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7-Eleven joins JonBenet photo boycott

Published January 13, 1997 at midnight

Colorado's 7-Eleven stores on Sunday joined the list of merchants that won't sell copies of a supermarket weekly featuring crime photographs of JonBenet Ramsey.

"We are responding to the customers in Colorado,'' said Karen Raskopf, spokeswoman for the Dallas-based Southland Corp., 7-Eleven's parent.

Also Sunday:

The editor of the Globe defended his paper, saying it did not publish pictures of anything that had not already been described publicly.

Newsweek magazine reported in editions due on newsstands today that handwriting analysts hired by JonBenet's parents have ruled out family members as authors of the ransom note.

John and Patricia Ramsey have hired several consultants since their daughter's body was discovered in their basement on Dec. 26, including a media consultant and private investigator.

Handwriting samples from family members also have been taken by Boulder police, but police have not disclosed results or eliminated anyone as a suspect.

JonBenet's murder is being covered by media outlets from coast to coast and in several other countries. Police have called the coverage intrusive, but the Globe's decision to buy and publish autopsy photos brought an unprecedented uproar from the public.

Southland Corp.'s spokeswoman said the company had received 60 calls from Colorado by Friday asking that it not stock copies of the Globe due on newsstands today, Raskopf said.

The manager of a Circle K store in Boulder said a decision will be made today in the company's Phoenix headquarters about whether to join the ban.

King Soopers and Safeway announced earlier that their stores won't sell the issue.

Tony Frost, editor of the Boca Raton, Fla.-based weekly tabloid defended his paper's decision to run the photos. "There is a First Amendment issue here that could be perceived to be tantamount to censorship,'' he said.

"We're only publishing photos that illustrate information that already has been widely disseminated,'' Frost said.

The Boulder County Sheriff's Department is investigating how the Globe got the photos, which were the property of the Boulder County coroner's office.

The Ramseys denounced the Globe's decision to publish photos as "ghoulish.'' They reportedly are threatening to sue the weekly.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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