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Forum Name: Ramsey evidence
Topic ID: 60
Message ID: 13
#13, RE: Mark Beckner's deposition
Posted by jameson on Apr-10-03 at 05:05 PM
In response to message #12

1 Q -- it doesn't surprise you that a

2 professional investigator before critical evidence

3 has been examined and tested would reach that kind of

4 conclusion; that doesn't surprise you?

5 A Well, if they said it -- if you're telling

6 me they said it in a manner of this is fact and there

7 is no other possibility, then that would surprise me

8 that they would say it as an absolute conclusionary

9 statement; yes, that would surprise me.

10 Q Was the F -- did the FBI ever provide any

11 assistance to the Boulder Police Department in

12 connection with its investigation of Chris Wolf?

13 A You know, I'm not sure. I was not in --

14 most of the team meetings that occurred, occurred

15 before I arrived and so I'm not sure what all was

16 discussed in those meetings.

17 Q When you say the team meetings, you're

18 talking about meetings between -- with the Boulder

19 Police Department and members of the FBI?

20 A Yes.

21 Q The September 1997 meeting in Quantico,

22 you were not involved in the case at that time?

23 A No, I wasn't.

24 Q Has it ever been brought to your attention

25 that an agent, I believe by the name of Ken Lansing,


1 of the FBI cautioned the Boulder Police Department

2 that this -- they should keep an open mind that this

3 could be a sexually related killing?

4 A Lots of people have cautioned us in that,

5 so --

6 Q Has the FBI agents in fact cautioned you

7 in that?

8 A I'm not sure what you mean by cautioned.

9 Q Just stated --

10 A Certainly in our discussions --

11 Q -- keep an open mind?

12 A -- sure, that's been part of our

13 discussions.

14 Q With the FBI?

15 A Sure.

16 Q Were you involved in the investigation

17 from an internal affairs standpoint of Detective

18 Mason?

19 MR. WOOD: I'll link this up for you in a

20 minute, Bob.

21 Q (BY MR. WOOD) As I remember, Mason was

22 investigated and I know there was a lawsuit and I

23 want to go -- Mason was investigated by internal

24 affairs because it was believed, at least that there

25 was some basis to believe, that he may have leaked


1 confidential police information to the media, right?

2 A Yes.

3 Q Was it then and does it remain the policy

4 of the Boulder Police Department to appropriately

5 investigate any officer who is thought to have leaked

6 confidential police file information to the media

7 and, if found to have done so, to institute some form

8 of punishment or penalty?

9 A Are you saying is it now the policy?

10 Q Was it then and is it now?

11 A Yes.

12 Q Am I correct that if the Boulder Police

13 Department had learned, say, in September of 1997

14 that one of the officers on the Ramsey case had

15 provided confidential police file information about

16 the case to a journalist, that at a minimum, if

17 proven to be true or admitted to by the individual

18 officer, you would have expected at a minimum that

19 the officer would have been immediately removed from

20 that particular case?

21 A If it was proven?

22 Q Yes.

23 A Yes.

24 Q With the potential to even be discharged

25 from employment?


1 A Potentially.

2 Q Has it ever been brought to your attention

3 that Steve Thomas has admitted that he in fact met

4 with Ann Bardach on four or five occasions and was

5 her police source for the Vanity Fair article that

6 was published in this case, including an admission

7 that he provided her with the content of the ransom

8 note, although he says he did not give a copy of it

9 to her? If I tell you that as fact, would that be

10 news to you?

11 A Some of it. I didn't know it was four to

12 five times. That would be new to me.

13 Q Did he discuss the contents of the ransom

14 note with her?

15 A You know, I don't recall hearing that

16 specifically, that specific.

17 Q But if Steve Thomas had admitted to that

18 information in September of 1997, he would have,

19 having admitted to it, would have either -- he would

20 have clearly been removed from the Ramsey case and

21 may very well have been fired?

22 A May have been, yes.

23 Q But clearly without a doubt removed from

24 the Ramsey case?

25 A You're asking me to answer for Chief Koby.


1 At this time I was not chief of police.

2 Q Well, under your understanding of the

3 setup as it existed then?

4 A I believe that would have happened, yes.

5 Q Because I think after Mason everybody

6 understood that they were subject to internal affairs

7 and potentially dismissal but absolutely removal from

8 the case?

9 A I believe that would have happened, yes.

10 Q There -- former Detective Thomas, and I

11 ask this because he is identified by Darnay Hoffman

12 as the Boulder police detective who will be the

13 primary witness on this case from the authorities

14 standpoint in the Wolf case, Detective Thomas said

15 that he had a working briefcase at the time that he

16 resigned in which he kept his working file papers

17 that included his own reports and notes and then

18 other reports and notes. I don't know if it included

19 the master affidavit he refers to.

20 And he said he turned that briefcase in.

21 But he said he made copies of the materials. That

22 would have been absolutely against department policy

23 for him to keep copies of the materials, wouldn't it?

24 A Not necessarily. Many officers will keep

25 second copies of reports as working copies --


1 Q In the event --

2 A -- and then put the original in the file

3 and then work off of their working copies and

4 maintain those.

5 Q But would that be true if they're leaving

6 the force?

7 A No, that should not occur if you're

8 leaving and taking those with you.

9 Q That's my point. When he resigned and he

10 turned in his working papers and before he did it he

11 said he made copies and kept them, that would be

12 inappropriate then under the department guidelines?

13 A Yes.

14 Q And he would know that, your officers know

15 that, don't they?

16 A Yes.

17 Q He then said that starting in January of

18 1999 after it was learned that he was going to

19 publish a book, that he started receiving anonymous

20 packets of police reports on the JonBent Ramsey case

21 from postmarks in Boulder and postmarks in Denver.

22 And that over the course of time, he accumulated

23 several hundred pages of Ramsey police reports from

24 these anonymous sources. Have you ever heard

25 anything about that before?


1 A No. This is the first I've heard of that.

2 MR. MILLER: Is this from his deposition?

3 MR. WOOD: It is, it is.

4 Q (BY MR. WOOD) And the question I have is

5 whether the universe -- there would be a fairly

6 definable universe of individuals that could have

7 done such a thing if it happened, I mean, I'm not

8 asking you to believe Thomas and I'm not suggesting

9 that I necessarily believe him. I would lean more

10 candidly to thinking that he copied everything,

11 thousands of pages, and nobody sent him anything but

12 I don't know that. He has testified to the contrary.

13 But the universe of people that could conceivably get

14 their hands on Ramsey police reports in January and a

15 few months thereafter in 1999 and copy them would be

16 fairly limited but clearly definable, wouldn't it,

17 Chief?

18 A Not necessarily. If somebody really

19 wanted to go to that extent, they probably could have

20 obtained copies.

21 Q But out of what universe?

22 A Probably detectives would be the most

23 likely universe.

24 Q So again, fairly definable and I think if

25 one might look at leak investigations, limited in


1 number, fairly limited?

2 A Well, yeah, it's still -- you're still

3 looking at 16, 18 people. That's still a pretty

4 broad net.

5 Q Would you agree that the investigation of

6 Chris Wolf was primarily -- by the Boulder Police

7 Department was instigated and conducted primarily, if

8 not almost exclusively,, based upon the initial

9 information provided to you by Jackie Dilson? Is

10 that the driving --

11 MR. MILLER: Could you restate the

12 question, it sounded compound?

13 Q (BY MR. WOOD) The driving force behind

14 why Chris Wolf was investigated clearly was Jackie

15 Dilson and the information she initially provided; is

16 that true?

17 A Well, certainly initially, yes.

18 Q And then a lot of it could have been the

19 result of Chris Wolf's own decision for whatever

20 reason not to cooperate in January of 1997?

21 A Sure.

22 Q He could have gotten himself out from

23 under the umbrella potentially earlier had he decided

24 to do differently than what he did in January,

25 conceivably?


1 A Conceivably.

2 Q You indicated the Ramsey investigators had

3 provided you with some information about Wolf. Do

4 you believe that the Ramsey investigators were a

5 motivating driving factor for the Boulder Police

6 Department's investigation of Chris Wolf?

7 A Are you including me in that question?

8 Q I guess I would have to. You're part of

9 the investigation?

10 A I would say yes then.

11 Q Explain that to me.

12 A Well, when I came on, part of the job I

13 had to do was review the case up to that point. And

14 part of that was learning what had been done, what

15 hadn't been done, what needed to be done. You know,

16 we developed a whole task list of items to do and

17 certainly taking, you know, a better look at Chris

18 Wolf and getting some of the non-testimony evidence

19 from him was one of those things that we needed to do

20 and was put on that list.

21 Q But the need to get non-testimonial

22 evidence from Chris Wolf was not a need developed

23 because of information that the Ramsey investigators

24 had given you, that was just a review of the umbrella

25 list, so to speak, by you in a decision about what


1 had not been done that you thought should have been

2 done?

3 A Well, and I can't tell you that, you know,

4 what pieces of evidence at that point or information

5 came from what sources. I was getting it in a

6 composite, not in a Jackie Dilson said this, so and

7 so said this, Ollie Gray said this. It was a

8 composite that I was receiving at that time so I

9 couldn't tell you what was --

10 Q So you don't know whether the Ramsey --

11 any information provided by the Ramsey investigators

12 had anything to do with your decision on Chris Wolf

13 or the Boulder Police Department's decision with

14 Chris Wolf?

15 MR. MILLER: I object to the

16 characterization of the answer. I don't think that

17 is what the witness testified to.

18 MR. WOOD: Well, he said I can't tell you

19 what pieces of evidence at that point or information

20 came from what sources. I was getting it in a

21 composite, not a Jackie Dilson said this and said

22 this, Ollie Gray said this, it was a composite.

23 Q (BY MR. WOOD) So as we sit here today,

24 you can't tell me that you have knowledge of specific

25 information provided by the Ramsey investigators back


1 in 1997 or 1998 about Chris Wolf that became a

2 driving factor in why the police department

3 investigated him; is that fair?

4 A No, that's not fair. Certainly the

5 information they provided that they had was a driving

6 factor in continuing that, to investigate Chris Wolf.

7 Q What information?

8 A The composite information that we had

9 about Chris Wolf.

10 Q What information --

11 A I don't have --

12 Q -- from the Ramsey -- how do you know the

13 Ramseys gave you any information that was of any

14 assistance to you?

15 A I'm not saying they did or didn't.

16 Q Maybe you're not understanding my

17 question.

18 A Yeah, that could be.

19 Q In terms of being a significant factor,

20 maybe that's a good term, in why the Boulder Police

21 Department was investigating Chris Wolf in 1997 and

22 1998 --

23 A Okay.

24 Q -- you don't know whether information

25 provided by Ramsey investigators to the Boulder


1 Police Department during that time period was a

2 significant factor or not, do you?

3 A No, I don't.

4 Q Okay. What you know is that you had a

5 composite of information from a variety of sources, a

6 composite being such that when you came on board in

7 October of 1997, you felt like Chris Wolf was a

8 viable individual to be under the umbrella of

9 suspicion somewhere in that six or seven category we

10 talked about on my level of one to ten, ten being at

11 the top. And you wanted a number of things done in

12 terms of non-testimonial evidence and follow-up

13 investigation about him that had not been done up to

14 that point in time --

15 A Correct.

16 Q -- is that fair?

17 A That's fair.

18 MR. WOOD: Let me have -- hang on. Don't

19 go off yet because I do want to cover one quick area

20 with him.

21 Q (BY MR. WOOD) I've got a March 14, 2000

22 article in the Denver Rocky Mountain News by John

23 Ensslin, E-n-s-s-l-i-n. Do you know him?

24 A No. I know the name.

25 Q This is in connection with Lou Smit's


1 giving some information to the public about the case.

2 Again, the date is March 14, 2000. I think that

3 coincides roughly with the release of the Ramseys'

4 book. I'm going to read this and if you need to see

5 this I'll be glad to let you see it.

6 Beckner said he was disturbed that Smit

7 decided to talk about evidence in the unsolved case.

8 Quote, He's willing to go out and talk about his

9 theory but, in so doing, he ignores a lot of other

10 evidence, end quote, Beckner said.

11 Does that sound like something you would

12 have said?

13 A Yes.

14 Q Is that an accurate quote?

15 A Yes.

16 Q You were saying that with respect to Lou

17 Smit?

18 A Yes.

19 Q Would you also tell me that that is

20 absolutely true with respect to Steve Thomas?

21 A Yes.

22 Q That he also is willing to go out and talk

23 about his theory but in so doing, he ignores a lot of

24 other evidence?

25 A I don't know if I would say a lot of other


1 evidence, but I think he does ignore some other

2 things in the case.

3 Q And it's not just some other things in the

4 case because Steve Thomas has said that his book as

5 such was based on the police file information as it

6 existed up to the end of August of 1998 in

7 combination with any public information that was

8 released. And I think you have said on the record

9 that there has been significant developments and

10 changes and new information developed since August of

11 1998 --

12 A Yes.

13 Q -- during the course of the grand jury and

14 after the grand jury. Before Steve Thomas's book was

15 published in August -- in April of 2000?

16 A Yes.

17 Q True?

18 A True.

19 Q We had the back and forth by letter about

20 Katy Couric's comments that Chris Wolf was no longer

21 under suspicion and I wrote this mean-spirited letter

22 asking you to investigate and find out who in the

23 world said that, that was in 2001. I had failed to

24 do my job and realized that in 2000 you had actually

25 said that publicly when you gave the quote about


1 McReynolds and Wolf and Hoffmann-Pugh and Merrill

2 that they were no longer actively under -- no longer

3 active suspects.

4 I then asked you in another letter whether

5 you had been the source for some information about

6 urine on the bed sheets and I never did hear back

7 from you, on an NBC broadcast.

8 A So what is your question?

9 Q Were you the source for that information?

10 A No.

11 Q I think you have told me that you have

12 never provided any information to a member of the

13 media about the investigation under the condition of

14 anonymity?

15 A That's correct.

16 Q And you have not yourself ever provided

17 any confidential information about the law

18 enforcement investigation to any member of the

19 media --

20 A That's correct.

21 Q -- off the record?

22 A That's correct.

23 MR. MILLER: Well, wait a minute. Just so

24 the question is off the record, right, I mean

25 obviously he made press releases.


1 MR. WOOD: Yes, that's why I added off the

2 record.

3 MR. MILLER: Okay.

4 Q (BY MR. WOOD) You do know Bill Hagamaier?

5 A Yes.

6 Q And Bill Hagamaier has been involved in

7 the case pretty much the entire time the FBI has

8 been?

9 A Yes.

10 Q You made a statement in June of 1998 in a

11 press release that said the question was, Do you know

12 who did it?

13 And you said, answer: I have an idea who

14 did it. What was the purpose in saying that?

15 A Well, I think part of the purpose is

16 reassuring the public that we're not clueless about

17 this case. And it's so you want to try to be

18 truthful but at the same time you don't want to give

19 out more information than you have to. And it's a

20 fine line to walk.

21 Q And would it be fair to say that when you

22 made the statement I have an idea who did it you

23 weren't trying to focus on John and/or Patsy Ramsey,

24 were you?

25 A I wasn't intending that to be necessarily


1 the interpretation of that, but I wanted the public

2 to know, yeah, we had an idea.

3 Q Because in June of 1998, the next day in

4 an interview, you indicated that you all investigated

5 I think this article says 68 possible suspects. And

6 then you said. Quote, There are certainly less

7 people under the umbrella of suspicion now than there

8 were in October, Beckner said, quote, The umbrella is

9 not quite so big, end quote. There were still a

10 number of people under the umbrella of suspicion in

11 June of 1998, weren't there, Chief?

12 A Yes. Yes.

13 Q And it was more than just John and Patsy,

14 wasn't it?

15 A Yes.

16 Q You would concur with the statement that

17 you believe that sharing information about the

18 evidence in the case that is otherwise confidential

19 from a police officer's standpoint is unethical and

20 potentially disastrous to the police department's

21 ability to find justice?

22 A I would agree with that.

23 Q In the letter that you said that in in

24 effect, I paraphrased it, it was a letter to the

25 Daily Camera editorial, a letter to the editor,


1 3/28/2000. Do you remember that?

2 A Yes.

3 Q You actually said "Unlike Mr. Smit and

4 others who have left the investigation I believe that

5 sharing information about the evidence is unethical

6 and potentially disastrous to our ability to find

7 justice."

8 You didn't name him but I think you would

9 certainly say that absolutely applied to Steve