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Larry King Live

The Ramseys Discuss `The Death of Innocence'

Aired March 28, 2000 - 9:00 p.m. ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, John and Patsy Ramsey return live, taking your calls, next here on LARRY KING LIVE.

The Ramseys return. They're with us the full hour. Joining us in about 20 minutes will be Greta Van Susteren, our CNN legal analyst and the co-host of "BURDEN OF PROOF," and Lin Wood. He is John and Patsy Ramsey's civil attorney, retained in the early part of last year, and he was involved in the successful settlement suit against "The Star."

Today, guys, in an interview aired this morning, Alex Hunter, the DA, said he would encourage both of you to knock on the front door of the police station, answer all questions, completely cooperate.


KING: He also said he's not going to run for re-election.

J. RAMSEY: Well yes, I knew that. And I think he also said that, as far as he knew, we have answered all the questions.

KING: Why would he say that?

J. RAMSEY: Well, I don't know. What we need to know is, what do they want? They can't just say we haven't cooperated and not tell us what they want. Cooperation is a two-way street. We've done everything they've asked. We want to continue to do everything that they need to find the killer of our daughter, but it's a two-way street. We, a couple of months ago, asked to meet with the police and the district attorney's staff. We had a number of experts that had looked at this case for several months. We wanted to present their findings, their opinions, discuss it, bring information to the solution of the crime, and it was refused.

Michael Kane, the...

KING: Did he tell you why?

J. RAMSEY: We don't know. Michael Kane, the special prosecution brought in by the governor, said they had enough experts in Colorado, didn't need to hear from us. It's got to be a two-way street. We can't have that kind of arrogance and get anywhere. Egos have got to be put in the drawer. KING: And last night, you said you'd be happily willing to submit to a lie detector test. There is a national association of experts -- members of the association. Would you agree if they picked out someone to come and represent...

J. RAMSEY: All we said is we want it to be fair and independent, and we want the results to be made public.

KING: So not someone chosen by you, not someone chosen by the police, someone independent of that, from whenever they find it, and you want the results public?

J. RAMSEY: Absolutely.


J. RAMSEY: And if the police have confidence in the lie detector test, it seems to me that if we pass it, they ought to say we're cleared.

KING: Some notes I want to follow-up on. You said last night that the police did not call the FBI, and you were very unhappy that they weren't called in, with the kidnapping note before she was even found.

Why didn't you call the FBI?

J. RAMSEY: It didn't occur to me. I wish I had. I wish I had called the FBI first. But we were in such a state of panic, the best we could do is to call 911. That's instinctive, I guess.

P. RAMSEY: You've been brought up your entire life to dial 911.

J. RAMSEY: Absolutely. Absolutely I should have done that.

KING: Patsy, what do you make of a ransom note? Why would a kidnapper write a ransom note when they've killed someone and left that someone in the house? What would be the point of a ransom note, do you think?

P. RAMSEY: I don't know, but I hope to ask the killer one of these days.

KING: Can you guess?

P. RAMSEY: I think it was a ruse to throw us off.

KING: From what? I mean, unless he's in the house.

J. RAMSEY: We did two things in the book...

KING: By the way, the book is "The Death of Innocence." I should have mentioned that right at the beginning of the show. The book is now on sale everywhere. The book is "The Death of Innocence." Our guests are the Ramseys.

I'm sorry, John.

J. RAMSEY: We spent a considerable amount of time describing as best we could what we think happened, and we think the killer wrote the note before we came home that night. We think he was in the house while we were out four to five hours. The note was written before the crime.

KING: He intended then to kidnap you?

J. RAMSEY: We think it was a kidnapping.

KING: Gone awry?

J. RAMSEY: And something went terribly wrong. That's what seasoned investigators have told us.

KING: What do you make of "SBTC," those letters?

J. RAMSEY: I don't know. I have struggled with that. I have tried to understand. Only the killer knows.

This is a clue. "SBTC,"...

KING: Must be.

P. RAMSEY: ... $118, 000 -- this is why we wrote this book, because there are definite clues that are going to help us find this person. We need -- somebody knows this person.

KING: It was signed "SBTC."

P. RAMSEY: It was signed "SBTC."

KING: Any thoughts as to why. I think you mentioned last night $118,000 -- that's the bonus you got for the year?

J. RAMSEY: Well, it happened to be very close to my annual bonus that I'd received in February I think it was of '96. I don't know if that's significant or not or, if that's a clue. It means something to the killer, 118, $118,000 means something to the killer.

P. RAMSEY: It's an unusual number.

KING: Kidnappers aren't necessarily pedophiles. They usually have a motive and their purpose is to get some money. This obviously was some sort of strange, demonic act, so I mean, it doesn't jibe.

J. RAMSEY: No. This person is not a logical, normal person. That is mad man. This is a monster. They don't think logically. They don't think...

KING: Is your handwriting cleared, both of you?

P. RAMSEY: John's definitively was cleared. And I scored a 4.5 out of 5. Five is definitely no match, and it just...

J. RAMSEY: Patsy's handwriting...

KING: Because tabloids were printing that it was you.

P. RAMSEY: Oh yes, they love...

J. RAMSEY: That's absurd.

We've looked at leads whose handwriting scored much, much higher than Patsy's on a comparison scale.

KING: When a tragedy occurs in a family like this, very often, subsequently separation occurs. The death of a child -- forget murder. The death of a child often causes one to blame the other -- guilt. Have you had any problems in your own relationship?

P. RAMSEY: Absolutely not.

J. RAMSEY: No, we've become...

KING: Ever look at each other, and say "It was your fault."

P. RAMSEY: Never, never, never.

J. RAMSEY: We can't...

KING: That does happen.

J. RAMSEY: I know. I know. I think, as best I can figure, that one thing that does happen is you become very focused on yourself, your self-pity. You're as down and as needy of help and support as you have ever been, and your spouse can't give that to you, because she's in the same place.

KING: But you got closer.

J. RAMSEY: We did.

P. RAMSEY: Absolutely.

KING: As we go to break, the Ramseys let a LARRY KING LIVE camera crew spend the day with them last week in Atlanta. Mrs. Ramsey shared a special outfit and special memories. Watch.


P. RAMSEY: She wore this one several times. She wore it at the -- for the Sunburst Pageant in Atlanta. I was on cloud nine watching her, because she was joust so full of spunk and energy, and it made me proud. People tried to make it seem ugly and something that it wasn't, and I just know how much fun it was, what a good time we had together doing it.






UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:: Do you want to hold the microphone for me?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

JONBENET RAMSEY: I want to be a doctor or a nurse to help people get well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:: What kind of doctor do you want to be?

JONBENET RAMSEY: A pediatrician.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:: Thank you so much, JonBenet.

Give her a big hand.



KING: Was that her last pageant? Was that the last pageant she did?


KING: Yes.

The judges ask questions and people score it, is that what -- they just ask them a few questions? That's awfully hard to watch. John -- are you OK?


KING: All right. DNA was found under the fingernails, right? DNA from a stain found on the underwear, cord and duct tape, pubic hair found on the blanket, palm print found on the cellar door, footprint found by the body. Where has all this led?

J. RAMSEY: We think it will lead to the killer eventually.

KING: What do the police say about these findings?

J. RAMSEY: We don't know. They haven't told us.

KING: What's the DNA -- what -- it's not your DNA, right?

J. RAMSEY: We know that the DNA has not been matched to anyone. We know...

KING: So it matches someone, but they haven't found it?

J. RAMSEY: They haven't found it. We heard one of the special prosecutors say the DNA is a problem. The DNA is a huge clue, we believe. It's not a problem. It's a wonderful clue.

KING: It's a problem in convicting you.

J. RAMSEY: It's a problem in convicting the parents.

KING: But it could have been there from a month ago, couldn't it?

J. RAMSEY: I don't think so.

P. RAMSEY: It couldn't have been there from a month ago.

KING: Because DNA lasts a long time, but you don't think that...

J. RAMSEY: Well, they have looked everywhere to try to match it. They have looked at everybody she has been with. They have looked at our family. They came back to Atlanta.

P. RAMSEY: Playmates, everybody.

J. RAMSEY: Looked at playmates. They looked at people that hadn't been with her for eight months. They can't identify it. It is a significant clue that will lead us to the killer, I believe.

KING: There was a made-for-TV movie, which wasn't very complementary -- did you see it?

P. RAMSEY: No, we didn't. We don't have television.

KING: Did you hear about it?

P. RAMSEY: We took television out of our home two years ago.

KING: Why?

P. RAMSEY: Because it was not fun to turn on the television and find yourself being accused of killing your child day in and day out every night, every day. I had my last run-in with Geraldo Rivera and the TV went out.

KING: What did they do?

P. RAMSEY: They had a mock trial of John and me, and...

KING: They tried you?


J. RAMSEY: Apparently.

KING: You mean, people came and produced evidence -- they did a courtroom?

J. RAMSEY: No, it was a mock...

KING: You mean, you had witnesses? P. RAMSEY: It was staged for entertainment at our expense. That's what it was.

KING: What does -- I got -- Patsy, your feelings are obvious here after seeing your daughter. What are your feelings like, John, when this all happens to you and about you?

J. RAMSEY: Well, it is insignificant compared to the hurt we suffered from the loss of our daughter, so it's not...

KING: It pales?

J. RAMSEY: It pales by comparison. But it's hurtful. It's not right. But you realize life's not fair. And you know, we've heard -- the best way we could deal with it was just to shut it out and not pay attention to it.

P. RAMSEY: We have wonderful friends. We have a devout faith. That is -- and our family and our close-knit circle of friends have kept us...

KING: You're very devoted to your church, right?

P. RAMSEY: Yes, we are.

KING: There was a -- the tabloids in every week, you couldn't shut that out, you have to go to the store, right? Cannot...

P. RAMSEY: My supermarkets and my drugstores do not carry them. Now, Target and some of the department stores carry them, but the retailers in my neighborhood...

J. RAMSEY: Yes, we would have people say, what can we do? We'd say, look, here's what you can do. Next time you go into your supermarket or your drugstore and you see these horrible tabloids, call the manager over and say, look, this is offensive to me. Either take these out of view -- it's pornography, or I'll take my business elsewhere. That's what you can do, and our friends did that.

P. RAMSEY: I would go up to them and say, these are my children. Would you please review this from your shelf and they would just -- you know, they didn't realize that this was a real person. This was not make believe.

KING: A Gallup Poll released today says the public is divided on this. They -- I think it was 50 percent think you had some involvement and some knowledge, 50 percent think you didn't. But a majority thinks it will never be solved. How do you react to that?

J. RAMSEY: Well, first of all, I am surprised 100 percent don't think we had some involvement.

KING: No, the poll today said 50.

J. RAMSEY: Fifty, well, that's an improvement.

KING: Improvement.

P. RAMSEY: Improvement.

J. RAMSEY: Because we have certainly been told for the last three years that we did. We believe that the killer can be found. He's going to be found because someone in the public is going to come forward and say, I think I know who this is, and that's how we're going to solve this crime.

KING: JonBenet's death has touched many people. Some send tokens of their feelings to her parents or leave them at her grave a short drive from the Ramseys home in Atlanta. Watch.


P. RAMSEY: Everyone misses her. She was just a little angel herself, so I think it's befitting that all of the angels have started appearing on the tree, the dogwood tree above her grave site.

Can you get it up there?


P. RAMSEY: People from all over the country come here and leave pieces of artwork, and poetry, and flowers, and toys, and they all bring a little angel and hang it on the tree. It's just grown since then. I think it's beautiful. It just makes me think that there are a lot of people out there that care about JonBenet.



KING: In a couple of minutes, Greta Van Susteren will join us, as will Lin Wood, the attorney for the Ramseys, civil attorney.

We have seen JonBenet's grave can be a place of sadness and solace, but our camera crew learned it's also been touched by public suspicion about the Ramseys. Watch.


P. RAMSEY: It's nice to think so many people come out here.

J. RAMSEY: Yes. Yes, this gives you faith in mankind. This kind of stuff doesn't. It's amazing that some people would be that crude. What we've learned in the world is there are good people and there are evil people. That's, unfortunately, what we ought to be aware of.


KING: How did you react to that, "daddy did it"?

J. RAMSEY: Well, it's hurtful to us that someone would desecrate her grave. That's the sad part. The allegation isn't hurtful. It's the...

KING: No, you really can handle this well, John. I mean, most people would be ticked.

J. RAMSEY: Well, you look at the tree above it, and there's probably 150 angels that have been brought there by good people. The good has outweighed the bad in this situation for us.

KING: Do you plan more suits against people like "The Star"?

J. RAMSEY: We do, absolutely.

KING: You do?

J. RAMSEY: I think we can keep Mr. Wood busy for a number of years probably.

KING: The money from "The Death Of Innocence" going any special place or...

J. RAMSEY: The money from the book and from the suits will go to pay legal expenses first and then will go into the JonBenet Ramsey Children's Foundation.

KING: There's a book coming from Steve Thomas, a former detective, who says that you did do it -- I think he's saying that in his book.

Are you concerned about this book? Have you heard about it?

J. RAMSEY: Well, Steve Thomas, I believe, had that opinion from the very beginning, which was one of the problems in this whole case. Steve was an inexperienced rookie detective. I think he was a narcotics police officer who was given this case as the lead detective.

No, I'm not concerned.

KING: Not concerned. And there's...

P. RAMSEY: Steve Thomas interviewed me our first interview, and I appreciated his passion for wanting to find the killer of my daughter, and I told him so. He delivered an eloquent soliloquy to the effect that he was determined to stay with this and find the murderer of my child.

KING: But you think he decided earlier that it was you.

J. RAMSEY: I think he decided the first day.

KING: And what about this attorney, Donny Hoffman (ph) in New York. He's filed a $25 million defamation suit against you in connection with the book. He also once sued Alex Hunter to compel prosecution of you.

Who is Donny Hoffman? J. RAMSEY: I don't know him.

KING: You don't know him?

J. RAMSEY: Well, I know of him. He showed up in Boulder, and the only reason news we know of it, it was in the paper. But I haven't seen the suit itself, so I don't know.

P. RAMSEY: Ever hear of that old saying, everybody wants to get into the act?

KING: Do you get leads? Do people call you? I think I know...

J. RAMSEY: Yes. Yes.

P. RAMSEY: Yes, we have been getting...

J. RAMSEY: We have been getting some very interesting leads. Not a lot, but we're getting some very good information.

It's only going to take one: one call, one e-mail, one letter. That's all. We're just waiting for that one.

KING: If you had all the DNA on file somewhere, someone could be arrested tomorrow who matches the DNA that was found...

J. RAMSEY: Absolutely. The single-most significant thing we could do as a country to impact crime is to establish a national DNA bank.

KING: We're going to take a break, and when we come back, we'll be joined by Greta Van Susteren and the attorney for the Ramseys, Lin Wood. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. Your calls will be included. The book is "The Death of Innocence." Don't go away.


KING: We're back on LARRY KING LIVE. With us are John Ramsey and his wife, Patsy, and they're the co-authors of "The Death of Innocence." We're joined now by Lin Wood. He's been a guest before on this program. He's John and Patsy's civil attorney. He was retained in the early part of '99, involved in the successful settlement suit against "The Star." And as they said, they're going to keep him busy for a long time. And Greta Van Susteren, CNN's own legal analyst, co-host of "BURDEN OF PROOF," who will now take over the deposition.

But first, let me ask Lin if you're anticipating a lot of media suits? The Ramseys seem to think that's indicated.

LIN WOOD, RAMSEYS' CIVIL ATTORNEY: Well, there's no question there will be a number of lawsuits filed both on behalf of their son, Burke, which "The Star" case involved, and when we get those filed, we will turn our attention and efforts toward lawsuits for John and Patsy, where they will actually be planning some cases against the tabloids and other members of the media. KING: Now, you did settle, and obviously, we can't reveal what was -- but the settlement had to be in your favor. You didn't give "The Star" money.

Isn't there a desire on your part to get into court on one of these?

WOOD: There really is, but again, you have to do what's in the best interests of your client. I am confident that at some point in time, particularly when it comes time to file cases for John and Patsy, that there will be someone out there that will say, "Let's go all the way." And that will be the opportunity, in a civil trial setting, for John and Patsy to in a court of law have an opportunity to clear their name.

KING: All right, Greta, what do you make of all of this?

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you know, always intriguing every time there's a homicide, Larry, and we don't have a defendant or a trial. But there are some things that are curious about it to me. Let me go first to you.

Patsy, last October 13th, Alex Hunter said that the grand jury was not going to return an indictment. Leading up to that announcement, though, where were you and what was going through your mind?

P. RAMSEY: Well, we spent a good deal of time talking about that in the book, and I think, without going into depth, we were prepared to go, if we were indicted, we were prepared to turn ourselves in, and that is a daunting thought. We had to make necessary preparations for Burke, especially. Papers had to be drawn up for his guardianship. We packed our bags to go to the jail house.

KING: You feared it?

J. RAMSEY: We weren't afraid of it. We were fully mentally prepared for it. It was going to be a horribly disgraceful thing to have to go through. We had no doubt of what the outcome of the trial would be. We didn't want to go through the trial. We didn't want to waste another year which should be spent pursuing the killer. But we were fully mentally prepared for it.

KING: What did -- I'm sorry. Go ahead, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Where were you when you heard, John, and what went through your mind? What was your reaction?

J. RAMSEY: Well, we were at some friends' house in Boulder. They had their television on. We were sitting on the couch.

I felt that the system would work, which it did, but had been fully prepared for it not to work and to be indicted. It was a -- it felt kind of like you had just gotten out of school for the summer. You know, how you felt as a kid when you -- the last day of school, you had just finished an episode of your life, and you had kind of a -- nothing on the agenda for a while. And that's kind of how it felt.

We were certainly relieved. We were grateful to the grand jurors for doing what they were tasked to do. We got in the car and started driving for home.

P. RAMSEY: I mean, it was not a feeling of joy.

J. RAMSEY: No, this was not a victory.

P. RAMSEY: It was not a victory or a win situation. You know, we want someone indicted more than anything in the world.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you show up in Colorado? I mean, because obviously the media was looking for you.


VAN SUSTEREN: Did you show up in Colorado for the reason to turn yourself in?


VAN SUSTEREN: Was that an expectation?

J. RAMSEY: We were prepared to do that.

P. RAMSEY: We needed to be in Colorado when the announcement was made, regardless of the announcement.

J. RAMSEY: If the worst happened, we needed to be there. We were prepared to be -- present ourself to the sheriff's office within probably 10 minutes if -- if that was appropriate.

KING: It was either going to indict you or no one, right?

J. RAMSEY: Well, that was disappointing. You know, when Hunter said, Alex Hunter said, the district attorney, that we are not able to indict anyone we have investigated, that was a disappointment to a degree, because we hoped.

P. RAMSEY: We hoped that they -- there was something that...

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you think it was going to happen? I mean, all the attention seemed to be focused on you from the...

J. RAMSEY: Oh, we -- absolutely. We knew that we probably were the only people that were looked at for 13 months.

KING: Let me get a break and...

P. RAMSEY: I think you'll get that in the book. We really expand on our feelings.

KING: The book is "The Death of Innocence." We'll be right back with our panel. This is LARRY KING LIVE. And we'll take your phone calls too. Don't go away. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back.

Just so understand, Lin, were there any criminal involvement, that's not your role in this, right?

WOOD: I was not involved in the criminal part of this case. My goal is to work on the civil actions only.

KING: Including if there were suits against them civilly.

WOOD: Absolutely, for example, this frivolous lawsuit you just mentioned, this character Donny Hoffman has filed, I'll be involved in that for them.

KING: What, Greta, does a non-indictment mean?

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it's unclear, because everything is done in secrecy. We don't even know if a vote was actually taken. But in theory, what it means, if no indictment was returned, is that the grand jurors look at all the evidence that was presented to them, and they thought there was insufficient evidence, believe there was probable cause to believe a crime or was committed or that someone they were investigating had actually committed it.

Obviously here, they had to assume a murder had occurred, but they had insufficient evidence to have probable cause to believe a particular person did it.

KING: If a prosecutor wish to indict, he can indict a ham sandwich, is that correct?

VAN SUSTEREN: Absolutely, but the prosecutor who indicts a ham sandwich has to be ready to prove that in a trial court.

KING: That the ham sandwich did it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Right, that the ham sandwich did it. And if the prosecutor indicts a ham sandwich, and then goes into court and can't prove beyond a reasonable doubt where all the evidence is cross- examined by defense attorneys and defendants have certain rights, a prosecutor would be very unwise to take that ham sandwich to trial.

KING: So what's gone wrong here? Why all of this time?

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I think what most people think is that the crime scene was contaminated, there wasn't enough evidence gathered. I mean, there's also, theoretically, the problem, besides the contamination of the crime scene that the real killer, that an intruder wasn't found. There's also the theoretical possibility that the grand jurors thought that either Patsy or John did it, but they couldn't figure out which one. I mean, there's just, they don't know.

And there's a lot of curious evidence in this case. There's DNA under her fingernails. They have no idea whose it is. There's a baseball bat found in the yard with a fiber from the basement. That's odd. There's no apparent motive. Why would John and Patsy Ramsey want to kill their daughter? We've heard nothing from the media that they were terrorizing their daughter. I mean, there's so many peculiar things about it that in looking at the evidence, the grand jury here thought, you know, we don't have an indictment.

KING: So if you were a prosecutor, you'd have a difficult time with this, from what you know?

VAN SUSTEREN: Based on what I know. There are so many bizarre things that suggest an intruder. But on the flip side, there are also some bizarre things, because when you have some of your classical kidnapping, you think you want to snatch and run, but whoever was in there went all the way upstairs, got the child, took time to put tape on the child, strangled the child, hit the child in the head.

KING: Wrote a ransom note.

VAN SUSTEREN: Not just one ransom note, but a practice note, strangled the child, tied the child's wrists, and hid the child in the basement, took an awful lot of time, and that's unusual. Why would a kidnapper, someone who wanted money, unless the person had a motive that we just don't know?

WOOD: This child was brutally murdered. It's painful to say that in front of John and Patsy, but JonBenet Ramsey was brutally murdered with a garrote, a device used like a noose with a handle, a death that was vicious. Here they are. They're sitting here now. These people are not capable of that type of act. Their lives have been examined for three years, millions of dollars, all of their friends, from birth to the present time. Nothing about this family, except that they are good and loving parents, with a good, healthy relationship with their children. And yet John Ramsey sits here, knowing that one of these tabloids even stooped to the level at one point in time of accusing him of sexually molesting his deceased daughter, Beth, before her death. That's the kind of abuse these people have taken. But here they are. They're not what they've been represented to be by the media, and they're not what they have been portrayed to be at all.

KING: It is curious, isn't it, though, Lin? I mean, you'll agree with that as Greta just laid it out, it curious.

WOOD: I have spent -- while I am involved in civil life, I have spent a tremendous amount of time looking at the case itself, a lot of time with Lou Smit, and let's remember who Lou Smit is: 32 years in homicide investigations, a legend in that part of the country, over 200 homicides investigated, with a success rate of somewhere in the neighborhood of 85 or 90 percent.

What's curious to me is to sit there and listen to the tremendous amount of evidence, strong and compelling evidence, that someone came into that house that night and brutally murdered this child. It's curious to me that that evidence has not been followed for the last three years. VAN SUSTEREN: And you know what else is a bit strange about the case, Larry, is that it's the motive aspect. I mean, there's -- you get poisoned by the media. You hear so much John and Patsy this, John and Patsy that, they didn't cooperate, they didn't do this, but there is evidence that they did talk to the police early on. They were targets. So good lawyers would tell them not to talk to the police any further.

KING: Why not?

VAN SUSTEREN: Because the police had targeted them. The police thought they had their prey, and they weren't looking someplace else. So lawyers tell them not to. So there's that curious aspect to it.

But the other thing, too, is that there has been an awful lot about whether or not JonBenet was sexually assaulted or not. And JonBenet's pediatrician, who saw her a number of times, came out and said that he never saw any indication. So you know, the suggestion has always been, I'm sorry, John, but that you had somehow been involved with your child sexually, but the doctor who saw her regularly said no. It was almost like a fiction of the media.

J. RAMSEY: We were accused of -- it was just bizarre. We were accused of taking her to the doctor too many times. She'd been to see the doctor 30 times in two years, the same doctor.

KING: Why?

J. RAMSEY: She had -- we had a good health insurance program.

P. RAMSEY: Bronchitis, all kinds of things.

J. RAMSEY: She had asthma. The doctor was five minutes away.

VAN SUSTEREN: The only thing, John, the child, obviously, was very well taken care of. She had the best of everything, and the only sort of thing is whether or not did you lose your -- could someone lose his temper? That's the only thing.

J. RAMSEY: No, no. Greta, the key point, people say that 80 percent of the time (UNINTELLIGIBLE) is the parents. In every case, I will bet, where a parent has murdered or harmed a child, there has been a previous history of that. They are known to the social service agency. They are known by their teachers to be abused children. There was none of that. People do not turn into a monster.

VAN SUSTEREN: I have read virtually everything, John. I have found nothing that, and even the medical question.

I think one thing that's...

KING: The boy was never abused in any way?

P. RAMSEY: Never.

VAN SUSTEREN: And even, I mean, the autopsy report, people have suggested that they see some indication, but I'll tell you -- I mean, like, I have pumped everything -- I haven't seen, based on what I have seen -- and I think the media has been unfair on that point -- unfair.

WOOD: We tell jurors when they go into deliberate that you don't leave your commonsense and logic behind when you go into the jury room. The idea that one of these parents lost their temper and struck a blow that fatally killed JonBenet then goes along -- I guess one of them woke the other one up and said, you know, honey, I've killed one of the children, what should we do? And I guess the answer would be let's build -- make a garrote and make it look like somebody strangled her. But listen, she died from a garrote that was around her neck. There was a massive blow to the right side of her head, a 8 1/2 inch displaced fraction, a crushing blow, and yet that autopsy report only showed two tablespoons of blood in her skull cavity, because that garrote was around her neck while she was alive. It had been tightened and the flow of blood from the heart to the brain was...

KING: This was some sick person?

WOOD: Absolutely.

J. RAMSEY: And this garrote will be a clue. This was not an amateur device. This was a professional strangling tool. Somebody knows who did that.

KING: We'll be right back with more. We'll include your phone calls. The book is "The Death of Innocence".

Don't go away.


KING: Let's take a call. Denver, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.


CALLER: Hi, John and Patsy. I just want to let you know I am embarrassed to be a Colorado resident and I did not vote for Governor Owens. My question, though, is that realistically, you know, after three years now and a cold trail, Greta and anybody, do you really think that they're going to catch the guy who did this?

KING: Was there evidence that there was an intruder, is that in your mind direct evidence?

VAN SUSTEREN: There is evidence -- there could have been an intruder. You have got a weird shoe print in the basement. You have got a broken window. You have got some debris. You have got a suitcase next to the window. Absolutely, that the police should be investigating that. Now, does that mean there is an intruder? I don't know, but there sure is something...

KING: You mean, someone could have planted it there, the information is that there either is an intruder or there isn't an intruder, right?

P. RAMSEY: Can I just answer the lady, the kind woman who called. Thank you. And I have to say that we have received many, many letters of support from people in the state of Colorado. We have some wonderful friends that we sadly left behind in Colorado, so not everyone is like the governor of Colorado. There is a lot of evidence and we stand by what Lou Smit tells us and we know that he says that this person can be found.

KING: If there's telltale evidence of an intruder, there's either -- it's either one or the other thing, there was an intruder or someone planted the fact to lead us to think there was an intruder, right? There can't be -- there's no third equivalent?

VAN SUSTEREN: That's right. But you've got the Boulder County police who are not experienced in homicide, because thankfully they don't have many homicides. They have got everybody running in, trampling the place, destroying the crime scene. You think we would have learned after the O.J. Simpson crime scene how you contain a crime scene. But it made it virtually impossible, hairs, fibers, all of those sort of little things that you can't see with the eye, but which connect people.

J. RAMSEY: You know, we have several very significant clues. We have a three-page hand-written ransom note. If we can get sufficient samples from the person that wrote this note, we can get a conclusive match. We have DNA. We have a hair fiber. The garrote is such a key clue. This was a complex...

P. RAMSEY: Stun gun, evidence of the stun gun.

J. RAMSEY: ... professional device.

KING: All right, so a madman is loose?

J. RAMSEY: A madman is loose. We believe that.

P. RAMSEY: Exactly.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why you? Why your family?

J. RAMSEY: I don't know, Greta.

P. RAMSEY: I don't know.

J. RAMSEY: We -- you know, what we have learned is that there's evil in all parts of the country. Just because you live in a small town doesn't mean that it can't cross your path. Our path crossed with the worst evil imaginable.

KING: Do you think it's...

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think it was someone you knew, because, I mean, someone had to go up into the house and go into that bedroom unless they were taking a chance? P. RAMSEY: But, see, we were gone for hours that afternoon. I mean, we -- you know, if they saw us leave, they could have been in that house for several hours.

KING: Do you think it was someone who had known JonBenet, was after her?

P. RAMSEY: I don't know.

J. RAMSEY: It had to be. It wasn't somebody that just walked...

P. RAMSEY: I don't think it was random.

J. RAMSEY: ... past the street and decided to go into our house. This was a planned killing.

KING: All right, lawyers...

WOOD: JonBenet Ramsey was a pedophile's dream...

KING: Obviously, the way she looked and the pageants.

WOOD: A beautiful child. And if you ever had occasion to go to their former home, it's wide open. Windows and glass all along the side, including JonBenet's bedroom. Someone could have very easily have observed this place, monitored it and known exactly what to expect, and the coming and going.

KING: Question, as a father for a lawyer, you said that even if you were their lawyer right now, you would tell them don't say anything. Listen to your lawyer, right? Don't speak out until -- unless the lawyer tells you to.

VAN SUSTEREN: That's right. They're still under the umbrella of suspicion, according to the DA.

KING: All right. If something happened to my child, I don't care if I was under any suspicion, I don't care what you told me. I am screaming at the top of my lungs. My lawyer tells me to shut up, I ain't shutting up. I'm planted outside that police department...

P. RAMSEY: Let me tell you what you'd be doing.

KING: ... I'm banging on the door.

P. RAMSEY: You are so bereaved that you have lost your child, you can't speak. You can't breathe. You have lost the most precious thing in your...

KING: Correct. And I'm angry. I'm angry and hurt.

P. RAMSEY: You are...

J. RAMSEY: You're hurt.

P. RAMSEY: ... devastated. You know... KING: So why am I listening to the lawyer who tells me not to say anything? I'm the opposite.

VAN SUSTEREN: Because, you know what I would tell you, Larry? I would tell these two, fine, go ahead and talk. You can indict a ham sandwich and you can even convict a ham sandwich, and what's Burke going to do then? That's how -- I would push their buttons on their son in order to keep them quiet for their benefit.

KING: But they didn't do it. That's what they're saying. If I...

VAN SUSTEREN: Listen, but they were targeted.

KING: I know I didn't do it.

J. RAMSEY: Larry...

VAN SUSTEREN: But they were targeted from day one. You even have Linda Arndt in one of the most bizarre displays getting on television about eight, nine months ago saying that she looked into John's eyes and she could feel his guilt. I mean, when we talk about proof, we don't talk about sort of looking into someone's eyes and feeling something. We talk about evidence.

KING: And governors usually don't speak.

VAN SUSTEREN: And the governor was way out of line I think most people would say.

J. RAMSEY: We struggled with this with our attorneys from day one.

KING: Because you wanted to speak out.

J. RAMSEY: We wanted to speak out. We wanted to help the police. We wanted to answer any question they had. And they kept saying, look, we want to find this killer badly, but our No. 1 task has to be to protect your innocence, and the police are out to convict you.

KING: You ever doubt your client?

WOOD: No. I watched this case carefully. I told John and Patsy not too long ago I kept watching what was happening to them and I kept thinking, these people need to call me, but I came from just off of a few months before working for Richard Jewell -- I was not about to buy into the media hype and the leaks from law enforcement and to convict someone because of what speculation was being bandied about.

VAN SUSTEREN: But that's hard.

WOOD: It is. It's almost impossible.

VAN SUSTEREN: That's very hard, because you know, the thing is both of them were in that house, so that's very hard when day in and day out you hear this stuff.

WOOD: You're told they're guilty.


WOOD: Look, I mean, for three years every day and every night they were convicted.

KING: And truth, didn't you think Richard Jewell was guilty?

J. RAMSEY: Yes, in the beginning I did.

KING: Didn't you?

P. RAMSEY: In the beginning that's all I heard.

KING: All right.

VAN SUSTEREN: I didn't. Definitely want to save us some liability.

KING: We'll be right back with more of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


KING: The book is "The Death Of Innocence." The authors are John and Patsy Ramsey. There is its cover.

Before we take the next call, Lin Wood, do you plan to sue the governor?

WOOD: Governor Owens has acted in -- I'll put it politely -- an irresponsible fashion toward this family. I think the phrase is that they remain under the umbrella of suspicion. Let me say to Governor Owens, if he's listening, because I understand he critiques these interviews, he might note that I am sitting beside my clients. They're not hiding behind me. Governor Owens remains under the umbrella of litigation in this case. We're going to take a hard look at Governor Owens.

KING: Will he be liable?

WOOD: Liable of slander and even a question of whether or not he has violated their rights, because they're entitled to certain rights and protections, and when you're a private citizen not charged with any crime and the governor of a state, the elected official of that state decides to go on a media tour of the talk shows and basically through false statements convey the idea that he thinks that these people are guilty, you bet he's under the umbrella of litigation.

KING: And he's not protected by -- as Congress is protected by the halls of Congress.


WOOD: I don't think the state...

VAN SUSTEREN: I don't...

P. RAMSEY: ... protected by anything.

WOOD: I don't think the state offers you protection. You're not doing your duties as the governor when you're going on talk shows talking about...

VAN SUSTEREN: And even if this...

KING: Because in the halls of Congress, you can say anything on the floor of Congress.

WOOD: Well, you might be able to get away with it there, but you can't get away with it on talk TV.

VAN SUSTEREN: See, the big sin of the governor's was he had no firsthand knowledge, he wasn't in the grand jury, and he hadn't talked to the Ramseys...

KING: He implied that he had evidence.

VAN SUSTEREN: Right. And he...

P. RAMSEY: And he said it again and again.

VAN SUSTEREN: And also, his role, he's the chief executive officer in essence of the state of Colorado.

WOOD: Listen...

VAN SUSTEREN: And I don't know how in the world if you ever are charged you can get a fair jury when you have the head guy saying they're guilty.

WOOD: Think about the people out there in Colorado, too. This man has now twice, back in the fall and again two weeks ago, gone out and publicly stated there's new evidence, new evidence since the grand jury, and then last week, oh, there's been new evidence in the past two weeks, raising people's hopes that maybe there's evidence to solve the crime. And then what happens? Both times the police chief comes out and goes, well, sorry, but there is no new evidence, the governor is wrong.

KING: Youngstown, Ohio, hello.

CALLER: Hello. I'd like to know, John and Patsy, why is December 25th the date of death on JonBenet's tombstone, not December 26th?

J. RAMSEY: Well, that's a question we've been asked, and I have -- I chose that date, and I'll tell you why. And I debated that, because I didn't know for sure when she died.

But I picked December 25th because I wanted the world to remember what happened to my daughter on Christmas day. I can't imagine a more horrible crime than a child being murdered on Christmas night. That was the main reason I picked December 25th.

I knew we'd be criticized. I knew it would raise suspicions, but I wanted the world to remember what was done to my daughter on Christmas night.

KING: Was the actual date the 26th?

J. RAMSEY: We don't know. I don't know. I don't know what's on the death certificate. I do know, when I found her, her body was cool. Her arms were rigid.

KING: So you're making a statement there?

J. RAMSEY: We were making a statement. The world went mad on December 25th, 1996.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments right after this.


KING: We're back. By the way, Alex Hunter, the outgoing DA -- is not going run for re-election -- will be here for the full hour Thursday night. So the Ramseys will be interested in that.

What about a new DA, Greta?

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, actually that's maybe a problem for the Ramseys, because you have got a new DA who's coming in, and we actually had one of them on "BURDEN OF PROOF" today who talked about all the errors of Alex Hunter. You always run the risk that the new DA wants to look like he's tough on crime: Unlike Alex Hunter, I'm going to indict Patsy and John Ramsey. And you run the risk that a new DA will have...

KING: You're saying they should be more worried?

VAN SUSTEREN: Look, you know, any time you're under the umbrella of suspicion -- and I know that they have -- you know, that they've professed their innocence. I know there's a tremendous amount of suspicious stuff about an intruder. You know, there's so much unknown about this case. But as a lawyer, having a client under that umbrella of suspicion, I'd play my cards close to the chest. I'd worry.

KING: Would you advise against them writing a book?

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, because no matter what they say they're not going to say the same thing twice. No one does that, I don't care how innocent you are. You're going to say something -- you're going to say it twice or you're going to say it differently, and they're going to say, ah-hah, you're a liar.

KING: You know, you could have not written it, and potentially things are forgotten.

J. RAMSEY: I know, Larry. Let me say this: If we were guilty, the smartest thing we could have done when that grand jury was over...

KING: Go silently into the night.

J. RAMSEY: ... was go away, quietly and silently.

KING: Yes.

J. RAMSEY: We're not going to do that.

P. RAMSEY: We're not going to go away. We're going to find this person.

J. RAMSEY: The killer is out there...


VAN SUSTEREN: And I know, and I understand the way you thought. I have dealt with clients that feel the same way. But cautious lawyers are always worried.

J. RAMSEY: No, we know...

VAN SUSTEREN: They worry more about innocent clients than they do about guilty clients.

J. RAMSEY: Absolutely.

P. RAMSEY: I worry. You know what I worry about? I worry about this murderer murdering another innocent child, that's what I'm worried about. What -- who is going to find this person?

KING: One more quick call, Green Bay, hello.

CALLER: Hi, John and Patsy. Last night, you talked about how your deep faith in God enables you to get through all of this, and I assuming you're talking both about the murder of JonBenet and the umbrella of suspicion that the two of you have been under.

If another person comes to be convicted and/or convicted for this crime, would that same faith in God enable you to forgive the killer of your daughter?

J. RAMSEY: You know, I've struggled with that a lot, and there was a time I felt you give me five minutes in a room with this creature and there won't be a need for a trial. What I have concluded and what I can live with is that forgiveness for JonBenet's murder is not mine to give. JonBenet was the victim. I wasn't the victim here. The only people that can forgive the killer are JonBenet and God.

KING: Patsy, you had cancer of...

P. RAMSEY: Ovarian.

KING: Ovarian cancer.

P. RAMSEY: Stage four ovarian cancer. KING: Usually, that's a death -- that's a death sentence.

P. RAMSEY: Yes, it is.

KING: When did you beat this?

P. RAMSEY: I will celebrate my sixth year since my diagnosis.

KING: What was it? Surgery?

P. RAMSEY: Complete hysterectomy. I cannot have anymore children. I was thankful to God for my two children.

KING: Patsy -- so JonBenet was a baby?

P. RAMSEY: Yes, she was. She -- she was 2 1/2 to three. Burke was six. I kept...

KING: The miracle was that the surgery...

P. RAMSEY: ... saying, God, why did you give me these two children if I'm not going to live to take care of them? I didn't think I would be here today. I had no, no earthly idea that my child would be the one taken.

KING: The miracle is that they got it in time?

P. RAMSEY: Yes, they did. I believe God has healed me. By his stripes I have been healed, and I have been saved for something. But...

KING: You have been around crime a long time. Is this case going to resolve, in your gut opinion?

VAN SUSTEREN: I doubt it.

KING: Doubt it?

VAN SUSTEREN: Not at this point.

KING: We'll never have an arrest...

VAN SUSTEREN: No, you know, I don't think so, because too much time has passed. Unless you have a situation like you do with Dr. Sheppard and someone shows up in prison years later and says: "I did it and here's the DNA from under JonBenet's fingernails, and here are a couple of hairs and fibers."

KING: Lin, do you think so?

WOOD: Well, I have to believe Lou Smit. I remember well what he told me, that he believes this can be solved. But I also remember something else that he told me and what he said to others: 18 months he looked at all the evidence in this case. Remember his experience in homicides. He said, in his quiet voice -- perhaps mine is a little bit louder -- these people are innocent. J. RAMSEY: You know, sadly too, Greta, the way this killer may be found is that he kills again, and...

VAN SUSTEREN: Which is what Patsy says, why I had to write the book...

J. RAMSEY: ... and I hope it doesn't happen.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... and why I say most defense lawyers are worried about you two, you two are worried about something else.

KING: That may be the only (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

P. RAMSEY: Please look at the book. Please look at the profile. Think, think, think! There's a killer out there.

KING: Thank you all very much. Thanks, Lin. Thanks, Greta.

J. RAMSEY: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Greta Van Susteren, you'll see her tomorrow on "BURDEN OF PROOF." We'll see you tomorrow night with LARRY KING LIVE, and Alex Hunter will be here on Thursday. We thank our guests. The book is "The Death of Innocence." From Washington, good night.



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