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No Way To Avoid It

the Ramsey case

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, August 23, 2006.

I’ve been trying to avoid writing about the JonBenét Ramsey case because of my own dislike of - and losing history with - the current District Attorney. But the arrest of this very disturbed man now in Los Angeles, whose guilt or innocence somehow strikes me as quite easy to ascertain - and this almost immediately - is difficult to deflect. Understandable because I somehow became an authority on the case. Here's how:

In the past decade I’d written two radio commentaries and maybe as many short pieces on my website about aspects of the Ramsey case, less than five thousand words in toto, some repetitive, and my dedication and interest was such I never realized that I constantly misspelled JonBenét, which I thought B-o-net. However, a sizeable portion of the world spells no better than I do, and two of my pieces showed up number one and two on a Google search under that misspelling. You can imagine the increase in volume to a small site like mine when an arrest was made. (I still hold the number one spot under the misspelling. Bow and scrape, mere mortals……. But, this isn’t about the wonderfulness that is me, however awe inspiring and extensive. It’s about the guilt or innocence of this dweeb defendant. Well, that and the spelling ability of my readers, my equals in every way.)

Anyway, there are palm prints, shoe prints, human hair, and DNA evidence, all in various states of believability. Or rather, so we’re told. There are the remarks the defendant himself is alleged to have made, although much of it went through the Thai police, and that has proven to be an iffy journey through adjacent realities. Still: he either is the right shoe size, has the right hair, the right DNA, and/or the correct palm print or he does not.

I pass over handwriting analysis as second only to phrenology in importance and accuracy.

We ought to have the actual evidence now, and everything I read says that it’s about a two day process. So……what the hey? As of this recording, long after DNA was taken in Thailand, we have a big zero for our increased knowledge.

One thing about this case, which has never been given the needed local coverage it should have, considering its importance, is that our District Attorney’s office and our police department have such low regard for each other that it amounts to great expense and conflict unnecessarily bitter and counterproductive. Former DA prosecutors have told me that they’d never use a Police Detective if they could help it, but would first go for investigators from the Sheriff’s Department or use their own. They had no faith in the competence of Boulder Police Detectives, a view totally justified by the Ramsey case, where world class incompetence was obvious and painful although, we’re told, resolved.

The Police, on the other hand, have the more vague but just as emotionally held belief that the DA Office is a stronghold of Boulder Democratic Party elites, and that whether cases are pursued or not has been based upon corrupt and illegal decisions at the highest level. This was especially true under Alex Hunter, the longtime DA at the time of the Ramsey murder and the Lisa Simpson case, but to greater and lesser extent, the belief remains. There is, at least, the whiff of truth to it, and it permeates considerations in all the big cases, although treated delicately and subtly.

That the Boulder Police, despite some areas of excellent, are arguably borderline corrupt in others became apparent when we learned about their ‘liaison’ officers to the CU football team, a position designed solely to keep too often entitled thugs to be tipped off about investigations, charges, searches and to avoid bad publicity. None of those things was ever proven, but none of those things was ever really investigated, either. To call that inappropriate doesn’t really come close. In theory, merely a position for good public relations to avoid unnecessary issues, unstated but possibly racial in nature. In actuality, we don’t know, and we should. The position, whether or not official or admitted, may still remain.

One potential for Mr. Karr’s conviction may hinge on his supposed knowledge of the case’s details that have not been made public. I’d go so far as to suggest we substitute the phrase “officially” made public, because there is a lot of detail out there, if I can judge by the CBS 48 Hour episode I reviewed two years ago, that is indistinct as to whether it is true, or just assumed, or made up out of whole cloth. And the bitterness of the initial investigation, in which the Police said the parents had to have done it, resulted in some apparently blistering books being written and views expressed and, perhaps, details revealed that became part of the canon, deserved or not. The fact is, we don’t really know what the evidence actually is, and only this week did the Associated Press and several newspapers go to court to find out.

Yesterday, I went to see the circus around the courthouse. Local news trucks with satellite dishes from all over the world. I vectored in on one from an Indianapolis station, and tried to imagine what that crew could possibly obtain necessitating the expense that the networks could not. Local ratings, apparently. Such is the power of crime and sex over a population of voyeurs in the muggy, carnucular days of August, 2006.