August 30, 2006 Peter Boyles Radio Show KHOW Denver, Colorado
Guest Jeff Merrick and Norm Early
Transcribed by ACandyRose
BOYLES: Good morning, it's six and a half minutes after the hour of seven. We are Denver's talk station, good morning and welcome to the show. And it was am amazing performance. I got a call from a very good friend of mine that said movies don't run that long. And it really got down to the finalities there that we really don't have nothing. We just simply did it. KHOW radio, I'm Peter Boyles good morning now, first of all in Florida, please say good morning to Jeff Merrick. Jeffrey Good Morning.
MERRICK: Hi Pete
BOYLES: Also, as a added surprise guest, ladies and gentleman please say good morning and welcome back, a friend of Jeffs and I consider him again one of those spirit guides through moments like this, former Denver DA, Norm Early, Good morning Norm.
EARLY: Good morning Peter, hi Jeff
MERRICK: Hey Norm, how you doing.
BOYLES: Volume Norm up a little bit because Norm you got to come up real load on this if you could. Alright, first of all for the folks that don't know, Norm, how do you and Jeff know one another?
EARLY: We attended the University of Illinois. I was in law school back in the late 60s and Jeff and I had an opportunity to be resident advisors which means you kind of guide students and a stay on the same floors with them in a dormitory so.
BOYLES: That scares me that it's you two guys offering advice. (laughing)
EARLY: It was done... .. It was a wonderful time though.
BOYLES: I'll bet, I'll bet. Then you've been friends a long time.
MERRICK: It's been pushing forty years.
BOYLES: Right now let's turn to Jeff because everyone knows Norms career and that's why it's important to have Norm with us this morning. Jeffrey, I know you've written a book. Tell your story of your relationship with John Ramsey, the Ramsey case and how you became fingered as we now say by them as the killer of the little girl.
MERRICK: Well I met John Ramsey when we were both in the management development program at AT&T together back in 1971 so I went back a long way with him too. And I came to work with him at Access Graphics in '93 and stayed there until '96 and just to make a long story short I ran into some problems with his father-in-law who happens to be Don Paugh whose a figure in this case also being Patsy's father. I didn't really know I was going to be working for Don Paugh when I went there but anyway, they a did some things there that I didn't think were very ethical especially in relationship to me so I complained to Lockheed Martin who owned the company, you know, about the ethical behavior. Evidentially John Ramsey didn't like that very much because after his daughter was killed I found myself being his favorite suspect. I was the only person he mentioned to the police on the day they found his daughter's body. The only one. Of all the people the mans known in his whole life, you know, I'm the one they mentioned.
BOYLES: And the best of my knowledge at the same time, Patsy mentioned the housekeeper, Linda Hoffmann-Pugh.
MERRICK: Yeah, there were four of us, in fact it got really messy because when Ramseys wrote their book they really exploded us. We'd all been interviewed, extensively cleared and everything else. If you recall, prior to the Ramseys book being published, the marketing build up for it was like Ramseys name suspects and remember how everybody was excited to see who they'd really name and it comes out they name me. And I was John's only exclusive, this is when I found out, on the day, it was in his book, on the day he found his daughter, I was the one he mentioned. So it was me and Linda Hoffmann-Pugh and Bill McReynolds, Santa Clause and I think Chris Wolf was the guys name, the other guy
BOYLES: And Mike Glenn, going down a list of people
MERRICK: They didn't name him, we were the original four. Mike was not in that original four used to market the book. I thought it was terrible you know, because that drudged it all up again, people were saying why were these suspects and everything and you know, of course our names had to come up again. So it went from there and I also endured three police interrogations because Ramsey kept insisting that I be interrogated.
BOYLES: Now these were people themselves who would not be interrogated, right?
MERRICK: Ah, oh yeah, I thought this is really strange, you know the police called me like three days after. On New Years Eve I go into the police station and I undergo a really thorough interrogation.
BOYLES: And remember the police only focused on the Ramseys according to their attorney and Mike Tracey and a list of people.
MERRICK: Oh sure, that has been so debunked except by the publicity machine and they seem like they want to be candidates for saint hood. But anyway, I went through that and then I get a call a few days, about a week later that said we want to talk to you again, something new has come up in the case. Well, then I go, I call Norm and I says geeze Norm what's going on here, Norm was a great great confident and advisor through this whole thing which was very very comforting. But anyway he said no, go talk to them again and so I did and it turns up they wanted to talk to me about a dinner that I attended a week before the murder at Pasta Jays. You mentioned Mike Glynn, he was a friend too, a former friend of John Ramseys. Mike was in town for a business meeting and say hey I want to get together with you and some people from Access and you know, get together for dinner. So we go over, we had dinner at Pasta Jays and run into Don Paugh.
BOYLES: What's important here is Pasta Jay ends up chasing Lee Frank around with a gun in his car.
MERRICK: Oh yeah, this thing ties together. John Ramsey owns part of Pasta Jay, the whole thing just goes on and on. Anyway Don Paugh is sitting there at Pasta Jays with an out of town Access employee who use to be quite the (??) so Kathy is with me, me and my wife, and me and Mike and we walk in and stop and chat for a minute with Don Paugh. Mike stays later and Kathy and I go to sit down. A few days later I'm watching John Douglas on Dateline NBC
BOYLES: A guy who never came on our radio show
MERRICK: Yeah and no, this is the super silence of the lambs genius profiler, you know
BOYLES: It ended up we found out he was on the payroll too
MERRICK: Oh yeah, absolutely on the payroll. So he's telling Diane Sawyer or somebody that I think it was a business associate, a former business associate.
BOYLES: Ain't that interesting.
MERRICK: I'm watching this and I'm oh my God, you know, here we go again and it turns out the police wanted to talk to me about that dinner at Pasta Jays. Douglas told them we were there plotting the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. That was his theory.
BOYLES: And again we tried every way to get, you know people say we don't get these people on the show. I'll tell you what, I laid down for that guy, he wouldn't even appear on television shows with me.
MERRICK: Oh it's terrible the way they just throw this stuff out and just disappear.
BOYLES: But again remember the cops only focused on the Ramseys
MERRICK: Oh yeah, right, right, I think they interviewed like hundreds of people literally. And they focused on my three times. This was only my second interview about that.
BOYLES: Jeffrey, I looked it up. Boulder police collected 5,300 phone tips, 4,800 letters, conducted 650 interviews and identified 140 possible suspects by the time the homicide was five years old. They only focused on the Ramseys according to the DA?
MERRICK: Yeah I know, I mean they focused on everybody, they focused on me, my goodness, I mean really, really, did a job. But the interesting thing about this inter, about this dinner and Douglas' involvement in it, It was douglas idea that maybe we did it, somebody told Douglas that we were at that dinner, right? Then I'm thinking, this just came to me a couple days ago, as you mentioned I'm working on this ongoing manuscript for about ten years to just kind of write down my thoughts to have them current but he seemed to tell the Ramseys you know, that we were there. So then the Ransom note comes out and it says she's being held by two people who don't like you very much. And as soon as I heard that I say you're talking about me and Mike Glynn.
BOYLES: Here we go again, your talking exactly right.
MERRICK: It's right there in the ransom note and I'm thinking why is that in the ransom note, what a weird thing to put in there.
BOYLES: Winky, winky,
MERRICK: Yeah, so I'm thinking man, that ransom note, maybe it came from inside the house you know, but anyway somebody had to know these two people who don't like you, don't like John very much, I thought this is really strange because Mike had run into similar stuff at Access Graphics.
BOYLES: The small foreign faction !
MERRICK: Yeah, the, it sounds like everything including the kitchen sink was thrown into that note just to, you know, kind of create wild goose chases.
BOYLES: Of course
MERRICK: I'm not saying I know who did it, I'm not saying anything but.
BOYLES: What's the great line, I'm not saying you're not pretty, I'm not saying I'm not ready.
MERRICK: I know but if you're familiar with the case and you know I am and Norm is and you are and Cyril Wecht is and you know it's a huge stretch of the imagination if you know the face facts in this case to think it was other than an inside job.
BOYLES: Jeffrey, when is the first time you ever heard the words or name Michael Tracey?
MERRICK: In the documentary, supposedly, I think what you call the crockumentary.
BOYLES: The first one?
MERRICK: Yeah. And you look at that and say man, this so one sided. That's the problem with the people with the intruder thing, they are so one sided, I mean I can see where, okay, there's a little bit of evidence that there was an intruder, possibly, that's legitimate but don't discount the mountain of evidence that says that it might possibly be an inside job but that's what they do and then they point their justification on that by saying the police didn't focus on anybody but the Ramseys.
BOYLES: I can give you the numbers here.
MERRICK: I know, you just did it. It's so illogical for the people who believe in the intruder theory. You know John and Patsy Ramsey are very very, and Patsy has unfortunately passed away, but they are very charming people and I think Lin Wood is probably a very good man and Mary Lacy is probably a good person and Smit's a good person but you can't discount the fact that they may have been charmed.
BOYLES: Lou Smit has said things that are so bizarre in his relationship with Tracey. I don't know if you listened online this morning to the show but the relationship now in Tracey's documentary with these two guys appearing holding the blacked out reports naming this Gigax character and these two jokers turn out to be working in, it's called "The Agency" in Colorado Springs who Smit set up.
MERRICK: I couldn't believe that.
BOYLES: Well, believe it.
MERRICK: Because when I saw that documentary, I've seen these guys quoted as being these great crack investigators and who are these guys? I had no idea they are (??) with Lou Smit.
BOYLES: It sounds like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
MERRICK: Oh yeah, you know, because they are not real impressive.
BOYLES: But what they, who they turn out to be are guys working for Lou.
MERRICK: I know it's a, and you know and Steve Thomas, I mean you know, here's a guy who did a nice thorough investigative job I think and to malign him because he wasn't a homicide detective but he was a good detective.
BOYLES: Great detective.
MERRICK: And then on the third interview Steve calls me up and says we'd like to talk to you one more time and I says what's this about and he says well I don't want to talk about it on the phone and we want you to come in again. So down I go again to the Boulder Police station and sit there and they got their big nine millimeter and I sit there, it's intimidating so I say what is this and by now I've about had it because this is my third interview and the main question Steve says is why does John Ramsey keep throwing your name out there? And I says, "He does?" And they said, "Yep, sure does." And I thought for a minute and I though maybe it's because I told on his halo harking back to the Lockheed Martin stuff where I had my case where these people were not all that ethical in their business practices to support my claim and I believe that's the only reason I can think he kept throwing my name out there because there was no evidence, no motive, I had gone on to a better job.
BOYLES: But if you look at how many people the Ramseys named up to and including Fleet and Priscilla White eventually.
MERRICK: Oh yeah, that was incredible, you know I was at a Christmas party once, this was a company Christmas party and John and Patsy brought Fleet and Priscilla to that party.
BOYLES: Well they ware there at their home before, the night of the death.
MERRICK: Oh yeah, they were very very close. And then I think, according to some of the stuff I read in some of the books and they just turned on the guy mercifully because they had the audacity to suggest that maybe they should co-operate with the police.
BOYLES: Well there was a confrontation if we, if what we believe is true that at the funeral in Atlanta there was a confrontation between John Ramsey and Fleet White. Now what that was all about, I've been told some things, I don't know what the truth is but it sort of gets down to Fleet White allegedly confronting John.
MERRICK: Yeah, I read that too.
BOYLES: Everybody hang on, it is important to listen to this given the crapola the last 13-14 days have flown by, Wednesday, the 30th of August 630KHOW, you're listening to Jeff Merrick in Florida, Norm Early kind enough to sit and listen to us, to this as well.
(START AUDIO CLIP)
MARY LACY: "there were a couple of references which were weren’t sure were in the public domain. One was the fact that JonBenet had received the bracelet on her arm from her mother as a Christmas present. But that’s in the public domain - it’s in the autopsy report.. The other one was the presence of the mucous from the nose under the tape not over it but under it."
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BOYLES: Anybody who knows the story knows it was there, also under that tape were the so called Beaver hairs, the animal hairs were there, people believe came from a very well know location. It's twenty six after the hour of seven.
EARLY: You know Jeff and I have know each other for so many years but we have also been very good friends through that time and when Jeff's name came up I was just stricken with grief that anybody as fine as Jeff Merrick could be associated in anyway with this thing by having the finger pointed at him and it became clear when the police authorities wanted to talk to him that they were doing everything they could to clear him but when he called me nonetheless and they said they wanted him to take a lie detector test and I said sure tell them you'll take a lie detector test, you'll stand in line right behind John Ramsey.
BOYLES: I remember that.
MERRICK: I did that too. The point was that here you have all these people doing all they could to clear themselves and to give police all the information they needed in order to X them out as a suspect and John wasn't doing that.
BOYLES: Neither was Patsy.
EARLY: And Patsy wasn't doing that. And that was really odd to me that they had all these people out here jumping through these hoops, handwriting analysis and interview after interview and the family wasn't doing that. Quite a different situation from Mark Klass and some others.
MERRICK: You bet and they even came to our house and took handwriting samples from Kathy.
MERRICK: That's how thorough they were about it.
BOYLES: And again they only focused on the Ramseys as we now know it. All you got to do is listen to Lin Wood or listen to Michael Tracey or listen to this dufuss up there running the show. I don't know, you guys did you watch the depressed conference yesterday?
EARLY: I watched it
BOYLES: What did you think Norm?
EARLY: You know, I thought she handled herself pretty well under the circumstances. I know that there are some statements made that suppose take issue with but all in all you know she was in a maelstrom (?) and it was amazing to me that she came off as well as she did.
BOYLES: But it was one she created herself
EARLY: Oh the maelstrom, yeah, the whole press conference and the maelstrom.
BOYLES: The whole thing
BOYLES: And wasn't it interesting that her co-DA, Michael Tracey wasn't sitting next to her or next to one of her investigators because this is his story, his case, his evidence.
EARLY: Well as clear if you look at it closely, his footprints are all over this thing and that's unfortunate because there might have been a different income, outcome had they not been.
BOYLES: Why would Normie, in all the years you were on the job, coach when she said she shared the information that the DNA didn't match before she shared it with John Mark Karr's lawyer, she told Michael Tracey and she told John Ramsey.
EARLY: Well John Ramsey you can understand because...
EARLY: He's a victim
BOYLES: Did they share Jeff Merrick's results with John Ramsey?
EARLY: I don't know.
BOYLES: Jeffrey did they?
MERRICK: I don't know either.
BOYLES: Great question isn't it
EARLY: What you normally do before a victim hears something like that through the airways is just sit down and tell him, look, I got bad news, and that's just something that you feel that John Ramsey fits in the pure victim category.
BOYLES: But again would you do it in 24 hours or how many days, that they knew on Saturday and then... and then they announce on Tuesday or announce on Monday?
EARLY: I'm not sure how long it would matter in this case and why they did it as early as they did but there would be a point. That's not something you would want a child's father finding out via the media rather than you as the prosecutor telling them yourself.
BOYLES: If you were Mark Klass, yes.
EARLY: Right and then as far as Tracey is concerned, I just, you know, by now phones have to be ringing up there in Boulder saying this Tracey guy has put me in deep kakaa.
MERRICK: You know Pete, you mentioned Mark Klass and what a classy guy and I've learned a few things since then and if you think about this case and this just hit me between the eyes, if the Ramseys had done what he did, in other words if they had immediately co-operated with the police, I think Mark said it took him five days before he took the lie detector test but the Ramseys, even if waited a few days and taken the test by the FBI and I don't know what they have against the FBI, how can the FBI be prejudice against them, but anyway if they had taken, if they had cooperated with the police whose job it is to find the killer of their daughter and I mean, you know if these people are totally one hundred percent innocent you think they would be jumping to clear themselves. Talk to the police then let them take the test and who released those pageant tapes? IF those pageant tapes hadn't come out, after a week this would have gone away. Nobody would ever even talked about it. If they had cleared themselves immediately, everybody would have had sympathy for them
BOYLES: But Jeff, remember they don't talk to the police but they go on CNN New Years Eve.
MERRICK: I know that is, just, within a week.
BOYLES: Remember the hold your babies close, there's a killer out there.
MERRICK: I know.. There's so many things Peter that, their behavior was really strange in this thing. Going on CNN was the most far out ... these were people who were too grieving, too much to talk to the police was the excuse they used how could they get on a plane and go on TV for an hour?
BOYLES: How soon did they have a PR team?
MERRICK: They had a PR team within days
BOYLES: When did they have Larry the lawyer?
MERRICK: Oh they had him like the next day
BOYLES: Or that night
BOYLES: I went back and reread Ann Louise Bardach piece which to this day remains, if you want a quick and best overview read Ann Louise Bardach's piece.
BOYLES: That she did in Vanity Fair. And she tells that story that even after the little girls body is found that John Ramsey is calling his pilot and he still wants to leave town
BOYLES: Portrayed now as you mentioned it in sainthood a big story this morning in the Ramsey Mountain News how John still supports the DA. Why not !
MERRICK: Why not? Lin Wood mentioned how he thinks she's one of the greatest DA he's ever seen. Well of course.
BOYLES: She ain't no Norm Early !
MERRICK: No, not by a long shot. I don't even think she's Alex Hunter !
BOYLES: Talk about a back handed. You're no Alex Hunter !!
BOYLES: I got a really funny email from a listener this morning about me trashing, using the word trashing Michael Tracey and some day the chickens are going to go home to roost and that he's the finest (???) signed Ward Churchhill.
MERRICK: You think it was legit?
BOYLES: No. I don't know. Alright everybody, god bless you both, thank you. Jeffrey keep your chin up, you're the man, Norman, as always I don't know what I would have done through this without you.
MERRICK: Pete, can I have just one second profusely on the air for all his help, nobody had a better friend.