Beckner Speaks Regarding DeMuth's Accusations

Discussion in 'Justice for JonBenet Discussion - Public Forum' started by RiverRat, Aug 31, 2006.

  1. RiverRat

    RiverRat FFJ Sr. Member Extraordinaire (Pictured at Lef,1299,DRMN_15_4958237,00.html

    Boulder police in cross hairs
    Former investigator: Leads were ignored in JonBenet murder

    By Todd Hartman, Rocky Mountain News
    August 31, 2006

    A former Boulder deputy district attorney caught up in the JonBenet Ramsey case in its earliest phase said he was prohibited from chasing leads that pointed to an intruder committing the crime.

    In a situation he described as unique in his legal career, Lawrence "Trip" DeMuth said he and his team of investigators in the Boulder District Attorney's Office were restricted from conducting any investigative work on their own, and that their suggestions for pursuing intruder-related leads were routinely ignored.

    "We were restricted to reading police reports, from which we developed a lot of intruder leads," DeMuth said. "And then we were prohibited from pursuing those leads."

    DeMuth, speaking publicly for the first time about his frustrations during his 21 months investigating the case, wouldn't put the blame on one person, but noted that the DA's office was serving in an advisory role to the Boulder Police Department.

    "So the role that we were assuming was allowing the police to decide what direction the investigation followed," DeMuth said.

    DeMuth is the latest to uncork pent-up frustrations from the decade-old case that has left scars throughout Boulder County's legal and law enforcement community.

    Former Boulder Detective Steve Thomas, who takes a view opposite of DeMuth's, gave interviews for the first time in several years after the case against John Mark Karr collapsed Monday.

    Even Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner, who has long been reluctant to discuss the case in detail, gave a lengthy phone interview Wednesday in response to DeMuth's assertions that police were interested only in John and Patsy Ramsey as possible suspects in their daughter's murder.

    Beckner called the notion that police didn't look hard at other suspects an "urban myth."

    DeMuth "should be a little bit careful about how hard he pushes that," Beckner said, noting that he can document that Boulder police looked into more than 160 potential suspects, and that, in many cases, their investigation included blood, hair and fingerprint samples.

    "So, to say we only looked in one direction and no one else was investigated is simply not the case."

    But DeMuth insisted that the Boulder department's "myopic" focus on the Ramseys prevented its officers from following the evidence wherever it led, and left them pursuing other leads only half-heartedly, or ignoring them altogether.

    "The vast majority of our leads were not pursued by anyone," DeMuth said, adding he's in a position to know "because I saw the police reports. I saw what was pursued."

    His team was assembled to look at different scenarios, a standard procedure for prosecutors who must find all the holes a defense team could exploit during a trial. But the police, who would normally be cooperative, resisted his efforts, DeMuth said.

    He said the lack of collaboration on the case between DA investigators and police detectives "was inconsistent with every other homicide investigation I worked on between 1990 and 2000," including others involving Boulder police.

    DeMuth's boss at the time, former Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter, couldn't be reached for comment.

    Beckner didn't deny that the DA was prevented from following leads, but said the two departments share responsibility for the friction that developed between them.

    "They were out there doing things . . . that we didn't even know they were doing until after the fact," Beckner said of DeMuth's team. "He has to share in that role of not working together."

    Beckner said there were times when DeMuth's team, including former Colorado Springs homicide detective Lou Smit, who was brought out of retirement to help out on the case, wouldn't give up on suspects even after forensic evidence and an alibi cleared them.

    "You've got to be able to put someone at the house," Beckner said. "That the fact that they're a weirdo or a strange character doesn't make them the killer of JonBenet.

    "You've got to be able to put them at the crime scene, and if you don't have any evidence to do that" then what can you do?

    But DeMuth said police needed to look deeper, and that he believes suspects were cleared too readily. There are probably early leads in the case that should be re-examined, he said.

    "If you talk to somebody for five minutes and conclude they had nothing to do with the intruder case, that's not really looking at somebody," he said. "I can't say 100, 140 or 75 (suspects were investigated). I'm just saying it's really easy to make a comment that you looked at 140 people."

    DeMuth went partially public in 2001, when he said he believed it was more likely that an intruder killed 6-year-old JonBenet, strangling her in the basement of her three-story Boulder home. At the time, he went on NBC's Today show to speak in support of Smit, who went public with the evidence he said supported the intruder theory.

    But until now, DeMuth hasn't described the frustrations of working the case inside the district attorney's office, where he, along with Boulder County sheriff's Detective Steve Ainsworth and Smit, came to see the evidence differently from the way the Boulder police saw it.

    It seemed possible that supporters of the intruder theory had been vindicated with the arrest of Karr earlier this month in Thailand. But their bubble burst with Boulder DA Mary Lacy's stunning announcement Monday that Karr's DNA didn't match the DNA recovered at the crime scene, and that Karr wouldn't be charged.

    Smit has largely stayed out of the media spotlight in the past few years as Lacy's office has taken over the case from the police. He declined to be interviewed for this story. But, told of DeMuth's complaints Wednesday, Smit said he was presenting an accurate picture of events.

    DeMuth didn't hold back. He said the police department's investigation violated the most basic tenets of police work: to follow the evidence wherever it leads, not "investigating to support a result you want to see happen."

    "You have your suspicions and your beliefs, you're pursuing them, you're chasing down every lead, and all the sudden you trip over something that causes you to take a left turn . . . that's good police work."

    DeMuth said the police department often withheld police reports about the case, blaming slow typists. That changed, he said, when Smit joined the DA's team. The police, believing Smit would back their views, started turning over material much faster, DeMuth said.

    "Lou comes on and I've got boxes of typed reports and photographs," DeMuth recalled. Then, "as soon as the cops got wind of the fact that Lou thought someone else did it, the typists got real slow again.

    "If that's not a clear signal that the police department was results-driven and myopic, I don't know what is.

    "Do they want to follow the evidence wherever it goes, or are they trying to control the outcome of the investigation?"
  2. amster

    amster Member

    Another one stomping his little cloven hooves. Do these ninnies realize how whiney they sound? And how obvious their bias is? Why not just be honest? They don't want the perps to be the Ramseys.....even if an innocent person is drug through the muck. Sometimes, the truth hurts.
  3. Watching You

    Watching You Superior Bee Admin

    God forbid Trip DeMuth run for DA, because those bozos in Boudler (exempting any Boulderites on FFJ, LOL) will probably elect him.

    There was a lot of friction between the BPD and the BDA's office. Isn't it the BPD's job to investigate crimes? The DA's office is supposed to decide whether the PD has enough evidence to indict someone and then try the case if they do.

    I never did care for DeMuth because of the way he tried to stonewall the Ramsey investigation, and, wasn't it he who had lunch every day with lawyers from Hadden et al?

    I know how lawyers are - they go into court and play lawyer against each other, then go to the Club for drinks together.
  4. wombat

    wombat Member

    You forgot something

    Ms. Rat - the only important thing about the above referenced article is the caption of the photo of Mr. DeMuth looking out his office window in a pensive, lawyerlike mood:

    Getting his law firm in the paper is the reason he did this, also why he went on the tv shows.

    So much about this debacle has been about resume building and marketing.
  5. Moab

    Moab Admin Staff Member

    I would want to ask ole Trippy why he thinks following the evidence is a bad thing. He is making "results-driven" a bad word, when it is not. And he is confusing "investigating to support a result you want to see happen" with the BPD, when it is Smitty-let-us-pray's mantra.

    I also agree he is just after publicity at the moment.
  6. RiverRat

    RiverRat FFJ Sr. Member Extraordinaire (Pictured at Lef

    I am sooooo slacking!

    Trip DeMuth now works at the Faegre and Benson law firm in Boulder. He says Boulder police ignored leads in the JonBenet case because they were fixated on her parents.

    Attached Files:

  7. RiverRat

    RiverRat FFJ Sr. Member Extraordinaire (Pictured at Lef

    I would ask him why we can't see mame in that photo. I know she is in there.
  8. BluesStrat

    BluesStrat BANNED !!!!!

    Mark Beckner is too much of a nice guy and he needs to learn how to hit below the belt. He only needed to make one statement:

    "If Trip DeMuth feels the need to crawl out from under his rock and criticize the Boulder Police, he should at least remind the public that his incompetence got him removed from the case and replaced by a Special Prosecutor."

    (batta-bing, batta-boom) :thumbsup:
  9. Freebird

    Freebird Active Member

    And did Lou Smitt just overlook the vast majority of leads when he came aboard or did they like all the others fizzle out and lead right back to the people in the house that night.
  10. "J_R"

    "J_R" Shutter Bug Bee

    Beckner just confirmed something about Louser Smit that we have always known about Susan Bennett aka Jameson - someone they consider a strange character immediately makes them suspect as the intruder and it doesn't matter if the evidence clears them or not if spin is needed they will use that person over and over again. No wonder Santa McReynolds name (among others) keeps popping back up. :wtf:
  11. BobC

    BobC Poster of the EON - Fabulous Inimitable Transcript

    This is like the mafia.
  12. The Punisher

    The Punisher Member

    Trip is a lying little punk who let his emotions carry the day. He had no place in a DA's office.

    I guess you get the government you deserve.
  13. koldkase

    koldkase FFJ Senior Member

    Colorado v Miller; June 11-14, 2001; Jefferson County

    Trial transcript cd

    Excerpt from direct exam of Lee Foreman, of Haddon, Morgan and Foreman law firm, counsel for John and Patsy Ramsey during the investigation of the murder of JonBenet Ramsey, by prosecutor Hall for Jefferson County in the criminal bribery charges against Thomas Miller: verdict, NOT GUILTY


    Be right back with defense cross, but want to post this in case I hit the wrong button and lose it...which I have done SOOOOOOOOOOOOO many times it ain't funny with long posts....
  14. heymom

    heymom Member

    Yeah, baby! You da man! (Or woman, depending on which you actually are.)

    Heymom :bowdown:
  15. BobC

    BobC Poster of the EON - Fabulous Inimitable Transcript

    And I think Bluestrat is being too nice himself. Here's my recommended response:

    Dear Mrs DeMuth

    After a decade of opportunity for you to put your money where your sizable mouth is, I couldn't help but notice you haven't provided one name for this alleged intruder, nor have the Ramsey hacks. Since you're pretending to be-ever-so concerned about who killed that little girl, why not tell us who is on your suspect list (I'm sure they could use the money), and then explain why Lou Smit and his hacks haven't explored these people, seeing as Smit has been on the case for ten years now. And I suppose it would be pointless to ask why you haven't handed these names to millionaire John Ramsey, you know, a decade ago?

    You're not fooling anybody.

    Yours in anger

    The World
  16. Watching You

    Watching You Superior Bee Admin

  17. koldkase

    koldkase FFJ Senior Member

    Colorado v Miller; June 11-14, 2001; Jefferson County

    Trial transcript cd

    Excerpt from cross exam of Lee Foreman, of Haddon, Morgan and Foreman law firm, counsel for John and Patsy Ramsey during the investigation of the murder of JonBenet Ramsey, by defense counsel Mr. Lozow in the criminal bribery charges against Thomas Miller: verdict, NOT GUILTY

    I bet they do. Or not. They sure didn't in the Kobe Bryant case, or at least, so many "mistakes" were made, that this defense law firm of Haddon, Morgan and Foreman got copies of the accuser's hospital records--from the prosecutor's office, no less, as well as were able, compliments of the judge, to do an examination of the accuser in closed court, with no cross by the prosecution because this examination was merely for arguing for a motion...and then the JUDGE'S OFFICE mailed the ENTIRE CLOSED COURT EXAMINATION OF AN ALLEGED RAPE VICTIM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY TO PRESS EVERYWHERE. I am NOT making this up. That is the SINGLE most SCANDALOUS MISTAKE A JUDGE HAS EVER MADE THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN IN ANY RAPE PROSECUTION IN THIS COUNTRY. But it didn't stop there. 3 TIMES that SAME JUDGE'S OFFICE RELEASED THE ACCUSER'S NAME TO THE PRESS. Not to mention, the 6 TIMES HADDON'S FIRM USED THE ACCUSER'S NAME IN COURT PROCEEDINGS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, and received REPEATED REMINDERS from the judge...don't do that, pretty please? Ever hear of the rape shield law? That law was broken numerous times...BY HADDON'S FIRM AND BY THE JUDGE...and not one damn thing came of it...except that THE RAPE SHIELD LAW WAS THEN ATTACKED IN COLORADO CONGRESS. I don't know if they voted it out of law subsequently, but I'm sure if Haddon wanted it, every attempt to do so was made.

    And not one journalist that I heard ever once made an issue of ANY OF THIS, except to backtrack and pretend like they'd NEVER SAID this rape shield law would protect the victim from ALL OF THIS. No, it didn't.

    So...just thought I'd bring up that Trip DeMuth, A PROSECUTOR IN HUNTER'S OFFICE, was in bed with Haddon all along, as I don't believe for ONE MINUTE that the BPD was BARGAINING AWAY EVIDENCE TO THE PRIME SUSPECTS WITHIN 10 DAYS OF THE MURDER.

    And remember THIS: TRIP DEMUTH WENT TO WORK FOR BYNUM'S LAW FIRM when DeMuth quit the DA's office after losing his election bid to Lacy. You remember BYNUM? He worked for JOHN RAMSEY'S FIRM, ACCESS GRAPHICS, OWNED BY LOCKHEED MARTIN. Bynum is the lawyer WHO HIRED Haddon to represent John within hours of the murder.

    Round and round it goes...where it the grave a murdered child in Georgia.
  18. Deja Nu

    Deja Nu Banned

    Incest is the forte of Boulder. We can expect nothing less.

    "Trip DeMuth now works at the Faegre and Benson law firm in Boulder. He says Boulder police ignored leads in the JonBenet case because they were fixated on her parents."

    I would ask Mr. DeMuth to explain how the BPD could spend a million bucks just investigating only two suspects. Are we to assume DeMuth is also claiming that BPD and the City of Boulder falsified these official records as well?

    TO: Mark R. Beckner, Chief of Police
    FROM: Joseph Pura, Director Financial Services
    DATE: December 17, 2001
    SUBJ: Expenses related to Ramsey Homicide

    1996 expenditures related to Ramsey Homicide Investigation:
    Overtime Expenses (604.75 Hrs.) $ 20,340.80
    Travel Expenses $ 248.38
    Investigative Expense $ 788.55
    Total Expenditures for 1966 $ 21,377.73

    1997 Expenditures related to Ramsey Homicide Investigation:
    On-duty Salary Expense $308,630.81
    Overtime Expense (3,929.5 Hours) $134,621.66
    Travel Expenses through 12-31-97 $ 57,392.46
    Investigative Expense through 12-31-97 $ 30,830.08
    Total Expenditures for 1997 $531,475.01

    1998 Expenditures related to Ramsey Homicide Investigation:
    On-duty Salary Expense - P.P.#26 $562,149.72
    Overtime Expense 954 Hours $ 37,541.46
    Travel Expenses through 12-31-98 $ 11,319.01
    Investigative Expense through 12-31-98 $ 19,946.74
    Total Expenditures for 1998 $630,956.93

    1999 Expenditures related to Ramsey Homicide Investigation:
    On-duty Salary Expense - P.P.#25 $220,780.26
    Overtime Expense (218.75 Hours) $ 10,554.11
    Travel Expenses through 12-30-99 $ 3,842.91
    Investigative Expense through 12-30-99 $ 3,010.70
    Total Expenditures for 1999 $238,187.98

    2000 Expenditures related to Ramsey Homicide Investigation:
    On-duty Salary Expense - P.P.#26 $133,648.28
    Overtime Expense $ 4,898.78
    Travel Expenses through 12-31-2000 $ 3,157.00
    Investigative Expense $ 4,369.25
    Total Expenditures for 2000 $ 146,073.31

    2001 Expenditures related to Ramsey Homicide Investigation:
    On-duty Salary Expense (through 12/17/01) $133,624.66
    Overtime Expense (through 12/17/01)
    I $ 3,005.59
    Investigative Expense $ 550.00
    Total Expenditures for 2001 $ 137,180.25

    Total expenditures related to Ramsey Homicide Investigation for 1996, 97,
    98, 99, 2000, 2001: $1,705,251.21

    (Does not include on duty costs of investigation for Management Exempt employees, such as Chief, Commander and Legal Advisor)

    Case Statistics


    Dec. 17, 2001
    Contact: Jana Petersen, Media Relations, (303) 441-3090
    Jennifer Bray, Media Relations, (303) 441-3090
    City Web site:

    Ramsey Update #84

    Police mark fifth anniversary of investigation As the fifth anniversary of the murder of JonBenet Ramsey approaches, Boulder Police have compiled updated statistical information related to the case.

    • Number of people formally interviewed to date: More than 650
    Note: many have been interviewed more than one time

    • Number of outside experts and consultants utilized to date: More than 60

    • Number of persons investigated as possible suspects to date: About 140

    • Number of items of evidence logged into property to date: About 1,400

    • Approximate size of investigative case file to date: About 43,000 pages

    • Number of phone tips: About 5,300

    • Number of letters received in reference to Ramsey case: More than 4,800

    • Number of states investigation has taken PD to: 18

    • Total cost of investigation for Boulder PD: $1,705,251.21

    The case remains an open, active investigation, with up to four detectives working on the case on an as-needed basis. The work includes following up on tips received, reviewing the case file, occasional laboratory analysis, and keeping current on new forensic technologies that may assist the case.

    "Any homicide, but particularly the death of a small child, has a tremendous impact on the community," Police Chief Mark Beckner said. "We know that there are some cases we will never bring to a resolution. We also know that there are some cases we solve many years after the crime. We will never give up hope for finding justice in this case."
  19. Show Me

    Show Me FFJ Senior Member


    Yep Trip has been part of the RST....this case ought to be moved totally out of Boulder.
  20. Tril

    Tril Member

    Has Fleet White made any statements recently?

    If the governor (Romer?) would have appointed a special prosecutor as Fleet wanted him to, the case would probably have been solved by now.
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