Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Murder of JonBenet Ramsey

Fighting Back: The Deposition

As January came and went, Dr. Lee tabled the findings of his latest forensic analyses but no further action was taken, apart from Dr. Lee telling the press that he still considered the investigation to be a "warm case." Dr. Lee indicated that there was still a lot of evidence to be examined.

By February, the general public had a glimpse inside an active murder investigation when a copy of John Ramsey's deposition, detailing Ramsey's answers to questions relating to his daughter's murder while he was under oath, was made public.

While the lengthy deposition revealed very little in relation to the murder itself, it did reveal on a more personal level how the family dealt with the murder and with the legal and media aspects of the investigation.

One of its more revealing facets was when John Ramsey admitted to being under a doctor's care for almost two years and to taking the anti-depressant Prozac.

At one point in the deposition, John Ramsey is asked if he suspects anyone of murdering his daughter. He answered: "Let me say two things. One, when you have something like this happen in your life, you lose trust.

So do you suspect everyone? Yes," he says. "Secondly, I try to remind myself not to rush to judgment, as obviously happened in this case, and I don't want to be guilty of that myself."

Ramsey also revealed in the document that an interview he gave on CNN a week after the murder was done at the suggestion of family friend Fleet White, who had been with Ramsey when he discovered his daughter's body in the basement of their home.

The deposition came to light as part of a libel lawsuit filed by photographer Stephen Miles against the National Enquirer and John Ramsey. The lawsuit accused Ramsey of leaking information to the tabloid as to who committed the murder. The lawsuit was eventually thrown out of federal court, but Ramsey's deposition, consisting of about four hours of questioning, was made public by a story in Boulder's Daily Camera newspaper. Despite the CNN appearance, Ramsey says in the deposition that he wanted to keep the case out of the "media limelight" because he believed that made it more difficult for the police to do their work. He also revealed that he had not spoken with Fleet White or any member of his family for some time and did not know why the Whites had broken off all contact.

The deposition also describes how the Ramseys, working with their attorneys and others, have tried to crack the case. "We have spent a lot of time and effort and energy trying to develop leads that we thought were useful," Ramsey attorney Bryan Morgan says at one point. "A lot of junk comes in over the transom, and it's junk. There is also stuff that, in our view, was not junk." Morgan adds that the Ramsey team has tried "to develop some useful lead for the police." Morgan, at the same time, expresses reservations about how such information is handled. "But our experience has been that anytime anything like that is said, then it is immediately leaked and it appears in the tabloids with the worst possible spin on it. And we are extremely leery of that," he says. "And I will say on the record that that has been our experience with the Boulder Police Department as well."

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