Michael Landon Helgoth
aka “Bootman” “Boots”
This page outlines several sources of information in the public domain that were researched in books, on the Internet, in transcripts, legal documents, Internet message forums, newspapers articles, media reports, talk shows, etc., about this subject title which could be of interest regarding the JonBenet Ramsey murder case. This information is for the historical archive history documentation on the ACandyRose subculture website at www.acandyrose.com following this case.
Home Depot, Louisville talking after
Boulder discouraged offer - August 1995
Home Depot, Louisville talking after Boulder discouraged offer.
By Peter Macdonald
Home Depot, now negotiating with the city of Louisville to locate a "big box" retail store in the Centennial Valley, first tried to locate the store in Boulder, said Warren Jamieson, owner of A-AA Listing Services Inc. of Boulder, who lists the Valmont Auto Parts property on Valmont Road east of Foothills Parkway.
Home Depot offered the city 4.78 acres of the property fronting Valmont -- land Jamieson said is worth over $1 million, with no strings attached. The store, which planned its entrance from Old Pearl and 49th streets, would have generated an estimated $1 million annually in sales taxes, Jamieson said.
Representatives of the store put just over 16 acres under contract in September 1994 for $2.85 million, Jamieson said. They then spoke to a Boulder Urban Renewal Authority representative and two council members. After 90 days, Home Depot "got so discouraged," Jamieson said, that it did not exercise its option.
Boulder Councilman Spense Havlick recently told Jamieson that for the Boulder city council to accept any such companies it would require them to reduce the scale of their store to make it more palatable.
"These companies have determined what sort of building they need, and they are not likely to jump through a lot of hoops when they can locate just down the road in Superior," Jamieson said.
Home Depot saw Boulder as a good market because it is almost built out, meaning many existing homes are ripe for remodeling, Jamieson said. Home Depot officials refused comment on Boulder County plans.
"Stores such as this generally are considered to be the retailing wave of the future," Jamieson said. "Who will bring dollars to Boulder? We are entering the fourth year of the city saying `no' to everything requested for the area," Jamieson said.
SEA OF WRECKED CARS COULD BECOME PARK
Tuesday, July 23, 1996
SEA OF WRECKED CARS COULD BECOME PARK
Tuesday, July 23, 1996
By LISA MARSHALL Camera Staff Writer
If the Boulder City Council decides to buy up to 101 acres along Valmont Road for a large community park, children will someday kick a soccer ball in what is now a sea of wrecked cars. Families will picnic in what once was a thriving poultry farm.
But finding a farm fresh egg or a part for an old Chevy in Boulder could be tricky.
"There are a lot of people who are going to be sad to see us go," said Dick Helgoth, 59, whose family has run Valmont Auto Parts - the last auto yard in town - for nearly four decades. Helgoth said Boulder County land regulations and neighborhood covenants that prohibit people from working on their cars at home have taken the profit out of running a junk yard. Despite the family's rich history on the land, they are eager to sell.
"It's a different business than it was back when Dad started it," he said. "Back then, if you carried Ford or Chevy parts, you had it all."
The Parks and Recreation Board on Monday recommended the city buy as much land as possible on the Valmont Corridor site for $13.5 million. The City Council will give final consideration to the site Aug. 6.
The city is negotiating details of cleaning up the area, but landowners have agreed to deliver the sites "'clean," said Wally Cameron, who handles real estate purchases for the city. He would not release the prices of individual parcels within the site.
The Helgoths expect it will take about five months to sell off the usable parts from some 2,000 cars, hire a wrecking company to crush the remaining auto skeletons and plow away debris, allowing for leftover petroleum to evaporate.
"Then we'll take it easy for a couple of years. We haven't had much time to vacation," said Doug Helgoth, 49, who has run the business with his brother, Dick, since 1961.
Next door, K.C. Schneider is preparing to tell tenants, who have stored large mechanical equipment in his outdoor storage area for five years, they'll have find another storage place.
"It's probably one of the last inexpensive storage areas around and a lot of the people that run their little businesses don't have any place to go," said Schneider, who grew up riding horses and picnicking on the 24-acre property that used to be a farm.
Even a few family dogs are buried out there, he said.
"It may not look like it now, but it's going to be a great park site," said Schneider, struck by the beauty of the Flatirons behind the field of rusty cars and trailers on his lot. "Everyone is taking a little less money to see it as a park because they are obviously people who have owned property here for decades and care about Boulder. I can't wait to take my kids on a picnic out there."
While thrilled with the prospect of seeing a park there, Schneider said he views the land deal as the end of an era, a reflection of Boulder's move toward being an economically exclusive community.
"Every town needs a junkyard," he said.
Across the street, where the Boulder Valley Poultry farm has doled out eggs for local groceries and individuals since 1960, Mildred Vaughan is less enthusiastic about selling her family's 22.5 acres to the city.
Vaughan, 78, is afraid she'll lose her connection with the people of Boulder if she can't sell them eggs anymore. "They are really down in the dumps about not being able to get their farm fresh eggs," she said.
But Vaughan said she will bite an offer to clean up and sell "only if the price is right."
Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter
"I mentioned the list of suspects narrows -
soon there will be no one left on the list but you”
DA Hunter threatens to seek death penalty
By ELLIOT ZARET Camera Staff Writer February 14, 1997
Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter delivered a strong message to JonBenét Ramsey's killer Thursday (February 13th)- he may seek the death penalty.
"I want to say something to the person or persons that committed this crime - the person or persons that took this baby from us," Hunter said, looking ominously into the television cameras at Thursday's news conference.
"I mentioned the list of suspects narrows - soon there will be no one left on the list but you ... You have stripped us of any mercy we may have had in the beginning of this case. We will see that justice is served in this case, and that you pay for what you did."
Hunter said prosecutors working on the crime have consulted with the Capital Crimes Unit of the Colorado attorney general's office. The prosecutor has sought the death penalty in other cases, but never tried a case as a capital crime.
Richard Kling, clinical professor of law at Chicago-Kent College of Law and a defense attorney who tries capital cases, said the circumstances surrounding JonBenét's murder - that she had been strangled and sexually assaulted, her wrists tied and duct tape over her mouth - are ripe for a public outcry to execute her killer.
"If I were going to draft a death penalty poster child, this is the kid I'm going to draft," said Kling, who opposes the death penalty. "I'm not sure anyone is going to be empathetic with the killer of this child."
Still, Kling said it is unclear why Hunter would announce that he is seeking the death penalty when he hasn't even named a suspect yet.
"I can't think of any advantage - is it going to scare anyone (into confessing)? Probably not." said Kling. "If I were the killer and I heard (Hunter's statement), it would flush me into the furthest corner of the forest."
Michael Landon Helgoth - February 14, 1997
Michael Landon Helgoth of Boulder died Thursday, Feb. 14, 1997, at home. He was 26.
He was born July 9, 1970. in Boulder, the son of Russell G Helgoth and Coni R. Nye Helgoth.
He worked for Valmont Auto Parts for 11 years, where he was a mechanic and performed other duties.
Mr. Helgoth graduated from Boulder High School in 1989 and joined the U.S. Army, serving 13 months.
He belonged to Nova Club, received several awards for drafting and enjoyed anything associated with automobiles and the automotive industry.
Survivors include his father of Boulder, his mother of Alliance, Neb.; paternal grandparents Harold and Catherine Helgoth of Boulder; his maternal grandfather Jack Nye of Alliance; his guardians, Doug and Rita Helgoth of Boulder; a brother Robert Weber of Boulder, Mont.; and two sisters. Christine Helgoth and Kimberly Helgoth, both of Boulder.
[discussion of funeral arrangements - visitation at Crist Mortuary and funeral at mortuary chapel. Rev.Care Pat Frink of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church officiated. They asked for memorial contributions to be made to the American Cancer Society. Helgoth's younger sister was dying of cancer.]
Social Security Death Index
MICHAEL L HELGOTH 09 Jul 1970 14 Feb 1997 (P) (72) (none specified) 521-39-3548 Colorado
Kimberly Dawn Helgoth Knote
Nov. 28, 1976 - Oct. 8, 1998
HAROLD NICHOLAS HELGOTH 02 Apr 1911 23 Sep 1999 (P) 80304 (Boulder, Boulder, CO) (none specified) 524-42-6606 Colorado
CATHERINE A HELGOTH 30 Dec 1915 24 Oct 1999 (P) 80304 (Boulder, Boulder, CO) (none specified) 523-72-2539
Michael Landon Helgoth - February 15, 1997
Death D/T 02/14/97 @2230
autopsy D/T 2/15/97 @ 1220
I. Single gunshot wound to chest
A. Entrance wound: Central chest, between the 2nd and 3rd ribs, immediately to the left of the sternum
B. Exit wound: Back, 8 cm to right of vertebral column, between ribs 8 and 9
C. Trajectory path; Anterior to posterior, superior to inferior, left to right
D. Perforations of:
1. left anterior chest wall
2. right upper lobe
a. pulmonary hemmorrhage, extensive
3. Anterior pericardial sac
4. Right auricle
a. Hemothorax, right, 1350cc
5. Posterior pericardial sac
6. right posterior chest wall
E. Congestion; Renal, adrenal, pulmonary and CNS
II Mild fatty metamorphosis, hepatic
Toxicologic studies: A sample of postmortem urine was positive for benzodiazepines and propoxyphene.
Clinicopathologic Correlation: Death in this 26-year-old male is secondary to a single wound to the chest.
External exam - autopsy noted that there were paper bags on his hands and went on...
"The decedent is wearing a black t-shirt labeled "Morning Person Not". In the "R" of morning there is a 6 mm in diameter defect surrounded by some blood stains. After the shirt is removed, the back is examined revealing a 10 x 7 mm defect in the back along with a second 3 mm in length laceration immediately adjacent to this defect. A copper-colored metallic fragmentcna be seen partially protruding from this defect. The defect is enlarged and the metallic fragment is removed. A circular portion on one side appears relatively unscathed and measures about 9mm in diameter. The opposite side is folded back upon itself with the size of the cylinder somewhat filleted. The length is about 9 mm and the overall dimentions are 22x14x13 mm. The legs are covered in grey sweatpants and the feet by white socks. Under the sweatpants is a pair of purple and yellow boxer shorts.
Head: The head is covered by short blond hair in a normal distribution. Eyes blue-gray, sclerae white, no petechiae. Blood from left nostril and left side of mouth. Teeth in moderate repair. pierced tongue - silver post with ball cap. Neck normal.
left chest - woman with two wolves
right outer arm - Grim Reaper labeled "NEXT?"
left outer arm - skeleton climbing arm - bloody extremities.
abdomen, flat, no scars
genitalia are normal male circumsized
Extremities - unremarkable - other than some bloody material on left palm there is, "no significant blood spattering noted."
chest cavity filled with blood - - I won't restate the path of the bullet - it is on first page...
Thyroid: the thyroid is of usual size and position and weighs 20 gm. Cut sections show a beefy parenchyma with no nodules.
Heart - -unremarkable except for the defect previously described
Lungs - - described wound, hemmorrage and congestion - otherwise unremarkable
Liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, adrenal glands, kidney, bladder, prostrate, esophogus, stomach, intestines, appendix and colon are ALL noted as "unremarkable"
Brain: Sections are unremarkable except for congestion.
Entrance wound: A section of skin from the chest shows one margin to exhibit coagulative necrosis and deposition of black sooty material on the surface. A small amount of similar oreign material is noted in the deeper dermal elements.
VALMONT CITY PARK UNDER WAY
Wednesday, April 29, 1998
A LONG-TERM PLAN IS BEGINNING TO BE VISIBLE IN AN AREA ONCE CALLED AN EYESORE
Wednesday, April 29, 1998
By Kristin Dizon Camera Staff Writer
VALMONT CITY PARK UNDER WAY
What do the county jail, an auto junkyard and a chicken farm all have in common?
They are all part of or next to what will become the city's largest park.
The proposed Valmont City Park will be built over 20 years or more, allowing future generations to determine some park amenities. Presently, there is little money to shape the 132-acre site beyond turning 20 acres into a grassy area and installing infrastructure for future development. Because of the long-term time frame, the city has no cost estimates for the final product. About $18 million is budgeted just to buy the land, $14 million of which has been spent.
Boulder's first citywide park has the county jail on the northern border and some commercial and industrial businesses all around. The site encompasses a former poultry farm where 40,000 chickens laid eggs and Valmont Auto Parts, Boulder's only auto junkyard. The non rectangular shape is also bisected by Valmont Road, where a pedestrian underpass will one day connect the northern and southern halves of the park.
The complex also could include several atypical park features - a small neighborhood commercial center, leased office space and a building to house the parks and recreation staff.
Planners say it's an excellent place to take land that could have been sold for commercial development and fulfill some of Boulder's unmet and future recreational needs, while preserving an open area and scenic views of the Flatirons. The site was selected because it was one of the few sizable parcels left in Boulder and is centrally located. .
City Council recently approved a concept plan, the fourth considered. The elaborate wish list includes six lighted baseball or softball fields; trails; a bicycle racing track; three recreation buildings; playgrounds; courts for basketball; roller hockey and tennis; a skateboard park; an amphitheater; community gardens; picnic tables; and a cross-country skiing loop.
Before any groundbreaking, a number of steps must be taken. About 22 acres of the park site aren't yet owned by the city, which is in negotiations with three separate landowners. One is the junkyard site, where owners Dick and Doug Helgoth will be required to clean up between 2,000 and 3,000 cars, as well as substances such as oil and battery fluid that have seeped into the ground over 40 years of operations there.
Owners of a 1-acre lot and a 5-acre strip of land have yet to come to terms with the city. It is hoped property negotiations will be complete by the end of summer, said Wally Cameron, acquisition manager for the Open Space and Real Estate Department. If the talks hit an impasse, Cameron said the City Council could consider having the land condemned.
So far, about $14 million from a 1995 tax initiative has been spent to buy 83 acres of land. That was added to 28 acres already owned by the city. The remaining 22 acres are projected to cost between $3 million and $4 million, Cameron said.
Another $4.1 million has been set aside for the first phase of development, which will involve grading, irrigating and seeding roughly 20 acres of the site, as well as installing the necessary water, sewer and utility connections for later development. Construction is likely to begin in late 1999 or 2000, but it`s not clear when would the first phase will be complete.
The city hopes to pursue public-private partnerships to develop the park over the years, and has been approached by several interested groups. Janet Bellis, chair of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, said the group will start working on a set of criteria to determine how responsibilities would be shared and what level of public access would be required under such partnerships.
Another way the city could help pay for the park is through commercial development on part of the site. The current plan considers the possibility of selling or leasing 3 to 6 acres in the northeast corner of the park for offices, and another 3 acres for a neighborhood commercial plaza.
"I think it`s good to have a little commercial center there, because those areas are not served by one right now," Bellis said.
Possibilities for that development include a grocery store, dry cleaning, a restaurant, coffee shop and other services.
The parks department also is considering relocating its offices from the present location at 3198 Broadway to the Valmont City Park.
"We are looking at the long-term future of our office space needs," said Chris Dropinski, director of the department. She said staying at the present site, a former church building they moved into "temporarily" in 1992, will require remodeling.
Despite the lengthy timeline of the plan, many say changes to the Valmont property are already impressive.
"They`ve already cleaned up a good bit of the site," said Ann Moss of Shapins Associates, a firm consulting on the plan. "It`s changing as we look at it."
Parks planner Kate Bernhardt, who is managing the Valmont site, said chicken coops and a large grain silo have been removed, a pond has been filled and waste from the many birds is gone at the former poultry farm. In other areas, sheds and outhouses have been stripped away.
Those involved with the Valmont City Park say it will change the character of the area for the better.
"One of the reasons I really wanted to get this piece (of land) is because this is a very good opportunity to clean up a real eyesore in town," Bellis said.
"I can't think of another site that has so many trail systems feeding into it," Bernhardt said.
John Ramsey Interrogation by Lou Smit and Mike Kane
Present also were Bryan Morgan, PI David Williams
June 23, 24, 25, 1998 - Boulder, Colorado
25 LOU SMIT: What have you heard
1 about Hi-Tech shoes?
2 JOHN RAMSEY: Just that there was
3 a print found, a Hi-Tech boot, and that's all.
4 LOU SMIT: Do you own a Hi-Tech
5 type shoe, or have you ever owned one?
6 JOHN RAMSEY: Well, I don't -- not
7 that I know of. I mean, I never have been -- I
8 never paid much attention to brands of boots I
9 had. I had some -- I had some running -- not
10 running shoes. Hiking boots. I think I looked
11 at those and they were -- they weren't Hi-Tech
12 or anything.
13 LOU SMIT: You have already looked
14 at those?
15 JOHN RAMSEY: Yeah. I had some
16 kind of dress boots that were more for -- but
17 they weren't Hi-Tech boots. So I mean, I don't
18 think we had anything like that. We had -- I
19 had some of these felt-lined like duck boots.
20 LOU SMIT: If we ever ask you to
21 bring these items in, would you do that to make
22 sure that we got them?
23 JOHN RAMSEY: Sure.
24 LOU SMIT: And there is a reason
25 for that, of course. How about Patsy?
1 JOHN RAMSEY: I don't -- I am sure
2 she doesn't. I mean we were aware that that was
3 an issue, I think we looked and thought about
4 it. But to my knowledge, she didn't or doesn't.
5 LOU SMIT: Mike, what was that shop
6 in Vail or something?
7 MIKE KANE: Pepe's. I think that
8 was the name of it.
9 LOU SMIT: Pepe's, is that in Vail?
10 VOICE: Yeah.
11 LOU SMIT: Did she ever shop --
12 JOHN RAMSEY: I don't --
13 Patsy's -- I don't remember the last time she
14 was even in Vail. Pepe's doesn't ring a bell.
15 LOU SMIT: I am going to show you a
16 series of photographs, okay. And see if you
17 recognize a print of the photographs, they are
18 foot prints or shoe prints, and I would just
19 like to show that to you if I can, and see if
20 you might recognize maybe by looking at shoe
21 prints, sometimes you know what the bottom of a
22 sole looks like, if you have something similar
23 to that or even maybe one of your friends?
24 JOHN RAMSEY: Where was the print
1 LOU SMIT: In the wine cellar.
2 JOHN RAMSEY: In the wine cellar?
3 LOU SMIT: Yes. So I would like to
4 show you a series of prints and it's starting
5 with -- it's 257, 258, 259, 260, 261 and 262.
6 This is the front, this is the back (indicating)
7 and just start with 259. If you will do that,
8 Mr. Ramsey.
9 JOHN RAMSEY: (INAUDIBLE).
10 LOU SMIT: What do you see?
11 JOHN RAMSEY: I see high, looks
12 like high something you see in a square block
13 with, I can't tell if it's raised or lettering.
14 LOU SMIT: If you look at a
15 photograph, see something to make a comment on
16 just --
17 (MULTIPLE SPEAKERS.)
18 JOHN RAMSEY: Yeah. I think what
19 would be -- I can't tell what that is. I don't
20 know if that's sand or is that mildewy stuff
21 that was in the basement. Looks like there is
22 some -- some of the Christmas tree --
23 LOU SMIT: Needles?
24 JOHN RAMSEY: -- needles, yeah,
25 that were laying in there. It almost looks like
1 the wall to me rather than the floor. Is it the
3 LOU SMIT: Yes.
4 JOHN RAMSEY: Okay.
23 VOICE: One last question, do you
24 have any photographs of what a Hi-Tech boot
25 looks like?
1 LOU SMIT: I do, but I don't have
2 it here with me.
3 MIKE KANE: There is all different
5 (MULTIPLE SPEAKERS.)
7 LOU SMIT: Many different styles.
8 LOU SMIT: I don't know, if you
9 could take a look at, there is another print
10 there. You picked up a Hi-Tech print. I was
11 just wondering if the sole pattern on that may
12 look familiar to you. It would be on the
13 photograph, let's see, 262, you might look at
15 JOHN RAMSEY: Is that this pattern
17 LOU SMIT: Yes.
18 JOHN RAMSEY: Well, no, it doesn't
19 look like anything that we had or would have
20 had. I don't -- this doesn't mean anything to
Kimberly Dawn Helgoth Knote
Nov. 28, 1976 - Oct. 8, 1998
Kimberly Dawn Helgoth Knote
Nov. 28, 1976 - Oct. 8, 1998
Kimberly Dawn Helgoth Knote of Longmont died of natural causes Thursday, Oct. 8, 1998, in Boulder Community Hospital. She was 21.
She was born Nov. 28, 1976, in Boulder, to Russell Helgoth and Connie Nye Helgoth.
She was a lifelong resident of Boulder County.
Ms. Knote was a customer service representative at Titan Auto Insurance.
She was a member of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Boulder and the Elks Ladies Bowling League, and she was active in the American Cancer Society's "Relay for Life." She also was active in sports, including bowling, water-skiing and softball.
Survivors include her father of Boulder; her mother of Alliance, Neb.; her stepfather, Bill Kinser of Alliance; her companion, Tracy Hoy of Longmont; a sister, Christine Beck of Longmont; a stepsister, Terri Kinser of Alliance; a brother, Bob Weber of Helena, Mont.; a stepbrother, Bill Kinser Jr. of Alliance; and her grandparents, Harold and Catherine Helgoth of Boulder.
She was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents and a brother, Michael Helgoth, in 1997.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at Crist Mortuary, 34th Street and the Diagonal Highway, Boulder. A vigil service will be at 7 p.m. Monday in the mortuary chapel, with the Rev. Pat Frink of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church of Boulder officiating.
A memorial Mass will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Crist Mortuary Chapel. The Rev. David Allen will be the celebrant. Services will conclude at the Alliance Cemetery in Alliance.
Contributions may be made to Boulder Community Hospital for the Cancer Cure Center, P.O. Box 9019, Boulder, Colo. 80301-9019.
Valmont Auto Parts - 4942 Valmont Road
Boulder purchased the land for $2.4 million
October 1998 http://www.bcbr.com/oct98/real2.htm
BIG CRUSH: After more than 30 years of operation at 4942 Valmont Road, Valmont Auto Parts Owners Richard and Douglas Helgoth -- starting immediately -- will be crushing all the cars on the 16.2 acres to make way for new owners. The city of Boulder purchased the land for $2.4 million to incorporate it into 115 acres of park space in the area.
The property was on the market for eight years, according to broker Warren Jamieson, principal of Boulder-based AAA Real Estate. "But the city wouldn't let us do anything with it," he said.
In the five years before the sale closed on Sept. 18, the land was at various times under contract to Builder's Square, Pace Membership Warehouse and Home Depot.
"The city wouldn't allow any big boxes," Jamieson explained.
LIFE ENDS; LOVE CONTINUES
Catherine Helgoth, Dec. 30, 1915 - October 24, 1999
The Rocky Mountain News (Denver, Co.), October 29, 1999
October 29, 1999, Friday
LIFE ENDS; LOVE CONTINUES
By Gary Massaro
Catherine Helgoth weathered dust, drought and hail-killed harvests on Colorado's high plains.
But it was probably a broken heart that finally did her in.
She died Sunday. She was 83.
Just a month before, her husband, Harold, died.
They had been married 63 years, about half of which was spent on a wheat farm, the other half in Boulder.
''Anytime either one was gone, the other just couldn't wait until the other one was home,'' daughter Opal Symanski of Broomfield said.
''One time when I was with Mom and we were reminiscing, she was showing me a postcard she had gotten from my dad when he was on a hunting trip. Even though he was gone, he still was thinking about her,'' Opal said. ''They weren't happy unless they were together.''
Catherine was born Dec. 30, 1915, in Fleming, a farm town in northeastern Colorado.
Her mother, Anna Orth, died when Catherine was 12.
So she and her sister, Margaret Brekel, now of Sterling, took over the household - Margaret taking care of the sewing and mending while Catherine did the cooking and baking.
Catherine and Harold are survived by 10 kids. In addition to Opal, the others are Doug, James, Richard and Russ of Boulder; Wayne of Colorado Springs, Don of Castle Rock, Dee Schreiter and Mary Noonan of Westminster and Linda of Longmont.
Other survivors include two brothers: Albert and Lawrence Brekel of Sterling; 21 grandchildren and 10 great- grandchildren.
In addition to their devotion, it was the cooking that cemented the bond between Catherine and Harold.
''When Dad was working the wheat fields, mom would always have dinner warm and waiting for him when he got done,'' Opal said.
''Dad's favorite meal was probably breakfast,'' Opal said. ''We all pretty much had breakfast together - pancakes, eggs, bacon. It wasn't the pancake mix, either. That's the way she was with cake, too. She'd never use a box.'
From “Death of Innocence” released in March 17, 2000
Written by John and Patsy Ramsey
DOI Pg 232
A few days later, another telling story hit the newspapers, reporting that the police had been asking our friends if they owned shoes or boots with the brand SAS or Hi-Tec. We did not own either brand, and the police were trying to explain away the footprint they had found in the cellar near JonBenet's body. Obviously, the SAS or Hi-Tech footprint could be an important piece of evidence.
DOI Pg 373
7. The footprint by JonBenet's body. In the basement room where I found JonBenet, a funguslike mildew grew on the floors and walls due to the moist climate of the room. This room had no windows and was concrete on four sides and on the ceiling. Next to JonBenet's body the killer, I believe, left a clear footprint made by the sole of a Hi-Tec hiking shoe, from the area at the heel where the brand name was stamped. The markings are clear and should further help identify the killer.
From “JonBenet, Inside The Ramsey Investigation”
Released April 11, 2000, written by Steve Thomas
ST Page 236
We spent a long day going over every possible weak point. A Hi-Tec boot print found on the wine cellar floor where the body was discovered had not been identified. Neither had one of the palm prints on the cellar door. The DA's office still refused to allow testing of the
ST Page 237
confusing pubic hair found on the white blanket wrapped around JonBenet.
The Hi-Tec boot print became one of the biggest questions of the investigation. Since Hi- Tecs are popular among cops, a year after the murder I became convinced that a sight-seeing law enforcement officer stepped somewhere he or she shouldn't have on December 26 and didn't want to admit it.
Detective Ron Gosage had the impossible job of trying to identify the origin of the boot print, a nightmare assignment if there ever was one. He contacted more than four hundred people, even construction
ST Page 238
workers who had been in the house five years ago, but did not find the matching print.
I doubted that any member of the Ramsey family would admit to owning a pair of Hi-Tecs, whether they did or not, but Detective Gosage had to ask them. That alerted Team Ramsey, and the defense lawyers and our DA's office soon began insisting that the unknown boot print was left behind by the intruder.
What they didn't know was that lab technicians had found not just one but three different unidentified shoe prints in that little room-the main print and two less pronounced impressions that overlapped each other. We considered that a positive development, for how likely would it be that three intruders carried the body into the room? And the possibilities were great that the print was totally unrelated to the murder. Just because something is found at the site of a murder doesn't mean it is part of the crime.
On a below-freezing winter day, I went with Gosage and another detective to Vail on a tip that a clerk recalled seeing Patsy and JonBenet try on hiking boots at Pepi Sports in that ski resort town. They might have been Hi-Tecs.
A bookkeeper carried in boxes crammed with thousands of receipts for everything from skis to bike rentals, and we hand-searched every one of them. It wasn't the first or the last hand search we made of receipts. In a Home Depot outside of Atlanta, Gosage and I had to check some twenty-five thousand individual records and journal rolls in a vain search for the possible purchase of cord and duct tape. A clerk said she had waited on Patsy Ramsey during such a transaction. We found nothing, and now we were doing it again in Vail.
"Why don't you just subpoena all the credit card records of the Ramseys?" asked the bookkeeper. .
"Long story." I was so tired of that question.
"Is the case as fucked up as it sounds? I mean, they've already finished TWA Flight 800, sentenced McVeigh to death for Oklahoma City, convicted Nichols, and are doing their thing with the Unabomber. Why are you guys taking so long?"
We found no receipts for the Ramseys, but a cash or check transaction would not have listed a name, unlike a credit card sale.
As with the palm print, the most frustrating part of the Hi- Tec hunt was the inexplicable lack of cooperation from other cops.
Two pairs of boots that were among the most difficult to retrieve belonged to Detective Sergeant Larry Mason and Detective Linda
ST Page 239
Arndt, both of whom had been in the house during the first hours. Arndt's clothing had been collected at the crime scene but not her footwear. It took a direct order from Commander Beckner before Arndt and Mason gave up their boots for testing, about a year after the murder, and it took still longer to get their fingerprints. Mason, the on-scene detective supervisor on December 26, had still not submitted a written report of his actions that day when I left after eighteen months.
A reserve sheriff's deputy who wore Hi- Tecs at the crime scene retained a lawyer before talking to Detective Gosage. Then we got the name of another patrol sergeant who had been in the basement that day. That was also a year late. At fourteen months, Gosage found that an FBI agent from Denver had been in the basement and owned Hi-Tecs. The final embarrassment in the Hi- Tec hunt came when Detective Gosage compared the radio log for December 26 with other reports and discovered that a number of boot-wearing law enforcement types had also been at the house but had never "aired out," or given their location, on the radio.
That meant we never really knew which cops, firefighters, paramedics, and sheriff's deputies were there. It seemed that everybody and their damned brother went wandering through the crime scene that day, and running them down was a virtual impossibility.
ST Page 240
The second possibility was that the flashlight was brought in by the intruder, used in the crime, then left behind in his haste to escape. To me, this was not consistent, for he had not hurried about anything else and, according to the intruder theorists, had carefully taken away other pieces of evidence such as the duct tape and cord. Since the flashlight held no fingerprints, did the intruder carefully wipe it down, inside and out, even the batteries, then just forget it? It didn't fit.
Besides its being the Ramseys', what also made sense was the third option, that some cop brought the heavy flashlight inside (they arrived before dawn) and left it on the counter by mistake. It was the Mag-Lite type preferred by policemen. That it bore no fingerprints was consistent with a piece of equipment being handled in cold weather by a cop wearing gloves. But we were unable to trace the serial number. And, like the palm print and Hi-Tec boot print, once the case blew up, no one wanted to claim ownership.
ST Page 271
On February 25 the mayor chewed me out. This politician was meddling in a criminal investigation, probably in violation of the city charter,
ST Page 272
and didn't know what the hell he was talking about, while Commander Beckner sat there watching, doing nothing to defend his detective.
Mayor Bob Greenlee wore khakis, loafers, a blue sports jacket, and no smile when I met him in Beckner's office. "The mayor wants to ask you a few questions," my boss said and retreated to a chair. "Detective," Mayor Greenlee began, all business. "What do you know about Jackie Dilson?" He gave me no chance to respond, and I had to suppress a grin. I knew all about Jackie Dilson, who was a regular visitor to police headquarters with her theory that her boyfriend probably murdered JonBenet.
Greenlee said he had personally met with Miss Dilson. "Did you know, detective, that her boyfriend, Chris Wolf, had Hi-Tec boots that Dilson purchased for him, that are by now undoubtedly in the bottom of some river? ..:
John Ramsey Interview - Atlanta, Georgia - August 29, 2000
Interviewed by: Michael Kane, Bruce Levine, Mitch Morrissey,
Mark Beckner, Tom Wickman, Tom Trujillo and Jane Harmer
Ramsey Representatives Present: Lin Wood, Ollie Gray, John San Augustine
20 THE WITNESS: Yeah, it got really
21 bizarre in the end. That's the kind of
22 thing I've been looking for, and that's what
23 I've learned, yet one of those for every
24 hundred that really are not particularly
1 Michael Helgoth, I know we gave
2 you some boots, Hi-Tec boots, that from my
3 perspective looked like a perfect match to
4 the footprint.
5 We also know he has a stun gun
6 that was an AirTaser. We know he committed
7 suicide the day after Alex Hunter's speech
8 about we know who you are, we are going to
9 get you.
10 There is the another fellow, I
11 don't know his name, but I know Ollie has
12 been working on it that had a shrine of
13 JonBenet prior to '96.
14 MR. TRUJILLO: Mr. Ramsey, let me
15 jump back to Mr. Helgoth for a moment. You
16 said he had boots that you have seen. Have
17 you seen the boots?
18 THE WITNESS: I haven't seen the
19 boots. I saw a picture that Ollie had taken
20 earlier of the footprint compared to the
21 image of the bootprint.
22 Q. (By Mr. Trujillo) That is my
23 question, have you seen the actual crime
24 scene photograph of the boot print there?
25 A. No, no.
1 Q. What image have you seen?
2 MR. WOOD: That is a copy of it.
3 THE WITNESS: I don't know what
4 image I have seen, but it was on the
6 MR. TRUJILLO: Okay. I don't
7 know if this is the boot image of -- oh,
8 here it is, yes.
9 MR. WOOD: This is a copy.
10 MR. TRUJILLO: This is an image
11 off of the internet?
12 THE WITNESS: And yes, I don't
13 know --
14 MS. HARMER: And the internet,
15 the person who put it on the internet is
16 purporting it to be the actual footprint that
17 was found in the cellar?
18 THE WITNESS: Not necessarily.
19 His parents, Helgoth's parents finally turned
20 over his boots, which we turned over to you.
21 I don't know Helgoth. I don't know that
22 name. Whether or not there is any
23 significance there, I don't know.
24 MS. HARMER: I guess I am not
25 clear about where you got this image.
1 THE WITNESS: The --
2 MR. WOOD: Ollie would be able to
3 tell us that.
4 THE WITNESS: Yeah, I don't know.
5 MR. WOOD: The image of the print
6 in the wine cellar.
7 MR. GRAY: I did that comparison
8 with glue.
9 THE WITNESS: But here is a guy
10 that ought to be looked at. I don't know
11 anything else about it, but he certainly
12 meets some of the factors that we find
17 Q. We have been provided, and again,
18 one of the sources of this information is
19 confidential grand jury material I can tell
20 you in the question, but we have been
21 provided information from two sources that
22 your son Burke, prior to the murder of your
23 daughter, owned and wore Hi-Tec boots that
24 had a compass on them, which makes them
1 Do you recall -- if you don't
2 recall that they actually were Hi-Tec, do you
3 remember Burke having boots that had a
4 compass on the laces?
5 A. Vaguely. I don't know if they
6 were boots or tennis shoes. My memory is
7 they were tennis shoes, but that is very
8 vague. He had boots that had lights on them
9 and all sorts of different things.
10 Q. But you do have some recollection
11 that he had some type of footwear that had
12 compasses attached to them?
13 A. I don't, I don't specifically
14 remember them, but my impression is that he
15 did, in my mind, yeah. But my impression
16 was that they were tennis shoes.
17 Q. Sneakers?
18 A. Sneakers. Yeah. Ask Burke if he
19 remembers it.
20 I said, ask Burke, perhaps he --
21 well, we could certainly ask Burke.
1 give them to you.
2 THE WITNESS: My position on stun
3 guns is that the people that have told me
4 that this was likely the case seemed pretty
6 MR. LEVIN: But that, I am sorry,
8 Q. (By Mr. Levin) But that, just a
9 follow up so I am clear, that information is
10 not from this group that was put together
11 after '98. That is some other individuals
12 that precede your June '98 interviews?
13 A. Well, the first time the stun gun
14 came up was in a meeting with Lou Schmidt
15 and Tom was there. I don't remember.
16 MR. WICKMAN: Pete Hoster?
17 MR. LEVIN: Ainesworth?
18 THE WITNESS: And he asked me to
19 keep it very confidential but did we have,
20 did we know anybody that owned a stun gun.
21 That is the first I heard about it. But
22 that was probably in '97.
23 MR. WICKMAN: Yeah.
24 Q. (By Mr. Levin) And since your
25 interviews in '98, there has been a passage
1 of a significant period of time, have you
2 come up with names of people you know that
3 have, that you were associated with, which
4 you know owned stun guns that were unfamiliar
5 with --
6 A. Not the -- I mean, my answer to
7 that back then was I don't know of anybody
8 that I know that owns a stun gun, and I
9 still don't. I mean, we have come up with
10 guys like Helgoth who we know owned the
11 brand that was a suspect, but –
Patsy Ramsey Interview - Atlanta, Georgia - August 28, 2000
Interviewed by: Michael Kane, Bruce Levine, Mitch Morrissey,
Mark Beckner, Tom Wickman, Tom Trujillo and Jane Harmer
Ramsey Representatives Present: Lin Wood, Ollie Gray, John San Augustine
8 Q. Why don't you explain what your
2. 9 belief is concerning her death.
10 MR. WOOD: See, hold on a second.
11 You got one question she is trying to
12 answer, and now you -- are you withdrawing
13 that question?
14 MR. LEVIN: No, I am following it
16 MR. WOOD: Well, but you haven't
17 let her finish the first answer, in fairness,
18 and you are throwing another question out.
19 THE WITNESS: I was going to tell
20 you the rest of what I know.
21 MR. WOOD: And if I go back and
22 look at this record, it looks like she's
23 completed her answer and then you've asked
24 her a new question and you've stopped her in
25 the middle. Do you want her to go back and
1 tell you generally what she's learned --
2 MR. LEVIN: Sure, you can list
4 MR. WOOD: - for the last two
5 years and then you can move to the second
7 Q. (By Mr. Levin) Go ahead.
8 A. Well, I believe that from this
9 group of experts we know the sequence of the
10 way in which she died. I am not sure -- I
11 don't think I know. There may be other
12 things that that group had to present, but
13 that is the one thing that I can remember.
14 Otherwise, I think Mr. Gray has
15 turned over everything, any piece of anything
16 that he thinks is significant to the police
17 department, including just recently a pair of
18 Hi-Tec boots that were obtained from one of
19 the suspects. We don't know what has
20 happened with that since, and we would like
21 to know that.
22 Q. Anything else?
23 A. No.
12 Q. (By Mr. Levin) Other than --
13 well, let's talk about the Hi-Tec boots.
14 You said you believe that a suspect had a
15 pair of Hi-Tec boots that were sent to us.
16 A. (Witness nodded head
18 Q. Who was that?
19 A. His name is Helgother or Gogather.
20 Q. This is the man who committed
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. How is it that your team, for
24 lack of a better word, how is it that your
25 team came into possession of those? Do you
2 A. No, I do not.
3 Q. Have you been told or offered an
5 A. Of how?
6 Q. Of how you got into possession of
7 a pair of boots that belonged to someone who
8 committed suicide several years ago.
9 A. I believe Mr. Gray obtained them.
10 Q. I don't believe that I have ever
11 heard you discuss him as a potential suspect
12 in this case. Can you tell us what
13 information you are in possession of that
14 causes you to hold that belief?
15 A. I understand that he committed
16 suicide on the 14th day of February '97. He
17 was in the possession of a stun gun, and we
18 believe, as best we can tell, that it was an
19 AirTaser stun gun, and that apparently
20 matches the markings that were found on
21 JonBenet's body. And he owned a pair of
22 Hi-Tec boots that appeared to be the same
23 size as the footprint found at the crime
25 Q. That information, I am assuming,
1 comes from the work that was done by Mr.
2 Gray? Is that the source of that? If I
3 am incorrect, tell me what the source is.
4 A. Yes, I think.
5 MR. LEVIN: Mitch or Mike, do you
6 want to do some more on their investigation?
7 MR. KANE: Sure.
8 Q. (By Mr. Kane) Let me just follow
9 up the last question. What was the name of
10 the suspect?
11 A. It is an unusual name. It is
12 Helgoth or Golgath.
13 MR. WOOD: I think you all asked
14 her about him in June of 1998 by name.
15 Michael Helgoth.
16 MR. LEVIN: For the Reporter, I
17 believe it's H-e-l-g-o-t-h.
18 THE WITNESS: Lin just said it is
19 Michael Helgoth.
20 Q. (By Mr. Kane) What else do you
21 know about Mr. Helgoth?
22 A. That is all, that is all I know.
23 Q. Did you ever hear that name
25 A. No.
1 Q. It was not somebody who was known
2 to your family?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Besides Mr. Gray, do you have any
5 information, has anyone else given you any
6 information about him?
7 A. Not that I can think of, no.
8 Q. Besides the fact -- where did
9 you --
10 Did Mr. Gray tell you that he had
11 an AirTaser stun gun on him when he
12 committed suicide?
13 A. Yes. I believe there is a
14 photograph that he had.
15 Q. And was it Mr. Gray who told you
16 that he had Hi-Tec boots? Was he wearing
17 those? I am sorry, that is a double
18 question. Was it Mr. Gray who told you that
19 he had Hi-Tec boots?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And was he wearing them at the
22 time? Is that your understanding?
23 A. I don't know that.
24 Q. Outside of the fact that he
25 committed suicide, he had a pair of Hi-Tec
1 boots, and an AirTaser, is there any other
2 information you have that connects him to
3 this crime?
4 A. Not that I have, no.
5 Q. (By Mr. Morrissey) Have you seen
6 this photograph where Mr. Helgoth has the
7 stun gun? Have you actually seen that
9 A. No, I don't believe so.
10 Q. (By Mr. Kane) Do you know how
11 Mr. Gray came into possession of these boots?
12 A. I don't know exactly, no.
13 MR. WOOD: I think that was
14 explained in a memo to Chief Beckner by Mr.
15 Gray that he sent to him in the last couple
16 of weeks.
17 THE WITNESS: You all have the
18 boots now.
19 MR. KANE: That wasn't my
20 question. I want to know what you know
21 about those.
22 Q. (By Mr. Kane) So you don't know
23 how he came into possession of those boots?
24 A. I think he said he might have
25 gotten them from a family member, or --
1 Q. When did you learn this?
2 A. Some time ago. A couple of
3 months ago.
4 Q. And was that the first time you
5 heard about Mr. Helgoth having Hi-Tec boots?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. All right. And did you learn
8 about that in a personal conversation with
9 Mr. Gray or did you learn it indirectly
10 through somebody else?
11 A. I think I probably heard it from
13 Q. Have you ever talked to Mr. Gray
14 about those Hi-Tec boots?
15 A. Yes.
1 MR. WOOD: That assumes that
2 lawyers are people. Some would disagree that
3 they are sharks or whatever.
4 Q. (By Mr. Levin) In June of 1998,
5 you were interviewed by the Boulder D.A.'s
6 office; right?
7 A. That was Hannay, Mr. Hannay.
8 Q. Yes. Mr. DeMouth?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Prior to commencing that
11 interview, did you know that identifying the
12 source of the Hi-Tec shoes was a priority
13 for the investigation? That would be more
14 than two years after, a year and a half
15 after your daughter's murder.
16 MR. WOOD: Are you asking her if
17 she knew what was a priority in your all,
18 the investigator's minds?
19 MR. LEVIN: No, no, no. In her
20 mind. Did she believe --
21 Q. (By Mr. Levin) Did you believe,
22 and if I didn't throw that in, I thought it
23 was clear, did you believe that, in the
24 course of the investigation, that identifying
25 the source of the Hi-Tec shoes was important?
1 A. Well, I would think it is
2 important, yes. I mean, I can't remember at
3 that time if I knew about the Hi-Tec shoes
4 or not. I don't remember when all that
6 Q. You have since then, since 1998,
7 become aware that the source of the Hi-Tec
8 shoes is important?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You know that today?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And you thought that one of the
13 things that made Helgoth viable was the fact
14 that you believe he had Hi-Tec shoes?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. Have you, whether it was before
17 the interview in 1998 or subsequent to the
18 interview in 1998, have you personally made
19 attempts to find possible sources for the
20 Hi-Tec shoe impression?
21 A. You mean like ask around if
22 anybody had --
23 Q. Pick up the phone and call some
24 friends, for example.
25 A. I didn't, no.
1 Q. Had you at any time, for example,
2 some of the kids, like the Colby kids ever
3 come over, did you ever go and just pick up
4 the phone or walk across the alley and say,
5 do you guys have Hi-Tec shoes? Did you ever
6 do anything like that?
7 MR. WOOD: You are assuming she
8 may have learned about it at the time she
9 still lived there. She told you she wasn't
10 sure when she first learned that.
11 THE WITNESS: No, I did not call
12 the Colbys to ask if their children had --
13 Q. (By Mr. Levin) Whether it was
14 from Boulder or Atlanta?
15 A. Right.
16 Q. Okay. Did you sit down and
17 discuss with Burke at any length whether or
18 not he ever had Hi-Tec shoes?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Did it cross your mind that he
21 might be the source of that, for the Hi-Tec
23 A. No. Because my understanding was
24 that it was an adult footprint. He was nine
25 years old at the time.
1 Q. Do you know the source of your
2 belief that it was an adult's foot,
4 A. Whoever told me about it or
5 wherever I learned it in the first place.
6 Q. Did you get any details concerning
7 how much of a shoe impression was present?
8 A. No. It was just a footprint.
9 Q. Did you take that to, to be a
10 full footprint, and by that I mean like a
11 shoe, a complete shoe impression?
12 A. That is what I imagined, yes.
13 Q. And that, whether you were told
14 that directly or you just assumed that, you
15 believe is the source of your belief that it
16 was an adult's shoe?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You have been asked about whether
19 or not anyone in your family owns Hi-Tec
20 shoes or ever owned Hi-Tec shoes?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And I am not restating a
23 question, Mr. Wood. And do you recall you
24 said no one ever did?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You have had -- and that was in
2 '98, more than two years ago. You have had
3 an opportunity to, now that you are in
4 possession of knowledge causing you to
5 believe this is a significant fact in the
6 investigation, you have had almost, we will
7 assume, at least a year to rethink that.
8 Have you given it some thought as to maybe
9 someone in the family had Hi-Tec shoes?
10 MR. WOOD: Are you asking her
11 whether she thought about whether somebody in
12 the family -- I mean, all of the prefatory
13 comments leading up to that.
14 Is the question, since June of
15 1998, Ms. Ramsey, have you given any thought
16 as to whether someone in your family had
17 Hi-Tec shoes?
18 MR. LEVIN: That is correct.
19 That is the question.
20 MR. WOOD: All right. You can
21 answer that question.
22 THE WITNESS: No.
23 Q. (By Mr. Levin) Did you try, in
24 your mind, and perhaps to assist your
25 investigator, identify sources close to your
1 family that might be the origin of the
2 Hi-Tec shoe impression?
3 A. I think, you know, I may have
4 asked Susan if she had ever seen any. I
5 mean, I didn't, I don't know what a Hi-Tec
6 boot looks like, per se. I have tried to
7 kind of, as I am in shoe stores, look around
8 trying to see what, what's the significance
9 and special about a Hi-Tec boot, and I
10 haven't, haven't even seen any yet. But I
11 may have asked Susan, did you know anybody
12 that looked like they wore Hi-Tec shoe,
13 boots, or whatever.
14 Q. Do you recall a period of time,
15 prior to 1996, when your son Burke purchased
16 a pair of hiking boots that had compasses on
17 the shoelaces? And if it helps to
18 remember --
19 A. I can't remember.
20 Q. Maybe this will help your
21 recollection. They were shoes that were
22 purchased while he was shopping with you in
24 MR. WOOD: Are you stating that
25 as a fact?
1 MR. LEVIN: I am stating that as
2 a fact.
3 Q. (By Mr. Levin) Does that help
4 refresh your recollection as to whether he
5 owned a pair of shoes that had compasses on
7 A. I just can't remember. Bought so
8 many shoes for him.
9 Q. And again, I will provide, I'll
10 say, I'll say this as a fact to you, that,
11 and maybe this will help refresh your
12 recollection, he thought that -- the shoes
13 were special because they had a compass on
14 them, his only exposure for the most part to
15 compasses had been in the plane and he kind
16 of liked the idea of being able to point
17 them different directions. Do you remember
18 him doing that with the shoes?
19 A. I can't remember the shoes. I
20 remember he had a compass thing like a
21 watch, but I can't remember about the shoes.
22 Q. You don't remember him having
23 shoes that you purchased with compasses on
25 MR. WOOD: She will tell you that
1 one more time. Go ahead and tell him, and
2 this will be the third time.
3 THE WITNESS: I can't remember.
4 Q. (By Mr. Levin) Okay. Does it
5 jog your memory to know that the shoes with
6 compasses were made by Hi-Tec?
7 MR. WOOD: Are you stating that
8 as a fact?
9 MR. LEVIN: Yes. I am stating
10 that as a fact.
11 THE WITNESS: No, I didn't know
13 Q. (By Mr. Levin) I will state this
14 as a fact. There are two people who have
15 provided us with information, including your
16 son, that he owned Hi-Tec shoes prior to the
17 murder of your daughter.
18 MR. WOOD: You are stating that
19 Burke Ramsey has told you he owned Hi-Tec
21 MR. LEVIN: Yes.
22 MR. WOOD: He used the phrase
24 MR. LEVIN: Yes.
25 MR. WOOD: When?
1 MR. LEVIN: I can't, I can't give
2 you the source. I can tell you that I have
3 that information.
4 MR. WOOD: You said Burke told
6 MR. LEVIN: I can't quote it to
7 you for reasons I am sure, as an attorney,
8 you are aware.
9 MR. WOOD: Just so it is clear,
2. 10 there is a difference between you saying that
11 somebody said Burke told them and Burke
12 telling you because Burke has been
13 interviewed by you all December of 1996,
14 January of 1997, June of 1998.
15 Are you saying that it is within
16 those interviews?
17 MR. LEVIN: No.
18 MR. WOOD: So he didn't tell you,
19 he told somebody else you are stating as a
20 fact because I don't think you all have
21 talked to him other than those occasions,
22 have you?
23 MR. KANE: Mr. Wood, we don't
24 want to get into grand jury information.
1 MR. WOOD: Okay.
2 MR. KANE: Fair enough?
3 MR. LEVIN: I am sorry, I should
4 have been more direct. I thought you would
5 understand --
6 Q. (By Mr. Levin) Fleet Junior also
2. 7 says that he had Hi-Tec shoes.
8 A. Okay. Now --
9 Q. Does that jog your memory?
10 A. Is, are you talking like Hi-Tec
11 like --
12 Q. The brand name.
13 A. These are really high tech or the
14 brand name? Did the children understand the
15 difference, or are they --
16 Q. I was talking brand name.
17 A. They knew like a brand name like
18 Nike, whatever?
19 Q. Yes, yes, ma'am.
20 A. Okay.
21 Q. That doesn't jog your recollection
22 at all?
23 A. No.
24 MR. WOOD: You are answering no
25 for the reporter?
1 THE WITNESS: No, it does not.
2 MR. WOOD: You gave it a nod of
3 the head.
4 Q. (By Mr. Morrissey) Just so we
5 are clear, these boys may have referred to
6 them as boots. Does that make any
7 difference to you as far as distinguishing
8 between shoes and boots?
9 MR. WOOD: She would have to see
10 what those boys said in context, in all
11 fairness, Mitch, before she can comment on
12 what they might have meant and how it
13 affects her.
14 THE WITNESS: I mean, I just, I
15 can't remember shoes with compasses, and I
16 don't know all of the brand names of all the
17 shoes that I buy for my children. So --
18 Q. (By Mr. Morrissey) And I am just
19 asking do you remember a pair of boots with
21 MR. WOOD: For the fourth time
23 THE WITNESS: I don't remember
24 compasses on any shoes.
25 MR. WOOD: Fair enough. Shoes,
1 boots, compasses.
2 THE WITNESS: I have a picture in
3 my mind of a compass on a watch, but --
4 Q. (By Mr. Morrissey) Shoes, boots,
5 you don't remember a compass on footwear?
6 A. No, I can't.
25 Q. (By Mr. Kane) You said at one
1 point you might have asked Susan. Are you
2 talking about Susan Stein?
3 A. Uh-huh (affirmative).
4 Q. You said you might have asked
5 her. Do you have any recollection of asking
6 her about Hi-Tec? Is there anything that
7 makes you think that you might have asked
8 that? What made you --
9 A. Well, we just spent quite a lot
10 of time together, and she is very interested
11 in the case. And we kind of hung around
12 the same people.
13 Q. Uh-huh (affirmative).
14 A. And I could have asked her, you
15 know, do you know anybody with Hi-Tec boots
16 or something.
17 Q. But you don't have any specific
18 recollection of that?
19 A. I don't specifically remember
20 saying that.
21 Q. Okay. Is this the first time
22 that you've heard that Burke says that he
23 had Hi-Tec?
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 Q. This is the very first time?
1 A. Yes.
7 THE WITNESS: Well, I can't
8 remember names because some of them I hadn't
9 known before, but a lot of information has
10 come up that has been very interesting. I
11 mean --
12 CHIEF BECKNER: Let me ask you
13 this. Do you recall seeing any of the
14 names, you don't have to tell me the name,
15 that said, ah, we know that person?
16 THE WITNESS: Well, of course
17 they looked at Bill McReynolds. We know
18 that person. They looked at Linda Hoffman
19 Pugh, the housekeeper, and some family
20 members of hers. They looked at Chris Wolf,
21 of course. You know, and then there are
22 some people that have a record, you know,
23 that are kind of not so nice people like
24 this Helgoth and -- I mean, there are lots
25 of other names like that.
1 MR. WOOD: How many names, Ollie,
2 are we talking about? How many names would
3 you state right now?
4 MR. GRAY: That I would recommend
5 them look at or something?
6 MR. WOOD: Yes.
7 MR. GRAY: There are probably
9 MR. WOOD: Other than the ones
10 that Patsy just went through?
11 MR. GRAY: Yes.
12 MR. WOOD: I am familiar with
13 names, and I don't remember them, Chief.
14 That is why I say, if you want us to get
15 the names. Have they been provided to the
17 MR. GRAY: Probably all except
18 the last couple, the Westminster that I told
19 you about and that kind of stuff.
20 MR. LEVIN: I would suggest that,
21 if we are talking six or eight people, that,
22 when we finish with Mrs. Ramsey and get
23 Mr. Ramsey, perhaps you or your investigator
24 could get that list and we could talk about
25 it then.
1 MR. WOOD: Okay.
2 MR. LEVIN: Just for purposes of
3 keeping things going.
4 MR. WOOD: Is that all right?
5 CHIEF BECKNER: That's fine, but
6 nothing sticks out in your mind in terms
7 of --
8 THE WITNESS: Well, the most
9 recent thing that sticks out in my mind is
10 that Ollie obtained the Hi-Tec boots that
11 belonged to Helgoth, and that was very, you
12 know, surprising to me that he came up with
13 those. And I just am real curious as to
14 whether that -- you know, I don't know how
15 much of a footprint you all have, but does
16 it match and what have you done with that.
17 CHIEF BECKNER: That is something
18 we are still looking into.
19 Was Helgoth known, when that name
20 came up, was Helgoth somebody you knew prior
21 to this investigation?
22 THE WITNESS: I don't know. I
23 don't know what his business was or -- I
24 don't know any more about him than that.
25 CHIEF BECKNER: The reason I am
1 asking, one of the theories, obviously, is,
2 if this is an intruder, they had to know the
3 family pretty well, they had to know the
4 house, the layout of the house, they had to
5 know some things about the family based on
6 what was in the note, those kind of things.
7 MR. WOOD: And they could have
8 otherwise learned all of that when they were
9 there like they were in September of '97 for
10 several hours when the family was away?
11 There is a chance that everything in that
12 note in terms of the family could have been
13 gleaned from different things in the house if
14 somebody had been in there, so it is not
15 exclusive the idea that somebody had to know
16 the family, while I understand where you are
17 coming from.
18 THE WITNESS: Oh, no, I'm –
19 MR. WOOD: You've got another
20 incident in Boulder nine months later, in all
21 fairness, where someone did camp out in the
23 CHIEF BECKNER: That hasn't been
25 MR. WOOD: That is what the
1 parents say.
2 CHIEF BECKNER: That's what they
3 believe, yes, but that doesn't --
4 MR. WOOD: And they believe it to
5 this day, from what I'm told, concluding that
6 their daughter was a petite, small
7 14-year-old, didn't necessarily look her age.
8 THE WITNESS: And the girl who
9 was molested, this same incident, and
10 JonBenet attended the same dancing school.
11 CHIEF BECKNER: Right. We know
13 THE WITNESS: So there could
14 be --
15 MR. WOOD: I think that is
16 probably something that we want -- one of
17 the people that you may or may not have,
18 what we understand, have not talked to, the
19 person who works there.
20 CHIEF BECKNER: At the dance
22 MR. WOOD: Right.
23 CHIEF BECKNER: I don't know. I
24 can't answer that.
25 THE WITNESS: I mean, that could
1 be --
2 MR. WOOD: If you can't answer
3 it, it is kind of hard for her to be able
4 to, in all fairness.
5 CHIEF BECKNER: In terms of
6 whether we talked to that particular person
7 you talked about. We talked to over 600
9 THE WITNESS: But there could be
10 a situation there that I didn't know that
11 this particular person, but he, you know, saw
12 JonBenet and found out where we lived or
14 MR. LEVIN: Mrs. Ramsey, I think
15 the question, and let me see if I can make
16 it very simple, that the chief was getting
17 at was Mr. Helgoth's name, was that a name
18 that was prior to the murder of your
19 daughter? I know since then you've became
20 familiar with it, but prior to the murder of
21 your daughter, was that a name you were
22 familiar with?
23 THE WITNESS: No.
Ramseys give police Hi-Tec boots
August 31, 2000
Ramseys give police Hi-Tec boots
August 31, 2000
By Christopher Anderson
Camera Staff Writer
Among information John and Patsy Ramsey provided to police this month are a pair of Hi-Tec boots obtained by one of the couple's private investigators.
Colorado Springs private detective Ollie Gray said Wednesday he believes the size 8½ leather and nylon boots could be the ones that JonBenét's killer wore inside the Ramsey home where the little girl was found dead.
Gray, who was present during police questioning of the Ramseys this week, said he turned the boots over to police on Aug. 4. He said police asked him questions about the boots in the interviews. Gray said he wants police to compare the soles of the boots to the footprint at the crime scene.
"There is a good possibility they could match," Gray said.
Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner said he ordered the boots to be analyzed at the Colorado Bureau of Investigation lab.
"If you look at them, they look pretty close," he said. "You really can't tell."
But Beckner said he is waiting for the lab results before he gets too excited about the possible lead.
"We've had other boots that looked like they matched as well," he said. The footprint remains one of the mysteries of the unsolved December 1996 beating and strangulation death of JonBenét Ramsey.
Police found a partial footprint with the words "Hi Tec" in the basement of the Ramsey home.
Police cannot say whom it belongs to or when it was left. The Ramseys did not own a similar shoe.
Some say the footprint could have been left behind by a construction worker or plumber when the house was under renovation, or inadvertently by a police officer who worked the crime scene. Others, including the Ramseys, have said they believe it could have been from an intruder who killed their daughter.
Gray said he obtained the boots in the Boulder area in about mid- to late July "in the course of the investigation."
He said they belong to an individual, whom he would not identify publicly because he said he doesn't want the person to be labeled a suspect until the lead has been investigated. But he said he did give police the full information about where and how he obtained the boots.
"We don't have the slightest idea of what they have done with it," Gray said.
In fact, Gray said, the Ramseys have provided police with several pages of reports and possible leads for them to follow up, including information given to them in May. Gray said he evaluates the information first so he doesn't hand over "superfluous" information.
But he said police never give him feedback on what they have done with the information he provides them.
Beckner said he shares general information with the Ramseys' private investigators from time to time, but never specifics about evidence.
"We don't share case information with them because they work for people under suspicion who could be involved in this crime," Beckner said.
Among other physical evidence discussed in this week's interviews were fiber evidence found in a paint tray, JonBenét's underwear and a garrote used to strangle her. Police asked about the discovery of a red fiber recovered near JonBenét's body, possibly matching Patsy Ramseys red and black jacket. But the Ramseys' attorney objected to the questioning.
Wood quoted prosecutor Michael Kane as saying, "Fibers that appear to match some article were found in such-and-such a location, how do you explain that?" Wood said, "I wanted to make sure we really had a factual situation and not a hypothetical."
Wood also objected to a question about the family's security arrangements for their son Burke, now 13, as he traveled back and forth to school in 1997, a year after the slaying.
Boulder police and prosecutors had hoped to ask the Ramseys questions about their book, "The Death of Innocence" which they promoted this year through several television interviews.
Gray said the interviews were hampered by prosecutor Michael Kane's "aggressive" style.
"I thought for the most part the interviews were productive," Gray said. "I thought there was a good exchange by the Ramseys."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
August 31, 2000
Boots' owner was tested by police
September 1, 2000
Boots' owner was tested by police
September 1, 2000
By Christopher Anderson
Camera Staff Writer
A pair of Hi-Tec boots being examined as part of the JonBenét Ramsey investigation belong to a man who committed suicide in 1997, police said Thursday.
Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner said detectives took DNA samples from the person in 1997 and learned it does not match DNA found at the Ramsey crime scene.
Although police said they do not think the man was involved in the December 1996 killing of JonBenét, Beckner ordered the size 8½ boots tested this month just to be "thorough."
A partial footprint from a Hi-Tec boot was found at the Ramsey crime scene and remains unexplained. The Ramseys did not own that brand of shoe.
Ollie Gray, a private investigator working for John and Patsy Ramsey, gave police the boots Aug. 4 and answered police questions about them during a police interview with the Ramseys this week.
The Ramseys remain under police suspicion in the death of their daughter, but they maintain that an intruder killed their JonBenét.
Gray, who obtained the boots in July, said police never told him they ruled the person out through DNA.
He questions which DNA samples from the Ramsey crime scene they used to do the comparison and how thorough their examination was.
Gray said the boots are one of several pieces of information the Ramseys have given to police for follow-up. He said he wants to protect the dead man's identity unless the man becomes a suspect in the killing.
September 1, 2000
"Hiking Boots May Track JonBenet Killer"
Fox News, Wednesday, September 6, 2000
"Hiking Boots May Track JonBenet Killer" Fox News, Wednesday, September 6, 2000
DENVER — Four years after her grisly death, will tracks from a pair of hiking boots lead the way to JonBenet Ramsey's killer?
According to her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, a partial footprint found next to JonBenet's body may match a pair of black, Hi-Tech brand boots found in the room of a man they have named as a suspect in the killing.
The bootprint appeared in mold on the basement floor where JonBenet was found, and showed a Hi-Tech logo which investigators say is the same size as the one on the man's boots.
The man also owned a stun gun, and the Ramseys have long believed a stun gun was used on 6-year-old JonBenet before she was bludgeoned and strangled to death in the basement of their Boulder, Colo., home in the early hours of Dec. 26, 1996.
Further implicating this individual, claim the Ramseys, is the fact that he committed suicide on Valentine's Day, 1997 — one day after Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter vowed on national television that he would catch JonBenet's killer.
Ollie Gray, the Ramsey's private investigator and legal consultant, turned the boots over to Boulder police last week, during the Ramseys' interviews with Boulder authorities in Atlanta.
Gray said he felt the team of investigators who met with the Ramseys in Atlanta appeared more willing to consider suspects other than the Ramseys — who have remained the chief suspects in the case for the past four years.
"There were some people [in Atlanta] that were very professional," Gray said. "I think they really want to solve the case but I don't think they can solve the case until they quit just looking at John and Patsy Ramsey," he said.
But just how seriously the police will take this new lead remains to be seen. According to Boulder police, the man was cleared of the killing early in the case on DNA evidence. They will not release the name of the deceased man because authorities say he is not considered a suspect.
From www.webbsleuths.com Forum
Thread titled, “Boot Man, not a good Suspect”
From www.webbsleuths.com Forum
Thread titled, “Boot Man, not a good Suspect”
"Boot Man, not a good suspect"
Posted by MaskedMan on Sep-07-00 at 11:29 PM (EST)
After talking with the family of the so-called Boot Man, I don't consider him a realistic suspect in the murder of JonBenet. It's also questionable whether he killed himself. His death may have been a murder, not a suicide.
The man had no connection whatsoever with the Ramseys. He lived far from their home, and his path never seems to have crossed theirs. He wasn't in their social circle or economic class. He never worked for them. He appears to have had no way of knowing of JonBenet's existence before the murder. He never expressed any knowledge of the Ramseys, he never showed any interest in JonBenet's murder and he wasn't anxious about the case. It's doubtful that he killed himself because of Alex Hunter's press conference.
The man has no criminal record. He wasn't depressed before his death, and he had no history of suicide attempts. He was a collector of weapons and military paraphenalia. The stun gun was part of his collection.
A family member told me that the attempt to link his death to the Ramsey case is "absolutely ludicrous." Based on what I've learned, I think this man is a very unlikely suspect in the Ramsey case. His DNA reportedly doesn't match the foreign DNA in the case. I don't think he killed JonBenet.
From www.webbsleuths.com Forum
Thread titled, “Boot Man, not a good Suspect”
2 . "no guardians"
Posted by MaskedMan on Sep-07-00 at 11:58 PM (EST)
He didn't really have any "guardians," even though that word was used in the obituary. He was living in a house with relatives at the time of his death. They wanted to be mentioned in the obituary, so they were called "guardians," for some reason.
He was starting his own business at the time he died. He didn't appear to be depressed or concerned with the Ramsey case in any way. His family suspects foul play in his death
From www.webbsleuths.com Forum
Thread titled, “Boot Man, not a good Suspect”
4 . "murder or suicide?"
Posted by MaskedMan on Sep-08-00 at 00:19 AM (EST)
The man was shot at a strange angle through his chest. It isn't the normal way to shoot oneself during a suicide. The shooting seems unlikely for a suicide. So, he may have been shot by someone else (or, maybe it was an accidental shooting, for all I know).
The theory that he killed himself as a result of Hunter's press conference is far-fetched. There's no evidence for that notion. It's even questionable that he committed suicide. I don't see any reason to suspect him. His DNA has been ruled out as a match to the foreign DNA. This lead doesn't seem to be going anywhere.
From www.webbsleuths.com Forum
Thread titled, “Boot Man, not a good Suspect”
31 . "little reason for suspicion"
Posted by MaskedMan on Sep-08-00 at 12:07 PM (EST)
I'm not privy to the police's reasoning, but since Boot Man was being mentioned as a possible suspect, the police were willing to check him out (perhaps only to satisfy suspicions). Since his DNA doesn't match, this man doesn't even meet the Ramseys' standards for a feasible suspect. So, why should the police pursue him further?
The BPD deserves credit for checking out leads brought to them. Last month, the BPD also compared palmprints from another case. I'm glad the police are being responsive and making some effort.
I didn't say the man lived "too far away." Of course, anyone can drive across town. He lived and worked on Valmont, on the gritty northeast edge of town, in a poorer area, far from the Ramseys. If the man had lived or worked near the Ramseys' neighborhood (where he might have encountered JonBenet), I would consider him a more feasible suspect. I'm just pointing out the lack of connection.
I don't think there is any link between this man and the Ramseys. The Ramseys' investigators have evidently found no link. Sure, as you say, predatory pedophiles may grab a child that they see on the street, but there's no evidence that Boot Man would do that. And that's not what happened to JonBenet. The perpetrator appears to have had some knowledge of the Ramseys.
I don't think Boot Man had any contact or knowledge of the Ramseys. That's an important element in evaluating a possible suspect. Plus, his DNA doesn't match. And I don't think Hunter's press conference would have pushed anyone to commit suicide. His stun gun is irrelevant because I doubt that one was used on JonBenet. So, what does that leave to make him a good suspect? Not much.
From www.webbsleuths.com Forum
John Kenady Arrest Report
2 . "arrest report"
Posted by jams on Oct-24-00 at 06:21 PM (EST)
On July 24th, Doug and Rita Helgoth reorted a burglary at their house - door kicked in - and Rita said she suspected John Kenady, a friend of her deceased son, might have been involved.
three framed drawings
Check made out to Doug Helgoth from his mother's account - for $54,000
deed of trust and legal description of property held elsewhere by the family
Kenady had asked someone to make copies of the papers, that was noticed by someone else and that information made its way back to the Helgoths.
Other papers copied included a check for $12.00, master card bills belonging to the Helgoths, and some insurance papers.
On October 10th, Kenady's home was searched by the Boulder Sheriff's department - the papers retrieved and he apparently admitted that he entered the home because he felt he was helping solve the Ramsey case.
4 . "Affidavit for arrest warrant"
Posted by jams on Oct-24-00 at 06:42 PM (EST)
break in took place between 7:30 on July 24th and 11:20 on the 25th.
The warrant listed what he took and said he apparently didn't enter the second bedroom -- the money, watches and diamond jewelry on the dresser in there was not touched.
I think that may speak to the motive of Kenady - - the diamonds and cash obviously had nothing to do with Michael Helgoth or the Ramsey murder.
Rita Helgoth immediately said she suspected 46 year old Kenady of the crime - - because the drawings were taken.
The deputy noted in the affidavit that the thief took things with little or no street value - - like the deed of trust - while leaving valuable items there. Noted was "a number of heavy, high quality athletic coats which would be easily disposed of on the street for a fairly high dollar value".
Warrant says that detective contacted BPD officer Pelle because he knew Pelle knew about the situation. Pelle said yes, he knew Helgoth had been friends with Kenady and Kenady felt Michael Helgoth might be the killer of JonBenét Ramsey. He also stated that Kenady had had some mental problems.
5 . "more from affidavit"
Posted by jams on Oct-24-00 at 07:00 PM (EST)
Detective set up meeting with Kenady and his attorney on September 20th - - he didn't want to speak to the detectives - wanted immunity agreement.
September 29th the detective got information on the friend copying the documents - I see no reason to make her name public. She was making the copies in a business establishment owned by some of her relatives. They reported it to the Helgoths.
Apparently those people reported that the friend was paid to make the copies and was asked to wear gloves.
Also included - - army and medical records for Michael Helgoth and photographs
Suspect facing burglary charges
John Edward Kenady Arrested - October 25, 2000
October 10th Breaking into Michael Helgoth’s House
Suspect facing burglary charges
By Christopher Anderson
Camera Staff Writer
A Lafayette man charged with burglary and theft of a Boulder County home told sheriff's deputies he was investigating the unsolved 1996 JonBenét Ramsey homicide.
The suspect in the case is John Edward Kenady, 47, the same person who this summer handed over a pair of Hi-Tec boots to private investigators working for John and Patsy Ramsey.
Boulder police are testing the boots at the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, but do not think they are related to the case.
The source of a partial Hi-Tec bootprint inside the couple's home is one of many unanswered questions in the investigation into the Dec. 1996 homicide of 6-year-old JonBenét Ramsey.
And while the boots Kenady gave investigators belonged to a former resident of the house he allegedly broke into, Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner said Monday the boots are not among the items Kenady is accused of stealing.
Kenady was arrested in Longmont Oct. 10 in connection with breaking into a home in the 4900 block of Valmont Road in July.
He told sheriff's deputies that Boulder Police Detectives Cmdr. Joe Pelle gave him permission to enter the home in the name of investigating the Ramsey case. Pelle said he never gave Kenady permission to break into the home. Kenady also said he feared evidence would be lost because the house was supposed to be demolished.
Police suspect Kenady of kicking in a rear door to the home and taking with him three "drafting quality drawings," a $54,000 check and legal papers including a deed of trust.
Diamond jewelry, several watches and money in one bedroom were untouched, according to police reports.
The home is owned by the family of a deceased man the Ramseys' investigators have said may have been involved with the beating and strangulation death of their daughter.
The deceased man shot himself in the chest Feb. 14, 1997, the day after Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter held a national press conference in which he said the field of suspects had narrowed and vowed to bring the little girl's killer to justice.
The man also may have owned a stun gun, which the Ramseys' suspect may have been used in their daughter's death, according to public records.
The Ramseys remain under police suspicion in their daughter's death, but have repeatedly said they did not kill their daughter and that police should be looking for an intruder. They have moved from their 755 15th St. home and now reside in Atlanta.
Kenady, who was friends with the deceased man, said he suspected him of having some involvement in the killing, but did not say why, according to police reports.
The documents stolen from the home were found in Kenady's possession. The drawings belonged to the deceased man.
Officers at the Boulder Police Department and the Boulder County Sheriff's Office said Kenady may be mentally impaired from a car accident.
Kenady's attorney, Karin Dostal, said her client is mentally competent.
She said she would not comment on the case other than to say, "There are certain things that will come out later."
Kenady was charged Oct. 13 and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Nov. 8, which will likely to be rescheduled.
Ollie Gray, an investigator for the Ramseys, said a family member gave Kenady the boots. Kenady gave Gray the boots through an attorney. Gray turned them over to police in August and answered police questions about them during an interview with the Ramseys in Atlanta at the end of August.
Contact Christopher Anderson at (303) 473-1355 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 25, 2000
Police: Boots not connected to Ramsey case
November 21, 2000
Police: Boots not connected to Ramsey case
By Christopher Anderson Camera Staff Writer
A pair of Hi-Tec boots given to Boulder police in August are not connected to the unsolved 1996 JonBenét Ramsey case, Chief Mark Beckner said Monday.
A private investigator for the girl's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, gave the boots to police in August believing they could match a partial Hi-Tec footprint found on a basement floor next to 6-year-old JonBenét's beaten and strangled body.
Beckner ordered the boots to be tested at the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. The results came back about two weeks ago.
"The boots do not match," Beckner said Monday.
The chief also said DNA tests and interviews with friends and family of the man who owned the boots led police to conclude the man was not involved in the little girl's mysterious killing.
"There is nothing that ties this guy into the case," Beckner said.
Ollie Gray, the private investigator who gave the boots to police, said he discussed the test results with Beckner but is not convinced.
Gray said Beckner did not give him specifics about how the boots were compared to the partial print, what tests were run or who police interviewed.
"What did they do with the hairs and fiber that were in the boots? Did they compare them?" Gray asked. "I am just not satisfied with what Beckner said."
Police have repeatedly said they are limited in how much information about the investigation can be released.
The boots tested at CBI originally belonged to a Boulder County man who committed suicide Feb. 14, 1997, the day after District Attorney Alex Hunter declared at a press conference that investigators were narrowing the list of suspects in the Ramsey case.
Gray believes the stress of a possible arrest may have caused JonBenét's killer to commit suicide.
In July, John Edward Kenady, 47, a friend of the dead man, gave the boots to Gray, saying he suspected his friend may have been involved in the killing. Kenady is facing theft and burglary charges relating to other items found in his possession that belonged to his former friend.
On Dec. 26, 1996, JonBenét Ramsey's slain body was found in the basement of her family's home. Her parents remain under police suspicion. Hunter signed an affidavit last month for the Ramseys' attorney stating that JonBenét's brother, Burke, was never a suspect in the case. The Ramseys have repeatedly denied any involvement in their daughter's death and believe an intruder killed the young girl.
They point to the unexplained partial Hi-Tec boot print as possible proof of an intruder. Others have said the partial print could have been left behind by a law enforcement officer or someone else working on the crime scene that day.
Contact Christopher Anderson at (303) 473-1355 or email@example.com.
November 21, 2000
Ghost of Christmas Past, by Jeffrey Scott Shapiro
Obsessed reporter reveals dark under world behind Ramsey case
Ghost of Christmas Past
Obsessed reporter reveals dark under world behind Ramsey case
- - - - - - - - - - - -
by Jeffrey Scott Shapiro (Editorial@boulderweekly.com)
More on this article here:
EXCERPT FROM ARTICLE RE: BOOTS
As I wrestled with my personal investigation of Wolf, I heard about "Boots." Once upon a time, Boots lived with a local woman and her 4-year-old blonde daughter, until the two had an explosive argument that led to their break-up. The woman accused the man of masturbating under his blanket while her daughter was sitting on his bed. Boots lived in a small shack at a local junkyard on Valmont Road, where he also worked.
On Feb. 13, 1997, DA Hunter had a press conference in order to send a message to JonBenet's unknown killer: "You will pay for what you have done, and we have no doubt this will happen." The next day, Valentine's Day, Boots was found dead in his apartment. Supposedly, he had killed himself with a shotgun. Immediately, he became another "possible suspect"-albeit a dead one-in the Ramsey murder.
But the theory that JonBenet's killer got spooked and took his life had a gaping hole in it: The suicide began to look like a murder. Boots was right-handed and the bullet's trajectory went from left to right. In addition, someone had placed a pillow in front of his chest before firing the gun, something professional killers do to muffle the noise of a gunshot. In addition, Boots was a former military sharpshooter and parachutist who had been trained to use an M16 Rifle and hand grenades. I wondered: If Boots was a sharpshooter, why the odd trajectory?
When police took crime scene photos at Boots' apartment, two items grabbed their attention. Not only was there a pair of Hi-Tec climbing boots by the dead man's feet, there was a stun gun beside his hand and a Taser in the distance. Supposedly, Boots also owned a baseball cap with the letters "SBTC" on it. Later, a friend of Boots found a videotape in the dead man's apartment that intrigued police. It was footage of a newscast from a couple of years before. The news story featured an unsolved case involving a kidnapped and murdered 6-year-old girl. Was the newscast a random recording left behind by someone else? Or was it a trophy of some kind?
Since the ransom note refers to at least two other kidnappers, Lou Smit believes it's possible more than one person was involved. It was strange that some of the exact items used in JonBenet's attack had been found next to his body. Had the second kidnapper killed his ex-partner hoping to get police detectives off his trail? If so, his ploy failed. Even though Smit and I found the Boots' story compelling, Boulder police weren't biting-at least not hard.
National Enquirer Article - May 24, 2004
JONBENET KILLER COMMITS SUICIDE
(Thanks to RickAMorti1)
NE: 5/24 JONBENET KILLER COMMITS SUICIDE
Authorities have ignored suspect for years!
By Don Gentile and John South
new pictures: Photo's of Helgoth' s body, dead, with stun gun and tape recorder near- by picture also of his Hi Tec boots
The man who killed 6 year old JonBenet Ramsey has committed suicide, the NE has learned exclusively. And what's more he may have left a deathbed confession!
That's the stunning evidence the NE has uncovered in a new investigation of the little beauty queen's Christmas 1996 murder in Boulder.
During our probe, NE obtained police photos taken at the scene of the suicide. They reveal clues that link the victim - 26 year old auto junkyard worker Michael Helgoth-to JonBenet's brutal slaying.
Clearly visible are a pair of Hi-Tec boots and a stun gun, items at the center of the JonBenet case.
Another item also stands out- a mini-cassette recorder that vanished and authorities looking for it say there could be a confession on it.
The NE also learned that home videos found hidden in Helgoth's house show random shots of young girls- and a news clip on the still-unsolved 1993 kidnapping and murder of another Colorado girl.
And NE discovered that Helgoth told a friend he was involved in JonBenet's murder.
Helgoth-his body festooned with tattoos of the Grim Reaper bearing the word "Next?" and a skeleton dripping blood--shot himself dead in his Boulder home on Valentine's Day 1997.
The day before, then Boulder DA Alex Hunter had issued a warning to the killer he was hunting during a televised news conference.
"We will see that justice is served in this case and that you pay for what you did," Hunter said."
Helgoth first came to the attention of authorities shortly after his suicide. At the time, legendary Colorado Springs Detective Lou Smit was working with the Boulder police, bringing his years of experience to the JonBenet investigation.
Hunter's speech was strictly motivational. It was made to get the murderer to reveal himself," Colorado private investigator Ollie Gray told the NE. Gray, who teamed up with Smit to work on behalf of JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy, said Smit "picked up on Helgoth's suicide."
"Boulder police didn't let Lou do any legwork and the cops did not want to follow Helgoth's tail," said a source close to the DA's office. As Smit coped with frustration, John Kenady, a friend and co-worker of Helgoth, grappled with his conscience.
Kenady, 50, told the NE that before Helgoth's suicide, his friend "told me he knew something about JonBenet's death, that he was involved, that it was a kidnapping gone bad. "Mike had a little bit of moral consciousness. It seemed to me he wanted to confess."
Three weeks after Helgoth's suicide, Kenady said he sat down with Boulder Detective Jane Harmer, one of the cops investigating JonBenet's murder. "She took my information and never contacted me again," said Kenady.
As the years passed, Helgoth was lost to memory. Lou Smit quit his advisory role with the Boulder police and joined by Ollie Gray- began to work on behalf of the Ramseys, convinced of their innocence.
The pair came up with strong evidence that a stun gun was used to subdue JonBenet. Smit showed that an intruder could have gotten into the Ramsey home through a basement window well. He also revealed that DNA found on JonBenet's underwear and under her fingernails matched no one in the Ramsey home.
By summer of 2002, Smit and Gray began to tke a closer look at Helgoth and their eyes widened as they saw the stun gun and Hi-Tec boots in the police photo's of the suicide.
An imprint of the Hi_Tec logo, which is stamped on the bottom of the firm's footwear, was a crucial clue in the JonBenet Case. It was found in mold on the basement floor where JonBenet's sexually assaulted body was discovered with her head bashed in and a leash-like device drawn tightly around her neck.
The tape recorder piqued Gray's interest. "It's right near Helgoth's body," said Gray. What was on it - a deathbed confession?"
The Boulder County Sheriff's Department was the agency that investigated Helgoth's death but Gray said they never paid attention to the tape recorder. "They didn't take it into evidence or even push the play button," said Gray. "Now to me that's Criminal Investigation 101. Where is that tape recorder?"
As they reviewed case files of the JonBenet case, Smit found mention of John Kenady, the Helgoth friend who'd been interviewed by Boulder police in 1997.
"I got a call from Lou Smit asking me about the boots and the stun gun and the tape recorder," Kenady told the NE. "They were never taken into evidence and Lou said he wished he had those things."
Kenady decided to help. The boots were still in the possession of a Helgoth family member, so Kenady asked if he could have them. Through a lawyer, he got them to Ollie Gray.
Then he went one step further. He risked arrest by breaking into Helgoth's home which was about to make room for a park. "I was looking for evidence," said Kenady. He took home videos and papers that had Helgoth's handwriting for possible comparison to the ransom note left at the scene of JonBenet's murder.
"It was strange where the videos were located," said Kenady. Refusing to be more specific, he said they were hidden, "Like they were some kind of secret trophy." "The videos were disturbing," said Kenady.
"They were tapes where the camera is focusing on little girls out in public." On one tape is a news clip about the 1993 kidnapping of Alie Berrelez. the 5 year old was playing in front of her family's apartment complex in Englewood, Colo., when she was abducted. Her body was found in a ravine. The case is unsolved.
Kenady was arrested for breaking into Helgoth's home and had to return the items he took to the Helgoth family. He got probation for the crime.
Ollie Gray, however, was able to get the Boulder police interested in testing Helgoth's Hi-Tec boots.
"Police Chief Mark Beckner said the logo on the bottom didn't match the imprint left near JonBenet's body," Gray told the NE.
But the investigator said he couldn't get an answer out of Beckner as to whether the boots were tested for other evidence, including mold like the kind found on the basement floor of the Ramsey home. "All Beckner kept saying was, "no match, no match," said Gray.
Beckner has said that DNA taken from Helgoth in 1997 following his suicide does not match that from the JonBenet crime scene.
But the Boulder police were criticized for mistakes made in the investigation and Gray questioned how thorough the police were. Gray admits the stun gun photographed at the scene of Helgoth's death is not the kind that would produce the tiny rectangular marks found on JonBenet's back.
But from friends of Helgoth, Gray learned the mechanic owned at least three stun guns, including an Air Taser, which when tested by Gray and Smit, made the same marks found on Jonbenet's body.
Friends of Helgoth questioned by the NE say he was deeply troubled before his death. "Towards the end, he was so heavily into drugs he wouldn't go to work and stayed in his room for days,' said Tommy Joe Cantor, a friend and coworker of Helgoth.
Atlanta U.S. District Judge Julie Carnes, who threw out a lawsuit brought by Chris Wolf, a possible suspect in the Ramsey book, mentioned Helgoth her decision.
Relatives of Helgoth vehemently deny he has anything to do with JonBenet's murder. Dick Helgoth said John Kenady is simply spreading stories about Mike."
REAL CRIME: “WHO KILLED THE PAGEANT QUEEN?
www.living.scotsman.com - June 12, 2004
Airing on Real Crime ITV1 (United Kingdom)
Sat 12 Jun 2004
REAL CRIME: WHO KILLED THE PAGEANT QUEEN? Tuesday, ITV, 9pm
IN THE OPENING SCENES OF ITV’s disturbing documentary, a jury member stands to deliver the verdict. They have found John Ramsay "liable" for the death of his daughter, the six-year-old beauty queen JonBenet. A few seconds later she announces, to thunderous applause, that Patsy Benet Ramsay has also been found "liable".
When police in Boulder, Colorado, failed to press charges against the parents of JonBenet Ramsay, the Geraldo Rivera Show decided to dispense its own brand of "trial by media". The audience reaction reflected attitudes following the discovery of the child’s body on Boxing Day, 1996, in the cellar of her family home; she had been beaten, sexually abused and strangled. Video clips of her rouged face were widely played, shocking those unfamiliar with the children’s pageants popular in the southern states, and public opinion was primed to find the parents at fault.
But now, more than seven years on, this 60-minute Real Crime investigation crushes the case against them. Two new suspects are placed in the frame - on evidence that was available to the original investigation but ignored because the police were focused solely on the family and failed to follow up other possible avenues.
The programme reveals that DNA samples taken from under the victim’s fingernails and from her clothing, which cleared her parents, were ignored and left unchecked for three years.
A case may now be built against Michael Helgoth, a violent loner with paedophilic tendencies, who may have carried out the crime, assisted by an as yet unnamed second man. Helgoth owned a stun gun of the type used on the victim and his shoes matched prints found at the scene.
Helgoth, however, is dead. He apparently killed himself in 1997, the day after a police press conference in which the authorities insisted they were closing in on the perpetrator. A new investigation, carried out by the Colorado District Attorney’s office, is now following leads suggesting that Helgoth may have been killed by his partner-in-crime.
Though far from conclusive, Real Crime’s documentary leaves the viewer with the strong sense that John and Patsy Ramsay, now impoverished by legal costs, are victims, not culprits. As Patsy says: "I don’t know what happened. God knows and he ain’t telling."
TELEVISION: WE'LL SOLVE THE RIDDLE OF JONBENET'S MURDER
New police team close to cracking beauty queen case - June 13, 2004
TELEVISION: WE'LL SOLVE THE RIDDLE OF JONBENET'S MURDER
Jun 13 2004
PICK OF THE WEEK: New police team close to cracking beauty queen case
With Steve Hendry
Real Crime: Who Killed the Pageant Queen(ITV1 Tuesday, 9pm)When the battered body of child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey was found in the cellar of her parents' home on Boxing Day 1996, America was horrified.
Eight years on, the brutal murder and sexual assault of the six-year-old still has not been solved but that could change thanks to a new investigation explored in Real Crime: Who Killed The Pageant Queen?
After JonBenet's murder, her parents John and Patsy were demonised by the American media for pushing their daughter into the pageant circuit.
No charges were brought against them but with police investigators stating they were satisfied no intruder entered their home, there's little doubt where the finger of blame was pointing.
But when the District Attorney in Boulder, Colorado, ordered a new team of investigators to look at the case last year, they discovered some astonishing blunders in the original investigation including the fact that mystery DNA found on JonBenet's underwear within days of the murder effectively cleared the parents.
They also reveal they may finally be on the trail of JonBenet's true killer. Private detective Ollie Gray, who has worked on the new investigation, said: 'I'm very upset about it because the Boulder police put the Ramsey family through hell they knew in January 1997 the DNA found on the child was not any of the Ramsey family.
'I had the distinct feeling they had no interest in anything that took them away from the theory that John and Patsy Ramsey killed their daughter.'
The programme features exclusive interviews with members of the public, whose information could finally lead to the killer. It also reveals details of how an apparent suicide just weeks after JonBenet's death could hold the key to the mystery.
Boulder salvage yard owner Michael Helgoth was believed to have taken his own life hours after a press conference in February 1997 which warned JonBenet's killer he was close to being caught. The tactic was designed to put pressure on the culprit and Boulder mechanic John Kenady, who knew Helgoth, believed his suicide was no coincidence.
He claims he repeatedly called the police with information linking Helgoth to the murder but claims no one was interested. The new investigation team took Kenady's lead seriously and discovered Helgoth was infatuated with young girls, had the same type of stun gun used to subdue JonBenet and was a known stalker.
They believe they can also link him and an unnamed accomplice to a series of burglaries before JonBenet's death in which little or nothing was taken and which stopped after the murder.
Police now suspect Helgoth may have been murdered by an accomplice in the JonBenet killing.
Ollie Gray said: 'If Helgoth and this associate we identified were involved in the burglaries, they could have been involved in the murder. There were just too many associated items that could tie him to it that means he has to be eliminated. We need DNA from him wherever he might be.'
Who Killed the Pageant Queen
“The Prime Suspect” - June 15, 2004
Shown in the UK on Real Crime ITV1
June 15, 2004
Who Killed the Pageant Queen
The Prime Suspect
Shown in the UK on Real Crime ITV1 (Transcript by Jayelles)
Produced by Michael Tracey and
Co-produced with David Mills
Narrator: Tonight, new evidence about the murder of a six year old beauty queen and about the prime suspect, who might have killed her.
Narrator: A completely new team of investigators has recently uncovered dramatic new facts about the murder. They have identified a number of suspects including one who is now their prime suspect.
John San Augustine: We’ve gained more information in the last year than probably the prior four or five years. It’s now a whole new era of the JonBenét case. We now have evidence that will tell you who the killer is.
Lou Smit: If someone is hit on the head with any force at all, it will either swell or it will bruise or it will bleed. In the case of JonBenét, there was no swelling, there was no bleeding, there was no bruising. If JonBenét was hit on the head first, there would be some length of time, between the time you would even think of staging this crime then you would have to go out and you would have to find duct tape, you would have to find cord and you would have to construct a garrotte and you would have to tie her hands. Then you would have to bring her down into the basement and then you would have to sexually assault your own daughter. If that would have taken all that time to do this, there would have been massive bleeding inside that skull. So, it’s ludicrous even to think that the head blow came first. The head blow came last. Almost at the time of death.
Narrator: After ITV reported on the Ramsey murder, Lou Smit, the detective who did most to clear the parents, was called back by the Boulder District Attorney to lead a new investigation. Because of this, he is bound by the confidentiality of her office and no longer able to talk to us. But the Boulder DA’s office is neither equipped nor funded to carry out major investigations. So it has also sought the help of private detectives once employed by the Ramseys to hunt the killer. These investigators have been involved from the beginning. Although now unpaid volunteers because of the DA’s limited resources, they are an important part of the new investigation and the are free to talk. They are led by Ollie Gray, one of America’s leading private detectives. He and his partner John San Augustin have worked on some of the nation’s biggest cases. The Boulder police tried to hire them the day after the murder but only to pursue the parents so they declined to help. David Williams, one of Colorado’s leading private detectives was also involved from the first day. Former investigator Jennifer Getty was hired a week later by the parents. They are deeply disturbed by what they have discovered.
Narrator: Even if the killer is not in the database, investigators think they may in any case have his name. They think it is probably in one of these boxes full of leads which have never been followed up. They have searched and come up with a dozen new suspects. One of them is now their prime suspect. This is why they think he may have done it.
Six weeks after the murder of JonBenét, Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter, invited journalists to a press conference. He ended it with this message ...
DA Alex Hunter: I want to say something to the person or persons who took this baby from us, the list of suspects narrows. Soon there will be no-one on the list but you ...
Narrator: The words had been written by the FBI. It was part of a strategy to use the media to put the killer and any accomplices under pressure. Soon afterwards, car mechanic John Kenady approached the Boulder Police to tell them about someone he thought might have been involved in the Ramsey killing. It was this man, Michael Helgoth, who helped run a car salvage yard in Boulder. Helgoth had committed suicide, it was believed, just hours after Alex Hunter’s press conference. According to Kenady and others, he had been violent and bizarre.
John Kenady: He liked shooting guns. He had a little crotch pocket, so he’d reach down and grab it and he’d point the pistol right at your head and just shoot off the side of it and then if he just missed a tenth of a second, you’d have a bullet in you. It was kinda unnerving.
Helgoth friend: I was actually scared, I was standing behind him when the bullets were flying by my head. He would shoot the cats in the back
John Kenady: He thought that was great sport. He had a fun time with that because he could kill. I think he liked to. Something that he enjoyed quite well and he ended up getting kittens from the junkyard there and picking them up and wrenching their neck ...just killing them with his bare hands.
Narrator: It was not only violence against animals that excited Helgoth.
John Kenady: We were walking along headed toward the house and he just casually comes up and says “I wonder what it would be like to crack a human skull”, you know I looked at him and I thought “Woah, I don’t want to have this conversation” and just laughed it off.
Narrator: Helgoth left no suicide note. After his death, Kenady was asked to go through his possessions. It was while doing this that he began to think Helgoth might have been involved in the killing of JonBenét.
John Kenady: Alex Hunter, where he makes the finger-wagging speech on the 13th and then Michael dies on the very next day? ...
DA Alex Hunter: Soon, there will be no one on the list ...
John Kenady: Seems a little suspicious to me.
Narrator: But it was more than Alex Hunter’s press conference that led Kenady to suspect Helgoth.
John Kenady: Mike was pretty happy around late November about him and a partner making a killer deal and they were each gonna make fifty or sixty thousand.
Narrator: The ransom note left at the Ramsey home demanded a curious $118,000, close to the amount Helgoth had said he and his unknown partner would make. No ransom was paid.
John Kenady: And then Christmas goes..comes and then he’s really depressed and there’s no money. And then he said that he wanted to crack a human skull and then she received a crack on her skull and I felt obligated to go to the police department and tell them what I knew.
Ollie Gray: John Kenady provided a very relevant piece of information in my opinion, that should have been a priority lead for the Boulder Police Department.
John Kenady: I called ten or fifteen, twenty times and got no response. I called sergeants, I called officers, I left messages... no one would call me back.
Ollie Gray: (chatting) And one of the reasons we were interested in that very issue was not just Helgoth... Randy Simons ...
Narrator: The new investigators have taken Kenady’s information seriously, and what they have discovered about Helgoth astonishing.
Narrator: Three months after the murder of JonBenét Ramsey, the Boulder Police were told that this man, Michael Helgoth, might have been involved. They ignored the information, but a new team of detectives appointed last year, have taken it seriously. They’ve discovered Helgoth had an infatuation with young girls. A girlfriend says that he actually collected Barbie dolls. She eventually had to take out a restraining order on him to protect her daughter. She had come home unexpectedly one evening and found her on his bed. He was in bed naked. He said he couldn’t trust himself with her daughter.
Ollie Gray: I think this is very relevant to our case. We’re looking at a potential paedophile. This has all the characteristics of sexual deviation. The age bracket of the child was within two years of the one we were investigating and I felt that it should go further.
Narrator: Detectives found out something else about Helgoth that caught their attention. It was among his videos. What they contained, they say, is significant. They found not only a lot of violent scenes like this (film clip of lone gunman shooting at crowds of young people), but numerous images of children including this one from the Disney family film ‘The Santa Clause’ showing a little girl being awoken by Father Christmas on Christmas Eve. JonBenét was awoken by someone on Christmas Night.
John San Augustine: In a lot of these types of investigations you see that these criminals hide their activity within media. What they’ll do is, they’ll play a movie and then somewhere in the middle of the movie, they will put their piece of their criminal activity within that video and when you look at the Helgoth video, you know, here you have a movie that’s playing along and then all of a sudden you have news coverage of an unsolved murder here in Colorado (News 4 news clip).
Narrator: The news story that Helgoth had kept, told of the abduction and murder of a five year old girl. It occurred near Boulder three years before JonBenét’s killing. It too remains unsolved.
News Reader: A child’s body was found stuffed inside a duffel bag in Deer Creek Canyon yesterday.
Narrator: Yet it was when detectives examined photographs of Helgoth’s suicide that they made the most dramatic discoveries. By now it was known that a stun gun had been used to subdue JonBenét.
David Williams: Do you see here there’s a stun gun? The black object here is a stun gun. Even although it is a different type of stun gun than the one that was used on JonBenét Ramsey, We know that he owned several including an Air Taser stun gun. That is the stun gun that we believe was used on JonBenét Ramsey.
Narrator: It has never been made public, but in the Ramsey home in the small cellar where JonBenét’s body was left, two different footprints were found. They were made at or near the time of the killing and strengthened suspicions that two people might have been involved. One of the footprints was made by a rare Hi-Tec boot.
David Williams: You notice here these black boots? These are Hi-Tec boots. They are the same kind of boots that left a print in the wine cellar of the Ramsey home.
Narrator: Investigators managed to get hold of these boots and compared them with the Hi-Tec footprint left in the mould on the cellar floor.
David Williams: You notice that the Hi-Tec emblem on the right and the impression in the algae on the left are a perfect match. Note the brown material on the left and note the specks of brown material wedged in the Hi-Tec emblem on the right which is the same colour as the algae that is in the Ramsey basement.
Narrator: But there is something even more sinister in these photographs. The fatal shot was fired through a pillow.
David Williams: Note this pillow has a bullet hole through it. See the darkness around the edges is where the bullet entered the pillow. This is the other side of the pillow where the bullet went through. Note a little bit of blood from where the bullet entered the body. The significance of the pillow is that it was used as a muffler and if somebody was gonna commit suicide why are they worried about muffling the shot? He was the only one in the house at the time of death.
Narrator: It is something which bothers friends who knew Helgoth well.
John Kenady: I doubt it. I doubt it seriously that he would silence a shot. He was so out in the open with it. During the day he would pull a 22 out and point it right at your head and just miss you by a little bit ... if he just misses by a little bit you’re gonna get a bullet in you. No ... No.
Narrator: The most startling detail though, is the position of the pistol and the trajectory of the shot.
David Williams: Notice that the gun is found on Michael’s right and he’s right handed. Notice the bullet hole is on Michael’s left and it goes across the body from left to right shoulder area. Add to this the gun, about six or eight inches, a pillow that was used to muffle the gun, to it and try to twist your hand around to where you can get a shot that goes across the body from front to back, from left to right and its almost impossible to do.
John San Augustine: Most people, in my experience when you see people using a gun to commit suicide, they normally shoot themselves in the head, you know, they’ll put the gun in their mouth or under their chin. But in this particular case, it became really odd to us, that you would place a pillow on the left side, guy’s right handed, and then, he would then take the gun and bring it around and then try and shoot himself. It doesn’t make sense why you would have somebody commit suicide in that manner.
Ollie Gray: It makes you wonder even more ... how did he actually die? The gun, the pillow, him being right handed ... are all key factors as to why this could be a homicide and not a suicide. I would bet that this is a murder and not suicide.
Narrator: The Boulder Police have been given the evidence suggesting Helgoth might have been involved in the Ramsey killing and they he might have been murdered. They were unimpressed.
Ollie Gray: I had the distinct feeling that they had absolutely no interest in anything that took them away from the theory that John and Patsy Ramsey killed their daughter.
Interviewer (unseen): Even if that meant ignoring a potential homicide?
Ollie Gray: Even if it meant ignoring a potential homicide.
Investigators (discussing Helgoth Suicide)
He was alive obviously his hands became (unclear) he touched them to his forehead.
Narrator: These detectives do not see Helgoth as the actual killer, in fact, DNA samples taken at a post mortem show that he was not. But they think he may have been involved. One reason is that they’ve always believed it likely that more than one person was in the Ramsey home that night. The footprints suggest this as do the number of objects taken in and out of the house. These include a rope, stun gun, cord and duct tape. It would have been difficult for just one person to have done everything that was done that night. And the ransom note also suggests that more than one person was involved. It says, “We are a group of individuals that represent a small foreign faction”. It warns about the “two gentlemen watching over your daughter”. Throughout, it refers to the kidnappers in the plural. The new team of detectives think Helgoth may well have been involved as an accomplice of an even more deadly killer. One who later murdered him to stop him talking after Alex Hunter’s unnerving press conference.
In trying to identify a potential killer, they came up with an important clue. In the months before the murder, up to a dozen houses near the Ramseys’ were broken into at night. There was a curious pattern to these burglaries. Little or nothing was taken. Detectives believe they were carried out simply for the thrill of stalking others at night. The break-ins stopped abruptly after the murder. The Boulder Police did not link them to the murder, but the new investigators believe they might be the key to everything because Helgoth too used to stalk people at night. It happened to John Kenady.
John Kenady: I was working on a car late one evening in my garage. I kind of get the feeling there’s something out there and went right up to the window to look. I looked, and it was real quiet and I don’t see anything. I look again and all I could see were a pair of eyes coming out of the black. I don’t know why I figure well this could be Michael, so I said “Is that you Mike? And he goes “Yeah” and I said “Well how long you been out there?” and he goes “Long enough” and ... he’s gone. I thought it was kinda strange.
Narrator: Helgoth used to stalk people at night dressed in black ninja clothing. When looking for his possible killer, detectives looked for a violent associate who shared his interest in martial arts and young girls. They immediately came up with one. A close associate who has since disappeared. A man who frightens those around him.
First Man: I tried to steer clear of that individual because he could have been, you know, a menace ... to me or my family.
Interviewer (Unseen): Were you personally scared of him?
Second man: Phew. On a level, I’d have to say “yes”. Absolutely. I think he was capable of being violent towards anybody.
John Kenady: He threatened to cut one of his girlfriend’s ears off. His ex-wife -- he tried to kill her. They were only married probably five or six days.
Narrator: Helgoth’s associate lived in this trailer park near the car salvage yard. The makers of this programme know his name, but have decided to withhold it, because he has not been charged with any offence. But the more that has been discovered about him, the more he fits the profile of a stalker and a killer.
Second Man: He was very methodical. He wanted everything down to the last detail. He ... didn’t want anybody else to have any control. If he didn’t feel like he was controlling a situation, he would lash out.
John Kenady: Martial arts, he liked those throwing knives, he was into ninja, he was into the dark clothing, he always wore a black t-shirt, black pants, black boots...
Narrator: Helgoth’s associate was convicted following a stabbing here on the trailer park. Witnesses were too frightened to give evidence but court documents summarised his criminal record as “violence -- history of sexual assault”. They also reveal that he was a convicted paedophile. He was imprisoned in the 1980s for a sexual assault on a child. It is believed that he may have worked in the Ramsey home, shortly before the family moved in. Unidentified animal hairs were found in the cellar where JonBenét’s body was left. The hairs were of two colours. Helgoth’s associate raised wolf dogs whose hairs exactly match those colours. Helgoth had bought two of these dogs.
NOTE: In this documentary produced by Michael Tracey, the narrator says, "They immediately came up with one. A close associate who has since disappeared." and later say, "but court documents summarised his criminal record as “violence -- history of sexual assault” as the above document is shown on the screen of the "prime suspect" discussed as Michael Helgoth's partner. The narrator says, "The makers of this program know his name, but have decided to withhold it, because he has not been charged with any offense. But the more that has been discovered about him, the more he fits the profile of a stalker and a killer." The narrator then says, "These investigators see the associate as their prime suspect in the Ramsey case. Tracking him down they say, is a priority."
Although the name on the document is blacked out, the case file number is clearly shown and a lady from Scotland who also accesses the world wide web was watching this program and made a screen capture on her computer screen of the document. The case number on the document was searched via google of public records on the Internet and the so called "prime suspect" in this documentary was John Steven Gigax from Indiana in the United States. John Steven Gigax contacted the Boulder District Attorney's office and was not being searched as the prime suspect in this murder case.
Ollie Gray: If Michael Helgoth and this one associate that we identified were actually involved in the burglaries, they could easily have been involved in the murder also. There’s just too many associated items that could tie him to it that means that he has to be eliminated. We need DNA from him –- wherever he might be.
Narrator: These investigators see the associate as their prime suspect in the Ramsey case. Tracking him down they say, is a priority. The need to do so, made more urgent by revelations about another horrific crime the Ramsey killer may have committed.
Narrator: Seven years after the murder of JonBenét Ramsey, a prime suspect has been identified for the killing. He’s been identified by new investigators, who have also uncovered disturbing facts about another crime he may have committed.
CLOSING IN ON A CHILD-KILLER
Today's telly with Jill Foster - June 15, 2004
WHO KILLED THE PAGEANT QUEEN?
(ITV 1, 9pm)
15 June 2004
CLOSING IN ON A CHILD-KILLER
Today's telly with Jill Foster
WHO KILLED THE PAGEANT QUEEN?
(ITV 1, 9pm)
SEVEN years ago, the horrific torture and murder of six-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey stunned America.
She was killed in her own home without any sign of an intruder so her parents Patsy and John were the prime suspects.
But no case was ever brought and the prequel to this programme - shown two years ago - all but cleared them of the murder.
Now, a team of investigators has turned up astounding new evidence which points directly to the two men they say are JonBenet's killers.
One is gun fanatic and paedophile Michael Helgoth, found dead a day after the District Attorney asserted he would find the little girl's killer.
Another is a man with a violent past who is believed to be involved in a similar and more recent attack on a 12-year-old girl in the Ramseys' neighbourhood.
The Colorado police force still believe JonBenet's parents are to blame.
Of course, it's impossible for us to know the intricacies of the case, but it does seem odd that the police are so reluctant to listen to what appears to be compelling evidence.
What is even more worrying is that if the new investigators are correct, a dangerous child-killer is still on the loose.
Tricia’s Websleuths Froum - www.websleuths.com
"The holes in Tracey's theory"
From Thread Titled, "The holes in Tracey's theory"
07-01-2004, 04:10 PM
Registered User Join Date: Aug 2003
The holes in Tracey's theory
OK, I know it isn't actually "Tracey's" theory, but I mean the Helgoth + Mr X theory.
At first viewing, this theory was very interesting. However, I've been through the documentary with a fine tooth comb now and I've mulled it over and over ...... and I have some serious questions about it.
No Helgoth forensics
The first is that there is no forensic evidence which puts Michael helgoth at the crime scene - no DNA, no fingerprints. All evidence is based upon the testimony of a shady individual called John Kenady AND of course the fact that Michael Helgoth had Hi-Tec boots. So did thousands of others though and the footprint cannot be dated. Add to that the fact that Burke Ramsey said he owned Hi-Tecs and this particular clue becomes weaker still.
Kenady is not squeaky clean. He has a long rap sheet and may have been motivated by thoughts of a nice fat reward. However, despite what Candy says about Kenady having had a head injury, he did not come across in the documentary as incompetent in any way. Far from it. Kenady was alert, expressive and he spoke well - which is more than could be said for the other individuals interviewed for the documentary.
The Ramsey investigators think it was murder because:-
Helgoth was right handed and the shot was fired into his left side. Not only that, but it was fired through a pillow - something which would have meant an even bigger stretch of the arm to achieve. They questioned why a suicide would try to muffle the shot (valid question). They also raised the point that most suicides shoot themselves through the ear or mouth (quick). There were signs that Helgoth didn't die immediately because he had blood on his hand which he transferred to his forehead. The pistol was lying to Helgoth's right, yet he was shot on the left. Finally, there was no suicide note.
OK, they suspect that Helgoth/Mr X got scared after Alex Hunter's "finger wagging speech" (to quote Kenady) the day before and that maybe Mr X thought Helgoth would spill the beans and so he disposed of him.
Problems: Why did Mr X not finish Helgoth off? If it was supposed to look like suicide, why did he not shoot him in the head and place the pistol in his hand? Mr X is supposed to be one of a partnership of two who like writing phoney ransom notes. Why didn't he write a phoney suicide note? He could have had Helgoth confess to JonBenet's killing saying he acted alone.
Also, the friends of Helgoth who were interviewed in the documentary described him as a bold, sadistic type who wrung the necks of little kittens and wanted to crack a human skull. He fired guns at people - missing them by fractions. He dressed in black and stalked people at night, peering in their windows and responding boldly when challenged. His former girlfriend had a restraining order against him.
Does this sound like someone who would get cold feet?
This guy is thought to have done some work on the Ramsey house BEFORE the Ramseys moved in. He is described as very scary. he threatened to cut off his girlfriend's ear and he tried to kill his ex-wife. He has convictions for violence, drugs and sexual assault against a child. He sounds like a good suspect for the Ramsey murder.
However, the Tracey documentary is misleading. It makes the point that this guy has disappeared - the implication being that he killed Helgoth and vanished - yet the documentary goes on to implicate him in a sexual assault on a 12 year old girl which took place 9 months after JonBenet's death. So when exactly did he disappear? Doesn't sound as though he was in a hurry!
We know that Mr X bred wolf dogs and that there were two different coloured animal hairs found in the basement where JonBenet was found and that these match the colour of his wolf dogs. Now, how would investigators know that if this guy has never been interviewed and has disappeared? Helgoth bought two of these dogs and the documentary showed one of them romping about in a home video. It was a multi coloured dog - browns and blacks and light tan. Good chance of finding some hairs which were similar in colour to the animal hairs on Jonbenet. They would need to do lab tests to verify that these hairs came from the same dog lines.
The BIGGEST bugaboo with Mr X is his physical appearance. I will attempt to post part of a screen capture of an arrest sheet for this man which describes him as 6'2", 180 lbs with brown hair and brown eyes. He's obviously a big lad. The mother of the 12 year old whom the Ramsey investigators believe was also assaulted by Mr X described the assailant as about 5'7" with blonde hair and a prominent chin. Now, hair can be died/streaked etc, clothes can hide a person's build - but one thing we cannot disguise is height. A person of 6'2" is tall - a man of 5'7" is below average height! The mother also described their intruder as being between 20-30. Mr X was older than this but again, age is something that we are not always good at guessing.
Hi-Tecs and mould
The Ramsey investigators also showed us a graphic of the mould on the ramsey basement floor and stated that some debris wedged in Helgoth's boot logo was the same colour.
Problems: Helgoth had been wearing those boots for 2 months since JonBenet's death. It was winter and there was snow. Snow has a cleaning effect on footwear but apart from that, Helgoth's junkyard was also shown in the documentary and it was very muddy - a reddish coloured mud similar in colour to the debris on the boot. Only lab tests would prove the presence of Ramsey mould. There is no suggestion that Smit, Bennett or the Ramsey investigators have had this done.
The Ramsey Investigators
Now this is a bit bizarre. Seemingly, these guys have been working on the case since the beginning. However, the Boulder Police apparently tried to hire PIs Ollie Gray & San Augustin the "day after the murder" in "order to pursue the parents" but the PIs "declined". That strikes me as mighty strange. The day after the murder the PIs would have known nothing at all about the murder so it is very odd that they would turn down work because they wouldn't have had time to form any kind of opinion about the Ramseys or the BPD's behaviour in the Ramsey case! One day after the murder there was NO reason to suspect that the police were unreasonably pursuing the parents - at that stage they would simply have been following normal protocol to start at the centre and work outwards. This small fact alone makes me think "hmmmmm".
Then there is the "fact" that they have been working for the DA's office on the case - yet they are not bound by any confidentiality?????? The documentary alsoa stated that they are now working on the case as "unpaid volunteers".
Do these guys have access to the case files? Have they ever had access to the case files?? Do they have any jurisdiction at all?
I am inclined to think not. I am inclined to think that they were hired by the Ramseys and that the DA's office has hired them to do some specific jobs - follow some specific leads WITHOUT the benefit of seeing the police files themselves. I would imagine that Lou Smit has talked to them at length BEFORE he was rehired by the DA and I'd be very interested to know what Smit & Bennett's thoughts are on Helgoth and Mr X
New Documentary On Ramsey Case
Produced By CU-Boulder Professor Michael Tracey
To Air On National TV - December 7, 2004
New Documentary On Ramsey Case Produced By CU-Boulder Professor Michael Tracey To Air On National TV
Dec. 7, 2004
New evidence in the 1996 JonBenet Ramsey murder case is examined in "Who Killed the Pageant Queen? Suspects" a documentary by Professor Michael Tracey of the University of Colorado at Boulder School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
The documentary will air on the CBS show "48 Hours Mystery" on Dec. 18 and on Court Television in January.
According to Tracey, a new team of investigators has uncovered dramatic new evidence about the murder, resulting in the identification of a key suspect.
"This compelling evidence points to a new way of thinking about who it was that actually killed JonBenet," Tracey said. "Previously, media leaks about the evidence and absurd theories as to how JonBenet died helped to convince the public that the parents did it. A whole new theory of who should have been investigated - but was not - is at the forefront of the investigation reported in the documentary."
More than 300 journalists descended on Boulder in January 1997 to cover the story, turning "a private tragedy into a public spectacle" and denying the Ramsey's right to be presumed innocent, all based on a cruel and distorted interaction between the media, the judicial system and American culture, Tracey said.
The documentary is the third in a series and was commissioned by ITV, the biggest commercial television network in the United Kingdom, and is co-produced with David Mills, a British independent television producer. It features interviews with investigators and John and Patsy Ramsey.
The documentary also investigates an assault on another young girl who attended the same dance studio as JonBenet and which Tracey believes is remarkably similar to the events on the night that JonBenet died.
Contact: Michael Tracey, (303) 492-0445
Monteith Mitchell, (303) 492-5526
December 18, 2004
CBS "48 Hours Mystery"
"JonBenet: Prime Suspects"
December 18, 2004
CBS "48 Hours Mystery"
"JonBenet: Prime Suspects"
Transcribed by AcandyRose
Produced by Josh Gelman and Doug Linghini
(Complete transcript here: http://www.acandyrose.com/michaeltracy.htm
Ollie Gray: My name is Ollie Gray. I have over 25 years of law enforcement experience.
John San Augustine: My name is John San Augustine. I'm an evidence consultant.
Pete Peterson: My name is Robert Peterson, I'm a private investigator.
Ollie Gray: We have been working on this case since December 1996
John San Augustine: We've gained more information in the last year than probably in the prior four or five years. We now have evidence that will tell you who the killer is.
Erin Moriarty: John San Augustine and Ollie Gray were originally hired by the Ramseys in 1999, and they are now part of a small band of private detectives, working without pay, and determined to find JonBenet's killer.
Erin Moriarty: Retired homicide Detective Lou Smit, who once quit because police ignored the intruder theory is back on the case and he's once again working for the Boulder DA and can no longer speak publicly, but he spoke to 48 Hours back in 2002:
Lou Smit: "This murder was not conducted upstairs in a nice bedroom. This murder was conducted in a basement, and it was very vicious."
Erin Moriarty: Results from the autopsy showed evidence that JonBenet may have been subdued with a stun gun, and then eventually killed with an intricately tied device known as a garrote.
Lou Smit: This is one of the best clues left behind by the killer. This is a sexual device. I'm looking for a pedophile that's a sexual saddest, that's who Lou Smits looking for. This is where I believe that the killer got in. (Smit sitting with Ollie Gray and John San Augustine) Take a look real closely at the window on the left. What you're going to see is leaves and debris pressed right up against the window. Now lets take a look at the one again in the center. No leaves or debris.
Erin Moriarty: Which says?
Lou Smit: That window was open. Directly below that open window you have a suitcase. Directly around that suitcase you have leaves and debris.
Erin Moriarty: The current investigation also focuses on the possibility of two intruders, because of two very clear boot prints in the room where JonBenet was found.
John San Augustine: You have a Hi-tec boot and you have an unknown boot. Just based on that detail you think there's definitely two people involved.
Erin Moriarty: You believe there are at least two intruders?
John San Augustine: Absolutely.
Erin Moriarty: 48 Hours has learned that the DA's office is using this DNA profile to investigate several suspects in the case. One of those suspects came to light in a most dramatic way. It was early in 1997, the Boulder District Attorney at that time Alex Hunter, made a startling announcement:
Alex Hunter: "I want to say something to the person or persons that took this baby from us. The list of suspects narrows. Soon, there will be no one on the list but you."
Erin Moriarty: Those words were written by the FBI as part of a strategy to put the killer and any accomplices under pressure.
John San Augustine: Either the bad guy would kill himself or the bad guy would turn himself in.
Erin Moriarty: That strategy may have worked. Just two days later, the Boulder Sheriff's Department discovered a man by the name of Michael Helgoth, dead in his home, an apparent suicide. Do you believe Michael Helgoth was involved in JonBenet Rameys death?
John San Augustine: I think he's somebody who obviously has to be looked at very carefully.
John Kenady: "We were walking along at the end of the day, just as calm as can be. He just casually comes up and says, 'I wonder what it'd be like to crack a human skull.
Erin Moriarty: John Kenady knew Helgoth well. They worked together in an auto salvage yard outside of Boulder.
John Kenady: "And I looked at him and I thought, 'Whoa, I don't want to have this conversation.'"
Erin Moriarty: Just a few months before JonBenet's murder, Kenady says he noticed a change in Helgoth's attitude:
John Kenady: "Mike was pretty happy around late November, about him and a partner making a killer deal, and they were each gonna make $50,000 or $60,000."
Erin Moriarty: Kenady didn't think anything of it, until he read in newspapers about the ransom note found at the Ramsey home that demanded a curious $118,000. It was close to the amount Helgoth had said he and his unknown partner would make -– and it was a ransom that was never paid to anyone.
John Kenady: "Then Christmas goes -- comes. And then he's really depressed. And there's no money. And then he said that he wanted to crack a human skull and then, she received a crack in her skull. I felt obligated to go to the police department and tell them what I knew."
Ollie Gray: John Kenady provided a very relevant piece of information in my opinion that should have been a priority lead for the Boulder police department."
John Kenady: I called ten or fifteen or twenty times times, but got no response. I called sargents, I called officers, I left messages. No one would call me back.
Ollie Gray: "I got the distinct feeling that they had absolutely no interest in anything that took them away from the theory that John and Patsy Ramsey killed their daughter."
Erin Moriarty: But Ollie Gray and John San Augustine were convinced Helgoth was worth a closer look.
Ollie Gray: "His friends say that he owns several stun guns, that he was a gun nut, and supposedly through the sources that we talked to, that he used to break into people's houses just for the thrill of doing it."
John San Augustine: You can see the stun gun here.
Erin Moriarty: The stun gun is important because Gray and San Augustine believe, from examining autopsy photos, that JonBenet was incapacitated with one at some point during her attack.
Ollie Gray: In our conversation with some of his friends, they said he owned two or three different stun guns and one of the stun guns he owned had a laser sight on it.
Erin Moriarty: Which was the same type of stun gun you believe was used on JonBenet Ramsey?
Ollie Gray: Yes
John San Augustine: And you'll notice here that's the high-tec boot later took into possession
Erin Moriarty: These Boots originally ignored by investigators in Helgoth's home were later discovered by John Kenady and passed on to Gray and San Augustine who believes they are a invaluable clue. That's the underside of Helgoth's boot, right there?
John San Augustine: That's correct
Ollie Gray: Right
John San Augustine: On the left is the High-Tec impression that was made in the ground in that area where JonBenet's body was found. There's no reason for Helgoth's boot to be in the Ramsey home where JonBenet's body was found.
Erin Moriarty: The investigators turned the boots over to the Boulder police who now claim their investigation showed they were the wrong size for a match. But they have yet to be turned over to the district attorney for further analysis. The private detectives in their investigation also uncovered a number of Helgoth's personal video tapes that they say the sheriff's office ignored. San Augustin says they found one piece of video that included coverage of an unsolved murder in Colorado.
John San Augustine: The video tapes are more concern for us is one piece of video there's actually coverage of an unsolved murder in Colorado.
NEWS: The search continues for the person or persons......
John San Augustine: That to this day is an unsolved murder and why would a guy have video coverage of just the news coverage of Allie Berrelez death? It's odd.
Erin Moriarty: And what they found next was even more of a concern.
Ollie Gray: We found video tapes of Helgoth with one of his girlfriends children
Erin Moriarty: And what did this ex-girlfriend tell you?
Ollie Gray: "The ex-girlfriend and he had a major argument over supposedly her coming home and finding the daughter in the bedroom, and he was in bed under covers and she was on the covers. They had a big fight and there were temporary restraining orders issued."
Erin Moriarty: Most surprising of all, however, was the nature of Helgoth's suicide. They initially said he died from a bullet to what part of his body?
John San Augustine: His head.
Erin Moriarty: Was there any bullet in his head?
John San Augustine: Absolutly not.
Erin Moriarty: But in Fact, Helgoth's fatal shot was no where near his head.
Ollie Gray: Notice the gun is found on Michael's right and he's right-handed. The bullet hole is on Michael's left and it goes across the body from left to right."
John San Augustine: "It became really odd to us that he would then take the gun and bring it around and then try and shoot himself" "It doesn't make sense why you would have somebody commit suicide in that manner."
Erin Moriarty: The investigators were left with only one conclusion.
Ollie Gray: If he committed suicide it's the most unusual suicide that I have seen.
Erin Moriarty: So you're saying if he didn't commit suicide then someone killed Michael Helgoth?
Ollie Gray: It sure points that way.
Erin Moriarty: And why would someone want to kill Michael Helgoth?
Ollie Gray: "If he's one of two people involved in a major death of a small girl, what's the best way to eliminate an you know, the word getting out that you had any involvement in it?" "You eliminate your partner."
Erin Moriarty: Was Helgoth involved in JonBenet's murder and was he killed by a partner for what he knew? Remember that in the Ramsey ransom note there was the mention of "two gentleman who are watching over your daughter."
John San Augustine: "If you look at the case real close, you'll see that quite possibly there was more than one person involved."
Erin Moriarty: But there is one thing investigators are sure of: Helgoth's DNA does not match the DNA profile sitting in the Denver crime lab.
Greg LaBerge: "Investigators must be careful not to put all the weight in the investigation on the DNA because the DNA, as important as it is, could be misleading them, depending on who it matches or who it doesn't match."
Erin Moriarty: It could mean that if Helgoth was involved, he wasn't alone. And the person who sexually assaulted and killed JonBenet is still out there.
Erin Moriarty: 48 Hours has learned that JonBenet may also have been targeted for murder long before she took the stage, possibly at a local dance studio called Dance West, like she, like so many other little girls, took lessons.
Pete Peterson: "To someone with that, you know, kind of a twisted mind, she may have looked like a really good target"
Erin Moriarty: Less than a year after the murder of JonBenet, former private investigator, Pete Peterson, was hired to work on another case in Boulder that had strange parallels to the Ramsey case.
Pete Peterson: "There's a Dance West school where the victim of the assault in our case, the one that we investigated, and the Ramsey girl, both attended."
Erin Moriarty: Peterson now believes JonBenet could have been targeted at that dance studio because of what happened to his client, only nine months after JonBenet was murdered. Like JonBenet, she took lessons at Dance West. And like JonBenet, another girl, who we'll call Amy, was attacked and sexually assaulted at night in her own bedroom. It happened on September 14, 1997, on a night when Amy's father was out of town. After catching a movie, Amy and her mother returned home around 10 PM. What they didn't know when they entered the house was that there was already an intruder inside.
Amy's father: It's very clear that this is a very bold intrusion.
Erin Moriarty: This is Amy's father who spoke to a British documentary crew about what happened that night. To protect his daughter, he asked that his identity be obscured.
Amy's father: "My feeling is he got into the house while they were out and hid inside the house, if so he would have been in there for perhaps four to six hours, hiding."
Erin Moriarty: Before going to bed, Amy's mother turned on the burglar alarm. What happened next is a parents worse nightmare. alarm. Around midnight, Amy woke up to find a man standing over her bed, his hand over her mouth. What did the little girl remember about the attack?
Pete Peterson: "She remembered the intruder addressing her by her name,"
Erin Moriarty: He told her he knew her?
Pete Peterson: Right. He said, 'I know who you are.' He repeated those things a few times, apparently. 'I'll knock you out. Shut up.'"
Amy's father: My wife heard whispering. She got up, asked if everything was okay. She got a non-committal reply."
Pete Peterson: From her bed to the child's bed was probably no more than 20 feet at the most through an open doorway. She proceeded through the doorway, and saw a person and he just brushed her aside.
Erin Moriarty: Startled, the intruder brushed past the mother and quickly made his escape, not by a door but by jumping out a second story window.
Amy's Father: "He was like a ghost," "We couldn't figure out where he came from, or where he went."
Erin Moriarty: By the time the Boulder police arrived, the man was long gone. Because the intruder had gotten in and out of the house so easily Amy's father began to think this wasn't the first time he had done something like this.
Amy's Father: "The first thing that occurred to us was that it was the parallel to the Ramsey case because it was exactly the same situation."
Erin Moriarty: He even told the Boulder police about the Dance West studio connection to the Ramsey case.
Amy's Father: "I think someone, somewhere, drew a bead on her. Obviously had us under surveillance that we were not aware of."
Erin Moriarty: The studio has since gone out of business and been torn down but this picture show that there was a balcony overlooking the dance floor where parents and anyone else could come in and watch the children.
Pete Peterson: There were often people who didn't know their purpose who sat in the gallary kind of situation and watched the participations.
Erin Moriarty: People could watch, strangers could watch the girls dance?
Pete Peterson: Sure
Erin Moriarty: How?
Pete Peterson: Well they could just come in and sit down and observe.
Amy's Father: And I told the police about the information I had and they were completely uninterested in it.
Erin Moriarty: How did the family feel the way the Boulder police dealt with this case?
Pete Peterson: "They were very very frustrated," "It was difficult to get them to do anything much less, you know, beyond taking a report."
Amy's Father: But for my wife being a light sleeper we might be in the newspapers now as well as the Ramseys. They said no, this has no similarity at all.
Erin Moriarty: But not only did the Boulder police dismiss any link to the Ramsey case, they didn't even bother to use the mother's eyewitness description to make a composite sketch. That's when Amy's family hired Peterson. And What he has uncovered in his investigation of Amy's assault may not only solve her case, but also help lead to the capture of JonBenet's killer as well.
Erin Moriarty: Whoever killed JonBenet Ramsey could still be out on the streets of Boulder and stalking other targets.
Pete Peterson: "This person is someone with a huge ego, someone who views himself as bold,"
Erin Moriarty: Private Investigator, Pete Peterson working on the case of the 12 year old there are too many parallels to ignore between her case and murder of JonBenet Ramsey.
Erin Moriarty: Do you believe that the killer of JonBenet Ramsey might have had something to do with Amy's assault as well?
Pete Peterson: We think there's a decent liklihood.
Erin Moriarty: Both JonBenet and the girl we identified only as Amy were sexually assaulted by an intruder at night in their homes at night, within nine months of each other.
Pete Peterson: He obviously waited in the house and accosted the daughter. Nothing was taken. Nothing else was disturbed.
Erin Moriarty: Fiber evidence shows that JonBenet's attacker may have been wearing black as was the man who attacked Amy.
Pete Peterson: This was an intruder all dressed in black with a reverse baseball cap in black.
Erin Moriarty: And there's the fact that both girls took lessons at the Dance West studio. Boulder police never found any connections to the murder of JonBenet but Pete Peterson thinks he has. And what Peterson found was very disturbing. As he collected evidence in and around the house, and did background checks on people who worked in the neighborhood, Peterson found a group of individuals with criminal histories, who roamed the neighborhood at night.
Erin Moriarty: It's a list that still includes Gary Oliva and anyone who can shed more light on the mysterious death of Michael Helgoth and that includes their friends and associates that investigators strongly consider people of interest.
Erin Moriarty: It's frustrating but there's been considerable progress. As we reported tonight, there is now what is believed to be a complete DNA profile of JonBenet Ramsey's killer, an unknown male. There is strong evidence that he may have had an accomplice and that he may have tried to kill again. The city of Boulder is really no different than any city in America with it's fair share of crime and it's usual suspects that commit them. But Boulder authorities have never bothered to look closely at these suspects until now and with only two part time investigators currently working with the district attorney, it could take years to finally answer the question, who killed JonBenet.
WE NAME REAL JONBENET KILLER!
And it’s NOT the wacko who confessed
September 11, 2006 - EXAMINER
WE NAME REAL JONBENET KILLER! And it’s NOT the wacko who confessed
September 11, 2006 EXAMINER
By Rafe Klinger
THE twisted sicko who molested, battered and strangled little JonBenet Ramsey has been brought to justice - and he's not the goofy-looking pedophile John Mark Karr, whose sensational confession has the nation buzzing.
The 6-year-old beauty queen's murderer is Michael Helgoth - a 26-year-old convicted pedophile who collected Barbie dolls and was obsessed with young girls, guns and violence.
But Helgoth, who covered himself with tattoos - including one of the Grim Reaper and
another of a blood-dripping skull - committed suicide just weeks following JonBenet's murder on December 25, 1996.
He apparently shot himself on Valentine's Day 1997 - the DAY AFTER a threatening statement was issued by Boulder, Colo., district attorney Alex Hunter.
"I will say something to the person or persons who took this baby from us - the list of suspects narrows," Hunter said.
"Soon there will be no one on the list but YOU!"
The unsettling message was carefully constructed by FBI experts and designed to put
immense psychological pressure on the killer, to make him sweat and hopefully turn himself in.
Instead, Helgoth, who ran a Boulder-area salvage yard, seemed to take the cowardly way out, knowing that cops were closing in.
His pal John Kenady had previously gone to police telling them of Helgoth's sadistic love of shooting stray dogs, how he threatened people with guns - and some bizarre coincidences involving the JonBenet case.
When Kenady learned that JonBenet's skull had been severely cracked from a vicious
blow, chills ran down his spine.
Kenady told police that Helgoth loved to talk about killing people and once said to
him: "I wonder what it would be like to crack a human skull?"
But the most chilling link to JonBenet came in November, the month BEFORE she was killed.
"Mike was pretty happy around late November about him and a partner making a killer
deal," recalls Kenady. "They were each going to make $50,000 or $60,000.
"Then Christmas comes and he's really depressed and there's no money."
The total amount of money Helgoth and his secret partner would have collected would come close to $118,000 - the odd sum demanded in the bizarre ransom note left at the Ramsey home.
And following Helgoth's death, police discovered more damning evidence in addition to the money amount, the "cracked skull" remark, his prior conviction for sexually molesting a child and the charge by his former girlfriend that she'd caught him naked in bed with her young daughter.
Cops searching Helgoth's home after the suicide found a pair of Hi-Tec work boots - the soles of which would make prints like the one found in the Ramsey basement where an intruder was believed to have broken in.
They also found a Taser stun gun. JonBenet’s autopsy revealed marks on her body similar to those made by a Taser, leading investigators to believe that the killer used a Taser to render the Little Miss Colorado helpless.
“his friends say he was a stun gun nut and that he used to break into people's houses just for the thrill of doing it," says Ollie Gray, an investigator hired by the Ramseys.
And cops found a shirt with the mystery letters"S.B.T.C.” on it and pants with the word
"Victory" on them. Amazingly, the ransom note found at the Ramsey home was signed -
Police also discovered pictures of young girls and a newspaper clipping about the unolved case of a 5-year-old girl who had been kidnapped and murdered five
years before JonBenet.
Cops tested Helgoth'S DNA with that found in JonBenet's underpants and believed to have been left by her killer.
It didn't match. But private eyes Gray and John San Augustin believe the DNA belonged to Helgoth's unknown partner.
They also believe the secret partner may have murdered Helgoth and made it look like
suicide to cover his own tracks.
"If he's one of two people involved in a major, major death of a small girl, what's the best way to eliminate the word getting out that you had any involvement?" says Gray. "You eliminate your partner."
The evidence pointing to Helgoth as JonBenet's killer is overwhelming next to the ridiculous statements made by Karr, who sources say has been a mental mess since his deranged mother tried to set him on fire when he was an infant. She was locked away in a psycho ward shortly after.
Family friend George McCrary says Karr has always been "paranoid" and "needs a psychiatrist worse than anyone I've ever met."
Here's why experts believe Karr didn't do it:
. Neighbors and Karr's ex-wife Lara say he was at his Hamilton, Ala., home on Christmas 1996 - and not in Boulder where he claims he "accidentally" killed JonBenet.
"I know it was Christmas of 1996 because that was when I had my house remodeled," says neighbor Vemell Green Duncan. "John Karr came and helped me move some furniture."
. Karr also claimed he got into the Ramsey house by attending a Christmas party and then hiding in a bedroom until everyone was gone. The Ramseys did have a party - but on December 23, two days before the murder.
. Karr says he was invited to the party by his brother Nate, who worked for John Ramsey's computer firm. But the firm has no record of Nate Karr as an employee and John Ramsey says he never heard of him.
. There's no record of Karr ever being in Colorado.
. Karr claims the child's violent death - she was strangled and her skull was nearly shattered by a ferocious blow - was an "accident."
"This confession is nonsensical and it appears to be delusional," says Denver lawyer and former prosecutor Craig Silverman, who has been close to the JonBenet case.
"It's hard to imagine a more intentional, deliberate murder than hitting a girl with sufficient force to split her skull open and to fashion a garrote and twist it until she stops breathing."
Made for Each Other (www.westword.com)
By Alan Prendergast
Article Published Oct 12, 2006
Made for Each Other
By Alan Prendergast
Article Published Oct 12, 2006
That documentary set the stage for a more ambitious one two years later, Who Killed the Pageant Queen?: The Prime Suspect. Brought back into the official investigation by DA Lacy, Smit was no longer available to emcee, but no matter. This time around, Tracey and Mills wanted to focus not on the theorist, but on possible killers who fit the theory.
The third trip to the well recycles footage from the earlier documentaries, and the producers' trademark bombast. JonBenét is introduced as the "most famous murdered child in history" (history apparently doesn't extend as far back as the Lindbergh kidnapping), and her parents are "the most hated couple in America" (Britney and Kevin must be disappointed). Fortunately, "a completely new team of investigators has recently uncovered dramatic new facts about the murder," all pointing to the prime suspect.
The new detectives on the case turn out to be private investigators who've worked for the Ramseys' attorneys: David Williams, Jennifer Gedde, Ollie Gray and John San Agustin. The documentary notes their prior association with the Ramsey team, then proceeds to hopelessly muddle their role. Lacy's office has sought their help, the narrator explains, and although they're "unpaid volunteers," they're "an important part of the new investigation."
These on-camera sleuths are presented as quasi-official spokespeople. Their investigation has been "set up" by Lacy's office, we're told; they're "a new team of detectives appointed last year." This is pure invention. Lacy invited the Ramsey PIs to a meeting in 2003 to share their research with her team; that's it. As for being unpaid volunteers, Gray and San Agustin (who's also an inspector in the El Paso County Sheriff's Office) have been consulting on the case, without pay, for the Ramsey attorneys since 1999 -- and still are, according to San Agustin. Gedde, who's now an attorney herself, apparently hasn't been actively involved in the case for quite some time.
Also undisclosed is the relationship between San Agustin, Gray and Lou Smit. Smit is San Agustin's former captain in the sheriff's office, and Lou Smit Investigations is part of a linked network of Colorado Springs-based investigative services that also includes Gray's and San Agustin's firm. Between Smit's stints in the DA's office, he and Gray looked into several leads in the Ramsey case together.
"What Lou was doing was totally separate from what we were doing," San Agustin says. "But I wouldn't say there was a wall between us. There was collaboration, up to a point."
Mills defends the documentary's portrayal of the Ramsey team as "new" investigators chasing down leads for the district attorney. "They were the only people who could speak," he says. "The DA, Mary Lacy, gave us no help in making that program. But Gray and San Agustin were extraordinarily well-informed. They knew the key lines of inquiry."
The key lines of their inquiry, anyway -- which is to find the perp or perps who used a stun gun on JonBenét and then killed her. The program soon keys in on one Michael Helgoth, a Boulder resident who died from an odd but apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound less than two months after the murder. Helgoth had a stun gun, a pair of Hi-Tec boots -- and, according to some sources, an unhealthy interest in young girls. Most intriguing of all, his death came the day after Alex Hunter went on television to address the killer, a speech carefully scripted by the FBI: "The list of suspects narrows. Soon there will be no one on the list but you."
But Helgoth isn't the prime suspect. In fact, the Helgoth lead isn't new at all. Boulder police had looked at him years before and ruled him out. They claimed Helgoth's boots didn't match the print in the basement -- although this is disputed by Mills, who says the boot was never properly tested. (Other accounts have linked the print to JonBenét's brother Burke, an assertion San Agustin dismisses as "baloney.") Worse, the police found that Helgoth's DNA didn't match the material in JonBenét's panties.
To Mills and Tracey, and to virtually all proponents of the intruder theory, the DNA is crucial. It's the single most important piece of evidence -- far more important than, say, that silly, inexplicable ransom note. The DNA doesn't match that of any member of the Ramsey family, so it must belong to the real killer. The documentary even reports that the DNA in the undies matches other DNA found under JonBenét's fingernails, all of which "had come from the same unknown white male" -- a dubious assertion, since sources in the district attorney's office have described the fingernail sample as too contaminated or degraded to be meaningful.
"Do we have an exact report on that? No," says San Agustin. "As to the validity of that, I couldn't tell you. That's what we were made aware of."
The documentary zags around the DNA problem by suggesting that Helgoth was one of two intruders in the house that night. Isn't there a second unidentified footprint in the basement? Doesn't the ransom note talk about "two gentlemen watching over your daughter"? Wouldn't it take two people to haul the stun gun, cord, duct tape and other paraphernalia?
The prime suspect, it turns out, is Helgoth's presumed partner in crime, a trailer-park resident "who shared his interest in martial arts and young girls...a close associate, who has since disappeared." Without naming the man, several acquaintances of the suspect describe his threatening manner and violent past, including a prison stretch "for a sexual assault on a child."
"I tried to steer clear of that individual," one witness intones, "because he could have been, you know, a menace to me or my family."
Scary stuff. But the portrait of the prime suspect began to crumble as soon as the documentary aired. An alert viewer in Scotland noticed a close-up of court documents pertaining to the prime suspect. Although the producers had blacked out his name, they'd left the case file number and the man's date of birth clearly legible. Soon the amateur Ramsey sleuths on the Internet knew his name: John Steven Gigax.
Mills is abjectly apologetic about the blunder. "We were determined not to identify him because he might well be innocent," he says. "It's one of the most embarrassing mistakes of my career. It was a piece of incompetence on my part, for which I am ashamed. It was a complete cock-up."
But making Gigax identifiable wasn't the extent of the cock-up. He was also easily found, contrary to the documentary's claim that he'd disappeared; he was, and still is, selling reproductions of Nazi jewelry on the Internet. In fact, at least two of the Gigax acquaintances interviewed by Tracey and Mills were aware that he'd moved to Indiana several months before the Ramsey murder. How could this critical fact have eluded the filmmakers and their crack team of investigators?
"Nobody that we spoke to knew where he was," Mills insists. "And he would not have been eliminated as a suspect had we not made the documentary. It actually makes the thrust of the documentary, that these leads were not being pursued."
Actually, there's no reason to believe Gigax ever was a suspect in the Ramsey investigation -- except to Smit and the Ramsey team. Mills and Tracey are both under the impression that he was "eliminated" by a DNA test after the documentary aired, but that, too, is erroneous. In fact, much of what they report about Gigax was never properly checked.
Gigax first learned of his sudden infamy shortly after the documentary aired. "People I didn't know from Adam were e-mailing me, saying I was this prime suspect in the Ramsey case," he recalls. "I called the Boulder DA's office and talked to Tom Bennett. He said I was not a suspect, that I had never been a suspect."
Gigax offered to send Bennett sales receipts that proved he was in Indiana over Christmas 1996. He also had a dozen witnesses who'd seen him there on Christmas Day. As he sees it, the film mangles basic facts about him, his whereabouts and his criminal record to make him fit the part of a crazed ninja-stalker killer. Calling him a "convicted pedophile" is a bit misleading: After what he describes as a drunken and unconsummated encounter with a teenage babysitter 21 years ago, he was convicted of attempted sexual assault and served less than two years. Yes, he pleaded guilty in 1996 to a menacing charge over a fight in his trailer that ended with the stabbing of a neighbor, but he received probation and arranged to complete it in Indiana.
"Michael Tracey can find an arrest report, and he can't find the rest of the paperwork that goes with it?" he asks. "The people pointing the finger at me and saying I'm a bad, scary guy were both aware that I'd moved. One of them called me to tell me that Helgoth had killed himself."
Gigax says he's never taken a martial arts class in his life. He likes to dress in black, but that's because he's a Harley man. And the sources accusing him, he adds, knew Michael Helgoth much better than he did.
How, then, did Gigax become the prime suspect in Tracey's world? "You have a series of prime suspects that you go through one at a time," Mills says. "At the time we were making that documentary, he was the prime suspect the investigators were interested in."
San Agustin, though, says it was the producers' call to target Gigax: "We never said he's on the top of our list. We just said, 'There's a group of people tied to Helgoth who need to be looked into.'"
Gigax's principal accuser in the documentary is John Kenady, a mechanic and tow-truck driver who introduced Gigax to Helgoth. Kenady is convinced that Helgoth's death was murder rather than suicide. The Boulder police disagree with him.
Like Gigax, Kenady has an ancient conviction for sexual assault on a child, which he says involved a consensual relationship with a teenager; in effect, the producers used one convicted sex offender to point the finger at another. Kenady was also arrested in 2000 for breaking into Helgoth's house and pleaded guilty to trespassing. He says he merely wanted to preserve evidence.
Court records indicate that Kenady suffered a head injury in an auto accident six years ago and was required to undergo a mental evaluation as part of the plea bargain in the break-in. He denies any mental problems. "The DA's office wanted to portray me as crazy," he says. "I couldn't get anyone in the press to talk to me about Mike's death. They're scared to death."
Gigax's alibi in the Ramsey case doesn't impress Kenady. The possibility that Helgoth's death, which occurred on Valentine's Day, might have been a suicide related to girlfriend problems also doesn't dissuade him. "I think there were three people involved in this, possibly four," he says. "Mike would say, 'Maybe I should just shoot myself now and get it over with.' I got a pretty good idea he was into something he shouldn't have been."
Mills says he and Tracey paid no one for interviews in their first two documentaries. But they made an exception in the third film, paying Kenady and another Gigax accuser sums of $200 or less for the "inconvenience" of having to take time off from work. While admitting that he was paid, Kenady says he only agreed to appear in the documentary because Lou Smit vowed he would track down the man who killed Helgoth and JonBenét.
"They went a little far on some of this stuff," he says. "Michael Tracey told me, 'I want to be famous, I want to solve this case.' But they hung me out to dry. Lou said he was going to go find the guy, and nothing happens. Lou, Ollie and I made a pact that we're going to work this until we die. I've put way over a hundred thousand of my own money into this. I sold my Harley, my Corvette. I emptied all my bank accounts. It's ruined everything I had planned because I want to know the truth."
Among the flaws of The Prime Suspect, it's clear that no one made a serious effort to contact the prime suspect before including so many serious allegations about him. San Agustin says that was the producers' job, not his. Gigax hasn't heard a whisper of apology from Mills or Tracey. Every time he reads about Professor Presumption blasting the sleazy tabloid press for violating the most elementary ethical tenets of journalism, he wants to scream.
"Sometimes I think the only way to get any justice would be to go to Colorado and pound the hell out of him," he says. "He's teaching the next crop of journalists damaging and biased techniques. Are we going to have a country of little Michael Traceys running around, trying to crucify people?"
Every five years, CU's tenured professors undergo a post-tenure review of their work. Tracey had his most recent review just a few weeks ago, in the midst of the Karr uproar. Because his scholarly output has taken a back seat to Ramsey sleuthing in recent years -- he hasn't published a book since 1998 -- the last two documentaries were a significant part of the portfolio of professional "publication" that he presented for consideration.
Dean Voakes says he's aware that the documentaries are controversial. Asked about specific issues arising from the third documentary -- misrepresentations, paid sources, a prime suspect who says he was unjustly accused -- he expresses bewilderment.
"Now we're in an area I can't comment on," he says. "I'm not aware of any of that."