TRANSCRIPT OF A PUBLIC AFFAIR
aired 2/15/99 08:35am on KGNU-Boulder
MCFARLAND: This is Bob McFarland with a public affair and my guest this morning is Donald Freed who is an author, screen writer among other things. Donald Freed has written Killing Time, a book about the OJ Simpson trial and the screen play, "Executive Action" which was about the JFK assassination. And what other things would the listeners be interested in what you've done?
FREED: I'm a visiting professor at Loyola Marymount University (L.A.) and I'm teaching at USC and I'm working on a film about the murder of Martin Luther King.
I've been working for about a year and a half on the Ramsey murder for a two part series for ABC one of which is completed and the other of which will be completed if ABC wishes to complete it. At the moment they have frozen the project and itís not clear whether it will be done elsewhere if at all. And of course the crime that has generated such interest has also GENERATED GREAT FEAR in the media because this taboo is the most fearsome in a way of all the taboos.
But in so working on ABC's budget for that time, I was able to go to Europe and elsewhere. And I finally presented some information to the police and the FBI during several meetings in Boulder. I haven't talked about it publicly until now, but I think now that I've waited more then what use to be called a "decent interval". So I'll talk about this a little bit.
If you take your mind back to the morning of the crime---I say the morning of the crime because I think its clear what I mean---- and that day after Christmas. The call came into the Boulder police at about 5:52am and thus began the time-line.
The kind of work I do is forensic work on time-lines. That's what I did in the Simpson case in (my book) Killing Time. That's what I would like you to follow me on.
After that call comes in, a uniformed policeman comes to the house by about 6:00 am and then more personnel arrive. The morning goes by; in the early afternoon the body is found, and sometime in the evening the coroner arrives---and that's the rough time-line of that day. For several hours during the morning, a Boulder police detective was alone at the house while family and friends walked about and generally, completely co-opted the crime scene.
Since that first day until this hour the lawyers and the pundits and experts and media commentators have never ceased to state that the Boulder police did not maintain the crime scene. In fact, they destroyed the crime scene and they went so far as to create the most awkward move perhaps in the history of a homicide investigation in asking John Ramsey to search the house whereupon he found his daughter, carried her upstairs, and laid her out in front of the Christmas tree.
All this has been rehearsed and repeated endlessly in the media and its been stated by the most serious experts that the case will probably never, ever go to trial because of the police mishandling of that day. What is more (it is perceived) that the police didn't take the expert advice that such an amateur police department from such a little town would have needed. And there was the FBI offering to help at every step of the way and finally trying to salvage the case by inviting everyone to Quantico, Virginia; then helping with the presentation. And that is the general idea or story line of the case.
MCFARLAND: Yes, one of the detectives, Linda Arndt filed a lawsuit over her dismissal.
FREED: Now, if I may, Dr. McFarland, ask you a few questions?
FREED: How did it come to pass that, in your opinion, that the Boulder police were in charge of the crime scene in general for about eight hours with a lone detective there. And how is it that this detective and this police force had never held themselves out as experts on terrorism or kidnapping. Remember we're talking about a note that announces itís from a foreign faction that "hates" your country and has other "bigwigs" in their gunsights. How do you understand it that the Boulder police---the much blamed Boulder police---are in charge of this crime scene?!?
MCFARLAND: Hmmmm? Well, I think they didn't feel the need for another unit because they really didn't believe that ransom note.
FREED: Oh, I quite agree with you, BUT let me say to you this. You're aware, I'm sure, that the historic and famous jurisdiction, in the case of kidnapping, belongs to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
MCFARLAND: The Lindberg LawFREED: YES, itís not only their jealously guarded turf, but they base their budget on few traditional areas such as grand theft auto; interstate offense of all kinds; and KIDNAPPING. And in kidnapping, they have written the book. They have special training. They are defined by their handling of kidnapping and they operate in what is called "rebuttable presumption". That means that if someone disappears and the FBI considers it an interesting, challenging, or worthwhile case; they intervene on the theory of "rebuttable presumption": that it could be presumed that federal laws have been broken and that the FBI, until instructed otherwise, WILL TAKE CONTROL.
IN THE CASE WHERE THERE IS A RANSOM NOTE---THAT TRIGGERS THE FBI's JURISDICTION. And this is a well-oiled machine of many decades standing. When it goes into action the local police are pushed into the periphery.
When its a wealthy corporate executive; and when the note in fact announces that these are foreign terrorists---now every bell in the "national security system" begins to ring---then the interfacing with the CIA, the NSA, the Pentagon; all this unfolds within a matter of minutes. The Attorney General stands by; the President is awakened ready to go on television; because it is a written and unwritten law that "foreign terrorists" on the soil of the United States should they dare commit a crime; should they dare to contemplate a kidnapping or the murder of an innocent child or American citizen or any visitor to the United States; that unleashes the full might and power of the United States of America, no matter what it takes or how long it takes.
In the case of Orlando Letelier, a visiting Marxist scholar who was organizing against the Pinochet junta in Chile, when his car was exploded on Embassy Row in Washington D.C., foreign terrorists were identified, after various cover stories were brushed aside. The FBI, who hated Letelier; who put out the story that a jealous mistress or husband might have blown-up his car; that same FBI four years later walked into the palace in Santiago, Chile and told General Pinochet that his head of security, Col. Contreras, would have to resign and would have to stand trial. And he did! And this was the beginning of the undoing of our client the Pinochet regime in Chile.
This was no Marxist, I will say to you, who was kidnapped or killed in Boulder, Colorado. This was a child of a Lockheed Martin executive of a $18 billion a year firm with Pentagon and top secret clearance across the world.
With this huge multi-million dollar security apparatus that exists for that day that any member of a family of a corporate executive; any member, wife, child of corporate executive's family should be kidnapped; they go into overdrive. That's when they earn their money and itís when they face the CEO's in Denver, and that's where they say "here's where Lockheed Martin stands: your children can or cannot go to school; your wives can or cannot go to the market". An entire protocol unfolds. The interface between the head of Lockheed Martin Security and the FBI is elaborate and its interlocking and its complete.
So the two units, in the Boulder Area, are trained to react to an act of terrorism, like kidnapping, are Lockheed Martin Security on one hand and the FBI on the other. Now, NOBODY FROM EITHER TWO OF THESE UNITS CAME NEAR THAT CRIME SCENE and the question is as in the case of Sherlock Holme's dog that didn't bark. What you're looking at here is SOMETHING THAT IS SO IRREGULAR; SO IMPOSSIBLE, because remember, the SOG, the seat of government operates in this regard.
Every year the Director of the FBI must go before Congress. Is it conceivable to you, doctor, that the head of the FBI could go before a Congressional committee and be asked why the FBI had not involved itself in terrorists who announce themselves?!
If you say now that the note was a hoax, and it doesn't ring true; you'd be quite right. You could have said it a day later or a week later---and everyone has said it. But no one could have said it that morning---minutes count! The FBI's entire profile is based on quick, rapid, decisive action. They take over public relations. They'd have the Boulder police direct traffic at the periphery. No one gets in or out of that house. No one touches the crime scene. Every home in that area of Boulder is secured.
In the case of Adobe Graphics three years before, there was an executive kidnapped and hundred's of FBI agents poured into the landscape. When in Michigan where another industrial kidnapping tool place---where a wife was suspected actually-- hundreds of FBI agents poured in.
What I'm telling you now is a composite of my interviews with FBI executives in this country and elsewhere---former agents and Lockheed Martin agents. When a note announces "terrorism" it is the magic word in the United States for both law enforcement and budgetary considerations. So that if you say you didn't believe that note nor believe there were foreign terrorists, then you are dealing with a madman who is signing himself or herself as foreign terrorist and intends to get some "fat cats". So what difference does it make whether these are foreign terrorists or a madman pretending to be foreign terrorists? You still have the most alarming situation. In the FBI bureaucracy this called "a special".
Not only was this NOT "a special"; there was no response as if it were terrorism. Remembering that the FBI never came to the crime scene, they were never able to say to director Freeh in Washington: "Don't worry. This is a hoax. This is a false note. We don't think the Bureau will be embarrassed".
The Bureau doesn't take anyone's word about being "embarrassed". The Bureau operates on a principle of redundancy and "Do Not Embarrass the Bureau" is their watchword; it is their motto.
For the Director of the FBI in Washington, D.C. to restrain and stand down his own agents in the field; both the local office in Boulder and the bigger one in Denver or Lockheed Martin and their agents, without going to the crime scene, and being able to reassure their CEO's in Denver that they can stand down; their children can go to the park; their wives can go to the bridge club;----for these assurances to be made on which careers and budgets and lifetimes depend, there can only be one answer. They had to know, not only were there no foreign terrorists, but they had to know BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT that what happened neither affected the security of the United States of America or the security and profits of Lockheed Martin. That this was a domestic personal aberational crime of some kind or in any case a crime which, though located inside a home, may have repercussions outside in terms of circles of people who would not want investigations going on about child pornography, child abuse, or child sexuality.
I've summed up for you what a year of research has led me to.
MCFARLAND: Let me ask you what would be the normal way in which the police would notify the FBI.
FREED: They were notified! The chief of police is on record. They told the FBI immediately. They have to.
MCFARLAND: So the FBI already knew.
FREED: Here you have the clock striking 13, Doctor, calling into question everything that went before. And to the listeners I know they say, "I heard that the police didn't want them or that the FBI offered to help or such and such." Let me tell you what happens. The FBI offers its help to any prosecution or any jurisdiction in the country. They offer their lab; their services. They are the big brother in these matters. BUT WHEN IT IS THEIR JURISDICTION itís not a question of offering to help or being rejected by some small police force.
The FBI in Rapid City, S.D., for instance, in the Wounded Knee affair, when the local sheriffs tried to keep jurisdiction, the FBI came in with guns drawn. In Dallas when Dallas authorities attempted to keep President Kennedy's body at Parkland Hospital in accordance with Texas law, the FBI and the Secret Service, with guns drawn, moved the body to Air Force One. When the FBI has its jurisdiction challenged that's their money you're going for and their reputation. That's their identity. That's their vitals. That's their fundament.
For those who feel, "Well maybe, gee, it was early in the morning. Maybe the FBI was going to go later". . .
MCFARLAND: The FBI never sleeps...
FREED: So, I know this may sound a little strange. But with the way I work in crime, I can only work on what is public record. I don't have subpoena power. I work on the time-line.
Here the FBI and Lockheed Martin have to go before the Grand Jury to say what they knew and when they knew it; because there is a chain of information that goes from the house to Lockheed Martin to the FBI to Washington D.C. back to the field and the order is to "stand down". "Don't go into the house. Let the Boulder police handle it".
I think perhaps the more innocent explanation is that everybody assumed the Boulder police could make an arrest, because an arrest could have been made. But the Boulder police, don't forget, never held themselves out to be experts. They never said they had any sophistication in matters of terrorism; of kidnapping. These are specialized pursuits. That's the more innocent explanation.
The more ominous explanation is what's called the Belgian syndrome. It involves the murder of children that went uninvestigated until people came out into the streets in the thousands in Belgium. It turned out that high ranking members of the system of justice and the corporate structure who had discouraged investigations of the murder and sexual abuse of these children ----not because, and I stress this, not because they were involved in the murders----but they were involved in their own way in pornography; sexuality with children and related elements, some of who are not illegal, but all of which must be the death sentences to anyone's career.
When a sex offender comes out of prison, his photograph goes on a lamp post; the neighborhood is alerted. That's when someone comes out of the system and is branded as a sexual criminal. But when a corporate executive, someone with power, is involved in practices which are tabooed. Then as Mrs. Van Alter said about her father: when that man is discovered---if he is discovered he's no longer a CEO or Republican or Episcopalian or Elk or Rotarian or husband or father or Christian or any thing else. He is nothing and might as well be dead.
So that those who have been touched by a sexuality that is tabooed, they will go to ANY LENGTHS to suppress that information. And, if it means covering up sexual crimes with which they had nothing to do, they will do it!
So that's about it, in a highly---and I hope not too dense a way---- the fruits of about a year and a half of work. And I ask those who are listening NOT to take my word for it, but to talk to friends or relatives who may be former or present law enforcement officers or district attorneys or anyone working for the city or the state. Ask them in this way, say, "A very wealthy family announces that their daughter has been kidnapped and produces a note that say foreign terrorists are the authors and that a little girl is later found murdered. Who would be in charge of this case?" And I ask you to test that out anywhere you can get an official answer.
And then if you think that you want to be reassured that the Grand Jury is questioning the appropriate executives of Lockheed Martin and the FBI, then you know you can certainly write to the district attorney, because Mr. Michael Kane and others are very serious grand jury attorneys, I'm told. I think that you should and could write to them.
I must tell you finally that Norm Early who had been the district attorney of Denver and was the vice-president of Lockheed Martin Security at the time of the murder of Jon Benet. I interviewed him at the time. He's a fascinating man---- extremely intelligent. And he said to me finally, "You know I had a six year-old son and we have a security protocol and that letter threatened other executives. Where was the security? Where were the bodyguards? Where was the protocol? Where was the alert; the drill; the routine; the regimen that we so carefully shared and worked on at Lockheed Martin? Not a word. Not a sound. Not a telephone call."
So, he began to call executives and lawyers and others and said, "Why wasn't my family alerted? What happened?" And they said to him, "Well, there was no threat" And he said, "How do you know that?" They said, "Well, I don't know. We just knew". And he said, "Well, think about it and I want an answer!" The next day he talked to some of these people and reported to me that they said, "You know we stayed awake all night wrestling with the question----agonizing with it. And you know you're right. How did we know that the (ransom note) was a hoax immediately? We might have known it in a day or two, or a week or two. But how do we know until this day?
To this day there has been no arrest. To this day we know that there was a murder and that there was a note left stating that foreign agents were involved."
MCFARLAND: You've just been listening to Donald Freed author and faculty member at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Maybe we'll get to hear more from Donald Freed later.