"Q&A with Jeff Shapiro"
Posted by jameson on Mar-28-01 at 01:32 PM (EST)

Jeff Shapiro has agreed to do a Q&A with the forum. It will be in writing - - submit questions here, I will send them on to him and he will get back to us.

Obviously he is not obligated to answer anything he is uncomfortable with - but I think the group knows what will and won't fly.

PLEASE - - TWO questions each - - and that does NOT mean two three-part questions. That's fair to everyone, I think.


"Shapiro's answers"
Posted by jameson on Apr-05-01 at 11:06 AM (EST)

From Lilac
1. (If you know) who was leaking information from the BPD?
No comment.

2. From what you heard and saw (I heard you had a great view. ha) who do YOU think
did this?
Thanks!!! I think it's important to carefully consider the intruder theory.

Posted by Sweebie
1. What made you discount Chris Wolf as a suspect? as specific as possible please.
Instinct. Chris was very forthcoming and distraught about being suspected of the murder. The woman who reported him, his girlfriend, seemed quite confused about many facts which never seemed to add up. I did an extensive amount of research on him and there is no real evidence that he was in anyway involved in the murder. There are numerous other suspects with much stronger links. The only thing linking him to this story at all are the claims of his ex-girlfriend, which to me, are completely unfounded.

2) Do you anticipate being called as a witness in either the Chris Wolf or Steve Thomas or Linda Hoffman-Pugh lawsuits?
Time will tell.

Posted by RHGC
1. What have you heard about Robert B. Pachaly and from whom, and when?

Posted by Dave
If you can, please shed some light on the relationship between Judith Phillips and her photography colleagues, especially Randy Simons and Mark Fix and especially 1996-7, if indeed there were any such relationships?
I donít remember. It was never too important. I wouldnít waste any time on it if I were you. I once met Fixx and he was just a working photographer, nothing more. I recall that Phillips knew about the others but didnít know them all too well. Remember, Phillips was a private local photographer whereas Fixx and Simons specialized in pageant photography.

If you happen to know, would you please tell us how much Robert Phillips, reportedly John Ramsey's estate attorney, knew about John's personal financial affairs, especially compensation, etc.?
That's an interesting question. I don't know how much Robert knew of John's personal finances. My understanding from Robert is that he was their family attorney for minor personal issues. I don't think he had access to the $118,000 if that's where you're going.

Thanks to both Jeff and Jams for setting this up.

Posted by LovelyPigeon
Can you tell us if you know of any police exaggerations about "evidence" in support of or to the detriment of anyone?
No comment. I think we may find out soon enough.

Are there any of the "suspects" in the case that you think are still viable and need further investigation? Many, yes. I prefer not to name names because it would be unfair and cruel.

Posted by Summer
1) What made you quit the globe?
Compassion - and contempt for cruelty.
2) Have you been to the Ramsey's house? Thanks a bunches! Summer.
I have been everywhere outside of the house but never inside. It's an interesting place. I found some interesting little things there.

Posted by nana122
Jeff, Hunter mentioned on his last TV interview that he believed he knew who killed JB. That it would be a surprise to all because it is someone not yet implicated. Do you know who this might be? I realize you may not want to give names but can you give a clue? (If you think you know whom he suspects)
I think it may be an intruder suspect that some people are recently looking into. There are new and fascinating names surfacing lately. Many of them are based on other kidnapping attempts and child murders in the Boulder and Denver areas.

From Foster
1. How much of a lie was the conversation between yourself and Rol Hoverstock portrayed in Perfect Murder Perfect Town?
Schiller misportrayed numerous things in his book and even fabricated and manufactured quotes. I don't recall everything he wrote about that particular section, but I don't recall it being one of the areas that concerned me too much. There were many other things that he exacerbated and fabricated, particularly the part in which I went to Thomasí house to warn him of GLOBEís blackmail plan. I authentically warned Thomas out of friendship whereas Schiller makes it appear otherwise. His assessment is pure fiction and he knows it. There are many other parts, which are simply not true.

2. Do you still think Thomas is JonBenet's "avenging angel"? I think I feel that way more about Lou Smit at this point, but Thomas cared deeply for JonBenet and that is to his credit. Thomas is a passionate person and it was the fact that we were both deep people with heavy hearts that we bonded as friends so quickly. I used to look up to him as a real big brother figure. Our friendship was something I valued very highly.

3. Is your allegiance still to JonBenet? It always will be. However, I am also VERY concerned about the more systemic issues regarding the Ramsey case in relation to how the media corrupts the judicial process since it is something we are seeing in many cases. Even President Clinton was victimized by leaks from the Independent Counsel camp during their investigation. The Department of Justice launched a probe just to look into those leaks and just recently announced it found evidence of none, which I donít believe for a second. The Lewinsky issue was leaked and it reached Matt Drudge somehow. I think the process of law enforcement framing people in the court of public opinion is a serious detriment to our democracy and process of justice and it must be stopped.

Posted by the anti-k on Mar-28-01 at 06:16 PM (EST) re: Steve Thomas; during the investigation, pre-retirement. how big a part did Steve Thomas play (example: leaks) during the investigation in shaping the media's portrayal and the public's perception of the Ramseys and their (possible) involvement in the murder? I have a feeling we're about to find out.

Posted by mBm
1. During your friendship with Thomas, did he ever give you the opinion or feeling that he was set on accusing the Ramseys and no one else?
Draw your own conclusions.

2. If Yes, give us some examples.
No thanks. ;)

Thanks for your input, JS; and Thanks, Jams, for giving us this chance to pose questions to him.

Posted by Foster
When did you become convinced that your original feelings about the Ramseys' guilt were wrong and why?
My interaction with Ramsey family members as well as intruder evidence made me realize it was possible they could be telling the truth. They donít act like the suspicious and deviously clever people the tabloids portray them as. To tell you the truth they can be somewhat typical and predictable. Like many other Republicans, they just seem fairly systematic and apt to follow the rules. Can you tell whom I voted for in this last presidential election? ;)

Did you exaggerate your conversations with Rol Hoverstock when you wrote some of your essays for Schiller's book?
No. In fact, Schiller only published a handful of my many adventures. However, Schiller exaggerated many things in his book regarding many people, not at their request, but by his own intent.

Posted by Maikai
l. What are you doing now?
I'm working as a mainstream reporter in the Northeast for a great newspaper and learning a lot. It's been a great experience, but Iím looking forward to returning west or to the south.

2. The tree and treehouse in the Ramsey yard. What kind of views inside the house did you have from it? Could someone view the house from the treehouse? Could someone see inside JonBenet's room? The third floor? JonBenet's room yes, third floor, well... I didn't go that high. ;) Iíll tell you one thing. The second story level branch I used to hang out at (or on I should say) had something VERY interesting on it that made me realize a possible intruder could have been using that area as a point to look into JonBenetís room. Iíd tell you what I found butÖ itís not quite time for that yet.;)

"Hey there Jeff..."
Posted by Seal
What do you know about the boarder, Glen Meyer, who was staying in Barnhill's basement across the street from the Ramseys house in Boulder?
Harmless guy, as a suspect, he's laughable. Nice fella.

Do you think you could possibly be called for a deposition in the Ramsey vs. Thomas lawsuit?
I think a lot of people may get called.

From Dor
What's his view on the case now? J: Have you ever tried to picture the killer?
I'll tell you what comes to my mind often when I do - someone similar to those portrayed in the film, 8MM. That should tell you a lot.

Has he interviewed any of the guests that were at the
Whites' home?
I did some research into that area, but it was a long time ago.

Posted by Diana Williams

Was the gardener ever a suspect? Officially? I think many Ramsey employees were, but they were cleared pretty quickly.

Posted by Sasha
Has your opinion changed at all concerning who you believed killed JonBenet?
Yes, but I want to be clear I am not sure one way or another who did it and who didn't do it. I only have asserted publicly, my belief that John Ramsey is innocent because I had so much opportunity to investigate his background.

Do you ever wish you had not gotten involved with the case?
No. I made a difference and that means a lot to me. It was an honor to have the opportunity to try and avenge JonBenet.

Has your involvement in the case helped or harmed you find work?
Yes, exposing the tabloids created a lot of controversy but I knew it would. I did it anyway.

Posted by shesherre on Mar-28-01 at 07:15 PM (EST)
Mr. Shapiro, How much information on case files did Steve Thomas leak to you and when/what/why/how?
No comment, but youíre on the wrong track. My relationship with Thomas was more about discussing the politics of the investigation.

Posted by Sparrow
1. From your own "inside information" do you think there is enough evidence to bring a suspect to trial?
No. Look at the evidence against OJ. He was acquitted. Hunter made the right move.

2. Did you do any investigating of those who attended the Ramsey Christmas party?
on Dec.23, 1996, if so were you able to clear every guest of all suspicion in your own mind?
I think it's natural to always have some suspicions about that party.

PS Glad you quit the tabs, you are way too good for them. Thanks I appreciate that. I really do.

Posted by The_Good_Reverend_Bayes
Could you please explain just what it was in Chris Wolf's travelogues and diaries that convinced you he was innocent?
It wasn't his notes that convinced me. It was the overall picture. He is an interesting character no matter how you cut it, but I just don't think heís involved. He's interested in politics, international affairs and economics. Lot's of college leftist types like him are unusual people, but I have known many of them since I studied political science in school. He's nothing too extraordinary. His journals focused on his compassion for the poor and third world countries. They had nothing to do with anything provocative. In addition, the stories his girlfriend told that he dated someone at AG never panned out, but rather evolved into something MUCH less and seemed in the end, insignificant.

Posted by KathyK
I know you wrote John that you thought he was innocent. Are you also convinced Patsy is innocent?
I haven't had the opportunity to interact with Patsy as I have with John.

What have you heard about the note being written left-handed? It's one police theory, but not a confirmed one. No one knows for sure who wrote the note or how.

Posted by Brimm
Jeff: Please would you know or want to make a guess as to how much of Schiller's book was taken from Thomas's reports/notes/files?
Once again... we may soon find out.

How much of Schilller's book is fiction? or What is your assessment of his material?
He portrayed a lot of good-hearted people badly and inaccurately. He worked hard and did a lot of solid research. It's too bad he tainted it by trying to sensationalize it. I think he resorted to that since the book didn't have an exciting ending and he needed to compensate for it. Iím disappointed in the book. I never even watched the TV movie because from what I heard, most of it was fiction. Based on what those who saw it told me, I know he portrayed my character falsely and changed true events from the first scene my character appeared in, to the last.

Posted by WhiteWolf on Mar-29-01 at 12:13 PM (EST)
Do you have any idea or guess who started the rumor that the Ramseys were going to name Stephen Miles (Judith Phillips' neighbor) as the killer?
This resulted in a lawsuit and a deposition from John Ramsey (10/98). I wouldn't be surprised if the Enquirer started the rumor, anonymously phoned in the tip themselves and then wrote about it. I wrote about the tabloids doing such things in my Washington Monthly article, ďInside the Globe.Ē

Could you comment on the story of the California woman who came forward March 2000 and claimed JonBenet was killed by a sex ring. Why do you suppose the tabloids didn't pick up the story and run with it?
I recall the National Examiner may have actually picked up on it. It was interesting but the FBI seems to have moved past that claim. Lee Hill, the attorney who represented that woman could tell you more about it.

Posted by Auntie on Mar-29-01 at 12:51 PM (EST)
Seems most of the other forum posters think along the same lines that I do; but I wonder:
1) Don't you think it's odd that Chris Wolfe is implicated in both the JonBenet and Susannah Chase murders?
The first moment I learned that he knew Ms. Chase, I almost fell out of my chair. I think the police almost did too when I called and told them. But after careful consideration and police investigations, I simply think it is what you said - an odd coincidence. You have to look at investigations this way - what implicates a person, not clears them? Youíre innocent until proven guilty. Many people have asked, what clears this person or that person? The question they should really be askingÖ is what implicates this person in the first place? Is it hard evidence - or just an ex-loverís jaded or delusional story? Think hard about that.

2) What do you make of Glenn Meyer's strange behavior with Jacques the dog at the 23rd Xmas party and the fact that he knew dog's whereabouts on the 26th and had a weak alibi? Nothing. I know Meyer and he's harmless, just a nice guy.

Posted by Mainline Mama
What is your take on the ransom note, and movie lines? I understand at one point you worked at a video store? Did that job offer you any insight into the psyche of the person that wrote the note, and why he/she used movie lines?
I have worked at movie stores on and off since I was in college because I LOVE movies and like to surround myself with other people who do as well. I think many people who like to act out their fantasies are inspired by movies and they often like to quote them whether they are criminals or just film buffs. There are additional movie links I have come across that were never published.

Posted by docG
Do you happen to know the source of the leak in which it was announced that John Ramsey was "ruled out" as a writer of the note? Did this come from team Ramsey? Or someone at the BPD?
That was the day I first arrived in Boulder, apx. Mar. 4 or so. I don't know for sure.

Any thoughts on what the motive for such an announcement might have been? It may have been in law enforcement's interests to get the media to back off John Ramsey so they could shift their interests to Patsy, but that's only a guess.

Posted by MizMo
During your investigation, did you uncover the fact that Chris Wolf has a police report on him for masturbating in public?
Let's just say I know just about everything there is to know about that person.

Posted by CarolynSue
Jeff, at what point did you become so certain that the Ramseys were guilty and why?
Much of the research I initially did with Frank Coffman led me to believe Patsy was a strong candidate as a suspect. It involves an array of connections, which today still seem odd to me, but less important than they initially appeared to be.

Jeff, at what point did you switch sides and what exactly did it take to make you do so? Regarding the tabloids, it was an array of things involving their cruelty and criminal behavior. Upon the Burke stories being released, I wrote an op-ed piece for the Camera that was gong to be published lashing out at my own editors. The Camera liked it and planned to publish it as they published my piece defending Koby and how he handled the Boulder Riots in 97. Upon learning I would probably lose my job if it was published, I backed off and told them to hold it. It never went to press. Instead, I waited quietly until later when I began making my tapes. Regarding the Ramseyís, the physical evidence, namely the foreign DNA made me realize there were many possibilities as to who could have committed this murder.

Posted by Mariene on Mar-29-01 at 08:17 PM (EST)
Did Hunter ever reveal to you who the officials were who could have been involved in a sex abuse ring? Can you tell us who they are?
Thatís a question for author Stephen Singular.

Posted by B
have you ever been to Charlevoix?

Did you ever approach someone in there garage, and act all innocent and unassuming?
No. No one was home when I went to Charlevoix and it was Thanksgiving time in 1997. I canít remember if I was up there a second time, offhand. I spent almost a month in John Ramseyís hometown in Okemos and Lansing before that, but that was far from Charlevoix.

Posted by sooty
What, if anything, do you know about the rucksack that was found in the crawlspace of the Ramsey basement?
Nothing, but the kids had a lot of toys in the yard and around the house, even months after the murder.

Do you know if it was ever shown to Jaqueline Dilson? I doubt any evidence was ever shown to any witness.

I believe that the floor of the crawlspace was just earth. Do you know if the dirt on the 'very dirty' clothes that Chris Wolf left on the bathroom floor the morning of the 26th could have been consistent with someone have laid in earth dirt? How do you know Chris had any dirty clothes to begin with? Because his girlfriend said so? I wouldnít be so quick to assume thatís necessarily accurate information.

Posted by sissi
Steve Thomas is an articulate man. Many who have this gift have the ability to influence others. His leaks were chosen to support his theory, likely many things that could be considered exculpatory were not leaked. Do you feel you could have been overly impressed with him, making his theory the most promising and therefore your attention and the attentions of others were aimed at looking for guilt in Patsy?
Iíd love to answer that question, but under the current circumstances, Iíll have to sayÖ no comment. But draw your own conclusions. Youíre a smart person, Iím sure.

Posted by Chatter
1. I've wanted to ask you for a long time, so grateful for this chance, did you talk to Barnhill, or would you still do it, and get a DESCRIPTION of the walker he thought was John Andrew? I think TGR Bayes was wrong about his wearing a long coat, and that was someone in Charlevoix.
J: I spoke to him about it but the Barnhills are old and remember little. I canít remember offhand exactly what he told me but I recall that he said it was a young person. He didnít remember much more than that.

Would you be interested in going to Charlevoix to get a DESCRIPTION of the guy who hung out for about a week at the gas station, tracking down the employee witness even if he no longer works at the gas station, maybe has left the town, and/or the wheel chair witness who maybe left town, had cancer, to get a DESCRIPTION from him? Thanks much.
J: Iím interested in anything substantial I can follow up on. Tell me more about this scenario and these witnesses. It intrigues me. Jams can forward your comments to me.

Posted by pinky5
Based on information you have, is it your assumed or factual opinion Steve Thomas influenced Fleet White or was it the other way around?
No comment.

Do you know how long their friendship has existed? No comment. Iím sorry on both accounts.

Posted by Bailey38
How much information did Hunter give you?
Not as much as I gave him.

Posted by Liv4books
1) Did you ever interview Suzanne Savage, the nanny?
I think Frank Coffman did. Thatís his department.

2) What observations did you make about her character? Thatís a question for Coffman. I think he respected her and considered her a nice and honest person.