Newcomers to this blog are advised to begin with the first two posts, Just the Facts, Ma'am and Case Solved, which explain in very general terms why I believe I've solved this case. Some important questions are answered in the following post, Misunderstandings, Misconceptions, Misdirections. After that feel free to browse whatever topics might interest you (see blog archive).

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Ms. Zellner Files a Motion

Finally, after months of (relative) silence, Steven Avery's new lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, has filed her motion for appeal. All mind-numbing 1,272 pages of it. The first 200 pages have been made available online for anyone with the patience to wade through it all.


Zellner's strategy seems obvious. As characterized by the well-known adage, she is tossing as much spaghetti as possible onto the wall in the hope that something might stick.

Several months ago, Zellner announced that a thoroughgoing series of  "scientific" tests would provide proof positive that her client was innocent. The implication was that these tests were to be conducted by impartial investigators under the supervision of law enforcement officials. Well, those tests have apparently been completed, but according to what I've read so far from her appeal, there is no sign that any of these "experts" were impartial or that any of the tests were conducted under the supervision of any impartial authority. As is well known, it's possible for defense lawyers to find experts willing to testify to just about anything, and if you have the freedom to shop around until you find one to your liking, then you can make any case that suits you.

At least one key piece of evidence did not turn out as Zellner had hoped. The samples of Avery's blood found in the victim's car were not drawn from the vial stored as evidence dating from Avery's earlier, wrongful, conviction. Zellner downplays this finding, but as seems obvious, this is a devastating, if not fatal blow to Avery's defense. The contention of his original legal team was that the earlier test results, which arrived at the same conclusion, were flawed and needed to be redone -- because clearly they would have no case if the blood had been fresh. Well Zellner had the tests redone using more up-to-date technology, capable of actually dating the blood. And those tests simply confirmed the earlier ones. The blood stains were fresh. At that point one would think Zellner would simply throw up her hands and admit defeat. But no, she has managed to find an out, claiming that the blood could have been siphoned from Avery's bathroom sink, where, according to his testimony, some of his blood had dripped. To support this theory she has come up with a truly bizarre scenario in which "the killer" finds his way into Avery's trailer, notices the blood in his bathroom, siphons off some of it, and plants it in Halbach's vehicle.

The most disturbing aspect of Zellner's appeal is her identification of the "real killer" as Halbach's ex-boyfriend, Ryan Hillegas. From earlier statements, Zellner gave the impression that she knew who the "real killer" was, and could prove it. But as far as I can determine from what I've read so far, no proof is offered, only a series of speculations and assumptions suggesting that Hillegas might have had a motive and could have both committed the crime and, going to remarkably extreme lengths, framed Avery -- with the cooperation of the authorities, natch. I'm sorry but I find this sort of thing truly reprehensible. If there were any real evidence of Hillegas' guilt, I'm sure Zellner would have revealed that from the start. And as I've already argued, anyone attempting to frame Avery could have done that simply by planting some of the victim's blood in his bedroom. No need to burn a body, smuggle charred bones onto Avery's property, plant his blood in Halbach's car, hide the car on Avery's property, etc. Imo Hillegas would be well within his rights to sue Zellner, and I hope he does.

Will this motion succeed? I'd love to say it has no chance, because from what I've read so far I see nothing strong enough to contradict all the very clear evidence pointing unequivocally to Avery. But judging from the truly bizarre reaction to the Making A Murderer series, all sorts of people have managed to convince themselves of his innocence -- and the judge might well be among them. Zellner certainly provides all sorts of reasons for true believers to uncritically swallow her nutty theories. So, you never know.

96 comments:

  1. If her entire Motion for Appeal relies on the premise that the trial court erred in not permitting a SODDIT argument, it's a loser, imo.
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled against what's known as a Denny defense in that state about thirty years ago, which is why Avery's defense attorneys couldn't use it at the original trial.

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  2. Does anyone know if JonBenet's funeral was an open casket? I know Burke said that he saw her in the coffin and that her right eye was drooping. During the autopsy, her entire skull was removed from the head. How were they able to put her face back together for an open casket funeral?

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    1. Imo, the scalp only was peeled back to remove the top part of the skull (above the brow bone). Then the scalp would be pulled back over. No involvement of the face, except for the placement of the pieces that go under the eyelids.

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  3. "How were they able to put her face back together for an open casket funeral?"

    It happens all the time, and often with victims who have suffered much more gruesome and disfiguring deaths than JB. They would have peeled back the skin during her autopsy, removed her skull, filled the cavity with cotton stuffing, or similar, then sutured the skin together on the back side of her head.

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    1. The "drooping" of her eye was more likely a result of the post mortem procedure, as no such injury or asymmetry was mentioned in the autopsy report.

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  4. Zellner = epic fail.

    But it was always going to end up like that because Avery is guilty.

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  5. A good post from websleuths:

    - Zellner didn't use the cell tower data or cell phone pings she swore would prove Avery's alibi. Avery has no alibi.

    - Zellner conceded it was fresh (2005) blood of her client in the SUV.

    - Zellner said LE didn't plant the blood or the body, despite a year plus of Avery supporters claiming it to be so.

    - Loof the tracking dog hit on SA's trailer and around towards the back.

    - There were multiple 'hits' by different tracking canines -- one set of canines tracked TH's scent and another set of canines (including Brutus), were human remains detection dogs.

    - The deer camp trailer was not where canine Loof was tracking or hitting -- the 'red trailer' was none other than SA's.

    - The "mystery witness" Zellner tweeted about is none other than the lying murderer himself, whose lies have been well documented.

    - The calls by Avery to AT claiming TH never showed are detailed in a document she included in her brief.

    - TH's friend from AT claims that it was twice that SA met TH wearing only a towel. That statement is included in a document as part of the brief.

    - After tweeting months ago about "mind reading not being evidence," in her brief she advances a type of mind-reading as evidence which is called "Brain Fingerprinting."

    - And, in a massive stroke of irony where she railed against people accusing her client without evidence, Zellner herself, without any evidence whatsoever, floats a ridiculous story that the ex-boyfriend from half a decade back was TH's murderer and he somehow entered SA's trailer at the exact right time, without any detection, acquired Avery's freshly-dripped blood within a few mere minutes of Avery leaving that blood and then leaving the property, planted this blood in TH's SUV, then planted the SUV on the berm. How did RH get home? In her story she has him leaving the SUV behind. Did he walk the 30 miles? She never said. Must have been a magic carpet.

    The eyerolling is just beginning.

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    1. Thanks Zed. Very interesting. My eyes have been rolling ever since I watched that totally irresponsible "documentary." It was riveting television for sure, but obviously biased -- and ultimately tedious, as we keep hearing the same self serving comments from family, lawyers and Avery himself, over and over again.

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  6. I believe Avery is guilty, without a doubt. However, isn't it odd that he was exonerated from a previous crime which he did not commit, only to get out and actually commit murder?

    So now, I am thinking, was he innocent of that prior crime? It just doesn't make sense that an innocent person would go out and kill someone after being exonerated. I suppose it's possible, but is it probable?

    EG

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    1. I tend to be skeptical when it comes to any DNA evidence, unless the circumstances are crystal clear. Avery was exonerated on the basis of one single pubic hair. Who is to say that this hair didn't make its way into the evidence room by some devious means? When tens of millions of dollars are in play, an incentive certainly exists for the corruption of someone at some lab in a position to smuggle or even fake evidence.

      I'm not saying that's what happened, but no, I'm not buying that sort of evidence as iron clad. As far as wee know, the "real" perp in this case has never been tried for it, and you have to wonder why.

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    2. We seldom disagree, Doc, but that's nuts. We argued a year and a half ago about the cops planting T's key AFTER MULTIPLE SEARCHES of a tiny trailer home, and now you want me to believe they planted DNA? In the what, 80s, early 90s? The best kind of evidence available?

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    3. Maybe I was being too vague, CC. No, I never suggested that the police planted DNA, in either the earlier case or the Halbach case. What I suggested, as a possibility only, was that someone working for Avery could have made some sort of deal with someone at the DNA testing lab to make sure that someone else's hair(s) would be added to the evidence, after it had been collected from the victim. Where many millions of dollars are at stake the possibility of tampering can't be ruled out, imo.

      I'm not saying it happened that way. What I am saying is that DNA evidence, like any evidence, can never be regarded as 100% certain, unless the circumstances of its collection are totally transparent, with no possibility of tampering.

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    4. Doc,

      I have to agree with you because I just don't buy that someone who was exonerated would then go out and murder someone. I guess there is always a first time, but it seems highly unlikely to me.

      EG

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    5. EG, even if Avery was totally innocent of the crime he was exonerated of, he had previously committed other crimes, such as the abuse and torture of a cat, a burglary, and threatening a woman at gunpoint. He was found guilty of these crimes and part of the 18 years he spent in prison was due to these convictions. So no, the Halbach murder was not the first time he showed signs of criminal behavior.

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  7. Avery was definitely innocent first time round. He probably thought he was invincible after getting found innocent and a big fat pay day coming. He didn't dare think they would try and go after him again so he took a risk and murdered TH.

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    1. You have a point, Zed. But imo you are giving Avery much too much credit for logical, systematic thinking. Seems pretty obvious to me that this guy is a psychopath, driven more by impulse than long-term planning. He saw an opportunity, he took it without thinking too much about the consequences, and then improvised a crude coverup that should have fooled no one.

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    2. Yes I do agree.

      I guess what I was saying is that he made this impulsive, psychopathic decision whilst thinking he was wrapped in bubble-wrap.

      Given he answered the door to TH (on more than one occasion) in nothing but a towel, tells us he was sexually attracted to her and had probably thought of doing something for quite some time.

      He then told obvious lies/changed his story, and tried to hide his mobile number when dialing her as well. With Brandon's confession to a friend (or was it his cousin?) and Zellner now admitting Avery's blood was not planted in her SUV, this (in my opinion) is a truly open and shut case.

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    4. It's that kind of methodical planning you mentioned above, Zed, that makes me think this isn't Avery's first time. The fact that he murdered Teresa Halbach proves he's a cold blooded, opportunistic killer, who knows what he's doing, therefore I just find it really unlikely he had no involvement in the first murder he was convicted of. To quote a handy cliche: "Where there's smoke, there's fire". This guy vehemently proclaimed his innocence *both* times, and we know he's a liar, so I just find the whole thing highly suspect. I'm with Doc on this one. I'm not asserting his guilt, but I sure as hell find it a little odd.....

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    5. Edited to add: he was convicted of the assault and rape of Penny Beernsten, not murder. That's how little I knew of the case! Upon further research, I concede that he probably is innocent of that crime, and you should record those words, Zed, because that is going to be the ONLY time I ever agree with you! :P

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    6. I'm going to screenshot this comment and make it my screensaver Ms D....HAHA!!!

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    7. It will come back to bite me in the butt one day, I'm sure! :D

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  8. Ms D, I agree with CC on this one.

    The victim (in the first rape) had a pubic hair of a known pedophile who matched the description who was in the area at the time.

    To say Steven Avery did the first one is ridiculous in my honest opinion. Steven had performed some nasty stuff in the past and I honestly he took things to the next level because he felt he couldnt be touched at that point in time. Look at Avery on the news aftwr I honesty think Steven

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    1. Grrr on my phone and hit publish by mistake.

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    2. To be fair, I have no more than a rudimentary knowledge of the case, so I really will have to look further into it. I don't usually dispute DNA evidence, but geez, you couldn't even write this stuff! It's a bizarre case all round!

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    3. Zed,

      That Avery was innocent of the first crime, makes it that much harder for me to believe he'd go out and commit murder.

      An innocent person does not commit murder, most especially after being exonerated for a prior crime. It makes no sense to me. Did he suddenly turn into a psychopath because he was wrongly accused and imprisoned for years?

      What are the chances?

      EG

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    4. I tend to agree with you, EG, however, it probably is more likely that the cops were more than familiar with what an evil, depraved, bastard he was due to his violent history, and that's why he was a suspect - his profile fit the crime. Which does make me wonder, even if he is genuinely innocent of the assault on Penny Beerntsen, was Teresa Halbach his first and only victim? Seems unlikely given his violent history. He may have been wrongfully convicted of that particular assault, but I wonder how many proverbial bullets he might have dodged in relation to other similar crimes? As far as I'm concerned, that guy was exactly where he should have been - he is a danger to society, guilty of the Beernsten assault or not.

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  9. I am on the same page as you EG, as usual. Although I have not followed the Steven Avery case just from what others have said there are usually no coincidences. Was the Netflix show about him trying to suggest his prison days "made" him a murderer? I suppose I never followed this case because junkyard dogs with low IQ's hold very little fascination for me. A La Michael Helgoth - who would have lacked the IQ to pull off the JonBenet Ramsey murder.

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  10. EG, a murderer is always a non-murderer at some stage. I don't see any relevance to the first case, besides Avery thinking the law wouldnt dare come after him. Avery had always been an evil person...he burnt a cat alive!

    The simple reality is both instances involving Avery are pretty much open and shut cases.

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    1. I remember thinking upon hearing he tortured and killed animals, "I don't care how many years this guy served in prison for a crime he didn't commit. He's an evil, murderous, bastard". In my book, harming animals is a crime that should always be punishable with a harsh prison sentence.....unfortunately, the law doesn't agree with me. Look at the history of almost every, single, serial killer and see where it started: the torture of animals.

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    2. That was my thought too Ms D. I can't tell you how many animals I have rescued to attempted to and if I see it or hear it I am compelled to step in and do. Avery is evil, and this Zellner babe should see if he's found innocent, be allowed to live in her home.

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    3. My daughter and I volunteer for a charity that rescues/fosters sick, abandoned or injured animals, Inquisitive, so it is unfathomable to me how anyone can willfully hurt a defenseless creature. I've lost a lot of faith in humanity over the years and don't have a lick of empathy for the Steven Averys of this world - he's not a victim. I hope he dies behind bars.
      I wonder if Zellner still genuinely believes in his innocence? Did she ever?

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  11. Yes Zed, when I read what he did to the cat I said okay, don't want to read this.

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  12. Zed,

    You're right in that there is always a first time. I had no idea that he tortured and killed a cat. I watched MOAM on Netflix, but other than that, I don't know much about the case at all.

    I know MOAM leaned toward law enforcement planting evidence, because supposedly the police were out to get him since his exoneration.

    EG

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    1. Yes the show was made to show he was innocent...otherwise there would have been no need for a show.

      There is many things pointing to Avery being guilty. I can list a bunch of things if you want me to. But I tend to just look at the big ticket items...his DNA, blood in her SUV (which Zellner confirmed was NOT planted), his constant lies/changing stories, his past behaviour towards TH, hiding his phone number when ringing TH and the fact that his nephew confessed to a friend without any LE interference or manipulation.

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    2. For those who believe he did not murder TH, one of their biggest pieces of evidence is the lack of blood in the garage.

      Well firstly we don't know exactly how much she was bleeding. Secondly, there was bleach stains on Brendans jeans just like he said there would be. And finally, there wers steel eyelets found in the bonfire. Eyelets that look like they came off a tarp. It is very likely that after being raped she was murdered on the tarp and that's why there was a lack of blood. The tarp would have disintegrated in the fire but not the eyelets.

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    3. Lack of blood in the bedroom could be due to her not being stabbed there. Dassey reported that at one point, but later changed his story, so we have no way of knowing for sure.

      Lack of blood in the garage is certainly due to the very thorough cleanup they must have done. According to Dassey's court testimony (not just his interrogations), they cleaned the floor of the garage with three different chemicals, including bleach. Which explains the bleach stains on his jeans.

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    4. Yes I was referring to the blood in the garage (or the lack of). I think Avery laid a tarp down on the garage floor.

      But yes some heavy cleaning went into this as well.

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  13. I know that the evidence points to SA, but there are some nagging questions that I have.

    1. Why did SA leave TH's car on the Avery property at all? Supposedly it was found partially hidden, but why leave it there at all?
    2. Why keep the key to TH's car in your bedroom? You go to all these lengths to burn the body, clean the garage, etc, and yet you leave the car and the key on your property and in your house?

    I know he had a low IQ, but still. What do you make of those things? Anybody?

    EG

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  14. They're good ones, EG, though the car bothers me less than the key. . . it was an auto salvage yard, with thousands of cars parked on acres of land.

    But the key sticks in my craw, particularly as LE had searched Avery's tiny trailer home several times. All I can come up with is that he ran out of time, intended to use the key to move the car at the first opportunity - or the key really was planted.

    The other thing that puzzles me is his nephew. Why confide in and involve a mentally challenged teenager?

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    1. CC, the nephew thing bothers me the most, as the confession was coerced. They fed him the information, and it was obvious the kid had no clue as to what happened to TH. He claimed he stabbed her as she was tied to the bed, yet no blood was found anywhere. How can that be? They wanted him to say TH was shot in the head, and finally said it after they told him she was shot in the head.
      And I agree, why involve his nephew? It makes no sense at all.

      EG



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    2. EG, first of all, it was not simply a confession. It was an eye witness testimony. Dassey was identified as a witness by his cousin, to whom he described the rape and murder and his involvement with it, naming his uncle, Steven Avery as the primary culprit. The cousin reported this to her school counselor, who wrote it up and had her sign it. Since there was obviously no reason for her to lie, it was evident from that point that both Avery and Dassey were responsible for what happened to Teresa Halbach.

      It is for this reason that the two detectives decided to question Dassey. The notion that they simply needed someone to finger the person they were framing for this crime and chose Brendan because he was young, slow and easily manipulated, is absurd. Yet that ridiculous notion both was and is the basis for Avery's defense.

      It amazes me that anyone with half a brain could believe these detectives somehow fed this whole complicated story to a young man who could barely read, and expected him to remember all those details while testifying in a court of law and responding to cross examination by aggressive defense lawyers. Please!

      The kid could barely get his words out because he was seriously conflicted. He'd been assured of getting a light sentence if he "ratted out" his uncle, so he was willing to testify (at first), but at the same time he had to have been under intense pressure from both Avery and the entire family to deny that he or Steven had done anything wrong.

      So his ambivalence when questioned is easily understandable. Every detail had to be pried out of him and from time to time he just made up stuff in the hope he could play both ends at the same time.

      The detectives who questioned him were heavy handed and at times very patronizing, but they did not really lie to him, because the understanding, initially, was that he was going to tell the truth in return for a light sentence. That was arranged by his first lawyer, who was a far more effective council than the replacement found for him by the family. The new lawyer very clearly was not representing him, but Avery, and did everything he could to prevent Dassey's story from being heard. And as a result, Dassey, who was also Avery's victim and should have gotten a light sentence, is now in prison for life. The vilification of the first lawyer in MaM was unforgivable. He saw very clearly that Dassey's confession to his cousin made it futile for him to plead innocent and advised him to tell the truth and cooperate. It was the family that refused to accept such a tactic, so Dassey was also victimized by his own family. Truly disgusting.

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    3. CC, as I now understand it, the key was apparently dropped inadvertently by Avery, who may not have even realized he'd lost it. As you may know, a cellmate of Avery's has emerged, claiming that Avery confessed to him and as far as I can tell, his story does make sense and is probably true. As I recall (vaguely), according to this account, the key might have been in his shirt pocket and dropped out accidentally.

      Also, as I understand it, the first two or three searches of Avery's room were cursory. Most likely they were looking for traces of blood, and if someone happened to see a key out of the corner of his eye, I'd imagine he'd assume it was Avery's. No reason to assume a key found in that room belonged to the victim, so it may easily have been overlooked at first.

      As I'm sure you know, a great many criminal cases are loaded with all sorts of odd things, pulled out of a hat by defense lawyers eager to find anything that might elicit reasonable doubt. Aka: red herrings. To me that key is nothing more than a red herring. So yes, it was initially overlooked and yes, it was eventually found, and traced to Halbach. Much has been made of the absence of Halbach's DNA on that object, as though the police would have had some nefarious reason to remove her DNA before placing Avery's on top of it.

      Yes, a couple police officers might have had a motive to frame Avery, but there is NO evidence anything like that was even attempted. And nothing Zellner learned from her "scientific" testing has changed any of that.

      As for his willingness to involve his nephew, everything we know about Avery tells us that he's not in the habit of thinking very far ahead. Dassey was easily intimidated, he obviously had a lot of control over him so he foolishly assumed he'd keep his mouth shut.

      He did other things that attest to a lack of foresight. For example he initially denied he'd had a fire going that night, forgetting that there were witnesses who'd expose his obvious lie.

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    4. How cursory could they have been, really? As I recall, the probable cause LE presented a judge to get the search warrant for the trailer was the presence of the victim's car on Avery property, and the presence of blood in that car.

      C'mon, Doc, you're way too savvy to try to sell that cellmate-said stuff: No reputable prosecutor relies on jailhouse confessions or any other "evidence" offered by an incarcerated snitch. They're selling something in exchange for a reduced sentence, and juries - properly - look at them askance.

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    5. As always, CC, it's the logic behind the evidence that I tend to focus on -- what the cellmate said might or might not be accurate, but it does present one possibility that could explain the presence of that key. More importantly, however, the logic (aka common sense) tells me that anyone out to frame Avery could simply have sprinkled some of the victim's blood in that room. No need to produce a key, or a bullet, or anything else. And if the idea was the plant the key, why wait? Why not "discover" it on the first day? I see nothing suspicious in the fact that it was found so late. Better late than never.

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    6. As too often happens when it comes to Avery/Dassey, your application of logic is selective. Real logic, actual experience - or even a casual acquaintance with true crime television - dictates that one approach a snitch's offerings with extreme skepticism unto outright doubt, regardless how convenient it is or how it bolsters one's case.

      Real logic, actual experience - or even a casual acquaintance with CSI or like television - dictates that a simple "sprinkling" of blood in the trailer in this era of sophisticated blood spatter and crime scene analysis would preclude LE from doing any such thing absent (at the time of the search) a body, a crime scene, a cause of death or a murder weapon. And where, by the way, were they to come by a handy vial of the victim's blood with which to do the sprinkling?

      Here's my application of common sense and logic to the "late" discovery of the key: the search in which it was finally "discovered" was the only one in which Manitowoc cops participated; prior to that, they were conducted by the impartial out-of-towners.

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  15. EG, as I've said I have not followed this case so I am just going to answer to another issue regarding criminal behavior. Stupid people do stupid things. The brighter the bulb the better the coverup. Sometimes the perpetrator gets lucky. O.J. Simpson got lucky because a jury was predisposed to find him not guilty. In the court of public opinion he was seen as a hero - a football hero. A star. In the face of overwhelming DNA evidence, his money was able to buy attorneys extremely skilled at manipulating the jury and turning the case into a race issue - due to previous LAPD brutality and misconduct. In the Ramsey case John's ability to hire an expert legal team but also his own ability to foresee a strategy and misdirect, point to police incompetence while at the same time stall the police in their investigations into the family and then getting relatively lucky when the D.A. brought in Lou Smit who handed him a theory, turned what could have been a solvable murder into an unsolved mystery. I'm guessing Avery's "ace" is he was made a star by virtue of a misguided and false narrative documentary, such that he is now able to get better legal defense who wants to be a star herself. He himself, is no brilliant tactician. He simply didn't think of everything, and wasn't able to. Notice how the Zodiac's letters to the editor sound stupid, but Zodiac was anything but.

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    1. Inq,

      I do see your point, and I know SA's IQ was below average, but he was smart enough to clean up etc. There are so many inconsistencies here, it just doesn't make sense to me.

      EG

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  16. Then I guess this makes it an interesting enough case to have so many of you here intrigued.

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  17. Check this out:

    http://www.wbay.com/content/news/Making-A-Murderer-Federal-court-affirms-ruling-overturning-Brendan-Dassey-conviction-430192773.html

    BD's conviction overturned. Now what? If he was the one who said he and SA did it together, and his conviction is overturned, can SA's second exoneration be far behind?

    EG

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    1. Brendan Dassey did not testify at his uncle's trial, nor was his improperly obtained confession used as evidence against Avery, so this is likely to have no impact on SA.

      Dassey will walk out of prison for now, EG, but the State has 90 days (where I live) in which to file charges again and re-try him.

      Doc and I do not agree about Brendan Dassey. I think the "confession" was entirely and shamelessly coerced - the kid was 16, had an IQ of 76. His mother was discouraged from being in the room, yet no guardian ad litem or attorney was brought in to protect him. The detectives made false promises, and regardless what Doc says, Kachinsky, Dassey's first attorney, was terrible, an embarrassment to the profession, and was, properly, censured by the Bar.

      The whole Brendan Dassey was a travesty, start to finish.

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    2. CC..

      It's nice to be in agreement with you, and I am 100% with you on this one. What a disgrace, how they took advantage of that kid. Anyone who watched that video and couldn't see how they coerced him is deaf, dumb and blind. To even suggest that BD could work both sides of the fence aren't seeing the BD I saw in that video or in any of his court appearances. He had no clue as to what he was saying or doing there and was concerned about getting back to class for a test. That's how mentally challenged this kid was, and those detectives knew that and took advantage of it. Total travesty is right, and a complete disgrace.

      EG

      Do you think they will re-try him, CC?

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    3. Most prosecutors would, but as I say, there's no physical evidence at all and his confession was just thrown out, leaving only hearsay testimony from his cousin. In addition to which, the kid has served 9 or 10 years. I'm inclined to think they'll let it go.

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    4. I agree with you 100% on Dassey, CC. And it looks like a judge does, too. He's a victim of Steve Avery in more ways than one.

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    5. Dassey's case was probably tossed out because his interrogators overstepped certain bounds, put words in his mouth at times and to some extent manipulated him, yes. But please don't tell me these detectives concocted a scenario out of thin air and then coerced him into learning it by heart and feeding it back to them. As part of some huge conspiracy on the part of law enforcement? C'mon, you know that's totally absurd. The kid told essentially the same story to his cousin, for crying out loud.

      As I see it, he's getting out on what is basically a technicality, NOT because the story he told was somehow planted in his mind by evil brainwashers, please.

      CC is right about the legal aspect pertaining to Avery's trial, as Dassey's "confession" was not used in that trial. But in the public mind this will be interpreted as a win for Avery as well and there will be tremendous pressure to free him as a result. What a huge break for Zellner, who up to this point had nothing.

      I am actually pleased to see Dassey released, not because I believe him to be innocent, but because he was obviously being controlled, intimidated and manipulated by Avery. If he had listened to his original lawyer, and cooperated in his uncle's prosecution he would most likely have gotten off with just a few years or even a suspended sentence. He did not initiate this event, played only a minor role, had no intent to kill and probably no real intent to rape the girl either. I hope they don't decide to retry him. And I don't think he'd be a danger to anyone.

      Avery on the other hand is guilty as Hell and I certainly hope the judges will not be swayed by the Dassey decision. THAT would be a travesty of justice for sure.

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    6. When did I ever say this was a huge conspiracy on the part of law enforcement? I believe Steven Avery is guilty, but I don't believe he got a fair trial, and I've argued before on this blog that if one citizen doesn't deserve fair treatment, then no one does. That's all.

      You and I agree on Brendan Dassey, Doc. When I said Brendan was a victim of Avery in more ways than one, I meant Avery's molestation of Brendan and then his coercion of Brendan into helping him attempt to cover up the murder he had committed. I think Brendan has done his time and then some for his limited role in what happened to Theresa Halbach. I agree that he wouldn't be a danger to anyone if they let him out for good.

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  18. I'm with Doc on this one. I would be gobsmacked if he wasn't involved.

    Saying that, due to his low IQ/demeanour I think he felt like he basically had to go ahead with what Avery told him to do.

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    1. Unlike with SA there was no, NO physical evidence against Dassey at all. None.

      Who's to say Avery didn't just brag to BD about what he'd done, and BD in turn related the story to his cousin, embellishing it to include himself as a participant? 16 years old, IQ of 76, no experience with girls or sex...it may have seemed more titillating than wrong - with a kid that limited it's impossible to say.

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    2. C'mon, CC. He was seen at the bonfire with Avery that night. He said, even at his trial, that the two of them cleaned up a "red substance" with three different chemicals. He came home with bleach stains all over his jeans. And he confessed not only to his cousin but his mother as well. That's not hearsay, the conversation was recorded.

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    3. Neither his presence at the bonfire nor his participation in a clean-up, both possibly at his uncle's invitation, or even behest, are evidence of his engagement in rape or murder.

      His cousin's testimony of his confession is meaningless hearsay. And I outright reject the notion that his words to his mother immediately after his interrogation or in the infamous phone call from the jail were a confession; I thought them further evidence of how confused and truly intellectually challenged he was.

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    4. The cousin recanted her testimony when on the stand. She said she made the entire thing up.

      There are too many unanswered questions here, that need to be addressed. They found TH's bloody hair in the SUV. Why transport her if you were going to throw her in the bonfire behind your house? The clean up of blood doesn't jive either. According to BD they stabbed her in the bedroom, yet no blood anywhere? Even a forensic crime scene specialist couldn't have gotten rid of that amount of blood, yet these two could?

      I think SA is a lowlife and no boy scout, and probably did it. However before you put someone away for life, you better have a good case against them and be able to prove it.

      EG

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    5. CC, the cousin's report was not rejected by the judge as hearsay. It was in fact read at Dassey's trial. And as I see it, it was totally convincing. There is no way this young girl made it up and no reason for her to do such a thing.

      Yes, she recanted. And if you saw the documentary that was very moving, as she was in tears and obviously under extreme stress. She claimed she had lied, but could offer no reason for doing so. It was obvious to me that she was under pressure from her family to recant. I can see no other reason for her doing so. Technically her story could not be used in the trial due to her recantation, but as I see it, any reasonable person could easily infer that she had not been lying and that her version of what Dassey told her was accurate.

      If you insist on the letter of the law, then it's possible to dismiss her report, yes. But if you evaluate the situation on a human level, asking yourself why this young person would want to lie about such a serious matter, then the story she initially told must be taken very seriously indeed. I see no reason to doubt it.

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    6. "There are too many unanswered questions here, that need to be addressed."

      There are always unanswered questions in just about any case. These are the sorts of things defense lawyers latch onto in an effort to establish reasonable doubt. The filmmakers naively bought into these red herrings and millions of equally naive viewers followed suit.

      Readers familiar with the Ramsey case know all about that sort of thing, as similar questions have been raised (for example by Lou Smit) to bolster the intruder theory.

      Yes, they found blood from the victim in her SUV, implying that her body must have been placed there before it was burned. So what? Avery must have planned on leaving it in the vehicle and then had second thoughts, deciding to burn it instead.

      And yes, Dassey initially claimed she'd been stabbed in the bedroom. But he later denied that, testifying that the stabbing had taken place in the garage. While imo the overall drift of his testimony is reasonably accurate, he was obviously playing games with his interrogators and told many lies before coming up with a story that does seem (to me) more or less believable.

      If the authorities were out to frame Avery, they could easily have taken some of the blood from the SUV and sprinkled it in the bedroom. No need to burn a body, transport the remains surreptitiously to Avery's property, plant Avery's DNA and blood, etc., etc.

      The last ditch defense of just about every suspect caught with his pants down is to claim "I was framed by the cops." Avery's lawyers decided to go with that absurd defense because, as seems obvious to me, they were on a crusade to "expose the corruption" of the legal system, and this was their big opportunity. The jury didn't buy it, for very good reasons, and as a result Avery was put away for life. If they had truly been representing their client instead of their pet project they'd have advised him to plead guilty in return for a reduced sentence. Since he'd already been unjustly imprisoned for 18 years, he might be a free man today.

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    7. An IQ of 76 is considered borderline mental retardation, with the functional intelligence of an 8-9 year old, AT BEST. You think this poor, impaired kid was lying to and "playing games" with two adult authority figures yet suggest I consider your ill-advised arguments from a "human" rather than a legal standpoint.

      Hypocrisy, thy name is DocG.

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    8. So what, exactly, is your point, CC? Do you think these guys were in cahoots with the Manitowoc County cops as part of some grand conspiracy to frame both Avery and Dassey, that they concocted a story and somehow convinced this poor retarded kid to go along with it because he didn't know any better?

      Sorry, I'm not buying that scenario, and I'd be surprised if you did. In fact I'd be flabbergasted, as I have more respect for you than that.

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    9. Avery and Dassey both guilty. Its already been proven and this is a very simple case and only made complicated because of a one sided documentary.

      Yes Dassey may get out on technicalities and I have no problem with that. Hes served 10 years and has done his time, especially since he was no doubt pressured into doing the things he did. Avery, on the other hand, throw away the key for good.

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    10. No, Doc, I don't think anything of the kind. I think the cousin told her teacher the heavily embroidered tale that BD told her, teacher made a police report, Manitowoc detectives followed up. I don't think you can argue that they smelled an opportunity to get the goods on Avery, and led and coerced their interviewee mercilessly. They wanted to take Avery down for this, no question, but a grand conspiracy? Nah.

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    11. And I'm sorry, but if your civil rights were violated as egregiously as that child's were I very much doubt you'd be calling it a technicality.

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    12. And there we go, everything that is wrong with the law in one paragraph

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    13. PS. pretty sure he forfeited his civil rights when he assisted in the rape/murder of TH...regardless of what the law states

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    14. There is no physical or forensic evidence proving he did anything of the kind, merely recanted hearsay testimony from his cousin. He was his uncle's addle-pated dupe from the get-go.

      He couldn't - consistently - describe where she'd been killed, or by what means. He had no clear sense of time. When asked to describe the rape he couldn't do that either.

      You have any real evidence that this kid committed those crimes, Zed? Bring it. And in the meantime stop slandering our legal system unless you can suggest a better one to put in its place.

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    15. Once again, CC right on! There is no way that kid played any games with LE. He wasn't mentally capable and those officers took advantage of that fact. They fed him the information. It was obvious to me, that he didn't have a clue, and only when they TOLD him what happened, did he know what happened.

      And I am not saying LE framed Avery. What I am saying is someone else might have killed that girl and KNEW they'd look to Avery first, so planted the evidence in and around his house and the salvage yard.

      The school bus driver said she saw TH at 3:30-3;40PM which contradicted the Dassey brother who said he saw her at 2:30-2:45PM. She knew her schedule, and had no reason to lie, but maybe that Dassey brother did have a reason to lie. I am not saying he did it, but at least be open to the inconsistencies and don't dismiss them so easily, therefore locking someone away for life.

      We should all be scared after seeing what went on in this case and hope it never happens to a loved one. As I said, SA was a lowlife, but was he a murderer? From where I stand, and if I was putting someone away for life, I'd like to see some proof beyond a shadow of a doubt.

      EG

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    16. EG, there is not a single piece of evidence that proves Avery didnt do it. Nothing. Yet, there is so much hard evidence and circumstantial evidence which proves he did. Thank god the jury agreed.

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    17. Zed....the jury actually started out with 7 not guilty and 5 guilty. One juror was dismissed due to an emergency, and he spoke afterwards. He said that the guilty jurors were more aggressive and were able to convince the overtired, less aggressive non guilty jurors. They had been sequestered for days and wanted to go home, according to him.

      As I said, SA is no angel, and is a lowlife...BUT too many inconsistencies here.. I'd need to take it all into consideration including the behavior of LE. What they did to BD is a crime in and of itself.

      EG

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    18. I agree with CC as far as Dassey's own personal involvement is concerned. Aside from his "confession," which he later recanted, there is no evidence he actually did any of the things he said he did. And even if we can believe the story that finally emerged from those interrogations, he was clearly being intimidated and controlled by Avery at the time. I certainly don't believe he was guilty of murder one or possibly even rape. That does NOT mean, however, that one should simply dismiss the sordid tale that emerges from his testimony and what it says about Avery's depravity.

      As far as Avery himself is concerned, there is considerable evidence of his guilt, as we all know. The myth that there is no evidence stems exclusively from the desperate attempt of his inept lawyers to claim that there was some sort of conspiracy afoot to frame him. So yes, there is a great deal of evidence proving conclusively that Avery committed this horrific crime -- and NO evidence whatsoever that any evidence was planted or that there was any sort of conspiracy to frame him.

      Zellner assured us for months that her "scientific" tests would prove that beyond a doubt, but as far as I can tell from reading the first 200 pages of her appeal, she has come up empty. After all this effort and all the expense, all she has are just more unfounded assumptions, speculations, groundless accusations, and a convoluted theory for which she has not one shred of proof.

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  19. Is this anything new?

    http://radaronline.com/celebrity-news/jonbenet-ramsey-killer-identity/

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    1. I haven't seen precisely this scenario before, though similar ones have emerged. It's easy to single out some likely pedophile, psychopath, rapist, etc. who seems good for it, especially when you stress certain details and omit everything else. But for those of us familiar with the case it's clear that no intruder theory makes sense.

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    2. The article states:

      "They suspect the killers broke a basement window"

      The grate above the basement window hadn't been disturbed.

      "...crept into the house, slipped up to the bedroom where the girl was sleeping and knocked her out with a stun gun."

      None of the stun guns tested matched the marks on her back, and the stun gun theory was pretty much debunked.


      "She was carried to the basement....."

      Carried down two flights of stairs in pitch blackness?

      "...bound, silenced with duct tape, molested, strangled with a garrote and smashed in the head with a baseball bat."

      1. The wrist bindings were too loose to have been effective. They were used purely for staging purposes.
      2. The duct tape was placed on her mouth POST mortem, therefore, as with the wrist bindings, served no function during her murder and was also used for staging.
      3. A pedophile does not go to the trouble of breaking into a house full of people, remove his victim from her bedroom, only to then penetrate her - either digitally, or with a foreign object - he would rape his victim almost certainly. There would be semen present.
      4. An intruder who has just committed murder would get the hell out of there - not navigate his way back to the kitchen in the dark to gather materials to write a three page ransom note for a kidnapping he didn't plan to commit.

      Honestly, Radar Online are utter pulp.

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    3. Radar Online can put out that tripe but still no word on DNA testing. We are now six months into 2017 and it does not take six months to get DNA results back, especially since they aren't sending it out, they are using a new DNA facility in the Boulder area. If the results are already in, and a complete profile was extracted, why the silence.

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    4. "If the results are already in, and a complete profile was extracted, why the silence."

      And why the silence from all the media outlets who seemed so interested in this case six months ago? Instead of the White House holding daily press conferences for the "media", perhaps it's time for the "media" to hold daily press conferences for---"the people".

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    5. Agreed Anonymous! Once upon a time the people had Charlie Brennan. If it weren't for him we might never had heard the Grand Jury verdict.

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  20. Did TH's family consider suing Auto Trader magazine for requesting T photograph Avery's auto yard one more time in spite of her telling them she did not wish to return?

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  21. An update...
    http://www.grandforksherald.com/news/4287896-appeals-court-overturns-conviction-making-murderer-inmate
    Minnesota Linda

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  22. IMHO, the person who murdered JonBenet Ramsey was surely not a sane person at the time he or she committed the crime. Whether crazed by drugs and/or alchohol or simply phychotic, there's no way to tell until the perpetrator of the crime is identified and confesses. Therefore, it is impossible to know what he or she would or wouldn't do. To be able to assault the child and murder her in her own home while her parents slept upstairs may have given the intruder a titillating sense of power. Also, the killer may have thought it great fun to write a fake ransom note after the fact in order to toy with the emotions of JonBenet's family by giving them false hope that she was still alive. As for the fear of being apprehended while writing the ransom note, that could have been an added thrill. Without real proof that John, Patsy, or Burke Ramsey caused the death of JonBenet, an intruder is the most viable suspect and law enforcement should be actively searching for him or her.
    -Miss Kitty

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    1. Miss kitty, if there was an intruder, how do you explain the parent's behavior in the months after the murder? They were completely uncooperative with law enforcement; not exactly the type of behavior of innocent parents looking for the killer of their six year old daughter.

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    2. A temporarily insane or psychopathic "intruder" is incapable of devising, let alone executing, with malice aforethought, a crime as complex as JonBenet's murder. If "he or she" were, in addition, "titillated" by a sense of power, they would have sought "credit" for their crime when investigators were completely focused on the Ramseys' all those months and years following the murder. Furthermore, psychopathic pedophiles are not patient people; they are not titillated by a fear of getting caught, writing three page ransom notes, and creating "false hope". They need serial sex with children for that.

      No profile exists for an "intruder" required to fit your narrative of this consistent with the facts in evidence. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people out there still "titillated" by the possible real existence of Big Foot, the Loch Ness monster, and Amanda Blake's role on Gunsmoke.

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    3. ....your narrative of this "case".....

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  23. I did think that for a while Miss Kitty. It is such an odd case - to think that a "kidnapper" would also be a pedophile at the same time. That any family member would stage a fake kidnap for ransom and write a long winded note seemed incomprehensible. But if you begin to sift through any intruder scenario it just seems implausible. The "intruder" would have had to have had an extremely intimate knowledge of this family, to have known things about them including their whereabouts that night, that they would have been able to sleep through such a possibly noisy scenario, that no one would rise in the middle of the night, and no DNA left anywhere(unless the touch DNA finally yields a solid profile, which is doubtful), anyone that close to the family, that intimate with them, was investigated. If an intruder was psychologically impaired or high I don't think the note would have looked so carefully constructed.

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  24. "JonBenet Ramsey's murder case is so knotted by tainted evidence, faulty police work and conflicting suspect theories that the Boulder County district attorney recently warned it would be difficult to solve EVEN IF an upcoming third round of DNA testing does generate a match in the FBI's national offender database."

    "I suppose it's possible, but it's not very likely," DA Stan Garnett said Thursday. "The problems in the Ramsey case are unlimited."

    kmitchell@denverpost.com

    So there you have it. So why try. He's certainly given up, if he ever was interested. But hey, he said he was just waiting for a theory of prosecution back in 2011.

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    1. More misrepresentations from the usual suspect. The Denver Post printed that last year, and the emphasis on even if was added by Inquisitive.

      Garnett made that statement on 12/23/16, the same day aunews.com reported that when asked if he knows who did it, Garnett replied "I do. And if I can ever bring a case in open court, I'll tell the world."

      Not only is it old news, it's classic lawyerly double speak; all he's really saying is that it's not a DNA case.

      I don't know what your problem is with Stan Garnett, Inq. He's successfully prosecuted two dozen cold cases, an astonishing number, since taking office in 2009, and has said he'll bring this one if the evidence comes together. Just what is it you expect him to do?

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  25. Yes, I knew it was from December 2016, but he has essentially said there is no hope, before we have even gotten new DNA results, if any. In 2011 he asked for anyone to bring him a theory of prosecution. I know you think little of Kolar, but he submitted one, for which he got no reply. Maybe Kolar was off base, but he at least was brought in by Lacy, then went against her intruder theories.

    It's just clear to me that the Boulder officials gave up long ago, and 3 for 3. It is said that there are two part time investigators on this case, why even have them?

    I believe he can convene a new Grand Jury, I believe that is in his power. And if he knows who did it promises to tell the world are empty - sounds good, but so what. I'm glad he has prosecuted two dozen cold cases, but I am interested in this one.

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  26. By the way the two dozen prosecuted cold cases were from the DA's office since 2004. Stan was sworn in Jan. 2009. The office is responsible for the prosecuted cases, not specifically Stan G.

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    Replies
    1. It's kind of ironic, but people hoping there's ever a successful prosecution of this case need to be intruder did it people. It's the only way this case gets prosecuted. Any case against the Ramseys died with Patsy and her tesitmony.

      John Ramsey would win a bench trial in about 5 minutes.

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    2. It's really so simple:

      No intruder theory makes sense.

      If Patsy had been involved she would not have called 911.

      Leaving: John.

      Motive: To silence the only witness to the incestuous sexual abuse of his daughter.

      Corroborating evidence:

      Strong resemblance of the writing on the note to the legal document penned by John.

      Strong evidence of prior sexual abuse.

      John's stonewalling of the police while Patsy was heavily sedated and unable to function effectively.

      John's failure to immediately report the open basement window, which he shut. John's failure to immediately report the presence of the suitcase, which he later claimed looked suspicious.

      John's clearly fabricated story about breaking the basement window months earlier.

      John's shirt fibers found inside the victim's panties.

      In the words of Sherlock Holmes (actually Conan Doyle): "When you have eliminated the impossible, then whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth."

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    3. Matt is right. If you put this argument in front of a jury, they would acquit in about 5 minutes. And that's even if you *could* prove that John's shirt fibers were found inside the victim's panties.

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  27. I would wish that you give Stan G. another letter, Doc. I know you feel very passionately about this case and I don't think it's impossible. I do believe he's going to finish out his term, not wanting to open this can of worms and "taint" his tenure as DA, but there are some of us out here who want answers, who are not content to let this little girl's death go unsolved, and for no one to be held accountable. It must be left to the fact finders, a jury, not us.

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