Alex Hunter on John Eller and Steve Thomas
I listened again to the Oral History interview Alex Hunter gave for the Carnegie Library Collection in Boulder in which he spares no expense on who he thinks is to blame for the JonBenet Ramsey Case getting derailed.
First it was Eller, whom he said had no instinct or style for collaboration or cooperation with the DAs office. Plus he could not get along with Hofstrum; they both had strong personalities and Eller refused to put their differences aside for the betterment of the case. And when it comes to evidence, Eller collected all the hair and fibers, but failed to understand that fabricating a story about John Ramsey’s semen being on JonBenet’s panties was a cruel error, all the while keeping the actual DNA results a secret. Well, that just didn’t help the situation at all.
Then it was not just Steve Thomas leaking the ransom note to Vanity Fair and other items of an evidentiary nature, it was his direct criticism of Alex Hunter himself and personnel in his office. Hunter says he hired Lou Smit under an agreement of cooperation with BPD. Smit set up a database of procured resources; a sophisticated system of the massive amount of information collected and relevant to the crime. But Thomas disrespected Smit by portraying him as a delusional old man in Vanity Fair. The hurt he inflicted was too deep to overcome and eventually led to a totally unworkable situation prior to the start of the Grand Jury.
It sounds to me like both Eller and Thomas could have used some people skills. I mean, if they were truly committed to solving this case for JonBenet, then maybe reflecting on how best to accomplish the goal might have been along the lines of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. Something as simple as that might have made all the difference in solving the murder of JonBenet.