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4/27/2001

Investigator to release Ramsey pictures

The Associated Press

BOULDER — A former investigator for the district attorney’s office says he plans to release crime scene photos of the JonBenet Ramsey investigation next week over the objections of the district attorney.

Retired Colorado Springs Detective Lou Smit says the information, some of which has never been released, points to the strong likelihood that an intruder, and not 6-year-old JonBenet’s parents, killed the girl in 1996. The parents remain under police suspicion.

Smit’s Powerpoint presentation, reportedly shown to the grand jury that considered the case, will be aired over a five-day period beginning Monday on the NBC “Today” show with Katie Couric.

He also is the focus of a new documentary being put together by University of Colorado professor Michael Tracey, who plans to air his piece in the United Kingdom in July and eventually in the United States.

District Attorney Mary Keenan said Wednesday that Smit informed her of his decision to go public with the information, but that she discouraged it, saying too much media publicity has been one of the biggest problems with the investigation.

Keenan, who replaced retiring District Attorney Alex Hunter on Jan. 9, has said very little about the case. She said she turned down requests from NBC for comment.

“I am opposed to anyone talking to the media about the Ramsey case,” she said.

Smit said he is making his presentation public now in order to shed new light on the case and try to get the police investigation to take a new direction, looking for suspects other than John and Patsy Ramsey .

“There is another side of the story,” Smit said.

He also said it is a matter of public safety.

“If the Ramseys didn’t do it, then the killer is still out there,” he said. Smit is a homicide detective from Colorado Springs noted for solving nearly all of the homicide cases assigned to him.

He resigned as an investigator for the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office after 18 months, because he thought police and prosecutors were wrongly focusing on John and Patsy Ramsey .

Court records show that prosecutors tried to prevent Smit from testifying about his intruder theory to a grand jury in 1999, but eventually he was allowed to.

When Smit left the district attorney’s office, he took electronic copies of several crime scene photos and other evidence with him.

Prosecutors sued to get the materials back, but Smit was allowed to keep it and show it to whomever he pleased a month after the grand jury completed its work.

Smit said he does not work for the Ramseys and has never received “a nickel” from them.

“I am accountable to JonBenet and my God, and that’s it,” he said.