BOULDER — With the Ramsey investigation being conducted in near total secrecy, the tabloid media is increasingly filling the information void.
And the finger of the tabloids is increasingly being pointed squarely at Patsy Ramsey .
In recent weeks tabloid publications — after a short period of speculating and then retracting a story that 9-year-old Burke Ramsey played a role in his sister JonBenet's death — are now focusing on Patsy Ramsey
In fact, some of them say Patsy believes her arrest is a near certainty.
This week the National Enquirer reported that John Ramsey , having already sold the family vacation home in Michigan and two boats, has put the family's Atlanta-area home up for sale. He is reportedly looking for a condominium and, according to the Enquirer, "preparing for life without Patsy."
A week earlier the Enquirer said John Ramsey expects Patsy to be charged with the murder and that he expects to be indicted as an accessory. The tabloid said he took Patsy on a Cayman Islands vacation so they could be together as a family "one last time."
This week both the National Enquirer and the Star reported that detectives have recently questioned Ramsey family and friends regarding Patsy's alleged use of an herbal diet supplement containing ephedrine, the active ingredients of amphetamine or speed.
Police are reportedly looking into possible overuse of the speed-like substance, which is believed to cause irrational behavior and violence.
The tabloids also claim to know of evidence that could spell trouble for Patsy Ramsey .
The Star, claiming to have copies of reports by the first police on the scene of the Dec. 26, 1996, slaying, said John Ramsey 's story regarding the night JonBenet died changed in two different interviews with police.
The Star claims John first told police he put a sleeping JonBenet to bed when the family returned from a Christmas party without reading to her. He reportedly later told police he read to the little girl before she went to sleep.
The same tabloid claims JonBenet was wearing size-12 underwear when her body was found, in spite of the fact she normally wore a much-smaller size 6. The report said the little girl was wearing size-6 "day-of-the-week panties" labeled for Wednesday when she was put to bed. The unopened package of size-12 day-of-the-week panties was reportedly in a drawer and had been purchased to give to another child. The Star said police believe the larger panties could have been hastily opened by Patsy in order to make sure the "Wednesday" label was showing.
According to the star, police said, "If a stranger had killed JonBenet, it would have been impossible for him to know where to find the panties." Patsy reportedly changed JonBenet's underwear because she had wet them.
Those reports came on the heels of tabloid stories saying a flashlight believed to have been used to kill JonBenet — as well as its batteries — had been wiped clean of fingerprints.
The so-called tabloid TV shows have also been busy while the grand jury investigating JonBenet's death takes an extended break.
New York lawyer Darnay Hoffman, who in 1997 filed an unsuccessful suit attempting to force District Attorney Alex Hunter to prosecute the Ramseys , re-introduced the "web of influence" theory in a Thursday evening appearance on the Fox News Channel's
Hoffman has long criticized what he calls the cozy relationship between Hunter, the Ramsey defense team and former Gov. Roy Romer — all prominent Democrats. On Thursday he said he has learned that Ramsey attorney Hal Haddon's office prepared President Clinton's tax returns for several years in late 1970s and early '80s.
Hoffman also reiterated his belief that Hunter's office has compromised the case beyond repair, but host Bill O'Reilly was more blunt in his criticism.
"We all know Alex Hunter is an incompetent," O'Reilly said. "He's a boob."
Hunter's office, however, has repeatedly dismissed Hoffman, who once represented New York subway vigilante Bernhard Goetz, as a publicity seeker.
The grand jury, meanwhile, has not met since May 24, and Hunter has refused to comment on its schedule or timetable.