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11/29/2002

Ramsey friend says she sold information to tabloid

The Associated Press

BOULDER — A confidant of John and Patsy Ramsey said she sold handwriting samples and interrogation transcripts from their daughter’s murder investigation to a supermarket tabloid for $40,000.

Susan Bennett, 51, of Hickory, N.C., told the Rocky Mountain News she sold the material to the National Enquirer because she believed that its publication would prove the Ramseys ’ innocence.

It was used in the tabloid’s Dec. 3 edition in a 31-page story headlined: “JonBenet Secret Video Evidence: New Clues Expose Mom & Dad!,” on newsstands today.

Ramsey attorney L. Lin Wood said the couple feels betrayed that a friend would sell information. Wood said tabloids have cast suspicion on the parents throughout the six years of reporting on the unsolved case.

“It’s horribly naive to believe that the tabloids are going to fairly and accurately report on any issue or piece of evidence as it pertains to John and Patsy Ramsey ,” Wood said.

Wood said the information sold to the Enquirer was part of a discovery order in a federal libel lawsuit brought against the Ramseys by Chris Wolf, who the Ramseys called a suspect in a book they wrote about the murder .

Wood said Wolf’s lawyer, Darnay Hoffman of New York, denied providing Bennett with the material. Hoffman was unavailable for comment.

Bennett, befriended by the former Boulder couple through her advocacy of their innocence, said she sold a transcript from an April 1997 police interrogation of the Ramseys , videotapes of a June 1998 police interrogation and handwriting samples from Patsy Ramsey .

“People make it sound as though I turned on the Ramseys ,” Bennett said. “I still believe 100 percent they are innocent.”

JonBenet Ramsey was found beaten and strangled in the family’s Boulder home on Dec. 26, 1996. No arrests have been made, but JonBenet’s parents have remained under suspicion.

David Perel, editor of the National Enquirer, did not confirm the source of the information in his publication. He said the Enquirer is planning to publish a book about the case next year.