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Back to 1999 Headlines

9/14/1999

Ramseys ' lawyers bla

by B.J.Plasket
Daily Times-Call

BOULDER Attorneys for John and Patsy on Monday blasted comments by a former Boulder detective, calling them "bizarre speculations" that further prove police are out to get the Ramseys .

The comments faxed to media outlets Monday afternoon by the Denver law firm of Haddon and Morgan came on the heels of the first installment of a five-part ABC-TV interview with Linda Arndt, the first detective on the scene when 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey was reported kidnapped on Dec. 26, 1996.

Her body was found hours later by her father in the basement of the family's Boulder home.

Arndt, who has filed a federal suit claiming the Boulder Police Department and ex-chief Tom Koby violated her free-speech rights and used her as a scapegoat for police bungling in the case, told "Good Morning America" reporter Elizabeth Vargas she feared for her life on the morning JonBenet's body was found.

"I didn't know if we'd all be alive when everybody got there," she said without explanation.

The other four segments of the interview will be broadcast each morning this week. Today's installment will be shown shortly before Koby is scheduled to give an eight-hour deposition in Arndt's suit.

Current police chief Mark Beckner is scheduled to be deposed on Oct. 11 and former detective Jon Eller, who once headed up the probe, will be deposed on Oct. 18.

Former detective Larry Mason, who last year settled a lawsuit similar to Arndt's against the police department, will be deposed Sept. 21. No trial date has been set in the case.

In Monday's interview filled with dramatic statements and little elaboration Arndt said her "mind exploded" when she saw John Ramsey carry his daughter's body upstairs hours after her family reported she had been kidnapped.

Arndt said when she saw John Ramsey with JonBenet's body, "everything I saw that morning that stuck out" began to make sense.

Arndt said she had earlier noted that John Ramsey appeared "cordial" and relatively unaffected by the alleged kidnapping.

She said she and John Ramsey had a chilling "non-verbal exchange I will never forget" when he brought the child's body from the basement of his home.

"I knew what happened to her" an emotional Arndt said. "There's no doubt in my mind." She did not elaborate.

ABC, which this week is unveiling its new "Good Morning America" studio in New York's Time Square, has said Arndt will tell viewers she knows who killed JonBenet.

She will reportedly name the person she believes to be the killer later in the week.

In the seven-minute segment that was taken from five hours of interviews with Arndt and shown on Monday, Arndt also said John and Patsy Ramsey spent most of their time in different rooms on the morning JonBenet was killed.

"I saw very little interaction between them," she said.

She said John Ramsey even took time out to check his mail on the morning his daughter was believed to have been kidnapped.

District Attorney Alex Hunter had no comment on the interview, but the Ramsey family lawyers questioned its timing.

"The grand jury will conclude its work in the next month," the release said. "There is no good reason Ms. Arndt could not have sought publicity after the grand jury process was concluded."

The Ramsey lawyers also seized the opportunity to reiterate the statements of Lou Smit, a retired detective who worked on the Ramsey probe for 16 months before quitting and alleging the Ramseys were being unfairly targeted.

"Ms. Arndt's claims are unfortunate confirmation of Detective Smit's observations, " the statement said.

The lawyers also called Arndt's comments "the latest in a seemingly endless series of attacks on the Ramsey family by people who seek to justify their own conduct at the Ramseys ' expense" and called Arndt's impressions "no substitute for evidence."

The grand jury, meanwhile, did not meet Monday and hasn't done so since May 24.