Today Show Jan 8 2001
Alex Hunter interviewed by NBC's Dan Abrams
Hunter: The case as been an extraordinary challenge, a wonderful opportunity. I mean, in a tragic
setting. And I know it's hard for the public because we have not achieved justice for this sweet little
Abrams: Are you retiring because you are just sick and tired of dealing with this case?
H: No. You know it was really a hard decision to leave this work. It's been a great run. It was a lot of
things. My age, 64. Time to do other things. My eyes are tired. I think it is time for new vision, new
A: Is there something you would have done differetly in this case?
H: You know, I don't think so.
A: There is this perception out there on the part of some that this entire investigation has been
H: The question, I think, should be 'Did the police contaminate the scene by certain judgements that
were made? I don't think so. I think the police could have--should have--pushed harder for
interviews. They did interviews, but should have pushed harder for broader, and more in-depth
A: And could that have made the case?
H: Yeah, but...that's Monday quarterbacking. I mean, a lot of people think the cops had the right,
the police had the right, to interrogate the Ramseys, and of course, that's not true.
A: Did you ever feel like "We're this close"? Was there ever a time during the investigation where you
said "We've got it!"?
H: There were a couple of times when I thought 'We're real close' but you'd be very surprised and I'm
not gonna tell you, and I'll use the word "target", who the target was.
A: Surprised because it's not the people or person we ordinarily think?
H: I'll let you...I'll let you figure that out.
A: It does seem that you are saying that you had hope, at times, about the evidence, when it
pointed to suspects other than the Ramseys. Hope that this case would be solved.
H: There were leads that I took a look at, where I ordered that work be done.
A: Did your office fail? By not indicting anyone?
H: You know, I don't think so. This is a search for the truth. This is a matter of following the
evidence. This is a matter of measuring whether or not you've got enough ammo to point the gun at
somebody under our system. So how can that be a failure if you are being true to that process?
A: And you didn't think you had the ammo?
H: No. I mean, you know, that's the bottom line: insufficient evidence. But I know what the public
wanted. They can't, they couldn't have it from us.
A: You are about to become Alex Hunter Private Citizen, who doesn't have the power of the
government behind him. And while you've never come out and said it, it sure seems like you believe
Patsy Ramsey did it.
H: I don't think I've ever said words that suggested that. And, you know, if I ever did...lead someone
to believe that from my words, you know, I would not be performing my function. At the same time, I
have said and I have meant it, the Ramseys are not excluded.
A: But to the public, that means Alex Hunter thinks that they did it, he doesn't have enough
evidence to go forward.
H: Well, they may, they may interpret it that way. That's not what I intend them to draw from that
but I'm not going to point the finger at them as the killer or killers. I would never do that.
A: The new District Attorney, Mary Keenan, has said she's gonna look at this case with a fresh set of
eyes. Is that what this case needs, a fresh set of eyes, a new look?
H: You know, I'm not sure Mary has said that. She may have said that. She clearly is going to look
with her eyes. She knows quite a bit about the case.
Now, how many eyes do we need to put on this case? You've got four metropolitan DA's, you have
two trial lawyers that were loaned to me, a half a dozen other lawyers who've all looked at this case
with "fresh eyes", and have basically said , to summarize, Hunter's on target, there is insufficient
So, I think I would mislead your viewers if I said to them, 'You know, we've got fresh eyes coming in
on this, and, you know, there is a good chance that this lady DA is gonna see it differently'.
A: Less than a year ago you said to me that you thought there was a greater than 50 per cent
chance that this case would be solved. You still believe that?
H: You know, I do. But I want the context to be clear. Part of it is tremendous hope. You know,
A: Unrealistic hope?
H: I don't think so, but I've just seen so many cases that have been solved that have less poetential
than this case. This case is not dead. And I think there is a shot at this, and I think there is a 50-50
A: Are you concerned that, rightly or wrongly, the public is going to remember Alex Hunter as the guy
who couldn't indict anyone in the Ramsey case?
H: It doesn't bother me a bit. I have enough people that I respect, that have said to me, 'You know,
you made a tough call. You made a call the public didn't like, but you were true to the law, you were
a good prosecutor.' And that's plenty for me.