The Documentary Transcript

          This is a transcript of the documentary shown on Channel nine in Colorado.  Some
               additional footage from the A&E show, hosted by Bill Kurtis, is in blue.
                   The documentary was called "JonBenét's America" in England.
            On A&E, it was called "The Case of JonBenét - The Ramseys vs The Media"
It was produced by David Mills of London.
Michael Tracey of Boulder Colorado was co-producer.
Newsweek Reporters Dan Glick and Sherry Keene-Osborn were associate producers.

Bill Kurtis - Hello, I'm Bill Kurtis.  For two weeks now, a grand jury in Boulder, Colorado has finally begun hearing evidence in a case that has captivated  this country for nearly two years. Who killed JonBenét Ramsey?  For millions, including many members of the press, there's been little doubt from the beginning.  It was her parents.  But this is a claim John and Patsy Ramsey have always vehemently denied.  Now, for the first time in over a year, the Ramseys react to the media frenzy that has proclaimed their guilt. In this edition of Investigative Reports, an exclusive interview with JonBenét's parents conducted by University of Colorado Professor Mike Tracey.  It's their story of what happened the night of JonBenét's death, what's happened to them since, and why they feel so strongly a killer is still on the loose. But what the Boulder Police and District Attorney's office believe remains to be learned.  They refused repeated requests to be interviewed for this program.

         (video of JonBenét singing Cowboy's Sweetheart in a pageant)

         Man:  JonBenét Ramsey at 5.  Months after this video was taken, she was dead.

         Kurtis - JonBenét Ramsey - soon to be the most famous murdered child in American history.

         She was murdered in Boulder, in her parents' home, on Christmas night.  She was beaten over the head
         and garroted.  She had tape over her mouth. She may have been sexually abused.

         (Video of house)

         What happened in this house that night has gripped America.  It is a tale of murder, lies, and deceit... and the presumed guilt of JonBenét's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, now perhaps the most hated couple in America.

         They are accused of sexually abusing and murdering their daughter.

         Tonight we look at the story that has been told about the murder of JonBenét Ramsey, and why so many think the parents guilty, and what this tells us about the America she so briefly lived in.

         (video - landscape of Boulder then house)

         In Boulder today, the house where JonBenét died still holds its secrets.

         Who, if anybody, was here that night besides her parents and 9 year old brother, Burke.

         Why was the bizarre ransom note left on these stairs, even though JonBenét  had already been murdered, and her body left in this small basement room?

         Yet today, even though there has been no indictment, no trial, no conviction, almost everyone believes her parents guilty, because that has been the verdict of the American media.

         Blanquita Cullum - radio talk show host - - "There is something that is just not right. These people are too well orchestrated.  They are too great at performing in front of the public. That press conference was just sinister, it was bizarre."

         (Geraldo clip)

         Geraldo - "We understand anything is possible under the sun.  To the best of our knowledge, however, there is no real evidence in this case that points in any direction other than straight into the faces of John and/or Patsy Ramsey."

         Cut to John and Patsy Ramsey in their Atlanta.  They were being questioned by Michael Tracey.

         Tracey: Did you have anything to do with the death of JonBenét?

         Patsy: No

         John:  That's the most difficult question I've ever been asked and I've been asked that before. I would have given my life for JonBenét and I regret, and I will regret for the rest of my life that I wasn't able to that night. No, to answer the question, no, we did not.

         Patsy: Absolutely  not - I mean -- I don't know how - - You can't even - - How do you say no any more clearly than NO?

         Tracey: Do you realize that most people in the US, and many people outside the US,  think you are
         responsible for killing JonBenet?

         JR: Well, I don't know that, but if that's true I have to ask why. Is it because we loved our children with our whole hearts?  Because we gave them everything we could give them? Is it because we cared for them more than life itself? Or, is it because we were asleep in the house the night she was murdered? I'm dumbfounded - The only possible reason that it can be is because of the media. The media has told the lie so many times that people start to believe it's the truth.

         Man: Christmas morning, 1993.  Ramseys had been in Boulder 2 years. JonBenét was 3 and Burke, her brother, 6. The family were then the very model of the American dream. A successful businessman married to a former beauty queen. PR had won Miss West Virginia pageant in 1977.  Two years after this victory, she met John Ramsey, a divorcee with three children. They were married in Atlanta the following year.

         Tracey: JR brought his family to Boulder in 1991 with his computer business, Access Graphics, a company which  had grown out of one he had set up in his garage. Their move to Boulder, a prosperous, peaceful place, known for its beauty not its crime, marked a turning point in their lives.

         JR: We came from a big city where crime was around you and you were aware of your security. We moved to Boulder. We very strongly felt that we had moved to a very safe small community.

         Tracey: And Boulder liked the Ramseys. They met a lot of new friends here including Susan Stine.

         Susan Stine: I've always said I thought the Ramseys were the nicest people I ever knew and I say this 15-months after it happened that I'm more and more convinced that they're the nicest people I've ever known.

         Tracey:  Christmas 1994  Despite appearances, tragedy was already stalking the Ramseys.  JR's 22-year-old-daughter Beth, from his first marriage, was killed in a car crash and Patsy had been diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer, a disease with 95% mortality. But Patsy Ramsey says her cancer did reveal JonBenét's emerging personality.

         PR: You know the children would come into my hospital room. And she would...  Burke was a little standoffish you know, he was 5 to 6 about that time just kinda know, hands in his pockets- kinda looking around you know but didn't want to touch. Well she would come up and ... here's the bag hanging there with blood in it and she would squish it, you know... "what is this -  and where is this going?" and she'd follow it up [the tube going into Patsy's chest] "It's going in here, well, what ?  how does that go in there like that and she'd want to look in there and see and explain to me why is that  helping you? JonBenet would say, "It's all right" she'd say, "It's all right, it won't hurt very long".  She was like my little cheerleader.

         Kurtis - It was when Patsy Ramsey had cancer that something happened that would come to haunt them.  The organizers of the Miss West Virginia Beauty Pageant held a reunion for past contestants.

         PR:  Our whole family went.  My sister had been  Miss West Virginia.  My parents knew a lot of the parents from 20 years ago.  It was a big reunion kind of thing. We all brought out children.  JonBenét was three and a half, three years old, probably. She was just enamored with it.  I mean here was Mommy up on stage, dancing and singing, and the lights and pretty costumes and she was just on the edge of her seat.  And after that, time after time she said when can I do that?  I want to do something like that.

         Kurtis: Soon JonBenét herself was entering children's competitions.

         Tracey: It was when she had cancer that Patsy Ramsey made a fateful decision. She renewed her interest in beauty pageants and began entering JonBenet in children's competitions.

         JR: She really enjoyed that kind of activity she used to do it at home she would dress up and put on a performance that she and her friends would just cook-up in the kitchen. These pageants were of a way that she could do that in a little more of a formal manner.

         Tracey: Popular in parts of the South, much of the rest of America sees these pageants as tacky, even  &  exploitative -  but the Ramseys defend them.

         PR: I mean, all the children there had the same penchant for performance and the pageants were kind of a venue for that. All the parents knew each other.

         JR: The audience was just parents and grandparents.

         PR: Just parents and grandparents, you know - it was fun and she looked forward to it. We just had a really fun time.

         Tracey: The Ramseys did something else in Boulder that marked them out -- They became rich. Seven days before JonBenét's murder, John Ramsey threw a party for his employees in Boulder's leading hotel. It was a celebration. His company annual sales of 1 billion dollars.  The party identified John Ramsey as rich and in control, a man who would be able to use his wealth to escape justice. But he regrets the party but for a very different reason.  It was in the paper.

            JR: You know, I just had this instinct that I didn't want that in the paper. I over-rode my instinct and let  that happen. In retrospect I wondered, well you know, could that have been a trigger event for a crazy person. Could that have focused them on us as a family?

         Tracey: Patsy Ramsey says she has similar regrets. She was always inviting people to her home. She made this video and even held a Christmas open house for the Boulder Historical Society.

         {shows video}

         PR: And we had probably from 1500 to 2000 people come through our home in 2 days. But in retrospect I often wondered if, you know, that was just an open invitation to a murder. I mean, if somebody was trying to scope out your house,  whose bedrooms were where, I mean there were a lot of people in that house.

         Tracey: The Ramseys had people in their home for the last time just two days before the murder. It was a children's party.

          JR: Well, she and one of her little friends were hanging up the coats and  that kind of thing - she did that, that night - I remember that.

          PR: I had gotten gingerbread houses and each family was going to decorate a gingerbread house. I had all these gum-drops and I'd bought a gallon of frosting and they were just having a ball. It was just a really fun evening.

         JR: She was a spark-plug in our family. She was a ball of energy. That's just something you can't not remember.

         Man: Christmas morning, 1996. On the day of her murder, JonBenét woke early.

          JR: I can remember vividly  Burke and JonBenet running up to our bed to get us up. The kids, the little kids,  little kids would pass out the gifts to whoever they were for and we would go around the room and open each gift – We did that that morning.

          Man: This is the next to last photograph of JonBenet. John Ramsey took it that morning.

          This is the last photograph of all.  {Below}

          JR: JonBenet had gotten a bicycle that Christmas and we played most of the day. We were going to  go out to dinner and I can  remember we were trying to get everybody organized to leave and JonBenét was on her bike and wanted me to take her around  the block. I said, "No - no we don't  have time, we'll do that later." She said, "Oh Daddy, please," and I can remember that and that  kind of hurts because we didn't do that.

          Man: On their way home around 9 PM, they dropped off gifts. Susan Stine and her husband were the last people known to have seen the family before the murder.

          SS: They came to our house and I talked to Patsy for awhile maybe 10 minutes,  15 minutes, and they all seemed perfectly normal. perfectly  the same - bubbly about Christmas and about where they were going and we, my husband and I, waved good-bye to them as they drove home and that was the last time we saw them as an intact family.

          Man: The Ramseys say they were anxious to get the children to bed because early the following day they were flying their small plane to their holiday home on Lake Michigan.

          PR: By the time we got home, JonBenet had fallen asleep in the back seat.

          JR: I carried JonBenet upstairs and it was kind of a usual routine. I took her shoes off then Patsy
          would come in and get her ready for bed.

          PR: So I undressed her down to her little knit top that she had on and put some long underwear
          bottoms  on her and tucked her in real tight and kissed her goodnight.

          JR: Burke was downstairs trying to put together a model that he'd got for Christmas and I couldn't get him to go to bed. We were going to get up in the morning and leave to go to Michigan so I help him put it together so I could get him to go on to bed. So he went to bed and Patsy and I went to bed.

          Man: The following morning, Dec. 26th, the Ramseys got out of bed early in their third floor  bedroom. They were due to take off from the local airport at half past seven. Patsy Ramsey says she went downstairs at about 5:30 to collect clothes together for the trip from  the laundry cupboard just outside JonBenét's bedroom.

          PR: I was fussing around with  some clothes and glanced at her door and the door was closed. I always left it ajar a little bit. I just started downstairs -  there were these pieces of paper lying on one  of the rungs of the stairs. So I kind of turned around and  looked at it to see what it was and I started reading the first couple  lines. It just kinda wasn't registering but somewhere it said, 'we have your daughter. It clicked, you know, 'Your Daughter' and I just bounded back up the steps and threw her door open and  she was not in her bed.

          Man: The note, written on one of the Ramseys own notepads began, 'Listen carefully! We are a
          group of individuals that represent a small foreign faction. At this time we have your daughter.'

          Patsy: And at this time I remember screaming to John, he was still upstairs dressing.

           John: I knew something was very wrong. I came down and she had the note and I read it quickly
          trying to take everything in. I screamed.

          Patsy: You don’t know what to do - I mean, what do you do? You know you just don’t know what to do - What do I do? You’re just panicked.
          John: You don’t know where to start.
          Patsy: You don't know what to do. You're just insane. You can't think fast enough.
          John: Somebody asked me later, what was the worst moment in all of this and that was the worst
          moment. Suddenly realizing that someone had your daughter, your child, someone has taken her,
          she’s  gone and we didn’t know where she was and it was dark, it was cold outside.

          Man: The ransom note said, speaking to anyone about your situation such as the police, FBI etc., will result in your daughter being beheaded. If we catch you talking to a stray dog, she dies.

          Patsy - "I said, 'I'm going to call the police and he said OK. And I think he ran to check on Burke.
          And  I ran downstairs and, you know, dialed 911."
          John - "We had no choice. I mean, I would have gone mad sitting there hoping someone would  call. We had to do something. I was ready to call out the Russian Army, the National Guard.  Close the airport, let's close, cordon off the city.  Those are the kinds of thoughts that were going through my  head and we had to get the police involved  to do that."

          Patsy -  "...and I said, you know,  'Send somebody over here quickly'. You know, I couldn't get it out fast enough."

          Man: Police reports from that morning show the uniformed police who came were suspicious from the start. But by then the Ramseys were already raising the ransom, an odd amount, just $118,000.  The  ransom note said the kidnappers would call John Ramsey between 8 & 10 AM.

          John: The phone would ring, it rang half a dozen times and it was always somebody else. Every time it would ring, my heart would stop.

          Patsy: I kept looking out the window, staring out the window, and I  just expected any second that
          she would come running down the street. I just kept looking for her and looking and praying.

          John: And yet there was really not a whole lot that we could do, we were relying on the police to do what they knew was necessary.

          Man: It is now accepted the police made basic errors that morning. There was no proper search of the house nor any attempt to protect possible forensic evidence. Friends were allowed to walk around. The scale of the failure became apparent that afternoon. A detective asked a friend of  John  Ramsey to take him and do a search of the house for anything unusual. They started in the basement.

          John: As I was going through the basement, I opened the door in the room and just knew immediately that I'd found her because I, there was a white blanket. Her eyes were closed, I feared the worse but  yet I'd found her and she was back in our safe protection again. And yet when I found her, even though there was this rush of "Thank God, I'd found her", I was fearful that she wasn't OK and just, I couldn't say anything, I screamed to attract attention and carried her upstairs. The detective was there  that had helped us that morning, spent a minute with her and looked at me, said to me, "She's dead". I think up to that point, I just kind of hoped that we could bring her back, that she was just asleep.

          Patsy: I think uh, we walked into the living room and she was there and …  John said, "She's gone."

          Man: The autopsy report revealed that JonBenet had been garroted. She also had a fractured skull,
          there was tape over her mouth.

          Man: Later that afternoon the Ramseys were escorted by police to a friend's house on the outskirts of Boulder. Susan Stine later went there. She first saw Patsy.

          Susan: She was extremely distraught. I've never seen people as sad as these two. We didn't know
          what to say. We didn't know what to do. And she just kept saying, "Who would do this to my
          baby?"  And we just kept saying, "I  don't know - I don't know"  There were no answers. It was a
          very hard - hard time. None of us could imagine how this could have happened.

          Man: While the Ramseys were being cared for by friends, their  home now  became a major crime
          scene. Few of the police here had ever handled a murder before, but they immediately assumed the
          parents were involved. The fact that JonBenét was found in her own home by her father was
          considered damning. By the time her body was taken from the house that evening, some of the
          suspicion had been passed to a local journalist. The tragedy of the murder was about to enter a new

          Man: Friday, Dec. 27th, while police activity at the house intensified, in nearby Denver that morning, a local newspaper ran the first story hinting police suspicion about the Ramseys. It quoted an assistant District Attorney saying it was very unusual for the kidnap victim's body to be found at home. "It's not  adding up."  he said. Reporter Charlie Brennan said he knew from the beginning the parents were the only real suspects.

          Charlie Brennan: I certainly have, I had that sense at that time, I had that sense at that time, yes. I had the belief that the police were under a strong suspicion from the very beginning that it had to be the parents.

          Man: A local television reporter who also covered the story on the 27th drew the same conclusion.

          Julie Hayden, TV Reporter: Early on there, definitely before the five o'clock newscast, we were
          beginning to get the sense that the police were not hunting Boulder for some mad kidnapper –  That
          the police were looking more inside the family.

          Man: From now on, a clear pattern was to emerge in the news coverage. While police chief Tom
          Koby said little, others in law enforcement continually leaked information. Often it was misleading
          information intended to implicate the Ramseys. The pattern began that day. A story was leaked that
          suggested ONLY a family member could have murdered JonBenét.

          C Brennan: I had a trusted law enforcement source tell me the first officers there noted that it was
          rather strange, they thought,  NO footprints in the snow outside and this is a source that has been
          infallible in my experience.

          Man: The Ramseys, now under police protection, were unaware of the mounting pressure but an
          attorney friend was already concerned.

          Mike Bynum: I showed up as John and Patsy's friend, although I was not initially thinking in terms of what help I should give them legally, I don't know what to say other than a sense of things, a sense of things going on around the house. The police going around the house, I just had a sense that they ought to have representation and I just said to John, will you trust me to do the right thing? And he  just said, yes I'll trust you.

          John: And I had no idea what he was talking about. Later, I don't remember if it was later that day or the next day, he said we're going to retain counsel for you and for Patsy. What in the world for - OK - We began to realize we're suspects and I was OK with that because I assumed it was a broad investigation.

          Man: By the following day, Saturday, Dec 28th, police and media were closing on the Ramseys. That morning, Denver's Rocky Mountain News, intimated they were suspects. The story introduced the issue of footprints in the snow which began the first part of the media's case against the Ramseys -
          That no one else got into the house.

          C Brennan: When police first arrived, at least one officer noted in his report, thought it was worth
          noting in his report, strange - no footprints.

          Man: The absence of tracks in the snow was later reported as among the first clues that led police to suspect members of the family. Soon, another story appeared -- There had been no break-in. Charlie Brennan covered that too.

          C Brennan: That was coming from law enforcement sources, and you know, I know that you know
          this is a story that was heavily reported through unnamed sources and  I'm not going to name the
          source now but law enforcement sources were telling us from December that they saw no signs of
          forced entry.

          Man: Then another story appeared - The room where JonBenet was found was so hidden,  whoever  murdered her knew the house - even the mayor of Boulder said so.

          Mayor: By all reports, there were no visible signs of forced entry. The body was found in a place
          where people are saying, someone had to know the house.

          Man: Television hammered the message home.

          American Journal  - "But the biggest clue to this mystery is this maze of a house itself, this house with a hidden room where JonBenét's body was found.

          Linda Hoffman - Housekeeper - I didn't even know that room was there.  I cleaned that house, I
          cleaned that basement many times and didn't even know that room was there.

          American Journal Questioner (To Linda Hoffman) It tells you something about the killer, doesn't it?

          Linda Hoffman - That's right.

          Questioner - What does it tell you?

          Linda Hoffman - It tells me somebody had to know that house.

          Kurtis: Police Chief Tom Koby was outraged by such speculation and the leaks that fueled it.

          Clip from press conference
          Reporter: Is you investigation focusing inside the ramsey family or outside as far as suspects?
          Koby: next question.

          Kurtis: Koby declined to take part in this program but made his feelings clear.

          Koby: Prejudging and media hype have never solved a crime.  One of the things that has caused us to have to adjust somewhat in our techniques and our procedures is the assault, I would call it, by the media. I have never in the 28 years I have been in this business seen such media focus on an event  and it is in fact intrusive.  And it is making it much more difficult to work through this.

         Kurtis: It is now clear that from the beginning, the media, fed by leaks, reported one alleged fact after another,  which taken together could only implicate the Ramseys.  How solid are those so-called facts?  Take the story that there were no footprints in the snow and that therefore there was no  intruder.  News video shot on the night of the 26th shows large areas around the house had no snow at all. The lack of footprints was irrelevant, as even some journalists knew at the time.

          Man: What is the basis for these claims. Take the snow cover that night. News video's shot on the night of the 26th shows large areas around the house had no snow at all. The lack of footprints  was an irrelevancy as some journalist knew at the time.

          Julie Hayden: We looked at the video tape, once this  footprints in the snow started becoming an issue and one of the things I observed was, there did not seem to be snow going up to all of the doors. So in my opinion, this footprints in the snow , to me it has always been much ado about  nothing because it seemed clear to me that people could have got into the house, whether they did or not, without traipsing through the snow.

          Man: Nevertheless the story stuck. Even more doubtful was the claim of no forced entry. An intruder would not have had to break in. Police noted on the 26th a number of open windows and at least one open door – A story that curiously took a year to leak out. And beneath this lift up grill, there was a basement window that was known to have been broken sometime before Christmas

          Tracey: Would it be reasonable to assume that the information about 'no forced entry' was false
          information that was being leaked by the authorities

          C Brennan: False, false, wrong, misstated, mistaken, yes - that  would be fair to say. Particularly in
          light of where you can start at least from the broken window in the basement. In Jan. 97, Feb. 97,
          March 97, we didn't know that there was broken window in the basement.

          Man: The reality of the situation is that an intruder could easily have got in, and once in, moved around undetected and unheard. From her parents bed on the third floor, it is no less than 55 feet and one floor below to where JonBenet was sleeping. There are thick carpets, sounds do not carry.  And there is no hidden  room. A carpeted spiral staircase, a few feet from  her room, leads to the kitchen. From the kitchen it is only a few steps to the  door to the basement stairs. At the bottom of these stairs, at the end of a short corridor is the room where her body was found.

On Sunday, Dec. 29th, four days after JonBenét's murder, there was a memorial service which the church videotaped. As the Ramseys mourned their daughter, police and media had begun developing the second part of the case against them – that their behavior showed they were guilty. One story suggested  John Ramsey had even left the house after police had arrived. Vanity Fair implied he had used the excuse of getting the mail. The story was false and it arose from confusion and a leaked police report.

          Julie Hayden: It was reported in Vanity Fair that John Ramsey  left the house to get the mail for about an hour. I think that looked suspicious to me, frankly, and I think it looked suspicious to a lot of people and I know it looked suspicious to the police who initially believed that  to be the case. It is my understanding that the police initially believed he left the house but very soon thereafter they learned he did not leave the house.  However, the police never bothered to correct the Vanity Fair article. I don't know why the police and the law enforcement in Boulder would allow things that they knew were not true to continue to be widely reported.  I can speculate that they didn't mind having stories like that out there because it put some pressure on the Ramseys.

          Man: But perhaps the harshest accusation, already circulating by the memorial service, was the Ramseys show of grief was just that, a show, and had been from the beginning. Vanity Fair quoted a policeman saying that on the first morning, Patsy Ramsey, while weeping, had been peering at him through splayed  fingers. Such accusations anger those who were there.

          Jeff Ramsey: Patsy was in a state of shock. Couldn't sit up, couldn't stand up,  walk, could barely talk. I spent most of the nights out there up all night with John – he couldn't stop crying for ten minutes at a time.

          Tracey (to Mike Bynum): How did you know John wasn't acting,  he wasn't pretending to be in grief?  And Patsy the same?

          Mike Bynum: Not only have I never been asked that question, I've never even thought of it that way. I guess the best way to say it is the thought never crossed my mind based on everything I saw - everything  I felt based on what was happening. I don't mean to be rude to you but that is an absurd question for anybody who was there.

        Susan Stine: I'm a very cynical person. I'm not a person who gets fooled very easily and certainly not by somebody trying to act in a way that isn't genuine. There was just no possibility that they were not in the pain that they appeared to be in.

          Man: Monday, the 30th of December, the Ramseys had now returned to Atlanta to bury JonBenét and a story about how they got there fueled feeling against them. Reports said that John Ramsey piloted his family in their private jet.

          Charlie Brennan: I was told he flew it so I reported he flew it.

          Man: Did you subsequently follow up on that story?

          C Brennan: I didn't subsequently follow up on that story because in the early days that did not stand out as something in my mind that needed a lot of scrutiny, and as soon as I say that, I suspect that what  one's concern might be is that creates an image of a man that may be is the wrong image. I mean maybe - perhaps you can tell me it wasn't his own plane or that he didn't fly it.

          Man: It wasn't his own plane and he didn't fly it. Access Graphics, John Ramseys company, had now  been bought by Lockheed Martin and they'd sent one of their company jets.

          John Ramsey: We were just devastated and it was very difficult for us to go to the airport and buy tickets. Of course we had media all over the place and that was just a wonderful thing for them to do. It  meant so much to us that they delivered us from Denver to Atlanta along with a few friends and got us  back to Atlanta.

          Man: JonBenét's funeral took place at her parents family church in Atlanta, on New Year's Eve, 1996.

          Minister: To be honest, the man cannot grasp and the heart refuses to accept the death of one so young.

          Man: That day, family and friends were having to shield the Ramseys from growing hostility. Although  they say they were still unaware of this.

          John: I do remember at the funeral there were photographers - It was kind of going on around us - We were just kind of not really paying too much attention to it - it wasn't important.

          Patsy: I was aware that there were photographers everywhere, but I wasn't really sure why. I mean...  obviously a murder had taken place but I wondered how all these people found out about it. How did they know where we were or how did they know we were coming to Atlanta to bury JonBenet.

          Man: What the Ramseys did not know was that day, the day of the funeral, the most damaging story yet had appeared.  It said they had hired top criminal lawyers to defend themselves. Many saw that as final proof of their guilt. In fact, the attorneys had been hired by Mike Bynum. Bryan Morgan who took the case, defends his decision.

          Bryan Morgan: It is foolish to blindly throw oneself into the law of the justice system and to trust the result – One simply must be thoughtful about the way one acts, especially in a case of media attention  reaches the point of near hysteria and especially in a case of media attention which from the outset portrays certain people as clearly guilty. That is the way towards the conviction of innocent people in this country.

          Mike Bynum:  If you're guilty you should have a lawyer and I want to tell you what, if you're innocent you'd better have a lawyer. There is no difference.

          Man: But the lawyers made one mistake which made things worse for the Ramseys. A news story emerged that they had hired publicists. It convinced many  they were now using their wealth to escape justice. In fact the publicists had been hired by their attorneys who admit  it was a mistake.

          Bryan Morgan: By the end of the first week, my law firm in Denver had received 200 phone calls. They clogged the switchboard, we got letters at home, I got notes stuffed through the mailbox of my house at  home proposing that I meet people at night to discuss this, journalists. We hired someone to try to take that away from us so we could function as lawyers. I don't know how we could have done it better but we clearly should have.

          Man: As the Ramseys prepared to bury their daughter, they were still unaware of the storm breaking around them but friends were now alarmed and that evening, after the funeral, urged the Ramseys to go on television.

          John Ramsey: There was a lot of commotion in the media and one of our friends was very adamant that we respond. So that led us to think Well, Ok, maybe we should do that because we are normal people, we loved our daughter dearly,  and for anybody to think otherwise was just an obscenity and maybe if  we presented ourselves on camera that they would see that we are who we are.

          Man: So you had by this time begun to conclude that people were beginning to point the finger at you

          JR: We were hearing that from our friends, and I don't remember...

          PR: I hadn't heard any of that the first, and like I say I was really in bad shape. I remember a friend of  mine - I was in the bathroom getting dressed  - and she said, "Now I am going to tell you this and I don't want you to get upset by it.  She said, "They're saying and it's being reported that you and John may have been involved in JonBenét's death."    I...  it wasn't - I don't know what you are saying and she said, "Well,  you are going to the TV station because they want to  talk with you and understand whether or not you may have been involved or be responsible for Jonbenét's death."  I was just dumbfounded.

          Man: The day after the funeral the Ramseys appeared on CNN. The introduction reflected the growing suspicion.

          CNN video: Body found stashed in the basement of her own home. The parents of little JonBenet Ramsey are in Atlanta and on the advise of friends they have retained defense lawyers. Earlier today the  Ramseys broke their silence and shared their grief with CNN's Brian Cabell in this exclusive interview.

          Cabell - Do you believe that someone outside your home...

          Patsy:  There is a killer on the loose.

          John: Absolutely

          Patsy: I don't know who it is, I don't know if it is a he or a she, but if I were a resident of Boulder, I would tell my friends to keep, keep hold your babies close to you.  There's someone out there.

          Man: For the Ramseys, the broadcast was a disaster. It was taken as further evidence that they were playacting - talking to television rather than the police. Boulder's mayor, Leslie Durgan rejected Patsy's claim.

          Mayor Leslie Durgan: People in Boulder had no need to fear that there is someone wandering the streets of Boulder, as has been portrayed by some people, looking for young children to attack. Boulder is safe, it's always been a safe community. It continues to be a safe community.

          Patsy: Now, I don't know why she said that -- To this day I don't know why she said that but, boy, do I think  that's what touched it off and it seemed like after that all the dominos started falling.

          John: Plus it was so bizarre because we knew there was a killer out there and how could she say there wasn't? It made no sense.

          Mayor: It was done in large part to allay the fears of the children in our community and to let people know that the information  that I had at time was that we did not have some crazed person wandering the streets of University Hill.

          Tracey: And who did you clear it with?

          Mayor: The police chief.

          Man: The Ramseys left Atlanta to return to Boulder to help with the police investigation.  But as they did so, the real nightmare was just beginning. A video of JonBenet taking part in a beauty pageant had just appeared on American television. It was to lead to the most terrible accusations of all.

          On their return to Boulder, Thursday, Jan 4th, the Ramseys moved in with friends. They were  immediately besieged by the media who were now building the third element of the case against them. News stories appeared reporting the police views that JonBenet had been sexually abused at the time of her murder. With pageant images already circulating, the implications  her parents may have sexually abused JonBenet turned the story into a media firestorm. Soon there were over 300 reporters in Boulder pursuing the Ramseys and everything the couple did counted against them, even an effort to help the press.

            John Ramsey: The arrangement was made, uh - look if we give you the opportunity to take their picture  - will you leave them alone.  What we agreed to was we would come out of the front door of the church and walk to the community center and not try to shield ourselves from being photographed.

          Man: However, during the service, the minister had suggested to the congregation  that they should line the pavement as a gesture of support.

          Penny Beuf: We were wanting to protect them because they'd been through so much grief already and we felt that this was not the time or the place and so the congregation basically tried to shield them from that sort of thing. That's what happened.

          Man: It proved another disaster for the Ramseys. It was reported as a cynical attempt to manipulate  public opinion.  What had actually happened was never reported. Instead, media pressure intensified. Mainstream journalists followed the tabloids. The Ramseys pulled in readers and pushed up ratings.

         Kurtis:  Media discovered the Ramseys pulled in readers. Newsweek put JonBenét on the cover.  So did People Magazine. It was the cover story even in London's Sunday Times which called it the "Kiddie-Porn Killing".  And television too discovered the Ramseys were good for ratings.

          Peter Boyles on American Journal: Almost every tape you see JonBenét either in a Los Vegas showgirl suit or doing a semi-striptease.  In spite of what someone is going to say, that  there's something the matter with people who see it that way, there's something the matter with people who let that stuff happen to their kids and don't think anything's wrong with it.

          Charlie Brennan: Many members of the public are surprised that they hired even one lawyer so  hiring two lawyers leaves them twice as suspicious of the same fact.

          Boyles:  They've hired a publicist, they've hired a couple Private Investigators...

         Kurtis:  However welcome media pressure on the Ramseys may have been to those who thought the couple guilty, it was not welcome to Boulder's then police chief  Tom Koby.

          Man: Everywhere in the media, the Ramseys were accused of obstructing the police.

          Mike McFee (Denver Post): It's been two weeks since their daughter was murdered and in those two weeks we've seen only one highly orchestrated appearance by them hugging a bishop on the steps of a church.  It would appear to the average person that they have some reason to protect somebody. When will you decide enough is enough and would you consider the grand jury? (to Police Chief Koby)

         Koby: Mike, I think you are being a little harsh. Have you ever lost a child? Do you know what your reaction would be in that circumstance.  A part of the distortion here is  what has and what has not been provided by the Ramseys.  They have given us hair samples, blood samples, handwriting samples.  They have participated in this investigation.

          Man: Once more, the reality was rather different.

           Bryan Morgan: Ramseys were interviewed on the 26th. The Ramseys were interviewed on the 27th. On the 27th they gave samples of physical evidence, blood, hair, fingerprints. When they returned from Atlanta, the Ramseys gave five handwriting samples, voluntarily, in the case of Patsy, two in the case of John. To say that the Ramseys have not cooperated in this investigation is a gross mischaracterization.

          Man: But cooperation with police was short lived, their attitude toward them changed dramatically when they got back to Boulder.

          John Ramsey: We came back to Boulder specifically to sit down with the police and help solve the crime. That was the only reason Patsy would come back to Boulder. She had just a vile distaste for even seeing the place again.

          Man: But their friend, Mike Bynum, stopped them coming here, to police headquarters. He warned
          them that the previous week the police had tried to delay the funeral so they could interrogate the

          Mike Bynum: I'd received a call from one of the assistant DAs. He had asked would it be possible   since the family was leaving that day for Atlanta for the funeral, would it be possible for John, Patsy, and Burke to come give hair, blood, and fingerprint samples. When we got to the sheriff's department, the assistant DA said, we have a problem. The police are not going to release JonBenét's body until they have an interview with John, Patsy, and Burke.

          John: And we said … Oh boy - the worm has turned. What are these people about? It changed the whole chemistry of  how we looked at the police. They were not there to help us, they were there to hang us and we became very suspicious, defensive, untrusting.

          Mike Bynum: I said to the assistant DA, " you know - right now nobody knows what happened so maybe they did it and maybe they didn't do it but what you do know right now is that those are the  parents of a murdered child and they deserve the respect that that requires, because that much you do know".

          Man: Mike Bynum managed to get the body released. The funeral went ahead but after this there was no trust on either side. As the weeks passed, the law enforcement agencies became more robust in putting pressure on the Ramseys. In February, DA Alex Hunter gravely told journalists,  "I want to say something to the person or persons that took this baby from us - The list of suspects narrows - Soon there will be no one on the list but you."

          Man: Few doubted he was talking directly to John Ramsey who was now being openly branded as a murderer.

         Kurtis:  The pressure increased when police and  media turned their attention to his older children, John Andrew and Melinda, even though they were in Atlanta with their mother, John Ramsey's first wife, on the night of the murder

          Lucinda Johnson: I think it came to be that the police and the media kind of fed one another.  The  actions of the police seemed to influence what the media did as far as the treatment of the children was concerned.  There was a great deal of innuendo and suspicion,  particularly with John Andrew being 20 years old and being a boy.  They seemed to pinpoint him in particular and frequently the media would be outside the house and that was a particularly difficult time for me, you know, because John Andrew would be followed and pictures would be taken of him by reporters, both mainstream  tabloid. He was chased at the airport and he - - someone came and taunted him and took pictures. After Melinda called me from Boulder after  she had been interrogated and she said, " Mom, they questioned me for  2 1/2 hours and I finally put my head down on the table and cried."  When you hear this over the phone, you know, it's terrible.

          Kurtis: Even some journalists questioned the police refusal to rule out Melinda, and particularly  John Andrew, as suspects even though they knew neither could have killed JonBenét.

          Reporter: Maybe I'm just being real dense here, but if somebody is not in the state, then how can you not rule them out as a suspect?

          Kelvin McNeil:  I understand your question and what I will tell you is that we are not at a point where we are prepared to rule anyone out or rule anyone in as a potential suspect. We are going to follow the information in this case wherever it takes us, Dan.

          Dan: So you  have 260 million Americans as suspects right now?

          McNeil shrugged.

          Kurtis:  But such skepticism was rare in the media coverage of the Ramsey case.

          Lucinda :  The very lowest point came when the police started to investigate my oldest daughter Beth.

          Kurtis: The police wanted to know whether Beth had been sexually abused and investigated the
          automobile accident in which she had died.

          Lucinda: I really was feeling very desperate at that point in time. I called John Eller because that evening on TV one of the TV shows had taken pictures of Beth from high school and put it on TV. And they had done a little piece about her life, except that they also had footage of Beth being on a gurney, the stretcher, and you could see the doctor working on her heart.  I knew it was her, I could tell because you could see her little feet, her little black-stocking feet. I knew that the doctor had worked on her heart. And as I say that, I was just desperate, so I called John Eller and , I realize of course the way to handle problems, but  I screamed at him and I yelled at him and I said, "How could you do this to me,  How could you do this to me."  And he said, "Well, you know the media... the media is... they're like sharks, we have to feed them something."

          Kurtis: Was the killing of JonBenét the result of child abuse as many believe?

          Kurtis: John Eller was eventually replaced by Mark Beckner, but the leaks continued.  One example concerns the discussions that took place regarding the conditions under which Burke, JonBenét's 9 year old brother, would be interviewed by police.  The final telephone negotiation was between Mark Beckner and Burke's lawyer, Jim Jenkins.

          Jim Jenkins:  It wasn't  ten minutes after that phone conversation with Commander  Beckner when I received a phone call  from the Denver Post and the reporter there indicated to me that she understood what the conditions were, specific conditions that the Boulder Police had, and my position on those conditions.  I was very upset, very distressed, that this information had gotten to the press.  The next day I called Commander Beckner and had a fairly lengthy conversation with him in which I very clearly stated my upset, my astonishment  that this information had been leaked to the press.  He told me that he didn't do it personally, He told me that he wasn't surprised it had gotten to the press but  he was  somewhat surprised that it had gotten there so quickly.  All of a sudden, out of the blue, he said to me,  "Are you saying these negotiations are off?"  I said, "Commander Beckner, I haven't said those words and I haven't indicated that I feel the negotiations are off. Are you trying to get a quote from me so you  can leak that to the press."  He got very hot with me and he said, "I don't leak to the press".  I responded, "Commander Beckner are you trying to get a quote from me that you can provide to the press for attribution?"    He said, "Well, I have to tell the press something."

          Kurtis: Commander Beckner declined to take part in this program. But other leaks from confidential police records increased the pressure even further.

          Man: But it was another leak from confidential police records that deepened the sense of Ramsey guilt. This was that police had sought warrants to search the Ramsey homes for pornography. It fueled a media frenzy.

          The documentary scanned tabloid headlines -

          Speaker: The mother knows and that the mother is now not knowing what to do. Well, she either tried to cover up and now she feels guilty and they don't want to expose her to questioning...

          Television developed the story further.

          Tom Snyder:  If Pop is playing with the little girl in the house, that's something that ought to be out in the open,  I mean call the cops and get this guy out of the house

          Marilyn Van Derber-Atler:  But no one knows about it except the father and the daughter. You don't talk about it in families.  Siblings don't talk to siblings.  Note JonBenet had tape over her mouth.  That  is the strongest message we have. You will never speak of it.

          John Ramsey:  I did not kill my daughter,  JonBenét.

          Man: In May, the Ramseys talked to journalists in a last desperate attempt to prove their innocence.  No one believed them. But what is the media's evidence, what about pornography?  It was alleged that John Ramsey had used a porn book shop in Denver.

          Tracey: It has been repeatedly said that you are a frequenter of shops dealing in pornography in
          Denver, Colorado.

          John: I couldn't tell you where a pornography shop was in Denver, Colorado if my life depended on it. That's false. Absolutely, totally false.

          Man: The book shop John Ramsey was supposed to have used was never identified. No one came  forward to support the story. The extensive police search for pornography yielded nothing. But a brief statement admitting this was hardly reported at all.  The key accusation though ,against the Ramseys, is not pornography, but sexual abuse.

          John Ramsey: It's disgusting to even have to respond to that. It's absolutely false. I don't know how to be more strong about that. Nothing could be further from the truth. Absolutely utterly false.

          Man: One of the basis for public reaction to you is that when they saw the pageant videos that what
          they saw was a sexualized child.

          Patsy: That was a sick mind looking from that vantage point, it was not happening that way.

          John: These were little girls that were on a little stage performing in front of parents and grandparents that happened to be videotaped by the people putting on the pageants. I felt that Patsy was probably particularly anxious to do those kinds of things with JonBenet because, quite frankly, she had cancer in remission and didn't know if she would be here when JonBenet was 16 and 18. She's never said that,  I've never said that to her but….

          Man: The pageants in themselves prove nothing. But some stories pointed to other evidence. The fact, for instance, that in the four years before her death, JonBenet was taken to this pediatric clinic 27  times.

          Patsy: How could that be child abuse for heavens sake. My child is sick, I'm going to take my child to the doctor. You know, I mean you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

          Tracey to Dr. Beuf: JonBenet was brought to see you on 27 occasions. Does this number of visits
          strike you as excessive?

          Dr. Beuf: No, I don't think it's excessive under the circumstances. I went through her chart and summarized the types of visits she had in the office in the few years prior to her death. She was here three times for annual well-child visits, one time for stomach ache, one time for vaginitis, one time for a bruised nose from a fall at a local market, and 21 times for colds, sinusitis, ear infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, hay fever, and possible asthma. A pretty wide spectrum of generally allergy and respiratory system associated problems which are not uncommon with kids her age.

          Tracey: So that number 27, one would expect that other children would have similar numbers of

          Dr. Beuf: Some more and in some cases less than others.

          Tracey: In that kind of time frame?

          Dr. Beuf: Yes.

          Tracey: Did you see any signs of any kind of sexual or physical abuse of JonBenet Ramsey?

          Dr. Beuf: I saw absolutely no signs of sexual abuse. I had no suspicion of it.

          Man: Other media stories have suggested that vaginal inflamation released in the autopsy report suggests previous sexual abuse. This conclusion is not supported by the balance of medical opinion.

          Dr. Thomas Henry: {Denver Medical Examiner} From what is noted in the autopsy report, there is no evidence of injury to the anus, there is no evidence of injury to the skin around the vagina, the  labia. There is no indication of healed scars in any of those areas. There is no other indication from the autopsy report at all that there is any other previous injuries that have healed in that area.

          Man: But the absence of physical evidence in itself is not conclusive. So is there any other evidence for  the media's claim?

           Man:  Lucinda Johnson is John Ramseys first wife.

           Man to Lucinda: A blunt question, is John Ramsey a child abuser?

           Lucinda: No he is not. He is affectionate, he is kind and very gentle.

           Man: Any suggestions from other family, other friends, school friends, so on, that that may be the case.

           Lucinda: No. There have never been other suggestion from any other source.

           Man: Peggy Ramsey, John's sister-in-law. Is John someone who would abuse children?

           Peggy: No. No he is not and it hurts so much that people would even say it or think it. There is no truth to that. If we thought there was, we certainly would have spoken up as a family. We would have gotten together and said, look, you know, you need help but nothing like that ever, ever, ever crossed our minds.

           Man: John Ramsey's first son, John Andrew:

           John Andrew: No, there was never any abuse in my family. Zero. None.  There was never any touching or anything weird that might be kind of seen as sexual abuse by some. Never.

           Man: This is John Ramsey's oldest daughter, Melinda.

           Melinda: I'm John Ramseys daughter. I grew up with him, he raised me and I saw him raise JonBenet and I don't understand why they don't believe me --- That he is the most caring father in the world. He has never, ever, ever abused us in any way. I just wish I could say something to convince them.

           Man: These are family members but what they are saying is supported by Boulder social services. After the murder they videotaped a long interview with JonBenét's 9 year old brother Burke. The police watched from behind a two way mirror. Social Services later reported that there was no indication of either physical or sexual abuse.

The police declined to take part in this program but even their inquiry supports the family.

Many months of investigation into possible sexual abuse, according to one law enforcement official, had  yielded zero - "Friggin' Zero!"

It means the case constructed by the media against the Ramseys is baseless.

There are other suspects for the murder who the police have been slow to pursue. It is perfectly possible the killer was hiding in the house when the Ramseys returned and had been in there for some  time. But none of this lessened the media pressure.

           Kurtis: Last October, the Boulder Police Chief Tom Koby himself expressed concern at what the
           media were doing. He spoke of a comment made to him by a senior media figure.

           Koby: This media person asked me a question.  He said, "Tom, why are you so mad at us?"  And I said, "I am not mad at you."  He said, "Don't you understand that we know the Ramseys did it and we're going to help you get them?"  I said, "Do you hear what you just said?" and this was a major media person. "Do you hear what you just said.  How wrong is that, how scary is that?  How in  violation of everything you are supposed to believe in is that? And so that is why I am not mad at you,  I am disappointed in you, and I can't help that."

           John Ramsey: You just kind of amaze that people can hate, and  they don't know, but they hate. That's the feeling we started to sense was being worked up in a frenzy by some elements of the media.

           Patsy: I remember one day coming in and plopping down on the sofa and just clicking on the TV and  the Geraldo Rivera show was in progress, I guess. And this man named Cyril Wecht came into focus and he was waving his hands and saying something to the effect that the Boulder police needed to just do what they needed to do and arrest these people, and do what what's right and the whole audience went up into cheers – You know,  YEAH YEAH.  They need to.. and I was just like...

           Clip of Geraldo show:

           Geraldo: Do you believe this case will ever be solved?

           Wecht:  Solved? No, I think that it can still be however probed, and I think that  the charges should be brought against both the Ramseys and I think the police should do them what they would do with Mr. and Mrs. Jones and Mr. and Mrs. Smith -  you play one against the other and you move toward a suit, that's what you do.

          Man:  Were there ever any moments when you thought you wouldn't survive?

           John Ramsey: Well, there were moments when you didn't want to survive, but that would be the easy way out.

           Patsy: It would be so easy

           Man: you mean suicide?

           PR and JR - affirmative sounds

           Man: So did you contemplate that?

           John: You know it goes through your mind, it's an easy way out.  You are so devastated and destroyed that you just don't care to live but then you think -  wait a minute, I still have three wonderful children I cherish, that love me, that need me

           Jeff Ramsey:  I remember one night  in the middle of the night waking up and hearing crying, sobbing coming from his room where he was staying.  So I walked up there, and I walked in the room, and here was John sitting on the edge of the bed and in one hand he's got Beth's Delta wings, that's the daughter that was killed in the car accident, she was a flight attendant for Delta and in the other hand he  had Jonbenét's picture and he's just sitting like this sobbing.

           Kurtis: Even the right to grieve was removed by an ever present and intrusive media

           John Ramsey:   The grave site becomes a special place and you like to go and sit and be alone. I used to do that with Beth, just visit her grave and just sit and think and talk to her in a way.  We never felt we could do that with JonBenét.   There were hidden cameras at the grave site . There were reporters in the bushes, particularly around Christmastime. I have never felt comfortable in  just going out and  spending time at the grave site and being alone with my daughters.

           Jeff: It's been horrible what the media coverage of this case has done to John and Patsy, their immediate family, my immediate family.  This is a terrible, terrible tragedy. You have a little girl murdered.  Then, on top of that, to go through all this with the media essentially out there almost fueling a fire against the family it seems like.  It's just been a terrible experience.

           Patsy Ramsey:  We had tried to shield Burke as much as possible over the months and weeks, keeping him away from any kind of television or newspaper or any kind of material that was being printed at that time and we moved back to Atlanta and it was about time for school to start so, as always, we went out shopping for school supplies. We had the paper and pencils and all the little supplies in our shopping  buggy and headed for the check out and BAM, right there in front of... at his eye level this  tabloid with JonBenét's picture right there and it said ,"Did she die in Mommy and Daddy's bed?" or something.    Now what do you do? You can't avoid it, it's right in front of you.  So I put my arm around him and said, "Honey, they are all lies. They're ugly, ugly stories and you have to pretend you don't see them.

           Man: Did he react to them?

           Patsy: Well, he was, you know, kind of blank and just kind of looked away and said, "I know, Mom."   He looked away but it was very hurtful.

           Hard Copy:  Tonight on Hardcopy - A bombshell in Boulder - a published report (Globe shown) puts JonBenét Ramsey in her parents own bed when the brutal attack began.

           "JonBenét, who reportedly had a bedwetting problem, had an accident in her bed that night and went looking for her parents.  What happened next? Here's what sources reportedly told the Globe.

           Tony Frost: The most likely scenario is that JonBenet went up to her parents bedroom, wet and weepy,  her frazzled mom completely lost it and battered her

           Patsy: Oh, that is absolutely absurd.

           John: I don't know that she wet her bed much, I don't even remember that.

           Patsy: Well she had accidents but children do. It is so minuscule in the big picture. Does someone actually think I would kill my child because she wet the bed? I mean, I have lived through stage four cancer. In the grand scheme of things, bedwetting is not important.

           Clip from Dateline:

           Stone Phillips: Vanity Fair says  Boulder police are so sure of their case, they've had arrest affidavits prepared since May.

           Ann Bardach of Vanity Fair: They list evidence against the two parties (John and Patsy)  in quite
           specific detail.

           Interviewer: And this information supports a charge of what?

           Ann Bardach:  Murder.

           Clip of Geraldo's  Mock Trial of the Ramseys video showing the jury reading the verdicts that John and Patsy are both found liable for the wrongful death of JonBenet.

           Patsy: We have had everything in our lives scoured. I mean they have talked with my 4th grade teacher, my friends from elementary school, and there is nothing. I mean, I'm not saying I've been perfect my  whole life but there is no history of any kind of activity like this. We did not... It's ridiculous.

           Tracey: Did you ever consider each other?

           John: No

           Patsy: Absolutely not.

           Tracey: There was never a moment when you thought?

           John: Not a microsecond. {Patsy shaking her head no.}

           John: Patsy would have given her life for JonBenet to protect her. I would have given my life for

           Man: Some stories suggested JonBenét's nine-year-old brother Burke was the murderer.

           Tracey: Is it possible that Burke killed JonBenet?

           John: No. Absolutely not.

           Patsy: Absolutely not.

           Tracey: Has the thought ever crossed your mind?

           Patsy: Absolutely NOT. No.

           John: It's absurd. Give me some history that would make someone think that other than he was her  brother. What a tragic, sick, observation. Burke is a normal child, average at sports, has lots of friends, gets A's in school, loved his sister, they were best buddies. He would have protected JonBenet with his  life.

           Patsy: Don't even think about it.

           Man: The media even ran the accusations of a supposed mistress without any evidence that she'd ever met John Ramsey.

           Interviewer:  (Kim Ballard} From what you know of him, do you believe he's the type person who
           could commit this sort of crime?  Your contact with him has obviously been limited.

           Ballard:  I know.  I don't know if he did, if he actually did it but I feel that he was definitely involved,  knowing his personality the way I do.

           Tracey to John: Who is Kimberly Ballard?

           John Ramsey: I don't have a clue who Kimberly Ballard is, she came out of the woodwork. She called us several times and saying she was going to the media and I didn't know who she is!  Don't have a clue who Kimberly Ballard is.

           Man: Had you ever spoken to Kimberly Ballard?

           John: NO.

           Man: Had you ever met Kimberly Ballard?

           John: NO.

           Man: Did you ever speak on the phone?

           John: NO.

           Man: Is she not a close friend?

           John: No.. And  certainly not now! {Laughing} And that's the tragedy – Here's -- God knows who she is, decides this is going to be her 15 minutes of fame, makes an accusation and the media runs with it. No checking. Nobody asked me these questions before they ran with the story. Nobody checked to see if I was in Tucson when she said I was, or at the Brown Palace Hotel when she said I was.

           Patsy: All they have to do is say, "it has been reported that" - and they're off the hook.

           John: It was fun, they had fun with it at our expense.

           Tracey to Lucinda: Why do you think the media treated the Ramseys in the way that they did treated them?

           Lucinda: I don't know. Maybe they forgot the basic constitutional right which is the presumption of  innocence. Maybe they relied on gossip and materialistic values, chasing the dollar, to get the story, to be first - competition - I don't know but it certainly has ruined lives.

           Man to Jeff Ramsey: Why do you think the media behaved in this way?

           Jeff Ramsey: I think the media has become a profit making machine. It's a business - It's not news
           anymore - It's entertainment.

           Susan Stine: There is no distinction anymore between the sleazy tabloids and the rest of the media.

           Radio voice?:  John Ramsey is saying "I'm guilty and now I'm trying..."

           Man: The concern the Ramseys and their friends express is one increasingly shared by journalists worried about a profession driven by intense competition, a lack of regulation, and corporate ownership which frequently views news as a profit making, rather than a journalistic activity. The result is that news has become entertainment and personal tragedy – public spectacle.

           At the main daily newspaper in Boulder, the editor has watched coverage of the Ramsey murder with increasing alarm.

           Barrie Hartman - Editor, Daily Camera: One of the main feelings we've had in the news business is that there is too many stories - If the tabloids report it and we feel that we have to report it and that has caused some problems and JonBenet was a good example of that. I think a lot of the information the tabloids had, whether it was right or wrong, became fact because the rest of us picked it up.

           Julie Hayden: This is one of the things I've thought about. I've thought about,  is this fair - Is what I'm doing right or wrong - And I will admit there have been times when I have felt bad and I have thought, this is not fair. This is not fair the way we're handling the whole thing.

           Hartman: We're looking at ourselves - We've want to be believed - We think the most important thing  for our readers is believability. If we give that up, we sacrifice that for any one story, it hurts us.

           Julie Hayden: I think we do what we can, at least I know sometimes I sort of put the brakes on and say  no we're not going to go with that, we're not going to report that. But there are a lot of pressures and somebody else reports it and my boss turns around and looks at me and says, 'how come we don't  have that?' If people don't watch my newscasts then I lose my job, the station folds, and we all go hungry.

           Man: There is concern on all sides of the Ramsey case about the impact of these pressures. And about the use law enforcement made of the media through leaks which journalists repeated unchecked.  Even those helping Boulder's DA decide what should happen, like neighboring DA Bob Grant, believe justice itself is at risk.

           Bob Grant: I think it's eroded  by the way the  journalistic ethics have been eroded - public consumption of mass media has made people come to some conclusion about a particular criminal case without having heard evidence in court. I think that is corrupted.

           Tom Koby: Have You read this?  It's the constitution, OK. How many of you have read the constitution?  Let me see a show of hands, how many of you have read the constitution?  Well if you go to the first amendment gives you an awesome freedom, and with that awesome freedom comes an awesome responsibility.   I think the responsibility is lacking in this case.  I see the media industry, you can argue with me if you want, but I see a significant lack of leadership.  I see a significant lack of adherence to some standards that everybody agrees to and I think that what's missing is the recognition that the reason you have so much freedom is to uphold the rest of the parts of that constitution.

           Byran Morgan: The object is to boost ratings, the object is to sell magazines or newspapers, pick up any issue of the tabloids that you wish and ask yourself, is this a reasoned way to proceed on an emotional question of guilt or innocence in a civilized society. I think there is just one answer to that.

           Mayor: I now have learned an important lesson and that is, I don't believe what I read in the press - listen to on talk radio anymore. But at that point, I did -  I was pretty naïve. I thought, boy,  if it's in the press, it's probably true.

           Bob Grant: If television news is to become entertainment, then where are we going to get our news?  That's an evolutionary process and it's a question we'll have to address as we move down that road.

          Man: Today, the Ramseys wait to see whether they will be indicted for the capital crime of child  murder. They have now been interviewed again by police and as they wait to see what happens next, they've become increasingly angry at the manner of their treatment.

           Kurtis: Today the Ramseys wait to see whether the grand jury that is now hearing the case in Boulder will indict them for the capital crime of child murder.  As they do so, the leaks and speculation continue, from tabloid to mainstream. And as they wait, their sense of being victims of a modern-day Salem grows

           John:  We are no different than any normal family and look what's happened to us.  It could happen to you.  It's scary. I know how witches must have felt in the 1600's.  Regretfully, the police walked into our home that morning and said, ah, murdered child, parents asleep, must have been the parents.  Focused on that from Day One. They weren't looking anywhere else.  We were too easy an answer, to obvious an answer. And they took the easy  route, the lazy route, the non-thinking route

           Kurtis:  But the real authors of the belief in the Ramseys' guilt may be those in the media who never seriously investigated whether they might be innocent.

           John: We're a normal American family. I went to work every day. Patsy stayed home to be with the children, and yet America thinks that after a wonderful Christmas with our children, we were planning to meet with my older children for a second Christmas, we had bought and paid for reservations on the Disney Red Boat which would be the first cruise we ever went on as a family and yet...   .....the American public has been led to believe that we went to bed that night on Christmas, brutally beat JonBenet, sexually molested her, strangled her, went to sleep, got up the next morning, wrote a three-page ransom note, called the police, sat around the house for four hours then I went downstairs and discovered her body - Then was able to act distraught. Patsy was able to throw up that morning because of gut wrenching anxiety - She faked it - Help me understand that. Where is our commonsense as a society, as a race of people?

           John: We have one of two options. We can give up on society, crawl in a hole, wall ourselves off, and live out the rest of our lives ---- Or, we can try to make a difference for the sake of our other children.  We're trying to make a difference here. We've got a cancer in the American society in the form of our system of information and we're going to take a shot at trying to fix it. That's what we're doing here.

           Susan Stine: The Ramsey case may not be important to any big segment of our country but the  implications are that anybody who wants to can manipulate the media or be manipulated by the media into believing the most incredible nonsense and that can probably be very dangerous to our country, our society. I don't think it says anything good for our future. I'm hoping that maybe people will sort of step  back and say, Wow, where did we go wrong here?

           Video ended with JonBenét singing "God Bless America".

          Kurtis:  Information that comes to the press from outside an "official source" in a "leak" can be useful.  It is the lifeblood of investigative programs like this. But if the leaks aren't true, they can cause great harm. An astounding number of media outlets will use that bit of  information in many ways.  Talk  shows, columnists, newscasts, tabloids .  The effect of this is the "media indictment", made without ever having to verify the source of the leak or its truth.  We have presented the JonBenét case from the Ramseys' point of view.  Does it mean they should or should not be indicted?  We don't know.  A grand jury will soon answer that. But they have already been indicted and convicted in the media.  If they are now found innocent, how will they get their reputation back?