Interview with Judith (interview)
#1
Judith Phillips

Fine Art Photographer
Afternoon with Judith Phillips

Interviewed by Mary Mcardle Suma (Mame)

Judith Phillips grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, the daughter of a music professor and a bank executive, along with her older brother and sister, Joel and Mary, and her identical twin sister, Jane. Her fathers work at Concordia University caused Judith to be exposed to works of artists across the disciplines from Ernest Hemingway to Frank Lloyd Wright and Stan Kenton, leaving her with a lifelong impression of the impact of art on the human spirit.

Judith Phillips graduated with a degree in Art History and Elementary Education from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. Immediately out of college she found work outside her home town of Chicago as a second grade teacher. After several years, she left teaching to use her natural people, math and science skills to work in radio and then teach adults in the computer industry. Eventually, she married and settled down in Atlanta, Georgia to bring into the world her son Matthew and daughter Lindsey. For the next decade she became and lived the images she now captures on film as a mother to her two children.

In 1989, Judith Phillips arrived in Boulder, Colorado. The creative energy of her children only enhanced her own desire to express her native creativity, and her love of art since childhood. She needed to move beyond her roles as wife and mother to reconnect with herself as an individual. When she picked up a camera and found herself capturing the souls of those she photographed on film, she arrived as Judith Phillips the photographer and fine artist. Her early work won contests and awards as publications sought her out for photo assignments in the Boulder, Denver and Colorado areas.

After the death of her father in 1996, Judith felt compelled to organize her portraits into an exhibition to share with the world. And, as the success of Motherhood 2000 greets the world, she has begun work on her fatherhood series, entitled "The Leader of the Band."

Judith Phillips has lived as a mother, housewife, teacher, and artist. She has worked in numerous community and political projects protecting the safety of women and children, parental rights for fathers, asthma research and hurricane victims in Honduras. She hails from the City of Big Shoulders, as Carl Sandburg wrote in his poem, "Chicago," and she volunteers to shoulder her responsibilities both as an artist and as a citizen. Her unique life experience in a multitude of interests, responsibilities and professions has opened her vision to the loves, hurts, desires and souls of the everyday people she photographs. Through those photographs we all gain access to the artist's understanding of the truth she sees.

A local newspaper in Boulder, Colorado caught up with Judith Phillips in 1995 before her Motherhood images had hung at Chautauqua Park, and her fame as an artist had only begun to emerge from the layers of other artists in the intellectually and creatively progressive Boulder community. Judith Phillips said to the reporter, "I have hopes of being a global Photographer. I'd like other countries. . . to see a different kind of American woman than who they see on reruns of "Bewitched" or Madonna with cones over her breasts. We have hearts and souls just like they do." With the launching of the Motherhood 2000 world tour, this artist brings her heart and soul to the world.

Mary McArdle Suma (Mame)

Mary McArdle Suma (Mame) is an Independent Internet Reporter based in Boulder, Colorado. Mame describes herself as a "nosy, eccentric, housewife who grew up in a newsroom", as the daughter of an award winning, investigative reporter and newspaper publisher. Before taking many years off to raise four children, Mary worked for several Gannett Newspapers in New York and Illinois. In February of 2000 Mary spent an afternoon with Judith Phillips, the transcript of that interview follows. The interview was recorded and fed from Boulder to Allentown, PA -- where they are recorded, digitized and made available by

Frank DeFreitas (ToppCat), Production

The Interview

Transcript of the interview provided by Starry assisted by Sassey, Canadiana & Shaggy

Mame: In Perfect Murder Perfect Town there was an absolutely wonderful quote that has been sitting with me ever since the first time I read the book. And I'd like to get you to respond to it. I'm going to read it, it's sort of long. You had been interviewed I believe by a writer or was it Schiller?

JP: I was…. Schiller. Larry Schiller was interviewing me.

Mame: And the question was, What did you think when you heard she'd died? And your response was, "I wasn't surprised that it happened. We're all given chances to learn significant lessons in our lives. And if we don't complete that learning process we will be given that same lesson again in spades. The death of Beth and then Patsy's illness affected John and Patsy temporarily. Brought them through some growth but they went back to their old routine. They haven't changed their behavior. If you don't learn the lesson the first time, it comes back worse the second time. And maybe the third time , it's always bigger.

JP: (quietly and sounds sad) yes, I did say that. It, it, It sort of exemplifies my philosophy about life. I was raised in a German Lutheran family and church was a big part of my life because of my parents. And when I came to more of an adulthood decision, I really believe, for me found the holes of organized religion, and yet I still consider myself a very spiritual person. And as I developed and grew and read, and experienced life in general I really have a firm belief that God in whatever form that he takes, that we are here as people , to learn the lessons that either form our character, or a deficit, where we are going obstacle into becoming better people. And I think, I believe that people each in their own right have their own path through this lifetime. There are many lessons that are given to us and either we can learn from those lessons and become a better person, or not learn from those lessons and they'll come back and they'll be even stronger. And it's like it's like my philosophy and in life and my experiences in life that I've been confronted with many lessons and either I go one of two directions, I either learn from it and become a better person or else it will come back to haunt me later.

Mame: Did you sense that with the Ramsey's at that time the …… growth and financial status, and so you sensed that they would maybe stop and pause but not really learn the lesson, is that how you sensed it.

JP: yes, You know I've been trying to think back to the people that I knew before they were great and wealthy. They were always well off when they lived in Atlanta. When I first knew them, I first knew them as an affectionate couple somewhat wholesome, enjoying each other, um.. having well, when I took a trip with them to San Francisco with my ex- husband, we had a great time.

Mame: you just showed me…

JP:, yes, I just showed you a picture of that.

Mame: Just looks like the all American couples in San Francisco

JP: yes, just a lot of fun to be with and as time went on after I left boulder and Patsy and John came to visit periodically during the year because he was in and out of boulder all of the time,

Mame: You left Boulder?

JP: I'm sorry, I left Atlanta

Mame: OK, I see

JP:yeah, I left Atlanta. A year and a half before they moved to Boulder. I left Atlanta for Boulder, and so Patsy and John would visit periodically, maybe every quarter. John was here often, Patsy would come and help with some marketing things. So I was able to keep in touch with them after they moved here. What I noticed was a big difference in Patsy after she moved here.

Mame: so the change hit after the move?

JP: I noticed it when she first moved here, there was a change coming over her. I wasn't sure if it was just a part of maturity or experiences , but I think a lot had to do with their increased wealth, this was not the same person that I knew years earlier. I have seen other people where a great deal of wealth has been given to them through lucky experiences and money changes people. I really firmly believe that. And when I saw Patsy, she was a different person. She was more consumed with how her house looked and furniture and dressing just absolutely..

Mame: She was defined by it.

JP: right, right, yes, definitely it was very important to her.

Mame: Physical beauty and materialism was defining of her personality

JP: right, it was very important to her, in fact, she thought her duty as the wife of a CEO was to make their surroundings, their life and their home to be somewhat a nice place, a great place to come home to and also a lavish , and to present a lavishness, because of John's position. And she really took her job as a wife of a CEO extremely seriously and she always felt that anything she could do in order to promote John's power in the company. She took that very seriously by the furniture, everything, painting her walls the perfect color. And she was very much..

Mame: she was a sort of paint by number girl, wasn't she? Not a lot of creativity from what I sense. Or innate creativity. Or am I wrong?

JP: Oh she had, I thought she had a great innate creativity. With designing and decorating the house that was always something they enjoyed doing even from the beginning. They would take over an old home and completely renovate it, not in my taste, but it was done rather nicely and expensively and then they could move on and buy a bigger home that they completely renovated. It was part of a cycle that John and Patsy went through

. Mame: So you would call it creativity, it wasn't just calling up, just calling like bedroom number two

JP: oh yeah, she really got, that was very important to Patsy that everything would look just perfect. And she took on that defining role in the family to create a lavish environment for John . and that, was very important to Patsy. So you know as I saw the change from Ramsey's pre-Boulder and Post Boulder, I just noticed a great deal of difference between how they responded to now their new environment with a lot more money. And I believe in my heart that they became colder, and more controlled , less earthy, less fun to be with, because Patsy always had to show you the newest thing that she bought. As if I really cared. So, I saw a real difference in them. And I really felt this philosophy, going through, learning the lessons in life. First of all through the tragedies that they experienced with the death of Beth, John's eldest daughter, I remember how absolutely devastated he was. And then..

Mame: Had you met Beth?

JP: Oh yeah, I knew Beth, actually of the 3 children, I knew the youngest Melinda the best. But I knew all 3 children.

Mame: Were they great kids?

JP: oh yeah, they were great kids, I knew Melinda the best and she was always really, really nice, nice sweet person. So, you know , and then with Patsy's announcements and the devastating news of her cancer.

Mame: how long after Beth's death did the cancer hit? Do you remember?

JP: about a year, year and half after. Here was another tragedy in their lives with Patsy's health.

Mame: Another huge, huge

JP: absolutely. And lot of times when they see tragedies in other people lives and I sit down and look at my life in retrospect and think through why would something like this happen to those two people? The tragedies were so close together and so devastating.

Mame: Are you saying in terms of some sort of Karma?

JP: yeah, yeah, and then I realized that having observed Patsy when she first moved here and how important money and her appearance was. And these were all things that were so surface that were so, things that just didn't matter in the scheme of life. That I wondered if tragedies just come… tragedies I believe that tragedies come from lessons and these were definitely very strong tragedies. So I kind of looked at what the tragedy was and how it related to this family and what it was saying to me. If it had happened to me. So I believe that these tragedies came as monumental lessons in both John and Patsy's life. And I was closer to the tragedy of Patsy's ovarian cancer than I was to John's tragedy of losing his daughter. He was very, he became very inward and read every book that he possibly could and spiritualism. Sometimes the titles of books appeared very hokey. But I really think he was really searching for an answer, really searching for an answer.

Mame: Did he become more religious?

JP: noooo.. I don't think so at that time, it was really hard to tell how John went through, even Patsy would comment she felt at loss about how to deal with him, how to help her husband through this because he really went off to himself and really did his mourning.

Mame: His way of dealing with it was to really shut down?

JP: right , exactly, that's a great word to use. Just shut down. And so even his wife didn't know how to comfort him and get him through this tragedy. And I'm sure it must have been extremely frustrating for her, because the first thing she seemed to want to do was to put her arms around him and help him.

JP- yea yea but he kept her at a arms length through that tragedy and then of course when we found out about the ovarian cancer tragedy I was more involved because I was closer to Patsy then I was to John ,and you know I made sure that I talk to several of my friends in the IC unit of nurses in Atlanta and said come on give me the scoop about stage four cancer.Now what is this all about and what are Patsy chances of survival and from three of my really close friends that deal with medical tradegy's all the time painted a terrible picture.

Mame- Oh yea

JP-A terrible picture

Mame- And it was stage four cancer

JP-Yes stage four cancer right.So here I was realizing the possibility of Patsy dying from this.As a friend I had to know where she stood before I could help her.

Mame -Did she understand that? Was she in denial, I mean were probably all in denial,did she utimately understand how how

JP- How concerned I was

Mame- How concerned you were, but the cancer, what percentage make it?

JP- Oh I"m sure she was given the news I"m sure she was given the correct no one sugar coated for her,at all. I believe Pasty was given the percise and accurate information about her chances for survival.That's why they went to this expermental program.Cause they realized they didn't have a whole lot of chances left.So as she went through that it was very difficult to get into touch with her is because she was so protected by her mother.During they was almost like a cycle to her ovarian cancer uh uh I was going say thing. Thing her recovery. You know their was like a three week cycle First week she would come back from Bethesda Maryland she was sicker than a dog,often times she had to be hospitalized back here in Boulder because her blood count was so low.She was just tragically ill. In the second week she recovered and got a little bit better. In the third week you were able to either speak with her on the phone or maybe come visit her but she was very protected by her mother. Who wanted to make sure she was left to recover, their were times then it was nearly impossible to leave phone messages for her.

Mame- Would Nedra intercept them and not give them or could you leave a message?

JP- I would leave them a message with either Nedra or the housekeeper at the time who knows if Patsy was given. They were just so consumed by this.You know to me it was not unlikely that my messege rarely got to Patsy.Because I am sure that was such a minute detail.In the scope of what she was going through.I don't think they intentionly did that I think what they did was we are going to fight this fight as hard as we can.We'll do whatever we have to do in order for Patsy to get better.So I think that's really the approach that they took. When she to me miraculously recovered from it,we sat down after she was allowed visitors.

Mame- I don't know if that's what your going into but that is another very wonderful visual image from Schiller's book.Your discussion.

JP-Yea she still had her turban on,she use to wear a turban after she lost her hair quite often.When she was in the presence of a visitor whether it was a good friend or someone that was a stranger.

Mame-It was in the sunroom right?

JP- It was in the sunroom

Mame -Yea I visualize that

JP- She told me this was the room where she spent most of her hours looking outside the window during her recovery.Reading I'm sure just reading ferociously.

Mame- Praying

JP- Praying This was the room where she did,spent most of her time recovering.You know if anybody is highy sensitive it's an incredible experience . So we sat down and I really wanted to hear what she had to say.Where she was at.You know it had been so long since I was able to talk to her.I wanted to know what she went though and where she was at right now.She sounded more religious than ever,ever,ever,ever ,ever I remember her being.She was never on to bring Jesus or religion into a conversation.Not even though I know they had attended church regularly it was never something that they would ever infuse into a conversation so this was different.I thought well gosh you know she's gone though he fight of her life.Perhaps I would respond this way becoming very religious in needing something.

Mame- whatever it takes right

JP-whatever it takes

Mame-whatever gets you through the night.

JP-So even though it was a surprise to me it was understandable based upon the circumstances.As she talked one thing that I wanted to make clear to her as a friend. Cause I had alot of time to think about it that she was given back the gift of life she overcame something that was nearly impossible.I told her in no uncertain terms That she needed to give back in positive ways. She needed to give back because she was given back the gift of life.To help woman who were not so lucky with not as much money and opportunity as she has.

Mame- And she was with you a little bit on that wasn't she?

JP-Yea she was, she was.That's why we did the whole article in Colorado Women's News.It was her way of saying hey guys this was my experience and don't give up and I just know she also,I think she attended The American Cancer Society Meetings. She also helped out woman and called them personally.After she found out they had cancer.

Mame- Did she feel the reward of what she was doing?

JP-She must ,like when Leslie Durgin was diagnosed .

Mame- With breast cancer.Our former mayor.

JP-Yea our former mayor of Boulder.I told Patsy about it and she said get her phone number and she called Leslie Durgin and they must have had an incredible conversation.According to Leslie who told me that later.And recommened some books that would be some real spiritual supports for her,and she didn't have to do that but she did.So initially she was giving back and I really felt that once she started back into the old society stuff getting involved with numerous organizations in Boulder. The Boulder Philharmonic and musical groups and groups over at the university .The Woman's University Club,they were so numerous I can't keep up with them.I felt like.

Mame-Here we go

JP-Patsy your doing the same stuff that you did back in Atlanta you getting into that society stuff and you know your spending all your time pumping yourself up and John up in getting involved in these organizations and then Access Graphics then became a major sponsor for alot of these organizations.

Mame- I see so their giving the big corporate gift and she's on the board,

JP- yes she's on the board of this and she's on the board of that.Then once I discovered she was getting JonBenét into the pageant system.

Mame-Now tell me about that.Was that a shock?

JP-Oh absolutely.

Mame- In Boulder I can't imagine

JP-Boulder, yes in Boulder of course it would be very much a shock.It was a shock to me because.

Mame-had she ever said anything to you?Pryor?

JP- No never, never never never mentioned anything not even remotely anything that I can try to remember.She even told me that when JonBenét was younger that was the direction.

Mame- Tell me how you found out? Did she tell you or did you hear it .

JP- It was done in an indirect way I don't think that was something that Patsy would disclose publicly to me because she knew me well enough. to know ,that would be something that I would not approve of so why mention it to me.But when I went to her home to sell her some photographs.They were having the open house for the Christmas.Tour of Homes she looked at some of my slides of the Flatiron sand other pictures.she was interested in buying some so I went there with some of these photographs.Ready for her to see I went up to the second floor and Nedra showed me JonBenét's little pink cowboy outfit

Mame- And was that your first?

JP- That was my first clue.

Mame-That is the cowboy outfit that we have all seen?

JP- Right,right ,right

Mame-were you

JP- I was shocked,I said what's that for? Nedra said why Judith were getting JonBenét in some oh just a few pageants. I said your kidding.! She said oh yea she's done some already.In Charlesvoix Were just going do a few.That's when I ask the million dollar question to Nedra.What would happen to JonBenét. You know I was in a position ,that it was none of my business to tell them oh my god this is horrible. I was not , it was there home I was not in the position they didn't ask me how I felt about it so I had to say it in an indirect way.That's why I came up with a question.How would you feel if JonBenét at one moment would say I ain't doing this anymore. I'm not going do this.

Mame-And you thought of that then right there at the beginning.

JP- Yea

Mame- what did Nedra say?

JP- It was a way to get to ask a question that was not out of line but it had the same answer. Yea

Mame- So Nedra's answer was?

JP-Oh Judith don't worry about it this is how we would respond to JonBenét and I would say what would you say to her JonBenét you will do it!

Mame- Did she say that ,that was frightening.

JP- Yea,the way that Nedra responded frightened me.

Mame- Now let's move to,while you were there can you describe JonBenét? JonBenét's transformation when you met her up till now I mean can you talk about her as a kid.

JP-I didn't know her when she was born because they were living back in Atlanta then.I remember getting the birth announcement.When I saw the name JonBenét I thought what in the world! this is the weirdest name I have ever seen.I knew Patsy was into frenchy things back then though.She had this girlfriend that she really admired and put on a pedastal and she had four or five daughters with frenchy type names.So when I called Patsy to congratulate her and said where in the world did you find a name like JonBenét? She said oh well you take the H out of John and the N out of Bennett which is apparently John's middle name,it's JonBenét.So that was a real supprise.That she would name her daughter such an unusual name.And then with two capitals,a capital J and a capital B.It was really unusual but not unlikely of the Patsy I knew.It was kinda like this spashy name.I'm sure she wouldn't have names her daughter simple names like Susan or Kathy or Linda.It had to be something splashy.

Mame-right

JP: and then when they moved here, JonBenét was, I think, barely over a year. I remember that both she and Burke and Patsy had a hard time adjusting to the sunlight here in Boulder because their eyes are so light green, that she would have to wear sun glasses a lot and I remember taking their pictures in early on after they moved here up at Chataqua Park, which is a park a little south of here and their eyes, it was very difficult for them to get them to get adjusted to it, to the sun here. JonBenét was your typical little year and a half year old. Of course she was dressed to the hilt with these beautiful snowsuits with the fur around the collar and the fur around the hat. But she was so cute! she was so cute!

Mame: Just like the all American baby, chubby cheeks

JP: yeah, chubby cheeks, very chubby cheeks. And just you know, quiet. Then, as time went on I invited Patsy over here to my home for my daughter's birthday party and I invited some neighborhood women, so she could get to know some people, and she brought JonBenét who was in this incredible dress. You know one of them dresses that you see….

Mame: Plantation dresses?

JP: yeah, a little straw hat and she had this curly, curly little hair that was coming out, this dishwater blonde hair that was coming out, …. And she looked so cute! She was just dressed to the hilt. And she still at that point, I made a point of talking to her, cause she then could communicate a little bit and she was a little standoffish and shy that was ah… she was shy. That was ah, she was shy. Not like, well, very much like her brother Burke. There was a shyness to each of the children. But she was so cute! I saw her grow up a little bit bigger a little bit bigger, I would go over there to see her. My daughter and JonBenét would love to play with each other. And at one point I remember going to her house and I remember that her hair was drastically cut short. Like in a page boy, short.

Mame: still not dyed not yet, right?

JP: Still not dyed, she had dishwater blonde hair.

Mame: she had a bob?

JP: uh, huh. A real short one, and I said to Patsy, What happened to her hair? And she goes OH I just got so sick of fighting with JonBenét about combing her hair. We would fight all the time, so I just got sick of it and I took the scissors and cut her hair. (laughs)

Mame: Oh she cut it herself?

JP: yea

Mame: How old was she about 3?

JP: yeah, she was about 3 and shortly afterward I did the photo shoot for the Colorado women's news article and spent some time in the home and JonBenét still had that short bob of a hair cut. She reminded me of a little girl who had some tomboy qualities to her. As I searched around the house for lighting situation of where I was going to take these pictures of Patsy and then the children, she would follow secretly behind. I would hear some noise and I'd turn around and there was JonBenét .

Mame: she was very inquisitive?

JP: she was very inquisitive and then I'd hear a little glee or snicker and then she'd run away and hide. Then I went to another room and then we made a little game out of it.

Mame: she had a good nature.

JP: she had, she had a great, great sense of humor. There was almost a deep spiritualism about her, that I can't really put my finger on.

Mame: an old soul?

JP: yea exactly, an old soul. Yeah, that I felt about her, that she was way more aged than her years.

Mame: But at that point , at three she could still be the child

JP: Yeah, she was dressed in very child-like clothes, she and my daughter played up her in her bedroom. In fact, my daughter later told me that during one of her visits that during this time, that she went up to JonBenét room and JonBenét showed her all the trophies from all the pageants, her ribbons and stuff like that and my daughter said 'what are these?' and she said 'oh my mom just wants me to get into these pageants and these are trophies that I earned' and my daughter said 'wow, cool'. She said (JonBenét) 'but the trophies really don't belong here, they belong in my mom's room' . Yeah.

Mame: and that was when she was older?

JP: Yeah. And then (couldn't hear).......the hair dye. It was the summer of I think it was 95. She came back, Patsy came back, I saw her early after they had returned, hadn't seen JonBenét , but she had arranged a meeting with me and another woman who wanted to meet Patsy, to I think, get some money from Access Graphics for a fundraiser. So, I kind of put the two of them together and really the two of them did a lot of talking, but that's the luncheon where I noticed that Patsy had this humungous diamond ring, and I looked and I said 'oh, my god Patsy, where did you get that?' And she said that she had got it in Texas, when they had stayed in Texas in the summer for a short time and she saw all these Texas women with their big rocks and she wanted one too. laughing...so, it's the biggest thing I have ever seen. And that one symbol of that big rock told me that there was something different. I felt...

Mame: ..................can you tell me when this was, prior to JonBenét death, can you tell me not exactly, but was this a year....?

JP: I think this was the summer, the late summer of 95.

Mame: OK. so about a year and a half?

JP: Right. And Patsy looked, aged. She looked, she had worry lines on her face.

Mame: So you saw stress?

JP: Uh huh. I saw stress in her, I also saw ..

Mame: depression?

JP: Uh...? No, not so much as I saw her playing a game.

Mame: with herself? or with the world? Or?

JP: with the woman she was talking to. You know, and then the story about the rock and everything.

Mame: trying to impress?

JP: right. And it was so overly done and more than I had seen before , I did not want to stay long at that lunch, it was, but I noticed a change.

Mame: a change?

JP: I noticed a change. It was a feeling as well as a visual change. I am so observant as a photographer about people that it to me was a change and shortly afterward, I saw JonBenét with this bleach blond hair

Mame: How old was she then?

JP: she was 5? Yeah.

Mame: I talked to a hairdresser here that she said she was asked at 3 to dye her hair and she said 'no'. So maybe she had designs on this for a while?

JP: Apparently so. Yeah.

Mame: Were you shocked? Obviously when you saw the bleach blond hair.

JP: Yeah, I was shocked. That's why I asked Patsy...'what did you do to JonBenét hair? You didn't dye it did you?' And she said no, no, no..It was the hot summer sun in Charlesvoix that dyed her hair.

Mame: And it was obviously bleached?

JP: laughing....yes. It was obviously bleached....It was obviously bleached..I thought how stupid do you think I am...I didn't respond, but I thought. I said oh isn't that interesting.

Mame: So she came back from the summer with it bleached.

JP: uh huh.

Mame: I am noticing pictures from the little girl you described, the chubby cheeks,

JP: uh huh

Mame: pretty little girl

JP: uh huh

Mame: I recently saw some photographs of the Christmas morning prior to her death that

JP: did you?

Mame: I think that a tabloid or something had them. I saw them somewhere and it is shocking and the child looks, maybe it is just the photograph. Let me ask you. She was very gaunt, long scraggly hair, very almost, I don't want to use the term anorexic, but that sort of stress like thinness that you don't seen in a...you don't see kids get into that thin thin thing until they are adolescent or I don't know. Did you see that sort of a ....did you see a real change in stress, in terms of her looks, did you see a lot of stress in JonBenét over a period of time? Or no?

JP: Of course I saw the physical changes with her hair and that she was dressed up like at her Christmas party she was dressed up in this Cinderella ball gown. I had never seen her in clothes like that. You know, I hadn't seen that before.And she was so perfectly coiffed you know, makeup. And when I did the photo shoot in the studio the one where she and her mom and Burke and Nedra were there. I saw her, really I left it up to the people to decide, how they wanted to present their family. I didn't say you had to wear these kinds of clothes, and so I was always very interested to see what mothers would bring to wear.

Mame: couldn't hear

JP: laugh. So when I saw these elegant outfits I was, um, she, they were the only people that I'd ever photographed that way. And JonBenét had this incredible, beautiful white dress on, and then they applied the makeup and I photographed her, it was obvious to me that this was a little girl that had changed a lot, that I didn't know. No, I did not see the stress of JonBenét at all. What I saw in that photo shoot which was really the last time I, no, the second to last time I saw her alive, was that Patsy was in a frenzy, that she was late as usual, and she probably had another appointment that she was already late for so it was....c'mon, get...you know, she was real tense, and the kids were like real stiff and real obedient to her, they knew not to cross a certain line and then when I took the pictures, especially of JonBenét alone, I allowed her to be free and be herself and on some level, it was difficult for her to handle that. I remember I had to talk to her, encourage her, not to be quote, on, you know I wanted a deeper picture.

Mame: she had been directed, and produced so much?

JP: right.

Mame:She wasn't able to just go natural

JP: I had to coach her to let it go and be more natural. So I found that photographing her unlike what other people have said, where I was looking for that natural photograph of her was not an easy thing for me to do. She had to be coached.

Mame: and, so that was a change?

JP: yes. yeah.

Mame: good I am glad you said you didn't see stress because I think a lot of times in this whole case we are left to write our own story, and, because of that there are misinterpretations and

JP: yeah.

Mame: Burke. Tell me about Burke. Was he, you said he was shy?

JP: He's an odd child. He was always very odd, odd meaning I just couldn't put my finger on him. He was very hard to read, he was very closed, he was very difficult to get an impression on, because he would very rarely let his true self come out. He preferred to play computer games, really didn't like to be..

Mame: he was sort of nerdy? Not nerdy, but sort of that more techno, I mean, I know kids like that, just aren't, the kid's out on the skateboards or you know, on the basketball team, or, ah...

JP: But he was still very naturally athletic too, yeah, he was. He had a bicycle that he just rode all over his neighbourhood, I understand that he did quite a bit of skiing, he also rode his skateboard . I think that he was naturally athletically inclined.

Mame: Did his shyness affect how he ...

JP: Oh yes, that's why I think he turned and related to the computer. It was a way of escape for him.

Mame: and communication?

JP: and communication, absolutely.

Mame: Now, do you think, I mean recent studies show that shyness, I have a daughter like that who isn't so much now but, it's really a genetic thing in many kids. Do you think, obviously Patsy wasn't a shy person, but do you believe that John may have been when he was younger, more shy or do you think the shyness may have been because of not wanting to step outside what the parameters were of the family and what was accepted ? Do you have any sense of the shyness, or the inability to ...both talking

JP: I can't imagine John or Patsy carried any remote quality of being shy. I think the shyness was due to, and this is my own speculation, was due to the demands that was placed on these children emotionally in their household. In having a mother who was so aggressive,

Mame: She ran the house, in every way?

JP: oh yeah. and so did her grandmother. So did her mother, Nedra. I think that these children were used to very strong female figures in their life.

Mame: OK

JP: ah..

Mame: Now, as an artist, and I will get to your art a bit more later, but I have a question about...as you were going through this you heard about it when you were in Chicago, but as an artist you are a very visual, and as a woman (can't hear......) and we talked about this in our first interview, you are very intuitive. In your mind, how did you visualize this playing out in terms of justice? You thought they were innocent at first, and then you started to put the dots together ..

JP: oh yeah.

Mame: Tell us how you visualized and how this grew...

JP: the timeline of it all?

Mame: yeah, how you, your depth of intuition in your art. I mean I have seen how those all come together for you.

JP: yeah, they really do. Before I begin the timeline, people that have seen my work have commented on the fact that I capture the soul.

Mame: can't understand

JP: when they see my images. and you know, from my point of view I do what I do. I don't really sit down and analyze it, but I just know that I always look for something deeper in people and it is sort of reinforced by how I can see things in people that most people don't take the time to notice. I have feelings about things, about people and later on I'll find they are right on and I don't know where this cometh, (laughing), but it's there so, it also enables me to take photographs that very few people can take and show a deeper level of us as human beings and so that has been a really incredible asset that I've had so it just kind of fits right into my whole philosophy about people and looking below the layers and , in fact I feel it is quite a privilege when I do photograph someone for them to open a personal door and let me in to see that. I consider that an absolute privilege that they would show me a more private side of themselves. So, I am very grateful that people feel comfortable in doing that with me. So here it is Dec and we get the phone call in Chicago. and it was late at night and the children were asleep. and my ex-husband took the phone call and ...

Mame: who called?

JP: Roxie Walker and her husband Stewart Walker called us, they knew ...

Mame: they were neighbours?

JP: They were neighbours that lived across the street, that were very close friends of Patsy and John's. And they wanted to let us know what we were about to embark on when we came back into town. And , they found us in Chicago, at my twin sister's house and talked to my ex-husband, Robert, and when he got off the phone, his face was completely white. I kept saying what's the matter, what's the matter, what's going on? And he said there has been a tragedy and I said what? He said JonBenét . and I said what?! He said JonBenét has been murdered.. You know all these things flash through your mind, disbelief and horror and depression, and you want to reach out and ...

Mame: fear

JP: yeah, you just want to, wish I could have done the star trek thing, beam (both talking)...

Mame: to Boulder

JP: yeah, to Boulder so I could be there for Patsy and I was just thinking of her and what she and John must be going through. So, never in my wildest dreams did it ever enter my mind early on that they were even remotely capable of being involved in the murder. Until my brother-in-law, who was an ex-cop, as we were talking after the phone call, he said 'Judith, don't be surprised if they find that Patsy and John have something to do with this.' And I was horrified.


PART TWO
Mame: How long after do you think that was? That he said this?
JP: He told me that night.

Mame: Oh, that night?

JP: Yeah, they were with us when we got the news.

Mame: And were you defensive at first, like how could they?

JP: Well, it just, the whole thought of it was just inconceivable. I just (laugh), this was so left field that there was no way. But it was like an interesting comment to make.

Mame: And you must have respected his opinion?

JP: Yeah, I respected his opinion, but I thought he didn't know what he was talking about. That being an ex-cop, and what did he know about Patsy and John, he knew nothing about them. So, it was, you know I wasn't offended by it. It just sounded so ridiculous. Aand then once we got back into Boulder, the Ramseys were gone already to Atlanta and Fleet and Priscilla were still here, ...

Mame: And did you connect up with them at that point, talk with them at that time at all?

JP: We tried to but they wouldn't answer their door. And I left various messages, and I think Fleet called my ex-husband Robert back because Robert, we had decided that if there was room on the plane to go to Atlanta, that one of the two of us would go to the funeral. And so Fleet did call back and talk to Robert and we found that there was absolutely no room on the plane left anywhere. So we more or less, they took off the next morning for Atlanta and we were here in Boulder wondering...

Mame: Now, was this John's plane? No, they were there already right?

JP: No, John, John had taken his plane with Patsy.

Mame: And what plane were you talking about?

JP: The plane that Access Graphics had provided.

Mame: Oh, they provided a plane for friends and family?

JP: Ah huh, and Fleet was in charge of making everything happen. I mean both Fleet and Priscilla, as I had said before, really took charge and made all the arrangements for Patsy and John early on, on those days after the murder. So, you know, I in my mind was only thinking about wanting to comfort the two friends that I had, you know because it was such an unbelievable tragedy.

Mame: (unintelligible) special connection?

JP: We had our moments, yeah, I did, I really watched her and enjoyed being around her very much. I really liked her. I liked her person.

Mame: Right, cause you know we love, I mean I do think it takes a village and we love our friends' children, watching them grow up. But there are some kids that really touch us.

JP: Yeah, she touched me in a certain way. So, then in January of course the reporters from every walk of life, whether they were from the tabloids or...

Mame: They found you, right?

JP: Yeah, they found me.

Mame: They are here all of the sudden, non -stop.

JP: yeah non-stop or phone calls. I would have thirty phone calls a day. They somehow found out through the Colorado Woman's News about the images that I had, that I had been a friend of Patsy's not only in Atlanta but in Boulder so they were very interested in getting those pictures from me.

Mame: Must have been like trick-or-treating here though because who do you have right here on this street?

JP: (laugh) This is the street. The Walkers across the street and Steve Miles next door.

Mame: Oh, really?

JP: Yes, he lives right next door.

Mame: Now does Roxy Walker live.. Oh wait that's what you just said, the Stines are here ...

JP: Roxy Walker lives across the street. The Stines live two blocks over. But Susan was always over at Roxy's house.

Mame: So they were tight?

JP: They were very tight, or they became very very tight.

Mame: Now give our audience some perspective of the Ramsey's house, what, five blocks over?

JP: Yes, five blocks over. Yes, but I know that...

Mame: And South what, two or three blocks?

JP: Ah, two blocks.

Mame: OK

JP: I walked to her house most of the time when I went to visit them.

Mame: You're all in the same neighborhood

JP: Yeah, we are all in this general neighborhood together.

Mame: I don't think a lot of people realize, I know that I didn't, that the Walkers were here...

JP: Yeah, well all of our children went to the same elementary school.

Mame: And that's what really bonded the friendships, right? Or, you knew them before...

JP: Well for some, right, for some it bonded their friendship's very deeply. Yeah, but we all went to the, all the children went to the same school.

Mame: Now, ...

JP: Oh, then you wanted to know the timeline

Mame: Yes

JP: To continue with that. You know as I was privey to a lot of information, when these reporters would come to my house and like what I was told, was do not talk to the press, do not talk to anyone, those of us who were friends of the Ramseys were... it was a definite clear message that was sent to all of us. But, you know...

Mame: It just came...

JP: I got it through Roxy Walker and it was from John and Patsy, so I'm sure it was spread throughout the neighborhood, it was "Don't talk to reporters". But I guess I'm the kind of person, when someone says don't do something, I go ahead and do it anyway. (laugh)

Mame: Yeah right, you can't tell me what to do. But, at that point you still felt this innocence..

JP: Right, but I was intrigued, I wanted to find out, I wanted to dig deeper to find out because if...

Mame: Were you shocked by like the CNN thing and that there were things that were starting to happen the choices, their decisions, that didn't stack up to you?

JP: Yes, their appearance on the CNN interview and then when I found and read the ransom note, and then when I found out later about where it came from on the pad of paper, you know all the details of...

Mame: You made another really wonderful comment, and for those of us who live here I think it really hit home. And I don't remember exactly what it was but when you tied up, but how could she go on CNN when she knows that there are other children...

JP: Oh, one of the comment that she had made on CNN that just, just infuriated me was "there is a killer out there, so hold your babies close to you". And that had not been proven and I was mad because it scared me.

Mame: But even if it had, to say that so all these children could hear it...

JP: Right, and the parents could hear it. I was terrified. It terrified me.

Mame: Very selfish thing to do.

JP: Yes, yes and as things progressed later I realized how selfish it was, that she would want us to share in her terror. And I just felt that, oh I was just infuriated.

Mame: OK so I didn't mean to sidetrack there but you reminded me of a really, you know when you're living here what that does. So much, hit so many different people and neighborhoods and things and still...

JP: Yeah, and her behavior was so odd for me as grieving parents. As I have said on many interviews, you know I would have been right there at the police station camped out saying "whatever you want, whatever I can do, lets find the killer", but instead they lawyer up they get a PR person, they secretly hide out in certain people's homes. I mean it was odd.

Mame: And so for you this just sort of, whoa here

JP: Yes, the pr person, their appearance on CNN, and another thing I noticed on the CNN interview was their rage about the murder, the murderer. Patsy pointed her fingers allot. You could tell she was very ragefull. I didn't see allot of grieving, I didn't see allot of touching...

Mame: Drama, Dramatics?

JP: Yeah, I saw a lot of dramatics. And then when they came back into town it was their secret living quarters and they wouldn't tell some people, according to Susan Stine, that they didn't tell me because they were in incredible secrecy about their whereabouts

Mame: Secrecy about where they were. They wouldn't let certain people know where they were?

JP: No, and at first I thought it was because she was in such grieving, I wanted to respect her privacy but it just seemed so odd. Anytime I wanted to express something to her it had to be dome through a letter and I just...

Mame: Did she respond to any of those letters?

JP: No, no. The only response I got was, about mid-January I got a hand delivered message from William Grey who is one of their lawyers. That was a hand delivered letter that said I was, they realized I had photographs of the family and of JonBenét and I no longer was allowed even to show them in public, ah, blah blah blah blah blah... That, please sign this disclosure that would rescind any rights to photographs and it was just really kind of a slap on the hand. And I had at that point not done anything to prompt that. I had put whatever photographs and negatives I had in a bank vault so...

Mame: No one could break in...

JP: Right, noone could break in and the safety of my children was still intact. And to receive this letter out of the clear blue sky, you know, telling me that I couldn't do anything with photographs. I had copyrights for was way out of line. I felt it was a slap on the face and that really made me mad, it really made me extremely angry. At that point, that's when I started thinking"What's going on here?

Mame: that was about mid-January?

JP: yeah,

Mame: because it really wasn't the typical response of reaching out to the moms at the school and the neighborhood. "Hey guys help us, we need your help" We need to find who did this to our kid.

JP: right, right,

Mame: if this could happen to our kid, it could happen to your kid.

JP: yea, yea, right

Mame: to me that would be the normal response - hey guys I need your strength and power and wisdom.

JP: yeah, right, none of that, none of that, so I thought that it was just a feeling that I had that something's not right here. There's something more than what it appears to be and when I get that kind of a feeling I try to collect as much information as possible which I was privileged with a lot of information, because of the reporters I helped. I was willing to help anybody, thinking that if there was any way, any one little thing that I could either say or direct a reporter to that would help solve this murder, I'd want to do it.

Mame: when did the police first speak with you?

JP: I think in April, not sure,……March or April ……

Mame: and did you ask to be spoken to? Or did they take it upon themselves to…

JP: they called me first and asked if it would be okay if they could interview me down at police headquarters. And I said, sure.

Mame: did they want to know more about what type of person Patsy was?

JP: well they asked, they interviewed me 3 times. The first time was short and Steve Thomas and Gosage was there and there was a woman whose name I don't recall, those were the 3 that interviewed me. It was taped and I didn't have a problem with that at all. They asked odd questions like , do you know this person as related to John Ramsey? They were naming off at least a half of dozen female names and, no I've never heard of that person before and no, I never knew that person before. And they would ask….

Mame: Not related as relatives, but the connection in terms of his life, who they were?

JP: yeah, women involved with John. They were hinting at an affair. I said, Why did you ask me the names of these women? They said, well, it's believed that John Ramsey had had quite a few affairs, not only in Atlanta but also here in Boulder. Do you know of anything? I knew, really none. (Laughs). John has such a devious quality about himself there was no way that he would let anybody know about his trysts whether they were real or not. But I found it interesting the line of, the police line of questions and how it went. Then they asked me if I knew about Patsy, if I saw her anger, if I saw her lose her temper and if I knew if she had ever had any relationships here in Boulder, you know questions like, personality type questions.

Mame: did she?

JP: not that I know of, but I have been told by a friend by a friend of mine who is much more deeply involved in this story than I am, that she met with a woman in Denver that had a health club that had played racquet ball with a, ... I'm trying to think he was. Not an account…..

Mame: an investment person?

JP: An investment person. Yeah, and according to her friend that she knows very well, this investment person who is a man had said that he had a relationship with Patsy that night.

Mame: of the murder?

JP: yeah, that they had come home from the party at the Whites and Patsy had left the home, and had attended a party where they had a fling going.

Mame: do you believe that?

JP: You know, like...

Mame: How do you know?

JP: How do you know? It's not that I don't disbelieve it, it's like…. You know???

Mame: that's the story that Jann Scott sort of threw out, was that was the line of thinking that they had up with that this boyfriend had come back.

JP: yeah, well, I'm trying to investigate that. I have to do it very carefully.

Mame: I hope you'll keep us informed.

JP: I will. I have to be very careful, because I'm sure that she under any circumstances, that this man was apparently a father of the children where JonBenét and Burke attended school.

Mame: your school?

JP: their school. At that time they switched from the public school, to I .. Can't remember the name of it. They were a special satellite school.

mame: a magnet school.

JP: A magnet school. Patsy left, Susan Stine left and Roxy left and took their kids with them.

Mame: a magnet school

JP: a magnet school.

Mame: so it was apparently a father,

JP: yeah, who he did not, … he was married, he did not want anyone to know even if, this is true, can you imagine that he is willing to keep his secret, secret?

Mame: yeah, I can't imagine with all the scrutiny that, … but, you don't know.

JP: uh, huh.

Mame: that's fascinating.

JP: yes, it is fascinating.

Mame: But did you hear that there are good sources that you hear this from are sound enough that it's worth pursuing, that it's worth investigating… whether or not it's connected

JP: there is not one leaf that I would leave unturned in this particular case. I try not to have an opinion of something until I've investigated it further. So, I believe that this is something worth following up on. But I want to be real careful, because if this is true, this man is keeping an incredible secret. So, that's .. so I went from, and I think at the point where the more information that I obtained, especially about the ransom note when Tom and I and our relationship started. He sat down with me at length and showed me what his analysis, what his handwriting analysis that he did for Darnay Hoffman.

Mame: And explain, to remind people who don't live in our area, for those people not familar, Tom Miller (your finance) is also involved. And he was also called upon.

JP: right, right.

Mame: to do an analysis

JP: a handwriting analysis for Darnay Hoffman years ago. And he was one of the few handwriting analyzers that was willing to come out very strongly about that Patsy wrote the ransom note. He did not soft step, didn't fudge at all, which I think a lot of them have a tendency to do, but he really strongly believes, and still to this day believes that Patsy was the author of the ransom note. So you know we would have many conversations about it and that sort of was like the icing on the cake for me.

Mame: .... and when was that in your timeline approximately?

JP: let's see, probably, in the early spring of 98.

Mame: OK, so about a year and half, a year and a quarter after.

JP: yeah,

Mame: OK. Let me mention what I never knew, I sort of picked this up on Dateline NBC that you did. Your personal opinion is there could have been some incest going on.

JP: yeah, the reason why I believe that is, a couple of things. First of all, this , to see JonBenét prance around in her very sexually revealing outfits and just the way that she presented herself was shocking for me. I felt that there was something more there than that the eye.. it was just ..

Mame: But at the time you saw her prancing you didn't feel it? You didn't approve of the activity, but later…. When you look back or…

JP: no, no, the first time I saw those films on television. I didn't see them while she was alive but..

Mame: but you didn't attend the pagents..

JP: right.

Mame: you had no way of knowing.

JP: right, so the first time I actually saw the footage, was right after her death, right after her murder, and I was shocked. I was absolutely shocked. I thought I do , this is not the little girl that I knew at all. It just was shocking.

Mame: sort of like a secret life.

JP: yeah, like another person. Actually another person that I didn't even know. The way that she pranced around and smiled and so sexual, adult sexual moves.

Mame: they really were sexual

JP: yeah

Mame: For those of us who have raised daughters, that is not a typical

JP: yeah, it's not Shirley Temple on the good ship lollipop, this is something very different, very different and there was a red flag, an intuitive flag that was, I, I just thought this is.. There's something wrong here. That was the first thing. Then as I have tried to put the pieces together that why I felt that Patsy, the person Patsy, the mother Patsy could ever have murdered her child, which I believe that she did. What would compel a mother to do this? And the only theory that makes any sense to me, is the theory that she found John sexually abusing JonBenét that night. That to me makes the only sense.

Mame: because you can't picture her then, bedwetting or…..

JP: no, no, no, no, no. The only thing that makes any sense of her behavior, was she quote" lost it".

Mame: and you think she was losing it towards John, not JonBenét .

JP: I think Patsy suspected it for some time. I think it may have started when JonBenét 's hair was dyed blonde because that summer Patsy came home with a big ring on her finger and she was different and so was JonBenét. JonBenét's physical appearance.

Mame: tell me this. Jane Stobie, I don't want to bring her into this too much, but she says, although I want to get you two together. Jane Stobie talks about in her book, that there is a huge shift in John Ramsey after Beth dies. And not just in the spiritual way, but he became, and I can't remember exactly, colder more

JP: Yeah, I would have to agree with that, definately agree with that , even though he was before Beth's death, he tended to be pretty much in the background at the parties and wouldn't say stuff but he smiled.

Mame: never a social butterfly then after.

JP: no, no, no, no, no. Patsy was a social butterfly. But there were smiles on his face and laughter. I didn't see much of that after Beth died at all. And I'll tell you the same thing for Patsy. Patsy, her bout with, and I have said this before in interviews, I intuitively believe, that there was a big shift in Patsy, after her her bout, her recovery from ovarian cancer. She was a different person.

Mame: and not all good.

JP: no. Not all good. I really firmly believe there was a major shift in her.

Mame: You have to wonder that for a life that had been spent in physical beauty and needed to be defined by materialism and outward appearances that when you go through a life changing experience and you're brought face to face with your mortality. You really have to look inside and so much what's inside has been defined as all those shallow things, that's theres not much to talk to.

JP: yeah, right, yeah, what had she had done up to this point that would have redeemed her? (laughs).. I mean, that's how the christian philsophy is, redemtion through good works.

Mame: she tried to do the good works. You were in the sunroom with her. ....

JP: that was after.

Mame: but she always fell back. I don't want to stick on that to long, but I think you have such insightful viewpoints about our choices in the past.

JP: yeah, I think I've said this to you before. I believe wealth is a gift that's given to a man, a woman, a family, whatever. It is truly a gift. Many times just by sheer luck just by being at the right place, the right time. Which is what the Ramsey's were. I have, in my lifetime, had a great deal of money and not had a great deal of money. So, I've been there, done that. And I consider wealth as a privilege and that the wealthy need to give back to society good things with their money. You know, building a library, or funding an Aids foundation or something like that to help us move to a better place

Mame: not just giving to the Philharmonic donation or some women's board. I'm not putting that down totally. But true philantropy isn't just a social.. much of it isn't a social.

JP: right, it's deeper than that. And there have been people through this century that we just came through that were just incredibly giving people. So you know, I feel that in those respects that the wealthy do not own up to their responsibilities. So that's why I consider when I do meet somebody who does give back and gives back with a true pure heart.

Mame: and many of those who do and I have friends who are huge philandraphists are very understated and quiet people.

JP: right, right, right. So that's why when they became wealthier and wealthier and wealthier and wealthier, I really felt, in their responsibility of their wealth, that she needed, especially being given back life, so it's time for her to do it right this time.

Mame: The gift of life. And John had lost a child.

JP:Yes, she was given back life, so it's time for her to do it right this time.

Mame: Judith, today??

JP: uh, huh?

Mame: I mean, was there and I want to step to this closer in a little bit, but I wanna get to it today and we're gonna end up, finish this today. We have talked about so many wonderful things. But in the beginning did you have the sense was.. was Justice going to be served?

JP: I'm so glad you asked this question. I always, you know I'm not that naive to think that our system, our government and system of things is rather, tainted and certainly with the example of the OJ Simpson trial, I think that was very much of an earmark for me, in terms of my naivete about this country and the justice system, is because it was so apparent to me that during the OJ Simpson trial that you can manipulate and maneuver Justice,

Mame: Rich Justice

JP: Rich justice, I saw it I remember it was a similar feeling when I was a younger person and John F Kennedy died and I remember during his funeral, I would walk up and look outside the window and say, this world is not what I thought it was. I had the same feeling after the OJ Simpson trial. That this world that we live in and the values that I was brought up to believe in America, do or die, and our justice system works, is no longer (laughs) this perfect picture.

Mame: And everywhere, within a few weeks after this childs death ?

JP: right, right.

Mame: OJ's in your front yard and on your front porch. Well not OJ, but not OJ , but the whole, the media, the TV, the, whatever.

JP: right, right. I believe that people deserve to be fed information.

Mame: absolutely.

JP: I really firmly believe that. Take for example the ransom note. For Alex Hunter to have given that ransom note to the Ramsey attorneys to me was unconscionable. That they would give sensitive information about the defense or about the prosecution to their lawyer. So with that act, of releasing it.

Mame: and many other acts.

JP: and many other acts, that to me was the milestone that if you're going to give it away to them, then the public, don't keep it secret. The public deserves to know.

Mame: that's our evidence.

JP: uh, huh, uh, huh.

Mame: if you're not protecting and prosecuting it, and keeping it secret, for the case, it's the public's evidence.

JP: yeah, and that's why my finance Tom Miller and really good friend, Craig Lewis have been handcuffed and put in jail. For commercial bribery. We can go into that another time because to me that is an absolute travesty so you know as time has gone by and we have seen all the incredibly….

Mame: the sideshows

JP: the sideshows

Mame: the sidetracking of the justice.

JP: yeah, and as Alex Hunter's behavior and then realizing my belief that the whole, all the DA's are tied together in a conspiracy. At the helm..

Mame: a political conspiracy

JP: a political conspiracy, and Hal Haddon pulls their strings and they're all tied together. It's not anything unlike Chicago politics with Mayor Daly.

Mame: they get stuff done.

JP: right, they get stuff done. We may not like it, but

JP: yeah, yeah, right.

Mame: What is it they always say, The city that works, what did Bailey? Say to the city? To Chicago to remind them again I didn't grow up there but I spent 20 years there. But tell me, I did an interview with Bill Wise and he told me again that Alex Hunter has never met Hal Haddon. I know you weren't there to be able to confirm it.

JP: well, I find that very curious, simply because Hal Haddon had contributed to Alex Hunter's political campaign. Now

Mame: you know that?

JP: yes, yes

Mame: cause I've gone back and looked at the years since they've been recording it and it's not there. But Hunter's reign goes back 30 years so I haven't gotten that far back yet.

JP: yeah, yeah, I believe that to be true.

Mame: OK and I won't make stick there. So it is, it's a shock when you believed in justice as a kid. You and I are about the same age and you're right. When Kennedy was shot and Martin Luther King, we lost a lot of confidence. There was a change of shift in our country. I think I always still believed that justice would be served.

JP: I always kind of hung still on a thread of hope, until after well, and then it was kind of eroded because after I met Tom, we sat down and he was so concerned about my emotional awa
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#2
JP: I always kind of hung still on a thread of hope, until after well, and then it was kind of eroded because after I met Tom, we sat down and he was so concerned about my emotional awareness. Because the entire Ramsey case was really consuming me, making me very upset and angry. I was like, photography business was suffering. I was so very, very sad. He said Judith, I want to take that away from you. I want you to stop interviewing, because it was always a reminder, it was always a reminder. He said .. get on with your life, girl. So that's really what I did, I didn't interview for a while. I completely cut myself off from people that ….
Mame: didn't turn on the tv news
JP: no, no, no, or if I did, I walked away or turned the television off. I really didn't speak to many of my friends that are still into the case heavily. I just wanted to be ..quote.. left alone. It really did some world of good. I mean Tom was right. I had to get on with my life. He told me back then very disturbing news. And this was, actually almost 2 years before Alex Hunter announced.. he said the fix is in, Judith. They're never going to convict Patsy or John. It will never ever, ever, ever happen. I cried when he told me first, I was so upset. And I said..
Mame: was this during the grand jury process or?
JP: before, before the grand jury process. I said, but they're going to have a grand jury in, this was right close to when they....
Mame: so you still had a little bit of hope left?
JP: a little bit of hope left.. and he just shook his head, and said, Judith ,I really don't want to hurt feelings, but you better prepare yourself for it, because it aint' gonna happen and he was privileged to how the political system works here in Colorado. He's lived all his life.
Mame: He was a lawyer.
JP: yup, he was a lawyer and he was very involved with, and he knows. He knew exactly what was going to happen.
Mame: I didn't get to meet you. Although someone tried to take me over in the parking lot, next to the butterfly garden that horrible day when Hunter stood up and said no indictments.
JP: yes, yes.
Mame: but from what I understood that day, from what I remember that day, I was told that you were devastated.. is that a true depiction?
JP: oh absolutely, I was devastated. Tom and I were coming back from an appointment in Denver and we took the truck that had a TV in it. And actually a reporter called me from NY on my cell phone and so, I turned on the television. And as we were driving into Boulder I heard the announcement and we drove straight to the ,, straight home.
Mame: So you weren't there?
JP: no I wasn't there. I saw it on television. I was close to Boulder, but I wasn't there.
Mame: so you drove direct to the Justice Center.
JP: yeah, right. Well, no, no, no.. I first came home here and a reporter from channel 4 news that who I really admire R--- (couldn't understand) called me and asked me for an interview.
Mame: oh I thought you
JP: and he said that the only way he could interview me was down at the justice center, because I really didn't' want to be down there. Cause I , I, just kind of wanted to suffer alone and get my, you know. Because I was angry. I was devastated. And so I did drive to the justice center just to be interviewed by R--- and then I was barraged by. Apparently it got around who I was…
Mame: was anyone else around then. The Whites around? Or anyone like that?
JP: no. I noticed Larry Schiller. I noticed Frank Coffman. I noticed, oh God, what was his name? Jeff-boy.
Mame: Jeff Sharpio
JP: yes, Jeff Sharpio.
Mame: today I heard it mentioned on Mrs. Brady's page. I was absolutely shocked, to find out that he is now a substitute school teacher in the Boulder school district.
JP: oh, my God!
Mame: I know. We won't get off on that. We'll save that for another day. The last time I saw him he was checking my videos at Blockbuster for me and now he's, anyway, we won't go into that, but I had to mention it.
JP: oh, my God! Oh, my God. Yes
Mame: so someone described it I think Peter Boyles did, but I think many people did independently as a kick in the stomach. Like you just lost air.
JP: yeah, it was. It was. And they said how did you feel about the Justice system, I was nearly in tears. I think it was, it pushed me over a line where at this point in my life I have no belief in the justice system anymore. It's crazy, it's manipulative and rich people get away with murder and then shortly afterwards Tom was handcuffed and put in jail for commercial bribery as was my dear friend Craig Lewis and when I saw these two in handcuffs on that was another kick in the stomach. I mean to see it, is so different than to talk about it, to see it. Of course Tom turned around and said, I'm the only person in the Ramsey case that has handcuffs on my hands, Patsy and John, the killers have never for one second, that's apparent from their actions.
Mame: I think there's 14 cases related to this but not one seeks true justice.
JP: right. Right and then because of, shortly after that Tom was released finally and then we had a house, we had a raid on our house by 12 detectives and Boulder police. The very same police that I had helped out on the Ramsey investigation.
Mame: exactly, where they're some of the same faces in the crowd.
JP: it was dark but I couldn't see, but I helped out, I was willing to help out the Boulder police under any circumstances with anything I could say, anything I could do for them.
Mame: Tell us what they were here for.
JP: there were six that surrounded my house on the outside, and about six to eight that had came inside with pistols. They were here for....
Mame: threatened to shoot your dogs, right?
JP: threatened to shoot my dogs and tear down our door if Tom had not let them in. They were unwilling to show us the warrant, which they were supposed to do at the door. Just threatened tear down our door, if we didn't let them in. So Tom let them in, in fear of our safety, my safety and my daughter's safety and they came directly down to the basement and confiscated his personal diary.
Mame: Why? What did they want in the diary?
JP: They wanted evidence of who Tom's client was.
Mame: and this was after the indictment, right?
JP: Just for a name to be named. Of course, Tom in his diaries mentions his feelings, who he associates with, who he meets with, how that… so it's a very personal diary on a day to day basis. So his horrible ex-wife, told the CBI that he had these personal diaries and she got her two boys to take pictures of Tom's bookcase during one of their visits here.
Mame: and you had no idea this was going on?
JP: no, I had no idea.
Mame: what a horrible thing to put on a kid's shoulder.
JP: oh, it's unconscionable. The woman has done many, many things to abuse these children and this was just another thing that happened. She gave the photograph to the CBI, so they knew exactly where they were going and what they were looking for.
Mame: Now tell me this, I asked Mr. (couldn't hear) if this could be turned (couldn't hear). That was after he'd been indicted, right?
JP: yes.
Mame: so this was to do the investigation into
JP: because he refused to name his client. And that's why he was indicted and sent to jail.
Mame: and I read somewhere that Tom said , way back when this first happened, he was told when they looked into it hey, there's nothing there.
JP: right exactly. There's nothing here don't worry about it.
Mame: Because there is nothing there, in my opinion.
JP: laughs.. there isn't, there still isn't. I mean what they base this on is just…
Mame: who's behind it Judith?
JP: Hal Haddon
Mame: The fix it man
JP: and the Ramsey's, ultimately. Because they always threatened early on through Susan Stine as a mouthpiece, threatened the tabloids.
Mame: meaning? Wait a minute, explain that to me. Threatened the tabloids?
JP: Can we stop here?
Pause………
JP: (couldn't understand) they would threaten tabloids, is, Susan Stine would often make offhanded comments to me knowing that I did have relationships with tabloid reporters. Saying,,, Just you wait, Judith. You better get yourself a real good attorney cause we're going to come after you. We're going to come after everybody and we're going to come after the tabloids. She said that multiple times at some of our softball games.
Mame: softball, just quickly you shared with me an absolutely wonderful photograph.
JP: yes, softball, I shared with you a photograph of Mom's Gone Bad. Actually it was a photograph that was taken for John Ramsey in that first year after we played, because his company Access Graphics, funded the softball team. So we had Priscilla, me, Susan Stine, Roxy Walker.
Mame: A classic photo.
JP: a classic photo, yeah.
Mame: Which I hope you share sometime with the world. It was fabulous.
JP: yeah, but you know, I didn't know where it was and I was cleaning out my files. I was doing a real big clean up job that was one of my millenium resolutions was to get my life in order and cleaned up and so I did. And I found it in a very obscure file someplace, so I made a copy of it. I'm thinking about sending a copy to Priscilla. So yeah, it was a classic photo.
Mame: Well if you ever choose to share it with us on the Internet, we would love it. Because it is just a magnificent photograph. Just describe it a little more.
JP: Well, actually it was a photograph meant to be a present to John Ramsey. We wanted to do something different, so we all, it was really Priscilla and Roxy's idea. They said, OK anybody from the team that can meet each other, come to this location at this certain time, and try and bring a tiara or a fur coat so we could dress up as if we were beauty queens. So, I had a black mink coat and I brought that along. It was really a hot day.
Mame: you had tiaras and (couldn't understand)
JP: yeah, tiaras and then people tried to improvise of course Susan Stine wore this like Austrian hat. There was no way she was going to feminize herself at all. Patty Novak who was in it too,
Mame: She's the nurse?
JP: She was the nurse that took care of Patsy and John that first 3 or 4 nights. She was on our softball team as well, knew Patsy, was in that little crowd. Laughing… she put a beer opener. She had a headband and put a beer opener as if it was a feather. (Laughing.. some more)
Mame: it was a great
JP: she said no way was I going to dress up as a beauty queen. There was no way. She was like that. You can push her, but you can push her so far and then she just will refuse to do it. So she had a church key as a feather. It was great.
Mame: and all the T-shirts said Mom's Gone Bad, right?
JP: yeah, all the T-shirts said Mom's Gone Bad, so when I took the pictures I took some of us, some of it when we were all cheesy smiling and some of the pictures when we were serious. It was the serious one that got to me. That to me, was the one that I choose.
Mame: now give me a date on that picture. Approximately.
JP: I think it was in summer, like in August or September. Of….96.
Mame: so right before all this happened. Just a few months.
JP: yeah.
Mame: the end of the softball season, probably.
JP: yeah, the end of the softball season, right.
Mame: so this is still a happy crowd untainted by the murder.
JP: yeah, Mom's Gone Bad. Yeah, people loved that name.
Mame: little did you know..
JP: yeah, little did I realize. Yes, that there would be a parody to the whole name of our softball team and how, I mean, if I truly could show people visually what the relationships are like, I would tear all the pieces apart.
Mame: uh, huh, uh, huh
JP: all the relationships are torn apart. All of them.
Mame: yeah, tell me about that, just briefly like whose left? Who hasn't been thrown under the bus of former friends, or walked away. If they haven't been thrown under the bus they're probably people who had to step back after a period of time. They may not have understood as early as you did that there wasn't something right here. Whose left? Just the Stine's? As friends of the Ramsey's?
JP: oh, well certainly Susan Stine, her, probably her life's journey is to take care of Patsy. Which is a real odd thing to do, but she is still vehemently in Patsy's life. And I think Roxy Walker, who lives across the street, is still involved, and supports Patsy 100%. Because this last summer, I saw Susan Stine for a brief moment on Patsy's front, ah… ah.. Not Patsy's front porch, but
Mame: Roxy's?
JP: Roxy's front porch.
Mame: which we are looking at right now.
JP: that's..
Mame: two houses down.
JP: two houses down, right. Two houses down. Susan Stine was in Boulder this summer and I saw her. I figured that Roxy because Roxy's children are not allowed to play on my side of the street. And the relationship of her children and my daughter has been completely cut off and I figure because of her attitude about her children and their relationships that she still was a big Patsy supporter.
Mame: Are those about the only two left from the old days?
JP: I don't know about the women in Atlanta. I'd be curious to know.
Mame: who was there.
JP: Whose there on her side and who's not. But you know there weren't here. They didn't see Patsy in her life in Boulder, so you know, they didn't have both sides of the coin. They didn't have both places, but as far as the friends here, I don't know of anyone that either doesn't firmly believe that Patsy's guilty or isn't highly suspicious of it.
Mame: (couldn't understand) and what's Susan's husband's first name?
JP: no, Doug Stine is the name of their son. Ah, can't remember.
Mame: anyway, Mr. Stine.
JP: Mr. Stine
Mame: he had quite a big position with the university, didn't he?
JP: yeah, I think he was in admissions or something like that.
Mame: what would possess him to, first of all, you talked privately before they were never that that close? Prior to the murder, right?
JP: right.
Mame: they obviously knew each other. The Ramsey's stopped there the night before, ah, the night of.
JP: They had to. They lived in their own home. They drove them here; they picked them up there. It was not only Susan, it was her husband too. And it's not unusual for the Ramsey's to ask supportive friends to become involved in their lives. So I think the Stines were looking to get out, to make a big switch, a big change. So, coming along amounted to, not to live in Boulder anymore, considering what their attitudes were about the murder. I'm sure Susan felt like this incredible need to support Patsy through thick and thin. So it wasn't surprising that they left.
Mame: uh, huh. Now she done you wrong a few times.
JP: laughing.. Uh, huh.
Mame: tell us. Set it straight.
JP: Well, let's see at a couple of softball games I remember at one particular one when she came back from Charlivoix, having taken care of Patsy.
Mame: Prior to the murder?
JP: No, this was after the murder. She and I were the only two from our softball team to have arrived early and she was sitting there on the bleachers and I said, very reluctantly, Hi Susan, and she tore me apart by saying Why would I want to talk to you? You sold the pictures to the tabloids. You better get yourself a good (that was the time she said you better get yourself a really good attorney) and she kept pointing her finger at me. (Repeats) You better get yourself a really good attorney.
Mame: threatening?
JP: yes, very threatening. We're going to come after you. And I just laughed and I said, Susan, you don't know what you're talking about. And she said Oh yes I do. I do know what I'm talking about. It may take a couple, a year or two, but we're going to come after you and you better run and hide. Of course, by that time, there were other members of my softball team that were arriving and they overheard Susan and it was embarrassing. There were people all over the place. And I finally said to Susan, Susan, I don't feel this is an appropriate place to discuss this. I'd more than happy to discuss it at my house later.
Mame: uh, huh.
JP: But then you know, throughout that softball season, that fall softball season she would sit at the opposite end of the dugout, she wouldn't even look at me, talk to me.
Mame: you were on the same team?
JP: yeah, we were on the same team. (Laughs) it was sort of
Mame: an irony?
JP: laughing.. Yeah. The same team. And there were her account of my visit to her house when I visited Patsy. Was so full of lies and exaggerations.
Mame: and that was the first time you'd seen Patsy, in the flesh, since the murder?
JP: uh, huh. Uh, huh.
Mame: that was what, February March?
JP: March. Right, right. And when I read Jameson's website about that particular meeting I knew it was full of Susan Stine's lies. It was pathetic. It was the fact that she accused me of coming to the meeting drunk. That I constantly pressured Patsy into signing a model release for the photographs. Why would I do that when I had a copyright of the photographs in the first place? My behavior towards Patsy, afterwards, you know it was just one lie after another. And you know she was just spewing her venom to Jameson and it was, I mean, when I read it, it really bothered me, so I really try to stay away from those kinds of websites. They're so full pack of lies and there's so much hatred and rage coming from Susan Stine, that it's.. All she wants to do is hurt.
Mame: and protect one person?
JP: Protect one person with lies. So it was the account of what happened was all-wrong. It was totally wrong and I wanted to set that record straight.
Mame: I'm glad you did.
JP: Absolutely.
Mame: Because I do think that regardless of people say, oh you don't listen to certain people they aren't credible. But once something gets into the waterway we forget where things comes from. We forget whose story they are. And another reason this case had gotten to a courtroom sooner. But, we won't go back there. I want to end with you Judith; we've gone on so long. And it's a wonderful interview. I have to sit here and wonder today, how you are the person you are. How there's not an ounce of bitterness that I see. Anger, we all feel anger.
JP: uh, huh.
Mame: You're, I would assume that your art has deepened. Tell us about your art, you told me once that your art helped save you in this.
JP: yeah,
Mame: Also your finance, Tom.
JP: right, right. Yeah, I was at a point almost two years ago that I was so devastated and depressed and angry by what was going on by the lack of what was going on in the Ramsey case that it just made me so angry. And the redeeming grace for me was to with Tom's encouragement, almost insistence upon it, because he really cared about me and really saw me very clearly and was very honest with me. Of course, I didn't see myself that way. I saw myself as being a crusader trying to get some answers.
Mame: But you were enveloped by the whole thing?
JP: right
Mame: I don't know how you could help but be.
JP: yeah, yeah, right. And he was the one that said I had to step away from it. The fix was in. They were never going to be convicted no matter what I did, what I said, any of the efforts it was never going to help the case at all. It had been decided. He said, Judith for your own emotional growth and sanity, you must let it go. And I did. I let it go by really becoming much more entrenched in my photography business. Which had been laying for about a year and a half. Really jump starting it again, and getting involved and taking photo shoots. The motherhood 2000 exhibit which is now in it's world tour. Getting all the details worked out with that. Really, really starting to work on what my goals were, with my photography business.
Mame: not being swept away.
JP: Not being swept away by something I had no control over. There was nothing I could do about it, which was the Ramsey case. And so because of Tom and his encouragement and his support that he gave me and the kind of work that I do where, you know, I feel like I'm the luckiest person in the world that I found my niche. Finding my niche in photography not only fulfills a lot of spiritual needs for me but also fulfills the artist in me. The mom in me. The observer in me. I really try and show people a more deeper side of myself. Mame: and you had found that prior to this. But did it deepen? Did your art deepen to the pain of??
JP: no because I had really. I think the whole Ramsey case from beginning to when I allowed it to end really took me through the bowels of hell and back. It made me look at myself, made me look at others. What friendship meant, what appearances mean made me question a lot of things I just took for granted.
Mame: right. I thought late last night when I was writing down my questions. How has this changed you as a friend? How has this changed you as a mother? As looking at your friends children?
JP: yeah, it's changed me a lot. I think in terms of friends, I think I'm much more picky about who I let into my real private life. I'm an open person, but I think I'm more cautious now to let certain people in that close. And also to live by my convictions. Patsy was never really the kind of friend that I related to. I mean, her morals and her wants and needs were so different than mine. And yet, I can see back to the times I spent with her or whatever was, oh yeah, I have nothing better to do.
Mame: you mean it's not a soul sister quality?
JP: right.
Mame: we all have friends, but there's this sister, soulful. Yet Patsy seemed like a fun friend at times?
JP: yeah, she was a very fun friend at times, but you know I think in the whole scope of things, that time is so limited in this lifetime. I need to surround myself with people that love me that support me, and really understand me. And our values are somewhat different. I constantly have to tell myself.. Do the good. Stand for the good.
Mame: Edit. I have a friend who always says edit, Mary, edit. In terms of friendships. Not edit out good friends. But decide who you're going to spend your time with.
JP: right. Decisions that I make now, I constantly want, want to always to stand for the good and the right. Yeah, leave those fringe friendships that are time consuming that really don't mean that much to you.
Mame: I read an article once, or somebody told me about an article once about Ralph Lauren. I think maybe in the NY Times magazine and he was asked about a similar thing and he said, his barometer is, Would I rather be having a cheeseburger with my kid? And I've always remembered that, because you know, it was his barometer on deciding to accept an appointment or go to a function. It makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?
JP: laughing, yeah, it does. Through the Ramsey case that's one of the great things I've learned is to be more selfish with my time and surround myself with people who really mean something to me. Life is so short. Life is so short and I see the Ramsey's life as being completely over.
Mame: How do you perceive Patsy right now? I mean how do you think she gets up every morning? How do you think she looks in the mirror? How do you think John does? Is she in total denial? We talked about this prior
JP: yeah, that's a real good question because I often think about them now that I'm almost finished with this book by Andrew Hodges, which I would highly recommend to anybody and everybody to read. It's called A Mom Gone Bad.
Mame: in your beautiful photograph. I didn't even realize that was your photograph.
JP: yeah, that's mine on the front. Anyway I've been thinking about them ever since I've been reading this book. His insights were incredible. I don't know how they can live with each other. But I know Patsy and I know her to be one of the strongest individuals I have ever come across. If this woman can overcome stage 4 cancer and walk away from it like she has. Whether she's crazy or not, I believe she would be willing to endure almost anything. And I think they have a choice. When you look at it they have a choice of either ratting on themselves and drastically changing their life or keeping things as is and being able to carry on their wealth and have the company of their son. In a crazy way, it's like why give up the golden egg?
Mame: Do you worry about Burke these days?
JP: Oh, oh absolutely. But he's gone. I mean, I used to worry about him even before the murder. He's totally lost.
Mame: yeah, the damage is done. Has to be just..
JP: yeah, I wish if I had anything to say to either of them. Especially to Patsy, is please be a brave person and tell the truth and you know what that truth is.
Mame: Wouldn't that save everybody a lot of…
JP: It would save her.
Mame: uh, huh.
JP: it's because she's so religious that I know that the truth was something that Christianity supports and not lying. I don't know how she lives with herself. She's got to do mental games. She's got to have these mental games where she twists and turns and compartmentalize things. Put things away in hiding, doesn't even think about them anymore. Very similar to, what was her name? Gone with Wind?
Mame: Scarlet.
JP: Scarlet I'll think it tomorrow. She's got to. I mean, she's got to. I wish she could release herself from the game. The play.
Mame: I'll think about it tomorrow.
JP: yeah.
Mame: It's a great way to end up.
JP: OK.
Mame: Thanks Judith.
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