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  September 2018 story
Posted by: jameson245 - 09-17-2018, 09:47 PM - Forum: Tabloid stories - No Replies

JonBenét Ramsey Ransom Note Holds Coded Clues To Murder Mastermind

'The mastermind of the murder does want people to know who he is.'

[Image: 6954dc6755543be306a17f334605e63b?s=64&d=identicon&r=g] By Radar Staff
Posted on Sep 12, 2018 @ 7:08AM ver-Before-Seen JonBenet Ramsey Video Reveals Clue To Killer

Nearly 22 years after the brutal murder of child beauty queen [b]JonBenét Ramsey. [/b], the case has been blown wide open by the mysterious ransom note left at the scene of the crime — which is believed to contain coded messages that identify her killer.
RadarOnline.com has learned the 350-word note is filled with a bizarre series of lettered patterns and words written backward  that investigators have been analyzing with CSI-like forensic lighting

Now the cryptic ransom note has sparked a fresh manhunt in Boulder, Colo., where a crack team of cold case investigators is assisting detectives.
“Without a doubt this is a breakthrough for the teams working on this case ,” said a top law enforcement source. “It’s another step toward revealing the identity of those responsible.”
PHOTOS: JonBenét’s Body May Be Exhumed — ‘I Think It Could Yield Results,’ Says Dad John 
A leading forensic investigator with long-standing ties and influence in the Ramsey case, [b]Roscoe Clark[/b], who has assisted cops in their investigation, strongly believes unraveling the ransom note’s hidden message will solve the crime.
Clark has used state-of-the-art Polilight PL500 equipment, a device that utilizes high-powered infrared and ultraviolet bulbs, to filter out the different shades of gray water-based marker used to write the letter.
The tests have also revealed handwriting pressures, drafts and mistakes in the note.
“What’s important is that [by using CSI lamps] I can see the overlap of the ink so that I can tell which words were written in reverse,” Clark told Radar. “It points to a code or a hidden message.”
PHOTOS: Case Closed? Ransom Note IDs JonBenét Ramsey’s Killer!.
Roscoe has a chilling theory on why the note was written in code.
“I think the mastermind of the murder does want people to know who he is, but he doesn’t want to give away his identity because he’s too proud and believes he’s smarter than the police,” he said.
Clark’s assessment is corroborated by renowned forensic document expert [b]Brenda Anderson[/b] — who studied the three-page ransom note and explained such letters are typically short and to the point.
“I’ve never seen a three-page ransom letter,” Anderson told Radar. “If someone goes to great lengths to write [three pages] there has to be a motive. Why go to all that trouble?”
“Maybe this individual was so twisted he left the clues behind in the note and it’s somehow coded,” she continued. “It’s something that needs to be pursued because the handwriting is very unusual.”
Ramsey was sexually violated and strangled inside her family’s ritzy home in Boulder on Christmas night in 1996.
Cops suspect the killer broke a basement window, crept into the house and knocked the 6-year-old out with a stun gun.
Ramsey was carried to the basement, bound, silenced with duct tape, molested, strangled with a garrote and smashed in the head with a baseball bat.
After her body was discovered by her dad, [b]John[/b], the ransom note demanding $118,000 was found on the kitchen staircase.
“This is a giant step in the right direction,” said renowned attorney [b]Peter Gleason[/b], who once ran for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
“There is no such thing as over-analyzation of evidence when it comes to criminal matters. This could definitely lead to new suspects!”

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  sounds and such
Posted by: jameson245 - 09-15-2018, 07:49 PM - Forum: The House at 755 15th Street, Boulder, CO - No Replies

TT: Did JonBenet ever sleepwalk during the night, did she ever have any problems with that?
PR: No.
TT: What about anybody in the family? Anybody in the family have any problems sleepwalking, getting up at night. You remember hearing Burke wandering around at night, John wandering around at night.
PR: I’d hear Burke get up and use the bathroom.
TT: Other than that, any sleepwalking problems with anybody?
PR: Huh-uh.

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  dec 26th - locks and lights
Posted by: jameson245 - 09-15-2018, 07:19 PM - Forum: The House at 755 15th Street, Boulder, CO - No Replies

TT: Again, some housekeeping questions and, and I touched on some of these before, but I’m going to hit them just one more time. Um, Patsy, do you have any idea which windows in the house were locked or unlocked?
PR: No I don’t.
TT: Any idea about those?
PR: I, I just you know, I don’t recall checking and I couldn’t say for sure which…
TT: Okay. What about doors? Do you have any idea which doors were locked or unlocked in the house?
PR: Um, like that morning…
TT: Um hum.
PR: …you mean or… Well, typically, the only door we would leave unlocked at night is the door from the coat room there…
TT: Um hum.
PR: …into the garage.
TT: Okay.
PR: You put the garage door down and that locks, you know, you don’t typically lock that metal door there.
TT: Have, have you…
PR: But I don’t, like I said, I didn’t check them. I don’t know, but. You know…
TT: Do you recall any lights being on in the house when you went downstairs the first time to, to make the coffee? Do you remember any lights on in the house?
PR: Not specifically.
TT: Okay.
PR: I mean typically leave some lights on, but I don’t, I couldn’t tell you exactly.
TT: Okay. Any, any lights specifically that you normally light, leave on. The same light all the time?
PR: Well, we usually leave a light on in the TV room. That little den.
TT: At the back of the house.
PR: Right.
TT: Okay.
PR: And typically we leave on, you know the lamppost and maybe a lamp in the sunroom or something.
TT: Okay.
PR: But…
TT: So you kind of leave a few lights on in the house, but nothing major.
PR: Right.
TT: And you, do you recall that morning whether those lights were on? Do you remember seeing an illumination out of the corner of your eye or anything or when you see John on the floor…
PR: Well, by the time he…
TT: (Inaudible)
PR: …was on the, you know, when I’m telling you that I was on the phone with 911 and he was on the floor there reading those three pages, the hall light was on and I don’t you know, any one, either of us could have turned it on by then.
TT: Right. And that, that’s bright and obvious and…
PR: Yeah, very bright, yeah.

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  2 little old ladies
Posted by: jameson245 - 09-15-2018, 06:25 PM - Forum: The House at 755 15th Street, Boulder, CO - No Replies

ST: As is so often the case in this case you hear so many things that you try to attribute back to a source that’s sometimes, but prior to the 25th was there any persons that came to your home unsolicited uh, that were invited in, not guests on the 23rd to the Christmas party, but in particular uh, wee there any women who asked to view or tour the home . . .
PR: Oh, yeah there, uh two older ladies, now I don’t know what day this was, but two older ladies stopped by. They were talking and uh, I, I think I was out, I don’t know why I was outside, but they stopped and I can’t remember why I invited them in. I think one, one of them said that she had been there on the home tour when the, when the Christmas home tour a couple of years before and I said something about I had the Christmas trees up or something and would you like to come in and they came in. Two, two ladies, old ladies.
ST: Uh, when you say older can you approximate an age for me?
PR: Sixty, seventy.
ST: Did they impress you as if they were neighborhood residents out walking?
PR: Yeah, I think they said they lived over on the other side of Baseline or one of them did or . . .
ST: And were they fairly innocuous and harmless in your estimation.
PR: Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah.
ST: Did you give them a tour of the home?
PR: Yeah, I think I did.
ST: Do you recall, do you recall that tour and, and uh, was that a five cent tour or a two hour shot?
PR: Oh, it wasn’t very long no. They weren’t there very long.
ST: Was that uh . . .
PR: I don’t even remember what day it was. It was, I mean, it was sometime around that time.
ST: Okay. Um, a few day before, a week before, sometime in December prior to Christmas?
PR: Yeah, I mean, I had the Christmas stuff up, you know.
ST: Do you feel that bears any further investigation?
PR: Those, you mean those, those two ladies?
ST: Yes ma’am.
PR: I, no I don’t think so. I mean they were just little old ladies. (Inaudible)

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Posted by: jameson245 - 09-15-2018, 06:04 PM - Forum: The House at 755 15th Street, Boulder, CO - No Replies

ST: . . .but was there any reason you couldn’t or John could not have retrieve the key from the Barnhills at that time to get in rather than breaking the window?
PR: He, he may not have know they had a key.ST: Do you remember on the night of the 25th, when you and John came home, what the lockup procedure, the security procedure for the house that night was?
PR: No, I don’t.
ST: Concerning keys to the house Patsy uh, and access to the house, outside of John Andrew being in Boulder, were there another keys outstanding other than John Andrew’s and the Barnhills?
PR: Uh, my dad had a key. Um . . .
ST: Had that been accounted for?
PR: Has that been accounted for?
ST: Does Don Paugh still have that key.
PR: I don’t know. Um. . .
ST: Had anybody asked Don Paugh if he still has that key.
PR: (Coughing, response unknown) Excuse me. Uh, my cleaning lady had a key, Linda. The Barnhills I believe actually gave two keys, because I had given her one and she couldn’t find it. I think I gave them another one? Uh, Barbara Fernie had one at one time, I’m not sure. I think I might have gotten that back from her. Pricilla had one I believe. Uh . . .
ST: Does Pricilla still have that key?
PR: I don’t know. I can’t remember. It seems like I gave it to her before we went to the lake, because she was going to have a lot of house guest and I thought if she wanted to, you know, use the house for any reason she could have the key.
ST: What is the status of the key or keys that you gave the Barnhills?
PR: The status right now?
ST: Yeah. Have you gotten those back?
PR: I haven’t, no, I don’t know where they are. I don’t know what the status is of those?
ST: Would it be inaccurate if the Barnhills were saying that they returned the key to you? Could that be possible?
PR: Um, it could be possible I guess. I don’t remember, and I think, I think I gave it to them and the intent was if I got, anybody got locked out of the house they would have a key. So I don’t, I mean, it wasn’t like, you know, keep this for two days and then give it back to me or something, you know.
ST: And as some point we’ll come, uh, uh, Tom has some questions for you about when John had to break in that basement window . . .
PR: Right.
ST: . . .but was there any reason you couldn’t or John could not have retrieve the key from the...

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  the alarm system
Posted by: jameson245 - 09-14-2018, 08:59 PM - Forum: The House at 755 15th Street, Boulder, CO - No Replies

TT:  Okay. And let me back you up just a little bit. Do you guys ever use the alarm system I that house at all?
PR:  No, we didn’t use it in years.
TT:  Okay. Do you remember about when the last time you used the alarm system was?
PR:  Well, I remember when JonBenet was probably two or three, it was, the house was still under construction. She was probably two.
TT:  Um hum.
PR:  And I didn’t even know the alarm system was activated yet, because we had had so many people in and out of there. She drug that little, this little bench we had back by the garage door, drug it over and I think she was trying to hit the garage door opener, but she hit, you know, boom, boom, boom on that . . .
TT:  The keypad.
PR:  . . .keypad and I mean it just, it’s an interior alarm. It’s got the speakers or whatever they are inside the house and it is just deafening. And uh, John, we ran back to the keypad, cause I had never really heard it go off and she was standing there, you know, like, and uh, I mean, I didn’t even know how to shut the dumb thing off cause I didn’t even know it was activated and pretty soon I, I was trying to call Safe Systems or whoever it was that I thought had been working on it and uh, I mean, you just couldn’t stay in the house it was so awful, so loud. And uh, I remember grabbing John’s cellular phone, because I couldn’t dial it inside the house it was too . . .
TT:  Um hum.
PR:  . . .loud and pretty soon I heard these sirens and apparently she had hit the button that, you know, don’t ask questions, just sent help.
TT:  Um hum. So everybody came.
PR:  Everybody came and, and, you know, they were saying well, you know, if this is your house why don’t you turn it off? And I was like we don’t know the code, you know, so that was the last, so we didn’t use it because of that, cause, cause like every time that we ever used the alarm system it would go off erratically and . . .
TT:  Had problems with it? So it hasn’t, you hadn’t use it or it has it not been hooked up to an alarm company at all?
PR:  I believe it was hooked up to a, um, I don’t know if you call it an alarm company or whatever, but for fire . . .
TT:  Um hum.
PR:  . . .but somehow I think that the smoke detectors were incorporated into that. . .
TT:  Um hum.
PR:  . . .and I think we did have it monitored, you know, for that purpose. . .
TT:  Okay.
PR:  . . .for the fire protection.

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  Was anything taken?
Posted by: jameson245 - 09-14-2018, 08:57 PM - Forum: The House at 755 15th Street, Boulder, CO - Replies (1)

TT: Okay. Before the police arrived and after you guys checked of Burke did either one of you run through the house and check the house at all?
PR: John, I remember him running, going like to the doors, various doors, cause I kept saying how did they get in, how did they get in? And he uh, checked some of the doors I remember. The door to the garage, you know, from the coat room there.
TT: Um hum.
PR: I don’t you know, I just remember him kind of going around checking. I think he went down to the butler kitchen there. Checked, I don’t, you know, I wasn’t watching he did.
TT: Did he ever make a comment about being, any of the doors being unlocked to you? Did he find any doors unlocked that you recall?
PR: He didn’t say that he did.
TT: Okay.
PR: I don’t remember him saying, you know, he didn’t say Oh I found it or something. I don’t remember him . . .
TT: Okay. Do you remember if John ever went down to the basement to check any of the windows down there before the police arrived?
PR: You know I, you’re just going to ask him I don’t . . .
TT: Okay.
PR: . . .I was just, you know . . .
TT: Okay. Patsy, after the 26th have you guys been able to do any type of inventory of the house. Have you come u with anything missing at all?
PR: No, I haven’t been back.
TT: Okay. Has John done anything like that? Any type of inventories to see if anything is missing?
PR: I don’t, not to my knowledge.
TT: Look at it like big jewelry items, anything like that something that . . .
PR: Yeah.
TT: . . .you guys might see as obvious that was missing.
PR: No.

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  St. John's Foyer Group
Posted by: jameson245 - 09-14-2018, 08:14 PM - Forum: The House at 755 15th Street, Boulder, CO - No Replies

Patsy in interview with Thomas and Trujillo

TT:  Okay. Um, you guys had a, a Foyer Group meeting back on the 13th.
PR:  Right.
TT:  You want kind of . . .
PR:  What is that?
TT:  What is the Foyer Group, yeah.
PR:  The Foyer, it’s a Foyer dinner group from church . . .
TT:  Okay.
PR:  . . .from St. Johns and um, they have small groups , kind of a dinner group assigned and you meet with that group throughout the year, usually like school year.
TT:  Um hum.
PR:  And you have dinner in each others home, but this particular, there are like dinner, individual dinner groups of maybe six to ten that meet in each others homes and then the entire Foyer Dinner Group which is made up several of these smaller groups. . .
TT:  Um hum.
PR:  . . .had a Christmas party at our house, so the entire group was invited.
TT:  (Inaudible) the six to ten of that, six to ten couples or six to ten people?
PR:  People.
TT:  Okay.
PR:  (Inaudible) Might be couples and singles.
TT:  Right. So, about once very six months to ten months you rotate around to another house. Is that, to have dinner. Is that right?
PR:  Right. Well, I think they have, they meet monthly, you know, and like if we’re all in a group we’d go to your house one month and my house one month . . .
TT:  Right.
PR:  . . .or whatever.
TT:  Okay, and so about once a, once every five to six months you have a host of a group of a, a group six to ten people . . .
PR:  At your house, right, uh huh.
TT:  Okay. Now, is this just a dinner group, religious group . . .
PR:  Well, they’re, they all go to St. Johns so their, you know. . .
TT:  It’s not like you sit down and discuss the Bible while your eating dinner or anything like that.
PR:  No, it’s more social. Yeah.
TT:  It’s all social. Okay.
PR:  Yeah, uh huh, yeah.
TT:  About how many people were over at the house on the 13th?
PR:  Oh, you know, 50 or 60 maybe.
TT:  Okay. Quite a few then?
PR:  Yeah.
TT:  How many total, do you have an idea about how many total Foyer Groups there are? Are there about 10 groups then?
PR:  Probably yeah. Well, no. I think there are more than that, but I think, you know, not everybody came.
TT;  Okay.
PR:  I know there are a couple of pages worth, I think. I don’t, I don’t remember ever having counted them exactly.
TT:  Do, do you have a list of the people that were over to the house on the 13th?
PR:  No, but Carolyn Blyley probably does.
TT:  Over at St. Johns?
PR:  Yeah, she’s, she put it together. She just called me and asked me if I would have it at our house and I think, you know, I wouldn’t have to do anything just have my house . . .
TT:  Okay.
PR:  . . .she know I decorate a lot for Christmas and all that.
TT:  So you were just kind of the host house. . .
PR:  Right.
TT:  . . .invite everybody.
PR:  Right. She sent the invitations and all that.
TT:  Okay. Steve.

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  read please -
Posted by: jameson245 - 09-09-2018, 09:27 PM - Forum: good primer, perhaps - Replies (8)

Murder of JonBenet Ramsey Taken From TruTV – Crime Library By Marilyn Bardsley and Patrick Bellamy with edits by jameson (CORRECTIONS IN CAPS)

Exposure - The JonBenet Ramsey Story 

The first images of JonBenet Ramsey that were broadcast to the world showed a pretty little girl in heavy make-up and flamboyant costumes parading across a stage. At the time, the media described her as "a painted baby, a sexualized toddler beauty queen." From the day in 1996 when JonBenet was found dead in the basement of her home in Boulder, Colorado, the Boulder police and a large proportion of the world's media believed that her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, were responsible for her death. 

Prior to the murder of their daughter, John and Patsy Ramsey's life seemed almost ideal. Patsy, a former beauty queen, was married to a successful businessman. They had moved to Boulder where John ran a computer company that he had started in his garage, in 1991. The Ramseys readily adapted to their new life in Colorado and made many new friends. They REMODELED a large house in an elite suburb, and entertained often. Their last party in Boulder, just three days before the murder, was particularly happy.

EARLIER, AT A SEPARATE PARTY - Over a hundred guests were present at a Christmas function. The Ramseys believed that they had good reason to celebrate. Patsy had warded off a recurrence of ovarian cancer and John had been voted Boulder's "businessman of the year." 

According to the Ramseys' testimony, they drove home the few blocks from a party at a friend's house on Christmas night. JonBenet had fallen asleep in the car so they carried her up the stairs to her room and put her to bed at 9:30 p.m. Shortly after, Patsy and John went to bed, as they planned to get up early to prepare for a trip to their holiday home on Lake Michigan.
The next day, Patsy woke just after 5:00 a.m. and walked down the stairs to the kitchen. On the staircase, she found a two-and-a-half page note that said that JonBenet had been kidnapped by a "small foreign faction" and was being held for a ransom of $118,000. She was to be exchanged for the money the next day. The letter warned that if the money was not delivered, the child would be executed. Patsy yelled to John as she ran back up the stairs and opened the door to JonBenet's room. Finding she wasn't there, they made the decision to phone the police. The 911 dispatcher recorded Patsy's call at 5:25 a.m. The police arrived at the house seven minutes later. 

The uniformed police officers that attended were openly suspicious from The Start. The Ramseys, treating the ransom demand seriously, were already taking steps to raise the ransom money. The note said that the kidnappers would call John Ramsey but no call came.
Suspicion Mounts
It was while the police were waiting for the call that they made several critical mistakes. They did not conduct a proper search of the house, the area was not sealed off and friends were allowed to walk in and out at their leisure. No moves were made to protect any forensic evidence. The scale of their mistakes became apparent later that afternoon when a detective asked Fleet White, a friend of the Ramseys, to take John and search the house for "anything unusual." They started in the basement. Later, during the documentary Who Killed JonBenet?, made by Channel Four in London, John Ramsey describes what they found: "As I was walking through the basement, I opened the door to a room and knew immediately that I'd found her because there was a white blanket — her eyes were closed, I feared the worse but yet — I'd found her." 

While the Ramseys went to stay with friends, their home became a major crime scene. As this was the only murder in Boulder that year, the investigating police had little experience in that type of crime, with very few of them having conducted a murder investigation at all. Regardless, they immediately assumed the Ramseys were guilty. The fact that JonBenet had been found in her own home by her father was considered highly suspicious. By the time her body had been taken from the house that evening, some of their suspicions had been passed to a local journalist. 

On December 27, The Rocky Mountain News quoted an Assistant District Attorney as saying, "It was very unusual for a kidnap victim's body to be found at home — it's not adding up." According to Charlie Brennan, the journalist who wrote the story, the police had also indicated to him that they held a strong belief that the parents were responsible. Julie Hayden, a television reporter for Denver's Channel 7, also covered the story on the same day and drew the same conclusion. She later explained that from her first exposure to the case, the police had made it very clear that they were not scouring the area looking for "some mad kidnapper," but instead, concentrating their efforts on John and Patsy Ramsey. 

From that day on, a clear pattern emerged in the coverage of the case. While police chief Tom Koby made little comment, reporters had their own sources, which tended to implicate the Ramseys. At that point, John and Patsy were placed under police protection but were largely unaware of the mounting suspicion against them. One man, however, saw the early warning signs and acted. Mike Bynum, a lawyer friend of John's, hired Brian Morgan to act as their personal counsel. In the same documentary, Bynum defended his appointment, stating:
"It is foolish to blindly throw oneself into the maw of the justice system and to trust the result. One simply must be thoughtful about the way one acts, especially in a case of media attention that reaches the point of near hysteria and especially in a case of media attention which, from the outset, portrays certain people as clearly guilty."
He also defended the need for legal representation:
"If you're guilty, you want to think about having a lawyer, and I want to tell you what, if you're innocent you better have a lawyer — there is no difference." 

The Media Evidence
By December 28, various local news sources made it clear to their readers that the Ramseys were the principal suspects in the case. While the police made few comments regarding any evidence they had to implicate the parents, the media began to cite their own "evidence." The first "clue" they focused on was the supposed lack of footprints in the snow surrounding the house, which suggested that someone inside was responsible. Later the media admitted that this opinion was based on an official report from a policeman at the scene who noted: — "Strange, no footprints." The next item was also gleaned from a police report. It stated that there were allegedly no signs of forced entry. 

The mayor of Boulder, Leslie Durgan, added further weight to the story when she appeared on television stating: — "By all reports there was no visible signs of forced entry. The body was found in a place where people are saying, someone had to know the house."
The facts surrounding the so-called "evidence" tell a completely different story.
The first point to come under scrutiny is the snow cover. News video footage shot on December 26 clearly shows that large areas surrounding the house had no snow cover at all. In support of this, Julie Hayden, the television reporter states:
"We looked at the videotape once the footprints in the snow started becoming an issue and one of the things that I observed was, there did not seem to be snow going up to all of the doors. So, in my opinion, this thing about footprints in the snow has always been much ado about nothing because it seemed clear to me that people could have gotten in the house, whether they did or not, without traipsing through the snow." 

Even with blatant visual evidence that proved that the theory was groundless, the story continued to be told. 

Even more doubtful was the claim of "no forced entry." The police report on December 26 noted that there were a number of open windows and at least one open door; therefore, an intruder would not need to break in. One possible point of entry was the basement window. Not only was it easily accessible via a ground level lift-out grille, it had been broken sometime before Christmas and could not be secured. These facts, although well documented by the police, did not come to public attention until a year after the event.
When questioned regarding the accuracy of the information he received, reporter Charlie Brennan stated that up until March 1997, he and other members of the press did not know that there was a broken window in the basement and believed that his police source had fed him false information. 

The reality of this situation is that an intruder could have easily entered the house through the basement window and moved around the house virtually undetected and unheard.

 JonBenet's bedroom is one floor below her parents' room, a total distance of 55 feet of walkways, covered by thick carpeting, making it ideal for a soundless approach. 

Furthermore, there is no hidden room. A carpeted spiral staircase, a few feet from her room, leads down to the kitchen. From the kitchen, it is only a few steps to the door that leads to the basement stairs. At the bottom of the stairs is a short corridor that leads directly to the room where her body was found.
The end result? — No secret room, no need for forced entry and very little snow, which leads to one of two conclusions — either the press distorted the facts to embellish their story or someone inside the police department leaked false information, intentionally or otherwise. Despite having been proved incorrect, all three bits of misinformation were given continual coverage.

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Posted by: jameson245 - 09-07-2018, 03:53 PM - Forum: Colorado crimes - No Replies

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Colorado’s system for identifying and warning communities about sexually violent predators – the worst rapists and child molesters – has identified almost none of them.
Since a state law went into effect in 1999, Colorado has labeled only two men not in prison as sexually violent predators, even though more than 1,300 sex offenders met the initial criteria to be labeled predators, according to an analysis by The Denver Post.
“That’s it? Amazing,” said former Colorado Rep. Steve Tool, who sponsored the bill that created the sexually violent predator designation for sex offenders considered most likely to re-offend. “I’m very surprised to hear that. After 5 1/2 years, there should be a higher number.”
The Post has found flaws throughout the system, which originally was designed to warn people about the sexually violent predator living next door, or down the street, or next to a school.
The Colorado Department of Corrections – required by law to evaluate potential predators in prison before they hit the streets – had not done a single evaluation as of this month. But as a direct result of inquiries from The Post, the DOC is quickly beginning to perform those tests.
“We made a mistake. There’s no denying we made a mistake,” DOC spokeswoman Alison Morgan said. “The instrument was developed and never administered. We have many people working on it as aggressively as possible.”
Morgan said that after The Post contacted the DOC, officials researched the statute and discovered that they are legally required to perform the evaluations with all sex offenders who meet the initial criteria based on the crimes for which they were convicted.
She said the parole board could have requested that evaluations be done, but in nearly six years it has never done so.
“Sexually violent predator” – or SVP – is a designation that requires police to inform neighbors that a sex offender lives nearby. A recent case in which a man labeled in Florida as a sexual predator moved to Highlands Ranch drew a lot of publicity from newspapers and television stations – and now the offender is moving.

In examining Colorado’s system, The Post found:

[*]Colorado’s assessment system is highly complicated compared to those of other states. Experts say it fails to identify some of the most egregious offenders, allowing them to live virtually unnoticed near unsuspecting neighbors.

[*]More than 670 convicted sex offenders living in Colorado who were categorized as having a high or moderate risk to re-offend are not on the list of sexually violent predators, according to the state probation office.
It is unclear how many evaluations are being done on the front end, when the offenders are first sentenced to prison. State officials have received records of only about 250 evaluations performed by the probation office before the sentencing of 1,365 sex offenders since 1999.
The criteria used to decide who is a sexually violent predator were specifically written to exclude many dangerous offenders. Kim English, research director for the Colorado Justice Division who spearheaded the writing of Colorado’s sexually violent predator law, said community notification unnecessarily alarms the public and prevents offenders from finding places to live.
The Colorado Parole Board has never requested that an evaluation be done on a potential sexually violent predator.
“It’s not working,” said Greig Veeder, a therapist who helped draft Colorado’s sexually violent predator criteria, adding that the rules are too restrictive and exclude many dangerous predators. “We’re not touching the dangerous population, especially in the community.”
[b]The molester next door[/b]
In a Westminster neighborhood, where a man who admitted to molesting 10 boys since 1988 lives in a house with his parents, many neighbors had no idea that a serial molester lived nearby.
Bret Scott Ibsen, 47, admitted to molesting boys ages 10 to 12 while coaching a youth football team. He would take them to Elitch Gardens, Water World, bowling alleys and malls to gain the boys’ trust. He then would molest them during sleep overs at his home.
Ibsen was sentenced to lifetime probation in 2002 after his second sexual-assault conviction since Colorado’s predator law was passed. He paid fines but was not incarcerated.
Ibsen meets the initial criteria to be labeled a predator. But Ib sen never was evaluated, said Mike Garcia, chief probation officer for Adams County.
“It’s not the way it should have went, for sure,” Garcia said. “The judge didn’t order a pre- sentence report, so the SVP didn’t get triggered.”
Neighbors of Ibsen said they were surprised to learn he lived so close.
“I would definitely like to know about him,” said Rose Downing, who was walking in a nearby park with her 9-year-old son, Phil, on a recent day. “You hear about these things, but I didn’t think it would happen here.”
Audra Bier, who lives a block away from Ibsen and has two young sons, said she felt it was her right to know he was living nearby.
“That knowledge is power,” she said.
Contacted at home, Ibsen refused to answer questions about his past.
[b]The crucial cutoff date[/b]
All sex offenders in Colorado must register with local authorities, but their identities are not made public unless a resident of that city or county requests a list kept with police or the sheriff’s department, a process called passive notification.
Only sex offenders who fail to register, those who have multiple offenses and those who are labeled by the state as predators appear on a publicly available statewide website.
Sexually violent predators, however, require active notification. That means law enforcement agencies are required by state law to notify neighbors of their presence.
When Michael Carroll, a sexual predator from Florida, moved in March to a home in Highlands Ranch, neighbors were notified by Douglas County sheriff’s deputies.
The effect was clear. Neighbors attended community meetings. Deputies patrolled the area. Residents talked to one another about keeping their children safe. The house Carroll moved into is now for sale.
Active community notification – if made retroactive, as other states have done – might help in a situation similar to that of Brent J. Brents, who is accused of raping or assaulting up to 10 women in the Denver area and has confessed to at least 20 more. He is in jail awaiting trial.
The earlier crimes that might have tagged Brents as an SVP pre- date Colorado’s registry law. He was convicted in 1988 of sexually assaulting two children.
Freed after serving 15 years of a 20-year sentence, Brents moved to Aurora, where he is alleged to have fondled the son of his neighbor and girlfriend. Because Brents committed his earlier crimes in the late 1980s, before Colorado’s predator law was passed, the girlfriend and other neighbors were never notified about his record by authorities.
A similar Wyoming law, passed two years after Colorado’s, requires notification for crimes dating to 1985, Cheyenne District Attorney Jon Forwood said. Forwood said Wyoming lawmakers didn’t deem community notification a punishment, as did officials in Colorado.
The neighbor who became Brents’ girlfriend said she didn’t know about Brents’ prior convictions for sexually assaulting children at the time. She said she broke off her relationship with Brents once she learned of his past. By then, it was too late.
[b]Predators by the numbers[/b]
Since 1999, 1,300 convicts have met Colorado’s initial criteria for consideration as sexually violent predators based on their crimes. About half are still in prison.
There are just five men labeled as sexually violent predators living in Colorado communities. The one in Highlands Ranch committed his crimes in Florida. Two others are from Maine. Only two committed their crimes in Colorado.
In addition, 28 men incarcerated in Colorado prisons have been labeled as sexually violent predators. Some of them are serving life sentences and may never get out of prison.
By comparison, other states designate far more people for active notification, or as predators, since they and Colorado began drafting laws after 1997 to comply with federal law.
Florida, with about four times Colorado’s population, has labeled 5,177 felons as sexual predators. Florida’s law labels anyone who has committed or attempted rape, sexually assaulted a child, engaged in child pornography or committed lewd acts with a child or a disabled or elderly person.
In Colorado, offenders must have been convicted of one of five crimes to even be eligible for SVP designation. The crimes are first- or second-degree sexual assault; unlawful sexual contact; sexual assault on a child; or sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust.
Those convicted must then undergo an extensive psychological evaluation process that excludes many repeat and violent offenders.
In practice, the difference is clear. If the Florida sexual predator now living in Highlands Ranch had committed his offense in Colorado, he would not be considered a predator because, unlike other states’ laws, Colorado’s law was not made retroactive.
Other states are more restrictive than Colorado. In neighboring Wyoming, there are 289 convicted sex offenders about whom police are required to notify neighbors within a 750-foot radius. Wyoming has just 500,000 people, or one-ninth of Colorado’s population.
Arizona has 4,800 offenders for whom active community notification is required. Nebraska has 858.
There are several reasons why Colorado has not labeled more sex offenders as sexual predators.
Many sex offenders simply were convicted before the law’s 1999 start date in Colorado.
Judges or parole boards also must determine that an offender who meets all the lengthy criteria is a sexually violent predator.
Of the 28 people in prison and the two outside labeled as predators, judges designated them all. The parole board has not designated anyone.
“(DOC) has to do the investigation. If (the evaluations are) not presented to us, we don’t know,” said parole board chairman Allan Stanley. “I am concerned that (DOC) hasn’t presented any of these yet.”
Parents for Megan’s Law, a nonprofit that supports the federal statute named for a 7-year- old New Jersey girl raped and murdered in 1994 by a repeat sex offender, recently issued a national report card on offender programs. Colorado was one of 21 states to receive an F.
[b]A labyrinthine process[/b]
Sexually violent predators are determined by a four-part test. The first part requires a conviction for one of the five specific crimes.
The second part requires an offender to have been a stranger or to have established or promoted a relationship to further the sexual offense.
The first two parts of the test are simple, experts say. The third and fourth parts are where many offenders appear to fall through the system.
To be labeled a sexually violent predator, an offender must meet the first two parts of the test and either the third or the fourth. The third part of the test consists of 10 questions, four of which require a “yes” answer by the offender.
The questions include whether the offender was employed less than full time when arrested; whether the offender failed first or second grade; whether the offender has prior convictions; and whether the offender was sexually aroused during the sexual assault. It also includes an analysis of the offender’s denial, deviancy and motivation.
Veeder said some of these questions are difficult to answer. And they exclude many seemingly violent predators.
The fourth part of the test requires that the offender suffer from specific mental abnormalities that can be diagnosed. These include being psychopathic, narcissistic, antisocial and paranoid.
Morgan, the Department of Corrections spokeswoman, said in the past six years, 16 sex offenders were released who met the initial criteria but were not tested.
Of those, eight are still on parole. The DOC will require them to be tested to see whether they meet the criteria for sexually violent predators.
She acknowledged that DOC officials should have known about their obligation, because the department’s therapists and Morgan herself sat on the panel that wrote the criteria.
Part of the problem is money, officials said.
When the SVP criteria were created, no money was provided for sending therapists qualified to perform the tests to all 20 prisons where sex offenders are held, Morgan said. The state has such experts at just five prisons.
[b]“The wrong solution”[/b]
English, of the Colorado Justice Division, said that had Colorado not been forced into it by a federal mandate, the state never would have passed a law requiring community notification of the whereabouts of predators.
“The feds came down with the law, and we didn’t like it,” English said of Megan’s Law. “It’s the wrong solution to a problem that is very important. It’s hard to identify anything positive about the law.”
Community notification is misleading, English said, because it identifies only a small percentage of sex offenders – those who randomly attack children they don’t know or establish relationships with kids primarily to molest them – and leaves the impression that other sex offenders are not dangerous.
English said Colorado is one of the most progressive states in dealing with sex offenders. The state passed a sex-offender registration statute before it was required by federal law.
In Colorado, sex offenders face lifetime supervision in the community and a phalanx of rules designed to catch them even thinking about molesting kids, she said.
District judges and the Colorado Parole Board are the only ones who can designate someone as a sexually violent predator, said Joe Stommel, chief of the Department of Corrections’ Treatment and Management Program.
But in the six years since the SVP law was passed, the parole board has not requested that the assessments be done, he said.
“I’m not aware of any,” Stommel said. “Why it isn’t being used, I don’t know.”
Harlan Bockman, chief judge at Adams County District Court, said he has seen very few evaluations for sexually violent predators from the state come across his desk.
He acknowledged that there should be more offenders labeled as predators.
“I’m just amazed. I’ve never really analyzed it to see how many were charged and met the qualifications,” Bockman said.
The sexually violent predator designation is crucial, said Tool, the former state representative who sponsored House Bill 1260. Too often, he said, parents and neighbors have no idea that a predator lives nearby.
Tool, now senior director at the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles, reviewed five cases found by The Post that fit the initial criteria. Tool said all five meet his notion of what a sexually violent predator is.
One man – Edward Tarpey, who was convicted of sexual assault in 2003 and was convicted of homicide in 1982 – lives in Fort Collins, not far from Tool’s home.
“I would want to know about him,” said Tool, who has seven grandchildren.
Tool said he believes having a review board and criteria for evaluating possible predators is necessary. But he believes they should be netting many more predators. The state legislature, he said, should require that the evaluations be done – or it could strengthen the law.
“The statute was pretty clear. It should be pretty easy to evaluate them,” Tool said. “Maybe someone needs to go back and tighten it up.”
[i]Staff writer Kirk Mitchell can be reached at 303-820-1206 or kmitchell@denverpost.com. [/i]
[i]Staff writer Sean Kelly can be reached at 303-820-1858.[/i]

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