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Interview with John Ramsey

Aired December 20, 2006 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, exclusive -- JonBenet Ramsey's father John Ramsey in his only interview anywhere on the 10 year anniversary of the most sensational child murder of our time -- the brutal and still unsolved slaying of his 6-year-old daughter.
Six months after his wife Patsy Ramsey lost her long battle with cancer and four months after John Mark Karr raised and then dashed hopes for justice at last, John Ramsey opens up in an intense emotional hour.

It's next on LARRY KING LIVE.

It's good to see him again. John Ramsey joins us, the father of the late JonBenet Ramsey and the husband of the late -- it's so hard to believe what you've gone through -- Patsy and the whole Karr thing.

Let's discuss -- first, does it get any easier now, 10 years out?

JOHN RAMSEY, JONBENET'S FATHER: Well, it does. A friend of ours said -- and it was the best advice I had, that memories that bring pain will eventually bring smiles. And that's what I've experienced. So, yes, it gets easier.

KING: Do you celebrate the Christmas season?

J. RAMSEY: We do, a different way, though, much more simple. We try to focus on what Christmas is all about. And...

KING: The first time I met your son I guess he was, what, 10?

J. RAMSEY: Probably.

KING: Right.

J. RAMSEY: Yes, probably.

KING: Right. And I see him now. He's like 19. He's unbelievable.

J. RAMSEY: He's a big guy.

KING: Is he going to college?

J. RAMSEY: He's at Purdue, a sophomore. He's doing well, as far as we know. We haven't gotten the grades yet this semester, but he was on the dean's list last year, so we're confident.

KING: I remember the ridiculous time where he was considered a suspect.

J. RAMSEY: Well, it was -- it was madness. It was a period of madness.

KING: How many grandchildren do you have?

J. RAMSEY: I have three, three boys. And -- six, four and two.

KING: This is also the first Christmas without Patsy.

J. RAMSEY: Umm-hmm.

KING: What was -- what was that like at the end of the day?

J. RAMSEY: Well, it was -- I think the hardest part was giving up, which is something you have to do with cancer. And...

KING: You have to give up?

J. RAMSEY: You have to give up before it's over -- or at least you're encouraged to. And it's very difficult to do. That was probably the hardest thing for me, because you're always looking for that last new treatment, the last drug that'll -- that'll correct the problem. And at some point it's just torture. And it's -- chemotherapy is poison.

KING: She fought for a lot of years, though, right?

J. RAMSEY: She did. Twelve years.

KING: Twelve years?


KING: The cancer was, what, cervical?

J. RAMSEY: It was ovarian and she was diagnosed twelve years ago with stage four ovarian cancer.

KING: That's the end, right?

J. RAMSEY: It's a five percent chance of living beyond five years.

KING: So how did she do it?

J. RAMSEY: Well, she had a lot of prayer, some new treatments that we tried that were very successful. And she had the mind to live, and that's a very important part of it. She had a will to live.

KING: Do you think the ordeal of JonBenet took a lot out of her?

J. RAMSEY: Well, it had to. It wasn't obvious in her spirit. She was a very strong woman. But I had to, I think.

KING: Did -- so many people say people die as they live. If they lived with class, they die with class...

J. RAMSEY: Yes, well...

KING: How did she die?

J. RAMSEY: Well, she -- the last six, well, actually, the last three months of her life, she had always wanted to paint. So she had the time. She couldn't really get out of the house and when she was feeling well, she painted. And she did some wonderful paintings and just loved it. And it was -- it was like the fulfillment of a dream for her, because she'd always wanted to do it and she never had the time.


KING: Did she know she was going to die?

J. RAMSEY: I think toward the end she did. She -- when we had finally shifted to palliative care, which is focused on discomfort and no pain...

KING: Hospice?

J. RAMSEY: Hospice -- she would ask well, when's my next chemotherapy treatment?

And we just kind of ignored the question, because there wasn't going to be another chemotherapy treatment. But I think towards the end she knew it was not going to -- not going to pull out.

KING: She always was -- every time she appeared on this show, she was a never give up girl.

J. RAMSEY: Yes. That's right.

KING: She...

J. RAMSEY: She was amazing, an amazing person. She really was.

KING: Through the whole ordeal of JonBenet she was unbelievable.

J. RAMSEY: Yes, absolutely.

KING: Stronger than you sometimes.

J. RAMSEY: Oh, totally. No question. No question about that. And even through cancer battle. I only saw her cry twice and through that whole ordeal. Otherwise she was tough, strong and let's get it done.

KING: Were you with her when she died?

J. RAMSEY: Umm-hmm.

KING: She die at home or in the hospital?

J. RAMSEY: She died at home about two in the morning.

KING: Is it peaceful?

J. RAMSEY: Not as peaceful as I would have hoped or thought.



KING: It was pain, you mean?

J. RAMSEY: Well, we don't know I don't know. I couldn't tell. But I hope not.

KING: Discomfort?

J. RAMSEY: I hope not. Just very, very labored breathing, a high heart rate. So I don't know -- I hope -- I mean the whole focus was to have her in no pain, so I hope that was the case.

KING: Was your son close by?

J. RAMSEY: He was in the next bedroom. I got him up and he...

KING: How does he handle it?

J. RAMSEY: Well, I think he's done really well. He and Patsy were very close. She was very invested in his life and I think Burke has done very well.

KING: Do you think she died believing that this will be solved?

J. RAMSEY: Well, she always believed that, didn't know when, didn't know if it would be in her lifetime. Certainly there was that episode last summer where had an interesting suspect that surfaced. And Patsy was aware of that, although she wasn't really focused on it, because at that time, she was very focused on her cancer battle.

KING: Let's discuss you and John Mark Karr.

When did you first become aware of the e-mail correspondence between the journalism professor, Mark Tracey, and the man identified as John Mark Karr?

J. RAMSEY: Well, it was probably three or four years ago when they first started.

KING: Oh, yes?


J. RAMSEY: Yes. They started -- they would be sporadic. Every now and then we would get one. They were very bizarre. We always...

KING: And who let you in on it?

J. RAMSEY: Michael Tracey.

KING: Right.

J. RAMSEY: He informed us and then we would forward them on to our investigators. You know, we always took everything like that very seriously, because you never know. And these were just very, very strange, very intriguing but not conclusive. You know, you're always looking for that silver bullet what's the little detail that this person knows that only the killer would know?

KING: Did you read any of the correspondence?

J. RAMSEY: Oh, yes. I read -- I read most of it.

KING: You did?


KING: Wasn't a lot of it pretty sordid?

J. RAMSEY: Very sordid. Yes, very...

KING: How did you handle that as a father?

J. RAMSEY: Well, you read it -- you look at it more as an -- from an academic perspective.

KING: You were able to do that?

J. RAMSEY: Well, pretty well. Pretty well. Because, you know, we didn't know if it was made up or whether it was real or -- but you're just looking for that piece of data that only the killer would know.

KING: Were there moments when you said I think he's the guy?

J. RAMSEY: It was a very convincing confession toward the end. And that's, of course, what interested the district attorney. I was skeptical, as they were, because they still had a lot of work to do. But there were a few pieces that looked very interesting to me, primarily the way the ransom note was signed, SBTC, which we never knew what that meant or stood for. And apparently Karr had used that in some correspondence earlier, prior to JonBenet's death.

That got me very interested, because that's beyond coincidence.

KING: On the negative side, did you ever wonder how he knew about JonBenet, how this guy in California...

J. RAMSEY: Sure. Yes. You're looking for, OK, was have in Boulder, Colorado that night.

KING: Because she wasn't famous until she was killed.

J. RAMSEY: No, that's right. That's right. Now, the -- so I don't know. I mean we were -- I mean Boulder, Colorado was a small town. We were fairly visible because of our business. It was a fairly large business in the community. JonBenet participated in a lot of different things.

KING: So he could have.

J. RAMSEY: He certainly could have.

KING: We'll take a break. We'll be back with more of John Ramsey.

Later, we'll be including your phone calls. We have some e- mails, as well.

He's with us for the full hour.

Don't go away.


J. RAMSEY: This tragedy has touched not just ourselves and our friends, but many people. And we know that there's many people that are praying for us and are grieving with us. And we want to thank them and to let them know that we are healing. And that we know in our hearts that JonBenet is safe and with god. And that the grieving that we all have to do is for ourselves and our loss.




J. RAMSEY: Like all parents would say, she was a perfect child. But the thing that I remember about her was that if I would frown, she would look at me and say, "Dad, I don't like that face." Then I'd smile and she'd say, "That's better." And that's just the way she was.

PATSY RAMSEY: She loved her daddy. She loved her daddy. She was daddy's girl.


KING: President George H.W. Bush, president number 41, who lost a daughter younger than -- a little -- two years younger than her, said you lose a young daughter, you never forget her.

J. RAMSEY: No, it's very true. You never get over it. You have a hole in your heart that will never heal.

KING: A hole in the heart?


KING: Yes.

And there is some times in every day you think of her?

J. RAMSEY: Oh, yes. Yes, absolutely.

KING: Were you -- what about Professor Tracey? Did he seem a little obsessed with your daughter's case?

J. RAMSEY: No. We met him -- initially he wrote an article early on about what was being done to us viciously. And it was very -- it was written from an academic perspective, because he's a journalism professor and he talks a lot about the media and the condition of the media.

So we contacted him and said thank you for the nice article, because there weren't many of them out there back, you know, nine years ago. And we just got to know him.

And because of that article, I guess -- and they did a -- he worked on a documentary that was produced a year or so later -- he became known to be associated with our case and that's, I think, how this Karr contacted him.

KING: How did you handle the time when you or your wife were accused?

That -- people ask me the most dramatic moment in the history of this program. It had to be the time that detective was on, who had left the Boulder Police Department and sat there live...


KING: ... and pointed to Patsy and said, "I think you did it and I think you" -- he pointed to you -- "are covering up."

J. RAMSEY: Well, you've got to understand, he had no credentials to be a detective. He was a jail guard two years before. So...

KING: But how was...

J. RAMSEY: ... it was...

KING: ... to have that happen...

J. RAMSEY: It was madness, Larry.

KING: ... to you.

J. RAMSEY: It was absolute madness. And you think how could the world have gone so mad?

But yet it didn't bother us terribly because we had already been hurt as deeply as we could be hurt. We lost our child.

And so it was there. It was madness. It was insanity. But we were suffering so much from the loss of our child that it wasn't something we focused on.

KING: Did you ever have -- say I shouldn't have moved the body? I made some mistakes...

J. RAMSEY: No. I mean, there's a lot of things I think the police should have done.

KING: It wouldn't have (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?


J. RAMSEY: But I did what I think any father would do. You know, you don't say oh, there's my daughter, it looks like she's dead, I won't touch her until the police get here.

KING: Yes. That would be impossible.

J. RAMSEY: That's impossible. That's ridiculous.

KING: Did you ever have contact -- e-mail, phone, anything -- with John Mark Karr?

J. RAMSEY: We sent some e-mails, correspondence that were crafted by myself and the police, the district attorney's investigators...

KING: To him?

J. RAMSEY: To him. But that's the only correspondence I had with him.

KING: Did you get anything back?

J. RAMSEY: Not directly to me, no, that I recall. There was ongoing correspondence but I didn't -- at that point they were trying to find him and he, you know, he did not want to be found. He was very, very mysterious about his whereabouts and secretive.

KING: Elusive.

J. RAMSEY: Very elusive.

KING: Did you know he was going to be picked up in Thailand?

J. RAMSEY: Umm-hmm.

KING: You knew that before?


KING: So the authorities kept you abreast of all of this, right?

J. RAMSEY: Yes, they did. They were great.

KING: All right, the first time you got to see him, I mean where he was in Thailand and when they bring him over here on the plane and everything, what were your reactions?

J. RAMSEY: Well, I had actually seen some pictures of him. They had taken some surveillance pictures and sent them to me before he was arrested and said do you recognize him?

And I said no, I don't. In fact, he, you know, if this is a guy, he's a pretty clean cut looking guy. I would have -- you know, you think of evil as being dark and sinister looking...

KING: And he didn't look that.

J. RAMSEY: No, not at all. And -- but I didn't recognize him and had, to my knowledge, never seen him.

KING: You came on television, though, and surprised a lot of people by saying don't pre-judge.

J. RAMSEY: Well, we'd witnessed that so severely in our case that we -- we had this rush to judgment and we want it solved by the 6:00 news. And I could see that happening and I knew that the police didn't -- they weren't -- they had a lot of work to do. And they told me that. They said we didn't want to arrest him then, but we didn't want to lose him.

The Thai government wanted him out of the country. We can't risk losing him, so we're going to arrest him, but we've got a lot of work to do.

KING: But the D.A....


KING: ... cautioned, too, right, didn't she?

J. RAMSEY: Oh, yes, absolutely. Yes. And she said I -- you know, we've got a lot of work to do here. You know, an arrest is just an arrest. I mean it takes that much to arrest somebody and it takes that much to convict. And so it was an arrest and...

KING: But what was going through you?

J. RAMSEY: Well, it's -- it was at -- like anticipating something that you really wanted, but you were so afraid that you'd be disappointed that you didn't want to anticipate it.

KING: You want the killer...

J. RAMSEY: Absolutely.

KING: ... but you wanted it to be the right person.

J. RAMSEY: It's going to be the right person. And I just was fearful that -- that there would be something that would say well, this isn't the guy.

KING: More with John Ramsey on this exclusive edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

We'll be right back.


P. RAMSEY: I have a couple of her paintings. This is a picture of the -- the fairgrounds in northern Michigan. She always liked to ride the carousel and the Ferris wheel, so she painted a picture of it. I think that's pretty good for a 6-year-old.

This is when she did around Halloween. Here's her pumpkin and this -- I don't know if you can see it or not, but she painted a little spider web up here in the tree.

But her -- I just think her color and her -- I mean all these little squiggles and the sun-and everything just look so artistic.




P. RAMSEY: But I always thought that I would be the one to leave them. I had no idea that JonBenet would be taken from us before I would leave this world.


KING: We're back with John Ramsey.

Did you ever sue the tabloids?

J. RAMSEY: We did.

KING: How did you do?

J. RAMSEY: We did -- I think we batted 100 percent.

KING: You got settlements?

J. RAMSEY: In five cases, yes.

KING: You can't reveal the amounts, though, but you...

J. RAMSEY: They won't allow you to.

KING: But, my, you saw it every week, didn't you?

J. RAMSEY: Pretty much.

KING: They didn't let up. It was either you or her, or your son.

J. RAMSEY: That's right, yes.

KING: D.A. Lacy in -- she came in for some criticism.

Was it deserved? J. RAMSEY: No. Not at all. She did what she needed to do, I believe, and I was grateful that she did it. It was a very serious lead. It was a confession, a very credible confession. And to have not done anything about it would have been criminal.

KING: How did you feel when you heard there wasn't a DNA match?

J. RAMSEY: Well, we were disappointed, but not totally surprised, because it -- I just -- I didn't want to hope for something that I would be disappointed by.

KING: When the judge dismissed all charges and he went free, how did you feel then?

J. RAMSEY: Well, it was unfortunate because the charges in California were dismissed only because the police had lost the evidence. He certainly appears to be a person that preys on young girls and therefore is dangerous.

KING: You live part of the time in Atlanta.

He went -- when he left here, he went to Atlanta, he said, to be with his father.

Have you ever run-into him?

J. RAMSEY: No. No.

KING: Have you ever called him?

J. RAMSEY: No, no, no.

KING: Has he ever called you?

J. RAMSEY: No. No.

KING: Did you watch him on this show?

J. RAMSEY: I did not.

KING: What do you think of him?

J. RAMSEY: Well, I think he's a pretty mixed up fellow. And I don't -- beyond that, I don't know. I mean he's a pretty -- a pretty sad fellow.

KING: Did he say a lot of things about your house that were familiar to you?

J. RAMSEY: No, not that I recall. I don't remember seeing anything about the house.

KING: Is there a possibility, John, that he could have been there without having killed...

J. RAMSEY: Well, that's what he said in the -- in his confession, he was there. He never said he was the one that did it. He said he was there.

KING: You think he was obsessed with your daughter?

J. RAMSEY: Clearly. Clearly.

KING: Do you think a lot of others were, too?

J. RAMSEY: Well, now that I know about the world more than I did 10 years ago, probably.

KING: What do you make of our -- the collective our -- fascination with her?

J. RAMSEY: Well, you know, sadly, there's approximately 2,000 children murdered every year in this country. In fact, we have a horrible record in that regard. And for some reason, JonBenet's name and case has stood out. I think -- and I don't know why. I really -- it isn't -- I mean it's, you know, she was murdered on Christmas night, you know, it's a night...

KING: That has something to do with it.

J. RAMSEY: ... for children. It's a day for children. You know, it's supposed to be peace on Earth that night and this horrible crime happened.

And, of course, there were the videos the pageant people released or sold that, of course, got out there and made good television.

I don't know beyond that why. But I mean I'm grateful that people care about my daughter. I'm grateful that the case hasn't been allowed to die and be shelved, as so many of them have. And by keeping the profile high, hopefully we'll get some information one day that'll solve it.

KING: Did you ever think about writing a book?

J. RAMSEY: Well, we did, four, five or six years ago.

KING: Oh, I remember. That's right. You and Patsy.

J. RAMSEY: Yes, Patsy and I did. I've thought about writing a book about all of the things I've learned as a caregiver for a cancer patient...

KING: Oh, let's talk about that.

J. RAMSEY: ... where resources are, where do you go for this, where's (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

KING: You learned a lot, huh?

J. RAMSEY: I learned a ton of stuff. And I -- I thought man. And every year I learned something. Even up until the end I was learning new places to go for information and resources. And I thought, you know, I ought to just write all this down. KING: Yes, I'll talk to you a little about it.

It's insidious, isn't it?

J. RAMSEY: Oh, it's a horrible disease, yes. It's a terrible disease, a terrible disease to fight. Very painful to fight. The cure, or the drugs, are worse than the disease...

KING: Yes.

J. RAMSEY: ... until the end.

KING: Do you -- you don't like the label child beauty queen?

J. RAMSEY: Well, I don't because JonBenet was so much more than that. That was just a small part of her life. She and Patsy enjoyed doing it together. You know, Patsy crammed a lot into a short period of time, because she wasn't sure how long she was going to live. And so I mean she and JonBenet went to New York, they went to Broadway plays and, you know, things that she probably would have done when JonBenet was 16, but she did them because she was sick.

KING: She knew she was sick, yes.

J. RAMSEY: She knew she maybe didn't have a long time to live.

KING: Did she handle the suspicion around you and her differently from you?

J. RAMSEY: Oh, I would get angry. She didn't get angry. I never saw Patsy angry at anybody. She -- she handled it very well.

KING: Did she look at the tabloids, look at the books in the stores?

J. RAMSEY: Only by accident. She had to, going through the grocery store line. And she would always say something to the manager. She'd say this -- these are my children, would you remove this from your shelves, please?

And they would.

KING: You got angrier?

J. RAMSEY: I did, just at the madness of what was going on.

KING: Do you think they'll ever solve the crime?

J. RAMSEY: I do. I don't know when. I don't know what will lead to that. Certainly, I think, DNA will play a big part in it. You know, they feel pretty strongly they have the killer's DNA now. And they have other samples to be tested, which they are going to test when DNA is advanced further in its capabilities. So...

KING: So you think it has to happen when they'll pick up someone, take their DNA and have... J. RAMSEY: That'll probably be the way it's solved, yes.

KING: Concerning the killer, let's say he's caught, do you want him to be capitally punished? Are you a fan of capital punishment?

J. RAMSEY: Well, you know, there were times when death would have been a gift for me, when I was in so much pain and anguish. I certainly -- there was a time when I would have said you leave me in a room for a half hour with this fellow and you won't need a trial.

I'm beyond that point. I think it depends on what -- what is punishment for the individual. Having to look at themselves in the mirror every day for the rest of their lives in a prison cell may be appropriate punishment.

The problem with the death penalty, from an academic point, is that we make mistakes.

KING: You can't resolve it.

J. RAMSEY: You can't fix it.

KING: You can't ignore it. There's no way out.

J. RAMSEY: You can't go back. And so if I look at it from an academic perspective, I have a problem with it for that reason. And we've made mistakes in the past.

KING: We'll be right back with John Ramsey.

We'll be including your phone calls.

Don't go away.


P. RAMSEY: She wore this one at the -- for the Sunburst Pageant in Atlanta. I was on cloud nine watching her because she was -- she was just so full of spunk and energy it made me proud. And people try to make it seem ugly and something that it wasn't. And I just know how much fun-it was.



KING: We're back with John Ramsey. We'll be including phone calls and some e-mails as well.

You have had terrible tragedy. You lose a wife, you lose a young daughter. You also lost a 22 year-old daughter, right?

J. RAMSEY: I did, yes, Beth.

KING: Is that before you married Patsy?

J. RAMSEY: No, it was after we were married and...

KING: That's from your first marriage?

J. RAMSEY: First marriage. Patsy and I had been married 12 when years when we lost Beth.

KING: She died in a...

J. RAMSEY: Just a freak accident. She was in Chicago to meet her boyfriend's parents for the first time. They were there for the weekend. They were on the way to the museum at noon and got hit by a truck and they were both killed.

KING: How have you -- how are you here?

I'm not kidding. Because the loss of a child is against all nature.

J. RAMSEY: It is. You don't recover back to the same when you lose a child. But, you know, I still have three wonderful children that I love dearly. And I have three wonderful grandchildren. And so you keep going because of that. You know, I still have a lot of blessings.

KING: Was Patsy very strong for you when your first daughter died?

J. RAMSEY: Yes, amazing. I mean, she loved my children as much as she loved our children, treated them no differently.

KING: Vancouver, British Columbia, for John Ramsey.


CALLER: Hello.

Hello, Mr. Ramsey.



I would like to express my condolences for your losses...

J. RAMSEY: Thank you.

CALLER: And to let you know I admire you and I admired your wife very much.

J. RAMSEY: Thank you very much.

CALLER: You're welcome.

And my question has to do with grief. I know you've lost both female children, both suddenly. And I would like to know how the grief differs, if at all, when one of them is unresolved and one is yet -- they're still your children and they're sudden deaths without any rational explanation.

J. RAMSEY: They are different in that, you know, Beth, my oldest daughter Beth was killed in a traffic accident. It was an accident. And accidents happen. And we moved on.

And JonBenet's life was taken by the willful act of another human being. And that was much more difficult for me to deal with, and still is. Because you think how could -- how could someone harm such a beautiful, precious child. And so it's a much deeper shock, I think, to me, even though I loved them both dearly. Beth's was an accident and it...

KING: There are lots of accidents.

J. RAMSEY: ... sadly, the world can be a tough place to live in. And risky.

KING: But murder, that's...

J. RAMSEY: It's beyond my comprehension.

KING: Spokane, Washington, hello.


This is kind of a petty question but it bothers me nonetheless. Why is it that on the gravestone for JonBenet it lists 12-25, Christmas Day, when according to the accounts that I've read, it was the early morning hours of the 26th when she actually passed away?

J. RAMSEY: Well, that's a good question. We don't know exactly when she passed away. I made that decision because the ransom note said, "I will contact you tomorrow."

And so my presumption was that that ransom note and her death occurred the night before. It was just -- there's been no clear definition of exactly what hour she died.

KING: She and Patsy are buried together?

J. RAMSEY: They are. They are buried next to each other.

KING: We have an e-mail question from Anne in Carmel Valley, California.

It says, "John seems a very thoughtful, articulate speaker. Would he consider becoming a John Walsh-type TV personality?"

J. RAMSEY: Well, that hasn't -- I haven't considered it, no.

KING: Would you?

J. RAMSEY: Oh, I don't know. Larry, I -- you know, what I...

KING: He is tyrranical. J. RAMSEY: He's done some great things, yes. You know, that's one thing I really have thought a lot about, is how do we make something good come out of this?

And there's been a lot of things that I've thought about and looked at. The one thing I would like to see come out of it, somehow I'd like to advocate is we need a federal law, I believe, in this country, that requires anyone arrested for felony to be DNA printed and that DNA print entered in our database.

KING: That's not a law?

J. RAMSEY: That's not a law. It's...

KING: You have to be convicted, or is it...


KING: Not even convicted?

J. RAMSEY: Not even convicted. There's different statutes in different states. In Texas, for example, if you are convicted of a sex crime, your DNA goes to the database. If you commit murder, it doesn't. That's madness.

KING: Why would anyone object to just having their DNA taken?

J. RAMSEY: They wouldn't. I don't think anyone would object to that law. And we need to do it. I'm told by professional law enforcement people that if we had such a law in place we would solve 1,000 murders overnight.

KING: What's the argument against it?

J. RAMSEY: I think the only possible argument is that it's perhaps an invasion of your privacy. But I'm also told that the amount of DNA information that goes in that database is far less than a complete DNA profile.

KING: Have you proposed it to anyone?

J. RAMSEY: I've been kind of working behind the scenes a bit. And I'm anxious to advocate it.

KING: A federal law?

J. RAMSEY: ... get you talking about it and other...

KING: We've got to do shows on it.

J. RAMSEY: I would love to because I think we need to do it as is a country.

KING: You ran for the House of Representative in Michigan and lost...


KING: ... would you run again?

J. RAMSEY: No, I don't think so. It was a great experience. I totally enjoyed the people aspect of it, which I wasn't sure how that would go. But I learned a lot. But I don't think I would do that again.

KING: Enough is enough.

J. RAMSEY: Enough's enough.

KING: We'll be back with more of John Ramsey. Don't go away.


P. RAMSEY: I learned when I was having my chemotherapy, I think, I really cherish the time with my children. I remember I used to tell my friends to smell their children's hair because you just -- when you're looking at a life-threatening illness and thinking that you may not be there to see them grow up, you want to appreciate every single moment that you have with them.




P. RAMSEY: All I can think of is just this poem that someone sent me. And I can't remember all of it, but it says, do not stand at my grave and weep. I am not here. I do not sleep. Please don't stand at my grave and cry. I'm not here. I did not die.


KING: How do you handle that?

J. RAMSEY: Yes, it's -- I mean, I have a lump in my throat, but I know what Patsy says is true.

KING: Another e-mail from Rene in Bradenton, Florida. "Can Mr. Ramsey offer any counsel to other parents who have experienced the death of a child?"

J. RAMSEY: Well, we've tried to reach out to people that we can that have lost a child because we just know how painful it is. And I think the most important thing is if you're blessed with other children, remember that they need you now more than anything, than they ever have.

And so you need to be a strong parent for those other children who you're the most important person in their life and they've lost a sibling. And that's a horrible thing for a young child to experience.

KING: It's very common, John when a child dies for the marriage to break up.

J. RAMSEY: Eighty percent of the time it does, statistically.

KING: Guilt?

J. RAMSEY: I don't know exactly why. I think -- the only logical thing I can conclude is that, you know, when you're so devastated by the loss of a child you need your spouse to pick you up and to carry you and they can't because they're devastated, too.

KING: Devastated, too. El Paso, Texas, hello.

CALLER: Yes, Mr. Ramsey, I just wanted to ask you if your faith has played a role in your healing and if you rely more on divine justice rather than earthly justice?

J. RAMSEY: My faith really has played a huge role in healing. And I don't know how people deal with the loss of a loved one or a child without faith. It hasn't been easy. You always ask the question why, why did this happen, why did a loving God let this happen?

KING: Been angry at God?

J. RAMSEY: I have, yes. And I think that's normal. But Job asked that question and he didn't get an answer.


J. RAMSEY: But it played a huge role. And the second part of the question was ...

KING: What about a heavenly ...

J. RAMSEY: ... Oh, justice. That's a very good -- yes, I thought about that. And have really concluded that that's really what the Bible tells us, that justice is mine and that I'll take care of it. And so I -- I'm confident of that and I would like to see justice on this world, in this world, but if it's not to happen, then I'm OK with that.

KING: Port Richey, Florida, hello.

CALLER: Yes hi, good evening, Larry.


CALLER: I'm sorry, Mr. Ramsey. The question I'd like to ask about Burke, being that he's a young man now in college, how is this anniversary and every day -- how does he do from day to day?

KING: He looks great. He's here. He's at Purdue.

J. RAMSEY: Yes, well Burke came with me tonight. We've been kind of -- I told him when we lost his mom and Patsy that we would kind of have to look out for each other. And he's done a very good job of that. He looks after me and is very considerate and is doing really well. So I'm very proud of him.

KING: He's well within himself, isn't he? He carries himself very well. This must have been traumatic for him, though.

J. RAMSEY: Well, it has to be. I remember when my mom died. I was 35 and it was very hard. So that was -- in fact, that was for me, the worst part of realizing that Patsy was not going to make it. I didn't want Burke to lose his mother at his age.

KING: Yes, I was 43. We'll be right back with more of John Ramsey. Let's check in with Anderson Cooper, the host of "A.C. 360," coming up at the top of the hour. Anderson, what's up?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Larry, an autopsy of this body of deceased climber Kelly James offering new clues, what he was up against while authorities made a major announcement about the fate of the two friends still missing.

We'll have that, and a major snowstorm burying Denver and parts of the west right now. Where is it heading as we approach the holiday weekend? We'll have the latest on that.

And President Bush's final press conference of the year. What he said about Iraq raised some eyebrows and what he said about needing more troops has a lot of people asking questions. That and more at the top of the hour, Larry.

KING: That's Anderson Cooper, "A.C. 360" at 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific. we'll be right back with John Ramsey, don't go away.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Reflecting upon relationships that were dear to patsy, we give thanks this day and celebrate the 25 years that she and John shared together in marriage. A caring and giving wife, John says without hesitation that she could have easily managed every aspect of their household and family life. But instead, she valued their relationship as a partnership, one with the other working together.


KING: We're back with John Ramsey. Hamilton, Ontario, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Mr. King, thank you for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: Mr. Ramsey, I'm extremely sorry for everything that you've gone through.

J. RAMSEY: Thank you.

CALLER: I don't know how you get through it. I guess my question is, how do you put up with people like a Geraldo Rivera when they do things like that sickening court display that he had, et cetera?

J. RAMSEY: Yes, that was probably the one thing that really angered Patsy. I never saw Patsy get angry or mad, but that...

KING: What was done?

J. RAMSEY: Well, Geraldo Rivera had a mock trial of Patsy.

KING: Were you the defendant?

J. RAMSEY: Oh, yes. Well, I was, Patsy was, I think Burke was, too. That made her mad. And I think that's only media person I ever saw her get mad at. And it was -- it was just disgraceful. It's absolutely disgraceful.

KING: Do you ever talk to him about it?

J. RAMSEY: No, no.

KING: The concept of you said of working with people who work -- who was victims of cancer.

J. RAMSEY: Uh-huh.

KING: Any secrets, any -- what did you learn?

J. RAMSEY: Well, I learned a lot in just a lot of little things. And And I want to write them down before I forget. But it's kind of a common thing when someone's diagnosed with cancer, what do I do? You know, there's no one right answer. So you have to become your own advocate, your own detective, which treatment should I try...

KING: See the ads for cancer centers and numbers to call...

J. RAMSEY: ... where do I go, do I go to my local doctor, do I fly to New York, do I go to M.D. Anderson, do I go to China, what do I do? Because there's no right answer. The best chemotherapy drug on the market today has about a 20 to 25 percent success rate across the broad population. So if you pick one of them, statistically you've got a 25 percent chance of that drug working for you.

KING: Did you stay with the same doctors through?

J. RAMSEY: We -- Patsy was treated initially at the National Institute of Health, which is a phenomenal place. And so she was treated there for a long time. Towards the end she didn't qualify for any of the trials because that's all clinical trial work. So she couldn't be treated there anymore. So then we went to a doctor in Atlanta that took very good care of her.

KING: Do you think like Sloan, Kettering, Anderson, you mentioned.

J. RAMSEY: So many choices. And, you know, do you do a clinical trial? Because that's experimental, but theoretically they're experimenting with what might be the next best -- the next greatest treatment. And there's no one right answer.

KING: Are the doctors, in a case like this, upbeat?

J. RAMSEY: They're -- they're very genuine, very delicate. They -- I don't know how they do it, oncologists. It's a tough business for them, tough emotionally. I know when the doctor told us really about eight months before Patsy died that perhaps it's time to -- he didn't use the words "Give up," but that's what he was saying. It was said in such a way that it wasn't a shock. We knew what he was saying.

KING: Don't you think oncology is the toughest specialty?

J. RAMSEY: I would think so. It's got wonderfully rewarding when you're successful.

KING: But you lose a lot of patients.

J. RAMSEY: But, it's -- boy, it's got to be tough.

KING: Valdosta, Georgia, hello.

CALLER: Hello.


CALLER: Hi, Mr. Ramsey, I read your book "The Death of Innocence" a couple of years ago. It was just so compelling. I wanted to ask if you believe your book changed the public's perception of you and Mrs. Ramsey?

J. RAMSEY: Well, I don't know. We wrote that book to do two things. One, to kind of address all the myths and the mistruths that were out there and put them all in one place so that it was unedited, unsoundbyted. And we also wanted it to be a testament to our faith and how that played a role in our -- in our ordeal.

And that was really the -- those are the two primary reasons we wrote the book. And, of course, it did reasonably well for a while. So I don't know. I...

KING: You would hope that it did.

J. RAMSEY: ... would hope that it set the record straight, which is what we were really trying to do.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with John Ramsey right after this.



P. RAMSEY: I just think about -- I wish JonBenet was here and we were playing. This shouldn't have been this way. She should have enjoyed a lot of wonderful years on this earth.

Now she's in heaven and I'll be there one day. And see her again.


KING: JonBenet would have been 16?

J. RAMSEY: Uh-huh.

KING: Ever think about what she would have been like?

J. RAMSEY: She would have been a handful. I have no doubt of that.

KING: Broken some hearts, too.

J. RAMSEY: Well, probably. But, yes, she was -- she had a ton of energy, so...

KING: You visit her grave on Christmas Day?

J. RAMSEY: well, I haven't in the past.


J. RAMSEY: For several years it was a tough place to go to because there were people there with cameras and the media would stake it out and so you just didn't go. You would go on Tuesday instead of when they expected you to be there because that's a very private thing. And so we tried to -- we would avoid the days that were not private.

KING: What's life like now? What are you doing?

J. RAMSEY: Well, i've been involved with a lot of different things, some constructive, some not terribly constructive. I've been involved with a couple of small business start-ups, which is fun for me. I like to do that kind of stuff. One in Michigan that have been...

KING: You live in two places?

J. RAMSEY: Well, we live in -- we lived in Charleviox, Michigan, which is where home was. And my daughter and my brother and family are in Atlanta. So I've spent a fair amount of time in Atlanta the last six months.

KING: But your businesses are away from Atlanta?

J. RAMSEY: The business I'm involved with is in Michigan, yes.

KING: Do you celebrate Christmas in Atlanta then?

J. RAMSEY: We will.

KING: That's where you're heading?

J. RAMSEY: Yes, we'll head back there.

KING: Now, that must be a mixed holiday for you. That's the day your daughter died.

J. RAMSEY: It was -- the first five years, it was horrible, very difficult. We just wanted to get through it. And it's gotten a lot easier now, particularly with grandkids. You know, that's -- you can see the joy of Christmas in their faces. And...

KING: Are they Santa believers?

J. RAMSEY: Oh, yes. As my older kids say, why not believe in Santa, you know. That's a good deal. So, yes, but they do.

KING: I know this had to be difficult. I really appreciate you coming. We go back a long way.

J. RAMSEY: Yes. Thank you very for having me.

KING: I always try to be there for you.

J. RAMSEY: Well, thank you, Larry.

KING: Still got the hope that we're going to catch this person?

J. RAMSEY: Well, I do. I do. When the Boulder investigators, the D.A.'s office tell me they give up, then I give up.

KING: You have your own investigators?

J. RAMSEY: No, no.

KING: You did for a good while, right?

J. RAMSEY: We did for a good while because we knew the police were not doing anything constructive. But -- and a couple of those fellows still work on it from time to time...

KING: On their own?

J. RAMSEY: ... and help. So, they've been great.

KING: How's it listed in -- if I call the Boulder Police Department and ask JonBenet Ramsey, they would say what? Unsolved murder?

J. RAMSEY: Probably. Probably. I don't know.

KING: Thanks, John.

J. RAMSEY: Thanks. Larry, Thank you for having me.

KING: My -- thank you.

John Ramsey.

Tomorrow night, one of my favorite people, Dr. Andrew Wild (ph) will be here. And we're going to learn about what to eat and not to eat over the holidays. Dr. Andrew Wild, tomorrow night.

John Ramsey tonight.

And we turn things over to Anderson Cooper in New York, the host of "AC 360".

Anderson, lots on the plate tonight.


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