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  Ghost of Christmas Past.. By Jeff Shapiro
Posted by: Summer Dawn - 03-26-2017, 10:30 AM - Forum: Jeffrey Scott Shapiro - Replies (1)

Ghost of Christmas Past
Obsessed reporter reveals dark under world behind Ramsey case
- - - - - - - - - - - - 
by Jeffery Scott Shapiro 

It was nearly midnight on a warm summer night, May 1998, and the moon was
shining brightly above the Flatirons. I quietly stepped out of my Dodge
Intrepid, where I had been listening to John Fogerty singing "The Midnight
Special."

Around my shoulder was a backpack-filled with a white nylon cord, a roll of
black duct tape and a black metal Mag-Lite. The ingredients of the bag were all
too familiar to any Boulder cop-the same types of items that may have been used
in the murder of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey on Dec. 25, 1996.

As an investigative reporter tracking the little girl's killer, I found it
helpful to carry such items. I hoped seeing these items would help me think
like the killer, enter his mindset and, little by little, understand his
personality.

I had developed a cozy professional relationship with Boulder District Attorney
Alex Hunter, who allowed me routine access to his office and frequently
confided in me his views of the case. The top prosecutor told me he was
concerned that the police were too convinced of John and Patsy Ramsey's guilt,
and, as a result, no one was chasing other leads. I had already spent a year
investigating the Ramseys, working undercover in the family's church,
interviewing their friends and even traveling to John Ramsey's hometown to
piece together his childhood. I still had my suspicions about Patsy, the former
Miss West Virginia, but based on many months of research, I wasn't convinced
she could have committed this brutal and ritualistic killing.

But now, I felt I owed it to JonBenet to look elsewhere. My search for her
killer led me to isolated cabins burrowed deep in some of Colorado's rockiest
canyons, through dark alleyways and into the heart of greater Denver's seedy
sexual underground. Little by little, my case files began to shine a light into
a dark corner of society that I never knew existed.

My reasons for suspecting an intruder stemmed from a theory developed by Lou
Smit, a former Colorado Springs detective. Smit was a veteran homicide
investigator who had worked on more than 200 murders over a course of 30 years.
Based on several conversations I had with Smit, I was able to piece together
what he believed happened that Christmas night when JonBenet was murdered. In
time, I drew a mental picture of what could have happened. The following
account is speculation, bolstered by my conversations with Smit and other
members of the law enforcement community:

While the Ramseys were out having dinner, an intruder stealthily entered their
home after removing a grate from a basement window-well in their backyard, and
slipped into their home. In my mind, the killer was a young, high-risk
pedophile, a social outcast with a God complex who believed he had the divine
right to take life. This wouldn't surprise me since the intruder strangled
JonBenet Christmas night and used a ransom demand of $118,000. Police thought
the amount might be related to Psalm 118, part of which reads: "bind the
sacrifice with cords unto the horns of the altar." Within minutes, the intruder
began familiarizing himself with the house, perusing books, files and opening
closet doors and dresser drawers. He also left an open copy of the Holy Bible
on John Ramsey's desk to Psalm 35, a passage about being falsely accused of a
crime.

While waiting for the Ramseys to come home, he wrote the infamous three-page
ransom note with a Sharpie pen on a pad he found in the house. Then, he
patiently waited in a second-floor guest bedroom located above the garage, next
to JonBenet's bedroom. When the family arrived home at 10 p.m., the intruder
hid under the bed and waited for the family to go to sleep. Then, he entered
JonBenet's bedroom and attacked her with a stun gun on her back, then carried
her downstairs.

On the way downstairs, he left the three-page ransom note on the steps. Before
going into the basement, the intruder noticed an alarm panel with its lights
on. Knowing that the alarm could be wired to any door or window in the house
except the one he'd already come through, he carried JonBenet back to the
basement. Once there, he tried stuffing JonBenet into a large hard suitcase he
found so he could take her away without anyone seeing her. However, the
suitcase didn't fit through the window, and the intruder couldn't get through
the grate while carrying the little girl in his arms. Knowing he couldn't take
JonBenet with him without exiting from upstairs and risking the alarm sounding,
the intruder decided to sexually molest her in the basement of her own home.

Using a package of white nylon cord and a roll of black duct tape he'd brought
with him, the intruder silenced JonBenet and bound her in a ritualistic
choke-chain-like garrote, which enabled him to suffocate her, if necessary. He
then tied the white cord to the paintbrush handle he'd broken into three
separate parts. The intruder then sexually penetrated the six-year old with the
sharp end of the paintbrush handle.

Then, perhaps to satisfy his own bloodlust or simply silence her, the intruder
stunned JonBenet on her face to incapacitate her and then strangled her. While
struggling to breathe, JonBenet clawed at the rope, which explains the deep
fingernail marks on her neck. Before she could get free, the intruder struck
her across the head with an aluminum baseball bat which police found on the
north side of the house. The killer then left the house through the basement
window, perhaps using the suitcase as a step-up to the window well.

Police never found the roll of tape, the remainder of the cord or the sharp end
of the paintbrush handle. They did, however, find an unidentified palm print on
the door to the windowless room where JonBenet's body was discovered the next
morning, as well as a boot-print from his climbing boots inside the room.

Despite her massive head wound, JonBenet barely bled. In addition, she had
petechiae, indicating she had been strangled. Blood vessels underneath her eyes
had ruptured, telling Smit she'd been unable to breathe at the time she was hit
in the head. To Smit, this was proof the garrote had been around JonBenet's
neck first, suggesting the murder had been premeditated. Since the FBI had no
record on file of a parent ever killing a child with a garrote, Smit believed
an intruder-a fantasy stalker-had committed the crime.

Perhaps the most compelling evidence of an intruder was the foreign DNA
commingled in her vaginal blood. It was a minuscule amount, but its "markers"
matched those found in skin tissue under JonBenet's fingernails on both of her
hands. Had JonBenet clawed her assailant while trying to break free from the
garrote?

When Hunter first suggested I search for intruders, there were scant leads.
Some involved former Access Graphics employees and others were just strange
figures in the bizarre world of child pageantry. To date, the Boulder Police
Department has considered 140 different people as possible suspects in the
little girl's murder. With exception of the Ramsey children, says Boulder
Police Chief Mark Beckner, nobody has been formally cleared.

To acknowledge the fifth anniversary of JonBenet's death, the city distributed
a press release with statistics about the $1.7 million investigation. It
mentions 140 "possible suspects" who've been interviewed to date. What it
doesn't convey are the macabre circumstances that link some of those 140 people
to the investigation.

Investigating and interviewing some of the more intriguing people on that list,
I learned some amazing things that changed the way I view life. What follows is
a sampling of what I found:

The Prophet
Among the first "possible suspects" I studied was "The Prophet."
I had learned of The Prophet from an e-mail he sent his friends about how the
Boulder police came to his apartment in 1997 to confiscate his Hi-Tec boots, a
Sharpie marker and a stun gun-three things possibly used in JonBenet's murder.

The CU student came under investigation after police found his Internet site-a
series of essays about sadomasochism, which included an instructional piece
about Japanese bondage and how to tie complex knots.

On the website, known as "Wide Awake," The Prophet had posted a self-authored
essay called "Barbie Doll, The Ultimate Fuck." His essay chronicled the sexual
torture of Barbie in an extremely sadistic, vicious manner. When John Ramsey
found JonBenet, the killer had left the girl's Barbie doll nightgown beside
her.

Few people around town knew The Prophet. But during his college years, the
manager of a local diner allowed him to hang a mobile of naked Barbie dolls
from the restaurant's ceiling. As I was investigating The Prophet in the summer
of 1998, I found a similar doll in the Ramsey's front yard, stuffed inside a
tiny white sandal. I wondered if the shoe had once belonged to JonBenet. The
blonde doll had a little white rope around her neck and a red spot marked on
her gown by her vaginal area. I immediately called the police who collected the
item into evidence.

In his book Mindhunter, former FBI profiler John Douglas-who was employed by
the Ramsey's to profile the killer-described men who torture Barbie dolls and
predicted they would eventually advance to torturing small, helpless girls.

The Prophet's Internet site featured strange graphics, with a variety of
different kinds of hearts. Some hearts had spikes coming out of them. I
recalled that when JonBenet's body was found, a small shape like a red heart
had been drawn on her left hand.

So I decided to knock on The Prophet's apartment door in order to discuss these
issues. A student told me the previous tenant moved to San Francisco. Today,
The Prophet lives and works in Denver and remains among the ranks of the city's
140 "possible suspects."

The Chase case
Four days shy of the first anniversary of JonBenet's death, CU student Susannah
Chase was found dead on a Boulder sidewalk. She had been murdered while walking
home from the Pearl Street Mall on Dec. 21, 1997. I knew from my conversations
with John Ramsey that he suspected his daughter's murderer had also killed
Chase, since they were both struck fatally in the head around Christmas time.
In fact, Chase had been struck with an aluminum baseball bat.

Not long after the Chase murder, I would learn of a man known as "The
Warrior"-an American Indian who had studied political science at the University
of Colorado at the time of Chase's murder. The Warrior was a tall, violent
young man who had nearly killed his mother in Virginia by striking her across
the head with a shotgun. Police stumbled across The Warrior when someone filed
ethnic intimidation charges against him for leaving a threatening, anti-Semitic
message on an answering machine. "I will find you," The Warrior said. "Do you
hear me? Do you understand me? I will steal your breath from you."

Police became concerned when they went into the bedroom of his apartment and
found it wallpapered with hundreds of news clippings from the Chase and Ramsey
murders.

A judge issued an order to have DNA samples taken from The Warrior. The order
recounted information The Warrior's roommate had told investigators. The
roommate told investigators that The Warrior had made a bumper sticker that
stated: "I killed her." The roommate reportedly asked The Warrior, "Which
one-Susannah Chase or JonBenet Ramsey?" The Warrior replied, "Either, or."

I was looking forward to meeting The Warrior when I received a disappointing
call from one of my colleagues, Matt Sebastian-who was the lead police reporter
for the Boulder Daily Camera. Sebastian, who himself was hot on the trail of
The Warrior, told me that The Warrior had an air-tight alibi in the Chase
case-namely, proof that he was out of state at the time of her death.

The Falcon
As suspicion surrounding The Warrior waned, I became aware of another CU
student who was finding himself under the umbrella of suspicion surrounding
JonBenet and Chase. Matthew Falcon came under scrutiny by police after he was
arrested in connection with a vicious assault. He had asked a young woman for
directions, then struck her across the head with a metal rod, causing her to
stumble and fall. When she came to, Falcon apologized and asked the woman if
she was OK. When the woman nodded and asked him the same question, Falcon shook
his head. "No. Run while you still can," he warned her. Police quickly located
the man and charged him with assault. He was considered a suspect in the Chase
case, but was eventually cleared.

The Santa
I was sitting inside my Pearl Street apartment looking through my case files
when I got a curious call from a Boulder detective asking me for information.

"Do you know where we could find Charles Kuralt?" he asked, referring to the
revered TV journalist.

His question related to a new lead that had developed regarding Bill "Santa"
McReynolds. Most in Boulder knew McReynolds-a white-bearded, pot-bellied former
professor of journalism at CU who enjoyed playing Santa during his retirement.

McReynolds had played Santa at the Ramsey's Christmas parties in the past.
Patsy had planned to cancel that year's Christmas party since she was exhausted
from her recent 40th birthday bash at the Brown Palace Hotel. But that all
changed after McReynolds told Patsy that Kuralt's crew had contacted him.
Kuralt was doing a show on men who play Santa, and if Patsy was willing to have
the party, he could produce Kuralt on her front doorstep.

Despite the fact that Patsy had the party on Dec. 23, Kuralt bowed out after
getting tired of following McReynolds during the daytime. Later, the Ramseys
wondered if McReynolds used the Kuralt story as a way to see JonBenet at the
Christmas party.

McReynolds was linked to some other strange phenomena that landed him a prime
spot under the umbrella of suspicion:

*        A friend of the Ramseys told police JonBenet had confided in her that
Santa promised her a special visit after Christmas was over. 
*        His own 9-year-old daughter, Jill, had been kidnapped by a sexual
predator on Dec. 26, 1974. Jill and her friend were eventually brought home.
Jill had escaped violence, but her friend, who was sexually molested, had not.
The assailant was never found. 
*        Janet McReynolds, a.k.a. Mrs. Claus, had written a play in 1976 called
Hey Rube, about a girl adopted by foster parents who sexually abused her in a
basement cellar. The play was a flop, but it didn't stop Boulder police from
passing out copies to the Ramsey investigative team. 
*        McReynolds loved JonBenet. His fireplace was littered with photographs
of her. When Newsweek reporter Dan Glick visited McReynolds at his Nederland
home, McReynolds showed him a small wooden harp with the names of dead children
carved on it's side. When McReynolds held the harp up, he shared a small secret
with the veteran reporter, who later shared it with me.

"I've saved a small place right here for JonBenet's name," McReynolds told
Glick.

Police were suspicious of McReynolds, but with no hard evidence the search
continued. McReynolds, tired of public scrutiny about his connection to the
Ramseys, fled Boulder with his wife and moved to Illinois.

The Wolf
One day, I got a tip with new information regarding a man I'd met months
before-Chris Wolf.

I didn't know it at the time, but recent information indicates he may have
known McReynolds while studying at the University of Colorado-despite claims by
each man that they've never known each other. Chris Wolf was a local reporter
whose girlfriend, Jacqueline Dilson, had accused him of killing both JonBenet
Ramsey and Susannah Chase. I initially met with Wolf in the fall of 1997 to
tell him what I had learned, although he had a difficult time accepting the
fact his own girlfriend was the tipster who caused his most recent ordeals.

Despite his reputation for being somewhat aggressive and argumentative, I
sensed a deep sadness within Wolf that often made me feel sorry for him.

He had traveled throughout the United States and Latin America, where he
quickly bonded with poverty-stricken peasants and adopted an anti-imperialist
political view on the world. Eventually, he moved to Boulder where he earned a
master's degree in journalism at CU and went on to work as a mountain climbing
instructor for Outward Bound, an outdoor confidence building program.

Later, Wolf worked at various local newspapers as a reporter, where he
sometimes engaged in passionate arguments with his co-workers about politics.
Wolf had a peculiar past-including a history of working as a male stripper and
a 1992 indecent exposure charge to which he pleaded guilty. These facts were
revealed by Wolf just recently during a deposition by lawyers for the Ramsey's,
who are defending the couple against a libel suit filed by Wolf. Wolf is suing
the Ramseys because they named him as prime suspect in their book The Death of
Innocence.

Wolf became a surprising suspect in the JonBenet case when Dilson told police
only two weeks after JonBenet's murder that Wolf had disappeared the night
JonBenet was killed. She told police Wolf was wearing a tennis club-style
sweatshirt, which said "Santa Barbara." Since the supposed foreign faction
claiming responsibility for JonBenet's kidnapping in the ransom note identified
itself as "SBTC," Dilson wondered if it stood for "Santa Barbara Tennis Club."

Dilson also claimed:
*        She saw a package of cord on his dresser. 
*        He owned mountain climbing boots. 
*        He often expressed hostile emotions when talking about John Ramsey and
Access Graphics' parent company, Lockheed Martin, which he believed was
responsible for exploiting third-world countries. 
*        She awoke in the early morning hours of Dec. 26 to find Wolf with mud
on the Santa Barbara sweatshirt and a pair of black jeans. When she asked where
he'd been, he grew angry with her.

There was one other interesting possible connection. Wolf worked as a reporter
for the Boulder County Business Report at the time of JonBenet's murder. I
learned that police had found an issue of the newspaper in the Ramsey house,
which featured a story about John Ramsey. There was a heart drawn around
Ramsey's picture and on the inside of the issue was a separate story, written
by Wolf. It sounded like a strange coincidence, nothing more.

Nevertheless, I was intrigued enough to visit Dilson. She allowed me to read
Wolf's journals. As I read about his journeys in El Salvador, I realized that
Wolf's Marxist viewpoints were strikingly similar to the politics expressed in
the ransom note.

Wolf had previously said that before JonBenet's murder, he'd never even heard
of Ramsey's company, Access Graphics. But based on his reporting notes, he
actually interviewed a company spokeswoman there several months before the
murder took place. Had he simply forgotten? Perhaps. Reporters don't remember
many of the stories they write, especially the softer features.

Later, when I was examining Wolf's boots, Dilson approached me.
"Can you feel it?" she asked me. I nodded slowly. I felt something-my heart was
pounding, and little by little I began to feel like I was getting closer.
Perhaps an intruder had killed JonBenet, but two important facts seemed to work
in defense of Wolf:


*        Handwriting experts in New York said he was not the author of the
ransom note. 
*        His climbing boots were Danner's, not Hi-Tec, like the print at the
Ramsey house.


My suspicion of Wolf resurfaced briefly when his ex-roommate told me he had
once tried to date Susannah Chase. He later told Boulder Weekly Editor Wayne
Laugesen he was friends with Susannah Chase, and often visited the woman at a
health food store where she worked as a clerk. When Boulder police asked me if
I thought Wolf had killed Chase, I told them I didn't. Eventually, Wolf was
cleared in the Chase murder after I convinced him to cooperate with authorities
by giving them his DNA.

Boots
As I wrestled with my personal investigation of Wolf, I heard about "Boots."
Once upon a time, Boots lived with a local woman and her 4-year-old blonde
daughter, until the two had an explosive argument that led to their break-up.
The woman accused the man of masturbating under his blanket while her daughter
was sitting on his bed. Boots lived in a small shack at a local junkyard on
Valmont Road, where he also worked.

On Feb. 13, 1997, DA Hunter had a press conference in order to send a message
to JonBenet's unknown killer: "You will pay for what you have done, and we have
no doubt this will happen." The next day, Valentine's Day, Boots was found dead
in his apartment. Supposedly, he had killed himself with a shotgun.
Immediately, he became another "possible suspect"-albeit a dead one-in the
Ramsey murder.

But the theory that JonBenet's killer got spooked and took his life had a
gaping hole in it: The suicide began to look like a murder. Boots was
right-handed and the bullet's trajectory went from left to right. In addition,
someone had placed a pillow in front of his chest before firing the gun,
something professional killers do to muffle the noise of a gunshot. In
addition, Boots was a former military sharpshooter and parachutist who had been
trained to use an M16 Rifle and hand grenades. I wondered: If Boots was a
sharpshooter, why the odd trajectory?

When police took crime scene photos at Boots' apartment, two items grabbed
their attention. Not only was there a pair of Hi-Tec climbing boots by the dead
man's feet, there was a stun gun beside his hand and a Taser in the distance.
Supposedly, Boots also owned a baseball cap with the letters "SBTC" on it.
Later, a friend of Boots found a videotape in the dead man's apartment that
intrigued police. It was footage of a newscast from a couple of years before.
The news story featured an unsolved case involving a kidnapped and murdered
6-year-old girl. Was the newscast a random recording left behind by someone
else? Or was it a trophy of some kind?

Since the ransom note refers to at least two other kidnappers, Lou Smit
believes it's possible more than one person was involved. It was strange that
some of the exact items used in JonBenet's attack had been found next to his
body. Had the second kidnapper killed his ex-partner hoping to get police
detectives off his trail? If so, his ploy failed. Even though Smit and I found
the Boots' story compelling, Boulder police weren't biting-at least not hard.

The saint
"Thomas Aquinas" was a transient. A paranoid schizophrenic who collected his
mail at the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church on 14th Street, only a block
from the Ramsey home. Oregon law enforcement authorities say he tried to
strangle his mother, and he managed to make Oregon's registered sex offender
list in 1991 for molesting a young girl. He later spent time in a mental health
facility.

Eventually, the disturbed man found his way to Boulder and fell under suspicion
after Boulder police learned he had broken into a building at CU. Looking
through the transient's backpack, police found a stun gun and a poem he'd
written about JonBenet and Susannah Chase.

Eventually, I learned that Aquinas and I had crossed paths at JonBenet's home
during a one-year anniversary vigil for the girl. Photographs taken by private
investigators working for the Ramseys revealed that Aquinas was in the front
row, holding a folder sealed tightly with a strip of smooth, black duct tape.
Authorities seem to have lost track of Aquinas, and at least one private
investigator working on the case says he'd love to find the man.

Kidnapping kits
Since I began working on JonBenet's murder five years ago, I've encountered
many people who ask me the same thing when I espouse the intruder theory. "But
who would try to kidnap a little girl like that?"

I tell them about Gary Dale Cox in Texas. I read about Cox, suspected serial
child abductor in the Fort Worth area, in the Houston Chronicle. Cox, the
newspaper reported, killed himself after police began closing in on him. In his
trailer and car were an abundance of duct tape and cord as well as a stun gun.
It dawned on me: The items used in JonBenet's murder could almost be considered
a standard kit used by serial child kidnappers and pedophiles.

I often reflect on my conversations with Alex Hunter, whom I credit with having
had the courage to resist public pressure to indict the Ramseys. Hunter knew
there wasn't enough evidence to try the Ramseys or anyone else at the time. "I
think there's more to this than we realize," Hunter once told me. "We owe it to
that little girl to find the truth-no matter what it costs."

Like some police and private investigators, I have made a personal commitment
to continue investigating this case until it is solved. And I firmly believe it
will be solved. If I never know the identity of JonBenet's killer, I will know
this as a result of my pursuit of him: People are strange. Society is strange.
And truth is so much stranger than fiction.

Print this item

  Former Globe reporter exposes tabloid tactics
Posted by: Summer Dawn - 03-26-2017, 10:27 AM - Forum: Jeffrey Scott Shapiro - No Replies

Former Globe reporter exposes tabloid tactics

Shapiro has taped conversations, Globe won't comment

By Christopher Anderson
Camera Staff Writer



Jeff Shapiro spent the last two years of his life in Boulder climbing in neighbors' trees, peeking into people's windows, digging through trash bins, and has even lied to a priest — all in the name of justice, he says, for 6-year-old murder victim JonBenét Ramsey.
The 25-year-old is best known as the Globe tabloid reporter whom Boulder police detectives secretly tape recorded talking about a conversation he had with Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter, who suggested the tabloid could dig up dirt on a police commander critical of the prosecutor's office.

But now Shapiro, who hasn't worked for the Globe since February, says he is taking a different direction.
Instead of digging up dirt for the tabloids, he now says he wants to expose them.
He claims to have 100 hours of tape recorded conversations between him and his editors of the Globe — conversations that he says are evidence of the unethical and "serious criminal activity" tabloids use to try and leverage information from police and prosecutors as well as witnesses.

"We are talking about the corruption of our justice system," Shapiro says.

He has handed over excerpts of the tapes to the TV news magazine 48 Hours, which plans to run an hour long show on the Ramsey case in April that will feature Shapiro. Tabloid critic and University of Colorado journalism professor Michael Tracey is serving as a consultant to the story.

Shapiro also plans to file a lengthy report on tabloid tactics with the U.S. Justice Department.

Most likely the best insight Shapiro has to offer is a taped conversation with one Globe supervisor interested in trying to get inside information from former Boulder Police Detective Steve Thomas, a former key Ramsey detective who threw down his badge out of frustration with the progress of the case.

The Globe supervisor — who obtained old family letters and photos, including one taken of Thomas when he was child with long blond hair — hints that he could threaten to run a story about Thomas' deceased mother if Thomas refuses to give them information related to the case. Shapiro says he warned Thomas what the Globe was going to do and also went to the FBI officials to tell them, but the investigation didn't go any further.

Shapiro says it's because Thomas refused to press charges. Globe executives say it's because they didn't do anything illegal.
In one excerpt from the tapes there is a conversation between Shapiro and his supervisor, who had recently learned that Shapiro tipped off Thomas. The supervisor blasts Shapiro for talking to so many people, and accuses him of twisting facts. "You're runnin' over there warning Steve, 'Oh, look who's coming; here comes the mean old tabloids,' " the supervisor says on the tape. "We would have told you not to do it."

The tapes also include a furious Globe editor Tony Frost claiming that his publication has more of an interest in proving the Ramseys guilty than the Boulder Police Department or the Boulder County District Attorney's Office. Frost is heard complaining how the Ramseys personally attacked him on national TV.

Frost is also heard chiding his reporters for getting scooped by the National Enquirer on a story about enhanced 911 tapes that some say is evidence that JonBenét's brother Burke was awake an hour earlier than the Ramseys said.
He demands his reporters get more information out of police and prosecutors.

Globe editors say they have not heard the tapes and therefore cannot comment on them.
"We don't and have not violated any laws in terms of the Ramsey story or any other story that we do," said Candace Trunzo, the Globe's managing editor, who claims what Shapiro is most interested in is fame.

Trunzo said Shapiro has a credibility problem and has claimed responsibility for stories he only partially contributed to.
"He is putting himself out there as super cop; he is not. He is a bit player," she said. "I think he wanted to become the center of the attention. ... There is something that is very suspect in all of this."

Shapiro says he was fired by the Globe because his editors learned he had taped them. Trunzo said Shapiro's contract had expired and the editors decided not to renew it because he was not finding any new stories.

Credibility could be Shapiro's toughest challenge as he crusades against the tabloids.

Shapiro came under attack recently, when the authors of "Perfect Murder, Perfect Town," the latest Ramsey book that heavily features Shapiro, were criticized by a Boulder audience.

Audience members were aghast that the authors gave so much credibility to a tabloid reporter who lied about his name and infiltrated a church to learn more about the Ramseys.

Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner said the only time he has heard of a tabloid trying to exploit a detective was the Thomas case. But he confirmed many of the other questionable tactics Shapiro is railing about.

Besides the fact tabloids offer large sums of money to witnesses — tainting their credibility — the tabloids do report false tips to police, and turn around and write an exclusive story saying the cops are investigating the tip, Beckner said.
"It certainly takes up time," Beckner said. "You are obligated to check in on it. You never know which one is going to be a legitimate tip."


March 8, 1999

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  Neighbors of 755 15th street
Posted by: Summer Dawn - 03-26-2017, 10:23 AM - Forum: The House at 755 15th Street, Boulder, CO - No Replies

1996  List
Ramsey Neighbors:


SABINE H SCHAFFNER,  715 15TH ST
B HOLLAND, 730 15TH ST
MELODY STANTON, 738 15TH ST
FLEET WHITE, 743 15TH ST
D BRUMFITT,  745 15TH ST
JE
FFREY W, PATRICIA N LIMERICK, 752 15TH ST
JL BARNHILL 764 15TH ST
PRISCILLA FREEMAN, 765 15TH ST
SCOTT GIBBONS, 765 15TH ST
AINSLEY NUHN, 774 15TH ST
KATI SNARE, 774 15TH ST

CORNWELL, C H 777 15TH ST
VANN, PATRICK R 789 15TH ST
VANN, PATRICK 789 15TH ST
VANN, PATRICK R 789 15TH ST

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  BORG in the War Room
Posted by: jameson245 - 03-25-2017, 05:33 PM - Forum: We Are the BORG. - No Replies

From Steve Thomas' deposition.  I think this single act affected me as much as any other BORG play.

  
Q. I just wanted to make sure. I didn't think you were certainly. Who put the screen saver on at the
Boulder Police Department that said, quote, The Ramseys are the killers?

A. I don't know who applied that to the computer screen.
Q. Did you think that was professional?
A. Oh, sometimes police humor can be less than professional behind closed doors.
Q. Well, did you suggest it might be better to take that off since you were in the process of
investigation, there were a number of suspects beyond the Ramseys?
A. I did not make that suggestion.
Q. How long did it stay on the computer?
A. I don't know. I recall seeing it a few times over the course of a week or two.
Q. Was it up in 1997?
A. That's when we were over at the DA's war room.
Q. When was that, when was the war room?
A. Summer of 1997.
Q. So that's when it was up, summer of '97, right?
A. Yes.


I saw a screen capture of this - the wrds kept rolling across the screen like a screen saver.  It actually said (as I remember) "The Ramseys are the Killas"

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  Steve Thomas says - is it the truth?
Posted by: jameson245 - 03-25-2017, 05:28 PM - Forum: Pageants - No Replies

From his deposition

Q. Take a look at page 58 for me. I don't think I have asked you this. "Some friends" -- the very
bottom of 58 on to 59. "Some friends of Patsy's were concerned about how JonBenet was being
groomed for pageants with the heavy makeup, the elaborate costumes and recent addition of
platinum-dyed hair. It was creating a 'mega-JonBenet thing,' and some friends had planned to have a
talk about it with Patsy after Christmas." Who were the friends that were concerned about how
JonBenet was being groomed, identify those for me?

A. On the record this was per Barb Fernie and I think it included her, Priscilla White and a third
party.
Q. Who was the third party?
A. I don't know.
Q. Were they the same people that had planned to have a talk about it with Patsy after Christmas?
A. That was my understanding and, again, that's on the record with Barb Fernie.
Q. And quote, end quote, mega-JonBenet thing, whose phrase was that?
A. Barb Fernie.

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  Steve Thomas knew better
Posted by: jameson245 - 03-25-2017, 05:25 PM - Forum: Ramsey cooperation - No Replies

Q. Did you all conclude that there were references in the ransom note from Dirty Harry, Speed, the
movie Ransom, the movie Nick of Time and Ruthless People?

A. That wasn't my conclusion. I think it was Lou Smit that brought that to the attention of several,
and I don't know that those were verbatim quotes that matched the ransom note.
Q. Were you familiar -- well, was that investigated by the Boulder Police Department in terms of
trying to find out from movie rental records whether the Ramseys had ever seen those movies?
A. Unfortunately, one of the obstacles we ran into with movie rental records was after the Thomas
Hill, Anita, I can't remember her last name, hearings. Movie records are very, very restricted and
without warrants or subpoenas or something above and beyond, we couldn't just go to the video store
and check rental history.
Q. Didn't the Ramseys give you almost 100 releases to get information?
A. I believe after I left.
Q. But nonetheless, you believe they did that?
A. I have heard, I think even you say that after -- or at a point in time after which I left the
investigation, I was of the impression that after Kane came on board, they gave a number of consent
releases.
Q. They also provided a considerable amount of historical writings from Patsy Ramsey, didn't they,
in addition to the five exemplars?
A. I don't know if those were -- if those were seized by crime scene search warrant or if those were
surrendered.


My comment - I was told by more than one person that the Ramseys were immediately signing papers allowing the authorities to see their medical records, library loans, movie rentals and anything else they asked for.

 I was also told the BPD - under suggestions from the FBI - chose not to ask for other things.  No one really could say for sure why but they thought the BPD didn't want to see evidence that cleared the Ramseys.

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  the paintbrush
Posted by: jameson245 - 03-25-2017, 05:20 PM - Forum: Cord ligature - Garrote - Replies (1)

from Steve Thomas' depo

9. "paintbrush"
In response to message #8
 
  
Q. (BY MR. WOOD) There was some paint --
MR. DIAMOND: There's one hour left.
MR. WOOD: I do hope you'll give me some consideration on a little extension if we can finish up and I
don't have to take it up with the court.
Q. (BY MR. WOOD) The garrote was made out of a paint brush that was believed to be a paint
brush in a paint tray down in the basement, right?
A. That's my understanding.
Q. And there was the tip end with the brush found in the paint tray, right?
A. No, it's my understanding the brush end --
Q. The brush end was found, the tip end was broken off and never found, right?
A. Yeah, it's my understanding that the handled shaft was fashioned into the garrote handle. And
Lou Smit told me that there was a missing piece that has been unaccounted for.
Q. Did you ever find any evidence to dispute what Mr. Smit told you in that regard?
A. No.

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  The wet bed
Posted by: jameson245 - 03-25-2017, 04:59 PM - Forum: Disproving Myths - Replies (2)

      First, the crime scene photo

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  misleading other LE? Experts?
Posted by: jameson245 - 03-25-2017, 04:49 PM - Forum: Misleading the media - Replies (1)

"Thomas depo 42 - prosecution"
 
  
Q. Do you know of any prosecutor who is familiar with the evidence that has concluded that the
evidence shows beyond a reasonable doubt that Patsy Ramsey is guilty of the homicide of her
daughter?

A. No, because the prosecutors privy to that evidence are bound by grand jury secrecy and none
have violated that with me.
Q. Did you ever take this case to a prosecutor? I know you all had the Dream Team that was
helping the police department. I want to know whether you ever had a prosecutor outside of the seven
that were involved in this case that at least Mr. Hunter tells us did not believe that sufficient evidence
existed to charge and prosecute Patsy Ramsey. Did you ever take it to a prosecutor and present it to
ask someone else outside of Boulder whether that prosecutor believed that this case had evidence
justifying prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt; did you ever do that?
A. Did we ever pack up our or me case file and take it and do a presentation for an outside
prosecutor to see if he thought or would prosecute this case? No, not that I'm aware of.
Q. Did you ever do it at any time as you sit here today?
A. Take it to a prosecutor?
Q. Did you take your information, what you knew in all those hundred of pages, that hopefully you'll
be able to find now that you'll go look for them in response to that subpoena, and take that to an
experienced prosecutor and say, give me your opinion on whether this justifies a prosecution in terms of
whether this is sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt? Did you ever do that?
That's my question.
A. No, I have friends that are prosecutors but I never went and did a case presentation of any sort
to try to elicit their support in moving forward with the prosecution.
Q. All right. Or to give you an opinion on what the evidence pro and con would say to an
experienced prosecutor?
A. I don't know what you're referring to, Mr. Wood.
Q. You would have to give them your evidence and you would have to give them the intruder
evidence and you would have to say, please, weigh this and tell me because I don't like Alex Hunter
and I don't believe that Alex Hunter is doing the right thing in not filing charges or getting an indictment
and tell me if you think as an experienced prosecutor the case is here to bring charges; did you ever do
that?
A. No, I never had some sort of case presentation like that, no.

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  from Steve Thomas depo
Posted by: jameson245 - 03-25-2017, 04:33 PM - Forum: Fleet and Priscilla White - Replies (2)

http://www.webbsleuths.org/showthread.php?tid=665

I posted this under LE - Steve Thomas but will link here

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