Ramseys Pass Lie Detector Tests

Thursday, May 25th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ATLANTA (AP) — JonBenet Ramsey's parents said Wednesday they passed lie detector tests given by a private expert. But Boulder, Colo., police reiterated that they would seriously consider only tests administered by the FBI.

The lie detector tests indicated the Ramseys did not ``attempt to deceive'' when they each said they did not know who beat and strangled their 6-year-old daughter in 1996, said polygraph examiner Ed Gelb, a former president of the American Polygraph Association. He said Patsy Ramsey also denied writing a ransom note found in the family home.

``Neither John nor Patsy were attempting deception when they gave the answers,'' Gelb said at a news conference with the Ramseys, six attorneys and another polygraph expert.

The Ramseys, who now live in Atlanta, said the results should persuade Boulder police to stop blaming them for their daughter's slaying.

JonBenet was found beaten and strangled in the basement of her parents' Boulder home on Dec. 26, 1996. Nobody has been charged, but Boulder authorities have said John and Patsy Ramsey remain under an ``umbrella of suspicion.''

``We shouldn't have to prove our innocence ... but nevertheless we've been forced to,'' John Ramsey said. ``We have not one ounce of trust in the Boulder police.''

In March, the Ramseys told ABC's Barbara Walters they would submit to a polygraph test if the results were publicized, if it were administered independent of the Boulder police and if it were conducted in Atlanta.

Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner asked the Ramseys to submit to an FBI test, but they refused.

Beckner reiterated Wednesday he will not accept non-FBI test results. He said the reliability of the polygraph test is affected by how the results were obtained and under what circumstances.

``There is nothing today that is going to change where we are at in the investigation,'' he said. ``If John and Patsy Ramsey really want this investigation to move forward, they should work with us.''

The Ramseys' attorney, Lin Wood, said: ``The FBI has worked closely with the Boulder police. They are not independent.''

The Ramseys underwent a round of lie detector tests in April, but those tests were inconclusive, Wood said.

Criminal justice experts say the results of Gelb's tests could help the Ramseys' case. Gelb has been an instructor for the FBI and the Department of Defense.

``It doesn't end all the questions, but it certainly is a plus,'' said Ronald Carlson, a professor at the University of Georgia Law School. ``I do think it will have some impact, not conclusive impact, but some impact on redirecting investigational efforts.''

The Ramseys have denied any involvement in their daughter's death. In a recently published book they theorize she was killed by an intruder. Boulder police have concentrated on them instead of looking for that intruder, Patsy Ramsey said.

``I really wish we would stop playing games,'' she said. ``I wish they would open their minds and their hearts and know that we did not kill our daughter.''