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The Spin Crowd

Then A&E bought the rights to Tracey's movie--JonBenet's America is what he likes to call it--for $150,000 and showed its own version on Investigative Reports Monday night. Although the show stretched to two hours, "it was our script, with one or two minor word changes--no editorial changes at all," says Tracey. The difference was that host Bill Kurtis, rather than Tracey himself, narrated what basically served as the flip side to 20/20's critique of the Ramseys.

For every action a reaction.
Tracey himself has been slapped for his role in producing what is essentially an infomercial on the Ramseys, parents of a murdered girl who hired a PR firm almost as quickly as they did attorneys. And slapped by the Boulder press for producing it while collecting a hefty salary as a full-time CU professor. But Tracey insists the work was legit, and with A&E, he was careful to fill out all the appropriate CU paperwork. "I'm a very good bureaucrat now," he says.

But if the Boulder legal community is incestuous, the CU j-school is under the covers on this case, too. Besides Tracey, there's Suzanne Laurion, the adjunct professor who signed on with Hunter in spring 1997 for a twenty-hour-a-week job doing PR; after six semesters, and with plenty of demands on her time from the DA's office, she's taking the fall semester off. While at CU, Laurion says, she had exactly one brief conversation with Tracey. And she also met another character who keeps cropping up in the case, a familiar figure who makes everything from impromptu appearances on the Today show to command performances at Ramsey Christmas parties: Santa, retired journalism professor Bill McReynolds, who knows a thing or two about spin, too.

Two weeks ago, Santa wrote his own letter calling for a special prosecutor because Hunter, Laurion's boss, has botched the investigation, in the process catching McReynolds and his family in the "web of evil surrounding this case." A web that keeps on spinning.

For every action a reaction. Or, since this is Boulder: For every action an inaction.

"Boulder defies the laws of physics," says Tracey.
It defies the laws, period.
Twenty-one months later we've spun full circle, with a renewed reward and no killer.

JonBenet must be spinning in her grave.

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