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This is an archive historical web site on the JonBenet Ramsey Murder case

[Never forget September 11, 2001]
Never Forget
September 11, 2001

Larry King Live - November 12, 2002
Interview with Lin Wood

Interview with Lin Wood

Aired November 12, 2002 - 21:00 ET


LARRY KING, CNN HOST (voice-over): Tonight, new revelations in the most sensational child murder mystery of our time, the Jon Benet Ramsey case. With never before seen police video tape.

PATSY RAMSEY, MOTHER OF JON BENET: He didn't do it. I didn't do it. Bert (ph) didn't do it.

KING: It was six years ago next month, Christmas night 1996. Beautiful Jon Benet murdered in the quiet picturesque Rocky Mountain community of Boulder, Colorado. Her lifeless, strangled body found the next day in the family's basement. This gruesome crime captured the public's imagination and wouldn't let go. But to this day not a single arrest. The lead police investigator think Jon Benet's mother, Patsy Ramsey is the killer. The Ramseys say it was an intruder and they've issued heated denials, some of them on this program.

STEVE THOMAS, BOULDER POLICE INVESTIGATOR: Are you saying you would have...


JOHN RAMSEY, FATHER OF JON BENET: You have assaulted my wife.

KING: The Ramseys remain under a cloud of suspicion. But the Boulder police have also been accused of badly botching the investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, there were many mistakes.

KING: Tonight, after six years of endless questions and no answers, some new insight into the Jon Benet Ramsey case. John and Patsy Ramsey's attorney, Lin Wood, shares with us some never before seen video of the Ramseys' police interviews and depositions. An intense new look at the still unsolved mystery of Jon Benet Ramsey's murder. It's next on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: Good evening. We have a very interesting show in store for you tonight. Our special guest is Lin Wood from Atlanta, Georgia. He is the attorney, civil attorney, for John and Patsy Ramsey. He has been on this program before. We've got a bunch of tapes we're going to be showing you tonight. Why, Lin? Why have you made all of this available to us? Give us a little genesis.

LIN WOOD, RAMSEYS ATTORNEY: Well, the Ramseys goal at this point is to try to get the investigation into the hands of new and competent, skilled, experienced and fair investigators. The Boulder Police Department has demonstrated over the last six years that it is not willing to take a thorough and fair look at the facts of this case. They focused on the Ramseys. They've ignored other tips and leads. Some of these tapes clearly demonstrate the incompetence of the investigation. While at the same time I think reveal the cooperation of the Ramseys have given.

KING: Tape turned over to you as the attorney hired under the...

WOOD: The tapes of the interrogations from June of 1998 and August of 2000 were provided to me without any stipulation that they could not be used publicly. The other deposition tapes from civil litigation are the nonconfidential portions of those tapes. The Ramseys' position is very simple. They want the public to have the full benefit of what has been done and what has not been done in this investigation.

KING: Before we start seeing some of them, we're going to see a lot of clips tonight of these tapes in various circumstances. How are they doing?

WOOD: Well, John's trying to get established in a new job. Patsy is, as you know, recovering from recent six month treatment, chemotherapy treatment for a recurrence of cancer. They're amazing people, Larry. They are forward-looking in terms of trying to survive the tragedies in their lives. And I think they're strengthened by not only their knowledge of their innocence, but by the quality of their character. And the hope that one day the murder of Jon Benet will be solved.

KING: Let's begin with the tapes we're going to be seeing tonight. You've given us access to these. The first one we're going to show is the police interviewing the Ramseys. One interview took place in 1998 and the other in 2000, that was after they moved to Atlanta. I guess we see Steve Thomas here.

WOOD: I think in the June 1998 tapes they had moved to Atlanta but you will not see Thomas. Those interrogations were conducted by prosecutors with police review at night.

KING: I'll bring up Thomas in a moment who appeared on this program with them. Let's watch the first tape.


J. RAMSEY: You hope that she didn't suffer. And if I let myself think beyond that, it's too difficult. But my hope is that she didn't suffer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's about 10:25. Do you want to take about a ten minute break? How's that sound? We'll come back to this.

P. RAMSEY: I'm sorry.

J. RAMSEY: We were given Jon Benet, who in my mind it was a gift to us. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I miss her more than I can bear. I couldn't do anything about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since that day, have you given any thought, even for a minute, considered that John may have been involved in some way in Jon Benet's death?

P. RAMSEY: Absolutely no.


P. RAMSEY: Not a moment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Never crossed your mind?

P. RAMSEY: Never crossed my mind.


P. RAMSEY: That man loved his children. Period, end of statement.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know you're a Christian, John. Would you swear to God you didn't do this?

J. RAMSEY: I swear to God I didn't do it. I swear to God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know anybody else? Could your wife have done it?

J. RAMSEY: Swear to God. What I told you is the absolute from the heart truth.

P. RAMSEY: He didn't do it. I didn't do it. Burke didn't do it. We love that child, OK? We're not involved. Read my lips. Let's find out who is.


KING: I never seen police ask, Do you swear to God you didn't do it?

WOOD: Well I've never, fortunately, been subjected to a police interrogation. I think it's important to note that what you have seen there are small portions of three day interrogation. Patsy Ramsey was interrogated for three full days. John was interrogated for three full days. That was after they had given eight hours of interviews back in April of '97. And you've seen some emotion. You've seen, I think, though, individuals who are down to earth. They're honest. And they then wanted to help this investigation. They still want to help it. They just want to have people deal with them that are fair and will know what they're doing. They did -- Lou Smith that you saw with John Ramsey. I know you know Lou Smith, he's been on your program. He's a great homicide investigator. He spent a lot of time looking at all the evidence in this case. He is totally convinced that the Ramseys are innocent.

KING: Steve Thomas, who was the lead investigator, wrote a book called "Jon Benet: Inside the Ramsey Murder Investigation." His theory was that Pasty committed the murder. In a dramatic moment on this shoe he accused her on this program. I'm sure you saw that.


THOMAS: Patsy, you could have been arrested in this case.

P. RAMSEY: I wish I had been and then we would have had a free and fair trial and you would have met your Waterloo, Mr. Thomas.

THOMAS: Are you saying...


J. RAMSEY: You have assaulted my wife. You have assaulted her. You have called her a murderer. You have checked 73 suspects and said because Patsy's handwriting was the only one that couldn't be eliminated, therefore, she is a murderer. That is absurd.


KING: There was subsequently a lawsuit over that book and it was settled, right?

WOOD: Steve Thomas settled it in the Ramseys' favor.

KING: Steve Thomas was deposed, was he not, over that book?

WOOD: He was deposed actually in another lawsuit that was filed against the Ramseys. We subpoenaed him. He fought the subpoena, tried to avoid being deposed. Court ordered that he be deposed. So we had a chance to depose him for seven hours.

KING: And let's watch some portion of that. Steve Thomas being deposed.


THOMAS: I believe there were discussions with the FBI, yes, about how to exert some public pressure on people who were not cooperating, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were they also thinking that they might use the media to apply pressure so that there might be a possibility that one of the parents might confession involvement in the crime? Was there ever discussed?

THOMAS: That may have been some motivation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe, from your recollections, that that was discussed?

THOMAS: I wouldn't disagree with it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who put the screen saver on at the Boulder Police Department that said, quote, "The Ramseys are the killers?"

THOMAS: I don't know who applied that to the computer screen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you think that was professional?

THOMAS: Sometimes police humor can be less than professional behind closed doors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well did you suggest that it might be better to take that off since you were in the process of investigation and there were a number of suspects beyond the Ramseys?

THOMAS: I did not make that suggestion.


KING: Was he a weak witness?

WOOD: I thought he was a very weak witness. I think that we learned a long time ago that when you tell the truth, you look somebody in the eye. Steve Thomas spent most of that deposition looking down at the table.

KING: But he did believe Patsy did it, right? I mean, that wasn't just conjecture?

WOOD: I think Steve Thomas formed that belief within days of his involvement in this case because he was not a homicide detective, he was a narcotics detective, and he only knew one way to investigate, and that is to try to figure out who did it, and then build a case against that person. That's the exact opposite of how you handle a homicide investigation.

KING: Right back with more of these fascinating details on this case, now about to be six years old. We'll be right back with Lin Wood on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.



THOMAS: I'm suggesting that there was an explosive encounter, because at one point put the child in clothes, a red turtleneck, for example, not the same clothing she was found in deceased, the following day. I think something happened in that bathroom.

KING: All right. Why would it lead then to garroting and hitting on the head: What would lead to that?

THOMAS: I don't know. What can you imagine would led to garroting or hitting on the head?

P. RAMSEY: What can you imagine? I can't imagine. I want to you look at me and tell me what you think happened.

THOMAS: Actually, I'll look you right in the eye. I think you're good for this. I think that's what the evidence suggests.


KING: We're back with Lin Wood. Now, police say that they had several key pieces of evidence against the Ramseys. We should point out no charges have ever been brought in this case against anyone, right?

WOOD: Against anyone.

KING: Patsy's clothing fibers -- the biggest one they claim is the fibers from her jacket. They say from what she was wearing were found in the paint tray where the garot used to strangle Jon Benet was found. Fibers were also found on Jon Benet's body, and the duct tape Jon Benet's mouth. And what we are going to show now is the tape of her responding to that charge, right? Here is Jon Benet's mother, Patsy, responding to that charge about the evidence of the fibers.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have found, and I want you to help us, maybe you can offer an explanation. We have found fibers in the paint tray that appear to come off of the coat in the photograph we showed you.

P. RAMSEY: In the paint tray?


P. RAMSEY: What's a paint...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... ask his question. What's your question?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll rephrase the question, maybe this will satisfy -- Mrs. Ramsey, I have no evidence from any scientist to suggest that those fibers are from any source other than your red jacket.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on. What other sources did they test? How many other red jackets and red and black jackets did they test? That's an unfair question on the face of it, Bruce. Did they test anything other than that red and black jacket? I mean, they can't have information that it could come from another source if they didn't test another source for gosh sakes.


KING: And how, Lin were they -- would you go out and test every red jacket ever made?

WOOD: No, no -- but let me make a couple of points. Number one, police interrogations do not have to be fair, and they don't have to be truthful. So when they ask a question and say they've got evidence that says that fibers from her jacket appear to be consistent with fibers found in the paint tray, that may or may not be true. I know they asked John Ramsey about fibers during his interrogation, and I know for a fact that the information was not true in terms of the location of those fibers. Patsy was wearing a red and black and gray jacket, as I recall, and there were red fibers alleged to have been found on the duct tape, and on Jon Benet's body and in the paint tray. That's what they say. There were no black fibers. There were no gray fibers. We know that there are brown fibers that have never been sourced. We know that there are blue fibers that have never been sourced. So the fiber evidence is, I think, extremely weak and besides, she lived in the home. She put Jon Benet to bed that night. There's any one of many innocent explanations for why the fibers might be consistent with something Patsy was wearing.

KING: Now concerning John's clothing fibers. They say there's evidence of fibers from John's clothing on Jon Benet. Here is the father's response.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Ramsey, it is our belief, based on forensic testing that there are hairs that are associated -- that the source is the collared black shirt that you sent to us that are found in your daughter's underpants, and I want to refute...

J. RAMSEY: Bull (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I don't believe that. I don't buy it. If you're trying to disgrace my relationship with my daughter...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Ramsey, I'm not trying to...

J. RAMSEY: Well, I don't believe it. That's ridiculous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you are too, Bruce. Let's move on. Why don't you move on.

J. RAMSEY: That's disgusting.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's move to something else, maybe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's move to another topic.

J. RAMSEY: The question is, how did fibers of your shirt get in your daughter's underwear? I say that is not possible. I don't believe it. That's ridiculous.


KING: So you're saying police invent things to try to get respondents to respond?

WOOD: That was invented. We know that there were black fibers found, they claim, but there were no black fibers found in the areas of Jon Benet's underwear, as claimed in that question. The Boulder Police Department did not even ask for the Ramseys to provide the department with the clothes they were wearing the night of Jon Benet's murder for over one year. They couldn't even remember what they had worn. They had to go back and look at photographs to try and reconstruct what they wore that night.

KING: And now, one other thing in this segment, the pineapple. There was pineapple found in Jon Benet's stomach in the autopsy. Patsy Ramsey said she didn't feed Jon Benet any pineapple that night, but pineapple was found in Jon Benet's stomach. Police say that Patsy's fingerprints were found on the bowl of pineapple. Police say they can't be hers. Police say she is lying about this, then she's probably lying about other things. Here is Patsy's response to those accusations.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were the remains of pineapple in Jon Benet's system.

P. RAMSEY: I have heard that, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. So this isn't a shock to you?

P. RAMSEY: No it is not, no. But I did not do this. If she ate that, somebody put that there. I don't know when she would have eaten it. She was sound asleep when we got home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. And what if those fingerprints belong to one of the two of you?

P. RAMSEY: Well, I don't know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, now wait a minute. You started that line...

P. RAMSEY: I didn't put the bowl there, OK? I did not put the bowl there. I would not do this setup.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, but let's go back to your line of reasoning here. Now, talk to me.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at me. If they're not yours and they're not John's, then they would be somebody else's.

P. RAMSEY: Right. I mean, if there was somebody in our home that night besides my husband, my son, my daughter and myself that killed our daughter. You know? Could they have fed Jon Benet pineapple?

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: Did that answer the pineapple question?

WOOD: I have to tell you, the pineapple question is still a confusing one for me because the logic of the police escapes me. They claim that there was pineapple or a substance like pineapple found in Jon Benet's intestinal tract upon autopsy. The digestive time for pineapple is so varied that I don't think anyone could pinpoint with any accuracy when she might have eaten that substance, if it was pineapple. There were any number of victims' assistants and individuals at the Ramsey house the morning when they thought this was a kidnapping. Whether that bowl was placed there then or whether it was placed there earlier. I don't think Patsy Ramsey has ever denied that it was not her fingerprint. I think she's just made the consistent point from Day One, just as John has, when they got home that night, Jon Benet was asleep. They took her from the car, they put her to bed. They did not feed her pineapple that night.

KING: More when we come back. Don't go away.


P. RAMSEY: What we want to let everyone know is that this $100,000 reward is for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer of our daughter. We feel like there are at least two people on the face of this Earth that know who did this and that is the killer and someone that that person may have confided in.





KING: We're back with Lin Wood, the attorney for the Ramseys, whose desire it is to get a broader, fuller, better investigation, right?

WOOD: I'd like to get actually a legitimate investigation. We've never had one.

KING: Because the cloud still hangs over them, right? And always will until...

WOOD: Look, there's no public will in Colorado at the moment for public officials to spend the money to reinvestigate the Jon Benet Ramsey case so the Ramseys twist slowly in the wind in Atlanta, Georgia. That may be a satisfactory solution to the taxpayers of Colorado and to the politicians of Colorado, but it is not a satisfactory resolution for John and Patsy Ramsey. They want to know who killed their daughter.

KING: Enter Lou Smit, a veteran investigator hired by the Boulder police to help out with the investigation. Smit eventually resigned out of frustration, now works on his own on this case and he believes an intruder committed the crime. Here was Lou Smit appearing on this program.


LOU SMIT, INVESTIGATOR: I believe that there is evidence pointing toward an intruder, strong credible evidence. I believe that sometime during December 25, 1996, someone got into the house of John and Patsy Ramsey. I believe there is some evidence to suggest strongly that he may have come in through a basement window.

KING: And then I remember your telling me about a suitcase.

SMIT: The position of that suitcase when it was first observed there, by Fleet White, was that it was directly against the wall directly underneath that open window. There is evidence on top of that suit case, a very small, tiny pea sized piece of glass which could have come off the shoe of the intruder. There's also what appears to be a disturbance on the top of that suitcase, as if someone may have stood on it at some particular point. The intruder had to come in through the window.

KING: Used the suitcase to get out.

SMIT: Yes. It would make it much easier to get out of that basement.

KING: OK. So then you have a theory as well dealing with the bed. Which is?

SMIT: I believe that the killer did take Jon Benet from her bed.

KING: Right there.

SMIT: And brought her down to the deepest, farthest dirtiest corner of that basement and did fashion a garot there that was used to strangle her. And that he did also stun gun her, very possibly at that location. And then he also brutally hit her on the head with a blunt object.

KING: Why is the bed significant to you?

SMIT: They show a bed that is somewhat messy, but it don't look like there's been any violence in that room. The various tables in that room and the other bed don't show any signs of violence occurring in that room.

I don't know what was in the mind of the killer. All I know is that the killer fantasized making this garot in his mind. He fantasized putting this around her next. He had to put a handle on this garot. He had put a noose on this garot. He had to put it around Jon Benet's neck, probably while she was still bound and had the Duct tape on her mouth.

KING: Do you think she was targeted? that it was someone who knew these people? Who knew -- obviously knew they had money?

SMIT: Yes. I think that is the motive for the intruder. The Ramseys were very highly visible prior to the murder. John Ramsey was the head of this large access graphics company. He was known as "Billion Dollar John."

KING: So would you say then if it ever came that the Ramseys were involved, you'd be shocked?

SMIT: If the Ramseys were involved, I would be very shocked.


KING: There was a time, Lin Wood, when people thought that he, Lou Smit, was working for the Ramseys. He never worked for the Ramseys.

WOOD: Never worked for the Ramseys. Never received a dime form the Ramseys. He worked for the Boulder police department and he's been working the case on his own since then. And Lou Smit, you know, 32 years homicide experience. This is the kind of homicide investigator that needs to be looking at this case from A to Z. And that means R, too. The Ramseys understand. When they call for new investigation, they will be reinvestigated, too. They're prepared for that to happen.

KING: Here now is John Ramsey responding to police questioning about the intruder theory. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If ever there were going to be an intruder on trial, the defense is going to be that you did it. Remember that.

J. RAMSEY: I remember that. But I'm not here to prove my innocence. I'm here to find the killer of my daughter.


KING: There are those who say, Lin Wood, that Smit bonded too much with the Ramseys, got too close with them. Went to church with them.

WOOD: Never went to church with them. I think that he ran across them one day when he was out in front of the house and met them, spoke with them and said a short prayer with them. Lou Smit has a technique and it's successful. He tried to build a bridge with individuals who are potential suspects. The Boulder police department built a wall. Lou Smit tried to build a bridge. And the rumors and speculation and myths about him being too religious -- he's put a lot of people in jail. And if he thought John and Patsy Ramsey were involved in this crime, he said it to me, he said it to you, he would be the first person to say, put them away.

KING: You will admit, Lin, that there is so much puzzling aspects to this case that they have to be considered.

WOOD: They've only asked and urged that all other leads and tips and possible suspects be investigated with the same level of thoroughness and competency that they've been subjected to. Every square inch of their lives have been covered repeatedly, and the police came up empty, but they've never looked at other people. Never canvassed the neighborhood, never investigated workmen and repairmen at the house. Legitimate leads that have come in, where individuals have called my office and said, We never heard back from the Boulder Police Department. And look, sooner or later you've either got to declare that the case is over and you have nothing else to do with respect to the Ramseys, and they're not under criminal investigation any longer, and the case is unsolved, or you've got to say, This is the murder of a child, and in Colorado, we're going to do whatever it takes to investigate it, and get some folks in there that know what they are doing, and I think this case can be solved.

KING: We'll be right back with Lin Wood with more fascinating tapes. Don't go away.


P. RAMSEY: This shouldn't have been this way. She should have enjoyed a lot of wonderful years on this earth, but now she's in heaven, and I know I'll be there one day.



KING: We're back with attorney Lin Wood, he is the attorney for the Ramseys, who live -- how is their son doing, by the way?

WOOD: Burke is like most kids, he's struggling in high school. But he's doing fairly well under the circumstances. I worry more about Burke in years down the road when the impact of all of this hits him, but he's doing very well right now.

KING: Does it concern the Ramseys that a killer is loose somewhere?

WOOD: Sure it does. It ought to concern any citizen in this country. People sit back -- in 1996, people don't come into your house in the middle of the night, in a million dollar house, and take your child and brutally murder your child. And guess what? We know that that happens. Ask the Smart family. They had someone come into their house in the middle of the night while they slept and in the presence of one of their other children literally take their child out of the house.

KING: Now, along with Steve Thomas, we have deposition tapes of others involved in the investigation. They include Alex Hunter, the Boulder County district attorney, and Mark Beckner, the Boulder chief of police. Here's a tape of them, Hunter and the others, discussing this in their deposition.


ALEX HUNTER, FORMER BOULDER CITY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: This has come up before. I think it's much like some of the other myths you've talked about, to be frank with you.


HUNTER: That there was some sophisticated media plan that was designed to undercut people or, you know, psychologically pressure them. I know it's -- that's been sort of out there from time to time. I'm not sure there is a basis for it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You made a statement in June of 1998 in a press release that said -- the question was, Do you know who did it? And you said -- answer -- "I have an idea who did it." What was the purpose in saying that?

MARK BECKNER, BOULDER POLICE CHIEF: Well, I think one of the purposes, reassuring the public that we're not clueless about this case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And would it be fair to say that when you made the statement "I have an idea who did it" you weren't trying to focus on John and/or Patsy Ramsey, were you?

BECKNER: I wasn't intending that to be necessarily the interpretation of that, but I wanted the public to know, yes, we had an idea.


KING: And Alex Hunter, by the way, has since then called Steve Thomas' book, accusing Patsy of being the murderer, pure and simple blood money, and quoted also saying that Thomas is "toast if he ever was called as a witness in a trial." He also denies claims by Thomas that he, Alex Hunter, leaked the investigation to the tabloids, other than the "Globe."

WOOD: Look, Alex Hunter is wrong, and I think Alex knows better. There was a plan, and it was a plan that was -- it involved the FBI. It involved the Boulder Police Department, and it was a plan to publicly assassinate the character of the Ramseys by leaking information, misinformation, false information in an effort to somehow pressure them and coerce them into a potential confession. Steve Thomas admitted that that plan existed. Alex Hunter wants to run from it, but they brought in Bill Hagemeyer (ph) from the FBI, who I believe was also involved in the Jewel case, and they hired a fellow named Stephen Pitt (ph), some sort of a forensic psychiatrist, and the whole plan was to somehow break this family. Because they couldn't find evidence to support a charge against them, they decided they would somehow try to coerce a confession, because that's who they believe did it. It was always about the speculation and belief. We know who did it, we just got to prove it. We can't prove it? Let's see if we can break them. That's not how our system of justice is designed to work.

KING: Here is Steve Thomas again, responding to allegations that the investigation was flawed.


THOMAS: It appeared based on the evidence that she was not only a good suspect, but appeared to be the offender.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And there were a number of experts that, at that point, had not even been hired to review evidence, isn't that true?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a lot of evidence that had never even been collected or even requested, true?

THOMAS: Such as -- the clothing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The clothes. That's a key piece of evidence, isn't it?

THOMAS: Correct. As I have said, that was a mistake.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. And it was one of many mistakes, wasn't it?

THOMAS: I'm not here today defending the police department.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not asking you to defend the police department.

THOMAS: Yes, there were many mistakes.


KING: Honestly, do you think this is ever going to be solved?

WOOD: Yes.

KING: You do? Based on?

WOOD: If -- if responsible officials in Boulder, Colorado, get experienced homicide -- objective homicide investigators to review this case in its entirety, it can be solved. You're never going to solve it with people like Steve Thomas on the job because Steve Thomas, before the Jon Benet Ramsey case, had zero homicide experience. He had never investigated a homicide.

KING: But forensic experts have, on this show, said that the crime scene is so damaged. He was allowed to move the body. It was so terribly handled, you are never going to forensically prove this.

WOOD: I disagree, because I think that despite the mistakes that were made...

KING: Henry Lee said that.

WOOD: Well, with all due respect to Henry Lee, Henry Lee is involved in every high-profile case with an opinion, and he is entitled to his, but in this instance, I think he's wrong, if that's his position, because -- look, we've got right there the best evidence to find the killer. DNA. Three different areas of DNA -- male, not the Ramseys found under Jon Benet's finger nails on both hands, found in her underwear. So the DNA is one of the major points, but there's a lot of other forensic evidence that does exist that when the killer is found, the killer can be prosecuted successfully. I still have confidence if we get another investigation. If it stays with the Boulder police department, we're never going to know the identity of the killer.

KING: We'll be back with more of Lin Wood of Atlanta, Georgia, the attorney for the much beleaguered Ramseys. Don't go away.


J. RAMSEY: Jon Benet was an entertainer. She loved to get on stage and sing and dance and sing and dance and...

P. RAMSEY: Ham it up.

J. RAMSEY: She was a ham. She had a real strong voice. It always boomed out.

P. RAMSEY: And she could -- I remember in this little play they were doing some of the children forgot their lines, so Jon Benet kind of improvised and filled in for them. She knew everybody's lines. Including hers.




P. RAMSEY: When she won that great big crown for the National Royal Miss pageant, she was so proud of herself. She wore that crown. She took to it school with her one time to share on show and tell day. She was just very proud of it and thought it was so pretty. You know, it was just kind of a more organized way of playing dressup, I guess. You know, all little girls like to pretend like they're princesses. That's kind of what she was doing. She was my little princess.

KING: We're back with Lin Wood. Although the governor of Colorado, Bill Owens, has never publicly outrightly called the Ramseys suspects, he seemed to suggest that they should be considered suspects at a press conference held after a grand jury was released. Watch.


GOV. BILL OWENS (R), COLORADO: I think that based on my understanding of the case, there's a reasonable belief that there was more than one person involved. If I could speak to John and Patsy Ramsey, I would tell them to quit hiding behind their attorneys. Quit hiding behind their PR firm. Come back to Colorado. Work with us to find the killers in this case, no matter where that trail may lead.


KING: What was the Ramseys' thoughts on that?

WOOD: Let me tell you, that was in September -- or October of 1999, after a grand jury, 13 months of deliberations and review of the evidence, did not render an indictment against anyone. Not John or Patsy Ramsey. No one. That's what you have just seen. An act of total irresponsibility on the part of a chief executive of a state who is not to be involved in making accusations of criminal conduct against private citizens who have never been charged with a crime. I said at the time directly that Bill Owens was a liar. Because the Ramseys had cooperated. They didn't have a P.R. firm and they weren't hiding behind their lawyers. It turns out in the testimony of Alex Hunter under oath, under penalty of perjury that Alex Hunter, said, Well, Mr. Wood, actually, Governor Owens was simply not currently informed. He was not well informed. In short, he didn't know what he was talking about.

KING: It was frustrating though, wasn't it?

WOOD: Well, let me tell you. He used this case for his own political advantage. I mean, the popular thing in Colorado at the time was, you know, jump on it's got to be the Ramsey bandwagon. And then Bill Owns was a politician at his worst when he did that to this family.

KING: Speaking of that, here is the Boulder County district attorney Alex Hunter talking about Bill Owens' comments.


WOOD: What Bill Owens said about the Ramseys after the grand jury was discharged was totally inappropriate, wasn't it?

ALEX HUNTER, FMR. BOULDER CTY. DISTRICT ATTORNEY: It would certainly be inappropriate for a lawyer to make those remarks. And I think I have tried and a few of my remarks, to cut him a little slack for being nonlawyer and a political person, they would have been better had he not said those things in terms of my sense of the criminal justice system.


KING: By the way, we should point out that we're inviting Steve Thomas and Alex Hunter and Mark Beckner to come on this show and give their own side of the story. Do you expect they might?

WOOD: Well, Steve Thomas is not going to show up if I'm around because Steve Thomas knows that I've got the goods on him. I can destroy his credibility in two minutes or less if he comes on. Free shot to repeat what he said in his book he might come on. Mark Beckner is not going to ever answer any questions publicly about this case because then he opens himself up to the public learning the truth about the failed investigation. Alex Hunter may come on. Alex, you know, -- Alex Hunter, I think, sits on the fence, Larry, when he discusses this case publicly. But he didn't sit on the fence when I took his deposition. He made it very clear that he thought the Ramseys had been treated very unfairly. And I give Alex Hunter great credit for this. He withstood incredible pressures out there at a time when it would have been very easy for him to simply say, OK, let's put them on trial. But he knew that the evidence wasn't there and he acknowledged that six other experienced prosecutors agreed with him. There was no evidence justifying a charge being brought against anybody in this family. He had the courage to take that position and I respect him for it.

KING: Are the Ramseys no longer wealthy?

WOOD: They have not been wealthy for a long time. They spent a tremendous amount of money on attorneys fees, investigators and John Ramsey has not really had a gainful employment since the time.

KING: What did he do?

WOOD: Well, he's started up with a new company now that's really a startup company. He's not on salary. He's just trying to give them some advice in hopes that it might grow into something one day. But, you know, John -- he's a young man. John Ramsey's in his mid, late 50s. That's young. And who's going to hire him?

KING: You went through that with Richard Jewell, did you not?

WOOD; I did. And Richard Jewell went through it for three months and it still taints Richard Jewell to this very day. John and Patsy Ramsey have undergone this for six years. This will affect not only the Ramseys but their children and their children's children. Generations of this family will be affected by what this Boulder police department did to them.

KING: Unless the killers are caught.

WOOD: Unless the killer is caught. Absolutely.

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



THOMAS: We're right here at the table tonight. Will you take an FBI sponsored polygraph? And the answer is?

P. RAMSEY: Why will they not review the polygraphs that were taken? Why has he made a statement that says they are unacceptable when he has not even taken the time to look at them?

THOMAS: When you're at the police department next week, ask them these questions.

P. RAMSEY: That would be great. If you can broker that deal, boy that would be a great thing.


KING: We're back with our remaining moments with Lin Wood. If I called the Boulder police at the moment and asked the status of this case what would they say?

WOOD: They'd say it's under active investigation. Not true. Hasn't been any active investigation since the grand jury adjourned back in the fall of 1999.

KING: Have polygraphs been taken?

WOOD: They've used polygraphs on some individuals, I'm told. The Ramseys did not accept their offer to take an FBI polygraph.

KING: Why?

WOOD: For good reason. The FBI's been involved in this case for day one. You're not going to get an objective polygraph examination out of the Boulder Police Department if it's done by the FBI.

KING: Why not an independent polygraph?

WOOD: The Ramseys did in fact undergo polygraph examinations from Ned Gill (ph), one of the most experienced polyographers in the country. Those tests were done in May of 2000. They passed. They showed no deception. The results were verified by Cleave Baxter (ph), one of the most respected polygraph examiners himself . Boulder police didn't even bother. When I offered to send them all that information, offered to let them talk to Dr. Gill, talk to Dr. Baxter, they never even accepted the opportunity to do so. Unbelievable.

KING: Do they have any ideas?

WOOD: I don't think John and Patsy -- I don't think that they know -- they believe they know anyone who could commit this type of crime. Remember, this was a brutal, brutal murder of a child. The person that killed Jon Benet Ramsey is identified, it's not going to be someone that lives a normal life, that's never had any type of history of problems, that has been a good family person with happy kids and a happy family. That's the Ramseys. That's not going to be a killer of a child.

KING: This could be a perfect murder then?

WOOD: Again, I go back and look at DNA, I look stun gun marks and handwriting that was left there and I don't think it's a perfect murder. I think it's just been a horribly imperfect investigation. That can still be saved if we get good competent experienced people running it.

KING: How's Richard Jewell doing?

WOOD: Richard is doing okay. I mean, again, Richard still lives with the taint of what was done with him by the media and the FBI.

KING: Taint's gone though. We know he didn't do it.

WOOD: They should know it. The power of the message that he was quote unquote the bomber there's still people out there today that have questions about Richard. But Richard is moving along with his life. He married a year ago, happily married living in South Atlanta. Still fighting the battle against the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution" six years later. Maybe fighting that battle six years from now.

KING: You settled with NBC and CNN?

WOOD: We have.

KING: Still in that lawsuit is still on?

WOOD: The lawsuit against the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution" is still on.

KING: Has there ever bee a decision? Was there ever a trial?

WOOD: No. We were not even close to the trial stage of the case. Just shows you what the media can do if they want to spend millions and hire lawyers to just wear you down. We're hanging in there.

KING: They've made an offer?

WOOD: I don't think either side is interested in a peaceful resolution. I think this case ought to go to a jury and let citizens in the community decide it.

KING: How could a newspaper hold it up that long?

WOOD: They got unlimited pocket books.

KING: Has Richard ever met the Ramseys?

WOOD: He did meet the Ramseys early on after I started representing them.

KING: And Patsy is improving?

WOOD: Her last tests were clean and she still gets a good prognosis from the doctors so everyone remains hopeful.

KING: How do you feel after all this time? Is it frustrating to be the Ramseys' lawyer?

WOOD: No, it's not -- it has its frustrating moments when you deal with the Boulder Police Department, it can be quite frustrating. I find it rewarding. It's a challenge. I didn't take it on because it was easy. I took it on because I thought it was the right thing to do. And I think that the public ultimately will give the Ramseys credit. You know, a lot of people say -- and I think you've even said this. If I was innocent, I would go down and I would park myself at the Boulder Police Department and I wouldn't leave until they cleared me and looked for someone else. But you know, Larry, the truth is, if you just lost your child and your life was literally destroyed, you grieve because the who did it and why was it done can wait until you can recover enough emotionally to go help the police. This wasn't a case where the child was missing. They had found Jon Benet. But I would submit that if you say, well if I was innocent, I would do this. If you were guilty, would you spend six years urging, urging that a team of competent homicide investigators investigate the murder of your daughter, including reinvestigate you? Absolutely not.

KING: Good point. Thanks, Lin.

WOOD: You bet.

KING: Attorney Lin Wood on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Other people mentioned, as we said earlier, have been invited to appear. Thank you very much for joining us. NEWSNIGHT with Aaron Brown is next. I'm Larry King in Los Angeles. Good night.


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