“I did not kill JonBenet. I loved that child with my whole heart and soul,” Mrs. Ramsey said in one of the first press conferences held after her daughter’s murder. She continued to say essentially the same thing for the rest of her life, she died of cancer last June.
It didn’t matter to the newspaper “journalists” who helped feed the tabloids and cable news headline and crime shows with the sensational story. Now it’s been 10 years, and the media stoked public perception is that the wealthy parents did it.
Some details: Boulder is a lot like the sister city of Berkeley, Calif. Both are liberal university towns. So the Boulder police are “smarter” than your average police. The rich parents were immediately under the umbrella of suspicion. They may have even been Republicans! Did Mr. Ramsey’s computer company work with Halliburton?
Michael Tracey, a University of Colorado journalism professor, had communicated with Mark Karr (the former 2nd grade school teacher) by e-mail, the Rocky Mountain News has reported. Tracey produced documentaries on JonBenet’s murder. Karr and Tracey exchanged dozens of e-mails, the Rocky reported, and that helped lead police to Karr, who was arrested Wednesday in Bangkok, shopping for sex on holiday.
“Tracey was instrumental in this investigation,” Susan Stine, a friend of the Ramseys told reporters. “He was instrumental in flushing this person out in the sense of getting him to talk,” she added, also saying the e-mails, “helped develop the case. I do believe he has the right to be presumed innocent,” Tracy told the Rocky reporters. “I got involved in this, for 10 years, because I believe that right was never extended to the Ramseys, and that was wrong. We’ll see how this thing unfolds. Previously, the media leaks about the evidence and absurd theories as to how JonBenet died helped convince the public that the parents did it.”
“Was it ethical for a journalist or journalism professor to share private e-mails? Was the principle of finding a killer more important than the privacy of a journalist’s notes and communications?”
This is a question being asked by journalists today. Some of the same “holier than thou” group who ruined JonBenet’s parents with sloppy reporting, hand fed to them by the town’s police department. Now we find out there was a broken window to the Ramsey basement. What else was held up by the Boulder police in order to frame the “rich” Ramsey family? This sad case will play out without any mention in the major media of the arrogance of the journalism “profession.” It’s not unlike the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. ‘You must have the bishop’s blessing!’
But it is a new Web age, so blogs and e-mails have taken the role of finding and communicating the truth. JonBenett Ramsey may become a Wikipedia entry that includes how the mainstream media helped judge and convict her parents in the court of public opinion, with some “journalists” arguing that it was unethical for the journalism professor to share his private e-mails from Mark Karr with the police or media. The Web 2.0, new media must put that fact in the story.