JonBenet figures pop up in Bryant case
Two of the central figures in the JonBenet Ramsey case are thrusting themselves into the Kobe Bryant sexual assault investigation.
But no one’s quite sure why.
Fleet and Priscilla White wrote a nine-page letter to Eagle County Judge Fred Gannett asserting that his order lacked teeth where it reminded court officials and those connected with the Bryant case not to discuss the case with the media.
The Whites claim that the Colorado law upon which Gannett’s order is based has been gutted and won’t keep attorneys or anyone else from talking about the case if they want to.
But again, no one’s quite why they want to be involved in the Kobe case.
“The Whites have a long history of interjecting themselves into public matters,” said Linn Wood, the attorney for John and Patsy Ramsey. “I find it curious that they have decided to interject themselves into a matter that doesn’t really concern them.”
The Whites were formerly friends of the Ramseys. The Ramseys were at the White’s house on Christmas Day 1996, the day before JonBenet’s body was discovered. As the Ramseys were on their way home, JonBenet fell asleep. The Ramseys carried her inside. The Ramseys found their daughter dead the next day.
Among the calls they made first was to the Whites.
“For people who claim they want to protect their privacy, they have repeatedly been very public. Which, from my view, I find to be somewhat bizarre,” Wood said.
Along with several others, the Whites were questioned by police investigators trying to get to the bottom of the Ramsey case.
Wood said the tabloids seized the opportunity to publish rumor and innuendo about the Whites.
Wood took Fleet White’s deposition in a civil lawsuit brought by the Ramseys. He said he had firsthand knowledge of White’s declaration that privacy is of the utmost importance.
“I don’t know how they managed to come up with the idea that this is any of their business,” said Wood. “But this is not the last bizarre issue that will pop up in Eagle.”
Wood successfully sued the Globe, Star and their parent company, American Media for some of the stunts they pulled during their coverage of the JonBenet Ramsey case.
Wood now is preparing a lawsuit against tabloids for former U.S. Rep. Gary Condit of California, whom the tabloids implicated in the death of Shondra Levy. It’s not yet filed, he said.
“So far we’ve had great success,” said Wood.
Bryant is charged with one count of felony sexual assault. He allegedly raped a 19-year-old Eagle woman on June 30, while he was staying at the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera. His next date in a courtroom is a preliminary hearing in County Court before Judge Gannett.
Letters to judge run from rage to ridiculous
Eagle County Judge Fred Gannett has been swamped with letters from writers claiming to be everything from “We The People” to “Jesus Christ, The Black Messiah.”
They’re all proclaiming that Kobe Bryant is either guilty or innocent, or simply telling judges and officials to stay the course of the justice system.
They also have one other thing in common: The FBI is investigating at least some of them and has agents in Eagle County. An FBI spokesman said anything of a threatening or racist nature will draw the agency’s attention.
“Jesus Christ, The Black Messiah,” lives in Albany, N.Y., according to his handwritten letter to Gannett. Jesus Christ, the Black Messiah, whose vernacular goes well beyond the New Testament Jesus Christ, asserts that if Bryant is convicted of the felony sexual assault charges he faces and goes to jail, “All of Colorado will be crushed.”
“He’s just a … kid. Have some mercy on him because I will have no mercy on you if this man goes to prison,” he wrote to Gannett.
One letter conjectured that Bryant “would no doubt get away with it (like O.J. Simpson did) because we are no longer a nation under God.”
“God is no doubt fed up with all this idolatry and we’ll likely have another September 11th!” the letter said.
One autograph seeker from San Antonio, Texas, asked Gannett to send along a couple of autographed business cards.
A World War II veteran who said he’s blind in one eye congratulated the judge for showing courage as a legal representative.
“I realize the terrific pressure and abuse that will be your due should Kobe be proven guilty,” he wrote. “I wonder what would occur if you ordered both parties to take a lie detector test in the courtroom, broadcast on a public screen? It would be positive and about as honest a trial as you could get.”