Skip to comments.New prosecutor looks at JonBenet Ramsey case
Posted on 01/19/2009 10:53:36 AM PST by nickcarraway
The new district attorney of Boulder County, Colorado, said he plans to take a fresh look at the investigation into the 1996 slaying of JonBenet Ramsey.
The 1996 slaying of JonBenet Ramsey is one of the nation's most famous cold cases.
The DA's office assumed responsibility for the investigation in 2002. But District Attorney Stan Garnett told CNN that he wants to decide during his first 30 days in office whether the case should be returned to Boulder police.
"I'm trying to determine whether it's efficient to have the ongoing investigation handled by my office or somebody else," said Garnett, who was sworn in as district attorney January 13.
The DA's office is relatively small, he said, with 27 lawyers and six investigators handling between 2,000 and 2,500 felony cases a year.
Although the Ramsey case has not generated news since last year, tips and information regularly come in to authorities. Whoever is handling the investigation is charged with checking them out and deciding whether they are worth pursuing, Garnett said.
He said reports that he is considering reopening the case are inaccurate. "It's not closed. It hasn't been solved, and it's been open the whole time."
The case is one of the nation's most famous unsolved murders.
Don't Miss Cold Case: JonBenet Ramsey On December 26, 1996, John Ramsey discovered the body of his 6-year-old daughter, JonBenet, in the basement of the family's Boulder home. The girl had been strangled and beaten. A ransom note was found on the stairs of the home, demanding $118,000.
Early in the case, Boulder police said JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, were under "an umbrella of suspicion" in her death. But they were never formally named as suspects, and a grand jury refused to indict them.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
The DA's office was Democratic and John Benet was a successful Republican businessman.
Then, when the story became one where child beauty contests were involved, the Democrats went wild.
The whole thing was/is tragic.
Sheesh. This guy’s going to ruin a perfectly good cover-up!
Wish they’d take another long, long look at that ransom note.
Colorado is dhimmicratic.
Boulder is dumb and dhimmicratic.
Competent investigation? Feggetabowdit!!
The ‘ransom note’ was a long rabling multi-page note that had to be written in the house itself because it was on house stationary and with a pen from the house.
There is snow on the ground but no footprints leading to the broken window where they found the girl, and the window was broken from the inside out...
I wonder if it was one of the TWO ADULTS in the house at the time- her parents?
Just HOW INCOMPETANT are these people???
This is one of the first things that got me thinking that the DA was lying and out simply to make a name for himself.
I had heard the snow-story also and assumed the Ramseys were obviously guilty because of it. But have you seen actual pictures of the so-called snow on the ground? That day, the ground was mostly barren of snow with only a small scattering here and there. You would have had to make an effort to leave footprints since most of the ground was dry.
The media lied and lied a la Richard Jewell to get ratings and their way just like they did for Hussein.
I wonder if it was one of the TWO ADULTS in the house at the time- her parents?
Just HOW INCOMPETANT are these people???
So I take it you’re just chosing to ignore the fact of the unknown male DNA under her fingernails and in her underwear?
Much of this case was the incompetence on the part of democrats in Boulder.
John Benet(sic) was a successful Republican businessman.
That would be John Bennett Ramsey.
It is a real challenge thinking parents could mutilate the little girl like that, accidental killing perhaps, coverup perhaps, but that other stuff,I just can’t see it. I can see a pedophile ring, stranger things have happened.
Obviously. Incompetence and Democrats usually go hand in hand.
You're correct about the father's name. It is of course John Ramsey.
My theory about this is that she died accidentally, perhaps during roughhousing with her older brother, and her parents panicked and tried to make it look like she was killed by an intruder.
You said — “I wonder if it was one of the TWO ADULTS in the house at the time- her parents?”
They were both officially exonerated.
Really? And they had to viciously strangle and sexually assault her to do that?
Don't think so.
Since no robbery was indicated, the total hit revived around the little tot. Someone from one of her “contests”...who moves around a lot.
Boulder DA clears Ramsey family in JonBenet’s death
By Vanessa Miller (Contact)
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
John Ramsey returned to Boulder on Wednesday more than 11 years after finding his daughter JonBenet dead in his familys University Hill home to receive a full apology from prosecutors and a public exoneration of any involvement in the 6-year-olds slaying.
Thanks to newly discovered DNA on JonBenets undergarments, Boulder District Attorney Mary Lacy announced that her office no longer considers any member of the Ramsey family John Ramsey, his late wife Patsy Ramsey or their 21-year-old son, Burke Ramsey under suspicion in the brutal 1996 killing of JonBenet.
To the extent that we may have contributed in any way to the public perception that you might have been involved in this crime, I am deeply sorry, Lacy wrote in a letter she gave John Ramsey during a 10 a.m. meeting in her office at the Boulder County Justice Center.
After officially stepping out from under the so-called umbrella of suspicion for the first time since the Dec. 26, 1996, homicide, John Ramsey accepted the district attorneys apology and returned his attention to finding his daughters killer.
I think (Lacy) certainly, as an organization and as a person, has nothing to be sorry about, Ramsey told Denvers KUSA-Channel 9 in an exclusive interview. They have always done the right thing and the courageous thing.
Bryan Morgan, one of the Ramseys original criminal attorneys, attended the meeting in Lacys office.
This form of justice was a long time coming, Morgan said afterward. And I wouldnt say all the sweeter for that reason, but well deserved and very deeply appreciated by John and his family.
Morgan said Ramsey, who now is spending time with his adult son John Andrew in Denver, had been kept informed about the potential for new DNA evidence for months.
The real story, beyond the exoneration, is that theres now a very strong and compelling DNA profile and case against this killer, Morgan said.
John and Patsy Ramsey immediately were considered prime suspects after JonBenets garroted body was found in the basement of their Boulder home. Photos and videos of a dolled-up JonBenet competing in child beauty pageants thrust the case into the media stratosphere, and the Boulder Police Departments handling of the case became the butt of jokes by Jay Leno and others.
But the Ramseys maintained their innocence throughout, and a grand jury concluded in 1999 that there was not enough evidence to indict anyone.
In 2006, Lacys office arrested John Mark Karr on suspicion of having killed JonBenet months after Patsy Ramsey died from cancer. But, Karrs DNA didnt match evidence in the case, and he was released.
Then, last fall, investigators decided to take advantage of an advanced and much more sensitive method of genetic testing called touch DNA, which scrapes for clues where there are no signs of genetic material.
In March, a lab in Virgina discovered two new samples of DNA near the waist of JonBenets long johns, and that genetic material matched DNA recovered years ago from the crotch of her underwear. In a written statement issued Wednesday, Lacy said the supporting proof adds significantly to the exculpatory value of the previous evidence.
The unexplained third-party DNA on the clothing of the victim is very significant and powerful evidence, Lacy said. It is very unlikely that there would be an innocent explanation for DNA found at three different locations on two separate items of clothing worn by the victim at the time of her murder.
Lacy said the DNA, which investigators believe belongs to the perpetrator of the homicide, has been entered in a national database thats checked against criminal DNA samples from jurisdictions nationwide.
Authorities hope the new Ramsey evidence will soon lead them to the perpetrator, just as Boulder police recently arrested a suspect in the decade-old Susannah Chase homicide based on a cold DNA hit in a federal database.
We will, of course, contact you immediately, Lacy wrote in her letter to Ramsey. Perhaps only then will we begin to understand the pyschopathy or motivation for this brutal and senseless crime.
Intruder theory prevails
The new proof now points to the theory that an intruder is responsible for JonBenets death. But friends and family of the Ramseys on Wednesday said Boulder police detectives focus should have been there from the start.
I never thought there was anything to accuse (John) of in the first place, said Donald Paugh, Patsy Ramseys father. Its nothing new to me.
Although Lacy met personally with Ramsey, Paugh said Lacy hasnt tried to contact his family.
Im sure that (John) feels better that theyve come to their senses, Paugh said. But their mucking around and apologizing to him doesnt solve the mystery.
Bill Wise, who served as first assistant to then-District Attorney Alex Hunter at the time of JonBenets death, said that if Lacy has the evidence she says she has, the case is much closer to being solved than it ever has been.
When you find DNA in two different locations, and it doesnt link up to anyone in the family, its very convincing to me, Wise said.
The new DNA, he said, removes the idea that a Korean factory worker coughed in (JonBenets) panties.
But, Wise said, hes struggling to wrap his mind around the idea that the new DNA scraped from JonBenets long johns didnt come from anyone who handled her body after she died. In her own statement, Lacy said the DAs office conducted additional testing to rule out any contamination to JonBenets body.
If the information is correct, Wise said on behalf of his administration: I would say to the Ramsey family that Im very, very sorry if we did anything that pointed the finger at them.
And, frankly, Im sure we did, Wise said.
I told you so
Among the greatest tragedies in the Ramsey case, said family friend and attorney Mike Bynum, is that Patsy Ramsey died before hearing Lacys apologies.
I think Patsy had a unique personality and faith, and she knew the truth, Bynum said. But obviously she would have preferred it come out sooner.
Bynum said he admires the Ramseys for enduring the criticism and believes there are few people who could have handled themselves as well. But, he said, the realization for investigators that the Ramseys arent suspects came after how many years and how much devastation to a family that had suffered a severe tragedy?
Since day one, another friend said, the Ramseys friends and families have been saying the couple was not involved.
Im not one to say, I told you so, but if I was, Id be saying, I told you so, said Pat Furman, a former Ramsey family attorney and University of Colorado law professor.
Furman said he believes authorities now have the DNA of the perpetrator.
What we need is a match, he said.
Colorado Springs private investigator Ollie Gray, who initially was hired by the Ramseys, said that although DNA evidence found years ago in JonBenets underwear pointed away from the family, the new evidence was the straw that broke the camels back.
Now, Gray said, he thinks investigators should go back through all the physical evidence and reanalyze everything.
You cant just sit back and wait on DNA from wherever you think it might come from, Gray said.
His agency, Integrated Network Inc., has reinvigorated its Ramsey investigation in the last year, Gray said, although he wouldnt provide details of the physical evidence he has been investigating.
There are some things we are looking at, Gray said. It will be interesting to see what the final judgment will be on what were looking at.
The Ramsey case was turned over from the Boulder Police Department to the district attorneys office in 2002, but Lacy said her detectives have continued working with police in their investigation.
Following Lacys public apology and exoneration Wednesday, Boulder police Chief Mark Beckner issued a statement about the additional matching DNA evidence.
The Boulder Police Department concurs with the Boulder District Attorneys Office that this is a significant finding, Beckner said in the statement. The police department has continued to look diligently for the source of the foreign DNA, and to date, we have compared DNA samples taken from more than 200 people.
Beckner declined to talk further about the case because its under the district attorneys direction.
Former Boulder prosecutor Trip DeMuth, who worked in Hunters office, said of Beckners statement, Its very telling how careful they are not to agree that this clears the Ramseys of suspicion.
Aside from the apology and exoneration, DeMuth said, he was pleased to learn that investigators are still working aggressively on the case.
That is a really good thing, he said. They havent put it on a shelf.
And, DeMuth said, any time new information surfaces in an unsolved case it moves detectives one step closer to resolution.
Its 12 years later, and theyre still investing time and money into this case which is as it should be, he said.
Do you, perhaps, mean Murderer?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.