Police have warned an Atlanta woman to stop sending e-mails about the JonBenet Ramsey case that purport to be from Police Chief Mark Beckner. The woman said the e-mails were obviously phony and meant as a joke. Police said Tuesday that Susan Stine sent e-mails from firstname.lastname@example.org to people affiliated with the investigation into the unsolved 1996 slaying of 6-year-old JonBenet.
Beckner (pictured, left) told the Rocky Mountain News in Wednesday's editions
that some of the messages were clearly phony but others could
constitute criminal impersonation. Some were signed "Mark."
Police sent Stine a letter saying criminal impersonation is a
felony in Colorado. Beckner said police don't plan to file charges
but could decide to do so in the future.
The investigation began April 25 after News reporter Charlie
Brennan received an e-mail signed "Mark" that praised his
stories. When Brennan called Beckner to ask about the message, the
police chief became concerned that others were receiving phony
Investigators got a warrant to search Hotmail records and traced
the e-mails to Stine. They said the email@example.com account
was established in 2000 under the name "Chief Beckner."
Stine said no reasonable person would have taken the messages
seriously but said she sent Beckner an e-mail of apology.
"The e-mails were sent in an attempt to be humorous and
satirical," Stine told the News in a telephone interview. "There
was never an intent to mislead anyone."
Susan Stine is known as a close friend of John and Patsy Ramsey, according to Boulder Police, and has been interviewed as a witness in reference to the Ramsey investigation. The Ramseys moved to Atlanta after JonBenet was killed.
JonBenet's body was found beaten and strangled in the basement
of the Ramseys' Boulder home Dec. 26, 1996.
"Given the history of the Ramsey case and the concerns we have had with information being distributed to the public, often times inaccurate information, this discovery is disturbing," Beckner said. "I want the media and public to know that if they have received communications from this e-mail address purporting to be me, that it is bogus. My official e-mail address is public and is firstname.lastname@example.org."
Under Colorado law, criminal impersonation is a felony and impersonating a police officer is a misdemeanor.
The Boulder Police Department and the Boulder County District Attorney's Office have agreed to issue a letter to Susan Stine advising her of the unlawful conduct and that the use of Chief Beckner's name in such a manner must cease immediately.
- April 7, 2003: DA: Ramsey Evidence Points To Intruder
- March 20, 2002: Ramseys Settle Book Libel Suit
- February 15, 2002: Patsy Ramsey's Cancer Returns
- December 26, 2001: After 5 Years, Still No Arrest In Ramsey Murder
- December 18, 2001: Many Drawn To JonBenet's Grave
- December 13, 2001: Patsy Ramsey Asked If She Wrote Ransom Note
- December 11, 2001: For First Time, Ramseys Talk About Murder Under Oath
- October 3, 2001: Online Ramsey Confession Was Hoax
- September 13, 2001: Attorney Wants Ramsey Friend Jailed
- September 7, 2001: Arrest Warrant Dropped Against Former Ramsey Detective
- August 17, 2001: Police Test New DNA In JonBenet Case
- July 24, 2001: Behind The News: Site Gives Raw Data
- July 17, 2001: Ramsey Detective Fights Possible Contempt Of Court
- July 16, 2001: Ramsey Fallout: Police Chief Mounts Letter Campaign
- July 6, 2001: Judge's Ruling Could Open Up Ramsey Case
- July 6, 2001: Ramsey Housekeeper To Give "Dramatic New Evidence"
- June 26, 2001: Former Ramsey Friend May Be Jailed
- June 12, 2001: Ramsey Detective Case Thrown Out
- June 12, 2001: Ramsey Detective 'Made Mistakes,' Chief Testifies
- June 8, 2001: Testimony: Ramsey Detective Didn't File Report
- June 8, 2001: Ramsey Detective Needs Money
- June 5, 2001: Testimony: Ramsey Detective Wasn't At Fault
- May 28, 2001: Ramsey Detective Lawsuit To Begin
- May 15, 2001: Ramsey Detective's Case Dealt Setback
- May 1, 2001: Ramsey Detective Describes 'Stun Gun' Photos
- April 30, 2001: Ramsey Investigator Pushes Intruder Theory
- April 26, 2001: Former Ramsey Investigator To Release Crime-Scene Photos
- March 30, 2001: Ramseys Sue Former Boulder Detective For Libel
- March 19, 2001: Housekeeper's Lawsuit Against Ramseys Moves Forward
- March 8, 2001: Ramseys Settle With Tabloid Over JonBenet Murder Stories
- March 4, 2001: Former Housekeeper Sues Ramseys
- February 20, 2001: John Ramsey Locked Up During Botched Robbery
- January 10, 2001: Ramseys Claim They Were Set Up
- August 29, 2000: Police Say Ramsey Talks Didn't Go Well
- August 29, 2000: Interview With Ramseys Heats Up
- August 22, 2000: Boulder Police To Interview Ramseys Monday
- June 3, 2000: Ramseys Post Suspect Sketch Online
- April 10, 2000: Patsy Ramsey Fingered As JonBenet's Killer
- March 21, 2000: Barbara Walters, Governor Spar Over Ramseys
- March 20, 2000: Ramseys Fail To Give ABC A Win