Geraldo Rivera - Wednesday, May 14, 1997

CNBC News Transcripts, May 14, 1997


May 14, 1997, Wednesday 4:29 PM

LENGTH: 3034 words




(Excerpt from "Hard Copy")

Ms. KIM BALLARD (Claims Affair with John Ramsey): The ad said, Southern belle, blonde, petite.'

He was someone to fill a void in a period of my life when I was alone, and I think I was doing the same for him, filling some sort of a need. Stayed in nice hotels, we had--went to nice restaurants. He bought me nice clothes.

Unidentified Reporter: Cash, too?

Ms. BALLARD: Gave me cash, yes.

Reporter: Hundreds? Thousands?

Ms. BALLARD: Maybe $ 1,000.

(End of excerpt)


News on two fronts in the JonBenet Ramsey case today. We'll talk to the woman who claimed she had an affair with John Ramsey in just a moment. She's on the telephone.

Investigators finally said publicly today they want to talk to her, which seems to indicate that they believe that she is telling the truth about that affair. But first, let me tell you that the initial DNA results in the murder case--What?

Unidentified Man: Good night, Chicago.

RIVERA: Good night, Chicago. Oh, OK. Bye, Chicago and bye, Boston. Thank you, fellows. Thank you very much.

Dr. WILLIAM TAFOYA (Ph.D., Former FBI Profiler): Good night, Geraldo.

RIVERA: See you. See you. John, thanks. Good--excellent article in--in Newsweek.

Mr. JOHN McCORMICK (Chicago Bureau Chief, Newsweek): Thanks.

RIVERA: Catch it if you haven't read it, folks. It is the most comprehensive on the Andrew Phillip Cunanan case.

Jamie, if--if you can sit for a second, you could talk to me about...

Dr. JAMIE FOX (Ph.D., Criminologist, Northeastern University): OK. I'll say goodbye to John, too, and...

RIVERA: OK. Great. So back to what I was saying about the DNA. It is in, the initial DNA results in the murder case, delivered to the authorities in--in Colorado, the tests conducted by Cellmark Labs in Maryland, which had the evidence for more than six weeks. Let's go to NBC's Lori Hirose with the details. Here's Lori.

LORI HIROSE reporting:

Some DNA test results from Cellmark Labs are in, but six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey's murder is still a mystery. It's been nearly five months since her body was discovered in the basement of her Boulder, Colorado, home. Denver area DA Bob Grant is consulting on the Ramsey case. He told "Dateline NBC" Don't expect too much from the Cellmark Lab's DNA results.'

Mr. BOB GRANT (Adams County, Colorado, District Attorney): I'd be surprised if the DNA is going to be a smoking gun in this case and--and solve the case and, you know, people that are waiting for Cellmark to provide a report and then within 24 hours there'll be an arrest, I think, are going to be disappointed.

HIROSE: Boulder police say the DNA evidence is just another piece of the puzzle.

Ms. PATSY RAMSEY (Mother of JonBenet): (From footage) We need your help.

HIROSE: Meantime, Patsy and John Ramsey are continuing to place ads in Boulder's daily newspaper. The Ramseys are offering $ 100,000 for information leading to the person who killed their daughter. This week's ad has a mysterious new twist. It asks for information about an adult male approaching young children in Boulder in late 1996. In a letter to the editor, Boulder DA Alex Hunter confirms that information came from his office, and he says it means they are simply pursuing all leads.

But the Boulder mayor says she has no information police are pursuing a mystery man who was approaching children around Christmastime. And, she says, there are no guarantees the murder of JonBenet Ramsey will ever be solved. In Denver, Lori Hirose for NBC News.

RIVERA: Lori, thanks.

The other night we played you some video and audio excerpts of interviews that Kim Ballard has been giving, the lady from Tucson, Arizona, who claimed the affair with John Ramsey back in '94 and '95 as Patsy Ramsey was recovering from cancer surgery. And, Ms. Ballard, I'm happy to say, joins us right now on the telephone.

Hi, Kim. Are you there?

Ms. BALLARD: I'm here, but I can barely hear you.

RIVERA: OK. I'll--I'll speak up. We can hear you--we can hear you fine.


RIVERA: Can you please tell us exactly what, if anything, the investigators or authorities have told you about--about this case? Have you contacted anyone directly yet?

Ms. BALLARD: Have I or have they con...

RIVERA: Have they contacted you. That's what I mean.

Ms. BALLARD: I've been contacted by the Boulder police twice, and I've been contacted by Ellis Armistead and Associates numerous times.

RIVERA: Now they are the Ramsey family investigators.

Ms. BALLARD: That's correct.

RIVERA: What were the exact dates, if you can recall, Kim, that the Boulder police contacted you?

Ms. BALLARD: They call--contacted me the first time about a month ago.

RIVERA: And then the second?

Ms. BALLARD: Today.

RIVERA: Today.


RIVERA: And to the extent you feel comfortable, what was said or asked of you today by the Boulder authorities?

Ms. BALLARD: Oh, today was an unbelievable day.

RIVERA: Tell us. Tell us everything, Kim.

Ms. BALLARD: The--they didn't just show up like they did the first time. They came with the Tucson Police Department. The Tucson--my husband went to the door. I was--I've been sick.

RIVERA: Oh, I didn't know you were married.

Ms. BALLARD: Yeah, I'm married.

RIVERA: How long were you--are you married?

Ms. BALLARD: Eight--seven and a half years.

RIVERA: Oh, so you were married during your affair with John?

Ms. BALLARD: Well, we were separated.

RIVERA: I see. OK.

Ms. BALLARD: We weren't together.


Ms. BALLARD: But they--they came anyway, even though my husband had told them over the phone, She's really too sick,' and I had just about lost my voice this morning. They came anyway. And they told my husband that they didn't believe I was alive, that I was well, that something had happened to me. And that unless they saw me alive and well, they were going to call in reserves and they were going to get a search warrant and search our house to make sure I was really alive.

RIVERA: How many of them...

Ms. BALLARD: Before I knew it...

RIVERA: How many of them were there, Kim?

Ms. BALLARD: Our yard was full of Boulder police, Tucson police, reporters, satellite vans. This was all being videotaped by two stations that I know of for sure.

RIVERA: Uh-huh.

Ms. BALLARD: And I was on the phone with the radio station, so it was all on audio. It was maddening.

RIVERA: OK. S--and this was j--what time today? Can you recall?

Ms. BALLARD: It was between 10 AM and 11 AM our--Pacific time.

RIVERA: OK. Now did you let them in?

Ms. BALLARD: No. I did not want to talk with them without an attorney. I decided this is getting too serious. I should have an attorney present. But they weren't going to leave. They saw that I was alive. They didn't believe I was alive for some reason.

RIVERA: So what arrangements have you made to speak substantively with the authorities?

Ms. BALLARD: Well, I just--they--you know, they said they wouldn't leave until they saw me...


Ms. BALLARD: I went to the window and told them that I would not talk with them without an attorney. So they all left--all the police. The press didn't. But all the police did leave, and I haven't spoken with the police since.

RIVERA: OK. Now let me ask you a couple of questions, Kim, if I may. Tell me precisely the extent of your relationship with Mr. Ramsey.

Ms. BALLARD: I met him in August of 1994 and I saw him until approximately April of '95.

RIVERA: Did he, at any point, seem to you to be in any way out of the ordinary?

Ms. BALLARD: I didn't really--well, I saw a little bit at the time that--that the--he was a little unusual, but not that much. I think...

RIVERA: In--in what way unusual?

Ms. BALLARD: Well, he's a grown, professional wealthy man and he wanted me--he--he had cer--answered a personals ad that I had placed in USA Today. And he wanted to know just what I looked like, what--how tall I was, how much I weighed, what color my hair was, what color my eyes were; all this before he ever met me. And he was very specific about how I was to dress, how my hair was to be worn, how my nails were to be done, everything.

RIVERA: All right. Gen--generally, briefly as you can, tell us what did he want you to be.

Ms. BALLARD: Oh, well, I'm slightly over five feet tall. I weighed about 90--maybe 90--between 90, 95 pounds at the time. That's what I've weighed all my life until the past couple of years. I've gained weight because of the side effect of medication I'm on. That's...

RIVERA: Wait. You're--so you're five feet tall, 90--90-odd pounds at the time?



Ms. BALLARD: That's what I've been since I was 14 up until two years ago.

RIVERA: So almost childlike size.

Ms. BALLARD: Yes. That's the way I've always been, wear a size one or three.

RIVERA: Mm-hmm.

Ms. BALLARD: So that--he liked that. And he told me, you know, how he--what he wanted me to--to get, to buy, clothes, and he paid for all the clothes and we met at a restaurant. I drove my own car there and we met. And he stayed in town that first night and then the next time I met him in Denver and then I met him again in Tucson and another time was set up for Tucson, but I did not meet with him and I have not seen him since.

RIVERA: OK. Kim, stand by. Stay right where you are. Carol McKinley, our wonderful reporter from KOA Radio is also on the line. Quick comment on this, Carol. Then I want to get on to some other news you have. Then I'll get back to Kim. Go ahead.

Ms. CAROL McKINLEY (Reporter, KOA Radio): Well, we talked with Kim earlier this week and, you know, I think what she says is up to the people of America to believe or not. But, remember, this has nothing to do with the death of the child, that this has more to do with the character of John Ramsey, Geraldo.

RIVERA: Maybe--may not be separate stories, Carol. May not be.

Tell me about the DNA. What do you know, Carol? And then I'll get back to Kim. What do you know about the fact that--is it a fact the authorities have the Cellmark results?

Ms. McKINLEY: Well, it seems like it--it--it's a fact. I mean, right now I can't get it confirmed, but it would make sense because the DNA landed at Cellmark on March 31st. It's now May 14th. They said four to six weeks. We're at about six weeks right now, so it wouldn't surprise me if the DNA is in. But, remember, Tom Koby, the Boulder police chief, has told everyone that this is not going to be the magic bullet.

RIVERA: Right.

Ms. McKINLEY: They had three things: They had a hair on a blanket, they had some fingernail cuttings with perhaps some DNA under the cuttings from JonBenet and they had a pair of her underwear that might have had bloodstains on it. But the bloodstains, my sources tell me, had been washed over and over again in the laundry and they might not have been able to get any DNA from those stains. So it might have been old.

RIVERA: The child's underwear had bloodstains.

Ms. McKINLEY: From what my sources say, yes. I have two very good sources who've told me that. But they might not have gotten anything from the DNA because it might have been an old bloodstain.

RIVERA: I just remind everybody the Enquirer has been reporting, and is standing by the story, that the DNA indicates Dad. Again, our experts have said almost nightly that it might be, as Tom Koby suggests and Carol now repeats and reports, almost, if not irrelevant, not the--the magic bullet that investigators and the rest of us are waiting for. But I am also promised a bombshell on this topic tomorrow.

Carol, I know you've got to run.

Ms. McKINLEY: But I want to--to point out...

RIVERA: Go ahead, please.

Ms. McKINLEY: ...Geraldo, that--remember the handwriting samples. The comparative analysis is not done, but the chemical analysis still needs to be done and those samples will be destroyed once that happens. So we're still waiting on that, and that could be the best piece of evidence in this case. At this point, I'm hearing from my sources that the Ramsey lawyers are going to get that original ransom note from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation through the Boulder police. They're going to receive it in a plastic--like a sleeve so that they can look at it through a--a special camera and get a good idea of what the analysis will bring. That's not the chemical, but that's the comparative analysis. So they're actually going to receive that original note in their offices and send it to--to some--some specialists so they can take a look at it, Geraldo, and that's what we really need to be concentrating on.

RIVERA: Wha--so, Carol, you're suggesting that the lawyers for the Ramseys will be conducting their own tests and then the destructive tests will be done by the--by the state?

Ms. McKINLEY: Hopefully, the destructive testing will be done because if those handprints come out, and we talked about the heel of the hand...

RIVERA: Right.

Ms. McKINLEY: ...because that's how you write...

RIVERA: Right.

Ms. McKINLEY: If those come out with prints, then that will be very, very important because...

RIVERA: I'm demonstrating as you speak. If that heelprint--here it is, right here. Ren, my--here. This--this print. This, right here. That comes out; very, very significant.

Ms. McKINLEY: It's much more--it's much different than a fingerprint, and what I'm told from the experts at the Colorado Bureau of Investigation is that that heelprint of a hand is just as distinctive as a person's fingerprint.

RIVERA: Oh, I am sure. I'm sure.

Ms. McKINLEY: The one thing that I've heard from my sources is that they hope the person who wrote that note did not wear gloves when they wrote it.

RIVERA: Mm-hmm. Oh, obviously. Yeah. OK. Any--anything else, Carol?

Ms. McKINLEY: That's it.

RIVERA: OK. Talk to you tomorrow...


RIVERA: ...hopefully. Ki--Kim, you OK to hang on for a while?

Ms. BALLARD: Yeah.

RIVERA: OK. I'll be right back. Let me take a commercial break.


RIVERA: Be right back.


RIVERA: Kim Ballard's on the phone, the woman who alleges a relationship with John Ramsey in '94 and '95, during the time Patsy Ramsey was recovering from her ovarian cancer surgery.

Kim, did you make a date with the authorities? Is there a date certain for your interviews?

Ms. BALLARD: No. The way things were today, it was--it was just a--a media and--it was a circus out there, and I only talked to them through the window briefly.

RIVERA: So you have not yet made an appointment with Boulder authorities.

Ms. BALLARD: No, I haven't.

RIVERA: But you will talk to them?

Ms. BALLARD: I will. I--I don't mind talking to the police. I've--I've never minded doing anything...

RIVERA: Why are you coming forward?

Ms. BALLARD: I'm glad you brought that up because when I saw your show Monday night, I was pretty upset by the way it came across. I'm not just coming forward. I never would have talked, never would have come forward.

RIVERA: Have you taken any money from anybody, Kim?

Ms. BALLARD: No. And I'm glad you said that, because that's something I wanted to say right away also, not one nickel from anyone. The Globe article was done completely without my knowledge or consent.

RIVERA: OK. Let's--let's...

Ms. BALLARD: And...

RIVERA: ...those issues, while important, are very s--and--and significant and I hope you'll join us on camera and tell us all about them.

Ms. BALLARD: Well, I wanted you to now this. I did "Hard Copy." That was the first person that I talked with, and before they aired--day before they aired it, they asked me if I would take a polygraph test.


Ms. BALLARD: And I said, Sure.' And I took it with no problem. So I wanted you to...

RIVERA: So you have taken and passed the lie detector test?

Ms. BALLARD: Oh, yeah, before I was ever on "Hard Copy."

RIVERA: OK. Is--is your husband in agreement with you for coming forward now?

Ms. BALLARD: He never wanted this to come out, and he's--he feels like I do. He's furious with the Globe...


Ms. BALLARD: ...for printing my name.

RIVERA: Let me ask you, Kim, if--what your reaction was when you first heard of JonBenet Ramsey's death.

Ms. BALLARD: Once I realized who it was, I felt sick. I felt ice cold all over. I started getting a headache that got per--progressively worse as the day went on, and I didn't say anything to anyone, including my husband for about two weeks. I couldn't sleep. It's all I could think about. But I didn't know what to do.

RIVERA: OK. Kim--Kim, I--I--you--your story is fascinating. Can you come--come back tomorrow, will you? I've--I've got to--I've got to go.

Ms. BALLARD: Oh, OK. All right.

RIVERA: All right?


RIVERA: Thank you. Kim Ballard.

Ms. BALLARD: Thank you. Bye.

RIVERA: Daniel Recht, comment?

Mr. DANIEL RECHT (Criminal Defense Attorney): Well, Geraldo, you and I have talked about this before. Although the--the affair might be true and might be titillating, no court anywhere, certainly not in Colorado, would ever allow that evidence in. So no jury is ever going to hear about that affair, unless there's some linkup that I don't know about. It would be different if, let's say, there was some evidence that he was having sex with a little g--girl because what the law says it has to be a signature, as if--as if it's the identical situation with another person.

RIVERA: Ninety-two pounds, five foot tall?

Mr. RECHT: Wouldn't do it. I'm confident of it, Geraldo. It just wouldn't do it. And I--you know, I'm not going to be the judge, but I've seen enough of this. It ain't coming in.

RIVERA: Are the Boulder authorities chasing after rainbows here?

Mr. RECHT: I'm not necessarily saying that. Now maybe they think they can make a linkup. Maybe they can talk to her about other things that she's not even aware of that might be relevant and that they can glean from her. So maybe there's something there. But the story itself, the affair itself, unless there's more that we don't know about yet, it's not coming into evidence.

RIVERA: Oh, she's coming back tomorrow. If there's more, I'll find it.

Mr. RECHT: I'm sure you will.

RIVERA: OK. Let me take a break. Stay tuned.