Lawyer for JonBenet Ramsey family vows to
sue CBS over documentary
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[September 21, 2016]
By Keith Coffman
DENVER (Reuters) - The lawyer for the
family of slain child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey denounced a CBS
documentary theorizing she was killed by her brother, Burke, as a "false
and unprofessional television attack" and threatened to sue the network
L. Lin Wood, an Atlanta attorney who said he had successfully other
media outlets over similar accusations against Burke Ramsey, branded the
program as a broadcast riddled with “lies, misrepresentations,
distortions and omissions.”
“I will be filing a lawsuit on behalf of Burke Ramsey,” Wood told
Reuters in a telephone interview. “CBS' false and unprofessional attacks
on this young man are disgusting and revolting.”
The network responded to Wood with a terse statement: “CBS stands by the
broadcast and will do so in court.”
The two-part, four-hour program aired amid a wave of media coverage
surrounding the 20th anniversary of the JonBenet Ramsey case, one of the
most sensational unsolved murders in the annals of American crime.
The body of the blond, blue-eyed girl, who had been beaten and
strangled, was found in the basement of her parents’ Boulder, Colorado,
home on Dec. 26, 1996, hours after her parents reported the 6-year-old
child missing and a ransom note left in the house.
No one has been charged with her murder. A grand jury voted in 1999 to
indict the parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, but then-District Attorney
Alex Hunter declined to file charges, citing a lack of evidence.
In the conclusion of the CBS show that aired on Monday, a panel of
experts said it was its opinion that Burke Ramsey, who was 9 at the time
of the homicide, struck his sister in the head with a heavy object,
perhaps not intending to kill her.
[to top of second column]
File photo of Patsy Ramsey and her husband, John Ramsey producing a
picture of Jon-Benet Ramsey during a press conference in Atlanta
where they released the results of an independent lie detector test,
May 24, 2000. REUTERS/Stringer
The girl’s parents then staged a crime scene to make it appear that
an intruder was the culprit, the group of law enforcement, forensic
pathologists and other experts concluded.
Wood called CBS “corporate profit mongers” who aired the program
during the September "sweeps" for maximum ratings benefit.
In a recent interview on the “Dr. Phil” talk show, Burke Ramsey, now
29, denied that he harmed his sister, and said he suspected a
pedophile who stalked child beauty pageants was the killer.
Wood said a written disclaimer that CBS aired with its show, saying
the opinions “represent just some of a number of possible
scenarios,” did not go far enough.
(Editing by Steve Gorman and Peter Cooney)
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