Ex-Housekeeper Says Patsy
Ramsey Killed JonBenet
By Mike McPhee
Denver Post Staff Writer

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 was found.

* "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 case.
Witnesses who testified before the Ramsey grand jury include:
* 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 First Amendment.

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 family.

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 samples.
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 an appeal.
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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