Geraldo Rivera - Thursday, February 27, 1997

Bill and Janet McReynolds, guest

February 27, 1997



GERALDO RIVERA: Hi, everybody, and welcome back to The Alps Boulder Canyon Inn in Boulder, Colorado. This city is a sublime place to live and raise children but it is also a place that witnessed a monstrous crime committed against an innocent and beautiful child. Yesterday right here we debated the facts and circumstances surrounding the JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation. It was an emotional and passionate encounter. Take a look....

RIVERA: Today's focus is somewhat different. Today we will be hearing from the people who live in the Boulder area about how this terrible crime has affected their lives. You'll hear also from Ramsey family friends, get their feelings about the progress of the investigation, but first meet an old friend of ours--it seems as if he's an old friend of ours--Bill McReynolds, known to the Ramsey family as Santa. He entertained the Ramseys for several of their holidays, got to know JonBenet quite well. McReynolds, as you all know undoubtedly by now, was recently questioned by the police. His wife Janet also joins us.

I wonder, Janet, if there wasn't a moment after Santa was called by the cops to give hair, blood and handwriting analysis, that you wondered, in your heart, My God, could Bill have been the man who did this monstrous crime?'

Ms. JANET McREYNOLDS (Husband Played Santa For JonBenet For Three Years): Never. Never for a moment. I knew it could not have been Bill.

RIVERA: How did you react then when he was summoned by the authorities to, you know, give up his hair, his blood, his...

Ms. McREYNOLDS: He had been in the house on December the 23rd, as I had also. It seemed to me to be a logical procedure to exclude him.

RIVERA: Why did you folks go to Spain after the homicide?

Ms. McREYNOLDS: That pla--that trip was planned as far back as June.

RIVERA: Did you have to console him twice--number one, for the loss of this lovely child he came to know so well, and, number two, for the fact that he was in some small way snared by this process?

Ms. McREYNOLDS: I don't think he was snared. I think that--we eventually--I think we consoled each other, because we were both shattered, devastated, and I don't feel that there was any--any entrapment at all in--in the way the police treated him.

RIVERA: Can you tell us how you were shattered by this terrible deed?

Ms. McREYNOLDS: I think that JonBenet was a--a very special child to both of us. She was incredibly beautiful, not only in her physical appearance, but she seemed to have an inner light that we both responded to. He as Santa Claus, and I only saw her the one time, on December the 23rd, but I was instantly struck with this beautiful inner light that I felt was in her.

RIVERA: Will you be forever haunted by what happened?

Ms. McREYNOLDS: Oh--oh, no doubt. No doubt. We'll carry this with us all our lives.

RIVERA: Bill, you brought the magic dust there.

Mr. BILL McREYNOLDS (Played Santa For JonBenet For The Past Three Years): Yeah.

RIVERA: Tell us the story.

Mr. McREYNOLDS: OK. Well, I always put stardust in my beard and I shake it on the children's hair like this or on their hands, and I tell them they should hold onto it very tightly because if they don't, it'll go back to the star, and it's a very special present for them. And so when they open up their hands after going through the mall or whatever, then, of course, the stardust is usually gone. And so I told this to JonBenet, as amongst other children, and--then I would do this for her. She'd sit on my lap, and--and then at Christmastime in 1995, she gave me a little vial of glitter--stardust she called it--this was a very wealthy family, I suppose it cost maybe about $ 2. And she s--wanted Santa never to be without stardust just because we always talked about Christmas being every day.

And so this last year she gave me another vial after I had been in the hospital with this operation that was very complex, and so at the memorial service in Boulder, I gave a--a jar of this--the first one--to Patsy so that she would have it in the family treasure forever, and I kept this one for myself.

Now it's sitting on my mantel up in the beloved Rockies, you know, quite a bit higher than here in Boulder, and I surround it with plaster Santa Clauses, next to a manger, and I pretend that it is stardust from the star of Bethlehem.

RIVERA: You know, Bill, all I can say is I have a two-year-old daughter and I have a four-year-old daughter, I would be proud if you would play Santa for my girls.

Mr. McREYNOLDS: Well, I'd like to.

End of McReynolds' Interview

Copyright 1997, Investigative News Group, THE GERALDO RIVERA SHOW; Copyright 1999 LEXIS-NEXIS Group. All rights reserved.