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Surrounding the JonBenet Ramsey Murder case

This web page is part of a series covering found materials regarding individuals, items or events that apparently became part of what is commonly known as the vortex of the JonBenet Ramsey murder case Christmas night 1996. The webmaster of this site claims no inside official Boulder police information as to who has been interviewed, investigated, the outcome or what information is actually considered official evidence. These pages outline found material which can include but not limited to materials found in books, articles, the Internet, transcripts, depositions, legal documents, Internet discussion forums, graphics or photos, media reports, TV/Radio shows about the JonBenet Ramsey murder case. Found materials are here for historical archive purposes. (www.acandyrose.com - acandyrose@aol.com)
This webpage series is for historical archive and educational purposes on found materials

[Judith Phillips, Photographer]
Judith Phillips, Photographer

Judith Phillips
Photographer and Former Ramsey Friend


[People Magazine, October 6, 1997]People Magazine, October 6, 1997, 'Mom and Dad Under Suspicion'
(by Richard Jerome, Vickie Bane in Boulder, Sara Gay Dammann in Charlevoix, Fannie Weinstein and Gail Wescott in Atlanta, Jennifer Mendelsohn in Parkersburg, Margie Bonnett Sellinger in Washington and Sue Miller in New York City)

(Page 102):

(Photo caption: Ex-friend photographer Judith Phillips, says "JonBenet was magic. You'd say 'smile,' and she did.")

"Less stalwart acquaintances are ostracized, says one who was, ex-friend Judith Phillips, a Boulder photographer who has known the Ramseys for 13 years and conducted photo shoots of JonBenet and Patsy. "I've met a lot of families in the South where they just sweep all the [bad] stuff under the rug and they create this perfect outward image," she declares, "Patsy was a Miss America contestant. And image building is the whole thing in the Miss America contest. She does it well."

(Page 105)

"Outwardly, by this time, the Ramseys' relationship appeared to have cooled. Early on, says photographer Judith Phillips, the Ramseys "were very touchy-feely." But in Boulder, she notes, "I didn't see them do a lot of physical touching and hugging."

1997-12-18: Boulder vigil planned in memory of JonBenet Ramsey

Boulder vigil planned in memory of JonBenet Ramsey
Thursday, December 18, 1997

Boulder resident and photographer Judith Phillips is organizing a candlelight vigil in memory of JonBenet Ramsey on the anniversary of the 6-year-old's slaying. The vigil will be held in front of the Ramsey home at 755 15th St.

The 30-minute vigil will begin at 7 p.m. along the sidewalk. There will be no speeches or signs, but participants are asked to bring a candle to show support for justice and to show that JonBenet is not forgotten, Phillips said in a news release.

Phillips urged participants to bike, walk or use a car pool to minimize traffic and disruption to the University Hill neighborhood. She also requested that people who cannot attend burn a candle in a window to remember JonBenet.


Camera staff writers Annie Hill and Gil Rudawsky contributed to this report.

[Pam and Kristine Griffin]1997-12-21: Legacy of JonBenet - For friends, cops, neighbors, tragedy leaves its scars, life will never be the same
(Photo caption: Patrick Davison/Rocky Mountain News "Kristine Griffin, who was JonBenet's modeling coach, still has nightmares about her young friend, said her mother Pam, right. In her dreams, JonBenet tells Griffin, she saw the shoes of the man who killed her Dec. 26, 1996.")

By Lisa Levitt Ryckman
Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer
December 21, 1997


"Judith Phillips has spent much of the last year wondering why the Ramseys have cut her off without a word, after 14 years of friendship that began when they all lived in Atlanta and continued after they all moved to Boulder.

"It was devastating,'' Phillips said of being told by another friend of the Ramseys that she no longer was considered their friend. "To this day, I still don't know what I did.''

For Pam Griffin, a friend of Patsy Ramsey's who designed many of JonBenet's pageant costumes, it has been a year of proving herself a true and loyal friend -- but not without a cost.

This has taken from me a vulnerability I had hoped never to lose,'' said Griffin, who has often found herself as Patsy's lone defender on television talk shows.

A person who always greeted others with a hug, Griffin now tends to keep her distance; trust takes time.

"Now I just don't feel comfortable around a lot of people, and I always felt comfortable around everybody,'' she said. "I resent the tabloid media taking from me the right to be vulnerable if that's what I choose to do. That was something I hoped to keep all my life.''

The endless video loop of JonBenet in pageants, decked out in elaborate costumes designed by Griffin, has brought her some new clients, although she lost more than $30,000 in business from customers who disapproved of her Geraldo appearances. But despite the seemingly universal criticism of kiddie pageantry, the Colorado pageant circuit is booming -- thanks in part to JonBenet.

"It's bigger than it's ever been,'' said LaDonna Griego, who runs All Star Kids, a popular, family oriented pageant system in Colorado.

When JonBenet competed in All Star Kids' state pageant in April 1996, there were 12 children entered. This year, there were 50. Advertisements that used to elicit 300 phone calls now bring in twice that many.

"I think a lot of people didn't know pageants existed in Colorado,'' Griego said of the days before JonBenet's death. "When people call, I tell them they need to come and experience it before you look down on it or think it's wrong.

"Most people come and see, and I end up with their kids competing in the next one.''

Griego's 10-year-old daughter, Breanne, passed her Little Miss Colorado title along to JonBenet in May 1996, and she still happily competes. But JonBenet's death has shaken her.

"It scared my daughter very much,'' LaDonna Griego said. "Now she's sleeping in our bedroom. She still looks over her shoulder.''

The constant criticism of pageantry has wounded Breanne, mostly because it is something she loves.

"Having people trash it really bothers her,'' LaDonna Griego said. "My daughter has been known to go to the grocery store and hide all the Globes on the back shelf.''

Kristine Griffin, JonBenet's 19-year-old modeling coach, sometime-babysitter and dear friend, still suffers from the loss of her protege.

"This has been way too painful for her,'' said her mother, Pam Griffin. "JonBenet just adored Kristine, and the feeling was completely mutual.''

In recent weeks, Kristine has cried at the mention of JonBenet's name on television and has had vivid nightmares about her.

"I need to tell you what happened,'' JonBenet says to Kristine in her dreams. "I don't know who he is, but I saw his shoes.''

"If there was a way to communicate,'' Kristine said, "she might try to do it with me, just because we were so close, and she looked up to me. And maybe she would feel I would be the one she'd want to talk to.''

On Dec. 26, people who knew and loved JonBenet or simply want justice for her will show up at 7 p.m. in front of the Ramsey's old house in Boulder for a candlelight vigil organized by Judith Phillips.

"I have children who need closure on this,'' said Phillips, whose 10-year-old daughter, Lindsey, played with Burke and JonBenet. "It's been very difficult for her, very confusing, very scary.

Now questions haunt Lindsey, painful, unanswerable ones.

"Mommy, who would have done this terrible thing? What was JonBenet feeling? What's it like to die?'' she asks Phillips.

"Mommy, why would anyone murder a little girl who was so nice and so sweet?''

December 21, 1997"


2000-02-00: "Afternoon with Judith Phillips, Photographer", Interviewed by Mary Mcardle Suma (Mame)
Transcript provided by Starry assisted by Sassey, Canadiana & Shaggy

Fine Art Photographer
Afternoon with Judith Phillips
Interviewed by Mary Mcardle Suma (Mame)

"Judith Phillips grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, the daughter of a music professor and a bank executive, along with her older brother and sister, Joel and Mary, and her identical twin sister, Jane. Her fathers work at Concordia University caused Judith to be exposed to works of artists across the disciplines from Ernest Hemingway to Frank Lloyd Wright and Stan Kenton, leaving her with a lifelong impression of the impact of art on the human spirit.

Judith Phillips graduated with a degree in Art History and Elementary Education from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. Immediately out of college she found work outside her home town of Chicago as a second grade teacher. After several years, she left teaching to use her natural people, math and science skills to work in radio and then teach adults in the computer industry. Eventually, she married and settled down in Atlanta, Georgia to bring into the world her son Matthew and daughter Lindsey. For the next decade she became and lived the images she now captures on film as a mother to her two children.

In 1989, Judith Phillips arrived in Boulder, Colorado. The creative energy of her children only enhanced her own desire to express her native creativity, and her love of art since childhood. She needed to move beyond her roles as wife and mother to reconnect with herself as an individual. When she picked up a camera and found herself capturing the souls of those she photographed on film, she arrived as Judith Phillips the photographer and fine artist. Her early work won contests and awards as publications sought her out for photo assignments in the Boulder, Denver and Colorado areas.

After the death of her father in 1996, Judith felt compelled to organize her portraits into an exhibition to share with the world. And, as the success of Motherhood 2000 greets the world, she has begun work on her fatherhood series, entitled "The Leader of the Band."

Judith Phillips has lived as a mother, housewife, teacher, and artist. She has worked in numerous community and political projects protecting the safety of women and children, parental rights for fathers, asthma research and hurricane victims in Honduras. She hails from the City of Big Shoulders, as Carl Sandburg wrote in his poem, "Chicago," and she volunteers to shoulder her responsibilities both as an artist and as a citizen. Her unique life experience in a multitude of interests, responsibilities and professions has opened her vision to the loves, hurts, desires and souls of the everyday people she photographs. Through those photographs we all gain access to the artist's understanding of the truth she sees.

A local newspaper in Boulder, Colorado caught up with Judith Phillips in 1995 before her Motherhood images had hung at Chautauqua Park, and her fame as an artist had only begun to emerge from the layers of other artists in the intellectually and creatively progressive Boulder community. Judith Phillips said to the reporter, "I have hopes of being a global Photographer. I'd like other countries. . . to see a different kind of American woman than who they see on reruns of "Bewitched" or Madonna with cones over her breasts. We have hearts and souls just like they do." With the launching of the Motherhood 2000 world tour, this artist brings her heart and soul to the world."

2000-02-00: "Afternoon with Judith Phillips, Photographer", Interviewed by Mary Mcardle Suma (Mame)
Transcript provided by Starry assisted by Sassey, Canadiana & Shaggy

Mame: she had a bob?

JP: uh, huh. A real short one, and I said to Patsy, What happened to her hair? And she goes OH I just got so sick of fighting with JonBenét about combing her hair. We would fight all the time, so I just got sick of it and I took the scissors and cut her hair. (laughs)

Mame: Oh she cut it herself?

JP: yea

Mame: How old was she about 3?

JP: yeah, she was about 3 and shortly afterward I did the photo shoot for the Colorado women's news article and spent some time in the home and JonBenét still had that short bob of a hair cut. She reminded me of a little girl who had some tomboy qualities to her. As I searched around the house for lighting situation of where I was going to take these pictures of Patsy and then the children, she would follow secretly behind. I would hear some noise and I'd turn around and there was JonBenét .

Mame: But at that point , at three she could still be the child

JP: Yeah, she was dressed in very child-like clothes, she and my daughter played up her in her bedroom. In fact, my daughter later told me that during one of her visits that during this time, that she went up to JonBenét room and JonBenét showed her all the trophies from all the pageants, her ribbons and stuff like that and my daughter said 'what are these?' and she said 'oh my mom just wants me to get into these pageants and these are trophies that I earned' and my daughter said 'wow, cool'. She said (JonBenét) 'but the trophies really don't belong here, they belong in my mom's room' . Yeah.

Mame: and that was when she was older?

JP: Yeah. And then (couldn't hear).......the hair dye. It was the summer of I think it was 95. She came back, Patsy came back, I saw her early after they had returned, hadn't seen JonBenét , but she had arranged a meeting with me and another woman who wanted to meet Patsy, to I think, get some money from Access Graphics for a fundraiser. So, I kind of put the two of them together and really the two of them did a lot of talking, but that's the luncheon where I noticed that Patsy had this humungous diamond ring, and I looked and I said 'oh, my god Patsy, where did you get that?' And she said that she had got it in Texas, when they had stayed in Texas in the summer for a short time and she saw all these Texas women with their big rocks and she wanted one too. laughing...so, it's the biggest thing I have ever seen. And that one symbol of that big rock told me that there was something different. I felt...

Mame: Were you shocked? Obviously when you saw the bleach blond hair.

JP: Yeah, I was shocked. That's why I asked Patsy...'what did you do to JonBenét hair? You didn't dye it did you?' And she said no, no, no..It was the hot summer sun in Charlesvoix that dyed her hair.

Mame: And it was obviously bleached?

JP: laughing....yes. It was obviously bleached....It was obviously bleached..I thought how stupid do you think I am...I didn't respond, but I thought. I said oh isn't that interesting.

JP: Of course I saw the physical changes with her hair and that she was dressed up like at her Christmas party she was dressed up in this Cinderella ball gown. I had never seen her in clothes like that. You know, I hadn't seen that before.And she was so perfectly coiffed you know, makeup. And when I did the photo shoot in the studio the one where she and her mom and Burke and Nedra were there. I saw her, really I left it up to the people to decide, how they wanted to present their family. I didn't say you had to wear these kinds of clothes, and so I was always very interested to see what mothers would bring to wear.

Mame: couldn't hear

JP: laugh. So when I saw these elegant outfits I was, um, she, they were the only people that I'd ever photographed that way. And JonBenét had this incredible, beautiful white dress on, and then they applied the makeup and I photographed her, it was obvious to me that this was a little girl that had changed a lot, that I didn't know. No, I did not see the stress of JonBenét at all. What I saw in that photo shoot which was really the last time I, no, the second to last time I saw her alive, was that Patsy was in a frenzy, that she was late as usual, and she probably had another appointment that she was already late for so it was....c'mon, get...you know, she was real tense, and the kids were like real stiff and real obedient to her, they knew not to cross a certain line and then when I took the pictures, especially of JonBenét alone, I allowed her to be free and be herself and on some level, it was difficult for her to handle that. I remember I had to talk to her, encourage her, not to be quote, on, you know I wanted a deeper picture.

JP: Roxie Walker and her husband Stewart Walker called us, they knew ...

Mame: they were neighbours?

JP: They were neighbours that lived across the street, that were very close friends of Patsy and John's. And they wanted to let us know what we were about to embark on when we came back into town. And , they found us in Chicago, at my twin sister's house and talked to my ex-husband, Robert, and when he got off the phone, his face was completely white. I kept saying what's the matter, what's the matter, what's going on? And he said there has been a tragedy and I said what? He said JonBenét . and I said what?! He said JonBenét has been murdered.. You know all these things flash through your mind, disbelief and horror and depression, and you want to reach out and ...

Mame: And did you connect up with them at that point, talk with them at that time at all?

JP: We tried to but they wouldn't answer their door. And I left various messages, and I think Fleet called my ex-husband Robert back because Robert, we had decided that if there was room on the plane to go to Atlanta, that one of the two of us would go to the funeral. And so Fleet did call back and talk to Robert and we found that there was absolutely no room on the plane left anywhere. So we more or less, they took off the next morning for Atlanta and we were here in Boulder wondering...

Mame: when did the police first speak with you?

JP: I think in April, not sure,……March or April ……

Mame: and did you ask to be spoken to? Or did they take it upon themselves to…

JP: they called me first and asked if it would be okay if they could interview me down at police headquarters. And I said, sure.

Mame: did they want to know more about what type of person Patsy was?

JP: well they asked, they interviewed me 3 times. The first time was short and Steve Thomas and Gosage was there and there was a woman whose name I don't recall, those were the 3 that interviewed me. It was taped and I didn't have a problem with that at all. They asked odd questions like , do you know this person as related to John Ramsey? They were naming off at least a half of dozen female names and, no I've never heard of that person before and no, I never knew that person before. And they would ask….

Mame: Not related as relatives, but the connection in terms of his life, who they were?

JP: yeah, women involved with John. They were hinting at an affair. I said, Why did you ask me the names of these women? They said, well, it's believed that John Ramsey had had quite a few affairs, not only in Atlanta but also here in Boulder. Do you know of anything? I knew, really none. (Laughs). John has such a devious quality about himself there was no way that he would let anybody know about his trysts whether they were real or not. But I found it interesting the line of, the police line of questions and how it went. Then they asked me if I knew about Patsy, if I saw her anger, if I saw her lose her temper and if I knew if she had ever had any relationships here in Boulder, you know questions like, personality type questions.

Mame: Prior to the murder?

JP: No, this was after the murder. She [Susan Stine] and I were the only two from our softball team to have arrived early and she was sitting there on the bleachers and I said, very reluctantly, Hi Susan, and she tore me apart by saying Why would I want to talk to you? You sold the pictures to the tabloids. You better get yourself a good (that was the time she said you better get yourself a really good attorney) and she kept pointing her finger at me. (Repeats) You better get yourself a really good attorney.

Mame: threatening?

JP: yes, very threatening. We're going to come after you. And I just laughed and I said, Susan, you don't know what you're talking about. And she said Oh yes I do. I do know what I'm talking about. It may take a couple, a year or two, but we're going to come after you and you better run and hide. Of course, by that time, there were other members of my softball team that were arriving and they overheard Susan and it was embarrassing. There were people all over the place. And I finally said to Susan, Susan, I don't feel this is an appropriate place to discuss this. I'd more than happy to discuss it at my house later.

Mame: that was what, February March?

JP: March. Right, right. And when I read Jameson's website about that particular meeting I knew it was full of Susan Stine's lies. It was pathetic. It was the fact that she accused me of coming to the meeting drunk. That I constantly pressured Patsy into signing a model release for the photographs. Why would I do that when I had a copyright of the photographs in the first place? My behavior towards Patsy, afterwards, you know it was just one lie after another. And you know she was just spewing her venom to Jameson and it was, I mean, when I read it, it really bothered me, so I really try to stay away from those kinds of websites. They're so full pack of lies and there's so much hatred and rage coming from Susan Stine, that it's.. All she wants to do is hurt.

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