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Back to 1999 Headlines

2/16/1999

Lawyers quiet on Ramsey book

By B.J. Plasket
Daily Times-Call

BOULDER -- During the early days of the JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation, news leaks were common.

Angry police pointed fingers at each other and at the district attorney's office.

One detective -- Linda Arndt -- even sued the Boulder Police Department, saying she was wrongfully blamed for leaking information in the case.

But, if those early incidents were leaks, Lawrence Schiller's new book could be called a 100-year flood.

But Boulder prosecutors, who last week refused comment on the forthcoming book, have so far expressed no concern about Monday's re-

lease of details still under investigation.

Suzanne Laurion, the spokeswoman for District Attorney Alex Hunter, late Monday afternoon said she hadn't asked Hunter about the apparent leaks published Monday morning.

``It wasn't a work day,'' she said in reference to the President's Day holiday, adding she would speak to Hunter this morning.

The book, ``Perfect Murder, Perfect Town,'' will be released on Wednesday, but portions appeared Monday in the Denver Rocky Mountain News.

Co-written by News reporter Charlie Brennan, the book offers detailed descriptions of the June 1998 meeting at which police presented their case to Hunter and his staff.

But Hunter, who once said he dropped his opposition to the release of a search warrant affidavit for the Ramsey home because most of its contents had ``already been released, leaked or stolen,'' is apparently not up in arms over the book.

The two-day meeting, held under tight security in a lecture hall at the Coors Events Center, was attended by police, prosecutors, FBI agents and renowned experts such as Barry Scheck and Dr. Henry Lee. Not a word was supposed to leave the room.

But a few thousand words did -- carrying details involving evidence and conversations among the participants.

The book even gives the colors of the pens used by Deputy DA Peter Hofstrom in taking notes -- a blue pen to take down information that incriminated the Ramseys , a red pen to write information pointing at an intruder and a black pen for evidence he deemed inconclusive.

The excerpt printed Monday even told what Hunter reportedly wrote down upon hearing Patsy Ramsey 's voice on the 911 in which she told police her 6-year-old daughter had been kidnapped.

``Doesn't sound as upset as I thought,'' Hunter reportedly wrote down.

The book excerpt even provides a seating chart for the meeting -- detailing where police sat and where most of the prosecutors sat. It claims Hofstrom sat by himself.

The article also quotes Daniel Hoffman, one of three lawyers working for free on the case, as telling Denver DA Bill Ritter ``Looks like they got it.''

Ritter reportedly asked, ``Got what?''

Hoffman then reportedly replied, ``Felony murder.''

Monday's article said police began their presentation with a 90-minute discourse by Det. Steve Thomas in which he used a slide projector to assist in detailing the backgrounds of John and Patsy Ramsey . The article also says police presented what they believed to be insufficient evidence for a prosecution, but information sufficient to begin a grand jury investigation.

That grand jury probe, which began in September, is still going on. The grand jury is reportedly meeting today.