- A federal judge Thursday gave grand-jury witnesses permission
to talk about their secret testimony, prompting the Ramsey family's former
housekeeper to declare that Patsy Ramsey killed her 6-year-old daughter.
- Former Ramsey housekeeper Linda Hoffmann-Pugh, speaking
publicly for the first time about her testimony before the Boulder County
grand jury, told reporters Thursday:
* She thought Patsy Ramsey had killed JonBenet.
* The grand jury seemed to zero in on Patsy Ramsey, and she thought it
would indict her.
* A Swiss Army knife was found in the basement room where JonBenet's body
* "Only Patsy could have put that knife there. I took it away from
Burke (JonBenet's older brother) and hid it in a linen closet near JonBenet's
bedroom. An intruder never would have found it. Patsy would have found
it getting out clean sheets."
* Pieces of rope were tied around JonBenet's neck and wrist when her body
was discovered Dec. 26, 1996.
* The blanket wrapped around JonBenet's body had been left in the dryer.
There was still a Barbie Doll nightgown clinging to the blanket, so it
had to have come out of the dryer recently, she said. Only Patsy would
have known it was in the dryer, she said.
* An intruder never would have found the door to the basement room where
JonBenet's body was discovered. It was too difficult to see unless someone
knew it was there, she said.
* Hoffmann-Pugh has never turned off her porch light since the death of
JonBenet and won't until her killer is found.
* She believes Gov. Bill Owens should appoint a special prosecutor to the
- Witnesses who testified before the Ramsey grand jury
- * Burke Ramsey, JonBenet's 14-year-old brother, by video
- * John Andrew Ramsey and Melinda Ramsey Long, John Ramsey's
adult children from previous marriage
- * Lou Smit, former Colorado Springs homicide detective
- * Susan Stine, friend of the Ramseys
- * Ellis Armistead, investigator hired by the Ramseys
Linda Arndt, former Boulder detective
- * Craig Lewis, editor at "The Globe," was called
to testify, but was exempted due to Fifth amendment and his defense in
another related lawsuit. Witnesses who may have testified include:
- * Glenn Stine, friend of the Ramseys
- * Tom and Enid Schantz, owners of Rue Morgue Mystery
Bookshop in Boulder
- * Richard French, Boulder police officer
- * Boulder police detectives Jim Byfield, Jane Harmer,
Tom Trujillo, Michael Everett, Carey Weinheimer and Ron Gosage
- * Steve Ainsworth, Boulder County sheriff's detective
: Linda Hoffmann-Pugh said she believes the grand jury that investigated
the beauty queen's death was focusing on the girl's mother.
U.S. District Judge Wiley Daniel ruled that two sections of the Colorado
Rules of Criminal Procedure violate the prior-restraint protection of the
Afterward, Hoffmann-Pugh walked outside the federal courthouse in Denver
and said she told the grand jury investigating the murder that she believes
the beauty queen was killed by her mother, Patsy Ramsey.
"At first, I didn't want to believe that Patsy could do such a thing,"
said the 57-year-old Platteville resident, who now delivers newspapers.
"I loved her. But as time went on, things came to me that made me
think she did it. I want Patsy Ramsey tomorrow to look in the mirror and
say to herself, "I killed JonBenet.'"
Hoffmann-Pugh challenged the state's rules, which forbid witnesses from
repeating what they've told grand jurors unless an indictment or report
is issued, in order to write a book about her experiences with the Ramsey
She said the grand jury focused almost exclusively on Patsy Ramsey. "It
was almost all about Patsy, down to the underwear she had purchased from
Bloomingdales," she said. "They wanted to know how she related
to JonBenet. I felt in my heart they were going to indict Patsy."
- She said she told the grand jury that Patsy had become
very moody right before Christmas of 1996. "I think she had multiple
personalities. She'd be in a good mood and then she'd be cranky. She got
into arguments with JonBenet about wearing a dress or about a friend coming
over. I had never seen Patsy so upset.
- "I don't believe Patsy meant to kill her. I truly
believe it was an accident that just continued," said Hoffmann-Pugh,
who worked in the Ramsey house until three days before the slaying on Dec.
26, 1996, and testified before the grand jury in January 1999.
- The Ramseys have maintained they had nothing to do with
their daughter's death.
- The grand jury adjourned in October 1999 after 13 months.
No indictments were issued. The grand jury, and then-District Attorney
Alex Hunter, never issued a report about its investigation.
- Hoffmann-Pugh, whose efforts to change grand-jury rules
were supported by the Ramseys, on Thursday handed out a packet of what
she said were six handwriting experts' analyses of Patsy Ramsey's handwriting
- All six said it was highly probable that Patsy wrote
the ransom note, which was found in the Ramsey house about six hours before
the body was found in the basement, she said. Hoffmann-Pugh said she is
convinced Patsy wrote the ransom note.
- The Ramseys have never produced a written handwriting
report, Hoffmann-Pugh said. "I had to give handwriting samples to
the police. Why didn't she? I had to testify before the grand jury. Why
didn't she?" Hoffmann-Pugh asked rhetorically. She testified for eight
hours before the grand jury.
- Her attorney, Darnay Hoffman, said a written handwriting
report from the Ramseys "is the single most important piece of evidence
that's still missing from this case. They only thing they've given is an
oral report, an oral denial."
- In the courtroom, Boulder Assistant District Attorney
William Nagel argued that Colorado Criminal Procedure Rules 6.2 and 6.3
are very specific as to what can't be repeated outside the grand-jury room.
- "Rule 6.3, the witness' oath, states "the testimony
you are about to give ...' It's the testimony that can't be talked about
publicly," he said. "The knowledge that was brought in to the
grand-jury room can be spoken publicly.
- "What can't be discussed is any information obtained
as a result of testifying before the grand jury, any information obtained
inside the jury room," he said. "They also cannot say, "That's
what I told the grand jury'... or "That's what the prosecutor asked
me' ... or "The grand jury focused on this.' That would be public
disclosure of the grand-jury proceedings."
- Daniel said 40 states as well as the federal government
allow grand-jury witnesses to discuss their testimony. He said the U.S.
Supreme Court in 1990 struck down a Florida law that prohibited witnesses
from talking publicly about any testimony they might have given, even if
the knowledge had been gained prior to taking the witness' oath.
- Daniel called the state's argument "fallacious"
and ruled that the state's grand-jury rules violate the First Amendment
only as they pertain to witnesses talking about what they already knew.
- He said the rules also violated the "prior restraint"
protection of the First Amendment, which he called "the least tolerable
violation" of the First Amendment.
- Nagel said it was his duty as a prosecutor to appeal
any decision that goes against state law, and that he would begin preparing
- The Ramseys' attorney, L. Linn Wood, reached in Atlanta,
said the ruling was only a step in the right direction.
- "I'm interested in any information about the truth
of the grand-jury investigation," he said. "I want the whole
truth as to why the grand jury did not indict John and Patsy Ramsey.
- "This ruling doesn't sound like it goes far enough
for the basis of a claim" to ask how the grand jury voted, he said.
- "If the grand jury voted not to indict, I don't
think (former District Attorney) Alex Hunter has the right to refuse to
sign a no-true bill," he said. "If the grand jury voted not to
indict ... clearly the Ramseys and the public have a right to know."
- Wood said he is waiting for Hunter to return from a Hawaiian
vacation to subpoena him to testify about any grand-jury votes. He says
he expects Hunter to declare privilege against testifying, and that Wood
will file a motion in court forcing him to testify.
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