Letters

Letters 07-25-2016

Remember Bush-Cheney Does anyone remember George W. Bush and Dick Cheney? They were president and vice president a mere eight years ago. Does anyone out there remember the way things were at the end of their duo? It was terrible...

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Families Need Representation When one party dominates the Michigan administration and legislature, half of Michigan families are not represented on the important issues that face our state. When a policy affects the non-voting K-12 students, they too are left out, especially when it comes to graduation requirements...

Raise The Minimum Wage I wanted to offer a different perspective on the issue of raising the minimum wage. The argument that raising the minimum wage will result in job loss is a bogus scare tactic. The need for labor will not change, just the cost of it, which will be passed on to the consumer, as it always has...

Make Cherryland Respect Renewable Cherryland Electric is about to change their net metering policy. In a nutshell, they want to buy the electricity from those of us who produce clean renewable electric at a rate far below the rate they buy electricity from other sources. They believe very few people have an interest in renewable energy...

Settled Science Climate change science is based on the accumulated evidence gained from studying the greenhouse effect for 200 years. The greenhouse effect keeps our planet 50 degrees warmer due to heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. Basic principles of physics and chemistry dictate that Earth will warm as concentrations of greenhouse gases increase...

Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · Justice & the Ramseys
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Justice & the Ramseys

Shirley Murray - September 7th, 2006
“I want to have only very limited comment on today’s arrest because I feel it is extremely important to not only let the justice system operate to its conclusion in an orderly manner, but also to avoid feeding the type of media speculation that my wife and I were subjected to for so many years.“
-- John Ramsey, on learning of the arrest of John Karr

If only that had happened 10 years ago when his cherished daughter was murdered. Instead, a Boulder detective and the governor of Colorado decided that the parents were guilty, and tunnel-visioned the investigation.
The media assault has been relentless. When Patsy Ramsey died two months ago, the Record-Eagle ran a terse AP obituary reiterating that “Boulder police said early on that Patsy and John Ramsey were “under an umbrella of suspicion” in JonBenet’s death. The Ramseys said an intruder killed their daughter.” Patsy was described as the mother of “6-year-old beauty pageant contestant, JonBenet.”
I first met the Ramsey family in 1995. My daughter worked with Patsy on school projects at a Boulder elementary where their children were classmates. We attended a Christmas party at her home. Patsy’s son, Burke, and my grandson, Woody, became great friends, and they included JonBenet and another grandson who was her age.
Patsy was easy to love, as my husband commented several years later, “the least pretentious woman I’ve ever met.”
My daughter and her family moved to Seattle. The Ramseys owned a home in Charlevoix, and the four kids were able to stay in touch when my grandchildren visited. While the boys were busy building things and flying kites, JonBenet and her mother enjoyed their visits at our Long Lake home. Patsy always included me when we took the grandchildren to Charlevoix. When my grandson developed childhood diabetes and my daughter needed family support, John Ramsey flew them to Traverse City.
How did JonBenet, an intelligent, fun-loving, thoughtful child become a “6-year-old beauty pageant contestant?” Is that her legacy? I watched four kids creating plays to perform in the garage for the neighbors, something I remember from my childhood. When my friends trot out their children or grandchildren to sing or dance, I remember JonBenet was not subjected to this, though she might have enjoyed it. JonBenet was a natural born performer, but Patsy kept the lid on.
And how did this warm and generous family become the heinous creatures of tabloids and talk shows? Even some of our friends believed the media image. Nothing could stop the pariahs and the piranhas. My daughter would turn the tabloids around when she took her children through the grocery checkout.
After JonBenet’s death, it was our turn to give support. Over dinner at our house, Patsy said the only time she could relax was when she was with people like us who knew her before JonBenet’s death. By then Patsy was battling cancer.
In June, Lin Wood, the Ramseys’ attorney, eulogized: “I think people will remember Patsy as someone who was falsely accused in connection with the death of her daughter, when she should be remembered for being an incredibly loving mother, a wonderful wife and a person who showed great courage in fighting a vicious disease.”
Whether John Karr is the killer is immaterial. It’s time to give this family the sympathy they so deserve. And perhaps the next time we see or hear media sensationalism, we might remember the Ramseys, and reserve judgment until justice is served.

Shirley Murray is a resident of Traverse City and was a friend of Patsy Ramsey.
 
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