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samarkandy

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After the news of the murder came out, Melody Stanton who lived diagonally across the street from the Rasmeys, was talking with another neighbour Diane Brumfit. During the conversation Stanton recalled the terrible scream she had heard the night of the murder and mentioned it to Brumfit. Brumfit reported it to police. Detective Barry Hartkopp of BPD interviewed Stanton on January 3, 1997.

This information was never divulged to the press by BPD or leaked by Steve Thomas

Jeff Shapiro the Globe journalist, who had spent much time talking to Steve Thomas, found out about the existence of Stanton. He tracked her down and reported the scream in an article he wrote in The Globe 11 months after the murder

FROM THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS November 16, 1997

JONBENET: A SCREAM? 

Leo Standora 

A neighbor of JonBenet Ramsey says she heard the slain child beauty screaming at the top of her lungs the night she was murdered. "I heard a terrible sound," Melody Ann Stanton tells The Globe in this week's issue. "It was the longest, most horrible scream I have heard in my entire life. It sent shivers down my spine." "I could tell the sound was coming from the Ramsey house, and I knew instantly it had to be their little girl," said Stanton, 52, who lives across the street, less than l00 feet from John and Patsy Ramsey's home in Boulder.

The Ramseys have told investigators they slept while an intruder broke in and murdered their daughter last Dec. 26. Boulder police said they would not comment on the Globe report.

Stanton said her first instinct was to call police, "but then I realized John and Patsy were home . . . so whatever it was that caused their little girl to scream, they were there to take care of it." She said she had not spoken earlier because she feared the media spotlight


Bonita Sauer paralegal for one of BPD's Dream Team, Dan Hoffman recorded the story of Melody Stanton and the scream in the notes she made of the case between 1997 and 1999

"Melody Stanton awoke abruptly from a deep sleep - the prior stillness of the Boulder night had been pierced by the harrowing scream of a child. She assumed it was somewhere between midnight and 2:00 a.m., but didn’t look at the alarm clock. The scream lasted three to five seconds and stopped as abruptly as it started. Melody momentarily wondered what to do, but thought that surely the parents would hear and come to the child’s rescue. Although still bothered by the scream and the thought that a child had been injured, Melody eventually went back to sleep.

Melody Stanton was interviewed by Det. Barry Hartkopp on January 3. Stanton lives across the street and one house to the south of the Ramseys. Her bedroom is on the second floor of the west side of the house which faces the Ramsey home. On Christmas night she had gone to bed at approximately 10:00 p.m. Stanton always sleeps with her window slightly open, and on that night she had opened it 6-8 inches. She related that she had fallen asleep shortly after she went to bed, but was awakened by “one loud, incredible scream”. She related that it was “obviously from a child” and that it lasted 3 to 5 seconds and then abruptly stopped. It appeared that the sound came from across the street, south of the Ramsey residence. She did not look at the clock, but estimated the time at somewhere between 12:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. She stayed awake and listened for any other noises for five to ten minutes, but heard absolutely nothing after that no cars, no voices, no footsteps, so she eventually went back to sleep.

Stanton said she had not left on any televisions or radios when she went to bed. She admitted that she did not sit up in bed to look out the window, so she did not see any activity outside her window. When asked why she had not come forward with this information right after the homicide when detectives had canvassed the neighborhood, Stanton said she was so shocked by JonBenet’s death that she at first did not make any connection to the scream. Also, since none of the other neighbors had not mentioned to her about hearing a scream, she began to doubt she actually heard it. In fact, when she told her husband he said she had probably imagined it. It was Diane Brumfitt, a friend of Stanton's, who reported this incident to the Boulder Police after her conversation with Stanton."


Lawrence Schiller wrote about Melody Stanton and the scream in his book PMPT published 1998


Melody Stanton, up the street at 738, told the police on January 3 that she was certain she had heard a child's scream at about 2:00 A.M. on the night of the murder. Her bedroom window, which looks toward the Ramsey house from across the street, had been partly open. When questioned by the police, Stanton said that there had been only one scream but it was horrifying. If it came from the child, she assumed the scream had awakened her parents.

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samarkandy

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Reply with quote  #2 

Lou Smit, upon reading the case files realised the importance of Melody Stantons' statement. The information was considered significant enough for him and a team of investigators including BPD detectives and Hofstrom and De Muth from the DA's office to conduct experiments to see whether a sound from the Ramsey basement could be heard from a house across the street yet not from the Ramsey master bedroom. They concluded it was possible.


FROM LAWRENCE SCHILLER PMPT

Since visiting the basement with the police on June 30, Smit had also been bothered by something he’d seen in the boiler room just to the left of the wine cellar door. There he had observed an exposed ventilation duct several paces from where the shards of wood, the paint tote, and the remnant of the broken paintbrush had been found. The duct vented through an opening at the front of the house where there had once been a window. If JonBenét had screamed near the duct, the sound could have traveled outside and been heard by the Ramseys’ neighbor, Melody Stanton, although possibly not by Patsy and John, asleep on the third floor inside the house. 

In July, sound tests conducted by the police confirmed that sound traveled more easily from the basement to the street than it did up through the three floors of the house. If JonBenét had screamed in the basement, it was likely that she was down there when she was hit on the head, either with the flashlight or with, say, a golf club – John Ramsey’s golf bags had been found nearby with their partial set of clubs. An intruder might have used a flashlight to find a hiding child if he hadn’t discovered the light switch for the basement stairs. Since no fingerprints were found on the flashlight. or its batteries, it seemed to Smit that it might have been brought into the house by an intruder, though the Ramseys had never denied that they owned a flashlight like it.


The basement was so cluttered, such a mess – if JonBenét’s parents had killed her, they would not have taken her to this dark, damp pig sty to do it, Smit theorized.


All of his conjectures were very tenuous, Smit knew, and nothing that he wanted to mention to anyone just yet. Months later, however, he discussed his ideas with Steve Thomas. Thomas asked Smit the following question: after the scream – which the intruder had to assume was heard by the parents – would the intruder have hung around, taking the time to strangle JonBenét with the noose and then move the body into the wine cellar? After all, someone, having heard the scream, might be coming down the basement stairs, thereby cutting off the most accessible exit. Why move the child from one hidden place, the boiler room, to the equally hidden wine cellar? And, of course, there wasn’t any evidence that JonBenét had ever been in the boiler room. When Smit mentioned this theory to another detective, the detective asked, What if the scream wasn’t JonBenét’s? Maybe it was her mother’s. Male, female, young, old – could anyone being awakened out of a sleep really tell who had emitted the scream? These questions, among others, made the detectives skeptical of Smit’s scenario.


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samarkandy

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Reply with quote  #3 

However, true to form Boulder Police tried to cast doubt on this information that supported the idea of an intruder. If there was a scream it would indicate that JonBenet was very much alive when she was sexually assaulted with the paint brush and knowing there was a scream might make people think it was an intruder who violated her while she was alive. Boulder Police were asserting that the violation was perpetrated after death by one or other of her parents to make it look as though a violent sexual predator had assaulted her

FROM STEVE THOMAS' BOOK published 2000

In a few days another neighbor, Melody Stanton, who lived at 738 Fifteenth Street, diagonally across from the Ramsey home, also changed her original story, which was that she had not noticed anything unusual on the night JonBenét died. When a detective interviewed her a second time, Stanton admitted that she had not told the truth earlier because she did not want to be involved in the case. She now claimed to have heard the piercing scream of a child between midnight and two o’clock on the morning of December 26.
If that cry came from JonBenét, it would help determine the time of death. 

If a neighbor clear across the street heard the scream, I wondered how anyone in the house could not have heard it.
Her story, which seemed to be a clear piece of evidence, contained its own seed of destruction, however. More than a year later we would discover that Stanton also told the detective, “It may not have been an audible scream but rather the negative energy radiating from JonBenét.”


The detective returned to that odd point several times during the interview, but Stanton never again mentioned the “negative energy”. She insisted that she heard an audible scream, so the detective did not include the “negative energy” comment in his report.

A year later he was ordered to write an amended report. Changing a report is a huge issue for police since it brings the validity of the entire statement into question. His revised report was not the first, and it would not be the last, that would enter the Ramsey case file.



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samarkandy

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Reply with quote  #4 

It would be another 19 years before the public would learn that there had been a second neighbour who had heard the scream, corroborating the statement by Stanton, whom police had done their best to discredit as a reliable witness.

The new information came out in Paula Woodward's book "We Have Your Daughter" published in 2016. Woodward had obtained copies of police files that documented this fact:


Another Ramsey neighbor "stated that she had heard one loud incredible scream [that] was the loudest most terrifying scream she had ever heard. It was obviously from a child and lasted three to five seconds at which time it stopped abruptly. She thought the parents would hear the scream. The scream came from across the street south of the Ramsey residence." it happened "between midnight and two AM" the morning of December 26, 1996. (BPD Reports #1-1930, #1-174, #1-175.)

From BPD reports 1-174, 1-481, 1-1548 "Another neighbour who lived south of the Ramsey house contacted a BPD detective on December 31, because of the scream the first neighbour had heard. This neighbour said she also heard a scream. She was interviewed on February 26, 1997 

 
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