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Ramsey friend calls for special prosecutor
Letter refers to 'web of evil surrounding this case'
By Monte Whaley
Camera Staff Writer



Two more key witnesses in the JonBenét Ramsey murder investigation are voicing concerns about how the Boulder County District Attorney is handling the investigation.
Bill and Janet McReynolds say they have been "caught in the web of evil surrounding this case" and support a call for a special prosecutor to take over. The McReynolds' make their claim in a letter sent to the editor of the Daily Camera.
McReynolds, a former University of Colorado journalism professor, portrayed Santa Claus at the Boulder home of John and Patsy Ramsey on Dec. 23, 1996. The Ramseys' 6-year-old daughter JonBenét was found strangled in the basement of the home three days later, a few hours after she was reported kidnapped.
McReynolds, 68, was interviewed by Boulder investigators two months after JonBenét's death, as was his wife, Janet. The couple reportedly was targeted because of parallels to the Ramsey case.
The McReynolds' middle daughter, then 9, was abducted along with a friend in Longmont and witnessed the sexual molestation of her friend. The incident occurred on Dec. 26, 1974. An autopsy on JonBenét showed she also may have been sexually molested.
Another parallel is a play written by Janet McReynolds in 1976. The play, "Hey Rube," is about the sexual assault, torture and murder of a girl whose body was found in a basement.
The couple apparently was on good terms with the Ramseys before the slaying. Janet McReynolds went with her husband when he portrayed Santa at a Ramsey family Christmas party for the third consecutive year. A few months before, while Bill McReynolds was hospitalized for open-heart surgery, Patsy Ramsey called the Daily Camera asking for a story about the man who played Santa, suggesting that Boulder residents send him cards.
The McReynoldses told police that on the night of JonBenét's death they went to bed at 8 p.m. Police say JonBenét died sometime between her bedtime Christmas night and dawn the following day.
Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter is presenting the homicide case to a grand jury starting today. But two former friends of John and Patsy Ramsey — Fleet and Priscilla White — have asked a special prosecutor be assigned to pursue the case, saying Hunter was dragging his feet.
In their letter, the McReynoldses say every member of their family has been interrogated and their two sons were required to give fingerprints, handwriting samples and DNA "even though neither of them was aware of the existence of little JonBenét before she was killed."
The McReynoldses say they have the highest respect for Boulder police detectives who investigated the case. But when they were interviewed in July by the Boulder prosecutor's office, "We were not encouraged by the discoveries we made."
"The latest 'scuttlebutt' that we are receiving is that, indeed, there will be a Grand Jury investigation orchestrated by the district attorney and that there will be no indictment," the letter says. "We do not see that prognosis as being beneficial to the hundreds of innocent people who, like ourselves, have been caught in the web of evil surrounding this case."
They commended the Boulder City Council for considering the White's request for a special prosecutor. The council decided not to ask for a special prosecutor, saying it had confidence in the grand jury.
Janet McReynolds said she and her husband have had no personal contact with the Whites. They learned of their request for a special prosecutor on the Internet. She declined to go into specifics about the letter, saying she and her husband may be called as witnesses to the grand jury.
Suzanne Laurion, the district attorney's spokeswoman, said her office had no comment on the latest criticism.

September 15, 1998