Boulder DA Michael Dougherty: My Heart Goes Out to the Family of the Ramsey Case; Obviously, it is Just Incredibly Unfortunate That Case Remains Unsolved


The Craig Silverman Show and its Lawyers Lounge airs on Saturday Mornings in the Denver metro area for drivetime listening. Several weeks ago, Silverman conducted an interview with Boulder District Attorney Michael Dougherty and they briefly discussed the open murder case of JonBenet Ramsey…

at approximately 40:00:00…

Craig Silverman: And there are horrific murders, every murder is horrific, but some are particularly cruel and depraved, and some involved multiple victims. And you have to say, well, are we giving them free murders? One case I know about that had an abundance of aggravating circumstances happened on December 25 or 26 1996. A little girl, that’s an aggravating factor was killed in the most cruel and heinous way. That’s another aggravating factor in a crime that was apparently for pecuniary gain. Perhaps if you believe the ransom note anyway, there had to be about 5 to 10 aggravating factors that would have qualified the perpetrator for the death penalty if that perpetrator was ever caught and charged in the enduring mystery of JonBenet Ramsey and her vicious murder, then now it’s in the lap of Michael Dougherty and Carol McKinley was my guest last week, and she has met with John Andrew Ramsey, who told her that he had a meeting with you.

(plays part of previous interview w/Carol McKinley)

Carol McKinley: I’ll tell you the latest 2020 that we did, Really. I got to know John Andrew Ramsey well, he’s a really good guy. He’s the older half-brother of JonBenet. He was in Atlanta when this happened. Getting ready to fly to Charlevoix. Needed to meet John and Patsy and the kids, and he really and truly believes that someone got in that house and killed her and he’s out there looking. He’s out there looking. He’s giving interviews and, you know, I asked him 1st, 1st thing I ever asked him was, Look, Patsy is your step with your stepmom. She died in 2006. Is there anything about her that makes you think she could have killed JonBenet?

And he said no. She was the most wonderful woman. What you see is what you get. She was always positive. There’s no way my dad and Patsy could have killed her, and he does not believe it. And it was good for me to talk to someone like that because he’s really dedicated to finding the killer, and he’s looking into all kinds of different DNA technology, like separating DNA out because there’s a mixture in her panties and he wants to separate that DNA, and he wants the Boulder police to take a look at it. He just met with the Boulder police last month and Mike Dougherty. So, he’s out there looking for the killer. I mean, if you want my opinion, I think the ransom note is best piece of evidence we have right now.

Craig Silverman: What can you tell us?

Michael Dougherty: Well, obviously, Craig, it’s a really tragic murder, and any unsolved homicide is heartbreaking for the victim’s family and the community as a whole. We actually have as a state roughly 1600 unsolved homicides, and I get that number from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, who we continue to work closely with on unsolved homicides. And I’m also a member of the Cold Case Review team for the state of Colorado, which does terrific work looking into unsolved murders.

And in any case, my heart goes out to the family of the Ramsey case. At the time of the Ramsey murder, I was still in school back in New York, but it’s obviously, given the circumstances surrounding the murder case, that’s really captured the attention of people not only here in Colorado, but worldwide. I still hear from a fair amount of them on occasion, and people tend to very strong opinions about who would have been involved in the murder and what the motive was.

What I can tell you is that it remains an active investigation with the Boulder Police Department. So, the Boulder Police Department’s handling the investigation and that over the years a lot of great people have brought their skill and effort and energy to try to solve that case. And obviously it’s just incredibly unfortunate that case remains unsolved, along with the hundreds of others that remain unsolved in the state of Colorado.

Craig Silverman: I have to note that the Boulder grand jury that met for the better part of the year I think it was over a year. You just praised how Boulder jurors are smart and we found out from Charlie Brennan’s reporting the Boulder Daily Camera a few years ago that they actually voted a true bill, which the DEA Alex Hunter refused to sign. I just had occasion to re-watch Perfect Murder Perfect Town, which was written by Charlie Brennan and Lawrence Schiller. Have you ever read that book about JonBenet or seen the movie?

Michael Dougherty: No. I read the book when I was taking office. Stan Garnet recommended; you should read this book. Just so you’re up to speed on at least some of the details to the extent that they’re captured in the book and if there and of course, to the extent that they’re accurate. But I thought the book was terrific and, uh, it was really well done, and obviously they put a lot of time and effort into researching it.

Craig Silverman: Oh, man, it was crazy those days because I was in your Boulder justice complex. In fact, Larry Schiller and I were in a little room and he was having me look at legal papers because we’re trying to get information. But what a time it was. And you were still, you know, thinking probably about I don’t know, what were your athletic dreams. Did you have athletic dreams? You’re an accomplished athlete, as I recall,

Michael Dougherty: not sure I’ve ever had reason to have real athletic dreams. But I’ve always enjoyed playing sports, and I’m still a long-distance runner, Craig Silverman: but I noticed on your Twitter feed as we move away from JonBenet, unless you have something more to say about that, I know you’re in charge of the case. You need to be careful. But is it fair to say it’s an open case? You’d love to solve it. And if anybody has some good clues, to let you know.

Michael Dougherty: Certainly, every unsolved homicide in Boulder County remains an open case. And, as I said, a real tragic case. Believe me, there’s no shortage of people who send their information thoughts, suggestions to the Boulder Police Department since Boulder BPD are in charge of the investigation. That’s where the information goes, and those range from people using a numeric code to solve the case. People using a color code to solve the case. Believe me, Boulder PD gets the full gamut of leads and suggestions and tips on how to solve that case, and I can tell you that they remain actively engaged in that effort… I will say people can have strong competing theories and claims, but as you know, it takes actual evidence to prove things.

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