Larry King Live - October 19, 1998
Grand Jury Sifts Through Evidence in JonBenet Ramsey Murder Case
Aired October 19, 1998 - 9:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. LARRY KING, HOST:
Tonight: a grand jury in Boulder sifts through evidence and pursues leads in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case. Will they get enough to make an arrest?
We'll update the case and talk about a recent documentary on the story with a great panel. In Atlanta, Pam Paugh, the younger sister of Patsy Ramsey; and then later in New York, famed forensic scientist, Dr. Henry Lee, commissioner of public safety in Connecticut, and a member of the special task force on the Ramsey case set up by the boulder D.A.; and in Denver, Bill Ritter, Denver district attorney, member of the same task force; Dan Glick, the special correspondent for "Newsweek" magazine, and a consultant on the new documentary; and Lisa Ryckman, correspondent for Rocky Mountain News.
And they're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
I want to begin by thanking Jeff Greenfield and Wolf Blitzer for sitting in last week while we vacationed. It is good to be back in the friendly confines of CNN. Our first guest is with us from Atlanta.
She is Pam Paugh, the sister of Patsy Ramsey, the aunt of the late JonBenet -- when was the last time you saw your niece?
PAM PAUGH, PATSY RAMSEY'S SISTER: The last time I saw JonBenet was over the Thanksgiving holiday. She had traveled here, not only to be with family for that holiday, but also to attend a small passage here in the Georgia area, representing Colorado.
KING: How, briefly, would -- you -- what kind of kid she was, Pam?
PAUGH: We don't have enough time for me to describe her in detail, Larry. But she was everything that you would think a little girl would be. She was surprising at times. She was fun, spiritual, just a love and a joy to be around.
KING: Did she like the pageant work?
PAUGH: Oh, she loved it, absolutely. All the little girls there do.
KING: Then how did you learn of her -- give me the -- take me back. I know there's a book out that we're going to talk about that deals with this called "JonBenet's Mother."
KING: but how did you, the aunt, the sister of the mother, find out?
PAUGH: Well, on the morning of the 26th, I received a very frantic phone call from my mother here in Atlanta. And she asked me to immediately come to her home where she and my father were and I spent that entire day in prayer and very distraught, along with my younger sister and her husband. And later that afternoon, we received the worst phone call of my life. And it was John telling us that JonBenet had been found, and that she had been murdered.
KING: First reaction?
PAUGH: I fell on the floor. I fainted.
KING: When revived, did you begin to think in your mind who would do this? How -- obviously, a lot of questions had to unfurl in you.
PAUGH: Absolutely. It was a whirlwind in my mind. I was in so much shock and grief that I am not sure what I was thinking at the time. But I can tell you that I certainly wasn't having any thoughts about it being a family member being involved.
KING: Did you talk to your sister?
PAUGH: I saw Patsy that evening. I immediately left with my younger sister and her husband on a flight to Colorado.
KING: So you flew right from Atlanta out to Boulder.
PAUGH: Yes, we left on a 7:45 flight.
KING: Where did you see her?
PAUGH: She had been taken to the home of some of their dear friends, and I laid eyes on her first when I came in the door, and they had her very heavily sedated and lying on the floor on an air mattress with pillows engulfing her entire body.
KING: Did you speak?
PAUGH: I went to her. I held her. She was not able to speak much, but she kept opening her eyes and looking at me and saying, "who would have killed my baby? Who would have done this?" And she said, "you know, somebody killed my baby." And I said "yes, I know. And we wile find out who has done this."
KING: Did you see your brother-in-law?
PAUGH: Yes, I did.
KING: Was he at the scene. Was he there at the time?
PAUGH: Yes he was.
KING: How was he acting or reacting?
PAUGH: He was a grief-torn man. I had seen him in that light one previous time and that was during the death of his eldest daughter, Beth. He was at some times standing on his feet, at other times, pacing the floor, crying, just so distraught that there was nothing that I knew I could do to relieve his pain at that point.
KING: Was there any -- in that day or the day after, conjecture about who would have done it and why they would have done it?
PAUGH: I didn't start thinking about that until -- seriously thinking about that -- there seemed like there were so many things to do. People asking questions, arrangements to be made, and I was very heavily involved in that with a John's brother, Jeff, and -- as well as my little sister.
But I know that on the 28th when I had to enter the home to get some personal belongings, some clothing, and obviously, some things appropriate for JonBenet's burial, I knew then that the police had made up their mind that Patsy and John had done this hideous thing.
KING: You must have been totally shocked, then?
PAUGH: Well, of course I was.
KING: Did you speak to any police officer? Did you say to anyone, you people are nuts?
PAUGH: Of course I did.
KING: And what did they say?
PAUGH: Not much. They just kept asking me a bunch of questions while I was in the home.
KING: Would you admit, Pam, that it looked and to this day looks suspicious, at best?
PAUGH: No, I wouldn't admit that. I don't know what the actual crime scene looked like because I didn't get to see it. But I can tell you that the umbrella that the entire world now has been caused to come to the conclusion of is totally, totally false. The police had an opportunity to squelch many, many, Larry, of the nasty and hideous rumors that had been thrown out in the form of leaks, in the form of previous lifestyle issues, and they simply were not true, but the police chose not to do that.
They intimated to me, personally, that, well, if we let you folks take the heat right now, then that'll leave us over here to actually find out who JonBenet's killer or killers are. And you must continue to cooperate with us, when now we find out all along that they had this cockamamie (ph) idea in their head to begin with and never, ever went down another road, a very incomplete investigation in my opinion.
KING: We'll ask you about that book called "JonBenet's Mother: The Tragedy and the Truth," after this break. When we go to this break, we're going to show you portions of a 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 Ramseys appeared on this in Great Britain. Here's a segment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Did you have anything to do with the death of JonBenet?
PATSY RAMSEY, MOTHER: No.
JOHN RAMSEY, FATHER: That's the most difficult question I have ever been asked, and I have been asked that before. I would have given my life for JonBenet. And I regret, and I will regret for rest of my life that I wasn't able to that night. No. To answer the question, no, we did not.
P. RAMSEY: Absolutely not. I mean, I don't know how you can even -- how do you say no anymore clearly than no?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: With Pam Paugh, the sister -- the aunt of the late JonBenet Ramsey.
What about this book? This is a book defending your sister and her husband, right?
PAUGH: Well, it's not an advocacy or a defense, actually.
KING: It's interviews, right?
PAUGH: Yes, it is interviews. Larry, there came a point when the supporters and the people who know our family best said that they had had enough, to be quite honest. And they said, "We are going to do something." And the pen must be mightier than the sword, and they took it upon themselves to be interviewed by Linda Edison (ph) McLean, the author of the book. They spoke from their hearts. Many of the words were very difficult for them to speak. They had to bring up a lot of memories. This book goes clear back to Patsy's childhood, grade school friends, college sisters, sorority sisters, her two sisters, Jon Andrew (ph) and Melinda (ph). And we speak the truth in this book, so I challenge people out there who want to know what the real Patsy Ramsey is all about and what she's made of, read this book because we know her.
The people who take a rumor or an innuendo and spin that and try to make Patsy into a murderer do not know the points of which they speak.
KING: Pam, should they, in your opinion, have come forward sooner? They did one interview on CNN and that's it until this A&E documentary? Should they have appeared more on the media where they were in such trouble?
PAUGH: Well, I don't think it's for me to say that they should or they shouldn't.
KING: What do you think?
PAUGH: Obviously, it's hindsight at this point, Larry. You know, we all don't know what we would do if we were wearing Patsy and John Ramsey's shoes. You don't know what you would do if you were wearing my shoes.
KING: I know they're very expressive, though. Your sister called this show one night when we had tabloid heads on, and she was incensed at what the tabloids were doing to her.
PAUGH: Yes she was.
KING: And that may be the kind of anger or hurt we should have seen more of.
PAUGH: Well, but you know, no matter what you do -- I mean, people will criticize me tonight for doing this.
KING: In other words, you're in a can't-win.
PAUGH: You're right, sadly enough, you can't.
KING: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
PAUGH: It appears that way.
KING: Have you, though, over this past long period of time, had any doubts about your sister and her husband?
KING: Any at all?
KING: Never. Have you had suspicions? What do you make of this? You've certainly learned a lot about it. You've read a lot about it. You're part of it. I mean, your sister's involved. What do you think happened?
PAUGH: Well, I think that definitely someone came in the house, removed JonBenet from her bedroom where her parents had tucked her in neatly and safely for the night. She may or may not have had some few moments of restful sleep -- those answers I do not know -- but between that point and the next day, someone, some idiot, killed my niece, and they must be found. When the Boulder spokeswoman claimed that there was not a murderer on the loose in her city, she was doing nothing more than spinning to keep tourism and to keep panic from hitting the streets of Boulder.
KING: Why would the police not want to find this person?
PAUGH: Well, I think they would.
KING: So why would they have to spin?
PAUGH: Because Larry, the fact is they do not have the expertise to find this person. I'm sure Dr. Lee will tell you, if he's aware, of the many mistakes that were made during the autopsy, of the many mistakes that were made in collecting evidence in the home. I know of an example where one of the detectives went to the home to collect mouth swabbings, and he walked out with the swab in his hand. It wasn't even properly packaged or labeled. What do you make of this?
Lou Smits (ph) himself said with 32 years of professional and determined investigation to back up his words that he would not be a part of the persecution of innocent people.
KING: And he got off this, right?
KING: What do you think was motive?
PAUGH: You know, because she was not penily (ph) sexually molested, in my heart and in my mind, I want to believe it was not a sexual deviant.
KING: Then what?
PAUGH: I still believe it was someone who was very close to the inner circle of the family, that they were jealous, that they were envious, and that they were going to bring Mr. and Mrs. John Bennett Ramsey down out of their tower that this mental person had in their mind put them in.
KING: Now your brother-in-law has to give a deposition tomorrow in a lawsuit filed by a...
PAUGH: By a man he doesn't even know.
KING: Doesn't know, but apparently, this man is saying Steven Miles (ph) is the man. He's suing your brother-in-law and the "National Enquirer," saying they've published two articles in which he was named as the killer by John. Is John denying that?
PAUGH: Well, absolutely. If you don't know the man, how can you claim he's the killer of your daughter?
KING: So, had the "Enquirer" incorrectly quoted John.
PAUGH: Absolutely. And they quoted numerous other sources, but so oftentimes, Larry, the press can stand behind a simple statement of "a source close to the investigation," "a source close to the family," "an insider." In this particular case, we know who has said that comment. We know who said it to the people at the "Enquirer," and because John Ramsey's name was mentioned in the article, this gentleman's law team, I believe by a Mr. Lee, feel that they need to go after John in order to get to the truth. So Mr. Ramsey now has to come forward and spend who knows how many thousands of dollars just to even answer these allegations, and yet, in his grief and in his stress over the murder of his own child, put up with yet another frivolous lawsuit against himself.
KING: But if you were Steven Miles and you didn't do it, you got every right to be ticked?
PAUGH: Absolutely. But you know what? Steven Miles ought to stand up and say to the people at the "Enquirer," "It's you I'm suing, and you either come forward and give up your right to hold close to the vest those sources, or pay up." Because the fact that we do know, Larry, is that the "Enquirer" did print it.
KING: John could see the "Enquirer."
PAUGH: That's an option.
KING: We'll be back with more of Pam Paugh, take some phone calls for her. Our panel will join us at the bottom of the hour. We have a great news panel tomorrow night to discuss the goings on in Washington: Robert McNeil, Roger Mudd, Morely Safer, David Marinis (ph) and Bob Woodward. All tomorrow night. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
J. RAMSEY: The American public has been led to believe that while we went to bed that night after a wonderful Christmas, brutally beat JonBenet, sexually molested her, strangled her, went to sleep, wrote a three-page ransom note, called the police, sat around the house for four hours, then I went downstairs and discovered her body, and was able to act distraught. Patsy was able to throw up that morning because of gut-wrenching anxiety. She fainted. Help me understand that. Where is our common sense as a society as a race of people?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
J. RAMSEY: There were hidden cameras at the grave site. There were reporters in the bushes, particularly around Christmas time. So we have -- I have never felt comfortable in just going out and spending time at the grave site, and being alone with my daughters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Pam Paugh, do you expect your sister and brother-in-law to appear before the grand jury?
PAUGH: I would assume that we would all be called at some point, Larry. We were obviously the key players in JonBenet's life, and therefore, might very well hold some answers to what happened in her death.
KING: Do you -- I think the "Atlanta Journal Constitution" quoted you as saying that you had three people in mind. You didn't name who they were. You did say earlier, they were someone close. Can you elaborate a little?
PAUGH: Only to say that I think there's probably -- everyone in your viewing audience tonight can think of someone in your life who is not a blood or marriage-related family member, but certainly through contact and through activities and travel and holidays can be considered a part of the extended, close family circle.
KING: And that's where all three of these people are, in your opinion? They're in that extension?
PAUGH: That is the bulk of it. And then there is one that I believe could be even a further extension of that circle.
KING: Did you tell those names to the police?
PAUGH: Next question, because they weren't interested.
KING: In other words, they didn't say, "We'll look into it?" They didn't say, "We'll investigate?" They didn't say, "We'll talk to them; we'll check alibis, et cetera?"
KING: Have you seen any of those three since this?
KING: Shouldn't they be around if they were in that circle?
KING: You mean they're no longer around, but they were around?
PAUGH: No longer around -- no, they're still around.
KING: I understand why you can't name them. I mean, you could obviously get in a lot of trouble here, naming suspects that you think.
KING: But if they're still around, have you ever confronted any of them?
KING: Why not?
PAUGH: I don't think it's my job to do that, to be quite honest. And I'm not sure that I am emotionally capable of doing that.
KING: We'll be right back with Pam Paugh, take a few phone calls, our panel will join us. By the way, Pam, if you want to stay with the panel, you may, do you want to to?
KING: OK. Pam will stay, and then our panel will join us. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
J. RAMSEY: Oh, there were moments when you didn't want to survive. But that would be the easy way out.
P. RAMSEY: That would be so easy.
QUESTION: You mean suicide?
J. RAMSEY: Yes.
P. RAMSEY: Yes.
QUESTION: So did you contemplate that?
J. RAMSEY: You know, it goes through your mind. It's an easy way out. You're just so devastated...
P. RAMSEY: Distraught.
J. RAMSEY: ... and destroyed that you just don't care to live. But then you think, wait a minute, I still have three wonderful children that I cherish, that love me, that need me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
J. RAMSEY: If that's true, I've got to ask why. Is it because we loved our children with our whole hearts, is it because we gave them everything we could give them? Is it because we cared for them more than any -- life itself? Or is it because we were asleep in the house the night she was murdered?
I'm -- dumbfounded. The only possible reason that could be, is because of the media. The media has told the lie so many times that people start to believe it as the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back on LARRY KING LIVE with our remaining moments with Pam Paugh. Pam will remain with us, and in about four minutes the panel will join us.
We'll take a call. La Belle, Florida. Oh, sorry, it would help to bring it down, Larry. Is this La Belle, Florida? OK, South Shore, Kentucky. Hello. La Belle is not with us.
CALLER: Hi, Larry.
CALLER: Pam, I just have one question, and that is why did it take them so long to agree to an interview with the police?
KING: Fair question.
PAUGH: Thanks for the question, because that's a point that I would love to address. I don't know what you're defining as "so long," but they discussed fully the day of the 26th of December. They were there all day, being interviewed with investigators, FBI and CBI officials. The next interview took place, I believe, on the 27th, then again on the 28th, because when I returned from going to the home, they were all at the police station. I was the only family member present in Colorado, who wasn't at the police station.
We have cooperated fully since day-one. Now, there did come a point, as I said and talked about earlier, the police were on this -- this plan, if you will, of, "You've got to help us, you've got to help us, you've got to help us." And we were involved 125 percent. We were calling them, saying what's going on? What's going on? And then, when it became evident that they weren't taking anything that was said to heart, and weren't looking anywhere else, at that point, it was like, "Well, you know, if your persecutors are coming straight at you, at some point in time the only logical and smart thing to do is to shut up." So there, again, you have been led to believe that there was no participation, and it is just not true. But thanks for your question.
KING: Do you think there are going to be an arrest, Pam?
PAUGH: I think that there will be an arrest, yes. I think it's a long ways down the road. And I would call for Governor Romer to do what he needs to do now that Alex Hunter has what information the police have been able to give him. He obviously has no case for anyone at this point. It should be clear to the state authorities, including the governor, that there needs to be a considerable expenditure, not in more legalese or legal beagles, but we do need considerably more talented investigators, like the Lou Smits, they need to go back and recomb over the evidence and determine who killed JonBenet.
KING: Are you asking the governor to clear your sister and brother-in-law?
PAUGH: No, because they haven't done anything. There's no need to clear them.
KING: Well, he could clear them as suspects. He's cleared others as suspects. There were suspects that have been cleared.
PAUGH: And I can appreciate that. And if he wants to do that, that's fine. I am not all about clearing. You know, to make a list this long of all the people you know who didn't do this, I would rather the governor spend his time and money and efforts, directing a complete and thorough investigation within the district attorney of Boulder's office. Give them the resources and let them go at it. The world must want it.
KING: Your sister and brother-in-law should be wildly angry at the person who perpetrated it, more than the prosecutor, more than the media, more than anyone, that's who they should really, really be hurt and angry at.
PAUGH: Well, and of course we are. Of course we are. We are -- there are still days when I can't even get out of my bed in the mornings, and I think, "Dear God, give me a reason to get up, please." And then I look at Patsy and I look at John and I say, "You know, if they can get up in their pain and with their physical broken hearts, then surely Aunt Pam can get up and do her part."
KING: Our panel will join us right after this break. This is LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
P. RAMSEY: I mean, all the children there had this same penchant for performance. It's this kind of venue for that, and all the parents knew each other.
J. RAMSEY: The audience were parents.
P. RAMSEY: Just parents and grandparents. It was -- fun. She looked forward to it, and we just had a really fun time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. Staying with us in our bureau in Atlanta is Pam Paugh, the sister of Patsy Ramsey; joining us now in New York, Dr. Henry Lee, forensic scientist, one of the most famous in the world, commissioner of public safety, state of Connecticut. He's on the Boulder D.A. task force in this case.
And in Denver, Bill Ritter, the district attorney of Denver assisting as a member of the task force; Dan Glick, the special correspondent for "Newsweek," appeared a lot on this show as a consultant to the A&E documentary we have shown you clips from; and Lisa Ryckman, correspondent for the "Rocky Mountain News"; also appearing often on LARRY KING LIVE. Dr. Lee, Pam mentioned the autopsy.
What was wrong?
DR. HENRY LEE, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Well, you know it's -- as if -- scientist, our job is much easier, much more objective, just look at evidence. Evidence, of course, you have medical evidence, crime scene pattern evidence and physical evidence. Medical evidence involving autopsy. Autopsy, there are some question you can answer; some you cannot. If a question you cannot answer, you cannot just say, something wrong here. Of course, there are certain things you should do, and maybe...
KING: They didn't do that -- like give me an example.
LEE: I can't really tell you.
KING: But you're saying, though, obviously because it's private information for the officials, some things that should have been done weren't done?
LEE: Well, if you evaluate the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) autopsy did an excellent job, the medical examiner -- pretty good job.
KING: Pretty good job?
KING: Bill Ritter, what do you make of Pam's defense of her sister to this point?
BILL RITTER, DENVER DISTRICT ATTORNEY: I think that's going to be expected, and I don't mean to depredate what Ms. Paugh says, but I think family members will stick together. In situations like this, it has to be understood, Larry, that this case is in a grand jury investigation now. It has been there for about a month.
The place I would take most issue with her is where she says that the police have predetermined the outcome on December 26th or the 27th and that they didn't do other things to look at the alternative suspects. The police continue to look at all alternatives here. The grand jury, I suspect, will do as well. And I just don't think it's fair to the police investigation that contains thousands and thousands of pages of documentation that relate, not just to the Ramseys, but to other people that -- to say that the police predetermined in their mind who had committed this early on.
KING: Pam, do you want to comment?
PAUGH: First, I'd like to make an a comment on what Dr. Lee spoke of and make no mistake, Dr. Lee, I'm not calling your professionalism on the rug at all. But if the media is as accurate in their reporting as some would claim, then perhaps Dr. Lee can shed some light on the issue of foreign DNA that was found under JonBenet's fingernails, not reportedly matching Patsy, John, or Burke. However, the foreign DNA now cannot be used because it was damaged or contaminated during collection time.
KING: Hold it right there. Before you respond, Dr. Lee, has she got a point?
LEE: Yes, the DNA, if you have a large amount of foreign DNA, of course, you can say that's coming from a different source. However, if you have a minute amount, there can be any contact during handling the crime scene, somebody carried the body upstair, subsequently moving the body around, so can have a secondary or tertiary transfer (UNINTELLIGIBLE) evidence.
KING: I want to bring our other panelists in. But Pam, quickly, he says the police are still open on this.
PAUGH: Yes. But Larry, let me finish my issue. My issue with the collection of the evidence was that now it's being reportedly told to me from insiders that the instruments used to collect were not properly sterilized.
KING: I have to move on because I have to bring the other people in.
PAUGH: All right. And to Mr. Ritter I would say this, family is family, and JonBenet was my niece. I am Aunt Pam. And if I thought for a moment that Patsy Ramsey or John Ramsey had touched or hurt that child, in any way, let me tell you I would be leading the march to the grand jury.
KING: You would?
KING: Dan Glick, do you think that Pam is just being sisterly, or is she being on top of things by saying that the police have preconceived this?
DAN GLICK, "NEWSWEEK": Well, I think one of the things that's remarkable if you end up as we did in the documentary talking to a number of -- not just immediate family members, but peripheral friends, family, business acquaintances. You don't get a lot of people -- in fact, I haven't talked to anybody personally who has had anything really bad to say about either John or Patsy, or that they have determined somewhere in their past there was a pattern of behavior that would have predicted something as...
KING: I see.
GLICK: ... heinous as murder.
KING: Did that surprise you?
GLICK: Well, as Bill Ritter says accurately, you would expect family members to protect each other. However, John Ramsey's wife, his first wife, who, one could -- we always -- journalists like going to ex-wives to find the dirt on people. She was very, very supportive on air, on the documentary, as was, frankly, even people who are not terribly supportive of the Ramseys right now. They will still say, I don't believe that they did it. But I don't understand how it could have happened any other way.
KING: Has your opinion, Dan, changed over these months of appearing on this program?
GLICK: Well, I'm always sifting through the information as I get it, Larry.
KING: Do you find yourself swaying?
FLICK: Well, I find myself doubting some of the early stories that got put out there, stories that in many cases I bought into as well. And as I start questioning my sources, and as I start discovering that people have lied, the whole truth hasn't been told. There has been selective leaking of information and when the whole information is available -- and of course, I don't have all the information, so it's an incremental process. And yes, I -- I've gone a lot of places over the last two years, Larry.
KING: Lisa Ryckman, what do we know?
LISA RYCKMAN, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS: What do we know...
KING: Beyond the killing of a child. What do we know after all this time?
RYCKMAN: Well, there are so many things we have learned, Larry, I don't know where to start. But I'd like to take us back about four months to the point when the police gave their case to the district attorney's office, and this took a number of days, and it was about 30,000 pages of evidence and exhibits. It was massive. And even at that time, Mark Beckner, who was the commander in charge of the case, and is now the acting police chief in Boulder, said we don't have a provable case. They wanted the grand jury so that they could compel people, certain reluctant witnesses -- and this is not necessarily the Ramseys -- to come forward, and to tell what they had to tell. Meanwhile, a couple of key investigators have resigned...
KING: Quit, yes.
RYCKMAN: ... from this case.
KING: We know that, so we are -- where do we compare -- let me on to where we are when this all started -- are we ever going to get any arrests? We'll be right back on LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
J. RAMSEY: That was the worst moment, was suddenly realizing that someone had your daughter, your child, and has taken her, and she was gone. So we didn't know where she was. It was dark. It was cold outside. We began to realize, OK, we're suspects. And I was OK with that, because I assumed it was a broad investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
P. RAMSEY: Well, she had accidents, but children do. It is so minuscule in the big -- did someone actually think I would kill my child because she wet the bed? I mean, I have lived through stage- four cancer. In the grand scheme of things, bed wetting is not important.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Bill Ritter, what took it so long to go to grand jury?
RITTER: I think a lot of things really have affected the timing of the grand jury. The police finally presented their case to the Boulder D.A.'s office in June. And then, I think it was a matter of pretty much deciding when. Pretty much, the decision to go to the grand jury was made in the month after that from my conversations with Alex Hunter.
There was a prosecutor brought in, a former prosecutor brought back from Pennsylvania, who is leading the grand jury investigation. It took, certainly, him some time to get up to speed. Ultimately, one of my chief deputies was made a part of this investigation, and he's a part of the grand jury investigation, as was a neighboring county's chief deputy.
There have just been so many things in this case that are abnormal, unusual, extraordinary, and I think those things all have played in the fact that it was an 18-month period prior to going to the grand jury.
KING: Dan Glick, were there two different versions of that documentary, one in Britain, one in the United States. Did one change?
GLICK: Oh, it just got extended. The first one was commissioned by channel 4 in the U.K., and they wanted a 50-minute documentary and A&E wanted a 90-minute documentary, so we just added some more things to it.
KING: I see. Dr. Lee, among your vast career cases is this one of the more puzzling?
LEE: Yes, this case is really puzzling. As I indicate before, solving cases, you need good crime scene, good physical evidence, witnesses and a little luck. So far, we're still looking for that little luck. Crime scene is already gone. There are some physical evidence, of course, Alex Hunter is a very competent, patient man, have to look for some witness, try to wrap the case up and let the chips fall. KING: Lisa, reportorially, why has this, to an impatient country who wants everything to end at the end of the hour when the law show goes off, why has this taken so long, in your opinion?
RYCKMAN: I think that, as Bill said, this is an incredibly bizarre and unusual case. And you're absolutely right. I mean, Americans are used to everything wrapping up and all the nice -- the loose ends being neatly tied at the end of the hour, and this just is not happening here. In fact, this case just gets more complex and in many ways uglier as time goes on.
KING: Would you admit that looking at the Ramseys they're very effective?
RYCKMAN: My impression was that they were, and I saw that both the documentaries, the American version and then the A&E version which was extended, and I think that it depends -- many people have made up their minds, Larry, and if you are one of those people that believe that John and Patsy Ramsey did this horrible thing, then you're going to read into their words and their actions and their expressions all kinds of sinister things, and if you are open-minded about it, you may think, well, these people sound like parents.
KING: Have any of those who are inclined to think them guilty, Lisa, come up with a reason?
RYCKMAN: Oh, the speculation just goes on ad nauseum.
KING: A logical reason -- I mean, there's no logical reason to murder your child, but what's the number one reason people speculate?
RYCKMAN: I -- you know, that's an interesting question, Larry. I think that it depends on who they believe actually did this and then the motivation might change. The speculation certainly is not something I engage in, so I can't really speak to it.
KING: Pam, is this -- would you call this bad police work, Pam?
PAUGH: Yes. Sadly.
KING: Bad. They should have arrested someone already.
PAUGH: I'm not certain that they should have, could have, would have. I think what they should have done is a thorough investigation of all suspects, including Patsy and John. But at the point -- and understand, I mean, they spent three or four hours with me and an hour and a half of that was trying to determine if I could have done it. But if -- I doubt that they spent that much time with some of the other suspects.
In fact, some of the people have said, "Well, when that interviewed me, they asked me if I had any reason to kill JonBenet, and I said `no,' and so they said, `OK, thank you very much. Can you tell us anything at all bad about Patsy or John Ramsey?'" Well, that is not investigating another suspect.
KING: We'll be back with more and include some quick phone calls right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
J. 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back. La Belle, Florida, hello.
CALLER: Yes, Larry. Yes.
KING: Go ahead.
CALLER: Yes, to say the least, this is a tragedy, but it's all deja vu over again, to say the least. High-profile people not being accountable, not being checked out thorough. My question to you, though, Larry, just a few years ago there was a media frenzy when the world was shocked with murders out in L.A.? Where's the media now? Other than yourself, there's no one hardly talking about and covering this tragedy.
KING: You don't think anyone's covering this tragedy?
Has there been a diminished interest, Dan Glick?
GLICK: Well, there have been spasms of interest all throughout. When there's news, there -- a lot of people descend on Boulder. Right now, the grand jury is considering the case and it's a very secretive process. There's not a lot of news that's coming out of that. I am, frankly, quite surprised there haven't been more leaks out of the grand jury, and I'm very pleased that there not.
KING: There were rumors, Lisa, about a year ago of an arrest, right?
RYCKMAN: Well, there have...
KING: I remember that day -- on alert, on alert. Get ready, it's coming.
RYCKMAN: There have been so many rumors that yes, I mean, they've come throughout this case, and some of them -- You have to check everything out very thoroughly. Some of them prove to be true, and others do not.
KING: Bill, are you concerned about people quitting, saying they believe the police are wrong and that the Ramseys are innocent? Two have quit.
RITTER: Specifically, Lou Smits is the one who I think really...
KING: Was the most vociferious.
RITTER: He was the most vociferous and probably chastised the police most. I know some prosecutors who know Lou really well and would fall on the sword for him, think he's a good man. I disagree with what Lou did in this case, because I think it probably undermined the investigation. The people that are in charge of the investigation now -- and if I just can take a minute, Larry, to talk about how prosecutors have to view evidence, because you've talked about opinions and -- prosecutors really have to move on evidence. And they can move forward when the evidence takes them forward, and they can't move if it doesn't take them forward.
Now you have 12 citizens in the community, a grand jury, with the prosecutors who are looking at the evidence, and if it doesn't amount to probable cause no matter what anybody's opinion is, they're not going to be able to return an indictment or arrest anyone.
KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments, get in a few more phone calls on LARRY KING LIVE, right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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.
J. RAMSEY: She really enjoyed that kind of activity, and she used to do it at home. She'd dress up and put on a performance for us that she and her friends would cook up just in the kitchen. These pageants were a way that she could do that in a little more of a formal manner.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Tulsa, Oklahoma, hello.
CALLER: Yes, good evening, Larry.
CALLER: I would like to ask anyone on the panel if the youngest son, Burke, has ever seriously been considered a suspect? I don't believe the parents did it, but I do believe they know who did it.
RITTER: Burke has been questioned substantially by the police a couple of different times. And beyond that, I'm not going to say anything. I can tell you that the police have talked to him, and I think have thoroughly investigated that angle.
PAUGH: I'll speak to that issue.
PAUGH: Burke has, as Mr. Ritter says, been interrogated a couple of times formally by the police. He has also gone through psychological profiling. He's also gone through all kinds of role playing and personality tests, and the absolute definitive result of all of that was there is absolutely nothing there.
KING: Winnipeg, Manitoba, hello.
CALLER: Hello. I was wondering if they believe that John and Patsy are innocent, then what is their theory as to why Patsy's not been ruled out as author of the ransom note, after she submitted five handwriting samples?
PAUGH: Well, I am not a handwriting expert and don't proclaim to be one. But I would guess that probably a group of ten or 12 of us could sit down, and I'll try to copy the same ad copy, if you will, and I might have a loop that looks like yours, Larry, or I might have a crossing of a T or dotting of an I that looks like Lisa's or Dr. Lee's. So I wouldn't say that just because Patsy has given five samples, and there are one or two items in there that look like they could be that that is factual evidence. When, in fact, I have known this woman now for 39 years, and that is not her writing. I can point out many things that do not look like her writing.
KING: All right, let's run it down. Dr. Lee, do you expect an arrest in this? Do you expect a solution in this case?
LEE: Yes, I do. And -- OK, like a witness -- unless somebody actually saw the murder taking place, the rest are all speculation.
LEE: We'll have to let the physical evidence lead to us where it goes. And to try to piece it together, reconstruct the crime.
KING: Do you, Bill, think we will solve this case?
RITTER: Hope springs eternal, Larry. I would like to say...
KING: It doesn't sound hopeful.
RITTER: ... I think it will be solved. Well, I think that all crimes are solvable. I have told you before, I have a case that was solved 13 or 14 years down the road, so I would hope to solve it and solve it soon, but I don't know. KING: Dan, we've asked you this every time you're on, what do you know?
GLICK: Well, at this point, anybody who knows anything about this should be utterly confused. We alluded to Lou Smits, the -- probably the most experienced homicide investigator in the case who quit in disgust, saying that he felt the parents were being railroaded. About two weeks prior to that, one of the lead detectives in the case, by all accounts, a hardworking detective who really wore this case on his sleeve, he resigned in protest because he thought the D.A. was going too soft on the parents. So how do you reconcile those kinds of opinions? I have no idea.
RYCKMAN: I'll tell you, I hope that we see a resolution in our lifetime, Larry. I really do. I think this case has become completely confused. It's going to be very difficult to resolve one way or the other, and I hope that we do eventually get a resolution for the sake of this little girl.
KING: And, Pan, quickly, are the Ramseys confident that it will be solved?
PAUGH: As family, and yes, Patsy and John are confident. And we will not stop until we do find the killers of JonBenet Ramsey.
KING: Thank you all very much. Tomorrow night, five of the best journalists in the business: Robert MacNeil, Roger Mudd, Morely Safer, Bob Woodward, David Marinas, all tomorrow night with your phone calls. I'm Larry King. Good night.
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