Posts tagged alex hunter
Boulder Police believe John and Patsy Ramsey killed their daughter Christmas night 1996. In a fit of rage, Patsy Ramsey who had just returned from a party, grabbed her daughter and smashed her head against the bath tub. The child had wet her bed. But she was killed instantly. Throughout the night Patsy and her husband John created an elaborate scenario right out of the movies of how a group of Arabs had come into their home , left a ransom note, strangled and raped their daughter and left her body in the basement.
As soon as the first cop and detective arrived on the scene, they saw through the story. By nightfall the Ramseys were on their private jet to Atlanta. Surrounded by a team of lawyers and PR people they went into hiding and on CNN to proclaim their innocence. They created a media frenzy the like of which Boulder nor America had ever seen. There was no way these rich freak were going to be charged with their daughters murder. First of all it would upset their social setting. Secondly it would ruin their image as a family of beauty queen socialites. Murder does not have a place there.
Burke Ramsey who was 9 years old at the time was whisked away. He has never been heard from since. Police believe he witnessed the murder and was told by Patsy and John that if he planned on living he better shut up for the rest of his life. Then district attorney Alex Hunter believe that to this day. The hope is now that Burke Ramsey has come of age (27) he will come forward and tell what he knows.
That’s not likely. But current Boulder DA Stan Garnet could arrest John Ramsey for the murder of is daughter and he could arrest Burke Ramsey too. That is not completely out of the question, but there is this legal issue ” beyond reasonable doubt”
Garnet gave the case back to Boulder Police department who reopened it. It is not a cold case.
One celebrated Boulder criminal defense attorney Skip Wollrab told us now that Burke Ramsey is of age”he could be subpoenaed to appear before a Grand jury to tell about what he knew , saw and heard the night of the murder. Just the facts. Some of it might be privileged” but this would give Burke a chance to tell his story. Attorney Wollrab told Boulder Channel 1 the “DA has got to be able to prove his case to a jury of 12 unanimously beyond a reasonable doubt. Knowing they did it is one thing , proving they did it is something else” he said.
There was also some level of semen found in Jonbenets body and police have not revealed whether they think it is Burkes. At one point Burke Ramsey was himself a suspect and police theorized that he might have killed his sister out of Jealousy.
The question is will the DA move this case forward this Christmas.
August 1, 2013 will mark the 30-year anniversary of the shooting death of Sid Wells, a 22-year-old journalism student enrolled at the University of Colorado. The case received prominent media attention because at the time of his death, Wells was dating actor Robert Redford’s daughter, Shauna.
Wells had been shot in the head, and was found dead inside his Spanish Towers condo by his brother on August 1, 1983. Police suspected Wells’ roommate, Thayne Smika, and arrested him a few months after the homicide when investigators linked him to the murder. However, Smika was never prosecuted because the district attorney at the time, Alex Hunter, declined to take the case. Smika left the area and in 1986, his abandoned car was found in Beverly Hills, CA.
In 2011, the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office agreed to review the case and approved an arrest affidavit for Smika. Unable to locate Smika, police are again asking for the public’s help finding him. Investigators believe Smika is living under an assumed identity and have contacted Smika’s relatives (several of whom still live in Colorado) in attempts to find out where he is and what identity he has been using. Smika’s relatives have not provided any helpful information to the Boulder Police Department.
Deputy Chief Dave Hayes, who was one of the first detectives to investigate the case in 1983, is hoping that someone can provide information about Smika’s whereabouts. “It’s past time for justice for Sid Wells and his family,” said Hayes. “Thayne Smika escaped a first degree murder charge, and has likely been living a life of freedom while the Wells’ family has been grieving for three decades.”
Investigators are still looking for Thayne Smika and are asking anyone with information about Smika or where he might be living to contact them. Detective Tom Dowd may be reached at 303-441-3385. Those who have information but wish to remain anonymous may contact the Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or 1-800-444-3776. Tips can also be submitted through the Crime Stoppers website at www.crimeshurt.com. Those submitting tips through Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and filing of charges on a suspect(s) may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers.
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The way the story goes is that Sid Wells and Shauna Redford were part of the rich cool CU cocaine set.. Thayne Smika was the poor kid from Longmont who was a drug dealer who wormed his way into Sid Wells life. According to a source who was part of their inner CU circle and now a Boulder businessman “Wells was trying to get away from Smika who was crazy. Noone could figure out why Sid would want to hang out with Thayne who was not at CU. It was the cocaine pure and simple. But I didn’t like the guy….he was a scumbag..”the source said.
Smika shot Sid Wells with a shotgun. Because the case was so convoluted, the DA at the time found it difficult to file charges which infuriated The Wells family and led to a nasty attack on the Boulder DA office.
Robert Redford who himself is a 1955 CU graduate with friends in Boulder was also vocally not happy. But according to sources in the Boulder DA’s office at the time , Wells and Smika well heavily involved in drugs and crime. Ballistics on the shotgun were difficult although there were bloody clothes found and everything led to Smika. Over the past decade Boulder PD has issued statements that they wanted to talk to Smika… as though he would turn himself in. No he was long gone and disappeared off the face of the earth. This new warrant on Smika may put him a little higher on police radar worldwide, but if Smika has evaded police for 14 years, don’t expect an arrest anytime soon.
This was the first big Boulder Police and DA screw up years before the JonBenet Ramsey case hit and missed. Long time Boulder residents remember it all. But it is all news to our social media kids who read this blog. The Ramsey case again put the DA and cops at odds, but the Sid Wells murder case really split the cops and DA’s office. The filing of charges puts both DA and Police working together. However, let us not forget that DA Stan Garnett took the Ramsey case out of the DA’s office and gave it back to the police where it belonged the whole time.
Boulder police have wanted to talk to Burke Ramsey who is now in his 20′s. Though former DA Mary Lacy cleared John and Patsy Ramsey, the new DA Garnett undid that in short order. There has always been suspicion on the entire Ramsey family over at Boulder PD as well as with Alex Hunter the original DA on the Smika and Ramsey case. They both rejected the intruder theory put forth by assistant DA Tripp Demuth. That got Demuth fired.
We may see a whole turn of events on both the Smika and Ramsey case: right or wrong. Boulder DAs office and the Police department have tarnished reputations over the Sid Wells and JonBennet murder cases. They want these murders solved like no other. Below is the PD official press release concerning Smika. It was written by Police chief Mark Beckner who worked on the Sid wells murder case and was lead investigator on the Ramsey case after it blew up. Boulder doesn’t have many murder cases but when we do they are Murder Mysterys.
Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011
Chief Mark Beckner, Police Department, 303-441-3310
Boulder police obtain arrest warrant in 1983 homicide
The Boulder Police Department has obtained a warrant for the arrest of a longtime suspect in the homicide of Sid Wells, who was shot in the head and found in his home in the 800 block of 29th Street on Aug. 1, 1983. The warrant orders the arrest of Thayne Smika, who was one of Wells’ roommates at the time of the crime. The charge is first-degree murder. Bail has been set at $5 million.
The warrant was issued by a Boulder District Court judge in December and unsealed this afternoon, Thursday, Jan. 13, after police efforts to locate Smika were unsuccessful. Smika, born Feb. 27, 1959, disappeared from the local area in 1986, and his current whereabouts remain unknown. There are some indications that he may have fled to another country and assumed a new identity.
“The Boulder Police Department has been committed to solving this case since the day it happened,” said Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner, “and we are pleased that a judge has looked at the evidence that has been compiled over 27 years and agreed that Thayne Smika should stand trial.”
Beckner noted that the warrant is the initial step in what is likely to be a long process. The chief urged anyone with information about Smika or his whereabouts anytime since 1986 to contact detectives through a voicemail hotline at 303-441-1974.
“We are asking for the public’s assistance in determining this individual’s current location so that we can bring him back to Colorado to be held accountable for the death of Sid Wells,” Beckner said. “Even information that appears to be outdated may be of help to this ongoing investigation.”
The Boulder Police Department has worked closely with the District Attorney’s Office, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation on this case.
“We appreciate the support of our fellow law enforcement agencies. They have helped with the forensic analysis of available evidence and in attempting to locate the suspect,” Beckner said. “We also appreciate the cooperation of witnesses who stepped forward when the crime occurred and those who have spoken with investigators more recently. We know they share our commitment to resolving this case on behalf of Sid Wells and his family.”
A copy of the affidavit is available through the courts. A copy of a 1983 booking mug and three artist renditions of how Smika might look today are attached to this release.