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Forum URL: http://www.webbsleuths.com/cgi-bin/dcf/dcboard.cgi
Forum Name: Ramsey evidence
Topic ID: 60
Message ID: 5
#5, RE: Mark Beckner's deposition
Posted by jameson on Apr-10-03 at 04:58 PM
In response to message #4

1 Q As a result of the information provided,

2 did Chris Wolf come under the umbrella of suspicion

3 in the JonBen t Ramsey case?

4 A That would probably be accurate.

5 Q What is the umbrella of suspicion?

6 A People who came to our attention and with

7 some inquiry into those individuals. Again, there is

8 some judgment involved here in looking at the

9 totality of the circumstances. But it would look

10 like, yeah, maybe there's a possibility that these

11 people may be involved or have some knowledge. Those

12 would be people that we would choose to investigate

13 further.

14 And you know, to what level of degree that

15 you would call them under suspicion I think is

16 difficult sometimes to evaluate because there were

17 obviously different levels.

18 As an example, we did a rundown of all

19 registered sex offenders, and for no other reason

20 than they were registered sex offenders.

21 Q Did they come under the umbrella of

22 suspicion?

23 A Well, I don't know if I would put them --

24 whether I would say that.

25 Q You would say it with respect to Chris


1 Wolf?

2 A Yeah, I think that's a fair

3 characterization.

4 Q I don't know who coined the phrase, for

5 some reason I think it was you?

6 A I believe it was.

7 Q Would I be correct in stating that an

8 individual status from your standpoint as being under

9 the umbrella of suspicion could be described by

10 someone else in the investigation, someone else at

11 the Boulder Police Department, as being an individual

12 who had the status of suspect?

13 A Well, certainly anybody could call

14 somebody anything they want. I'm not sure I

15 understand your question.

16 Q Well, I'm trying to look at the Boulder

17 Police Department's use of that term because there

18 are at least one book and one detective who was

19 involved in the investigation that has referred to

20 Chris Wolf as a suspect and that's Steve Thomas. And

21 I'm trying to find out what the Boulder Police

22 Department's use of that term means.

23 In other words, you might choose to use

24 the term umbrella of suspicion.

25 A Um-hum.


1 Q Was that term, in effect, mandatory in

2 describing individual status on all of the members of

3 the department or did you know that some other

4 members of the department might refer to the

5 individual under the umbrella of suspicion as being a

6 suspect?

7 A Well, I think what we tried to do was we

8 tried not to identify anybody as a suspect because

9 specifically we were trying, number one, to protect

10 people because, obviously, there were a lot of people

11 that came under investigation in this case. And

12 secondly, we wanted to be fair, try to be as fair as

13 we could to individuals as well.

14 And so from our perspective, to be

15 identified as a suspect, you would have to be

16 somebody that there was a real possibility that you

17 were involved in this crime versus, you know, someone

18 said they think you did this crime and so now we've

19 got to run down this lead, if that helps clarify it

20 at all.

21 Q Well, I mean, a real possibility versus a

22 possibility doesn't -- that's a pretty fine line for

23 me. But I'm not the person coming up with the

24 titles. What I want to find out is how does one move

25 from being under the umbrella of suspicion to the


1 status of suspect?

2 A Maybe probability is a better word than

3 possibility, because certainly possibility covers a

4 lot of different situations.

5 Q Were there members of the Boulder Police

6 Department, to your knowledge, who considered Chris

7 Wolf a viable suspect?

8 A Not from the point I took over the

9 investigation. I don't know if somebody considered

10 him viable prior to that time.

11 Q Then why would you bring Chris Wolf in in

12 March or February of 1998 and submit, take from him

13 non-testimonial evidence for forensic testing?

14 A Well, I think until you can prove who did

15 the case, you can't disregard other possibilities.

16 Simply because somebody doesn't look like a viable

17 suspect doesn't mean maybe the evidence won't lead

18 you to then believe that they are viable. I mean, if

19 evidence came back indicating that he had been

20 involved then certainly his status would have been

21 elevated.

22 Q But if he was brought to the attention of

23 the Boulder Police Department in January of 1997, why

24 did the Boulder Police Department wait until February

25 or March of 1998 to obtain non-testimonial evidence


1 from him?

2 A That I can't answer because I don't know.

3 I wasn't involved in the investigation prior to

4 October.

5 Q Do you know when Chris Wolf was moved out

6 from under the umbrella of suspicion?

7 A Not a -- I can't give you a specific date.

8 Probably a time frame would be as close as I could

9 narrow it down to.

10 Q What time frame could you narrow it down

11 to?

12 A Probably summer of 1998.

13 Q I'm looking at a -- and again, this is an

14 article written by Chris Anderson published in the

15 Daily Camera March 16th, 2000. And I'll let you take

16 a look at it.

17 A Okay.

18 Q But the part that I'm referring you to at

19 the moment is a quote attributed to you. It says,

20 Boulder police chief Mark Beckner said Wednesday,

21 several people listed in the Ramseys' book have been

22 investigated, including the McReynolds, the Ramseys'

23 former housekeeper Linda Hoffmann-Pugh, former

24 Boulder journalist Chris Wolf and former Access

25 Graphics employee Jeff Merrick. Quote, They are not


1 currently active suspects, end quote, said Beckner,

2 who added there is nothing new in the Ramseys' claims

3 covered in the book.

4 A Okay.

5 Q Do you believe Mr. Anderson has quoted you

6 correctly in that article?

7 A The part that has quotations around it?

8 Q Yeah, that's the part I'm referring to.

9 A You know, I talked to so many reporters so

10 many times. Do I have specific memory of making this

11 statement? No.

12 Q When you look at it do you look at it and

13 go, no, I would not have said that I don't believe?

14 A No, that sounds like something that I

15 would probably say.

16 Q What did you mean by the use of the term

17 that they're not currently and I'm focusing on active

18 suspects?

19 A Um-hum. It means that we are not

20 currently investigating them for involvement in the

21 crime.

22 Q Had they been prior in time active

23 suspects?

24 A Well, again, how do you use the -- how do

25 you define suspect?


1 Q I would throw that ball --

2 A In terms of --

3 Q -- over to the law enforcement --

4 A -- how I define it, no. I would say, you

5 know, as we talked earlier, under suspicion would

6 characterize it accurately. Whether someone actually

7 goes to the level of suspect or not, that's a pretty

8 high level.

9 Q So when you use the term that someone is

10 under suspicion or remains under suspicion, you are

11 using that to be in effect interchangeable with

12 someone being under the umbrella of suspicion?

13 A Sure.

14 Q And you would specifically not use the

15 term suspect unless you felt that the individual had

16 moved from a possibility of being involved to a

17 probability of involvement?

18 A Yeah, they would certainly have to rise to

19 that level before you would want to identify somebody

20 as a suspect.

21 Q Was Bill McReynolds ever under the --

22 MR. MILLER: I object to that question.

23 MR. WOOD: If you let me answer it -- ask

24 it, I think maybe -- and then I'll tell you why it

25 has specific reference to Chris Wolf.


1 Q (BY MR. WOOD) Was Bill McReynolds ever

2 under the umbrella of suspicion?

3 MR. MILLER: I still object to it. What

4 has that got to do with Chris Wolf?

5 MR. WOOD: Because we have evidence that

6 Bill McReynolds was the academic advisor at the

7 University of Colorado to Chris Wolf.

8 MR. MILLER: I think you need to ask him

9 if he knows that. I don't know how that relates to

10 this investigation.

11 MR. WOOD: I think that it would have an

12 absolute relationship in terms of the police being

13 interested in the idea that one person under the

14 umbrella of suspicion had a relationship with another

15 individual under the umbrella of suspicion. Now,

16 that to me would at least from my common sense

17 standpoint, would be fairly significant at least to

18 look into. So that is the basis for the question

19 that relates directly to Chris Wolf.

20 MR. MILLER: I think it's objectionable

21 and I don't think it has got anything to do with the

22 Chris Wolf investigation.

23 Q (BY MR. WOOD) Were you aware of any

24 relationship between Bill McReynolds and Chris Wolf?

25 A Now that you bring it up, yes.


1 Q Am I correct that in fact the Boulder

2 Police Department was aware that Bill McReynolds had

3 served as an academic advisor at the University of

4 Colorado to Chris Wolf?

5 A What I can tell you is that sounds

6 familiar.

7 Q Was that relationship investigated by the

8 Boulder Police Department?

9 A I believe it was.

10 Q Do you know the name of the detective who

11 was in charge of investigating that relationship

12 between Chris Wolf and Bill McReynolds?

13 A I'm not sure.

14 Q Do you know what the results of that

15 investigation revealed in terms of the nature and

16 extent and duration or any other details of the

17 investigation --

18 A No, I don't recall.

19 Q -- of the relationship?

20 A I don't recall.

21 Q Would there be -- would you expect that

22 there would be some written reports that would

23 document what the investigators found in terms of any

24 details about the relationship between Chris Wolf and

25 Bill McReynolds?


1 A I would expect there to be.

2 Q Would it be significant from the

3 standpoint of the Boulder Police Department

4 investigation if there was a relationship between two

5 individuals who were both considered to be under the

6 umbrella of suspicion?

7 A Maybe, maybe not. That really depends on

8 a lot of factors.

9 Q We know that Chris Wolf was under the

10 umbrella of suspicion, correct?

11 A Correct.

12 Q Was Bill McReynolds ever under the

13 umbrella of suspicion?

14 MR. MILLER: I object. This has nothing

15 to do with Chris Wolf. You --

16 MR. WOOD: I think I just showed that it

17 did.

18 MR. MILLER: Well, the fact that other

19 people are under the umbrella of suspicion doesn't --

20 I mean a lot of people as he has testified were under

21 the umbrella of suspicion. That doesn't mean that

22 they have anything in common except being under the

23 umbrella of suspicion.

24 MR. WOOD: Well, with all due respect,

25 Bob, he said it may or may not be of significance.


1 And here where you have an individual, Bill

2 McReynolds, who has a direct physical presence and

3 relationship with the Ramsey family, an individual

4 who has been in their home who had a relationship

5 with JonBent, and then you come upon an individual

6 who did not have a tie to the Ramseys directly and

7 you learn that that person had a tie to Bill

8 McReynolds, it seems to me that is fairly

9 significant. But I don't know that; I need for the

10 chief to tell me that. That's why I think it's a

11 fair question related to Chris Wolf to know whether

12 or not Chris Wolf, who was under the umbrella of

13 suspicion -- in fact the department was also aware

14 that Bill McReynolds was under the umbrella of

15 suspicion.

16 MR. MILLER: I thought the article you

17 just asked him to read had McReynolds' name in it.

18 MR. WOOD: That's why I would think it

19 would have been a fairly --

20 MR. MILLER: And I thought he said, he

21 confirmed that they were all under the umbrella of

22 suspicion.

23 MR. WOOD: That's what I wanted him to

24 confirm but you really didn't let him answer that

25 question directly.


1 MR. MILLER: Is that right?

2 THE DEPONENT: Yes, McReynolds was.

3 Q (BY MR. WOOD) Did he come out from under

4 the umbrella of suspicion the same time frame as

5 Chris Wolf?

6 A I have no idea.

7 Q You don't know whether there was any

8 relationship between the two investigations?

9 A I have no idea.

10 Q Tom Trujillo -- who would the best person

11 to answer that question?

12 A I'm not sure.

13 Q Give me if you would, Chief Beckner, your

14 best recollection or description of the investigation

15 of Chris Wolf. We've talked about the handwriting.

16 But just give me maybe your description of what the

17 department did regarding Wolf.

18 A Do you want a narrative?

19 Q To the best of your knowledge and ability

20 if you can give me that. We'll fill in some of the

21 details if we need to.

22 A Well, very generally I can tell you. I

23 can't give you the details. As I said, I believe it

24 was in late 1997 that we submitted, I believe it was,

25 some handwriting and possibly some fingerprints to


1 CBI for comparisons.

2 And then in 1998, we submitted, we

3 submitted, we obtained DNA. I believe we obtained

4 some handwriting exemplars and some palm prints from

5 Mr. Wolf and then we submitted those. We then

6 submitted his known writings to Dr. Foster for a

7 linguistic analysis as well and a comparison, that

8 was in 1998.

9 We certainly interviewed Jackie Dilson

10 several times, did some -- we even did some recording

11 of phone conversations between her and Mr. Wolf to

12 see if there would be any indication in those

13 conversations of his involvement.

14 That would be the primary steps we took.

15 Q Did you ever take any hair samples from

16 Mr. Wolf?

17 A We may have. I don't -- I can't tell you

18 for sure.

19 Q Mitochondria, are you familiar with that

20 word?

21 A Yes.

22 Q Were there any mitochondria tests

23 performed on hair samples obtained from Chris Wolf?

24 A My understanding of DNA you don't have to

25 do that. Once you have the DNA you have the DNA. A


1 person's DNA whether you get it from hair, saliva,

2 body fluids doesn't matter, it's the same. So one

3 DNA test is going to come back the same.

4 Q Does that mean the answer is no, you did

5 not do any mitochondria tests on hair samples taken?

6 A I don't believe we did.

7 Q Why would you bother to take hair samples

8 from anyone then if you have a DNA sample?

9 A You don't always have DNA samples. Some

10 hairs won't have DNA attached to them.

11 Q What was the type of fluid or material

12 that you took from Chris Wolf in order to check his

13 DNA?

14 A I believe they took saliva.

15 Q Okay. So if you have saliva from an

16 individual, why would you need a hair sample?

17 A For DNA, I don't believe you would need a

18 hair sample.

19 Q But what would you need the hair sample

20 for?

21 A You may want to do a comparison with other

22 hairs that you have at a crime scene.

23 Q Was any comparison done of the hair sample

24 or samples taken from Chris Wolf with any other hair

25 samples taken from the crime scene?


1 A I don't know.

2 Q Well, wouldn't you have expected there to

3 be?

4 A Not necessarily.

5 Q Why not?

6 A Well, there's -- this is getting into an

7 area that I don't think I can go into.

8 Q Well, I mean you took hair samples from

9 Chris Wolf. You come in and you state that Chris

10 Wolf was under the umbrella of suspicion?

11 A I --

12 MR. MILLER: He didn't say he took hair

13 samples of Chris Wolf.

14 A I said I didn't know.