Transcription of phone conversation between Mame and Bill Wise

January 14, 2000.

Mame: Bill, what's going on? I am trying the fit puzzle pieces together. The Smit pictures and the report on that.

Wise: I did not see that report, Hunter apparently saw it, and told me about it. I'll tell you frankly, I have to tell you that I have my doubts as to whether he has any so-called autopsy photos or crime scene photos that he is showing to anybody, including Shiller.

Mame: Really? Have you talked to McKinley about that?

Wise: No, I know Carol, and I like her, and I am sure she thinks she has accurate information. But I know what Lou's got.

Mame: Really? He tells her that he came by them legally, I don't know how that could happen?

Wise: Yeah, I heard that story. I don't know how that could happen either, unless he got them from the sheriff of Jefferson County.

Mame: Obviously there is some outrage out there, and I would like to be able to….

Wise: The problem is I don't have a way to shut down all of the inaccurate stuff that is going on out there. It is only my opinion that this is inaccurate. I don't really know. So it's very difficult. I had a call from another woman on that Justice Watch. I had a long chat with her and she was concerned about the same thing.

Mame: I do want to fair, Bill. I don't want to get the natives restless or not be fair. I just think that there's ….

Wise: See Mary, I appreciate that, I believe you. Over the last three years I have watched Justice Watch and a little bit of that other one that, that Jameson goes to.

Mame: huh?

Wise: There are so many inaccuracies out there that keep getting repeated and repeated.

Mame: I don't believe that is just on the internet, Bill.

Wise: Oh no, absolutely.

Mame: I respect the evidence, and I don't think any of us have any right to know anything about the evidence. I mean that sincerely. But what's happened, and I don't think it is the just the Internet. I think it is everywhere, the story has been written by people...and I don't mean just reporters. Evidence has been crunched, it's been talked about, it has been dispensed. I want it to end for our community. I live here, most of these people do not live here. I care. I want to know that justice will be served down the road. For my kid, your kid, anybody's kid. I also know, if it were my kid or your kid, the satellite trucks certainly would not be pulling into town.

Wise: That's for sure.

Mame: That adds a whole other perspective, but I want try to understand and be able to report fairly.

Wise: The difficulty is, here I sit inside the case. I probably know, I think I know everything. There's probably a detail or two I don't know, and I am frustrated. I'm very frustrated. So I can imagine how people who sit outside and, of course, you and I both know , or at least now you are going to know, that most of the evidence about the case is out there. But I can understand why people are frustrated, and why they feel like justice has not been served.

Mame: I think I understand and have a conception that not every murder case is solved, or filed, and I respect that, but what bothers me is when there is possible evidence out there. and I think this is a natural reaction by most intelligent, fair people...that we say, Wait a minute!

Wise: Evidence that has not been collected?

Mame: Well, say the story is true about Smit, Bill? The way I look at that, is that it is my evidence.

Wise: Of course you understand, that the 40 hours of interrogation that the Ramseys underwent here, they probably saw almost every single photograph that we have, except the really gruesome autopsy things.

Mame: I didn't realize that!

Wise: Oh absolutely. That is part of the problem. People don't understand that when you bring people in to interrogate them that way, this isn't even some sit-down making some brother-in-law deal with their lawyers. It is that in order to ask questions correctly, you need to put a photograph in front of them and say... allright will you describe the things you see in that room? Or you can describe what you see entangled in her hair? Or this that and the other thing.

Mame: That's an excellent point, and is that routine procedure?

Wise: Absolutely-100 percent. Absolutely. Otherwise, how can you get reliable answers to any kind interrogation that's going on if you don't have the backup stuff for people to identify? Is this yours? Have you ever seen this before? That as you are trying to head down the path of determining… with all the people involved in those interrogations…determining …is there any credible evidence of an intruder, or are you getting inconsistent statements from these people, etc. That is a standard method of interrogation.

Wise: In terms of the crime scene photos…even if he does have them, you think it is something that they haven't already seen?

Wise: It's just something that doesn't worry me as much as it worries people on the outside….and I know that, because I get on that Justice Watch, and I can see that people are really upset about it.

Part Two

Mame: In terms of other information Smit might have, does that concern you? Without talking about what that might be. I guess in the big picture the way I see it is this. Our public officials are hired by us, they collect evidence for us, they guard it, they analyze it, they prosecute it if they can. And if it goes anywhere beyond those people, and the privacy of that investigation, it shouldn't go to anybody else...but, the people. Because it's theirs. That's the way i see this.

Wise: Yeah...I hear you. The difficulty is, I've got a real difficulty, I was telling that woman this morning. She never did tell me her handle, or her name so I don't know who it was, but it's someone that knows you, knows you well.

Mame: Seashell. Actually, I believe she used to live in Boulder.

Wise: Yes she did. She told me that. She's the one that does the limericks. I told her this morning, one of the places i get so frustrated is that I'd like to be able to sit down with people like you, who have a high interest, and are intelligent people like you. I don't see you as ranters and ravers...although, i see some ranters and ravers out there sometimes.

Mame: Well, I show anger. I think in the secrecy of this. And there should be a certain amount of secrecy.

Wise: Well, she does not believe there should be any at all. She does not believe there should be any at all. It really gauls her. As a matter of fact she said she believes it was kind of a make up on Hunters part. I told her that is Colorado law...that's been in place as long as I...

Mame: What, the grand jury stuff?

Wise: I told her that one of the places that I get quite frustrated is that I cannot say to her, or to anybody steps that I know are being taken in terms of Lou Smit, and in terms of LOTS of other things. See I'm sitting here choosing my words carefully. I expect that it might end up on the Internet.

Mame: At the end of this conversation, you can tell me what I can share and what I can't. And I'll honor that.

Wise: Well, I've found over particularly these three years. If i stay on the record with people then I don't have to worry about later someone saying "that was supposed to be off the record". People have different ideas about what is suppossed to be on and off the record. So I try not to say anything that I don't expect to see in print somewhere. It's difficult...because there are some things I'd like to tell you that i think that at the end of saying them, you'd go, "That's interesting". Click, the light goes on.

Mame: And I totally disaprove of that in a way. In that, again i don't think i have a right to know what the general public doesn't know. Do you know what I'm saying?

Wise: I hear what you're saying.

Mame: It's one thing that gauls me. Little people, in little places claim to know things. If they've got em...That's information that has a great effect on the public. You deserve to know it. I deserve to know it. There are a lot of different issues. I'm very upset with the way the media has handled many ways. Not just the tabs.

Wise: Well, in a way...I'm not. Because I understand the pressures that are put on these people. And I understand when you've got this type of thing, or a Columbine, or these really sensational cases. I can't tell you how many times I'd get a call from a reporter who'd say, I'm going to lose my job if I don't, yada yada....That makes me feel bad, but generally I I think the media has been fairly responsible in a very high profile case. There are elements of the media that have not. The tabloids have not. Literally, I sometimes think they say, we don't have a story this week so, lets sit down and have a beer and make one up.

Mame: Well, I agree.

Wise: You can't on successive weeks have a tabloid, the same tabloid say, "Burke Did It", "Patsy Just Confessed" and "John Andrew Probably Helped on the Whole Thing". You can't have those kind of conflicting theories, unless you're just trying to sell your tabloids.

Mame: Well, I'd like to be fair and to be able to support the process. But, at the same time be able to ask the questions that are the underpinnings of what journalism is all about. It's to provide the checks and balances in a fair way. Not to be on an angry path to destroy people. But, theres got to be some middle ground, Bill. And I hope that along the way...

Wise: The difficulty is, Mary, I'm not sure there is much middle ground. My primary purpose is, and I believe the primary purpose of the people intimately associated with the case right now, is to protect the case in the eventuality of a prosecution. Whether that prosecution comes now, or comes down the road. And in doing that, it angers people because people want answers. I understand why they want answers. I felt that same way on that thing that took place in Denver. You know that Emily Johnson murder?


Mame: Oh, yeah. I think Peter Boyles should be ashamed...I don't know. I'm so offended by the way this thing was handled.

Wise: Yet, I see some parallells here. I was one of those ones on the Emily Johnson thing, "It's the boyfriend, There's no question it's the boyfriend.

Mame: Yeah, I got a call from a reporter that day who said "I don't think it's this guy". But, it shows people can be destroyed, you guys can be razzed, and I think there's reason to razz at times.

Wise: I don't disagree

Mame: I just want....I grew up as the daughter of a great newspaperman. I just thought (the way i learned) is how these things worked all these years. I'm finding that it doesn't anymore. On all sides. A lot of things fuel what gets out into the waterways. But, I do want to be fair. And I do want to respectfully ask tough questions. I want to be able to support...but, when there's possible evidence out there. I want to be able to say this is a false story, and this is why these guys aren't concerned. To understand this. Maybe, I can't do that. But, I'd like to try.

Wise: There again, I'm tempted to say a few sentences to you because I think you'd say "ohhhhhh". But, I just don't feel that I can.

Mame: O.K., I respect that.

Wise: I don't think it helps the case. As a matter of fact, I think it hurts the case. But, it's sure tempting.

Mame: Well, I thank you for chatting with me. I'm going to keep in touch. I hope that if there's a point where you feel you can look into this, if it's something that can hurt the case. That's my concern. It's protecting....

Wise: All that I can say to you is that I do not believe this hurts the case. The problem is that you not amplify on that. If I were listening to me say that, If I were on your end of the line, I'd say "Come on, Wise? Don't take me for an idiot in this whole thing?"

Mame: I'm going to have to trust that for now. I'll see where this goes. The other shock last night was that it was reported that this is a Pro-Ramsey movie. I don't know if that's true or not.

Wise: I kinda question that.

Mame: That's what McKinley is reporting.

Wise: You read Schiller's book I take it?

Mame: Yes, I did.

Wise: When you got through reading that book did you think it was a pro-Ramsey book?

Mame: No, I think he covers his ass through the whole thing.

Wise: I do too. See, I thought it was very neutral.

Mame: But, I also know what his reputation is. This thing could be Ojed in a second.

Wise: Sure, Absolutely

Mame: I think that's a big concern to me. This isn't just some little filmmaker who walked in here for two seconds and said I'm going to write my own story. This guy has intimate knowledge of tons of stuff!

Wise: He does. And after I read the book, I thought it was remarkable how much was accurate. But, I also thought it was remarkable how much was innaccurate. And frankly, I think it was made up.

Mame: I found the newer version to be a totally different version.

Wise: You mean the movie?

Mame: No, the paperback that's out now.

Wise: I read that, I didn't think it was much different at all. All it did was update because the hardback ended before the grand jury started, and he threw some stuff in about the grand jury. But, it was nothing, really.

Mame: I hope. I truly hope. I want to believe that if there isn't a case...there's a reason. I just want to find ways to answer my own conscience, and the responsibility I now have to quite a large, thousands of people, audience. I can't just take it on **************** word that everybody is standing tall here. I don't want to hear it from people like that.

Wise: Doesn't it mean anything to you....and again, I'm being careful in my words because I don't want, by my words to have you form an opinion that it's now a dead case...or, that it's going to be filed in three weeks...or anything else. But, doesn't it say something to you, when Governor Owens, who is not in our political party, who forms a panel of District Attorneys that was bi-partisan, kind of, because Gus Sandstrom was Democrat, but the others are all rock ribbed Republicans. They sit down there, they look at everything, and they come back and say, "'s not there as of the time that the grand jury ended. To me, that would say something. Yet, I know what clouds that is. I read Chuck Green and I read all these analysis that all these DA's are all in bed together.

Mame: Yes?

Mame: I would like to be able to disprove that.

Wise: You know there is almost no way to disprove it, except to just live it for all these years. I know these DA's. I know damn good and well. I know of the four that Hunter had on his task force.

Wise: I'm the treasurer for the campaign...for it is....campaigns. I know every contributor. I know intimately. Who has given money and who has not. And I know Alex Hunter well enough to know who he has given money to. He has never given money to Hal Haddon. And I'm not even playing a semantic game here like where he gives it to A who gives it to B who gives it to C who gives it to Hal Haddon. None of that. They have never given each other campaign contributions. Frankly, the difference in the Democratic politics in Boulder and Denver are, night and day.

Mame: Just like everything else.

Wise: Exactly. And see, you as a Boulder resident you probably take umbrage sometimes. Every time you pick up the paper you read about the People's Republic of Boulder, and how we're a bunch of elitists up here. This that and the other thing.

Mame: Well, we are, sometimes.

Wise: Well, we are, sometimes. But, you know what? A lot of times we're not. We're just like the folks that live down in Denver. We've all got our house mortgages and are worried about our kids growing up right and getting to college. Oh, and boy...I read about all these so called alliances and it

Mame: Well, then I think that's one of the saddest things then. Regardless, of what the truth is.... that people have been allowed to write THE STORY. They fill in the blanks. Which is a natural reaction to such a horrific crime. You know, we all want to be able to figure it out. And that doesn't serve any of us. It certainly doesn't serve you, it doesn't serve the victim....the child. My theory has been, I'm not trying to fry the Ramseys here. I want a day in court, where everybody gets their side told. If that's at all possible. Whoever, did this has to look themselves in the mirror everyday. I only hope everybody who claims to know so damn much, can tell it in a courtroom. That's my issue. And I hope that along the way, that there are further ways to assure the public that the apple is not being eaten up. In a case that everyone is touting get's "one bite of the apple". If there's no apple left, that's a big concern. I hope we can keep talking. And, I certainly don't want to know anything that you can't tell every other journalist. And, I resent that people have made it sound like that has happened.

Wise: Yeah, and that goes on everywhere. And, part of it's true and part of it's not true. People like to center stage themselves and say that they got all these hot inside sources, and they don't have any sources at all.

Mame: Right. And I hope.

Wise: Or, they have Frank Coffman type of sources.

Mame: Right. Frank's not a bad human.... ...really....well, I don't know, I've had my day with him. It isn't right. That's what I told Frank. Don't tell me you're hooked up. Because if you know something that the general public doesn't know. That stinks. And I feel the same way about myself. I don't deserve to know anything, that you can't tell any other "public" or "media". I just don't think that's kosher. As much as my nosy side would love to know. I hope that's not happening, or that it hasn't happened.

Wise: Well, it probably has happened. I mean I'm not naive, and I'm not stupid. I know what kind of talking I did to Schiller. I know what kind of rules were put on it. I know what rules were broken on it. So be it. At my advanced age. I'm still learning lessons.

Mame: I'm not sure anyone deserved to learn these kind of lessons. I appreciate the time you've spent with me. I know you have work to do. I'll think about this. If I think of anything further, I'll call you Monday.

Wise: Feel free to call me anytime.

Mame: Yes, I will stay in touch. Now, they are coming in, when?

Wise: Kane and Lee are coming in on January 26 and 27. They'll meet with Hunter, Morrisey and Levin.

Mame: Can you say at this point, if there will be any resolution to anything?

Wise: I have a feeling, but, I don't think I should express it.

Mame: O.K. Do you expect that after those meetings there would be any announcements made?

Wise: Yes, I would expect so. That is a question I'm starting to get from reporters. I don't think there's going to be a formal press conference. But, I would think....

Mame: A statement, at least?

Wise: Yes. Statements made.

Mame: Would you expect that to happen early the week afterwards?

Wise: I would expect it not to happen on the 27th, the last day they are going to meet. I think there is a chance on the 28th or...uh... the next week on, Monday the 31st.

Mame: So, what we've spoken about today is all on the record?

Wise: All on the record. I've tried to be careful at some expense of wanting to tell you things I shouldn't be telling you. So....

Mame: Godspeed. I hope it all works out. I really do.

Wise: I do too.