Alex Hunter's Ramsey Diary: The Lost Pages
Editor's note: Shortly after last week's announcement that no indictment will be filed in the murder of JonBenét Ramsey, a small foreign faction left a yellow legal pad on the back stairs at Westword. Our experts say that the handwriting exhibits several points of comparison with that of Boulder District Attorney Alexander M. Hunter, but we have been unable to establish a match beyond a reasonable doubt.
Oct. 8: Someone is messing with my yogurt in the office fridge. I grabbed one during the morning break; the lid was already loose, and the coconut creme had a faint tang of beer or yeast or something. Yecch. Secretaries, clerks, reporters, grand jurors, my dream team of prosecutors and forensics geniuses -- the umbrella of suspicion hangs over them all.
Oct. 9: I'm tired of being defamed in the gutter press as some kind of milquetoast. This morning I put my foot down, but there was no one to see it. Jogging down by the creek, I came across this young hooligan running his Harley back and forth over the limp form of an elderly woman. I stepped right in and put a stop to it, punching 911 on my cell phone and administering CPR to the victim. While we waited for the cops, I informed the suspect that, given the heinous circumstances, I couldn't accept a plea for anything less than careless driving, a Class One misdemeanor. "Plead this," he snarled. He made an obscene gesture and took off. I believe I put the fear of God in him.
Oct. 10: Private meeting with Henry Lee to review the forensic reports. Dr. Lee's prognosis was glum: We could probably deal with the unexplained semen trace, the fibers, the pubic hair, the palm print, the DNA under the fingernails as individual quirks, but not collectively. "Too many goddamn clues," Dr. Lee said. "Bad DNA, very bad!" I made the mistake of offering Dr. Lee some yogurt. He spit it out all over the ransom note analysis. "Taste like piss," he said. "Everything in Boulder contaminated! No good!"
Oct. 11, 9:20 a.m.: Call from Linda Arndt. While cleaning out her purse over the weekend, she came across a recipe for pecan pie that Patsy gave her the morning after the murder, in between peek-a-boo and prayer sessions. On the back of the recipe is scrawled a cryptic message: I DID IT. PLEASE DON'T TELL JOHN. "Swell," I said. "It could mean anything, but it's never too late to consider new evidence. Bring it on down."
10:15 a.m.: Call from Lou Smit. He's located witnesses who saw an ectoplasmic glow engulfing the Ramsey home Christmas night. Has a "gut feeling" that the intruder could have been an illegal alien. Thinks we ought to focus search on asteroid belt between Jupiter and Saturn.
10:52 a.m.: Another call from Arndt. Her car wouldn't start. While waiting for a cab, she was mugged by a guy on a Harley who tried to run her over. She'd put the recipe in a plastic bag. The perp thought it was blotter acid and ate it.
Two years, nine months, sixteen days -- and the grand jury term due to expire, just like my yogurt, in another week. If only we had more time.
Oct. 12.: I'm not supposed to tell even you, dear diary, what goes on in the grand jury proceedings, but today's session went rather well. I started out by responding to the old canard about how a clever prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. Okay, I said, but what if that ham sandwich had lawyers like Haddon and Foreman? What if the ham sandwich's daughter was horribly murdered, but the investigation was botched by the sandwich police? And what if the brave prosecutor wanted to make someone pay, but they didn't want to pay, and the teddy bear ran off with the spoon? What about that, hey?
When I was through, some joker tried to get me to sign a true bill charging John and Patsy Ramsey with murder and conspiracy and charging me with criminally negligent ineptitude. I refused, of course. I explained my own right against self-incrimination -- and there is no statute dealing with "ineptitude," anyway.
Other jurors wanted to know if they would be allowed to write a report. I told them there were many things I couldn't discuss about grand jury proceedings, even with them.
Oct. 13: Well, it's over. Over, over, over. Spent most of the afternoon dodging the press. At one point, Larry Schiller and Jeff Shapiro had me cornered in an elevator, whining that I had led them on, teased them, promised them the world and delivered bubkes. I knew I had to throw them a bone if I was ever going to get out of there. I told them if they hurried up to Lyons, they might catch a glimpse of Tom Koby shooting gophers in his underwear, but keep in mind they didn't get it from me.
Oct. 14: Today I tossed out all the tainted yogurt, put in a new case and posted a note on the fridge: "You will not get away with what you've done. The list of suspects is narrowing. Soon there will be no one left on that list but you. You have stripped us of any mercy that we might have had. We will find you, and you will pay for what you've done."
Oct. 15: My yogurt still tastes funny.
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