jameson's Webbsleuths Forum

Full Version: April 30, 1997 until tests taken
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2
Quote:During the April, 1997 interviews, both John and Patsy were carefully approached about taking polygraphs.  Note they were never asked to take them, no one said they would set them up.  The truth is, the police weren't prepared to give the family polygraphs and some did not WANT to deal with the results if they said the Ramseys were telling the truth.

From John Ramsey's Interrogation by Steve Thomas and Tom Trujillo. Also present were Pat Burke, Bryan Morgan, Pete Hoffstrom and Jon Foster
April 30, 1997 - Boulder, Colorado

STEVE THOMAS: "John, one of the things, as you know better than anybody, at some point, if you’re not involved in this, we’ve got to take you out of the bucket. And you’ve been in it for four months and you certainly know why you’re in that bucket is you’re in the house, and I don’t need to say anything more than that. But, and I ask this question of Patsy, and where it might come out if (inaudible), but I’ll ask it. And I’m not asking you to take one, but if you were to take a polygraph, how would you do?"

JOHN RAMSEY: "Well, what I’ve been told is that, and I felt tremendous guilt after we lost JonBenet, because hadn’t protected her, like I failed as a parent. And was told that that’s, with that kind of emotion you shouldn’t take a lie detector test because you did have that guilt feeling, and, but, so I don’t know about the test, but I did not kill my daughter if that’s what you want to ask me. She was the most precious thing to me in the world. So if the lie detector test is correct and it was done correct, I’d pass it 100%."

STEVE THOMAS: "John, let me tell you this, I feel like an encyclopedia salesman sometimes, because I‘ve gone to a number of people in this thing, and it’s hard to convince somebody to take a polygraph test. But I’ve been successful on occasion with some people that I’ve been concerned about, and used what I’ve been told, is one of the ten best FBI calligraphers to do that. And I’ll ask you point blank, at some point in this, would you take a polygraph?"

JOHN RAMSEY: "I would be insulted if you ask me to take a polygraph test, frankly. I mean if you haven’t talked to enough people whose telling you what kind of people we are. You guys, I mean, I will do whatever these guys recommend me to do. We are not the kind of people you’re trying to make us out to be."

@@@@@@@@@@@@  This is the subject as put to Patsy on the same day.  @@@@@@@@@@

PATSY RAMSEY: "What does it take to move past me?"

STEVE THOMAS: "Well, let me ask you this, and I know Pat Burke’s going to jump all over me. And I know, well, let me ask you his way. I’m not asking you to take one, but hypothetically, if you took a polygraph, how would you do?"

PATSY RAMSEY: "I’m telling you the truth. I would, I mean I don’t know how those things work, but if they tell the truth, I ‘m telling the truth. I’ve never ever given anybody a reason to think otherwise. I want to find out who did this, period."

STEVE THOMAS: "Does that mean, yes, you’d pass it?"

PATSY RAMSEY: "Yes, I would pass it. I’ll take ten of them, I don’t care, you know. Do whatever you want."

STEVE THOMAS: "Patsy, let me make this clear to you. As much as you feel, and certainly from the media."

PATSY RAMSEY: "I don’t care what the media says. I do not give one diddly squat what the media says. Sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt you. I just want to find out who did this."

20/20 program with Barbara Walters

BARBARA: (V/O) But it would, in fact, be four months before the Ramseys would sit down with detectives for formal interrogation. There was a mutual distrust between the Boulder Police Department and the Ramsey family.

BARBARA WALTERS: Why didn't you take a lie detector test?

PATSY RAMSEY: No one ever asked us…


PATSY RAMSEY: … to take a lie detector test.

BARBARA WALTERS: Police never asked you to take a lie detector test?



JOHN RAMSEY: I was asked, during my interview with Steve Thomas, a hypothetical question—

BARBARA WALTERS: One of the policemen.

JOHN RAMSEY: One of the policemen that investigated this murder. He said, if I were to ask you to take a lie-detector test, what would you say. And I said I would be offended. That's what I would say. I wasn't interested in proving my innocence at that point. That...that was… a non-issue.

PATSY RAMSEY: We were frightened… there was a murderer loose.

BARBARA WALTERS: Mr. Ramsey, would you now take a lie-detector test—

JOHN RAMSEY: I would, certainly.

BARBARA WALTERS: Would you, Mrs. Ramsey?

PATSY RAMSEY: Yes, I would take a lie-detector test.
3/21/2000 on the TODAY SHOW

KATIE COURIC: Did you all take a lie detector test?

Mr. RAMSEY: We were never asked to take a lie detector test. That's another...

COURIC: Why not volunteer to take one?

Mr. RAMSEY: It didn't occur to me, first of all. That wasn't our motive.

Ms. RAMSEY: I understand that lie detector tests are not admissible in court anyway. It's kind of a voodoo science.

Mr. RAMSEY: I would, if I was asked, certainly I would. But the fact is, I was never asked.

COURIC: And you never volunteered?

Mr. RAMSEY: I never volunteered. It never crossed my mind. I was not interested in proving my innocence. I was interested in finding the killer of my daughter
2000-03-27: John and Patsy Ramsey on LKL Live Show

LARRY KING: First on, something directly current, and then we'll get into a little history. You had said recently in an interview that you were willing to take a lie detector test, and apparently the Boulder police are now saying let's set it up. Will you do it?

JOHN RAMSEY, FATHER OF JONBENET RAMSEY: We have -- we were asked, "Had we been asked to take a lie detector test?" We said no. We were asked, "Would we?" We said certainly we would. We would expect it to be fair, and we would expect the results to be public.

and a bit later

KING: And as you said earlier, you would make your lie detector public.

J. RAMSEY: We would insist that it be made public. If we're going to do it, let's make it public.

P. RAMSEY: Make everything public. You know, I said, you want to see an interview? Publish the interview that I had with Tom Haney. Let's talk about...
News Release
April 10, 2000
Contact: Jana Petersen, Media Relations, (303) 441-3090
City's Home Page http://www.ci.boulder.co.us

Boulder Police Chief responds to Ramsey-related media questions. #73

In response to inquiries from the media about the status of the Ramsey investigation, Chief MarkBeckner has issued the following statements.

Related to whether the Ramseys will be asked to take a polygraph examination:

"Boulder Police investigators did meet today with members of the DA's office and agents from the FBI to further explore the issue of whether to offer a polygraph examination to John and Patsy Ramsey. The process is ongoing and we will not disclose the content of the discussion or make any further statement at this time."

Related to Steve Thomas' book:

"We are not releasing information on strategies or tactics used on our investigation."

"I have not read the book, therefore I am unable to comment on its contents."

Chief Beckner also has made the following statement on the book in recent days:

"Although I have not seen a copy of Steve Thomas' book, it's my understanding that he is highly critical of me for not being more aggressive in investigating the Ramsey parents. This stands in sharp contrast to past assertions made by the Ramsey attorneys and the Ramseys themselves in recent weeks, and a former investigator with the DA's office, who accused the Boulder Police of being too aggressive. Perhaps that contrast in opinion illustrates the fairness and objectivity with which we have approached this investigation."

Chief Beckner will have no further response at this time.

2000-04-11: Statement from Police Chief Mark Beckner regarding polygraph tests in the Ramsey case

News Release
April 11, 2000
Contact: Jana Petersen, Media Relations, (303) 441-3090
City's Home Page http://www.ci.boulder.co.us

Statement from Police Chief Mark Beckner regarding polygraph tests in the Ramsey case:

(Ramsey Update #74)

"In recent weeks, John and Patsy Ramsey have publicly offered their willingness to take a polygraph examination. The Boulder Police Department, after consultation and agreement with the Boulder County DA's office and the FBI, has decided to accept the Ramsey's offer. D.A. Alex Hunter now agrees that the polygraph exam would be a worthwhile tool for the investigation.

Arrangements have been made to conduct an exam in accordance with the conditions identified by John Ramsey in late March, 2000. We have notified the Ramsey's through their attorneys and await a reply to schedule a date for the exam."

No further comment will be made at this time.

Now let's see how Steve Thomas handled the subject in his book

“JonBenet, Inside the Ramsey Murder Investigation”
by Steve Thomas and Don Davis, published April 11, 2000

ST Page 128

"While we were in disarray, Team Ramsey was running like the proverbial well-oiled machine, and they were kicking our butts. John Ramsey had gotten his money's worth. His people were absolutely relentless, and no matter what they were given, they always asked for more. Pat Korten, Ramsey's PR man, peddled the spin that the Ramseys had never been asked to take a polygraph and were in daily contact with the "authorities." Those "authorities" to whom he referred did not mean the police.

The Ramseys had not been asked to take a polygraph because Hofstrom never made the request. He and DeMuth said they "didn't believe in" lie detector tests."

ST Page 134

"To me, it seemed that their priorities were seriously out of order. One morning I listened to the radio as the father of another murdered girl called for the Ramseys to take lie detector tests. Marc Klass, the father of Polly Klass, had a special perspective on our case since he had gone through a similar hell when his daughter was slain and he was considered a suspect. Despite negative publicity, the man had almost lived at the police station during his ordeal, baring his soul to detectives, helping in any possible way. He urged the Ramseys to do as he had done and ask to be polygraphed so that police would not have to waste any more time investigating them. That was the sort of response I had always expected but never got from John and Patsy Ramsey, their relatives, and their defenders."

ST Page 174

"As we neared the end of the interview, Ramsey said, "I've seen a lot of effort and time and money being spent trying to categorize Patsy and I as child abusers, and that couldn't be further from the truth."

I told him a lot of effort had been made to make the crime look like something it wasn't. "One theory is that something happened in that house that may have been accidental, that turned to panic, that turned to cover-up."

"That's a false theory," he almost snarled. "Anyone who knows Patsy and I can tell you that is total bullshit."

"John," I asked, "are you involved in any way in the death of your daughter?"


"John, are you involved in any way in the preparation of that note?"

"No. . . I will spend every dime I have, every minute of time I have, if that's what it takes to find who killed her."

Before concluding each interview, I asked if they would take lie detector tests, and the responses were decisive and totally opposite.

Patsy became the forthright, wrongly blamed victim and snapped, "I don't know how those work, but if they tell the truth, I'm telling the truth. I've never given anybody a reason to think otherwise."

Does that mean yes, you'd pass it?

"Yes, I would pass it. . . . I'll take ten of them. Do whatever you want."

Now a detective never refuses a suspect who offers to take a polygraph, and we had been using an FBI polygrapher on other suspects.

He should have been set up and waiting in the next room for just such an eventuality. But Pete Hofstrom, who didn't believe in lie detector tests, had told me that if we asked, the Ramseys would 'just say no." But Patsy Ramsey had just said yes. It was a golden opportunity, and we weren't allowed to capitalize on it.

John Ramsey appeared ready for the question. "What I've been told is that I felt tremendous guilt after we lost JonBenet because I hadn't protected her. You know, I'd failed as a parent. I was told that with that kind of an emotion, you shouldn't take a lie detector test because you do have that guilt feeling. So I don't know anything about the test, but

ST Page 175

I did not kill my daughter, if that's what you want to ask me. She was the most precious thing to me in the world. So if the lie detector test is correct and it's done correctly, I would pass it one hundred percent."

I told him that others had already been polygraphed and then asked point-blank if he would take one. He grew angry, a remarkable attitude change in just one question. "I would be insulted if you asked me to take a polygraph test. Frankly, I mean if you haven't talked to enough people to tell you what kind of people we are . . . I will do whatever these guys [indicating his attorneys] recommend me to do, but we are not the kind of people you're trying to make us out to be. It's a tragic misdirection I think that you're on, and the sooner we get off of that, the sooner we'll find who killed JonBenet."

In later months, Team Ramsey would insist that the Ramseys had never been asked to take a polygraph. I had asked both of them, and neither ever did."

ST Page 218

"The FBI also wondered, since the police had not been offensive or confrontational in December 1996, why had the parents lawyered up so fast? Hofstrom answered that the attorneys only came aboard after "a police supervisor" had tried to "ransom the body" to get an interview. That was false, since Mike Bynum was giving advice and more lawyers and private investigators were being brought aboard long before the body became an issue.

An agent wanted to know why Patsy, who had volunteered to take ten polygraphs, had not been given the opportunity to do so. No one had an answer.

Did "anyone look good on the handwriting?" Detective Gosage said that of the dozens of people examined so far, Patsy Ramsey could not be eliminated as the author of the note. Deputy DA Hofstrom said handwriting analysis was an art, not a science, and had the gall to de- scribe to disbelieving agents how "John and Patsy" had been invited into his own home to give a handwriting example. They just stared at him."

ST Page 314

"And John Ramsey's pledge to Alex Hunter of "unlimited and unconditional cooperation" collapsed into a flurry of bargaining between the DA's office and Team Ramsey attorneys. Smit would later tell me that Hofstrom was negotiating about whether the Ramseys could even be asked "the polygraph question." They weren't."
News Release
April 25, 2000
Contact: Jana Petersen, Media Relations, (303) 441-3090
City's Home Page http://www.ci.boulder.co.us

No Polygraph exams scheduled for John and Patsy Ramsey #75

After several discussions with Boulder Police, an attorney for John and Patsy Ramsey today informed police Chief Mark Beckner that the Ramseys will not take polygraph examinations.

On April 11, the Boulder Police Department accepted John and Patsy Ramsey's public offer to take polygraph exams regarding the death of their daughter, JonBenet. The department agreed to the conditions as set forth by John Ramsey in a March 23 television interview as follows:

The exam be conducted by an examiner independent from the Boulder Police Department
The exam be conducted in Atlanta
The results of the exam be made public.

Boulder Police arranged to have FBI specialists conduct the examination in Atlanta. After consulting with others in law enforcement, Boulder Police selected the FBI polygraphers specifically for their international reputation in criminal polygraphs and their independence from the Boulder Police Department. Other factors that weighed heavily in selecting the FBI were the specialist training received by FBI examiners, the quality control implemented in their examinations and supervisory oversight that is provided for every exam.

During subsequent discussions, Ramsey attorney Lin Wood told Boulder Police that the Ramseys were reluctant to take an exam administered by the FBI, as they believed involvement of the FBI and the FBI laboratories in the JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation prevented them from being "independent" examiners.

As a compromise to the Ramseys' concerns, the FBI agreed to assign an examiner who had no prior knowledge or involvement in the Ramsey case, and the Boulder Police Department agreed not to be involved in selecting the specific FBI examiners

This did not satisfy Ramsey concerns with the FBI involvement, and the Boulder Police Department is not willing to further compromise on this issue, so there will be no polygraph exams at this time.

"Obviously, we're disappointed that the Ramseys have declined to take the polygraph exams, after very publicly saying they would," Beckner said. "However, our offer still stands, should the Ramseys decide to change their position."


@@@@@@@@@@@@ Because of earlier reports about the FBI being, well, BORG - - the Ramseys wanted a truly unbiased polygrapher and declined to be tested by the BORG biased choice made by the BORG Boulder police. I don't blame them. But I have to say it sickens me how the BPD was unwilling to find a truly unbiased expert and instead tried to twist this decision as some evidence of refusal to cooperate.
Steve Thomas made himself for a Q&A on the Internet and this is what he had to say at this point.

SteveThomas (May. 09, 2000 04:43 PM)

Thanks for the good questions --

"Regarding the polygraphs: the time to have pushed for polygraphs was in the days following Dec 26, 1996. Three and a half years later makes the results questionable at best, I believe. But as I have said, cops never refuse a suspect willing to take a poly, because even now it can be a useful tool to elicit further comments and dialogue from a suspect, even it the test results are inconclusive. But in what I feel has been the Ramseys most remarkable public faux paus to date, they said they were never asked to polygraph (wrong!), then declared to the world they would take one. So when the police department agreed to all their stipulations, I found it interesting they rescinded their offer."

@@@@@@@@@@@@ See, Thomas didn't want the police to use an unbiased polygrapher to ask the simple questions. He wanted an opportunity to ask NEW questions, to interrogate the Ramseys further. Is there any wonder the Ramseys would decline? I mean, they really were facing what they saw as a lynch mob.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, CNN ANCHOR: We now go to Atlanta, Georgia where Ramsey attorney Lynn Wood is holding a press conference

LIN WOOD, RAMSEY ATTORNEY: "On April the 11th of this year, I learned from several phone calls from the media that the Boulder Police Department had apparently issued a press release, that Chief Mark Beckner had issued a press statement saying that he was going to accept the Ramseys' offer and wanted them to appear by a date certain to submit themselves to an FBI polygraph examination.

I actually thought when I received the letter -- despite the fact that it was publicized before I got it, I actually thought that perhaps Chief Beckner would, with some discussions and negotiations, actually be willing to allow John and Patsy Ramsey to take a truly fair and independent polygraph examination. And I did at that time what had not been done before, but what I believe any good attorney would do, and I then arranged for John and Patsy to be privately tested.

And I retained the services of an individual who was represented to me to be competent, qualified and fair: a gentleman by the name of Jerry Toriello, T-O-R-I-E-L-L-O, of Clifton, New Jersey. Jerry Toriello is not able to be here today. He had a minor surgical procedure on Friday and is not able to travel until the end of this week. Otherwise, Jerry Toriello would have been here.

Consistent with their honesty and their candor, I will tell you that John and Patsy Ramsey, when tested by Jerry Toriello, ran what is referred to in the field as inconclusive charts, inconclusive examinations. Jerry Toriello recommended that John and Patsy be retested. But in making his recommendation, he made it clear to me that the appropriate protocol to be followed would be for someone else to perform the retest. He told me, if you want to go to the best in the country for a retest, you go to Dr. Edward I. Gelb in Los Angeles.

I check out Dr. Gelb. Dr. Gelb's reputation was as represented by Jerry Toriello. He was, from everyone that I spoke with, considered to be the foremost polygraph examiner in the country: over 30,000 polygraph examinations conducted, former president of the American Polygraph Association, performs polygraph examinations on a regular basis for five law enforcement agencies in California, a man that was represented to me as one that could not be bought, that could not be fooled, a man of integrity, a man of ethics, one of the, if not the most qualified polygraphic examiners in the United States.

I discussed Dr. Gelb with John and Patsy Ramsey, and said this, apparently, is the person that we should try to get to do the re-test, and John and Patsy said no, that if Dr. Gelb was as represented, if he was the best, and if he was fair, that they wanted me to go directly to Chief Mark Beckner and offer to take the test from Dr. Gelb. I did that having never spoken to Edward Gelb.

I called Mark Beckner, and I said: John and Patsy Ramsey will take the test from Ed Gelb of Los Angeles, California. We made the offer fully aware of the fact that the test results from Dr. Gelb would be made public and, as part of the process Dr. Gelb would be fully aware of, and it would also be public that John and Patsy had run inconclusive tests from Jerry Toriello.

Within a matter of a few short hours, Mark Beckner called me back and rejected the offer of Dr. Gelb without explanation. For the first time, I then called Dr. Gelb, told him what I had done, in offering his name, asked for his permission to use his name if I was asked who I has offered, and asked him if he would consider doing a private retest. He told me he did not want to discuss a private retest, that he would prefer to wait a period of time to see if Chief Beckner might learn of his reputation and standing and perhaps reconsider and ask him to do to test.

I waited approximately one week. With each passing day, it became more clear that Mark Beckner was not going to reconsider. I called Dr. Gelb and asked if, in fact, he would be retained by me to perform the polygraph examinations. I also upon, his agreement, retained Cleve Baxter from San Diego, California. I had been told that if you want the best quality control review of a polygraph examination in the United States call Cleve Baxter. Cleve Baxter is the originator of the Baxter Zone Comparison Technique, and the originator of the numerical scoring system for polygraph examinations, both of which are now standard protocol in the field of polygraphy. This is the gentleman thought to be, literally, the father of the modern polygraph testing techniques, Cleve Baxter. He agreed to do to quality control of Dr. Gelb's test.

John and Patsy Ramsey made a commitment to the public. They made a public commitment to take a fair and independent polygraph examination and to make the results public. They had hoped and we tried to get the Boulder Police Department to participate in a truly fair and independent examination.

We offered for the examination to be conducted by a non-FBI examiner with FBI oversight of the entire process. That offer was rejected. We offered to have the FBI polygraph group come up with a list of non-FBI polygraph examiners that they felt were reliable, qualified, and trustworthy, and we would pick one of those examiners, and we would take the test, and that offer was rejected.

My belief has been from very early on in this process that Boulder Police Department never intended to allow John and Patsy Ramsey to take a truly fair and independent polygraph examination in which they would participate. And my belief was confirmed May 16, when Mark Beckner rejected the offer of the American Polygraph Association to provide an examiner and a test that would be fair to both sides."
Pages: 1 2