Hacked computers?
#1
Hackers invade Ramsey case file
D.A.'s office fears information stolen
By ALLI KRUPSKI
Camera Staff Writer
June 13, 1997
Computer hackers may have stolen documents about the JonBenet Ramsey homicide from a computer located in a "war room" set up by the Boulder County district attorney's office, authorities said Thursday.
The Boulder Police Department asked the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to investigate the possible theft.
Someone gained access to a computer containing Ramsey case information about 1 a.m. Saturday, according to city spokeswoman Leslie Aaholm.
Monday morning, detectives discovered an anomaly in a computer inside the "war room" assembled for authorities assigned to the case at the Boulder County Justice Center at Sixth Street and Canyon Boulevard.
About eight hours after her mother reported her kidnapped Dec. 26, 6-year-old JonBenet was found strangled in the basement of the family's upscale Boulder home. In more than five months of investigation, police have yet to name a suspect or make an arrest in the case.
In part because of the little girl's participation in beauty pageants, many of them videotaped, the murder has drawn international attention. Two men were arrested in January for stealing coroner's photos from a private lab and selling them to a supermarket tabloid. Such tabloids continue to feature the case every week.
In the most recent development, investigators did not find any signs of forced entry to the "war room" and immediately called for technical assistance.
Technicians from the Boulder Police Department and the city's information services department conducted an assessment and "determined the likelihood that a theft of information had occurred," Aaholm said.
Officials asked the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for assistance Tuesday afternoon, said CBI inspector Pete Mang.
CBI technicians have completed a preliminary examination of the computer equipment.
"All we're trying to do is determine whether or not anyone had gained access to the computer and what they could have taken," Mang said. "It's still in the investigative stages right now. It's undetermined how long (the investigation will take), it just depends on what we find."
Meanwhile, authorities plan to verify the accuracy of electronic reports by comparing the documents with hard copies, according to Detective Cmdr. John Eller, who helps manage the homicide investigation.
"We don't believe anything has been lost, but we don't know what, if anything, has been copied," Eller said in a statement. "Whether this will have an impact on this case depends on the outcome of the investigation."
Officials intend to upgrade the security on individual computers and the room.
District Attorney Alex Hunter, through spokeswoman Suzanne Laurion, had no additional com
Police moved into the room - formerly the county's Community Corrections Department - on June 2.
Those assigned to the office include a detective supervisor and four detectives from the police department; two attorneys and an investigator from the district attorney's office; and a detective from the Boulder County Sheriff's Department, Aaholm said.
The room has eight work stations, a phone system, computers, covered windows, garbage cans, and at least one printer and paper shredder, according to Laurion.
"The office is protected by electronic security," Aaholm said. "There is a metal detector to go into the Justice Center, so there is security in that entire building. The building is not open after hours to the general public."
The possible theft may influence the public's view of the Boulder Police Department, said David Kaplan, a criminal defense attorney and a former president of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar.
"Fundamentally in what has been termed a "war room' you would assume that the Boulder Police Department would be capable of maintaining the security of the investigation," Kaplan said. "The inability to make sure that their documents are secured does not speak well of the department."
The effect of the potentially stolen documents on the homicide investigation depends on the content of the material, Kaplan noted.
"I'm sure that the Boulder police and district attorney's office don't want all of their thought processes communicated to the public at large," Kaplan said. "Even if it doesn't compromise the investigation, it will impact the confidence that everybody has - including the Ramseys - in the investigators. Hopefully, the information released won't further unjustifiably compromise the Ramseys' reputation.
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#2
Ramsey case notes might be missing, sources say
By ALLI KRUPSKI
Camera Staff Writer

Saturday, June 14, 1997

Someone may have stolen authorities' handwritten notes regarding the JonBenet Ramsey homicide from the "war room" established by the Boulder County district attorney's office.

Authorities, however, wouldn't confirm those reports.

"I can't really comment on that," said Pete Mang, an inspector with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Boulder police asked the CBI to investigate the possible theft of electronic documents from the room.

Boulder police Detective Cmdr. John Eller, city spokeswoman Leslie Aaholm and district attorney spokeswoman Suzanne Laurion said they have no knowledge of written papers missing from the room.

But several sources close to the case say someone may have pilfered other notes in addition to electronic documents from the war room. Some of the missing notes may detail the early stages of the investigation, those sources said.

Earlier this week, officials reported that someone gained access to a computer containing Ramsey case information about 1 a.m. June 7.

Police moved into the war room - at the Boulder County Justice Center at Sixth Street and Canyon Boulevard - on June 2 and continue to work with the prosecutor's office on the case.

More than five months after John Ramsey, JonBenet's father, and a friend found the 6-year-old strangled, sexually assaulted and gagged with duct tape in the basement of the family home, police have not named any sus pects or made any arrests. Authorities have released little information related to the murder and persuaded the court to seal search warrants and other documents.

Thefts, however, have occurred throughout the investigation:

Police arrested two men in January in connection with stealing coroner's photos from Photo Craft Laboratories in Boulder and selling them to a supermarket tabloid.

Several weeks later, the same tabloid published other pictures detailing the Ramseys' home. The family's investigators shot the photographs, and someone reportedly found the negatives in the trash.

Authorities arrested James Michael Thompson of Denver after he allegedly stole log pages from the Boulder Community Hospital morgue that included the JonBenet Ramsey entry.

Monday morning, police noticed an anomaly in a computer inside the war room, leading to them to suspect a theft.

"I just can't believe that the killer would be in there doing this - that doesn't make sense to me," said Gregg McCrary, a former criminal profiler with the FBI. "It's more someone who wants to embarrass (Boulder investigators) further by one, showing their vulnerability, and two, by looking for some information that could show some silly lead."

The thief or thieves may not have obtained significant information, McCrary added.

"There's going to be a lot of dead-end leads ... and clearly none of those have panned out because nobody's been arrested," McCrary said. "There would be a log of that material in there, so if they come in and are just blindly rummaging around, they'll find a lot of that stuff."
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#3
Ramsey file theft investigated
By ALLI KRUPSKI
Camera Staff Writer

Tuesday, June 17, 1997

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation began an inquiry Monday into the possible theft of computer documents about the JonBenet Ramsey homicide from the Boulder County District Attorney's "war room."

Someone gained access to a computer in the room containing Ramsey case information about 1 a.m. June 7. Two days later, detectives discovered an anomaly in the computer and suspected a theft. They did not find any sign of forced entry into the war room, located at the Boulder County Justice Center at Sixth Street and Canyon Boulevard. The Boulder Police Department asked CBI to investigate.

"We're looking at all possibilities, whether it be electrical or human intervention," CBI inspector Pete Mang said. "Anything is possible."

CBI has assigned four agents to the investigation, and technicians have completed a preliminary examination of the computer equipment, Mang said.

"Obviously, we're just beginning this investigation and we have no idea how long it's going to take," he said. Since the Boulder Police Department handed the matter over to the agency, the CBI would file charges if necessary.

CBI investigators plan to interview all officials who had access to the war room, District Attorney Alex Hunter and Boulder Police Chief Tom Koby, Mang said.

He could not comment on reports that someone may have forgotten to turn the computer off on June 6 or stolen written notes related to the case.

But sources say the written notes may detail the first few days of the investigation into the slaying of JonBenet, the 6-year-old found strangled and gagged with duct tape in her home on Dec. 26.

In other developments:

In an attempt to keep sections of JonBenet Ramsey's autopsy report sealed, the Boulder County Attorney's Office Monday filed a petition for rehearing with the Colorado Court of Appeals.

Deputy County Attorney Madeline Mason also filed a request to extend the seal on the report pending an appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court.

Officials have argued that releasing portions of the document could hinder the investigation.

District Judge Carol Glowinsky last month denied Mason's request regarding the autopsy and ordered all but six portions released June 3 and the remaining sections opened in August.

The Court of Appeals on June 3 rejected authorities' request to overturn the lower court's ruling. The court, however, gave Mason two weeks - until Monday - to file a petition for rehearing.

Glowinsky released other portions of the autopsy report in February.

Officials could not confirm reports police have obtained a search warrant to re-search the Ramsey's home at 755 15th St. John and Patsy Ramsey, the girl's parents, agreed in April to allow authorities to search their Boulder home again without a warrant. Investigators reportedly wished to destroy walls in the basement in hopes of locating evidence.
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#4
More Ramsey files possibly pilfered
By ALLI KRUPSKI
Camera Staff Writer

Wednesday, June 25, 1997

Confidential computer files - potentially related to the JonBenet Ramsey homicide - appear to have been stolen from the Boulder County Department of Social Services.

The agency's technical staff recently discovered the possible unauthorized access during routine maintenance of a computer within the department, Boulder County Social Services Director Christine Highnam said in a statement Tuesday.

Officials asked the Boulder Police Department to investigate the potential theft.

Boulder Police Chief Tom Koby did not return Daily Camera phone calls.

Social services workers questioned JonBenet's brother, Burke, after the girl's death. Two sources said Tuesday the theft may have included documents related to those interviews.

Sources also said the theft occurred around the same time someone gained access to a computer with Ramsey case information in the Boulder County district attorney's office "war room" - located at the Boulder County Justice Center at Sixth Street and Canyon Boulevard - about 1 a.m. June 7.

At the Police Department's request, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation is investigating the war room incident.

In the latest reported computer theft, officials couldn't discuss details of social service files because of Colorado confidentiality laws. Consequently, Highnam couldn't confirm or deny that the social services theft involved the Ramsey case.

Sources close to the investigation, however, said someone most likely pilfered social service documents regarding the slaying of JonBenet, the 6-year-old found strangled in her Boulder home on Dec. 26. Several days ago, Ramsey case detectives interviewed some social service employees - who have assisted investigators with the murder case - about the agency's theft.

Meanwhile, officials don't suspect a "hacker" committed the crime because the unauthorized access occurred within a social services internal computer, Highnam said.

"The Department of Social Services considers this a serious breach of confidential information and will pursue appropriate action against whoever is involved," Highnam said. "We also are re-evaluating our internal security measures."
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#5
'Tampering' was computer glitch
CBI irons out Ramsey case wrinkle
By ALLI KRUPSKI
Camera Staff Writer

Friday, June 27, 1997

Equipment failure - not human intervention - caused detectives investigating the JonBenet Ramsey homicide to suspect someone tampered with a computer inside the Boulder district attorney's "war room," a Colorado Bureau of Investigation report said Thursday.

CBI's computer crime division determined an intermittent short circuit occurred in the battery backup to a computer chip, according to city spokeswoman Leslie Aaholm. The resulting loss of power made it appear as if someone may have gained access to the computer about 1 a.m. on June 7.

Two days later, detectives discovered the anomaly in the computer inside the war room, located at the Boulder County Justice Center. Authorities asked CBI to investigate.

CBI conducted interviews with everyone who had access to information and examined - as well as fingerprinted - the inside and outside of the computer, Aaholm said in a statement.

The CBI analysis also showed a malfunction in the computer - not an electrical power surge or a weather-related phenomenon - produced the power lapse.

Boulder Police Chief Tom Koby and Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter said they appreciated CBI's inquiry.

"They were quick to respond and reach a resolution," Koby and Hunter said in a joint statement. "This incident needed to be investigated, and we're relieved that the investigation hasn't been compromised."

Police have not named any suspects or made an arrest in connection with the slaying of JonBenet, the 6-year-old found strangled in her home on Dec. 26.

After the murder, authorities with the Boulder Department of Social Services interviewed JonBenet's 10-year-old brother, Burke, and her half-siblings. In a separate incident, a social services technician recently discovered a possible unauthorized access of computer files within the department detailing those discussions as well as other observations about the homicide. Boulder police are investigating that possible theft.

Meanwhile, the Boulder Police Department shared the results of DNA analysis related to the slaying with Hunter. District attorney's spokeswoman Suzanne Laurion couldn't comment on when investigators provided the results to the prosecutor's office.

Sources close to the case, however, said the DNA testing and palm print examinations on the ransom note found by Patsy Ramsey didn't produce any conclusive results.

Officials also couldn't confirm reports the palm print testing showed similarities to the former Miss West Virginia's hand.
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#6
Its unbelievable how naive the BPD was... how careless they were.. yet the lack of evidence is the Ramseys fault? I dont think so. Its called poor police work. Its hard to imagine where this case would be if they didnt botch this case from the first minutes.
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#7
Ramsey case under CBI scrutiny
By ALLI KRUPSKI
Camera Staff Writer

Saturday, June 28, 1997

Officials have involved the Colorado Bureau of Investigation in an inquiry into the possible theft of JonBenet Ramsey homicide computer documents from the Boulder County Department of Social Services, sources said Friday.

The report includes interviews with JonBenet's 10-year-old brother, Burke, and the girl's half-siblings, as well as other observations about the murder.

"It looks like the computer file just turned up on a computer that it shouldn't have," a source close to the case said. "CBI knows about it and has helped with the situation. It just needs to be looked into to make sure a theft didn't compromise the Ramsey investigation."

Citing Colorado confidentiality laws, social service authorities couldn't confirm or deny the possible theft in the case. Six-year-old JonBenet was found strangled in the basement of her family's home on Dec. 26.

A social services technician recently discovered the possible unauthorized access during routine maintenance of a computer within the department. Officials then asked the Boulder Police Department for assistance, and one detective continues to investigate the social services incident.

Authorities don't believe a computer hacker committed the crime, according to Boulder County Social Services Director Christine Highnam.

CBI authorities couldn't be reached for comment. The organization on Thursday concluded an investigation into the possible theft of computer documents from the Boulder district attorney's office "war room."

Equipment failure rather than human intervention prompted Ramsey investigators to suspect someone gained access about 1 a.m. on June 7 to a computer in the war room.

In other developments Friday, Deputy County Attorney Madeline Mason filed a response regarding her request to extend the seal on JonBenet's autopsy report in Colorado Supreme Court.

Last week, the Supreme Court ordered the documents sealed until it issues a further decision.

Officials have contended releasing the report could jeopardize the investigation.

District Judge Carol Glowinsky last month denied Mason's request related to the autopsy and ordered all but six portions opened to the public June 3 and the remaining sections released in August.

Glowinsky opened other portions of the report to the public in Feburary.
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