2006-08-31: Peter Boyles Radio Show 630KHOW
Guest: Jeff Merrick, Norm Early (Link to full transcript)
BOYLES: Good morning, it's six and a half minutes after the hour of seven. We are Denver's talk station, good morning and welcome to the show. And it was am amazing performance. I got a call from a very good friend of mine that said movies don't run that long. And it really got down to the finalities there that we really don't have nothing. We just simply did it. KHOW radio, I'm Peter Boyles good morning now, first of all in Florida, please say good morning to Jeff Merrick. Jeffrey Good Morning.
BOYLES: Right now let's turn to Jeff because everyone knows Norms career and that's why it's important to have Norm with us this morning. Jeffrey, I know you've written a book. Tell your story of your relationship with John Ramsey, the Ramsey case and how you became fingered as we now say by them as the killer of the little girl.
MERRICK: Well I met John Ramsey when we were both in the management development program at AT&T together back in 1971 so I went back a long way with him too. And I came to work with him at Access Graphics in '93 and stayed there until '96 and just to make a long story short I ran into some problems with his father-in-law who happens to be Don Paugh whose a figure in this case also being Patsy's father. I didn't really know I was going to be working for Don Paugh when I went there but anyway, they a did some things there that I didn't think were very ethical especially in relationship to me so I complained to Lockheed Martin who owned the company, you know, about the ethical behavior. Evidentially John Ramsey didn't like that very much because after his daughter was killed I found myself being his favorite suspect. I was the only person he mentioned to the police on the day they found his daughter's body. The only one. Of all the people the mans known in his whole life, you know, I'm the one they mentioned.
BOYLES: And the best of my knowledge at the same time, Patsy mentioned the housekeeper, Linda Hoffmann-Pugh.
MERRICK: Yeah, there were four of us, in fact it got really messy because when Ramseys wrote their book they really exploded us. We'd all been interviewed, extensively cleared and everything else. If you recall, prior to the Ramseys book being published, the marketing build up for it was like Ramseys name suspects and remember how everybody was excited to see who they'd really name and it comes out they name me. And I was John's only exclusive, this is when I found out, on the day, it was in his book, on the day he found his daughter, I was the one he mentioned. So it was me and Linda Hoffmann-Pugh and Bill McReynolds, Santa Clause and I think Chris Wolf was the guys name, the other guy
BOYLES: And Mike Glenn, going down a list of people
MERRICK: They didn't name him, we were the original four. Mike was not in that original four used to market the book. I thought it was terrible you know, because that drudged it all up again, people were saying why were these suspects and everything and you know, of course our names had to come up again. So it went from there and I also endured three police interrogations because Ramsey kept insisting that I be interrogated.
BOYLES: Now these were people themselves who would not be interrogated, right?
MERRICK: Ah, oh yeah, I thought this is really strange, you know the police called me like three days after. On New Years Eve I go into the police station and I undergo a really thorough interrogation.
BOYLES: And remember the police only focused on the Ramseys according to their attorney and Mike Tracey and a list of people.
MERRICK: Oh sure, that has been so debunked except by the publicity machine and they seem like they want to be candidates for saint hood. But anyway, I went through that and then I get a call a few days, about a week later that said we want to talk to you again, something new has come up in the case. Well, then I go, I call Norm and I says geeze Norm what's going on here, Norm was a great great confident and advisor through this whole thing which was very very comforting. But anyway he said no, go talk to them again and so I did and it turns up they wanted to talk to me about a dinner that I attended a week before the murder at Pasta Jays. You mentioned Mike Glynn, he was a friend too, a former friend of John Ramseys. Mike was in town for a business meeting and say hey I want to get together with you and some people from Access and you know, get together for dinner. So we go over, we had dinner at Pasta Jays and run into Don Paugh.
BOYLES: What's important here is Pasta Jay ends up chasing Lee Frank around with a gun in his car.
MERRICK: Oh yeah, this thing ties together. John Ramsey owns part of Pasta Jay, the whole thing just goes on and on. Anyway Don Paugh is sitting there at Pasta Jays with an out of town Access employee who use to be quite the (??) so Kathy is with me, me and my wife, and me and Mike and we walk in and stop and chat for a minute with Don Paugh. Mike stays later and Kathy and I go to sit down. A few days later I'm watching John Douglas on Dateline NBC
BOYLES: A guy who never came on our radio show
MERRICK: Yeah and no, this is the super silence of the lambs genius profiler, you know
BOYLES: It ended up we found out he was on the payroll too
MERRICK: Oh yeah, absolutely on the payroll. So he's telling Diane Sawyer or somebody that I think it was a business associate, a former business associate.
BOYLES: Ain't that interesting.
MERRICK: I'm watching this and I'm oh my God, you know, here we go again and it turns out the police wanted to talk to me about that dinner at Pasta Jays. Douglas told them we were there plotting the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. That was his theory.
MERRICK: Oh yeah, right, right, I think they interviewed like hundreds of people literally. And they focused on my three times. This was only my second interview about that.
BOYLES: Jeffrey, I looked it up. Boulder police collected 5,300 phone tips, 4,800 letters, conducted 650 interviews and identified 140 possible suspects by the time the homicide was five years old. They only focused on the Ramseys according to the DA?
MERRICK: Yeah I know, I mean they focused on everybody, they focused on me, my goodness, I mean really, really, did a job. But the interesting thing about this inter, about this dinner and Douglas' involvement in it, It was douglas idea that maybe we did it, somebody told Douglas that we were at that dinner, right? Then I'm thinking, this just came to me a couple days ago, as you mentioned I'm working on this ongoing manuscript for about ten years to just kind of write down my thoughts to have them current but he seemed to tell the Ramseys you know, that we were there. So then the Ransom note comes out and it says she's being held by two people who don't like you very much. And as soon as I heard that I say you're talking about me and Mike Glynn.
BOYLES: Here we go again, your talking exactly right.
MERRICK: It's right there in the ransom note and I'm thinking why is that in the ransom note, what a weird thing to put in there.
BOYLES: Winky, winky,
MERRICK: Yeah, so I'm thinking man, that ransom note, maybe it came from inside the house you know, but anyway somebody had to know these two people who don't like you, don't like John very much, I thought this is really strange because Mike had run into similar stuff at Access Graphics.
BOYLES: The small foreign faction !
MERRICK: Yeah, the, it sounds like everything including the kitchen sink was thrown into that note just to, you know, kind of create wild goose chases.
MERRICK: Yeah. And you look at that and say man, this so one sided. That's the problem with the people with the intruder thing, they are so one sided, I mean I can see where, okay, there's a little bit of evidence that there was an intruder, possibly, that's legitimate but don't discount the mountain of evidence that says that it might possibly be an inside job but that's what they do and then they point their justification on that by saying the police didn't focus on anybody but the Ramseys.
BOYLES: I can give you the numbers here.
MERRICK: I know, you just did it. It's so illogical for the people who believe in the intruder theory. You know John and Patsy Ramsey are very very, and Patsy has unfortunately passed away, but they are very charming people and I think Lin Wood is probably a very good man and Mary Lacy is probably a good person and Smit's a good person but you can't discount the fact that they may have been charmed.
BOYLES: Lou Smit has said things that are so bizarre in his relationship with Tracey. I don't know if you listened online this morning to the show but the relationship now in Tracey's documentary with these two guys appearing holding the blacked out reports naming this Gigax character and these two jokers turn out to be working in, it's called "The Agency" in Colorado Springs who Smit set up.
MERRICK: And then on the third interview Steve calls me up and says we'd like to talk to you one more time and I says what's this about and he says well I don't want to talk about it on the phone and we want you to come in again. So down I go again to the Boulder Police station and sit there and they got their big nine millimeter and I sit there, it's intimidating so I say what is this and by now I've about had it because this is my third interview and the main question Steve says is why does John Ramsey keep throwing your name out there? And I says, "He does?" And they said, "Yep, sure does." And I thought for a minute and I though maybe it's because I told on his halo harking back to the Lockheed Martin stuff where I had my case where these people were not all that ethical in their business practices to support my claim and I believe that's the only reason I can think he kept throwing my name out there because there was no evidence, no motive, I had gone on to a better job.
BOYLES: But if you look at how many people the Ramseys named up to and including Fleet and Priscilla White eventually.
MERRICK: Oh yeah, that was incredible, you know I was at a Christmas party once, this was a company Christmas party and John and Patsy brought Fleet and Priscilla to that party.
BOYLES: Well they ware there at their home before, the night of the death.
MERRICK: Oh yeah, they were very very close. And then I think, according to some of the stuff I read in some of the books and they just turned on the guy mercifully because they had the audacity to suggest that maybe they should co-operate with the police.
EARLY: You know Jeff and I have know each other for so many years but we have also been very good friends through that time and when Jeff's name came up I was just stricken with grief that anybody as fine as Jeff Merrick could be associated in anyway with this thing by having the finger pointed at him and it became clear when the police authorities wanted to talk to him that they were doing everything they could to clear him but when he called me nonetheless and they said they wanted him to take a lie detector test and I said sure tell them you'll take a lie detector test, you'll stand in line right behind John Ramsey.
MERRICK: I did that too. The point was that here you have all these people doing all they could to clear themselves and to give police all the information they needed in order to X them out as a suspect and John wasn't doing that.
MERRICK: You bet and they even came to our house and took handwriting samples from Kathy.