Off Limits

Knock, knock.

Who's there?

Sure as fuck ain't the Denver police.

This is one of Denver radio personality Peter Boyles's favorite new jokes about this city's little no-knock-raid publicity problem, but he can't say it on the air, for obvious reasons. Less obvious, however, is why the ubiquitous KHOW talk-radio host was fired as master of ceremonies for last Sunday's Million Mom March.

Boyles believes it has something to do with a lawsuit that has been filed against him and one of his former guests by fourteen Denver SWAT team officers. The suit says Boyles and retired FBI agent Jim Kearney defamed the officers by accusing them of deliberately killing Ismael Mena in the now infamous botched September no-knock raid.

"I've known about this for two weeks," Boyles says of losing his spot at the head of the march. "But I kept my mouth shut. The issue of gun control is greater than if these people dumped me." Still, Boyles thought it was "weird," especially since he had been involved in fundraising for Colorado's edition of the Million Mom March and had even offered to cover the costs of sending a woman to Washington, D.C., where the main rally was held.

But Carmelita Garcia Konrad, one of the organizers for the Denver rally, says Boyles's demotion had nothing to do with the lawsuit, or his less-than-favored status with the Denver Police Department. "So many things came out near the end, and we found out through e-mails and phone calls [from the national march leaders] that the only people on stage were to be women, mothers or victims of gun violence, and that sounded like a good idea to us," she says. "We asked Peter to step down, and I heard he understood. He wished us well. He has definitely been for us all along, working hard for gun control. Our main concern was to stay within the guidelines. [Mistress of ceremonies and former KHOW DJ] Dani Newsum did an incredible job, and I think it was wise to have one emcee and have it be a women."

Apparently the shooting death of radio DJ Alan Berg, a close friend of Boyles's, back in 1984 didn't qualify Boyles as a victim of gun violence. And as it turned out, Tom Mauser, whose son Daniel was killed in the Columbine High School massacre last year, was the only man who spoke at the event. Not counting, of course, the protesters who shouted from the sidelines.

Boyles has had no problem shooting his mouth off to other audiences, however. On Tuesday morning he got to break the news that the school board had dumped longtime Denver Public Schools superintendent (he lasted all of nine months) Chip Zullinger late, late Monday night. That meant that a Boyles fan got to deliver the news, along with a load of breakfast burritos, to employees at Denver Public Schools headquarters early Tuesday morning, long before they got the official word from their bosses. And earlier this month, when Boyles was interviewed by Fox TV reporter Carol McKinley for a national segment on Colorado's longest-running unsolved murder case involving a six-year-old beauty-pageant contestant, he offered his opinion -- just his opinion, mind you -- as to who killed JonBenét Ramsey. On the advice of its lawyers, however, Fox declined to air that little tidbit.

Also playing coy on the topic and proving why she's earned the title "Highest IQ" in the Guinness Book of World Records Hall of Fame: Marilyn Vos Savant. In Sunday's installment of Parade magazine's "Ask Marilyn" column, a reader asked if Vos Savant would answer "a question like, 'Who do you think killed JonBenet Ramsey?' Having never seen a question like this in your column, we figured that you think it's not appropriate for discussion. If that's so, why?"

"It's so, all right," Miss Smarty Pants responded. "Because I don't know the facts of the case firsthand (like the investigators do), and I haven't witnessed a trial, I don't feel competent to answer the question."

Follow that ambulance

The flames are just starting to die out in the neighborhoods surrounding Los Alamos, New Mexico. But where there's smoke, there's ire -- and money to be made. Those who've survived more natural disasters than an uncontrolled controlled burn know that the first people to arrive in the aftermath are the opportunists.

And who was the first such fortune-hunter to arrive in Los Alamos? A contractor from Texas? A car dealer from Arizona? Nope. It was Denver lawyer Stephen A. Justino, of Irwin and Boesen, P.C., who took out an ad in Sunday's Santa Fe New Mexican. Justino's ad (which was accompanied by a large head shot) quickly got to the point: "LOS ALAMOS FIRE VICTIMS," it reads. "11 years experience handling claims against the United States/Former U.S. Claims Attorney/Free consultations."

If you have a tip for Off Limits, call Jonathan Shikes at 303-293-3555.


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