1997-03-10: Suspects on list in Ramsey case may number 12
Suspects on list in Ramsey case may number 12
By Charlie Brennan
Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer
BOULDER -- Police are working their way through a pool of up to a dozen people identified by John and Patsy Ramsey as possible suspects in their daughter's slaying.
A rumor has been circulating for weeks that there are 65 people on the list. But sources close to the investigation place the number at between six and 12.
Also, sources said, it was never in the form of an actual list. Instead, the names were compiled by investigators based on conversations with the Ramseys late in December, before they heeded the advice of their legal team and made themselves unavailable for further interviews.
Officials won't say who is on the list of suspects in the slaying of 6-year-old aspiring beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey, found sexually assaulted and strangled in the family's basement the day after Christmas. Police last week eliminated the girl's half-siblings as suspects.
But one man whose name was supplied by her father agreed to talk to the Rocky Mountain News on the condition his identity not be revealed publicly.
A resident of Boulder County, he is a former employee of Access Graphics who left Ramsey's computer parts distributorship after a disagreement with management.
He has been interviewed at the police station several times, he said, the first session coming on New Year's Eve, the most recent being several weeks ago.
Like many Ramsey acquaintances contacted since the inception of the case 74 days ago, he has also supplied hair and handwriting samples.
In his last police interview, he said, he was told "Absolutely, in no way, are you considered a suspect.''
At first, he said, he assumed detectives had simply taken his name and others from personnel records at the firm, which grossed more than $1 billion in sales last year.
Then, however, he was told "Your name keeps coming up.'' Finally, he learned, "The Ramseys' legal team threw my name out there.''
While he had no objection to cooperating with police, the man doesn't understand why the Ramseys would be casting suspicion on people such as himself.
"It seemed to me like, why is somebody whose daughter was murdered throwing out all these names of other people when he hasn't even talked to them, himself?'''
He thinks it's more than a coincidence that former FBI profiler John Douglas, who'd been hired by the family to develop a likely portrait of the killer, suggested it could be a disgruntled former employee.
"It seems to me this is their party line,'' the man said. "That could be kind of a tactic to keep the police busy, because there's lots of former employees.
"Look at all the resources they have tied up with this poor police department.''
March 10, 1997