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samarkandy

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http://www.boulderweekly.com/archive/041300/coverstory.html



John Ramsey's prime suspect


Boulder Weekly probes the complicated life of Chris Wolf

by The Boulder Weekly staff
(Editorial@boulderweekly.com)



13 April 2000 

It's hard to be Chris Wolf. 

 Unless someone is convicted for the murder of JonBenet Ramsey, Wolf may live as the man John and Patsy Ramsey would most like the public to suspect as the killer. 

To date, he's the only one who's spent time behind bars in connection with the case-for one half hour after he refused to give police a handwriting sample on Jan. 30, 1997, just more than a month after JonBenet's death. 

"I had been framed by police, so they could take me in and interrogate me in this murder," says Wolf, 40, a former reporter for the Colorado Daily and former editor of the Louisville Times. "They asked me for a writing sample and I said 'no, you've got to be kidding me.' I was thinking 'this isn't going to help you solve this case.' I didn't want to be involved in it in any way, so I refused." 

 Later, at the urging of Globe reporter Jeff Shapiro, Wolf provided police with a writing sample, hair, saliva and other physical evidence they wanted. After doing so, he was cleared  by police. 

"Wolf was convinced the Boulder Police Department was a 'rich man's imperialist police force,' trying to protect the Ramseys and frame him for the murder as just another measure of the 'fascist police state,'" Shapiro says. "I convinced him that in reality the police only wanted to eliminate him because they were at odds with the Ramseys and needed to prove his innocence since Ramsey defense investigators were raising the possibility of his involvement in the crime. In fact, I even offered to give my own DNA to the police if he would." 

 

Although police cleared Wolf, the Ramseys won't give it up. On Good Morning America, Larry King Live, 20/20 and other recent TV shows, John Ramsey has spoken of Wolf as the man he was almost convinced killed JonBenet. In their book The Death of Innocence, the Ramseys ramble on about the circumstances that caused them to suspect Wolf. 

Wolf has had enough. The accusations, Wolf says, have tormented his Midwestern parents, a retired couple who found out their son was a suspect while reading Newsweek in 1997. 

"This has devastated them," Wolf says. "My dad called after reading about me in Newsweek and said 'we want you to know we think this is ridiculous.' But it's been very hard on them. This is not a cloud they anticipated would hang over their retirement years." Last week, Wolf hired attorney Darnay Hoffman in New York, and is planning to sue the Ramseys for libel and slander in federal court. Hoffman says he'll file the suit in Colorado, New York, or Georgia, where the Ramseys have moved. 

"I will soon be filing a lawsuit seeking at least $25 million from the Ramseys," Hoffman says. "That's how much the Ramseys sought in their libel suit against the tabloids, and certainly Chris Wolf's reputation is worth at least as much as theirs." 

Hoffman is the first lawyer Wolf has spoken with regarding the Ramsey case. Never, while being interrogated by police as a suspect in the Ramsey case, did he call a lawyer. 

"I didn't need one," Wolf says. "I knew there was no way they had anything substantive to connect me to this murder, so I had no use for a lawyer. I've never harmed a child in any way, let alone put my hands around a little girl's throat and hit her over the head." 



 Wolf, who earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of Colorado in 1993, worked with children as an Outward Bound instructor for years before embarking on a journalism career. "I've worked with children, and I've never even been accused of harming a child in any way before this," he says. 




 
Trouble begins 



 Wolf insists he had never heard of John Ramsey or Access Graphics until he learned about JonBenet's murder while watching TV. Watching the news, the day after the murder, Wolf became agitated and stomped around his girlfriend's house in disbelief that a six year old could be so brutally slain.

"I was saying 'my God, look what's going on!' I was outraged by this, as a lot of people were," Wolf says. 

He had no idea he'd be hauled in as a suspect one month later. "No idea. No idea at all. How could I have?" Wolf asks. "This was just something on the news that had absolutely no direct connection to my life whatsoever." 

 

Press accounts have seriously misrepresented the circumstances surrounding Wolf's arrest in January of 1997. So does John and Patsy Ramsey's new book, which states: "Police officers had stopped Wolf at 11 am as he drove into Boulder; they discovered he was driving with a suspended license. The woman officer took him to the police station for further questioning when Wolf abruptly told her that the police would make better use of their time by chasing the killer of JonBenet Ramsey. He definitely caught everyone's attention with that remark." Not quite. His arrest and questioning came after police arranged to have Wolf's license suspended, precisely so they could haul him in for interrogation. 

"The police can't just arrest you and question you in a first degree murder case without probable cause," Hoffman says. "They had nothing on Chris, so they created a situation in which they could arrest him." 



 The police were paying close attention to Wolf because his girlfriend at the time, Jacqueline Dilson, had contacted them shortly after the JonBenet murder to say she thought Wolf did it. Dilson owned and operated Dakota Ranch, a new-age bed and breakfast in Lyons. She shared her home with Wolf. 

Wolf had left Dilson's home on Christmas night without telling her where he was going. 

"I went out for a drive in the late afternoon, early evening," Wolf says. "We had partied the day before, on Christmas Eve, and I went to bed on Christmas night by 9:30. I was home all night." But Dilson, who was asleep, suspected Chris had been gone all night when she woke up early morning Dec. 26. Dilson told police she awoke at 5:30 am that day to the sound of Wolf showering in the bathroom. 

 Later that day, when Wolf became agitated by TV reports of JonBenet's death, Dilson grew suspicious. 

Once Dilson convinced police to investigate Chris, his troubles began. About three days before his arrest, Wolf was driving north on 28th Street in Boulder. A Colorado highway patrolman pulled him over.

"The officer said 'you looked like you were going to start speeding.' That's what he told me, I kid you not," Wolf says. "I sat in my car for the next 40 minutes. Then the officer told me I had an unresolved traffic ticket in Illinois from 18 years ago. He told me I would have to surrender my driver's license, so I did."



 Wolf worked in Boulder, so he had no option but to drive without his license. The following Monday, Wolf followed his routine and drove into Boulder. 

"Just inside the city limits a Boulder police officer was waiting to pull me over on North Broadway," Wolf says. "I was going 10 miles an hour under the speed limit, but she said she had stopped me for speeding. Then she handcuffed me and arrested me for driving without a license. It was an obvious setup." 

Sitting bewildered in the police car, Wolf began thinking about events of the past few days. He'd been pulled over by a cop who said it looked as if he might speed, then had his license taken for an 18-year-old, out-of-state traffic offense. Only to find himself handcuffed in the back of a patrol car for speeding, when he knew without a doubt he'd been traveling below the speed limit. 



 "That's when I said 'why did you pull me over? Can't you find something better to do? You people can't even solve the Ramsey murder,'" Wolf says.

At the police station, Wolf says, he was immediately whisked into an interrogation room where Steve Thomas, the lead Ramsey case detective at the time, was waiting with another officer. 



 "I was clearly set up to be arrested, so they could question me about this crime," Wolf says. "It had nothing to do with a traffic offense, or the comment I made about the Ramsey case."





Blackmail 


 Wolf says police told him he would have to provide a handwriting sample if he wanted his driver's license back. His refusal landed him behind bars, and he was released a half hour later. 

"The years since then have been a nightmare," Wolf says. "It has just been unbelievably stressful to be connected with this in any way." 

After his interrogation, Wolf left the country to work at a newspaper in the British Virgin Islands. He was there less than two months when his application for a work visa was denied. 

"It was declined because the government there found out I was a suspect in this case," Wolf says. "That's the only conclusion I can draw. There is no other reason I would have been denied." 

He returned to Colorado to accept a job as editor of the Louisville Times. Although he's always gone by the name "Chris," and his byline says "Chris," Wolf's official first name is "Robert." Initial stories about his questioning in the case used the name "Robert," with no pictures, which precluded many of his friends and colleagues from making the connection.

" I remember conducting an editorial meeting at the Louisville Times, and on the counter for my entire staff to see was a front page story in the Daily Camera about a 'wide net' of suspicion in the Ramsey case," Wolf says. "Despite the headline, the entire story was about me. But it used the name 'Robert,' so nobody on the staff made the connection that the editor they were meeting with was this suspect in the Ramsey case."



 Meanwhile, the Globe's Shapiro was hot on Wolf's trail, treating him as a legitimate prime suspect. He interviewed Dilson for hours, and pored over hundreds of pages of notes Wolf had taken as a reporter. He read through Wolf's diaries and travel logs, which were supplied to him by Dilson. 

Shapiro went to the trouble of befriending Wolf, in an effort to extract information from him. 

"I'm convinced there is no way in hell Chris Wolf committed this crime," Shapiro says. "But in investigating him, I learned that Chris Wolf is one of the unluckiest people on Earth. He has a way of being falsely connected, through strange coincidences, to two unsolved, high profile murders-JonBenet Ramsey and Susannah Chase."
 




Crumbs of suspicion 



 Some examples, regarding the Ramsey case: 

-Although Wolf maintains to this day he had never heard of Access Graphics or the Ramseys prior to the murder, Shapiro's investigation suggests otherwise. In going through Wolf's notebooks, Shapiro came upon an interview Wolf conducted with a spokeswoman at Access Graphics for a story he wrote for the Boulder County Business Report. "I knew from my sources on the Ramsey side that their belief was that Wolf could have gained knowledge of the $118,000 (the ransom note demand, which matched John Ramsey's Christmas bonus) from this woman," Shapiro says, explaining that John Ramsey even speculated that Wolf may have dated the woman he interviewed for the Business Report. "But the woman denied ever knowing Wolf." 

Wolf says he apparently interviewed someone at Access Graphics while Denver International Airport was under construction, for an overview story of local businesses involved with the project. However, he had no recollection of the conversation until Shapiro dug it up in his notes. 

"I wrote one story once a month for the Business Report for eight years," Wolf says, explaining how he could forget one of hundreds of quick interviews. "And the allegation that I dated someone from that company is ludicrous. I have nothing in common with people like that, who work for big corporations. It just wouldn't happen. I don't run in those circles. We would have nothing in common. Nothing to talk about." 

-

 Wolf's girlfriend had given him a pair of hiking boots prior to the murder. Lou Smit, a detective who worked for District Attorney Alex Hunter and now for the Ramsey's, said a hiking boot print in the basement is evidence of an intruder the night of the murder. But the boot print was left by a Hi-Tec brand boot, and Wolf's boots are Danners.

-Wolf's former girlfriend said she had given him a sweatshirt that had the initials "SBTC" on it, which is the organization identified as the responsible party on the JonBenet ransom note. 

"She said it was from something like the Santa Barbara Tennis Club, thus SBTC," Shapiro says. "When she saw those letters in the ransom note, it added to her suspicion of Chris." 

But Wolf says the shirt did not say SBTC. 

"It was Santa Barbara something, but it did not end in 'TC.' I can't remember what it said, exactly, but it wasn't SBTC," Wolf says "Unfortunately, I don't have it anymore or I'd show it to you." 

He knew Susannah Chase 

 

Shapiro had just about written Wolf off as a suspect in the Spring of 1997, after convincing him to give police a handwriting and DNA sample. By accident, he contacted a former roommate of Wolf's.

"I tried calling Wolf back at his old phone number by accident and spoke to his roommate who, to my surprise, told me that although Wolf had never spoken about JonBenet Ramsey, he had made numerous comments about a romantic interest he had developed in Susannah Chase shortly before she was murdered," Shapiro said. 

Chase was a University of Colorado student murdered on a sidewalk near Liquor Mart on December 21, 1997, almost one year after JonBenet's murder. Much like the Ramsey case, her murder remains unsolved, with no suspect in custody. Like JonBenet, Chase was struck in the head with an unknown object. 

"I had almost fallen off my chair by the time the roommate explained to me that Wolf had been courting Chase after meeting her at Wild Oats, where she worked as a cashier," Shapiro says. "The roommate claimed that Chase had agreed to go out with Wolf as a friend since she already had a boyfriend. Once the murder occurred, the roommate told me, Wolf expressed deep sadness and frustration over it." 



 The Ramsey case was stagnant at the time, so the Globe had sent Shapiro to Los Angeles to follow celebrities and invade their private lives. From LA, Shapiro called Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner and told him what he'd just learned from Wolf's old roommate. 

"One hour later, Detective Kerry Yamaguchi called and told me to fly back to Boulder so he could interview me about this," Shapiro says. "Yamaguchi hinted to me only one thing: that Wolf's girlfriend who had accused him of the Ramsey murder had also accused him of the Chase murder as well. 'Do you think that Chris Wolf is capable of killing someone?' Yamaguchi asked me. 'I don't think so,' I said." 



 Later, in a conversation with John Ramsey, Shapiro was asked again for his assessment of Chris Wolf. 

"John Ramsey told me he suspected the same person who had killed JonBenet also killed Susannah Chase," Shapiro says. "Ramsey asked me my thoughts on Wolf. 'I think his girlfriend is angry with him,' I told him, hinting of a possible motive of revenge on her part." 

 Eventually, Shapiro says, police told him they didn't suspect Wolf in either crime. And Shapiro is convinced Wolf didn't do it, despite weird connections he calls "coincidence." He's seen far stranger connections involving other suspects, such as the man with a website on how to brutally torture Barbie dolls and make sophisticated garrotes like what was used to kill JonBenet. 



Susanne and Chase 

 Wolf says Shapiro got it partly right, regarding his relationship with Susannah Chase. 

"I knew Susannah Chase because I ate at Wild Oats almost every single day," Wolf says. "I knew all the pretty girls there. I thought she was a wonderful, beautiful, intelligent young woman. But a romantic interest? I don't know about that. I never asked her out on a date. She was 18 years younger than me, and I don't go out and try to score with women who are 18 years younger than me. I don't need notches on my holster. Been there, done that a long time ago." 

Dilson, Wolf's former girlfriend, was persistent in trying to convince Shapiro that Wolf was not only responsible for the death of JonBenet, but Susannah Chase as well. 

"She started to seem delusional," Shapiro says. "The things she was saying sounded crazy. None of it was credible. She said Chris had a niece and nephew, one named Susannah and the other named Chase, and that this somehow tied him to the murder of Susannah Chase. It was crazy stuff like that." 

Wolf says it's not a niece and nephew. Rather, Dilson's older sister is named "Susanne," and her niece, Susanne's daughter, is "Chase." 

 

"Jackie is not a stable person," Wolf says, explaining that his ex-girlfriend had a troubled childhood that causes her distress to this day. 

Dilson no longer lives in Boulder County, having moved to Wyoming, and does not have a phone. The Dakota Ranch went bankrupt, and Dilson's attorney says the Ramsey case helped cause its demise.

"In the wake of this Ramsey case, Jackie (Dilson) couldn't concentrate on getting her business on stable footing," says attorney Phil Geil of Boulder. "I kept trying to get her to look aside from the case and let police deal with it. I encouraged her to forget about it and move on, but she was incapable." 

Geil met Wolf several times after Dilson had expressed her suspicions to police. Oddly, he says, Wolf and Dilson got along marvelously. 

"He was in the office a few times, and he always seemed like a perfectly normal young man to me," Geil says. "Despite what was going on, they seemed to be getting along just fine. It surprised me. I never saw anything that seemed antagonistic between them." 



Wolf says he and Dilson are still friends, and he continues to feel affectionate towards her. He doesn't know how to contact Dilson, but she occasionally sends him letters from Wyoming. 

A letter mailed Feb. 21 says, in part: "I believe that the love in your heart towards me is = to the love in my heart towards you." The rest of the letter talks about reuniting someday. Dilson expresses her need for isolation right now, and her anxiety about talking on the phone. A postscript to the letter changes the mood, saying: 

"Chris, you said you had bought me some Vit-C for a present. I could really use it if you feel like sending it. Also, if you have any extra money?" 



 Although Wolf harbors no anger toward Dilson, he minces no words to express his disdain for John Ramsey, District Attorney Alex Hunter, Lou Smit, Deputy District Attorney Peter Hoffstrum and a host of others he says have conspired to protect the Ramseys against prosecution. At his expense.



 "Alex Hunter is the lowest fucking scumbag on Earth," Wolf says. 

Wolf says Dilson turned police onto him only because she is unstable, and was legitimately paranoid at a time when their relationship was on shaky ground. Anyone close to the case, Wolf says, knows that.



 "But Alex Hunter, Lou Smit and the Ramseys have used me to establish a pretense of a credible or legitimate attempt to find JonBenet's killer," Wolf says. 

Wolf's lawyer, Hoffman, is even more vociferous in his criticism of the Boulder District Attorney's office, and Boulder in general. 

 Suspicion focused on Wolf, he says, only because Alex Hunter and friends have never had a legitimate interest in finding JonBenet's killer.




Narcissisticville 



 "Boulder is no different than Greenwich Village or the Upper West Side of New York," Hoffman says. "Boulder is like a Starbucks in the middle of a huge shopping mall. It's home to a bunch of pointy-headed liberals, so the value of life ranks nowhere near as high as the value of a comfortable lifestyle. The Ramsey murder is far less of a concern to the people of Boulder than to most people everywhere else. 

"Barking dogs, litter and double parking are all bigger priorities in Boulder than a little girl's murder. It's a classic narcissistic environment. You wouldn't let a murder interfere with your narcissistic pursuits out there. So the Ramsey case is merely a speed bump on the highway to upward mobility in Boulder. Alex Hunter knows that, and he's acted accordingly. If he were running, he'd be soundly re-elected." 

 Today, Wolf works in retail and tries to avoid Ramsey discussions with colleagues and friends. But he keeps a close tab on all media coverage of the case, in an effort to track what's written and broadcast about him. 

Monday, when the New York Times carried a story about the latest Ramsey book, Wolf bought a copy at Eads News & Smoke Shop. In the store, he ran into Deputy DA Hoffstrum, who was paging through Time. 

"You won't find anything good about yourself in there," Wolf said. Hoffstrum looked up from the magazine, saw Wolf and laughed. 

None of it makes Wolf chuckle. He avoids whining about his plight, saying he's trying to view his life in a positive light. But he wonders if the shadow of suspicion will ever fade, and if he'll ever be normal again. 

"This is not a joke," Wolf says. "It's very real, it's very serious, and it is not funny."



'This has made me unemployable'

Journalist who did not seek limelight can testify to its remorseless glare

Charlie Brennan, News Staff Writer

December 20, 2001

Chris Wolf was a journalist between jobs the night of Dec. 26, 1996. Now he is a plaintiff in a $50 million defamation lawsuit.

The trajectory of his story is one of the more dramatic in the JonBenet Ramsey case. "This has made me unemployable," said Wolf, who still lives in Boulder.

Wolf, a 42-year-old graduate of the University of Colorado, was sharing a trailer behind the Dakota Ridge New Age healing center just south of Lyons at the time of the murder.

He'd been experiencing rough waters in his relationship with a former dancer several years his senior. It was her who went to police with her suspicions about Wolf. She said that Wolf had gone out late on Christmas, the night JonBenet was murdered, and that she hadn't seen him again until finding him showering before dawn the next day. His muddied clothes were in a heap on the floor, she said.

Wolf said he never left home that night.

In the next several days, she told police, Wolf was extremely agitated. She also said that Wolf had a sweat shirt with the initials SBTC, standing for the Santa Barbara Tennis Club. The Ramsey ransom note was signed, "Victory, SBTC." Investigators have never settled on a definitive meaning of that curious sign-off.

Boulder police added Wolf, who had worked at the Boulder County Business Report, the Colorado Daily and the Lyons Recorder, to the pool of suspects.

John and Patsy Ramsey added him to their own list, according to their book, The Death of Innocence. "He represented too many unanswered questions," they wrote.

Wolf hopes to collect $50 million in damages from them.

"I have never physically harmed anyone in my life," he said in a recent interview. "I've never broken into anyone's house. I've never plotted against anyone in my life, and I've never had anything but consensual sex with anyone in my life.

"And there's no evidence to contradict anything I just told you."

Wolf said that Boulder police have interviewed him about the murder of his friend, Susannah Chase, a 21-year-old CU student who was slain in a downtown Boulder alley on Dec. 21, 1997. "The cops did ask me about Susannah Chase," Wolf said. "They asked me if I knew her. I told them I knew her as a checker at the Wild Oats market and that I never saw her or talked to her outside of that. And I told them that she was a beautiful, wonderful, innocent young woman who I never would have wanted to see any harm come to. "It broke my heart when I heard what happened to her. That's what I told them, and that's the truth."

Wolf denies a report that he was a friend of another onetime suspect, longtime CU journalism professor Bill McReynolds, who played Santa Claus at the Ramseys' Christmas party two nights before the murder. "I spoke to Bill McReynolds once in my life, and that was during a class that he was teaching," Wolf said.

McReynolds, contacted recently, also denied having known Wolf well. But Boulder County Commissioner Paul Danish said he remembers running into Wolf in front of Boulder's downtown post office in fall 1996. Wolf told him he had paid a hospital visit to McReynolds, who had a collapsed lung, Danish said. Wolf counters Danish's recollection: "Never happened. I never knew he was in the hospital. I had no knowledge of him other than that he was a professor."

Wolf says he thinks John and Patsy Ramsey killed their daughter. He is suing the Ramseys for naming him as a suspect in their book.

"Our lawsuit is based on the evidence that points to the fact that they are the perpetrators of that crime, and clearly, like a lot of other people, I think that there's no other alternative," he said. "There is no other possibility."

Ramsey attorney L. Lin Wood responded that he believes Wolf is a pawn in the case. "Chris Wolf is being used by his attorney for purposes unrelated to any legitimate effort to represent Chris Wolf," he said. "The Ramseys correctly identified Chris Wolf as a suspect in their book. He represents too many unanswered questions, and his lawsuit is frivolous."

Wolf is bothered by his portrayal in the media. "I keep reading where people say I was a part-time journalist. That's not true. I was full-time. I had a lot of credibility. I had a future as a reporter."

For a long time, he refused to believe his former girlfriend had fingered him to the police. But a couple of years after the murder, Wolf, a workout enthusiast, was spotted lifting weights at a Boulder recreation center by an acquaintance, who asked him if he finally accepted the fact that it was his former girlfriend who put police on his tail -- changing his life irrevocably. Finally, he did.

"That Jackie," he said, with a somewhat rueful laugh, "she's a real pistol."




The Ghost of Christmas Past

Jeffrey Shapiro 

December 20 2001

The Wolf

One day, I got a tip with new information regarding a man I'd met months before-Chris Wolf. 

I didn't know it at the time, but recent information indicates he may have known McReynolds while studying at the University of Colorado-despite claims by each man that they've never known each other. Chris Wolf was a local reporter whose girlfriend, Jacqueline Dilson, had accused him of killing both JonBenét Ramsey and Susannah Chase. I initially met with Wolf in the fall of 1997 to tell him what I had learned, although he had a difficult time accepting the fact his own girlfriend was the tipster who caused his most recent ordeals. 

Despite his reputation for being somewhat aggressive and argumentative, I sensed a deep sadness within Wolf that often made me feel sorry for him. 

He had traveled throughout the United States and Latin America, where he quickly bonded with poverty-stricken peasants and adopted an anti-imperialist political view on the world. Eventually, he moved to Boulder where he earned a master's degree in journalism at CU and went on to work as a mountain climbing instructor for Outward Bound, an outdoor confidence building program. 

Later, Wolf worked at various local newspapers as a reporter, where he sometimes engaged in passionate arguments with his co-workers about politics. Wolf had a peculiar past-including a history of working as a male stripper and a 1992 indecent exposure charge to which he pleaded guilty. These facts were revealed by Wolf just recently during a deposition by lawyers for the Ramsey's, who are defending the couple against a libel suit filed by Wolf. Wolf is suing the Ramseys because they named him as prime suspect in their book The Death of Innocence. 

Wolf became a surprising suspect in the JonBenét case when Dilson told police only two weeks after JonBenét's murder that Wolf had disappeared the night JonBenét was killed. She told police Wolf was wearing a tennis club-style sweatshirt, which said "Santa Barbara." Since the supposed foreign faction claiming responsibility for JonBenét's kidnapping in the ransom note identified itself as "SBTC," Dilson wondered if it stood for "Santa Barbara Tennis Club." 

Dilson also claimed: 

She saw a package of cord on his dresser. 

He owned mountain climbing boots. 

He often expressed hostile emotions when talking about John Ramsey and Access Graphics' parent company, Lockheed Martin, which he believed was responsible for exploiting third-world countries. 

She awoke in the early morning hours of Dec. 26 to find Wolf with mud on the Santa Barbara sweatshirt and a pair of black jeans. When she asked where he'd been, he grew angry with her. 

There was one other interesting possible connection. Wolf worked as a reporter for the Boulder County Business Report at the time of JonBenét's murder. I learned that police had found an issue of the newspaper in the Ramsey house, which featured a story about John Ramsey. There was a heart drawn around Ramsey's picture and on the inside of the issue was a separate story, written by Wolf. It sounded like a strange coincidence, nothing more. 

Nevertheless, I was intrigued enough to visit Dilson. She allowed me to read Wolf's journals. As I read about his journeys in El Salvador, I realized that Wolf's Marxist viewpoints were strikingly similar to the politics expressed in the ransom note. 

Wolf had previously said that before JonBenet's murder, he'd never even heard of Ramsey's company, Access Graphics. But based on his reporting notes, he actually interviewed a company spokeswoman there several months before the murder took place. Had he simply forgotten? Perhaps. Reporters don't remember many of the stories they write, especially the softer features. 

Later, when I was examining Wolf's boots, Dilson approached me. 

"Can you feel it?" she asked me. I nodded slowly. I felt something-my heart was pounding, and little by little I began to feel like I was getting closer. Perhaps an intruder had killed JonBenet, but two important facts seemed to work in defense of Wolf: 

Handwriting experts in New York said he was not the author of the ransom note. His climbing boots were Danner's, not Hi-Tec, like the print at the Ramsey house. 

My suspicion of Wolf resurfaced briefly when his ex-roommate told me he had once tried to date Susannah Chase. He later told Boulder Weekly Editor Wayne Laugesen he was friends with Susannah Chase, and often visited the woman at a health food store where she worked as a clerk. When Boulder police asked me if I thought Wolf had killed Chase, I told them I didn't. Eventually, Wolf was cleared in the Chase murder after I convinced him to cooperate with authorities by giving them his DNA.

 

 

 

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samarkandy

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Ex-suspect says he'll appeal court ruling

The man identified by Judge Carnes as a "long-standing" suspect in JonBenét Ramsey's murder says he's a victim too.

 
"I feel as though I have been blackballed from the regular world for 6 years," Chris Wolf tells GLOBE. "Clearly, I was not involved in JonBenét's death. But the suspicion has been a burden, both emotionally and psychologically."

The 43 year old journalist is now working in a photo lab in New York State. A former girlfriend, Jacqueline Dilson, told Boulder, Colo. police that she thought he might be involved in the shocking murder.

"She was upset because we were close to breaking up," he says. "Jacqui was 10 years older than me and wanted to head towards marriage while I was ready to move on."

She told police that Wolf was behaving strangely, hated fat-cat businessmen like John Ramsey - and had an odd link to the ransom note, which ended in the letters SBTC.

"She said that I had a shirt with the letters SBTC on it, for Santa Barbara Tennis Club," he explains. "In fact, she got it wrong. It was Santa Barbara Beach Club. Eventually the police told me that they were satisfied I was not involved."

"But the Ramseys later wrote about me in their book, which I believe harmed me."

In his suit, Wolf claimed that JonBenét's parents had maliciously defamed him by saying he was a suspect - because clearly they were involved in the little girl's death themselves. He suggested that Patsy had struck her daughter in a rage and the pageant princess suffered horrific injuries falling against the bathtub. The Ramseys, he maintained, had then staged everything - from the garroting, to the hiding of the body, and even the ransom note, as a coverup. Wolf, who intends to appeal the judge's ruling, says he would never harm a child.

"I don't know what happened to JonBenét in the Ramseys' home that night," he says, " But I still believe that John and Patsy do know."

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