Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

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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