Members of the local and national media alike have gone predictably ga-ga over Boulder district attorney Mary Lacy's July 9 announcement that DNA evidence has cleared all Ramsey family members of suspicion regarding the 1996 murder of six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey. But KHOW's Peter Boyles, the most indefatigable pundit on the Ramsey beat (and oh, how he's beaten it -- for over eleven years now), hardly admitted defeat during the first half-hour of his show on the morning after. Far from it: He excoriated coverage of the case, calling it "laughable," and shrugged off assaults from e-mailers demanding that he slam down a shot of Old Crow with the comment, "Folks, you've been had."
No one should been dumbstruck by this tack. Remember bogus confessor John Mark Karr? Boyles certainly does. After Karr's 2006 arrest in the case, a lot of observers seemed to assume that law enforcement had nabbed the real killer, with Boyles' KHOW colleague, Craig Silverman, going so far as to apologize for using innuendo in previous years while discussing the possible complicity of JonBenét's parents, John and Patsy. But Boyles held his ground, insisting that Karr's confession didn't add up -- and his math was spot-on, unlike that of so many colleagues.
On July 10, Boyles kept returning to the subject of Karr, chortling as he played a recording of Karr singing the Ramseys' praises and lamenting about how they'd suffered. "I'd like to cut his nuts off," Boyles announced. "I really would."
Still, he reserved his sharpest invective for Lacy, who he feels has been lobbying on the Ramseys' behalf since the days when she was still known as Mary Keenan; the yakker accused her of subsequently taking her husband's name because she was "ashamed" of her own. He also whipped up on CU journalism professor Michael Tracey for "orchestrating" the Karr debacle in ways he saw being repeated in the most recent instance. On this subject, he pointed the biggest finger of blame at Channel 9's Paula Woodward, who scored an exclusive sit-down with John Ramsey, conveniently in town so that Lacy could deliver her I'm-sorry letter to him in person. After noting that Woodward didn't even mention Karr during her quiz session, he mistakenly referred to the reporter as "Patsy" -- a Freudian slip if ever there was one.
No telling at this point if Boyles' intractability will pay off for him again, or if he'll wind up looking like a dunce this time. One thing's for sure, though: No one's cut his nuts off. -- Michael Roberts
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