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Back to 1998 Headlines


Gov. urged to interve

by Pam Regensberg
Daily Times-Call

BOULDER -- A former Ramsey family friend upset over the handling of the JonBenet murder case claims authorities have stalled the investigation by using a new law that would allow them to save face regardless of the case's outcome.

Fleet and Priscilla White's 15-page letter, addressed to the people of Colorado, again urges Gov. Roy Romer to intervene in the 20-month-old case and backs scathing remarks made by Boulder Detective Steve Thomas Aug. 6.

But the letter dated Aug. 17 does not address the events surrounding the afternoon of Dec. 26, 1996, when John Ramsey found his slain little girl in the basement of the family's home.

White is reportedly the only eyewitness to that event as he was helping John Ramsey search the 15-room Tudor home on the urging of police. The Whites, who lived two doors down from the Ramseys , have since had a falling out with the Ramseys .

The letter specifically points to a bill introduced by Loveland Rep. Bill Kaufman in January 1997, two weeks after JonBenet was murdered .

The bill subsequently became law and now allows for grand juries convened after October 1997 to issue reports even in cases were no indictment is handed down. It also allows grand juries to publicly exonerate suspects in crimes if no one is charged.

The bill was co-sponsored by State Sen. Ed Perlmutter, Golden attorney.

It effectively allows prosecutors facing pressure to file charges in a case to shift that burden to the grand jury. The grand jury, in turn, could issue its findings, allowing authorities to walk away from the case, the Whites indicated.

``The Ramseys had nothing to do with the legislation,'' Kaufman stressed from his Loveland law office this morning. ``That was never a consideration.''

Kaufman said Fleet White paid an unannounced visit to his office three months ago and wanted to talk to him about the bill.

``That was the first and last time I ever saw him,'' Kaufman said. ``I know he's upset with the Ramseys , I could tell by when I was talking to him.''

The Whites also claim Hunter has alienated police and key witnesses.

``His public statements regarding this investigation have been erratic, evasive and misleading,'' the letter noted. ``They have also been profoundly damaging to the case.''

Hunter's office has refused to comment on the Whites' letter.

Also, Fleet White has refused requests for interviews, but instead demanded that Daily Times-Call publish his lengthy letter in its entirety.

However, White placed several conditions on the publication, causing editors to refuse. White subsequently shopped his message around to various Denver media.

Nevertheless, the Whites also fault the Ramseys for their actions early in the case.

``We must be mindful, however, of the first cause of the investigation's failure -- the refusal of John and Patsy Ramsey to cooperate fully and genuinely with those officially charged with the responsibility of investigation the death of their daughter, JonBenet,'' the letter stated.

Furthermore, the Whites said the DA's latest interview with the Ramseys was ``a carefully orchestrated demonstration of their willingness to cooperate in the investigation now that biased and incompetent police detectives were no longer involved.''