John Depo: Part 3

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John Depo: Part 3

Post by Mama2JML on Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:32 pm

Q. May I ask you if any of your investigators made any attempt to examine or prepare - did any of your investigators prepare handwriting reports with respect to your handwriting and Mrs. Ramsey's handwriting?

A. I never saw any reports. I don't know what they prepared.

Q. Do you know if reports have been prepared?

A. I don't know that for a fact. MR. WOOD: For the record, I do think we indicated in response to requests for production that there are written reports that were in the possession of Hal Haddon under a belief on his part that they are grand jury materials that he is not allowed to release even to me, present counsel for the Ramseys. So I don't know that John knows that, but I do want to make the record clear that you know that.

MR. HOFFMAN: Also, just to make the record clear, I don't know what effect, if any, the July 5th ruling by Judge - the Denver federal judge, Wiley Daniel, with respect to third-party testimony and the fact that the grand jury secrecy rule with respect to that which was declared unconstitutional. To the extent that that would be the statement of the party - meaning whoever the expert was, his report is, in effect, statements, whether or not that that now would be covered under the grand jury secrecy act. And so for the purposes of this record, I would indicate that that might not be available to counsel.

MR. WOOD: I have asked Hal Haddon since that ruling to produce those for me, and he declined.

MR. HOFFMAN: Okay. Thank you. (By Mr. Hoffman) Mr. Ramsey, what I am going to do now is I am going to first have the reporter mark this Plaintiff's Exhibit 16 for identification. We'll do that.

MR. HOFFMAN: Mr. Wood, I will show you this, and please show it to your client.

(Plaintiff's Exhibit-16 was marked for identification.)

Q. (By Mr. Hoffman) Mr. Ramsey, I am going to ask you to look at the document that has been marked Plaintiff's Exhibit 16 for identification, and I am going to ask you if you recognize this document.

A. Yes, I believe I do.

Q. Could you identify it, please?

A. Well, it appears to be a copy of theransom note that we found in our home.

Q. Does it look substantially like the ransom note that you saw that morning?

A. Yes, I think so.

Q. Okay. Now, Mr. Ramsey, I am going to ask you to, once again, look at it. And I am going to ask you, in looking at it, whether or not you see any similarity between your wife's handwriting and the handwriting in the ransom note; you personally.

A. Absolutely not.

Q. None at all?

A. No.

Q. Not even a little bit?

A. Not even a little bit.

Q. Now, Mr. Ramsey -

A. Patsy writes very neatly. She is a feminine writer.

Q. Right.

A. There are misspellings in the note. She graduated at the top of her class. She doesn't misspell words like "business" and "possession."

Q. Do you think the ransom note writer was trying to disguise their identity?

A. I have been told that that was the intent, but there are parts of it that - where that is broken down. I don't know which parts, but -

Q. Do you think that maybe some of the misspelling may have been an attempt by whoever was writing this note to disguise their identity?

A. I don't think so, because I think they tried to be very articulate, to the best of their ability, and misspellings were because they didn't know how to spell those words.

Q. With respect to the sloppiness of the handwriting, do you think it is possible that the handwriting - that the person who wrote this handwriting was trying to make their handwriting look sloppier than normal?

A. I don't know. It is very sloppy handwriting. I would agree with that.

Q. Now, Mr. Ramsey, do you know whether or - were you ever told that Mrs. Ramsey could not be eliminated from any of the handwriting investigation being done by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation? Did anybody ever tell you that?

A. I was told that it was virtually certain that she did not write the note, but thatthere were some similarities which exist in allof our handwriting because we have all been taught the same, and that is how we communicate is with the written language in English. But that because of these few similarities, she could not be absolutely eliminated, but it was highly improbable that she wrote the note. And that, in fact, there were more dissimilarities in her writing than a number of other people that had been looked at.

Q. Right. Do you know if your handwriting was examined by the law enforcement?

A. As far as I know, it was.

Q. Do you know whether or not you were eliminated as the author of the note?

A. I was told that, on a scale of 1 to 5, Patsy was placed at a 4.5 in terms of probability. In other words, a very low probability. Mine was a 5.

Q. Just to go back to the one point that you made, it was your understanding that the reason Mrs. Ramsey could not be eliminated was because of what is, I think called, style book similarities. We all go to school, as you say; we are taught to make our letters look the same way. Is that the reason?

MR. WOOD: Let me object to the form of the question only because you have used what I think is meant to be some form of a technical term, "style book similarities."


MR. WOOD: I don't think that was a term Mr. Ramsey used. So to the extent you misstated his testimony, I object to the form. If you would understand it, John, feel free to answer it.

THE WITNESS: Well, I don't know what that means. I told you what I was told. And I was told that by our attorneys. I was told that by - I heard the police make that statement. I heard the district attorney make that statement, that it is highly improbable that Patsy wrote this note based on their testing and our testing.

Q. (By Mr. Hoffman) Do you know if she was the only one that law enforcement could not completely eliminate as the author of -

A. No. In fact, I was told that your client had fewer dissimilarities than Patsy had with the note.

Q. Without revealing an attorney/clientprivilege, do you know who told you that? Was it a law enforcement source, or was it your private investigators?

A. I don't recall. I don't recall.

MR. WOOD: I do know -

THE WITNESS: I was told that there were other people that were tested that were much more interesting than Patsy in terms of a comparison.

Q. (By Mr. Hoffman) Now, how do you know that? A. I was told that. I don't recall by whom. It is general knowledge that I have in my head.

MR. WOOD: Plus I want to point out, and I have not shared with Mr. Ramsey Alex Hunter's testimony on that very point, which I think you were aware of -


MR. WOOD: - who has stated there were a number of people who had not been eliminated that were under suspicion.

MR. HOFFMAN: I just want to know how Mr. Ramsey, if he remembers how he knows that, with respect to that.

Q. (By Mr. Hoffman) Now, Mr. Ramsey, Iam going to ask you to do something that I did yesterday, at least on a few pages here, and that is I am going to ask you to look at Plaintiff's Exhibit No. 1 that was marked for identification yesterday, and I would like you to look at that document.

A. Okay.

Q. I am going to ask you if you recognize, without naming anybody, any of the figures in that particular document?

A. I think I recognize two.

Q. Okay. Now I am going to ask you to look at the handwriting beneath the document, and I am going to ask you if you recognize that handwriting.

A. I do not.

Q. Could it be your wife's handwriting?

A. I don't recognize it. It doesn't look like Patsy's writing. It is sloppy. It is irregular. I would not look at that and say that is Patsy's handwriting.

Q. Thank you. Now I am going to hand to you Plaintiff's Exhibit No. 2 that was marked for identification yesterday, and I am going toask you to please look at that.Now I am going to ask you if you can identify, without naming the individuals in those photographs, any of them.

A. Yes.

Q. Now I am going to ask you to look at the handwriting, and tell me if you can recognize the handwriting.

A. I do not.

Q. Could that be your wife's handwriting?

A. I doubt it very seriously.

Q. Tell me why you don't think it is your wife's handwriting.

A. It doesn't look like her handwriting. It is sloppy. It is - it just doesn't look like her handwriting.

Q. Now I am going to ask you to look at Plaintiff's Exhibit 11, marked for identification, and all I am going to ask you to do is look at this document and tell me if you have ever seen it before.

A. Not that I recall.

Q. So would it be fair to say that today is the first time you ever have seen that document?

A. I think so. I don't remember seeingit. I don't remember seeing it. Let me put it that way.

Q. Okay. Thank you very much. Now, Mr. Ramsey, do you know - have you ever heard the name Cina Wong?

A. I have heard that name in association with you, yes.

Q. Do you know who Cina Wong is?

A. I have no idea.

Q. Have you heard the name David Liebman?

A. It was on that form right there.

Q. Had you ever heard the name or seen the name before this?

A. Not that I recall.

Q. Are you aware those names appear in your book?

A. It is very possible.

Q. So you weren't the person that provided the names in the book, in the manuscript; is that correct?

A. I don't remember. It is possible. I found that my brain cells have depleted a lot during the last five years.

Q. Have you ever heard the name Howard Rile?

A. Yes.

Q. Would you tell me who Howard Rile is?

A. He is either a handwriting expert or an expert linguistic examiner. I don't recall which.

Q. Do you recall the context in which you heard his name?

A. I think he was someone that our attorneys consulted to examine a number of documents that we have received.

Q. Do you know if he examined Mrs. Ramsey's handwriting?

A. I believe that he did, yes.

Q. Do you know if he prepared a written report?

A. I don't know.

MR. WOOD: Again -

THE WITNESS: Isn't he the one that started the book?

MR. WOOD: No, that is someone else.


MR. WOOD: Again, we go back, and we have provided you as his counsel information that Mr. Rile and Mr. Cunningham, we are told, didprepare written reports, but they were submittedto the grand jury and they are, again, in the possession of Hal Haddon, and the question of releasing them from Mr. Haddon, at least, is something that he has not done voluntarily yet. Whether he did that in response to a request from you, I don't know. But there are written reports from Mr. Rile and Mr. Cunningham about Mrs. Ramsey.

Q. (By Mr. Hoffman) Had you ever heard of the name Floyd Cunningham, Mr. Ramsey?

A. Yes.

MR. WOOD: Lloyd.

MR. HOFFMAN: I am sorry. Is it Floyd?

MR. WOOD: Lloyd.

MR. HOFFMAN: Oh, Lloyd. All right. I am sorry. I don't know why I thought Floyd.

Q. (By Mr. Hoffman) Lloyd Cunningham, have you ever heard that name?

A. Yes.

Q. Would you tell me in what context you heard that name?

A. I think he was someone that was used by our attorneys and investigators to look at handwriting exemplars.

Q. Do you know anything else?

A. That he is at the top of his field. That is what I remember.

Q. Do you know if Mr. Cunningham prepared a written handwriting report?

A. I don't know that for a fact.

MR. WOOD: Again, same observation -

MR. HOFFMAN: Absolutely.

MR. WOOD: - for the benefit of you and the benefit of the record.


Q. (By Mr. Hoffman) I want to make sure that what I am about to say is accurate, so I have to do it in summation, and Mr. Wood will absolutely correct me if I am wrong in characterizing anything that I have said.

MR. WOOD: It sounds like an invitation.

MR. HOFFMAN: It is, Mr. Wood, in this particular instance.

Q. (By Mr. Hoffman) I want to make sure I am correct. You have not personally seen the handwriting report, if there was one, by Mr. Rile; is that correct?

MR. WOOD: Hang on a second. Let me confer. I want to make sure we are not touching into an area that might go to attorney-client privilege -


MR. WOOD: - because that report was prepared by former counsel for Mr. Ramsey, or at their request for Ramsey purposes.

MR. HOFFMAN: Well, I can remove the offending language as to prepared it - prepared for him. I don't know who prepared it for him.

Q. (By Mr. Hoffman) I am not asking that. That this handwriting report by Mr. Rile was prepared for the Ramseys, irrespective of who prepared it. I am not trying to identify who prepared it, but that it was prepared by some person for you.

A. I know of no report that was prepared for us that I saw.

Q. And when you say report, I am more interested in if you had an opportunity to see any report involving handwriting of either Mrs. Ramsey or yourself by any expert that you or your agents and people that worked for you hired. Didyou have an opportunity to see any report?

A. I don't recall seeing any report.

Q. Do you remember whether or not you had an opportunity to see any other handwriting reports by, say, law enforcement?

A. I don't recall seeing any reports from law enforcement, no.

Q. Then are you saying that you are relying upon the opinion or statements of people that have seen those reports as the basis for your belief that Mrs. Ramsey is not the ransom note writer?

MR. WOOD: Hold on one second. I don't know how he is going to differentiate counsel's discussions. Do you want to omit counsel?

MR. HOFFMAN: You mean our discussions?

MR. WOOD: Well, you say that you are relying - are you saying that you are relying upon the opinion or statements of people that have seen those reports as the basis for your belief that Mrs. Ramsey is not the ransom note writer? Do you understand what he is asking you, John?


MR. HOFFMAN: Well, to put it more -

MR. WOOD: I am going to let him answer.

MR. HOFFMAN: Oh, okay.

MR. WOOD: Let's go ahead and just let him answer.

THE WITNESS: No, I do not base my opinion on the reports that I have heard from others. I base my opinion on that I know my wife. I would stake my life on the fact that she did not murder her child, she did not fake all of this nonsense, and she did not write this bizarre note. That is what I stake my belief on, Mr. Hoffman.

Q. (By Mr. Hoffman) So it is not based on anything empirical, such as -

A. The empirical information supports that belief totally.

Q. I am just wanting to determine whether you are familiar with the empirical information that supports it.

A. Yes.

Q. I am trying to distinguish betweenyour belief in your wife, which is understandable, and a belief that comes from actually having looked at forensic evidence that you personally have had an opportunity to view.

MR. WOOD: Let me just - again, I am going to object to the form of that question because I think - at one point you are talking about determining whether he is familiar with the information, and then you turn it around and make it limited to reports that he has personally had an opportunity to view. I mean, you are omitting the fact that his counsel, and present company included, may have fully apprised him of the nature of the variety of expert reports in summary fashion verbally.


MR. WOOD: That would go into attorney-client privilege.

MR. HOFFMAN: Right. Which I am not trying to go into.

MR. WOOD: But you can't omit the fact they may have received that information. I don't think it would be fair for the record to -


MR. WOOD: I don't want the record to appear that Mr. Ramsey is unaware of what Mr. Rile, Cunningham, and, obviously, the information from the Boulder authorities that we know from Mr. Smit and others in terms of - and Mr. Hunter now, and Chief Beckner, what that - those conclusions, even though he hasn't seen the formal report. Am I making sense here?

MR. HOFFMAN: Absolutely.

MR. WOOD: I just want to make sure the record is not - doesn't mislead one to think that Mr. Ramsey, because he may have heard it through counsel, is unaware of it. That is my point.

THE WITNESS: And I have answered the questions that I understood were, have I physically seen and read a report.

Q. (By Mr. Hoffman) Right. So I am now going to ask you one additional question, which may be a bit of a repetition, but I hope it will clarify it. And you may have already answered it.In light of the fact that you haveadmitted that you have not physically seen the handwriting reports themselves, but may be relying on summaries from the people around you, why are you so certain that Mrs. Ramsey is not the ransom note writer?

A. Because I know my wife. I know how much she loved JonBenet. I know how much she valued life. She valued every day that she lived, and lived every day to its fullest as if it were a gift from God.

Q. Are you aware that there are handwriting experts which are experts on behalf of Chris Wolf that have rendered opinions -

MR. HOFFMAN: Do you want to stop there?

MR. WOOD: I just want to make sure he knows that I want to make an objection.

MR. HOFFMAN: Okay. Okay.

MR. WOOD: Why don't you start again.

MR. HOFFMAN: All right. Just simply, I just want to know what he knows or doesn't know. I am not asking him to do anything other than yes or no to this.

(By Mr. Hoffman) Are you aware thatthere are handwriting experts that are working onbehalf of Chris Wolf who have concluded that Patsy Ramsey is, as one of them said, without doubt the ransom note writer?

MR. WOOD: I am going to object to that question and - on several bases. Number one, there has been no finding of qualification of any individual submitted to date by the plaintiff as a handwriting, quote/unquote, expert, number one. To the contrary, at least three or four of the individuals that are presently being relied upon, at least we believe, by the plaintiff, have been specifically rejected as legitimate handwriting experts by the Boulder District Attorney's office and the Boulder Police Department. Third, you are representing, Mr. Hoffman, that one of these individuals is making a statement without doubt Patsy Ramsey wrote the ransom note, and I think that that is an unfair statement on your part because we have, as counsel for the defendants, been seeking for several months, at least the last two months, to obtain Rule 26 reports from these individuals that you represent to be experts, so that we, according to law, could then depose them, test their qualifications, test their opinions, against cross-examination, including cross-examination of standard and fundamental handwriting practices and procedures. So far, for whatever reason, we have not been afforded those reports, we have not been afforded the opportunity to examine those experts to determine what, if any, opinion they may hold and what, if any, credibility that opinion is worth receiving. And I think it is fundamentally unfair to ask Mr. Ramsey a question that presupposes at least one of those expert's opinions and ask him if he is aware of it.

MR. HOFFMAN: Just all I want to know is if he is aware.

MR. WOOD: The point is, I think it is fundamentally unfair to ask him to do that. Beyond that point, I think it is clearly a question that does not raise a reasonable chance of discovering admissible evidence because Mr. Ramsey's knowledge of that does not go to any issue of admissibility; whether he knows about something that one of youralleged experts says, I don't see how that is relevant in terms of reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. But as long as you will stipulate for me that we have not received the Rule 26 reports and have not yet had the opportunity to cross-examine those experts, and then, obviously, we have not reached the questions about Dalbert and other cases -

MR. HOFFMAN: Absolutely.

MR. WOOD: - about whether the court would allow those individuals to testify.

MR. HOFFMAN: Absolutely.

MR. WOOD: If you will stipulate that I am accurate in those representations, then I am going to let him answer the question. Is that fair?

MR. HOFFMAN: There is only one representation that I won't stipulate to, and that is two of the handwriting experts, Larry Ziegler and Gideon Epstein, for which you have, at least, there preliminary reports, one of which has that statement, "without doubt Patsy Ramsey is the ransom note writer." That you have thosestatements, that they were given to you, and thatthose two experts are not only highly qualified, but have been admitted, one of which was admitted by Judge Carnes in a case that she sat on several years ago. So to the degree that your representation is that the handwriting experts are, in fact, not experts, I would take - I would disagree with at least that characterization with respect to Mr. Gideon Epstein and Larry Ziegler. And that is the only thing I want to correct within it, but I will stipulate to everything else that you have said with respect - that you haven't received the federal Rule 26 reports, or anything else. That is absolutely correct.

MR. WOOD: Well, I have not and I will not, and I don't believe that I am allowed to characterize an individual as an expert. I think that is a decision that would ultimately be determined by Judge Carnes in this case. And whatever may have happened to Mr. Ziegler in another case has no bearing whatsoever on what his position will be in this case.

MR. HOFFMAN: All right.

MR. WOOD: But I don't want this record to be kind of one-sided, Darnay, on this issue of Gideon Epstein and Larry Ziegler because you have asked me about what is in their affidavits. I don't have those in front of me.

MR. HOFFMAN: They are not affidavits. They are letters.

MR. WOOD: Well, that is what I - it is my recollection there was a letter to you from each of these individuals.


MR. WOOD: I can't recall sitting here today, because my brain cells are failing me as I age also, exactly what those letters said. But I do know this - and I want this to be clear on the record. I know that you submitted affidavits from these two individuals, Epstein and Ziegler.

MR. HOFFMAN: I never -

MR. WOOD: I am sorry. Submitted letters -


MR. WOOD: - as part of a supplemental response to mandatory disclosures.


MR. WOOD: And I know for a fact that those letters to you, submitted by you, indicated that there were some similarities between Patsy's handwriting and the note, copy of the note they looked at. And they stated unequivocally that they believed that they could reach a conclusion if they were allowed to see other handwriting examples from Mrs. Ramsey from that time period. Am I right so far?


MR. WOOD: And I do know that I have a number of public statements made by you, both on the internet and on television, wherein you made almost the identical representations that Mr. Ziegler and Mr. Epstein would, in fact, testify conclusively that Patsy Ramsey wrote the note. And I know as a matter of undisputed fact that you made those representations about the conclusions of Ziegler and Epstein at a time when Ziegler and Epstein had not been given any additional handwriting exemplars which they had earlier stated they had to have in order to reachthe conclusions that you attributed do them.Those, I believe, are clearly undisputed facts that can be shown. And those facts alone, before I even get to an expert's report or the ability to cross-examine that expert, say to me that Mr. Ziegler and Mr. Epstein, if you have accurately stated their conclusions publicly at the time you did state them, have some very, very serious credibility problems. That is my response to Ziegler and Epstein for the record.

MR. HOFFMAN: I, just for the record, I think that that was sort of an unnecessarily long response; but irrespective of that, I would just simply like to state that the more recent statements by Mr. Ziegler and Mr. Gideon Epstein reflect the fact that they were able to actually look at the police exemplars that were given by Mr. Ramsey and Mrs. Ramsey and which were provided by you subject to a discovery request, and that those most recent observations are based on that. And to that degree, those observations are more complete.

MR. WOOD: Well, let's leave it here.

MR. HOFFMAN: I will withdraw this question if it is a problem.

MR. WOOD: No, I am going to let him answer whether he is aware of that.

MR. HOFFMAN: I just want to -

MR. WOOD: He probably is now after listening to us. The point is, simply this: We look forward to receiving the reports, and we look extremely forward to the opportunity to cross-examine Mr. Ziegler, Mr. Epstein, and any other individual who is identified by you as a potential expert.

MR. HOFFMAN: All right.

Q. (By Mr. Hoffman) So, Mr. Ramsey, could you answer?

MR. HOFFMAN: But maybe I am going to need a read-back from the question.

Q. (By Mr. Hoffman) And, Mr. Ramsey, if you can answer it, please do, to the best of your ability. (The record was read by the reporter, as follows: "Question: Are you aware that thereare handwriting experts that are working on behalf of Chris Wolf who have concluded that Patsy Ramsey is, as one of them said, without doubt the ransom note writer?")

Q. (By Mr. Hoffman) That is a yes or no.

MR. WOOD: Or answer any way you feel appropriate.

THE WITNESS: I wouldn't be qualified to say that they are handwriting experts, particularly if they reach that conclusion.

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