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September 11, 2001
|NBC Today Show with Katie CouricSmit
Lou Smit Interview May 1, 2001
Detective Smit: The killer used a stun gun
Part 2 of 5 Part Series
|Transcript from The Today Show
THE TODAY SHOW May 1 — In Day two of “Today’s” week-long, in-depth look at the JonBenet Ramsey investigation, veteran homicide detective Lou Smit, who worked the case for a year and a half, tells why he believes a stun gun was used in the little girl’s murder. Katie Couric’s exclusive interview with him (see video clip above) also includes autopsy photos of JonBenet the public has never seen, pictures that some of you may find upsetting.
Detective Smit did extensive research on stun guns, until he found one he says would match the marks on JonBenet, an Air Taser gun. To prove his theory, he conducted tests with the Air Taser on a pig.
Katie Couric: “Some people aren’t very familiar with stun guns, certainly don’t know the noise they make. And so I’d like you to show us, if you could.”
Lou Smit (holding the stun gun): “OK. First of all, the stun gun does make a lot of noise. And I thought — why wouldn’t you hear this in the house, for instance? And until we got to the actual experiments with the pigs — the pig was anesthetized so it didn’t feel anything — we didn’t realize that a stun gun, when it’s applied right directly to the skin, that the noise is very muted.
“This is what it sounds like (demonstrates stun gun noise). There’s an arc between the two contacts. If you look very closely at the photographs of the injuries on JonBenet, there’s a similar blue line that appears between the two contact marks on JonBenet.
“This is what it sounds like when it’s against a pillow (demonstrates stun gun noise). It’s very muted when it’s against the skin. That’s what it sounds like, and even more so when it was on the pig.”
Couric: “So why were people so hesitant about accepting this stun gun theory?”
Smit: “I suppose it’s because it didn’t fit into the, promoting ‘the Ramsey’s did it,’ part of the equation. Because it does not fit into a staging scenario. The common belief is that Patsy Ramsey, perhaps in a fit of rage, somehow killed her daughter, or seriously injured her daughter.”
Couric: “With a blow to the head.”
Smit: “With a blow to the head. And that instead of taking her to the doctor or anything, she made a decision, perhaps even along with John Ramsey, to stage this massive cover-up of their actions.”
Couric: “A neighbor across the street reported hearing a fairly shocking child’s cry between midnight and 2 a.m.”
Smit: “Yes that’s correct.”
Couric: “Many have said if that’s the case, then why didn’t John and Patsy Ramsey hear it as well?”
Smit: “Where JonBenet had been taken in the boiler room and where the assault probably occurred, within 10 feet, is a vent pipe that leads directly outside of the house. This has an open end in the basement, and also an open end to the outside. It acts almost like a megaphone, and is aimed right in the general direction at the Stanton residence, being Melanie Stanton who heard the child’s scream. Myself, and other investigators have conducted experiments whereby we have stood in the basement and whistled and yelled, and you can hear it clearly at the Stanton residence — and could barely hear it upstairs. There is three floors of carpeting and furniture and closed doors between the basement and the upstairs.”
(Katie Couric and Lou Smit in the Ramsey’s bedroom.)
Couric: “This is where John and Patsy Ramsey’s bed was. You believe they wouldn’t hear the scream that the neighbor across the street heard?”
Smit: “That’s correct. And if you’ll also notice, even the windows on the side, they’re very thick, double-strength windows. And there’s no window on that particular side of the house where the scream would exit out that vent. In the photographs taken of this room (the Ramsey’s bedroom), there’s no evidence of disturbance here either. None of the things are knocked off the shelves. It doesn’t seem like there was any violence up in here. And even the Ramsey bed itself was unmade, indicating that the Ramseys may have been sleeping in it that night.”
Couric: “Some people have called you a delusional old man.”
Smit: “I like to look at it as being a seasoned investigator. I know that was said early on in the investigation. If that’s the case, I must have changed overnight.”
Couric: “That must be hurtful.”
Smit: “I can handle it. Been there, did that.”
Couric: “Think you’re going to get a lot of heat for this?”
Smit: “Probably. I’ll take a lot of criticism for discussing an ongoing case. For putting out evidence on an ongoing case. I know that. My goal is to find the killer.”
Coming up in day three of Katie Couric’s exclusive interview: more autopsy photographs the public has never seen. Detective Smit, and others who worked the investigation, say these photos show JonBenet was murdered by strangulation. We should note both the Boulder police department and district attorney’s office once again declined “Today’s” request for interviews.
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