"Boyles/Hoffman transcript" Gideon Epstein
Posted by jams on Mar-05-01 at 12:30 PM (EST)
Boyles: ... a couple of developments in the Ramsey case - and the Ramseys, of course, had their home broken into - - winkie-winkie. And then they have been hit with two lawsuits - the second one will be filed on behalf of their former housekeeper, Linda Hoffmann-Pugh, this morning, and the man who's doing it has been a long-time friend to this investigation Please say good morning and welcome back to Denver the talented Darnay Hoffman. Good Morning.
Hoffman: Good Morning, Peter, I'm glad to hear you're back and well.
Boyles: Hey, Darnay, it's good to hear your voice. I saw you on the Today Show when I was laid up. (laughter from Darnay)
Hoffman: That was an interesting occasion
Boyles: Yeah, it really was
Hoffman: As that show was going on, basically someone was burglarizing John Ramsey's home.
Boyles: Yes. I thought it was classic that initially Patsy Ramsey, during this burglary, was off meeting with friends, and then the lawyers got involved and the story turned into Patsy was at bible study.
Hoffman: Well, my favorite report of the story was the nature of the things taken, and one of the things indentified was the "K-Mart Jewelry" of Patsy. That wasn't a very smart burglar.
Boyles: Yeah, you got to think about it, you think to yourself, "What is Patsy and John doing the second time their alarm system is not turned on. These are people who have gone through so much, they claim, because they were not smart enough to turn on their burglary alarm system, and now, of course, it was turned off a second time.
Hoffman: Well, Peter, you know, in their book, in the part of the book that's just before the one where they talk about Chris Wolf, apparently there was an incident at that home also involving the alarm system being off. Nedra and Patsy arriving there and John going through the house with a frying pan checking every room and every closet for potential intruders. So this apparently has happened before. And then there is the strange incident of the boots that had been left at the Charlevoix home, mysteriously.
Boyles: Yeah, they are an interesting and fun to watch - but what I had to love when I was out was that the judge in Atlanta gave the green light to Chris Wolf's lawsuit and I watched the - - by the way -after - the question I keep asking is, where is that threatened lawsuit against Steve Thomas, the Boulder cop? Remember?
Hoffman: Oh Yeah
Boyles: John Ramsey sitting there on Larry King "You're gonna see a lot more of Team Ramsey. We're gonna sue you." Hey, John! Where's that lawsuit.
Hoffman: In fact, if they don't bring by sometime in mid-April they'll be barred by the statute of limitations that is one year for libel.
Boyles: They're not suing. They're not gonna have an OJ civil trial, but they may because of you.
Hoffman: Well, the way it looks now, based on the judge's decision, they are going to have a civil trial for the murder case because she ruled that in this particular instance, if we can show that Patsy wrote the ransom note, then we actually have a case. And that's the reason she green-lighted it - because she actually thinks that there might be a chance that we can do that in court.
Boyles: Who knew, right?
Hoffman: Yeah, exactly.
Boyles: The other part of this now is, I believe, and I take some pride in this, because I believe I was the intermediary to Linda Hoffmann-Pugh to you - - but now LHP - how much is she suing them for?
Hoffman: For the same amount that Chris Wolf is - Fifty Million dollars. In fact, the decision was made to wait to file her suit until we saw what the judge did with Chris Wolf's suit because we thought that he had been libeled more severely in their book than LHP had - We felt that LHP had been also, but we wanted to see what the judge would do with Chris Wolf and as soon as she gave us the green light there, we decided we'd run out and file for Linda. But there has been a development. We're filing the suit on Thursday out of respect for the family because apparently Nedra died on Friday and was buried secretly on Sunday. So we decided that, with respect to the family and their feelings, not to actually file the suit until this Thursday because of this sudden development over the weekend.
Boyles: Patsy Ramsey's mother passed away, you're saying, on Friday?
Hoffman: On Friday. She had been very sick , apparently had many things wrong with her, among them diabetes. And apparently the family did not want the news out so they could have a secret burial. And that was done yesterday and so as a result we have decided, and I know that Linda still has feeling for at least some of the family, decided that out of respect for Nedra that we would file the suit this Thursday instead of today.
Boyles: Take a second here, Darnay, and explain to the audience who Chris Wolf is and who LHP are.
Hoffman: Well, Chris Wolf is a Boulder business journalist. He has lived in Boulder for many years, has written for many newspapers - in fact was quite distinguished, winning an award in 1995 by, I think, the Co Press association for the best business series in journalism. LHP is a housekeeper that worked for the Ramseys and was very close to the family and JonBenét for about 14 months and in fact had last seen JonBenét and the family, I think about 48 hours before the actual death of JonBenet. The most interesting thing about LHP is that she is the first person that the police actually went and investigated and interrogated. She is the first name that Patsy Ramsey and John Ramsey gave police as a suspect. So while JonBenét's body was still in the house, Linda Hoffmann-Pugh was already being interrogated by the police and being required to give handwriting samples and they later swabbed her daughter... younger daughter's mouth for DNA samples.
Boyles: and they went out to their home and confronted her and her husband - did they not - that morning?
Hoffman: Well, Patsy was waltzing out of her home in a fur coat, without any kind of interrogation, while Linda Hoffmann-Pugh was being grilled along with her whole family.
Boyles: Absolutely and I've gotten to know Linda. We speak from time to time. And initially she was a very staunch defender of John and Patsy. She was quite angry with me and angry at some other people like Chuck Green and when she realized that the Ramseys... that she was one of - - now it's been dozens of people that the Ramseys have have thrown under the bus - then the light goes on for her and her husband and they realize what John and Patsy - while they are defending John and Patsy - what John and Patsy are really doing to them.
Hoffman: Well, she's also had an opportunity to see more evidence in the case, of the handwriting. We've had two experts which have come forward since we filed the lawsuits. One is Gideon Epstein who the US Government ........ used to identify nazi's in America in order to be able to bring them to justice. In fact there was that famous case, what was that ......... he identified him as the ex-nazi. He also appeared in Noriega trials and he consulted with the Philippine government to teach their police how to do forensic handwriting examination. And we have one other - Larry Zeigler - who's an ex... senior FBI document examiner. They say without a doubt that Patsy wrote the note and all of that is stuff that LHP has seen and it has really changed her mind about exactly what happened.
Boyles: So what's the court dates? What are you
Hoffman: What happens, in Atlanta we have to complete discovery in 4 months which means that we have to be ready for trial by the end of July at the latest. That means Patsy and John, in fact, I was talking to Lin Wood recently. We were talking about April depositions but it will probably be more like May for both Patsy and John and Chris Wolf. LHP will come along a little later because her suit's being filed later.
Boyles: Both of those are filed in Atlanta, correct?
Hoffman: Both in Atlanta, and more importantly, both in front of Judge Julie Carnes who is a former federal prosecutor - who's appointed by George Bush Senior - a mother and a law-and-order Republican.
Boyles: Oh Boy!
Hoffman : And she ain't smiling, I'll tell you that, when she, you know, thinks of Patsy.
Boyles: Can Court Tv pick this one up and run it live?
Hoffman: Unfortunately not, the federal court will not allow television. They have never allowed television.
Boyles: So much like the OJ civil trial, this will be locked away.
Hoffman: Unfortunately, yes. Seeing Patsy on the stand will be quite a revelation to some people.
Boyles: That might be worth a trip to Atlanta
Hoffman: Yes, it might.
Boyles: We will stay in touch. So again, best guess when this will happen...
Hoffman: Best guess is... we will be deposing the Ramseys - which is the first important breakthrough because they've never testified... Patsy's never testified under oath... she'll have to answer our questions - there will not be a laundry list of conditions in this case. And there will be a judge telling her that she has to answer questions - or take the 5th amendment. We expect a jury trial - probably sometime within 9 months to a year, given everything it will take to get to a jury
Boyles: Are you going to put together a team to work with you?
Hoffman: Absolutely. In fact I.... this handwriting team is exquisite. I don't think there's any doubt that the essential question in this case which is, "Did Patsy Ramsey write the ransom note?" That's basically what we are going to do. The Ramseys have already helped prove our case for us because they conceded on the Larry King show that whoever wrote the ransom note is the murderer. So we don't even have to prove that Patsy murdered her daughter, she concedes with John that whoever wrote the note murdered her daughter so all we have to do is show that Patsy Ramsey is the ransom note writer. And that we are going to be able to do rather easily.
Boyles: Were going to speak soon Darnay. Thank you for your time. Good to hear your voice. Thanks for being with us.
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