Oct. 10, 1997 - Ramsey Update #58
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
City Web site: www.bouldercolorado.gov
Boulder Police Chief Tom Kobys
I am adding personnel to the investigation. We will have three additional investigators reassigned to the case: Carey Weinheimer, Kim Stewart, and Michael Everett. All of them were involved in the initial days of the case and I feel are needed to give us enough resources to get the work completed.
I have made the assessment that more resources are necessary after being briefed by the team upon their return from their meetings with the F.B.I. in Quantico. At those meetings we gained a confirmation of the quality of the work which has been done to date. We also had time to get really clear about the work that is still needed to complete this investigation.
I am also assigning Commander Mark Beckner, to work full time with Sergeant Tom Wickman, to manage the investigators. Commander Beckner will be assuming this responsibility from Commander John Eller who has had to split his time between this case and the ongoing day to day work in the Investigative Bureau. Commander Eller will be able to focus his full attention on all the other investigations that we are attempting to manage in his division. These include the ongoing investigation of the spring riots, other ongoing homicide investigations, the recent surge in drug related deaths, and many other criminal investigations that we are trying to manage with the staff available.
I am also relocating the investigative team back to the Public Safety Building for now and intend to manage the case in a more traditional police/prosecutor relationship. A more traditional relationship is one where the staff of the District Attorney are available to advise us, but are not involved in the day to day investigation of the case.
Our purpose continues to be staying focused on getting the work done in order that a determination can be made whether we have a case to present to the District Attorney for prosecution. Although this has been our focus from the beginning, I think it is obvious to everyone that we have been scrutinized on this case from day one by the media to a degree seldom, if ever, experienced in any other case. This had made a difficult investigation even more stressful for all of those involved and our agencies.
My restructuring of this investigation is being done to serve two specific purposes:
What is the quality of the investigation?
In spite of all of the speculation about this issue, the work done on this case by the members of both the police department the District Attorneys Office is of a very high caliber.
Were there mistakes made on the case in the early hours following the reporting of the case?
The officers and detectives who first went to the Ramsey residence responded to the report of a kidnapping, and did what was necessary to manage a kidnapping situation.
Those involved in this first day also were able to transition the focus once we understood that we were really dealing with a homicide. It is accurate to say that if we had it to do all over again we would do it differently. It is also accurate to say that we responded well to what we thought we were confronted with. Remember, this is a one of a kind case. There are few, if any, agencies that would have done it differently than we did in those first few hours.
We all know in this business that you have to deal with what is in front of you with an eye to what is possible outside your immediate situation. What was in front of us was a kidnapping. We pursued that until we understood we had something different.
Has the Boulder Police Department tried to present the Boulder District Attorneys Office with a warrant for the arrest of anyone in this case?
No, we do not yet have a case that would warrant the pursuit of an arrest.
Is an arrest in this case going to be made?
We will know that when we get the work done. We have not finished the work.
What is the relationship between the District Attorneys Office and the Boulder Police Department?
Our relationship is strained. In the Criminal Justice System there is often tension between the police and the prosecutors. This is to be expected. Remember, the Criminal Justice System by design is an adversarial system. People often disagree.
From the beginning of this investigation there have been disagreements between the investigators and the prosecutors. These disagreements have generally been in two areas. First has been in the approach to this investigation with respect to dealing with all of the possible suspects. One side of the investigation has favored a hard line on pursuing this matter. The other has been supportive of a less antagonistic approach.
Both of these approaches are legitimate. They both set a tone and are workable. Boulder Countys approach to most matters over the years has been to follow the second and it has worked quite well for this community. In this case there was and still is a difference of opinion about which is more appropriate.
The second major area of disagreement has been over the management of the media. Whereas both the District Attorney and I believe strongly in being open with the press, in this case we have had differing opinions on the proper course to follow. My position, as you know, has been to be very close with the information. The District Attorney has felt a need to be more communicative. Again, both approaches are viable. Our difference of opinion on this matter has added to the strain.
These differences are normal and usually manageable. However, in the pressure cooker environment that we have been working in the last nine months small things get exaggerated and create difficulties.
I know that you have more issues that you would like me to respond to and I will try to accommodate you. But before I do that let me reiterate one thing: There are many hardworking dedicated police officers, prosecutors, attorneys, lab people and others working on this case. All of us are doing our best, under difficult circumstances, to find the person or persons responsible for the death of JonBenet. We are dedicated to this case.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 June 2012 09:33