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'Practice' ransom note found in Ramsey home

JonBenet Ramsey January 8, 1997
Web posted at: 2:30 p.m. EST

BOULDER, Colorado (CNN) -- Police found part of a "practice" ransom note at the home of JonBenet Ramsey, the 6-year-old beauty queen found strangled in her basement, CNN confirmed on Wednesday.

The practice note and the actual ransom note found in the home of John and Patricia Ramsey were both written on paper from the same legal pad. The actual ransom note demanded $118,000 for the return of the girl.

JonBenet's body was found December 26 in the basement of her family's Boulder home. Patricia Ramsey said she found the ransom note about eight hours before the discovery.

The author of the actual note appeared to be attempting to disguise his or her handwriting at first, but abandoned the attempt as the note went on, unnamed sources told The Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post.

Police reportedly found the practice note and the legal pad during their search of the Ramseys' Boulder home. On Tuesday, a judge ordered the court-approved search warrant for that home sealed for 30 days.

Police are also searching the Ramseys' Charlevoix, Michigan, vacation home for evidence of threats against the family, according to Denver television station KUSA.


Ramseys submit written responses

The Ramseys on Tuesday turned in written responses to a list of questions from police investigating the case, the media consultant hired by the couple said in a written statement.

"John and Patsy Ramsey have cooperated extensively with police and other law enforcement authorities from the very beginning of their investigations, and this cooperation will continue," said the statement from Pat Korten.

Korten declined to disclose any other information "because of the sensitive nature of the ongoing police investigation," and he expressed the Ramseys' gratitude that the news media has not attempted to locate them.

City Communications Director Leslie Aaholm said that police are working through the Ramseys' attorneys to set up an interview, but the parents of the slain child are not required to participate in such a session.

Police chief pulls investigator from case

Boulder detectives last week traveled to Atlanta, where the Ramseys lived before moving to Colorado in 1991, to interview family and friends. On Tuesday, Boulder police said they had pulled from the team investigating the former Little Miss Colorado's death one of the detectives who made that trip.

City officials declined to give a reason for Sgt. Larry Mason's removal, but a release from the department indicated that Police Chief Tom Koby expected his detectives to keep a tight focus on finding JonBenet Ramsey's killer.

"All other issues, including intense media scrutiny, will not be allowed to deter the Boulder Police Department from its singular focus," said the statement. "The chief has made it clear that anyone distracted from this focus will be reassigned."


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