Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Murder of JonBenet Ramsey

Fighting Back: The Police

The police department and the district attorney's office also came under fire from attorney Lee Hill, who took the deposition. "These were sworn statements under oath by an important figure in the investigation," Hill said. "Boulder's spent over $2 million on this investigation and all they had to do for this information was pick up a transcript, and they didn't until now. It's very troubling to me."

Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner and a representative of the district attorney's office acknowledged that they were not informed of the deposition until The Daily Camera began asking questions. Beckner denied that there was anything significant in the deposition in regards to the criminal investigation, and added that John and Patsy Ramsey had undergone 40 hours of interrogation by members of the investigative team.

Patsy and John Ramsey
Patsy and John Ramsey

Although the Ramseys had been previously accused of hiding behind their attorneys, Ramsey says that it was an attorney who approached him, just two days after JonBenet's death, with an offer of legal help.

On the 27th of February, the four-hour television movie, Perfect Murder, Perfect Town, based on the Lawrence Schiller book of the same name, went to air on national television. One man who watched the program with more than a passing interest was former Boulder police commander John Eller. Eller was detective division commander when Boulder police went to John and Patsy Ramsey's home the morning that they reported the kidnapping and discovered the ransom note.

Eller, one of four Boulder police officers whose careers were damaged over the Ramsey case, left Boulder in 1998 to take up a position in the Attorney General's Office in Florida. To this day, he still harbors strong feelings about the case that led to his retirement from the Boulder Police Department after an 18-year career.

Following the release of the film, Eller gave an interview to The Rocky Mountain News, during which he shared some of his observations about the case.

His main assertion was that, in his view, Boulder police had enough evidence to support an arrest, but not enough to file a murder charge and win a case at trial.

Although falling short of naming the person(s) he suspected, he told reporter Kevin McCullen: "At the time I left the investigation, no, there wasn't. We felt we had probable cause to make an arrest, but there wasn't enough there to nail a homicide charge."

He further claimed that he could have remained with the investigation if he'd "kept my mouth shut," and followed every request of prosecutors in the Boulder District Attorney's Office, but he instead clashed with prosecutors throughout much of his command of the investigation into the death of JonBenet.

The media coverage of the case also came under attack, with Eller labeling the coverage as "inaccurate" and blaming the books and movies that followed for "contaminating a potential jury pool."

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