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September 14, 2006, 2:40 pm, Thu Sep 14 14:40:06 UTC 2006 #1
Complete Transcript - Mary Lacy Press Conference About John Mark Karr - 8/29/06
It's mine - all mine and I posted it 13 minutes before anyone else.....
(only kidding). I'm going to add page 64 of the affidavit too a it;s referred to a few times.
Copy to other forums (acknowledgement would be nice).
Mary Lacy: Good morning. I’m going to start by introducing the team. You know their names from the plaques that are in front of them obviously, but this … to my right is Chief Investigator Tom Bennett, who I believe has close to 30 years homicide and other major crime investigation experience. To my left is my first assistant Peter McGuire and to his left, my assistant Bill Nagel. These are the people that I consulted with in making decisions but, I want to make it absolutely clear up front that the decisions were mine, the responsibility is mine and I should be held accountable for all decisions in this case. Having said that, let me start by saying …these have been a very difficult few days for all of us and I’m sure you can imagine that. Last night as I was preparing to leave, I received a telephone call from a gentleman in Longmont and he said (this was a voicemail). He said “You should be tarred and feathered …… and run out of town … and… I want you to call me and tell me that you’re going to resign“.
You know, that’s pretty harsh and it’s not just one, there were a lot of calls like that. Um, I called him back and he said “Well first of all, I’m surprised that you called me, but… he started with a series of questions, and I’m imagining that his questions are the same questions that are at the top of your minds. So his first question was “Why didn’t you surreptitiously take DNA in Bangkok, before you took this person into …custody?”
We Did. We took surreptitious DNA on multiple occasions. Immediately upon locating this person - who went to mailboxes to pick up a package that we sent to him., two different officers took DNA off of the bicycle that he rode back. On a separate occasion, they obtained a cup that he used to drink from and a tissue or wipe that he used to wipe his hands. The bottom line is that after we did that, our expert - and we put a great deal of respect in our expert from the Denver lab - said that the sample in the underwear of the victim was a mixed sample and that we do not want to compare a mixed sample with a mixed sample. We need a pristine sample. That means a buccal swab. A buccal swab can only be taken by consent or by court proceeding or court order. We couldn’t get his consent because he didn’t know he was under investigation and we couldn’t alert him at that time. The um… this gentleman had a number of other questions. um… you know…I’m going to have to rely on the people here to day to help me out to answer the specifics of the dates and times. This investigation took place over a period of approximately 90 days or more. We were successful for …99% of the time keeping it away from media attention even though many people knew about it. It didn’t leak out to the media or to the public and we’re proud of our staff for accomplishing that. Um.. The fact of the matter is that we didn’t have as much control or in fact any control when we’re dealing with a foreign government half way around the world. They were helping us in every way possible and we thank them from the bottom of our heart but they have a different process for media than we do and we couldn’t prevent them from talking to the press. Um and of course at some point it was inevitable that it was going to happen.
Um.. (turning to colleagues) is there anything else that I need to cover this time? You know the other thing that I’d like to address right up front is that I understand that there are people who are angry because I’ve received the e-mails and the phone calls that they’re not included in this this morning and for some reason they think our office excluded them. Um..and so..and of course the citizens aren’t here and those are the people that we really owe an accounting to and why we’re doing this this morning.. We didn’t exclude anyone. We relied on the media consortium to decide who would be present this morning. We did set the number and.. you know that wasn’t the main part of my reaction. Quite frankly, last week at that press conference I was just a bit …overwhelmed by people basically screaming from all different directions. I didn’t feel like I could answer anybody’s questions in a way that they would want it answered. And, we really wanted today to give you the information, to allow you time to come to us with your thoughtful questions and to give you thoughtful answers and to make sure every one of you got your questions answered as opposed to feeling like you have to compete with somebody else to get your question answered so that’s why we did it. I…, I expect to get calls from the citizens. I have responded to e-mails and calls from citizens. I will continue to do that to the extent possible so that people feel like they understand what’s going on and why we did what we did at any different place in time. You know, every one of you here knows that hindsight is 20/20 umh…and you know that after the game is over… it’s easy to criticise what people have done and what decisions have been made. What I can assure you is that very um…intelligent, educated, experienced people consulted on a daily basis and questioned each other about what the options are, what are the better options and what are the not so good options in this case. What decisions we make and what’s going to happen as a result of the decisions we make. So we didn’t go into any of this without talking and thinking about it. Now, (looking at colleagues) are there any other statements that any of you want to make prior to opening it up to questions?
Let’s open it up to questions then and I think Carolyn’s gonna help us.
Woman: Why wasn’t federal charge unlawful flight to avoid prosecution used to extradite him and then get a DNA sample in California?
Peter McGuire: There was a… what they call a UFAT warrant issued in this case. Uh there was one in San Francisco. That was done through our co-ordination with the uh Office of International Affairs, the Department of Justice. The problem with that is if we would’ve had to bring him back on that we would’ve had to go through the international extradition process.which would’ve required us to get a provisional arrest warrant in Thailand. We’d have then had 60 days . We’d have had to submit independent affidavits, prosecutor statements and many, many formal proceedings in order to get over there that would’ve had to be translated. It would’ve actually greatly slowed down the process. And we were in consultation with the department of justice and the ICE, the Department of Homeland Security and the Embassy in Thailand on the most expeditious process in order to be able to get him back.
Woman: What was the risk in doing it…. not doing it that way?
Peter McGuire: Well because in doing it that way, we would’ve ended up with him being in custody over there at a tremendous expense and time consumption. It’s a slow process to go through the international treaties.
Mary Lacy: It’s also an expensive process because all of the documents have to be translated at the Department of Justice cost which is $80-85 a page. We have to pay for two US Marshals to bring the suspect back.
[Interrupted by an alarm]
Mary Lacy: (Oh my God). I suspect we’re going to have to leave. We’ll come back at the earliest time and resume…. We’ll wait just a minute and then we’ll c….
Mary Lacy : [commentator talking in foreground] …. Expenses …[commentator]…. To bring him back was very substantial. We had put together a rough budget and actually alerted the Commissioners that that was a potential of what could happen. It became inevitable that we had to bring him back by another procedure because the Thai Government designated him as an “undesirable person” and once he’s designated as an “undesirable person” which was based on several different factors including our e-mails and the information we sent over there, they want him out of the country - they expel him within 24-48 hours. So that made our expeditious route something we absolutely had to follow.
Man: You’ve released all the e-mails, at least all the e-mails that we have seen, and everyone in this room has read those e-mails and clearly you are very familiar with those e-mails. Everything in those e-mails is publicly available and has been on the Internet for years. So you or I or anybody in this room could’ve concocted a story and fantasised exactly like he did. When you brought him to Boulder, Colorado and this was several days - five days you had… you knew who he was. Then he was arrested in Thailand, then you had time… he was brought to California and then here. In that period of time, when you brought him and he stepped off the plane in Boulder, Colorado, what other evidence did you have? Phone records? Credit card records? Witnesses? … Anything that could place him in Boulder, in the State of Colorado anytime around Christmas of 1996. What did you have that said, other than his bizarre statements in these e-mails which any of us could have concocted, what else did you have that placed him here?
Mary Lacy: Well, let’s start with the fact that as far as we can tell, there is no physical evidence in this case that it…has not been in the public domain. The ability of our office, or any law enforcement to connect this crime to a person based on something they know about it, that no-one knows was gone a long time ago. That’s impossible. So you’re is a good question in that.. You know, we check every time something comes up - “Has this been in the public domain?” . I mean for instance, there were a couple of references which were weren’t sure were in the public domain. One was the fact that JonBenet had received the bracelet on her arm from her mother as a Christmas present. But that’s in the public domain - it’s in the autopsy report.. The other one was the presence of the mucous from the nose under the tape not over it but under it. You could… I mean… a child’s gonna have a runny nose. It’s not gonna take [overtalk - Man: What else did you have?] to come up with that.
Man: What else did you have?
Mary Lacy: Well I’m laying the groundwork for that.. Because that was impossible. What we had to rely on was an attempt to try to verify this person’s credibility. And so what we were looking at was approximately four or five hundred pages of e-mails are the other things that he’s told us since there‘s nothing in the crime are the other things he‘s told us - can we verify those? And if you’ve read these, you all know that there’s some pretty bizarre facts that he’s alleged in the e-mails. We’ve been…we were able to verify that in fact these things had occurred - that he wasn’t … fantasising about what he was saying in his e-mails. That when he talked about his mother burning him when he was a child - his mother did burn him when he was a child. Now when we read that, we didn’t think that that was accurate. There… his occupation
Man: Trying to understand… getting to the point. How is that related to the Ramsey case? Because he was a paedophile in Thailand. Because his mother burned him. What did that have to do with him concocting a story which you or I could have concocted? And what specific other evidence .. You had time to check his credit records, his phone records - everything. You had that time before he stepped off a plane here in Boulder.
Mary Lacy: We started immediately upon his detention checking background and checking credit card records … uhm… we checked financial records. Frankly, and the first thing that we wanted to do was to determine whether he was in Boulder on December 25th 1996 from May, when we learned of this. And there are a lot of different ways, background checks and databases that you can use to establish that. We were not able to establish he was in Boulder, but as importantly, we were not able to establish that he was not in Boulder. It didn’t help us either way and that remains the information, the best information we have at this time. There’s circumstantial, photographic evidence of his three sons in Atlanta with the in-laws at Christmas time. He’s not in the photos. The wife and he were to a great degree estranged at the time. So the former wife who we find to be very credible and very helpful and very co-operative . She did everything she could to dig up every document, photo she could find and she interviewed with officers for some 10-12 hours was unable to establish and when actually asked, “Can you state he was with you?”, she had to say “No, I can‘t”. “That’s not my best recollection” is what she said, “but I cannot state that“. So in answer to your question, we started immediately as well as calling in the Boulder Police Department who started immediately to help us establish that.
[Turns to Colleagues] Is there anything that you want to add to that Tom because certainly you were …
Mary Lacy: …. Part of that time period and what was being done investigative-wise.
Tom Bennett: Yeah, we reached out to quite a few agencies around the country where this gentleman had resided out(?) previously. We solicited assistance from uh a good number of agencies. A thorough background was done and the closest time-frame we’ve come up with thus far is we know his whereabouts up to December 23rd 1996.
Man: So bottom line, you had no evidence when he stepped off the plane in Boulder? You had absolutely no evidence other than his bizarre e-mails which you agree that… a person could have concocted. That’s the only thing you had that would place him in this crime scene.. In other words, you had nothing… essentially - other than his statements?
Mary Lacy: We had probable cause to arrest him based on our having tested other statements within the e-mails and the telephone calls. Which is typically how we test credibility in someone - are they prone to lying about other things in their lives? Because if they’re lying about other things, they’re probably lying about this too. We also had taken advantage of a forensic psychologist who deals with cases of this nature and had met with him and had talked to him extensively and he was helping us to look at the nature of the e-mails and the nature of the telephone calls. It was his opinion that this person was dangerous, that this person was escalating, that the psycopathy (sp) for committing this type of crime was in fact present in this person. Is that proof he did it? No, but you do have an explanation that’s consistent….
Man: But the bottom line of what you’re saying is that you had his statements but… Tom Bennett’s saying we reached out, we had nothing else. There’s nothing that placed him in Boulder, nothing that placed him in Colorado except his bizarre statements that he was here and he committed the crime - that’s all you had? Nothing else?
Peter McGuire: No we’re saying that there was external corroboration of other details within his … uh
Man: No, …. external corroboration of his background and stuff
Peter McGuire: I know what you’re saying, but what I’m saying is that we had external corroboration . Everything was in the media. We couldn’t…we..we..combed over everything we had to see if there was anything in there that we could possibly look at that couldn’t possibly have been gleaned. But I think you’ve got to take into account that this guy confessed on numerous occasions in great detail. He confessed in e-mails, he confessed in telephone conversations showing a great deal of emotion indicating he was sorry and he regretted what he had done and he didn’t want to put the Ramsey family through any more harm. Uh… taped conversations. He also when contacted by investigator Mark Spray, a statement against his penal interest directly to a police officer, he admitted to every one of those factors and admitted that he was in fact the killer. Now that can be characterised that we didn’t have anything except bizarre e-mails, but this…you gotta remember that this was a bizarre crime and the person who committed this crime acted in a bizarre way and so there is internal corroboration there as well. So in answer to your question, I think that we did have … we did have information to go on.
Jean ? Court tv News: From what I understand you’re saying, you still don’t truly know where he was December 25th and 26th of 1996, so did you not file formal charges solely on not having a match on the DNA?
Mary Lacy: here’s what… You’re correct in your statement. Mr Karr said to us at one point, “You will not be able… my wife will not … my ex-wife will not be able to tell you or provide an alibi of where I was through December 23rd through January 4th”. In fact when she was questioned, she could not alibi him between December 23rd and January 2nd. So there was a couple of days discrepancy. That’s an odd consistency between their two statements. So can we establish for sure that he was in Atlanta? No, but all of the family members (and most of them were interviewed by police officers) have stated that, to the best of their recollections .. She says… “I wouldn’t have been at my in-laws on Christmas with the.. You know… I wouldn’t go to his parent’s without him - it makes no sense. And there was a new baby in the family, the new baby’s in the picture, the people remember the new baby. So when you say “was it the DNA, the lynchpin? It was based on his story. The DNA could be an artefact. It isn’t necessarily the killer’s. In all…there’s a probability that it’s the killer’s, but it could be something else. But the way he told the story, it had to be his and it’s not. So once that came back as not a match, he is not the killer.
Man: You talk about hindsight, 20/20 and I’m not sure if it’s better or worse than 20/20 at this point for you… In what sense are you embarrassed… What went wrong?
Mary Lacy: You know, I’m not embarrassed. I feel bad for a community that questions what we did because, you know, they’ve lost some trust in the system. Uhm… I think that if they had been in my seat and the seats of the four of us up here, making the decisions on a day to day basis, then I think that’s the only way you can understand it. You do your best with what you have at the moment. And it changes from hour to hour. Uhm, so I feel bad for … for my community that voted me into office, that they may have lost some faith in me. Uhm… I hope that’s not the case. I think we did a good job for the community. And certainly protecting the community was one of our primary goals here.
Peter Alexander, NBC News: There have been a series of harsh statements directed toward you and one from Gary Harris who represents the Karr family even this morning saying you should be disbarred he said. What comments would you share with John Karr were you to direct them to him and the Karr family?
Mary Lacy: You know, John Karr inserted himself into this uhm, so I don’t have a great deal of sympathy for John Karr. I have sympathy for the family.. Especially the ex-wife who has three children. I wish more than anything, they would not have been subjected to the media attention. But his brother and his father who’s elderly as well. John Karr himself, sincerely believes that he killed JonBenet Ramsey. There’s no question in anybody’s mind about that. So I have very little sympathy for him.
Carol McKinley, Fox News Channel: Uhm…do you think there’s been any damage done for any possible future arrest now that this guy has fizzled out. What will happen if someone else is arrested later and they can say “Well this guy was wrong, they’re wrong about me too”.
Mary Lacy: You know, believe it or not, Mr Karr is not the first suspect that we have investigated over the past four years. There have been several. We have made trips to other places to investigate other suspects,. It didn’t come to media attention because it was in this country and we are able to control it and to eliminate people without having to go through this process. We fully intend and in fact we had engaged a contract investigator to help us because of the impending death of Patsy Ramsey and because of the ten year anniversary … those events bring up leads and legitimate as well as non-legitimate uhm illegitimate leads and we fully intend to follow up every legitimate lead including anyone who makes statements that they committed the crime and obviously we do not want it to be in the media! Every time we will try very hard to avoid that.
Carol McKinley: So what was different about this guy - as opposed to some of the other guys whom we know you seriously looked at in the past nine and a half years. What was so different about this guy and why was the arrest made on him and not the others?
Mary Lacy: Well the difficulty with this person is that.. Uh.. Most of the time when you look at what a person tells you they committed the crime and here’s how they did it, you can discount it almost immediately. Uhm… it’s not just that it’s bizarre but there are factors in it where you can say “this person is just dead wrong”. And most of the time that happens - I’d say 95% of the time. Occasionally someone contacts us who appears to be a little more serious. In this case, because he believed it himself and continues to believe, he had all of the emotional .. Uhm… import that you would have when… Did anyone have an opportunity to listen to the telephone calls of the 15th July and the 22nd of July? The man is sobbing as he’s telling his story. He can’t talk, he goes away from the phone, he comes back. He has the psychopathy, the background that you would expect or look for in a person who’s committed a crime of this nature. This was an extremely violent crime. So when you combine the psychopathy and his statements and his emotional import and his knowledge of the crime and his knowledge of the family. We spent time with John and Patsy Ramsey and something that John Ramsey said to me was that… and he read the e-mails - had read them previously, He said “This person has personal knowledge of these family members. His description of the Paugh women is right on”. He said “I don’t know how you would know that, you wouldn’t see it from the outside.”. he said “His description of JonBenet and Burke and how they related to each other …“. he said “It’s dead on. He knows….”. So John’s take on it was “you need to pay attention to this” and this was back in May of this year.
Man: Speaking of the ongoing nature of your investigation, then would it be fair to say that is any involvement by John or Patsy Ramsey completely ruled out by your office? Are you committed to an intruder theory of the crime?
Mary Lacy: What we are committed to is solving the crime if we possibly can.. You know, there’s these terms out there “Umbrella of suspicion”, we don’t use that. You know, no-one is really cleared of a homicide until there’s a conviction, in court beyond a reasonable doubt. And I don’t think you will get any prosecutor… unless they were present with the person at the time of the crime… to clear someone. Where, like in this case the facts are so strange … you know… obviously the family was in the house at the time… the DNA does not match … now … so what we can say is … I think an expert said it’s… you have to look at stranger, male DNA in the underwear of the dead victim.
Kelly Cobeya (sp) CBS News : If what you’re saying that it’s true that the DNA could come from an external source and not the killer and all of the evidence is out in the public domain, can you or anyone ever get a conviction in this case? A conviction?
Mary Lacy: Well we have said for quite some time now that a conviction would come from a confession that we could verify through investigation or from a cold hit on the DNA because if we get a hit on the DNA which is in CODIS… and of course that’s the beginning of the investigation not the end, then certainly that person better have a pretty good explanation of how their DNA ended up in that underwear.
Peter McGuire: can I have a little…
Mary Lacy: Sure
Peter McGuire: On page 64 of the affadavit, I think they explain why it is that we believe the DNA or we believe that the DNA in this case was such strong evidence. So I think if you go back to page 64 of the affidavit about half way down you’ll get a description of facts and circumstances that would mandate that the DNA would
Mary Lacy: Solving a crime and convicting people and holding them accountable for the crime. And you know I’m losing a little bit of my voice so I might have these…these guys up here help me with a couple of these questions.
Man from ABC News: Was your office unanimous in the dealing with Mr Karr. Was there any dissent or any red flags raised by anyone in the office as so many armchair prosecutors did from almost minute one frankly on this case.
Mary Lacy: Does someone else want to take that? (unintelligible)
Peter McGuire: We talked about this throughout the beginning. We kept it as a fairly closely held secret within our own office because we didn’t want information to get out there uh…and we went back and forth on it in terms of what should we do … I mean because in some real sense, we understood that if this got out, these kinds of things could happen. Uh, and you know we were of one mind at the end that this was what we had to do.
Man: At what point did you realise. Was it just yesterday or the days prior, did you sort of reach the realisation that you know… Uh Oh, we may not have the right guy.
Peter McGuire: It was always a possibility. We knew that two things had to happen for it to be the right guy. We had probable cause to arrest, but we had to be able to put him in Boulder and we had to be able to say that the DNA in this case was in fact John Mark Karr’s DNA. So that was always in our mind that this could happen.
Man: Did you think early on that he was the right guy? Did you think “Wow, this is it”.
Mary Lacy: You know, I want to be real honest with you. , because on almost a daily base Pete and I would look at each other and say … because we were reading these e-mails each day when they came in.. “Do we think he’s the killer?” You know frankly, we started out … “It’s a long shot” . At some point we said “Well, you know 50/50 - he could be, he might not be. And we tested each other on a daily basis. We were always, I think uh….cautious and sceptical and yet we always felt that we couldn’t ignore it, that we needed to proceed onto the next level so … you know we questioned each other daily.
Man: Would you do it all again?
Mary Lacy: You know, I think that we felt that we could not ignore this, we had to follow it, we also had an issue that we haven’t talked about is that there was a real public safety concern here directed at a particular child and a person who was expressing feelings toward that child the same as the feelings he felt towards the dead child and I have to tell you that was a huge factor in what…how this occurred in this particular case.
Man: Are you saying that you would do it all again the same way?
Mary Lacy: I believe we would. No. We would probably try harder not to let the media know. I’m sorry, but we would,
Woman: …If there was a public safety issue and why was Mr Karr going to be released before Sonoma County was involved in the transaction because there was an active investigation in Sonoma County. Why was it that he was just going to be set free if there was a public safe issue
Mary Lacy: Sonoma County was contacted before he was set free . What I can tell you is that there was a safety plan in place. I cannot discuss it for legal reasons.
Man: Do you regard Mr Karr as totally beyond suspicion now? And in the future? Has he been cleared of this?
Mary Lacy: I believe he did not commit this crime.
Man: You said about the story coming out of Bangkok. How did the story come out, and what was your plan otherwise, because there seems to be a contradiction …what your plan was and what interrupted it as far as the media was alerted in Bangkok, is that what you’re saying?
Mary lacy: Yeah. I’m going to refer… either Pete or Tom could talk about that.
Peter McGuire: I think it came out while the… my understanding is that … check the dates… that we were having a (unintelligible) an undesirable in Thailand because of the school situation. At some point we were attempting to get affidavits for searches and other things over there and… I think that the first public acknowledgement.. I think there was a cable that went between the Justice and the State Department. I believe to the best of my knowledge that’s probably where the information became public - because it used names uh… and I think that that’s where it initially came out and then as soon as that happened.. Uh…you know everything broke loose and we weren’t really able to follow up and do what we were gonna do.
Man: So there was a State Department leak you are saying?
Peter McGuire: No I’m not saying there was a leak, I’m saying there was a cable and then from that cable … I saw a copy of a cable …uh…some time later and I don’t think anybody leaked it, but I think it just became public.
Man: If that had not come out of Thailand, then how would you have proceeded, how would you have avoided this all becoming public at this point?
Peter McGuire: Well we may have been able to get the buccal swab over there… and he would’ve been deported… once he was a teacher he would’ve been deported in any event.
Man: Couldn’t he have been taken to a US Embassy or something else other than being brought back to here?
Peter McGuire: (unintelligible) I don’t know that.
Mary Lacy: We were certainly working with the Department of Justice, the Office of International Affairs and the… Legat and with officials in Thailand with the US Government and that’s not something that was ever suggested to us. We were relying on people that had a great deal of knowledge about foreign extraditions and prosecutions.
Woman: I have two questions. The first one being cost. Uh… how much of a cost did your office incur? How much of the taxpayer’s…
Mary Lacy: I haven’t added it up, but let me give you a general feeling. Uhm… We had already committed to hire a part…a full-time contract investigator that was to follow up on the Ramsey case and we will stay with our office and do that - based on the ten year anniversary which is bringing in a lot of calls uh … so I don’t really count that as past of this investigation because he’s going to continue to help us in that role. However, we had travel expenses to Atlanta, probably around ... this is a guess… $800 maybe . Uh… we had travel expense to Thailand of our investigator which was about $1500, $200 to rent a room in a very seedy apartment building uhm… for a month… we had meal or brideum (ph) expenses I think it was $857, we had the expense of bringing Mr Karr back, we had to pay for Mr Karr’s ticket and for the investigators ticket and those tickets I believe were $3000 each . Those were Business Class tickets. Uhm… did I leave anything out? You know, I may be leaving something out, I think those are the major expenses that we incurred… Also there were mailing expenses. We had uh… the DNA samples, the surreptitious samples were overnighted to us. We sent a photo over there to follow him, there were phone calls, so…
Man: The State plane? … extradition…
Mary Lacy: Yeah, the State plane would be a county expense and uhm… Joe Pelle.. That’s out of Joe Pelle’s budget … uhm… I’m… I think that was around $4000. That would come out of County. We will know… the exact figures will be available.. Absolutely.
Woman: Are you going to have to go to the Commissioner for more money on that or is that in your budget?
Mary Lacy: We are hoping not to go for supplemental. We have stayed in contact with the Commissioners with proposed budgets of what we might have to incur in relation to this. Uhm… you know with regard to the expense, I would like to note to everyone that .. That’s always a community concern and it’s a legitimate concern. We investigate and prosecute crimes every day that we incur expenses and it’s part of our job. We frequently have to fund travel, for witnesses for investigators. This is not… uh… we frequently incur this much expense with … not frequently, but occasionally with one expert witness in a jury trial uhm… relatively speaking, it wasn’t a huge amount of money. And we made arrangements with the commissioners to try and take it out of money that had already been allocated to our office for capital expenditure so that we would not cost the taxpayers additional money.
Man: The Sonoma County authorities issued a statement on August 23rd in which they discussed their involvement with Mr Karr and they said that they investigated him thoroughly in actually another murder and in some other crimes and they said that they contacted your office and said “hey , this guy’s obsessed with the Jonbenet Ramsey case he“… at the time even then I think he was confessing to it, he was telling this woman “Hey, I killed this girl, here’s how I did it“. Uhm.. And on the other hand you folks are saying “We just learned of this guy a few days ago, we just learned his name and we had to rush out and arrest him before he offended again“. Can you resolve that apparent conflict? Did you know about him five years ago and did you dismiss him five years ago? Or, or…or
Mary Lacy: Let me have Investigator Bennett address that because he’s actually done some research into this issue.
Tom Bennett: The answer to your question is No. We have researched that thoroughly and we’ve also solicited the assistance of the Boulder Police Department. The best we can come up with is information was provided through Sonoma County by a handwritten note and an investigator’s report indicating the investigator spoke to someone in Boulder County and he provided a name. The name doesn’t match any investigator with Boulder PD, Boulder SO or our office. Our office didn’t receive the information and the BPD did not receive the information What I’m speaking about is we did not receive the name of John Mark Karr. Our databases were checked and rechecked and checked again. We did come up with two individuals with the last name of Karr. K_A_R_R. We did, the DA’s office did and the BPD did and we both came up with the same last names. Neither one were John Karr and neither were relatives of Mr Karr. We did not have the information five years ago. The first time we heard of Mr Karr’s name was August 11th 2006.
Man: I just want to follow this. What is Sonoma County talking about. Are they …. You think they tried to communicate to you guys but reached the wrong person? I mean they put out a pretty detailed statement themselves.
Tom Bennett. They have information in a report that one of their investigators did in fact provide the name of Mr Karr to someone in Boulder. We checked that and we can’t find that to be accurate.
Mary Lacy: So we don’t know who that was provided to or what agency, but it wasn’t the BPD or the DA’s office. We’re not questioning that they called someone but the name is totally unfamiliar to us.
Charlie Brennan Rocky Mountain News: Mary, since it became clear that this case against Mr Karr was not going to go forward, have you contacted John Ramsey and can you tell us about any conversation that you have had or might plan to have with him about this?
Mary Lacy: I have not had a personal conversation with Mr Ramsey. However, I did inform his attorney and close friend.
Charlie Brennan: And when did you inform them?
Mary Lacy: On Sunday.
Man: Has this kind of very public misadventure triggered any new leads coming in the last few days or weeks and can you discuss that in any detail?
Tom Bennett: Yes, this has triggered new leads. This has triggered new leads. However, the meet the profile of many leads this office receives either through phone calls or e-mails where it is an unknown caller providing information…. typically it’s a name and a name only. There’s no location to follow up. There’s not a time frame associated with it. It’s just a name of someone that may be responsible. Often the individuals will e-mail us once, twice, 20, 40, 60 times or they’ll call 20 or 30 times during the day or during the evening. It comes to the point where at times we actually need to do research to find out where the unknown caller is calling from to find the number and contact them or their local jurisdiction to explain we did receive the information and they need not be tying up the lines because they do tie up the telephone lines.
Mary Lacy: we do get…
Man: So the new leads is not credible then?
Tom Bennett: we do review them pretty thoroughly. There’s a protocol that we follow where we put like an emphasis on them a uh…in importance, We keep a database of callers that a new. We have a database of callers that are frequent callers as well as letter writers and e-mailers. When the new information comes up, we obviously do a background enquiry onto the name that’s provided. But typically the information that’s provided , it doesn’t merit the uh…the test of truth. It’s of little value.
Mary Lacy: we do give priority from leads that come in through Law Enforcement across the country and try very hard to follow up on those and get back to those individuals and that happens fairly regularly.
Melissa ? Fox in Denver: What was Mr Karr’s reaction when he was told that you were not going to be pressing charges, the DNA did not match. If he really believes that he killed her, was he upset with you for not believing him?
Mary Lacy: You know we were not present then. He was with his defence attorneys when he was told:
Melissa: Any word from them on what his reaction was?
Mary Lacy: They didn’t indicate his reaction - nor would I expect them to.
Woman: Pete, this one’s for you. Could you please clarify that whole extradd…why you guys weren’t able to extradite him to California on the misdemeanour charges and then quietly investigate whether he might actually be involved in Ramsey and get the saliva swab…. sample from Thailand too …why you weren’t able to get that there.
Peter McGuire: OK. We weren’t able to get the saliva sample from Thailand…uh...Investigator Spray asked a number of times if he would consent to give it… uh the direct swab and he would not consent. On one occasion, I think on the third occasion, the last day I think it was, Mark Spray went back in there. They didn’t bring their kit with them - it was just expected to be a quick conversation…uh…he said he would do it at that point. They didn’t have the kit with them - the specific Q-Tips they use to do it. And then again on the plane trip over . I think it was again requested if he would provide it and he again refused or denied that request to do the buccal swab. The thing about extradition is uh…people don’t extradite internationally on misdemeanour warrants where they fail to appear and I spoke to uh… the … uh… elected District Attorney in Sonoma County and he said that they would not have extradited internationally and he said that just would not happen. They wouldn’t ask they wouldn’t take the cost on just that kind of a case and I’m not even sure that legally you would be able to do that because you have to go the Federal Government…our Federal Government would have to make a specific request to the Thai government and I’m just not sure than anybody would have done that. Absent(?) the situation that we had here. So I just don’t think that that was ever possible for Sonoma to do that.
Woman : You would’ve had to go through the Feds because it was misdemeanour charges?
Peter McGuire: We would’ve had to go through the Feds because we were extraditing from a foreign country. We can’t just go into a Federal country and operate even law enforcement. We…when we were operating there, we were operating under specific permission of the Thai government as well as uh…ICE and Homeland Security because you’re invading another country’s territorial jurisdiction and you need permission to do that. Uh…and it…you know the federal processes that you go through in federal extraditions or mutual legal assistance (?) uh.. type of situations are very legalistic and formalistic and there are rules you have to go through if you don’t want to cause an international incident. We were in contact with people at the Embassy the entire time and in fact, the Legat there - we worked with her very closely as well as the Department of Justice person on the ground in Thailand Chris Sonneburg (sp) as well as Department of Justice personnel in Washington.
Woman: Ultimately you had to get a court order to get the saliva sample even here. Could you have gotten the court order and then gotten the saliva sample over in Thailand or would that not have worked?
Peter McGuire: Well… that… we’d have had to go through the mutual legal assistance treaty uh…which would’ve required a public affidavit which would’ve had to have been filed. So, you know.. Could we have eventually gotten it? Yes.
Man: I was wondering…how many people do you think you’ve seriously looked at, over the years as potential suspects in the JonBenet Ramsey case and how did John Karr’s story fit into all this and did he rank up there as a serious suspect compared to the other ones?
Mary Lacy: Uhm…I’m guessing between the BPD and our office, we’ve probably looked seriously at 200 people.
Mary Lacy: Seriously. At 200 people. Uhm and done investigation into those 200 people. That’s not saying that we’ve done buccal swabs on all of them. We haven’t. There are DNA samples taken on a lot of different suspects . How …I just can’t rank them with Mr Karr. This was so different by the…his being in Thailand and the complications…that, if he had been here. We probably would have treated him very similarly and you never would have heard about it as the other suspects that we looked at.
Woman (unintelligible): Question regarding how many times you were actually able to interview Mr Karr in addition to the alleged confessions he made with the e-mail. Were you able to uncover or investigate any other potential crimes that he may have committed that he potentially could be held for? And is he a risk that… to society so much that you would consider…is it possible to involuntarily commit him psychiatrically?
Mary Lacy: You know we can’t under HIPAA we can’t talk about any medical issues at all so we can’t talk about mental health issues. We weren’t investigating him for other crimes uh and I can’t tell you that there’s evidence of other crimes because we weren’t looking for that. Uhm, we did have an extremely high level of concern about the attention which was observed by Federal Agents watching through a window that he was paying to a particular five year old girl in the school. And that really was the turning point for everyone uhm… the Superintendent of the Schools, the Thai Government, ICE and Homeland Security and everyone in our office were not willing to allow anything to happen to that child or any other children in that school and his …what he was saying has been verified - even by the child, that it was going on. Now it is not a crime, let me emphasise, he did not say…touched an intimate part of this child. It was grooming behaviour and it raised our level of concern to a very high level.
Tom Bennett: This also occurred on the very first day of school. He had mentioned in his e-mails to Mr Tracey his desire that he had for a specific young girl who was five years old along with three other young girls in a class right next to his class and uh… that was verified on the very first day of school and then when that was brought to all of our attention, like Ms Lacy said, uh… it seemed to be a turning point for not just our office, but for people with Ice that was helping us, people with the Department of Justice, the Bangkok police, the Royal Thai police. There were many, many, many investigators involved in this and all of them reached the same … the same conclusion that this person was proceeding to possibly a event horizon. We were thinking that he may actually act out on what he had been laying the groundwork in his e-mails.
Woman: In all the times spent interviewing him was his story always consistent? There seems to be at least some kind of inconsistency with what he told the Thai authorities regarding penetration other things and then the story seemed to change. He retracted some of that.
Tom Bennett: That was totally inaccurate. He didn’t tell the Thai authorities that. That was information that was assumed by someone and was provided but that is not accurate.
Woman: So was his story always consistent?
Tom Bennett: His story has been consistent;
Mary Lacy: Still is.
Man: There was a lot of talk in the e-mails and in the phone calls about a possible meeting between Mr Karr and John Ramsey, was that ever close to reality or could it have been, could it have happened? Could you have scheduled that? Would you have?
Mary Lacy: Uh… You know we talked about so many different scenarios that we might be able to set up to… at one point we did not know what continent this person was located on and we were as suspicious that he was up on the hill in Boulder as that he was halfway around the world. Uh… with the Ramseys’ consent, we proposed a meeting at the gravesite because he had an obsession with the gravesite of Jonbenet hoping that he would not be able to resist the opportunity to meet the Ramseys at that particular place. It was at that point that he started stating in his e-mails that “I’m out of the country, I can’t return, there’s a warrant for my arrest and I’d love to do that more than anything else in the world, but it’s impossible.”. There were other situations that came up, the Ramseys consented to the track of a phone call to the residence where they were staying in Atlanta during Patsy’s final days and during her treatment and co-operated in setting that up and a 13 second or 30 second call was placed to that phone call but we weren’t able to trace it at that time. And certainly we looked at other situations … what we talked to the Ramseys about things “Would you be willing to talk personally to this person, would you be willing to meet this person somewhere?” You know and I have to state that they were 100% co-operative with every request that we made - including a two day meeting shortly before Patsy’s death.
Woman: (unintelligible) : …. You said that he was going to be deported for being an undesirable. Why not just let him be deported and then get the DNA sample quietly that you needed?
Mary Lacy: Well we did just let him be deported. He was not arrested in Thailand, he was deported on… he had 24-48 hours to leave the country. The arrest did not occur until he was on US soil.
Woman: And could you have taken the DNA sample then and left him in California waiting… on charges there then?
Mary Lacy: We could have taken the D… let me a…..I don’t want you to be mistaken that they were just deport…the basis of this deportation, this undesirable person was their knowledge of the e-mails and our interest in him as a suspect in this case. Would they have been deporting him without that? Probably not. There were other factors involved - the warrant that was out of California certainly played into it and his activities in the school where he was teaching and his approach to the five year old also played into their deporting him. But I would have to say that the main issue was the information they were receiving through us, the e-mails they were receiving with regard to the JonBenet Ramsey murder.
Woman: May I ask a follow up there? Was it US Homeland Security that released the information about the arrest prematurely?
Mary Lacy: No it was not.. The US Homeland Security and the ICE agents who were working this case were just … they worked 24/7. Trailing this guy , assisting us, advising us…doing everything humanly possible to0help us bring this person back to this country, or, to get the swabs that we needed. Uhm… and I do not think they had anything to do with that.
Peter McGuire: We don’t know how the information got out to be real honest…the only...the only thing that I know is that I saw a cable that went from the State…uh..from the Justice Department to the State Department indicating that we were trying to get a Federal…a Federal warrant and that was the only information… I think that that would have been picked up by someone … I don’t know how it got out but that was the only…it’s only surmise on our part but we don’t know who told who or in…where it leaked from.
Man: Yes, those Sonoma County misdemeanour charges aside, what should happen to Mr Karr? Are you concerned that he’s going to be out there? On the Streets?
Mary Lacy: That’s always been a very high concern of ours and I have to tell you, you know, one of the biggest issues we talked about is … are we bringing somebody back to our country that could be a danger? You know… but we still had to consider that he was a danger to children there and balancing it..
Man: Looking forward now… now that we’ve uncovered this rock and we have this character, what do you think as law enforcement officials should happen to him? (unintelligible)
Mary Lacy: Well I think we co-operate in every way possible with Sonoma to get him convicted, registered, treated, and supervised so that we can assure that somebody’s watching to make sure that he’s not a community risk.
Man: Of course that’s only a misdemeanour so on a personal level are you worried because this guy will be out soon enough.
Mary Lacy: yes, but at least I know that every parent in this country will have seen his picture and knows his name so we have some ability to protect yourself against him. When we didn’t know his location or his name, most children had no ability and the parents had no knowledge of him.
Peter McGuire: We also have the ability for… if he tries to work in any school. We can do background checks, his license has been suspended in California and other states have all been notified about that. So…there…you know… they can run background checks on them… I mean… we are concerned.
Man: (unintelligible): I want to go back to two things….one, the timeline. But first, do you think, personally, that you’ve served the citizens of Boulder and of Colorado well by calling a news conference, an internationally covered news conference knowing that, about this case thanking everyone, giving everyone …you know…all the platitudes of what a great job you’ve done etc etc, when you knew that the only thing you had in this case at that time, were his statements, you had not connected him to the murder in any way whatsoever. Not through DNA, not…opportunity,…not being in Denver or not being on Boulder or not being in Colorado. The only thing you had was this person saying “I did it”. Now…did you….Why not…
Mary Lacy: Sorry, you’re not finished.
Man: Yes, I just wanted to …Do you think you served people well by having this big public news conference and saying “Thank you everybody, you’ve done a great job etc etc” when this case essentially was nowhere when you brought him to this city?
Mary Lacy: Well I have to take a little issue with you, but let me go back and describe how this occurred. With regard to the press conference., the press, who had learned the day before that an arrest had been made in connection with this case were pounding down our door. It was not my wish to go in front of a group of reporters to talk about this case. Prior to that or on that date, I would have avoided it for anything. You all are aware, I do not like talking about this case to the media at all. I was told that the press needs to have a face in front of them, they need to be able to see that you’re doing your job. You need to tell them what you can - which is not very much, it’s an ongoing investigation. So, upon the advice of people who are more familiar with the media and their needs, I did that press conference. In thinking about what I can say, it’s not very darn much… frankly… because I can’t talk about most of the things you wanna know about. What I can do, is thank people because, frankly, I was totally overwhelmed by the assistance that we received at every level of the government. You do not expect that kind of co-operation from Federal, State and local government and we got it and nobody complained about it, so it was important for me to thank them because they served this community. Now you say … you know… what I could say and here’s where I take issue with you. You say all I did was platitudes and thank yous … actually that’s not the point of that. The point that I was trying to make and I think if you read that statement you will see it, is “Back off, give us a little space, it’s early in the investigation , not late in the investigation, we’ve got a lot of work to do. There are reasons other than that we’re convinced beyond a reasonable doubt to arrest a person in a serious case and those are fear of flight and protection of the community”. And you know it was a “read between the lines - please”. Hear what I’m saying to you. There are good reasons in our mind that we had to do this at this time, and that’s what we did do. But this is not the way we would choose to proceed in this case and if we could have done it differently, we would have done it differently.
Man: Just to go back as a follow on the timeline. You said that the first time you knew his name was August 11th, is that correct?
Tom Bennett: That is correct.
Man: Ok, so you knew John Mark Karr on August 11th was the person. So you had several days once you knew his name to go into his phone records, go into his…to contact his family, to get his database information, to get his credit cards etc. Ok, so in that period of time before he came to Boulder… I’m just trying to understand here…and just to clarify what was available to you when you had the news conference, what was available to you when he stepped off the plane in Boulder. At that point, when he stepped off the plane in Boulder, I just want to be clear so that I understand, all you knew was that he’d made this confession. Other than that, you had not tied him in any way to this crime.
Mary Lacy: I think the press conference occurred before he stepped off the plane in Boulder.
Man: Right, but I’m saying at that point….
Mary Lacy: So which point are you talking about?
Man: Well, at the first point, let’s just talk about when he stepped off the plane in Boulder. OK, because there’s a window of opportunity there to do the database work etc. So the day that he stepped off the plane in Boulder, the only thing that you had were his statements, is that correct?
Tom Bennett: We had his statements, correct. We also had the ability to determine a lot of those statements were in fact accurate and as we said before, that’s the barometer that we used to determine someone’s truthfulness.
Mary Lacy: we did not sit around from the time he was detained and not do background checks. That started immediately and intensely and you know, I gotta tell you at this point that you guys have a lot more resources and databases to check on someone than we do. We have a fairly limited number of people and a limited amount of resources but they were working very hard.
Woman: Going back to Los Angeles for a second. LA County jail. Once he waived extradition, you had ten days to go get him. Did you have a legal basis at that point to get his DNA in Los Angeles at the jail and if so why did you opt not to do that?
Peter McGuire: We could’ve done that or we could’ve gone and gotten our search warrant here the basis for taking it out to Los Angeles County and at that point, in Los Angeles gotten the search warrant and had it executed there by an officer who uh…uh..go out to Los Angeles County jail and we discussed that. We also discussed the fact that he had waived extradition uh we wanted him.. You know …uh … he wanted to get out of there pretty quickly and we could actually just short circuit the process if we just brought him back and got the DNA. You gotta remember… one thing I think is important to point out is that had the DNA in this case determined that he was in fact the killer, uh…we had put together what I think would have been an airtight case. We’d have had confessions in every different form and manner in which to prove that he had done it, we would have had DNA which would have been taken by Investigator Bennett at the airport, immediately transported or within hours transported to the Denver Police Dept Lab. It would’ve been tested by the technician down there and had that been John Mark Karr’s DNA, it would have been a very, very, very strong and powerful case. All the other stuff that’s happened over the years would have all pretty well fallen by the wayside. We had to be sure that when we brought him back, if it was him, we were gonna be able to prove this case.
Woman: We’ve heard a lot of criticism about the champagne and prawns on the plane and there appeared to be some concern that Mark Spray was getting very close to him physically while in Thailand, in terms of rubbing his arm and that kind of thing. Was that by design? Can you explain that method?
Mary Lacy: Uhm… (unintelligible) method of befriending a suspect to get statements… absolutely and did we tell…advise Mark to become his next best friend? Absolutely and Det Investigator Spray is very good at that. With regard to the prawns and the champagne, I think I need to address that. First of all, our investigators drink orange juice, not champagne. The suspect was not under arrest at the time. We did not have the ability to say…and we would if someone was under our custody and arrest we would not allow them to drink alcohol but he…that was not the situation. It was free, there was not a charge for those items so we couldn’t prevent it, he had a right to have it. It… you know...we would have preferred that that not have been covered by the media but that’s just the way it was. They talked about the fact that they were in Business Class and I think we’ve taken some criticism for that. The arrangements for travel were…had to be made through the Thai government travel agency. They needed four seats for the Homeland Security or ICE… two ICE officials Anne Hurst and Gary Phillips as well as for Mark and the suspect. Those seats had to be together uh…. There are also security concerns when you’re dealing with someone who’s suspected of a crime and that was part of the decision - they actually had to bump people to get those four seats together in that part of the plane and for security purposes, that was the best place to have him. They were not outrageously expensive, I can tell you that because when we had to send Mr…Investigator Spray over we did some investigation into your quick turn around tickets and they were a lot more than he paid to come back home in business class.
Lee Frank (?) CBS Radio News again: Mr McGuire, if I understood you correctly , you said you would have had an airtight case, a strong powerful case absent (?) DNA evidence. So is it possible, that if you had not had DNA evidence that this man could’ve been charged and convicted in your mind?
Peter McGuire: well… I’m not sure that I understood. If we’d have had DNA evidence…
Lee Frank: Without DNA evidence…
Peter McGuire: Without….
Lee Frank: Based on everything else that you had gathered from him.
Peter McGuire: Based on what we had gathered from him. If we had been able to put him in Boulder with rock solid credit card receipts…uh…somebody who saw him on the hill…uh…would we have had an airtight case at that point? Given the way he described the crime having been committed, it would have been a horse race (?). Again, you gotta look at page 64 , but it would have been a very different situation had we been able to put him absolutely right here in Boulder, his confessions, admissions and description of the crime but not having DNA … we would have had….it would have been a triable lawsuit.
Lee Frank: So, the wrong man could’ve been convicted?
Peter McGuire: There would’ve been a possibility of the jury coming to a conclusion based upon the circumstantial evidence. It would have made it a very, very difficult case for us to prosecute and whatever the jury decided could’ve been there. I don’t know if we would’ve filed. I mean… would we have filed given that I think would’ve been determined on how strong our circumstantial evidence was.
Lee Franks: So does this case now hinge on DNA or where does handwriting analysis fit into that?
Peter McGuire: Handwriting analysis uh…in all due respect to the handwriting analysts is a…I would consider more of an art than a science. Especially given the case that we have here where it was written with a uh… felt tip pen and you don’t get the kind of definition that you can with other pens. So that alone is not going to be a determining factor. It’s a nice piece of evidence if you’ve got it, but I think there would always be someone who’d come in and say well … you know…on a scale of 1 to 5, this is really only a 2 and not a 4.
Lee Franks: So this just comes down to DNA at this point or mainly?
Peter McGuire: Again, if we could put a person who confessed to doing this ….in the house that night… or as close thereto as possible. BUT, their description of how they committed the crime didn’t of necessity mean that the DNA found in the underwear was in fact left there as part and parcel of committing the crime, it could possibly be provable.
Lee Franks: Could you explain that again?
Mary Lacy: The way Mr Karr described the crime…
Peter McGuire: Page 64 of the affidavit
Mary Lacy: The saliva… his saliva would be in her blood. That was his description of the crime. So in fact there is DNA in her blood which we can’t say absolutely is saliva but which looks like it probably is saliva and so it would have to be his.
Woman (unintelligible) : Uh… The Governor has criticised you Miss Lacy and so has the public defender and others. What are your plans?
Mary Lacy: well, I might start with the Public Defender. Have you ever seen a case which was dismissed where the Public Defender hasn’t been outraged? “Outraged” is a pretty typical word. Uhm… so I take that as his doing his job and I don’t criticise him for that. With regard to the Governor, I think he reacted yesterday. He’s a reasonable man. He reacted yesterday without having the opportunity to read the e-mails, to listen to the phone calls, to have the affidavit, to go over everything that all of you have now had a chance. And I suspect, based on my knowledge of him, that he will believe differently after he’s had a chance to do that. I did contact his office last week and offer to brief him, but I believe he was out of the country and so that didn’t occur. But the offer was made at the time.
Woman: So there are no plans for your resignation at this point?
Mary Lacy: (laughing) No.
Peter McGuire: I’m sure the Governor would love to appoint a successor. (?)
Mary Lacy: You know I would like to come back for a minute to the man who called me last night because I expected him to still want me to resign at the end of the phone call. He was very hot and he was …. You know “tarred and feathered” is pretty strong.. Uhm, but you know at the end of the phone call what he said is “I’ve listened to you, you called me, I will go…you’ve given me the website, I will go back to the website and I will read the information and if I have more questions, I will call you and listen to you”. And that’s all I ask ….is before you become judgemental, try to place yourself back in our spot, starting in May and coming forward. Would you have made decisions differently? Or would you have found flight and safety of children an important factor? Important enough to proceed the way we did.
Man: Uh, Pete, if you could elaborate or clarify, I just want to make sure I heard one thing correctly. I believe I heard you say that Karr wanted to get out of Los Angeles pretty quickly and perhaps I misheard. On whose timetable did you get him out of LA and was there a consideration given to leaving him there for nine and a half days to buy that extra investigation time before you extradited him?
Peter McGuire: We thought about leaving him there for a period of time but he went into court and he’d already waived. I just…didn’t… you know.. We talked about it we just didn’t think it was fair to leave him there when we could bring him back here and resolve the case quickly - one way or the other.
Woman: Was there any thought putting into charging… criminally charging him with false reporting or anything of that nature? To kinda set the bar for other folks not to come forward and make some more type of confessions?
Mary Lacy: Well false reporting requires that it be done to officials and his false reporting was done to Professor Tracey.
Dan Wickham Reuters: Could you discuss Mr Tracey’s role in this for just a minute? Reading some of the e-mails and your motion to quash the arrest warrant yesterday, it’s clear that Mr Tracey had a long, years long relationship with this guy. He.. Apparently he was working on a book, they were maybe involved together in a book, they were uh…you know…it seemed like they were getting pretty deep into these conversations. Was …was Mr Tracey…how do you regard his role now. Was he a help? was he a hinder…how comfortable are you with the way this all went down?
Mary Lacy: uhm…You know… we shared your cautiousness with regard to Professor Tracey when he first came in. There was baggage and we were fully aware of the baggage and had some deep concerns about that and we tested that on many occasions and we talked about it extensively. However, I can’t say anything but the highest regard for Professor Tracey, who is a journalist, who could have gone public with this at any time, who was already working on a book or documentaries and when we asked him to continue to follow this, continue to e-mail this person and not talk to anyone, he did everything we asked him to do. And there were times when it was very hard on his mental, emotional and physical health and he…even though he didn’t want to do it, he would continue to do it for us. So, I think I uhm.. Reflect the appreciation of everyone up here and the bottom line is he did a great service to us.
Dan Wickham, Reuters: One follow up. He has said that he came to you guys and was saying “Hey look at this guy, hey this guy” at the same time as he’s maybe working on a book that involves this guy’s confession. How hard were you guys pushed by Mr Tracey to go after Karr…and, and,… to what extent was that done all above board?
Mary Lacy: he’s working on a book with this person evolved as our…partially as our suggestion to him to engage the person because Tracey came in and worked with us and worked with the forensic psychologist on how we might draw this person out so that we could discover the name and the location and we were also pushing to try to place him in Boulder. So much of what Tracey puts in there about the book is a lot of Professor Tracey’s information is what we’ve asked him to do and it’s obviously not accurate. He frequently would make statements that were not accurate …such as “You know I’m going to the mountains for a weekend” basically what he was saying to us was “I can’t deal with this guy any more I’ve got to have some time off”. So…uhm…that was part of what was going on.
Peter McGuire: I think that…you know...in my dealing with the case…it’s not unlike…you know…using a confidential informant in any other kind of a situation. What we were able to do through Tom Bennett is be able to monitor the e-mails on a daily basis. We’ve got copies of all of them. We were able to monitor the telephone calls. So essentially, Mr Tracey operated as a confidential informant for our office to try to get information to locate, identify, and …you know….rule in or rule out the suspect. And he was very valuable in doing that. You know we’re not unmindful of the fact that Mr Tracey’s been involved in this case for a long time but uh he was very valuable to us in essentially working in an undercover capacity.
Man: Ms Lacy, regarding the fact that as of December 25th of this year it will be ten years since the death of JonBenet Ramsey and this man is in your words “not the killer”, can you in some words describe perhaps the frustration you feel and this community feels right now acknowledging the case. Once again, is cold?
Mary Lacy: Oh I don’t know if there’s one word to describe that, but it’s a very high level of frustration. This has been uh…disappointment on the part of the entire community and law enforcement and our office - on the part of everyone. I don’t think there is anyone here who doesn’t want to solve this crime with the right person who committed the crime. And uhm… let this community heal from it, let family members heal from it. Uhm… we very much hope that it will be solved at some point and we will continue to actively investigate it and you know I’m out of here in two years and I’m sure my successor will continue as well. You know, unless they really do get me to resign in the meantime.
Woman: (unintelligible) : messages on the Ramsey’s status as far as whether you think they’re excluded or not. You say no-one’s excluded, yet you treat them more like victims. In the public, you went to Patsy Ramsey’s funeral. What is their status?
Mary Lacy: You know, I would like to comment on attending the funeral. You have to understand that they were co-operating with us very well in those few weeks and helping us in everyway they can. You know when you spend two days with someone who’s dying, who’s racking a brain that is savaged by cancer and still doing her best to give you names, to help you, to do whatever you ask of her, I felt that personally, I needed to go to the funeral and acknowledge that she had done that in her last days. Uhm… I’m not a personal friend of the Ramseys. You know maybe people think that, but that’s not true. Uhm… we have very little contact. We had limited contact during this investigation. Frankly if I have something I need from them, I usually go through their attorney, their local attorney. And that person makes that request. They’ve never said no. You know, it’s a separate issue from John Karr, the Ramsey’s situation. We don’t have any umbrella of suspicion. We don’t have you know 2 or 4 or 6 people who we think might have.. You know right now , no, we don’t have a suspect that we’re looking at as someone who committed this crime. Tomorrow or the next day, could something develop that causes us to believe someone’s a suspect? Absolutely. But right now, given the status of the case, we presume the Ramseys’ innocent at this point, and we are going forward and investigating it the best we can. I don’t think that’s a mixed message. When you say you’re giving them the rights of victims, you know under the Victims Rights Act, they do have those rights, mandatory , statutory and constitutional rights. Uh, she was and he is the parent of the victim of a homicide and so as long as they are presumed innocent, we are going to accord them the respect of the parents of a victim.
Woman: (unintelligible) What are…. Can you explain the legalities of surreptitiously swabbing someone? What are his rights to privacy versus when you did that and when a warrant had been filed?
Mary Lacy: It’s really search and seizure law which is not my forte so I’m going to turn that over to Bill. Or to Pete
Peter McGuire: Well he wouldn’t have an expectation of privacy in things that he had touched on the outside. In this case, the swabs taken from his bicycle that he had left outside of his hotel room. So there would be no expectation of privacy there. Uh, the cloth that he was using and drinking cups that he was engaged in and using…. We would assert that there was no expectation of privacy in those. But, if you’re going to take a swab and go into a person’s mouth uh, that is a violation of his expectation of privacy would come under 4th Amendment law by our estimation and couldn’t be done unless we obtained consent or order by a court.
Man (Charlie) : Uh Tom, I just want to make sure I’m clear on one detail. I’m not clear on exactly what point at which you got the buccal swab, was it on the plane, getting off the plane or was it the jail?
Tom Bennett: It was when the plane landed and stopped at Jefferson County Airport.
Mary Lacy: If you look at the front page of the Rocky Mountain News, he’s taking off his rubber gloves.
Woman: Would you know how many false confessions you’ve had over the years and how many or have you had any confessions come in since Karr was arrested?
Mary Lacy: I’m not aware of any that have come in since his arrest. Uh…false confessions over the years… there have been a number, I can’t estimate the number…
Woman: Dozens? Hundreds?
Mary Lacy: I would say dozens. I don’t know. That’s pretty inaccurate. There have been many.
Man: Back to an earlier question then. Uh…in terms of the surreptitious DNA when he stepped off the plane either at Los Angeles or here in Colorado, you did have answers from the Denver DNA lab that you could neither include or exclude gentlemen.
Mary Lacy : No.
Peter McGuire: I’m sorry…. The Denver DNA lab says we need the buccal swabs. If we’re gonna make the test. We did not have a warrant to take it when he stepped off the plane in Los Angeles, we hadn’t gotten a court warrant. We weren’t really sure when he was going to appear until some time early on that Sunday I believe. We could’ve gotten the warrant in Los Angeles had he stayed there but it would’ve taken a warrant here being taken out to Los Angeles. Instead we waited, we had our search warrant ready when he landed on the ground in Jefferson County Airport. We took it at that point, transported it to the Denver lab and they turned it around in 36 hours.
Man: So it was not processed while he was in transit.
Peter McGuire: Right.
Woman. Some local reports said there was a possibility of a photograph of a young John Karr with a teddy bear that was much like a teddy bear found in the bedroom of JonBenet after her murder. Any truth to that or total rumour?
Mary Lacy: You know...my recollection, and please correct me if I’m wrong is that the teddy bear angle with the Santa bear that that actually was answered by the Ramseys in terms of its origin some years ago and that uh, that had been fully investigated, and wasn’t related to a suspect in the crime. So, any picture like that wouldn’t have had significance to us.
Man: Uhm you’ve said yourself that this was a very extreme violent crime , a bizarre crime, committed by someone with a problem. Are you surprised that…I mean that this person hasn’t offended again in some way? You know in this community or elsewhere, that his DNA hasn’t come up. Are you sort of baffled? By the way this person sort of came out of nowhere, committed this kind of crime and then vanished into thin air like this?
Mary Lacy: Well absolutely and that’s you know part of one factor of what kind of made sense with the fact that Mr Karr had been overseas and travelling for the past 6,5 4,5,6 years because, yes, we’re very baffled by that. That’s not our normal course of how crimes occur with someone who’s very violent, they usually are repeat offenders.
Man: You found out about the DNA on Saturday, is that right?
Peter McGuire: yes.
Man: So why did you wait till Monday> Why wasn’t he cut loose right away. I mean was there a process you had to go through . I mean you knew Saturday, this isn’t the guy Right?
Mary Lacy: Correct.
Man: So why wait, you know 48 hours before all this process?
Mary Lacy: You know, we had made an arrangement the defence counsel knew that when we would receive the results, we didn’t know exactly, they said 24-48 hours so we expected by Sunday night we would have the results. So we had set up an appointment with the defence attorneys to tell them as quickly as possible on Monday. One thing that we needed to do, you know…hopefully you have some sympathy with this, is that John Ramsey and the Ramsey family had their hopes very high over this and this was going to be a huge disappointment. In addition, Mike Tracey felt some personal risk to himself and he’d taken personal risk to himself and he was having a difficult time dealing with the fact that this might not be the guy after all the effort he’d put into this and what was going to happen if this guy was cut loose. So our agreement was that we would give them 24 hours, the attorney to talk to those two individuals and to try to help the family to adjust to it and to help Mr Tracey to deal with it before we talked to the defence attorneys and the defence attorneys were aware of the process.
Man : So they knew that you’d made this agreement already was in the loop on this?
Mary Lacy: You know I don’t know if they agreed that we were going to have extra time to talk to John Ramsey and to Michael Tracey, but they knew that we would have the results at the latest on Sunday night. They knew we already had them when we met on Monday. I don’t recall whether or not we talked about the specifics of me talking to the attorney and telling them. I think I did.
Bill Nagel. We also had a meeting scheduled on Monday morning with the Boulder Police Detectives for them to fill us in on what they had found and we wanted to make sure we were fully conversant with it.
Man: (unintelligible) …records and other things that could ….
Bill Nagel: Interviews they had done for us and investigations they had done into records…
Peter McGuire: Just gotta dot all the I’s and cross the t’s and make sure that even thought the DNA didn’t match, we didn’t have any witnesses that placed him there or anything like that.
Mary Lacy: That’s correct…. You know I need to insert something here and I apologise for this. The Boulder Police Department, when we first consulted with them and asked for their help, basically jumped on board enthusiastically … I don’t know how enthusiastic, but energetically they put a lot of energy and immediacy into helping us. Never expressed an opinion one way or the other . They just did the work and they did it 100% and I’m confident that if and when another suspect comes up, they will work very well with us. They just did an excellent job and we’re very appreciative of that.
Man: Just to clarify, when you got the DNA back on Saturday sometime and then you notified, the Ramseys, Mr Tracey and then the defence attorney. Is that how it happened?
Mary Lacy: Right, we had already set up a meeting which we told the defence attorneys we would be giving them the results because we would have them by Monday. We still had to have the meeting with the Boulder Police Department to see what other information they had come up with within the results of their interviews of the Karr family members. So we’d agreed with the defence once we’d competed those two processes then we would sit down and be very direct and give them what we had which was what we did.
Man: Yes, just the time of when you got the DNA results back on what day?
Mary Lacy: Saturday
Man: at what time?
Tom Bennett: I think it was about 10.30.
Man: In the morning?
Tom Bennett: In the morning.
Mary Lacy: They worked all night. We didn’t expect them to do that, but they did.
Transcribed by Jayelles
Last edited by Cherokee; May 10, 2007, 8:14 am at Thu May 10 8:14:43 UTC 2007.This is my opinion and it may not be copied in whole or in part without my written permission
September 14, 2006, 3:09 pm, Thu Sep 14 15:09:11 UTC 2006 #2
Page 64 of Warrant
The following has been OCRd from the PDF warrant document. I have only checked it briefly. It is therefore possible that there may be some errors due to the recognition process. Please use it as a rough guide only.
AFFIDAVIT FOR ARREST WARRANT JOHN MARK KARR
wrists. He then suspended the child near the window within the basement area. He did not explain how the child was suspended other than the fact she was suspended by her wrists. The clothing worn over the lower extremities of JonBenet was removed this included the bottom of the pajamas and her underwear. DAXIS said he fashioned a new "necklace" out of view of JonBenet Ramsey, and placed the "necklace" around the throat of the child. The new necklace was the garrote placed around the child's throat.. Ultimately the aforementioned garrote composed of rope brought to the scene by DAXIS was tightened then loosened and subsequently tightened again at which time the child did not regain consciousness. DAXIS explained again that due to the twitching of JonBenet he was concerned she might be brain dead but her body could continue to survive. He did not want JonBenet to suffer, therefore he struck her in the head with a flashlight he brought with him. DAXIS added that the handle of the flashlight was wrapped in duct tape, which he bad performed prior to the arrival at the Ramsey residence. DAXIS removed a section of duct tape from the handle of the flashlight and placed the piece of duct tape over the mouth of JonBenet to prevent her from bleeding on herself. DAXIS added he noticed JonBenet urinated, her underwear was soaked, he removed the underwear from JonBenet and took the item of clothing with him when he departed from the residence by way of the aforementioned basement window in which entry had originally been made: DAXIS added he placed the "knickers" of JonBenet into a small coffin like box that has "gothic writings on it". The small coffin box was then placed in an area that DAXIS refused to identify. DAXIIS said he performed oral sex on JonBenet Ramsey as she was suspended by her wrists, from the basement area window. He "pricked" the vagina of JonBenet with an item he did not describe. He "pricked" the vagina of JonBenet Ramsey three (3) times before a drop of blood appeared. DAXIS then placed his lips onto the vagina of JonBenet Ramsey, and licked the blood from her. DAXIS obtained a "stiletto" he brought to the scene and cut a lock of the child's hair. He used the same bladed instrument to cut the rope from the wrists of JonBenet. DAXIS, lowered JonBenet to the ground. He decided to place the ransom note he had prepared, on the bed of JonBenet and remove the child with him. DAXIS placed JonBenet in another room (the room she was subsequently located in} . He ascended the stairwell leading to the child's bedroom, he heard a noise and descended. DAXIS placed the note on the stairwell After retrieving his shoes, DAXIS departed through the same basement level window that he entered through.
During the aforementioned telephone call, specifically while DAXIS was explaining the sequence of events leading to the death of JonBenet Ramsey, DAXIS became emotionally upset. Audible sounds of crying were heard by Michael Tracey and captured on the recording device.. DAXIS told Michael Tracey he was incapable of continuing the conversation. A period of approximately two (2) minutes elapsed with no verbiage being spoken by DAXIS. After the two minute elapsed time, DAXIS returned to the telephone and continued with the conversation with Mr. Tracey. During several other occasions within the same telephone call, DAXIS became emotionally upset, his voice pitch raised and sobbing is heard.
Last edited by Cherokee; September 14, 2006, 4:24 pm at Thu Sep 14 16:24:28 UTC 2006.This is my opinion and it may not be copied in whole or in part without my written permission
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