Monday, August 28, 2006
Suddenly there is no prime suspect in the JonBenet Ramsey case. After a week-and-a-half of intense media coverage and speculation, Boulder DA Mary Lacy has dropped the arrest warrant against John Mark Karr. Numerous unsolicited alibis made many of us in the media immediately skeptical of his role in the case. But then he was brought to Boulder, many assumed it was because authorities possessed damning evidence. Tonight, that is simply not the case. So what can be said of the past eleven days? First consider what will be said in the coming days. The case against Karr is all but assuredly over. Unless there is a surprise piece of evidence, a colossal mistake was made not only by authorities but by those of us in the news media who thought this could be the end to a nearly ten-year-old case. Titillating, bizarre and overreaching…each of those words could be used in a sentence to describe how we covered this story. Though I think there was some reason behind the instant focus on an arrest. Bear in mind, no arrest had ever before been made in the case. And aside from the temptation to report what seemed to be a bombshell development, there were a lot of people who truly hoped this was the end – an idea certainly welcomed by those who hoped the intense media spotlight might – after a trial – be dimmed.