Why I Wrote This Book

I’ve always wanted to write a book, but no subject seemed compelling enough until this case started to unfold in 1996.

Woodward at the Denver Courthouse working the phones.

I was the Chief Investigative Reporter at NBC in Denver (KUSA-TV) when I got a call from our news director. It was the day after Christmas, December 26, 1996. Typically a slow time for news. My news director told me the kidnapping of a little girl was now a murder and to start digging for answers. For years, that’s what I and other reporters tried to do.

After I left local news in 2009, the story of what happened continued to haunt me.  Beauty pageants, sexual perverts, fingers pointed at her parents. Gossip and rumors played out across the media. In December this year, it will be 20 years since she was murdered by an unknown killer. Since I remained in touch with many people in law enforcement and with the girl's parents, I asked them to give me new information that was trustworthy and accurate.

I was also very curious about what we didn’t know. Had there been back-room deals? Who could have done it? Were the police right in suspecting her parents? Was it an intruder? Was the killer still alive?

I contacted all the people I had met on this story throughout the years, gave them my home address and asked them to mail authentic case documents. I also told them not to tell me their names so I would never know who they were for their own protection. I double and triple checked their documents with others and was surprised by what had been misreported or never reported to the public. In each new piece of information, I found the book I would write.

Here it is. We Have Your Daughter – the book. The name was taken from the actual words in the ransom note.

The facts within the pages are the most complete and most accurate you will see in any publication or news story about the murder. There is more information out there. Yet, this thorough accounting of the investigation gives you a chance to decide for yourself who may have been capable of strangling and beating the life out of the pretty and so valued 6-year-old girl.