is no injury to the skin around the vagina and the labia. There is no indication of healed scars in any of those areas. There is no other indication from the autopsy report at all that there is any other previous injuries that have healed in that area.

Man: But the absence of physical evidence in itself is not conclusive. So is there any other evidence for the media's claim? Lucinda Johnson is John Ramseys first wife.

Man to Lucinda: A blunt question, is John Ramsey a child abuser?

Lucinda: No he is not. He is affectionate, he is kind and very gentle.

Man: Any suggestions from other family, friends, girlfriends?

Lucinda: No. There have never been other suggestions from any other source.

Man: Peggy Ramsey, John's sister-in-law. Is John someone who would abuse children?

Peggy: No. No he is not and it hurts so much that people would even say it or think it. There is no truth to that. If we thought there was, we certainly would have spoken up as a family. We would have gotten together and said, look, you need help but nothing like that ever, ever, ever crossed our minds.

Man: John Ramsey's first son, John Andrew:

John Andrew: No, there was never any abuse in my family. None. Zero. There was never any touching or anything weird that might be kind of seen as sexual abuse by some. Never.

Man: This is John Ramsey's oldest daughter, Melinda.

Melinda: I'm John Ramseys daughter. I grew up with him, he raised me and I saw him raise JonBenet and I don't understand why they don't believe me --- That he is the most caring father in the world. He has never ever, ever abused us in any way. I just wish I could say something to convince them.

Man: These are family members but what they are saying is supported by Boulder social services. After the murder they videotaped a long interview with JonBenet's older brother Burke. The police watched from behind a two way mirror. Social Services later reported that there was no indication of either physical or sexual abuse. The police declined to take part in this program but even their inquiry supports the family. Many months of investigation into possible sexual abuse, according to one law enforcement official, had yielded zero - Friggin' Zero! It means the case constructed by the media against the Ramseys is baseless. There are other suspects for the murder that the police have been slow to pursue. It is perfectly possible the killer was hiding in the house when the Ramseys returned and had been in there for some time. But none of this lessened the media pressure.

Patsy: I remember one day kind of coming in and plopping down on the sofa and just clicking on the TV and the Geraldo Rivera show was in progress. And this man named Cyril Wecht came into focus and he was waving his hands and saying something to the effect that the Boulder police needed to just do what they needed to do and to arrest these people, and do what what's right and the whole audience went up into cheers – You know, YEAH YEAH.

{Video on Geraldo and Hard Copy} Hard Copy claiming Patsy killed JonBenet because she wet the bed.

Patsy: Oh, that is absolutely absurd.

John: I don't know that she wet her bed much, I don't remember that.

Patsy: Well she had accidents but children do. It is so minuscule in the big picture. Does someone actually think I would kill my child because she wet the bed? I have lived through stage four cancer and in the grand scheme of things, bedwetting is not important.

Stone Phillips on video saying, Boulder police are so sure of their case, they've had arrest warrants prepared since May.

Ann Bardach of Vanity Fair: They list evidence against the two parties, John and Patsy, in very specific detail. Interviewer: And this information supports what? Ann Bardach: Murder.

Geraldo Mock Trial of the Ramseys video showing the jury reading the verdicts that John and Patsy are both found liable for the wrongful death of JonBenet.

Patsy: We have had everything in our lives scoured. I mean they have talked with my 4th grade teacher, my friends from elementary school, and there is nothing. I mean, I'm not saying I've been perfect my whole life but there is no history of any kind of activity like this. It's ridiculous.

Man: Did you ever consider each other?

John: No

Patsy: Absolutely not.

Man: There was never a moment when you thought?

John: Not a microsecond. {Patsy shaking her head no.}

John: Patsy would have given her life for JonBenet to protect her. I would have given my life for JonBenet.

Man: Some stories suggested JonBenet's nine-year-old brother Burke was the murderer. Is it possible that Burke killed JonBenet?

John: No. Absolutely not.

Patsy: Absolutely not.

Man: Has the thought ever crossed your mind?

Patsy: Absolutely NOT. No.

John: It's absurd. Give me some history that would make someone think that other than he was her brother. What a tragic, sick, observation. Burke is a normal child, average at sports, has lots of friends, gets A's in school, loved his sister, they were best buddies. He would have protected JonBenet with his life.

Patsy: I don't even think about it.

Man: The media even ran the accusations of a supposed mistress without any evidence that she'd ever met John Ramsey.

{video of Kim Ballard}

Man to John: Who is that?

John Ramsey: I don't have a clue who Kimberly Ballard is, she came out of the woodwork. She called us several times and saying she was going to the media and I don't know who she is! Don't have a clue who Kimberly Ballard is.

Man: Had you ever spoken to Kimberly Ballard?

John: NO.

Man: Had you ever met Kimberly Ballard?

John: NO.

Man: Did you ever speak on the phone?

John: NO.

Man: Is she a close friend?

John: No.. And certainly not now! {Laughing} And that's the tragedy – Here's -- God only knows who she is, decides this is going to be her 15 minutes of fame, makes an accusation and the media runs with it. No checking. Nobody asked me these questions before they ran with the story. Nobody checked to see if I was in Tucson when she said I was, or at the Brown Palace Hotel when she said I was.

Patsy: All they have to do is say, it has been reported that - and they're off the hook.

John: It was fun, they had fun with it at our expense.

Man to Lucinda: Why do you think the media treated the Ramseys in the way that they did treated them?

Lucinda: I don't know. Maybe they forgot the basic constitutional right which is the presumption of innocence. Maybe they relied on gossip and materialistic values, chasing the dollar, to get the story, to be first - competition - I don't know but it certainly has ruined lives.

Man to Jeff Ramsey: Why do you think the media behaves in this way?

Jeff Ramsey: The media has become a profit making machine. It's a business - It's not news anymore - It's entertainment.

Susan Stein: There is no distinction anymore between the sleazy tabloids and the rest of the media. The concern the Ramseys and their friends express is one increasingly shared by journalists worried about a profession driven by intense competition, a lack of regulation, and corporate ownership which frequently views news as a profit making, rather than a journalistic activity. The result is that news has become entertainment and personal tragedy – public spectacle. At the main daily newspaper in Boulder, the editor has watched coverage of the Ramsey murder with increasing alarm.

Editor: The main feelings we've had in the news business is that there is too many stories - If the tabloids report it and we feel that we have to report it and that has caused some problems and JonBenet was an example of that. I think a lot of the information the tabloids had, whether it was right or wrong, became fact because the rest of us picked it up.

Julie Hayden: This is one I've thought about. I've thought about is this fair - Is what I'm doing right or wrong - And I will admit there have been times when I have felt bad and I have thought, this is not fair. This is not fair the way we're handling the whole thing.

Editor: We're looking at ourselves - We've got to be believed - We think the most important thing for our readers is believability. If we give that up, we sacrifice that for any one story, it hurts us.

Julie Hayden: I think we do what we can, at least I know sometimes I sort of put the brakes on and say no we're not going to go with that, we're not going to report that. But there are a lot of pressures and somebody else reports it and my boss turns around and looks at me and says, 'how come we don't have that?' If people don't watch my newscasts then I lose my job, the station folds, and we all go hungry.

Man: There is concern on all sides of the Ramsey case about the impact of these pressures. And about the use the law enforcement made of the media through leaks which journalists repeated unchecked. Even those helping Boulder's DA decide what should happen, like neighboring DA Bob Grant, believe justice itself is at risk.

Bob Grant: I think it's eroded – journalistic ethics have been eroded - public consumption of mass media have made people come to some conclusion about a particular criminal case without having heard evidence in court. I think that is corrupted.

Byran Morgan: The object is to boost ratings, the object is to sell magazines or newspapers, pick up any issue of the tabloids you wish and ask yourself, is this a reasoned way to proceed on an emotional question of guilt or innocence in a civilized society. I think there is just one answer to that.

Mayor: I've learned an important lesson and that is, I don't believe what I read in the press - listen to on talk radio anymore. But at that point, I did - I was pretty naïve. I thought, if it's in the press, it's probably true.

Bob Grant: If television news is to become entertainment, then where are we going to get our news? That's an evolutionary process and it's a question we'll have to address as we move down that road.

Man: Today, the Ramseys wait to see whether they will be indicted for the capital crime of child murder. They have now been interviewed again by police and as they wait to see what happens next, they've become increasingly angry at the manner of their treatment.

John Ramsey: The American public has been led to believe that we went to bed that night on Christmas, brutally beat JonBenet, sexually molested her, strangled her, woke up the next morning, wrote a three-page ransom note, called the police, sat around the house for four hours then I went down and discovered her body - Then was able to act distraught. Patsy was able to throw up that morning because of gut-wrenching anxiety - She faked it - Help me understand that. Where is our common sense as a society, as a race of people?

Man: The Ramseys and their friends say that all the accusations thrown at them since the murder are false and that this is part of a larger problem that touches us all.

John: We have one of two options. We can give up on society, crawl in a hole, wall ourselves off, and live out the rest of our lives ---- Or, we can try to make a difference for the sake of our other children. We're trying to make a difference here. We've got a cancer in our society in the form of our system of information and we're going to take a shot at trying to fix it. That's what we're doing here.

Susan Stein: The Ramsey case may not be important to any big segment of our country but the implications are that anybody who wants to can manipulate the media or be manipulated by the media and led into believing the most incredible nonsense and that can probably be very dangerous to our country, out society. I don't think it says anything good for our future. I'm hoping that maybe people will sort of step back and say, where did we go wrong here?