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Thursday, August 17, 2006

False Accusations FROM the Ramseys 

Bean has written about John Mark Karr, and a comment from one of his commenters struck me.

[W]e really owe Mrs. Ramsey an apology for living with the loss of her daughter and then dying at only 49 with her name still smeared.

However, while I'll acknowledge that the Ramseys' names were smeared, don't forget that they also did some smearing of their own.

Now that John Mark Karr has apparently confessed to the crime, maybe it's worthwhile to see who the Ramseys falsely accused:

Chris Wolf, Boulder journalist

Chris Wolf, a freelance journalist, sued the Ramseys in 2000 claiming that he'd been libeled by the Ramseys' book, "The Death of Innocence." He was included in the book among those the Ramsey's considered suspects in their daughter's murder.

And here's another one:

Bill McReynolds, former journalism professor

Bill McReynolds, a former University of Colorado journalism professor, portrayed Santa Claus at the Ramseys' home in 1996, two nights before the 6-year-old was found slain.

Authorities collected hair and handwriting samples from McReynolds and his wife, Janet, in the first few months following the murder, but police sources said they did not consider the McReynolds serious suspects. The Ramseys, however, called McReynolds a suspect in their book.

Before partisans of John and Patsy Ramsey say that Bill should feel better knowing that the truth is out, consider this:

The couple moved to Mashpee, Mass., in 1998. Bill McReynolds died there at 72 in 2002.

At least Patsy Ramsey knew that a suspect had been located. When he died, Bill McReynolds knew that some people still blamed him for the murder. The Ramseys' false accusation scarred him:

Janet McReynolds said...that her husband's involvement in the infamous case was "the greatest trial of his life."

"He was scarred. He was just so devastated by the mere idea anyone would suspect him of a crime," she said....

"He loved being Santa, he loved little children, and then the Ramsey case destroyed that career and just devastated him. He loved that little girl. It was a very sad thing in his life because he genuinely loved children, and it was the happiest part of his life."

McReynolds' big heart made him a popular instructor, said Doug Cosper, who taught with him at CU.

"Some of his students kept relationships with him their entire lives," Cosper said.

"When the Ramsey story happened, he was hurt very badly, and that's why they had to leave Colorado," he said. "They felt they couldn't live here anymore."

When the couple moved to the small town on Cape Cod in 1998, McReynolds left his role of Santa Claus, his wife said. Instead, the grandfather of six filled his time helping the elderly at the local senior center.

"He made a new start. He was beloved by many people here," said Janet McReynolds. "Of course, he would never get over what happened to him. He would never fully recover from that kind of suspicion."

But there were others whom the Ramseys falsely accused:

For their part, the Ramseys have continued their sophisticated, and expensive, public relations campaign, including publishing a book, The Death of Innocence, (that exonerates them and their son, Burke, while advancing various speculations regarding the killer or killers)...and staging various interviews and news conferences in their on-going parry with Boulder authorities. The Ramseys were quite liberal in naming possible suspects, mentioning dozens of close friends, former business colleagues, a trusted household worker and even the man who played Santa Claus at Ramsey Christmas parties for the last three years of JonBenét's life. Santa's wife was also hotly advanced by the Ramseys as the mastermind behind the murder.

John Ramsey has some apologizing to do.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

I hadn't thought about that. You're right.
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