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Ramseys Pass Private Polygraphs

John and Patsy Ramsey have unveiled privately-conducted lie detector test results that conclude the Ramseys were not "attempting deception" when they denied killing their 6-year-old daughter, JonBenet.

The tests do not, however, satisfy the Boulder police, who insist that they be conducted by the FBI.

The tests were instead done by a polygraph expert hired by the Ramseys, on the recommendation of another polygraph expert who was paid to conduct an earlier polygraph examination which the Ramseys' attorney says was "inconclusive."

The report on the second round of polygraph tests concludes that the Ramseys were "telling the truth" when they said they did not know who beat and strangled the little beauty queen in 1996. The report also concludes that Patsy Ramsey was telling the truth when she denied writing a ransom note found in the Ramseys' home.

In the tests, the Ramseys also said they did not know who beat and strangled the little beauty queen in 1996, and Patsy Ramsey denied writing a ransom note found in the Ramseys' home.

"Neither John nor Patsy were attempting deception when they gave the answers," polygraph examiner Ed Gelb told reporters at a news conference Wednesday in Atlanta.

Legally Meaningless Test
CBSNews.com Legal Analyst Andrew Cohen looks at the Ramseys' latest move.
In Boulder, Colo., authorities dismissed the private polygraphs even before their results were made public.

"The Ramsey family could take polygraph exams at any time for publicity purposes. For law enforcement purposes, the Boulder Police have set up the criteria they want, and that's the FBI," city spokeswoman Jana Petersen told KUSA-TV.

CBS News Legal Consultant Andrew Cohen says the private polygraphs aren't likely to be a factor in any court of law. "The fact that they apparently took and passed this test has very little legal significance. Polygraph tests aren't admissable in court anyway, regardless of who administers them."

Patsy Ramsey said the test results are information "I've known the answer to for three years. The truth is the truth, and it doesn't change," she said.

The Ramseys offered to submit to lie-detector tests to prove their innocence, but only if the tests were administered in Atlanta by an independent examiner and the results wre made public.

The Ramseys claimed the FBI was not independent because it was involved in the investigation into their daughter's death.

"We shouldn't have to prove our innocence ... but nevertheless we've been forced to," John Ramsey said Wednesday. "We have not one ounce of trust in the Boulder police."

JonBenet was found beaten and strangled in the basement of her parents' upscale Boulder home on Dec. 26, 1996. Nobody has been charged, but Boulder authorities have said John and Patsy Ramsey remain under an "umbrella of suspicion."

The Ramseys have denied any involvement in their daughter's death. In a recently published book they theorize she was killed by an intruder.

"I really wish we would stop playing games," Patsy Ramsey said during the news conference. "I wish they would open their minds and their hearts and know that we did not kill our daughter."

At the news conference held Wednesday by John and Patsy Ramsey, Ramsey attorney L. Win Wood emphasized that the Ramseys "voluntarily submitted" and "answered every question" when they were questioned by police in April 1997 and again in June 1998.

Wood stressed that police did not on either occasion ask the Ramseys to submit to a polygraph, although authorities did ask both John and Patsy Ramsey individually whether each thought they would pass such a test. According to Wood, Patsy Ramsey said "I don't know how those things work but…I'm telling you the truth."

Wood says John Ramsey told police he did not kill his daughter but did have guilt feelings because his role was to protect her and she was murdered. According to Wood, Ramsey informed police that he had been advised that such natural feelings of guilt could interfere with a polygraph and as such he had been advised not to take one.

At the news conference, John Ramsey held up a snapshot of Jon Benet and addressed the public: "We want the killer found…You need to realize that a killer of children walks among us. It's not me and it's not Patsy."

Asked what went through her mind while undergoing what she called the "nervewracking" series of lie detector tests, Patsy Ramsey said she stayed focused on her daughter and the search for the killer. "I had JonBenet's face in my mind…I kept saying 'This is for you, honey.' "

The Ramseys underwent two sets of polygraph tests, according to Wood, who says the first batch scored as "inconclusive." The first polygraph expert, Ed Toriello of Clifton, N.J., recommended that they be redone, according to Wood. Wood says Toriello suggested an Los Angeles expert, Ed Gelb, a former president of the American Polygraph Association who has done over 30,000 different examinations.

Wood says before contacting Gelb, the Ramseys asked Boulder police if they would like to contact Gelb themselves, and have the test conducted under their supervision, or under FBI supervision, athough the examination itself would be done by Gelb. That offer was rejected, according to Wood, who says Boulder authorities also turned down an offer to have the Ramseys submit to a polygraph done by an independent examiner from a list that could be drawn up by the FBI.

Wood said: "John and Patsy Ramsey do not trust the Boulder Police Department. They've seen them go on national television…they've been subjected to the monitoring of their daughter's grave…Any investigative agency that has worked with the Boulder Police Department on this case is tainted by the incompetence of the Boulder Police Department."

Six-year-old JonBenet was found beaten and strangled in the basement of her parents' upscale Boulder home on Dec. 26, 1996. No one has been charged, but Boulder authorities have said John and Patsy Ramsey remain under an "umbrella of suspicion."

The Ramseys have denied any involvement in their daughter's death. In a recently published book, the Ramseys theorize that JonBenet was killed by an intruder.

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