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Perfect Murder, Perfect Town: JonBenet and the City of Boulder Hardcover – February 1, 1999
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The murder of 6-year-old JonBenét Ramsey on Christmas night in 1996 inspired sensational headlines throughout the nation--and plunged idyllic Boulder, Colorado's justice system into an ongoing nightmare. In Perfect Murder, Perfect Town, bestselling author Lawrence Schiller explores both the child's mysterious death and the exhaustive, yet often mishandled, investigation that has, in the two years since the crime, failed to produce either a plausible scenario or a killer. The more that was discovered about the crime, the less likelihood there seemed of tying all the evidence into a single theory that fit the murder scene. Meanwhile, conflicting agendas and personalities within the Boulder police department, the district attorney's office, and the sheriff's office escalated a war that has all but eroded the picture-postcard image of liberal, laid-back Boulder.
Schiller has a knack for distilling context and meaning from violent crime. He partnered with Norman Mailer on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Executioner's Song and was O.J. Simpson's choice of confidante for I Want to Tell You. (From there, he went on to write the definitive story of the Simpson defense, American Tragedy.) For Perfect Murder, Perfect Town, Schiller and researcher Charles Brennan conducted more than 500 interviews, examining the exculpatory evidence from every conceivable point of view to create a fascinating portrait of what happens when tragedy strikes in paradise. There are no easy answers, no simple outs; the murder of JonBenét Ramsey remains unsolved. --Patrizia DiLucchio
From the Inside Flap
Nothing written about the death of JonBenét Ramsey can possibly prepare the reader for the revelations in this book. Here, acclaimed writer Lawrence Schiller reveals for the first time the uncensored true story of the events that unfolded on Christmas night of 1996 and the unthinkable damage suffered by a community in the aftermath. This gripping, definitive account finally answers the question: What happened in the town of Boulder, Colorado?
Perfect Murder, Perfect Town tells the story of a city at war with itself: the bitter struggle between John and Patsy Ramsey and local law enforcement; the clash between the District Attorney and the Boulder police; and the tabloid media that has taken upon itself the responsibility of issuing blame. The reader is drawn into the maelstrom of the heated arguments and rapid-fire events surrounding the investigation--the anguish, the blunders, the rivalries, the jealousies, and the peripheral victims on every side.
As he did in American Tragedy, Lawrence Schiller thoroughly re-creates every aspect of this complex case in a powerful, spellbinding story drawn from recorded interviews with investigators, prosecutors, law enforcement members and their confidants, and members of the Ramsey family themselves. He uncovers the mysteries that have bewildered the nation for more than two years. Why were the Ramseys, the target of the investigation, able to obtain knowledge of critical evidence in the case and control the direction of a police inquiry? Can the answer to the murder be found in the pen and writing pad used for the ransom note? Was it possible for an intruder to have killed JonBenét that night? And what did the Ramseys tell the police and the District Attorney in more than twenty hours of questioning?
Beyond these revelations and hundreds more, Perfect Murder, Perfect Town is a brilliant portrait of an inscrutable family thrust under the spotlight of public suspicion and an affluent, tranquil city torn apart by a crime it was not prepared to deal with. Meticulously researched and masterfully written, this is a tour de force that will be read for years to come.
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Instead, the author, filled page after page with unnecessary, repetitive details about meetings that went nowhere, petty squabbles, and departmental rivalries and vendettas. I found myself flipping through pages to escape yet another boring account of a conversation, meeting, or action that was almost identical to a dozen previous ones. I think we all know that the rich and influential get different treatment from law enforcement and that law enforcement investigations are frequently ineffective due to territorial jealousies. I don't need an entire book to make that point ad nauseum.
I liked that it didn't seem to cover one side over the other, it was very well written so you could have your own opinion about what might have happened.
The interesting part is how the case was tainted from the very beginning and therefore can never be sorted out. Poor JonBenet Ramsey lost her life and her case will always be unsolved.