The O'Reilly Factor - Monday, April 24, 2000
Posted by information on Apr-25-00 at 09:38 AM (EST)
LAST EDITED ON Apr-27-00 AT 08:55 AM (EST)
Transcribed by LizzieB
'Reilly Factor Fox News
4/24/2000 Host: Bill O'Reilly
Guest: Steve Thomas
PR: We have lost our precious child and we, together, are not going to rest until we find out either if this person is still living we are going to find him, or if this person is deceased, we're going to know that, because I'm not going to rest until that happens, nor is he (pointing to JR).
BO: In the Back of the Book segment tonight, a book that's getting a lot of attention. It is called JonBenet: Inside the Ramsey Murder Investigation. And its author is former Boulder detective Steve Thomas who worked on the Ramsey murder case for eighteen months. Mr. Thomas recently retired and joins us now from Denver. Mr. Thomas, you and the Ramseys have been simultaneously on television all over the country, with different theses, of course. What do you, how do you react when you hear Patsy Ramsey say what she just said?
ST: Well, quite frankly, her follow-up to that was that she was going to be the worst nightmare of the Boulder Police Department. But I say she's already performed that act one time when she refused to cooperate with us in those early days and weeks when this thing was red-hot and needed to be solved.
BO: Well, here's the defense to that. If you are involved in a murder trial, or a murder case, or there's a murder around you, usually your attorneys will say, "Hey look, you're a suspect. You're in the house. Don't say anything, don't cooperate. Let me handle it." And that's usually the way the system works. Is there anything wrong with that?
ST: Well, one can't deny someone asserting their Constitutional rights and using attorneys and not speaking to the police, but a man whom I've never met but who I've got a great deal of respect for, Mark Klaas, I think is the epitome of a parent whose child was murdered, and he said, "I'll stand on the table naked, polygraph me, do what you have to do, but get past me to find the killer.
BO: All right, well that's an interesting point. But it's a little bit different. And Polly Klaas was kidnapped, and there wasn't the cloud of suspicion hanging over the parents as there was in this case. Now, you're on the case, you came in, what convinced you that Patsy Ramsey was the killer?
ST: Well this case, certainly the detectives working it wished it had been a smoking gun, a slam dunk, a bloody fingerprint, but it wasn't. And what we compiled over the two years I was involved in the case was a circumstantial case which I found very compelling. And when you lay the 200 arguments end to end to end, you make quite an impression and come away with the conclusion that I did. This isn't just me saying this, Bill.
BO: No, I know that. There are a lot of people who are pointing fingers at the Ramseys, and I think most of the country suspects them. But then you have a detective who you know in Colorado who comes out and says, "Naw, they're innocent, they didn't do it. There was a stun gun, an intruder, and all of that. You know, how does . . . you're intelligent, he's intelligent. Why does he come to a different conclusion than you?
ST: Well, and let me say I admire and respect Lou Smit, and our disagreement is entirely professional. But he is the lone voice in this. The federal law enforcement who assisted us, the detectives who worked the case, even those finally in the DA's office who conceded this. The grand jury, Bill, didn't target an intruder, they targeted the Ramseys.
BO: Yes, but the grand jury could not indict and Alex Hunter, you know, has come across and said a million different things about this case. I still to this day don't know what he thinks about it. Do you?
ST: Well, I certainly do. He was the one who was quoted as saying to the police chief that he knew from day one that Patsy Ramsey did it. But you make a good point, because it depends on what day and which side of his mouth he's talking out of, but certainly he thinks it was not an intruder.
BO: Now in the book you say that you don't think the killer will ever be caught in this case. As in the OJ Simpson case, somebody will be getting away with murder. Why do you feel this way?
ST: Well, absent a confession at this point by a remorseful killer, this case is going nowhere because of - you know, I was part of this government that bungled this case. It was a horrible and miserable failure and there were so many internal issues that ruined a successful criminal prosecution at a beyond-a-reasonable-doubt threshold, that absent the killer coming forward and confessing, it's never going to trial.
BO: On a scale of 1% to 100%, how convinced are you that Patsy Ramsey is the killer here?
ST: I'm convinced beyond a reasonable doubt, having seen all the evidence that I saw. And you mentioned, what was so compelling: the pen, the pad, the ransom note in her handwriting. We don't have time for it today, but it was so compelling, some of what we found in that.
BO: Yeah, that's threw me into the corner of thinking that they had something to do with it as well. I believe the handwriting analyst that Fox News had on the air on The Factor. Now, we have about 45 seconds left. What was the husband's culpability here, if any?
ST: Well, and I offer a hypothesis in the book and it's just that, because absent the killer choreographing what happened in the house that night, we'll never know with any certainty. But I don't feel . . . there was nothing that led me to believe that the father in this case was involved in any sort of untoward relationship.
BO: Was he just standing by his wife and his wife was deceiving him, a la Susan Smith down in South Carolina?
ST: After the fact, yes sir.
BO: All right, Mr. Thomas, we appreciate you coming on, and people who read your book can make up their own minds.