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Surrounding the JonBenet Ramsey Murder case

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

Neighbors - Margaret Dillon
First Leak that Police asked about
Stun Gun, Hi-Tec shoes, Duct Tape, Nylon Cord

JonBenet Ramsey Murder Case
Neighbors - Margaret Dillon
Police asked her about Stun Gun, Hi-Tec shoes, Duct Tape, Nylon Cord
Individual Date Reference Key ? Gave Prints Gave Blood Gave Hair Handwriting Got DNA Cleared or Alibi
Margaret Dillon
(756 Fourteenth Street)
(Boulder, Colorado)
Ramey Neighbor who was interviewed by Louis Sahagun of the Los Angeles Times in December 1997 and she told him that the police had asked her whether she knew if the Ramseys owned a Taser or stun gun. They also asked her about duct tape and white nylon cord
Los Angeles newspaper broke the stun gun story on the front page

Rocky Mountain News
broke the
Hi-Tech Boot
Daily Camera
Stun Gun

PMPT Pg579sb
PMPT Pg581sb
PMPT Pg601sb
--- --- --- --- --- --- Investigated by
Detective Weinheimer
Asked her about Stun Gun, Hi-Tec shoes
Duct Tape
Nylon Cord

Dillard said this was first time Boulder Police interviewed her


1997-12-20: Ramsey attorney: stun gun possible

Ramsey attorney: stun gun possible
Camera Staff Report
Saturday, December 20, 1997

The lead attorney for John Ramsey said Friday a stun gun may have been used in the Dec. 26 slaying of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey.

Bryan Morgan said his clients have known about the stun gun for "many months," partly because detectives investigating the case were asking neighbors questions about such a weapon, which is used to immobilize people through the use of electric shock.

Boulder police and prosecutors wouldn't comment on the revelation.

"You can call it speculation. You can call it a rumor," said Boulder city spokeswoman Leslie Aaholm. "Call it what you like. It's an investigative detail. We're not going to comment."

Christopher Mueller, a criminal law professor at the University of Colorado, said, "If police are asking potential witnesses whether they own a stun gun, there is some indication that the police have information that such a tool was used in the crime and it could signal a new direction."

But, he added, "another possibility is that this rumor has surfaced, and the police simply have to either confirm it or put it to rest."

Margaret Dillon, who lives in the 750 block of 14th Street, told the Los Angeles Times that Boulder police detectives queried her about a stun gun. She only would confirm to the Daily Camera that she was interviewed for the first time by police last Wednesday.

Three other neighbors contacted by the Camera said they were never asked about stun guns in recent police interviews. Frances Smith, one of Dillon's neighbors, said she, too, was interviewed in the last week. But no mention was made of a stun gun.

"Well, they asked if we heard anything unusual the night of the murder, and of course we didn't," Smith said. "They were here only a very short time. They didn't mention a stun gun. I don't know what a stun gun even is."

Although Dillon said this week's visit was the first by police, Smith said detectives have talked to her three times.

"At the beginning of the activities after the murder, we had two of the Boulder policemen come by at various times," Smith said. "At one time, they wanted to go through our backyard, which of course they did, and the other time was more or less to see if we heard anything or saw anything unusual."

Another neighbor, who asked not to be named, said when new detectives came to his home this week they asked if he'd heard a scream the night of the girl's murder. He said he didn't, but he was in bed with the flu that night.

But, Morgan said, "We have known for some time that law enforcement believed a stun gun was used in the commission of this crime. We have refused any comment about it until it became apparent that the police interviews on the subject had been revealed to the press."

The Ramsey family and its representatives did not reveal the information sooner because of concerns that news reports of police inquiries would cause the killer to dispose of such a weapon, Morgan said.

Morgan said the Ramsey family "does not own such a weapon and have not ever owned such a weapon." Rachelle Zimmer, a lawyer and spokesperson for the family, told the Los Angeles Times, "It must now be clear to any open-minded person that this vicious crime was committed by an outsider."

Nearly a year ago, John Ramsey and a friend found JonBenet strangled, beaten and apparently sexually assaulted in the basement of the family's home about eight hours after the girl was reported kidnapped.

He said family representatives did not have access to autopsy reports or other documents to indicate whether such a weapon actually was used on the girl, or if such a weapon was simply recovered during the investigation.

However, "we are satisfied that the law enforcement authorities have a firm basis for their belief that such a weapon was used," he said.

Jack Mitchell, part-owner of Universal Electronics, which sells stun guns in Indiana and Michigan, said, "If a stun gun was used, it would be to silence a person. ... Once you shock the person, they couldn't scream or anything."

A person shocked by a stun gun would be knocked unconscious in less than two seconds, he said. A typical hand-held stun gun would leave red marks and bumps, possibly two bumps an inch and half to two inches apart. If someone modified the stun gun's voltage, it could burn the skin and even cause puncture wounds.

Among a variety of abrasions on the 6-year-old's body, JonBenet's autopsy mentions "two small scratch-like abrasions" on the girl's left lower leg. It also refers to a "rust-colored abrasion" below her right ear.

But Z. G. Standing Bear, a Colorado State University professor with 35 years of criminal justice experience, including a stint as a coroner, said "it's possible, not probable" that an autopsy would reveal evidence of a stun gun assault.

"There's no research on that, especially on little kids," Standing Bear said.

Camera staff writers Christopher Anderson, Clay Evans, Julie Poppen and Matt Sebastian contributed to this report.


[Perfect Murder, Perfect Town]1999-02-18: “Perfect Murder, Perfect Town, JonBenet and the City of Boulder”
Written by Lawrence Schiller, February 18, 1999

PMPT Page 579sb

"As soon as the detectives finished one task, Mark Beckner moved them to the next. Now they were recanvassing the Ramseys' neighborhood, on the possibility that the duct tape and the rope had been obtained from a nearby home and the remnants returned to their original location. Detective Weinheimer asked Margaret Dillon, who lived at 756 14th Street, across the Ramseys' back alley, if she'd had any tape or white cord in her garage at the time of JonBenet's murder.

"Why, I don't have a garage," she replied.

"OK,"Weinheimer said. Then he asked: "Do you have: a stun gun, or a taser?"

"What's that?" she asked. "Is it something like a cattle prod?" Then he asked about Hi-Tec shoes. She knew nothing about them, either.

When the detective left, Dillon wondered why he had asked her only whether she kept duct tape and white cord in ..". her garage. Why didn't he ask her if she had those things in her house? From his manner, she was surprised he didn't ask her if she had run across the alley and killed JonBenet. In Dillon's opinion, Weinheimer had simply wanted answers-any answers-to a short list of questions. He hadn't seemed interested in investigating."

PMPT Page 581sb

"Meanwhile, reporters were canvassing the Ramsey neighborhood looking for a new angle to use in their stories on the first anniversary of JonBenet's murder. Louis Sahagun of the Los Angeles Times interviewed Margaret Dillon, who told him that the police had asked her whether she knew if the Ramseys owned a Taser or stun gun. They had also asked her about duct tape and white nylon cord, she said. When Sahagun called Rachelle Zimmer, a Ramsey spokeswoman, to check the information, he learned that they had "known about the use of a stun gun in this murder for many months." She added, "It must now be clear to any openminded person that this vicious crime was committed by an outsider."

On December 16, Sahagun asked Bill Wise whether he said the police were investigating the use of a stun gun in the murder. Wise said he had no idea what he was talking about. It was just another crazy rumor, he thought. Sahagun had gotten a virtual "no comment" from the police when he had asked them about the stun gun."

PMPT Page 582sb

"Three days later, on December 19, before Wise had time to mention the rumor to his boss, Hunter walked into his office, closed the door, and said that the next day, the Los Angeles Times would report that a stun gun might have been used in the murder. Hunter, who had known about Smit's stun gun theory, had gotten a call at home the night before from a writer who had been tipped and wanted to warn the DA. Wise, who knew nothing of the investigation by Smit and Ainsworth, since he had been removed at Koby's request from the daily briefings in February, hadn't thought to ask Hofstrom or DeMuth about a stun gun after Sahagun called him earlier in the week. On Saturday December 20, the Los Angeles newspaper broke the stun gun story on the front page. Ramsey attorney Hal Haddon told The Denver Post "We've been told affirmatively that one [a stun gun] was used."

Over the weekend Bill Wise received many calls from reporters about the stun gun. On Monday morning, December 22, he asked Tom Faure, the coroner's chief investigator, what he knew about it. Faure told Wise that there were two marks on JonBenet's back that could have come from that kind of device, though in retrospect, Meyer thought the marks were scratches, not abrasions from a stun gun. Nevertheless, there were two more scratches on the back of one of JonBenet's legs which were the same color as the marks on her back."

PMPT Page 601sb

"The Ramseys' attorneys responded on January 23 with an open letter to Beckner, which was given to the media. They complained that the commander was negotiating through the media and that, like Eller, Beckner was after an "elimination of defenses" rather than an "objective search for the real killer." The attorneys said that the leaks about the shoe imprint and the stun gun had taken place on Beckner's watch, implying that the police had been the source. On this matter, the attorneys were disingenuous. They were the ones who had responded to the Los Angeles Times story about the stun gun, whose source, the article stated, was a Ramsey neighbor who had been interviewed by the police. The source of an early December Rocky Mountain News story about the shoe imprint was not a member of law enforcement either. More to the point, however, was something that

PMPT Page 602sb

the attorneys failed to point out in their letter: during their investigation, detectives often failed to admonish possible witnesses not to discuss their interviews with anyone.

The attorneys' letter concluded on an ominous note: "We will no longer deal with the Boulder Police Department, except to honor our previous commitments."

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