Fifteen years have passed since JonBenet Ramsey was killed in her Boulder, Colo. home over the Christmas holiday and the brutal murder of the child beauty queen still remains unsolved to this day. Had JonBenet lived, she would be turning 21 years old this Saturday, August 6.
On Dec. 26, 1996, 6-year-old JonBenet was found bludgeoned and strangled to death in the basement of her family home. A ransom note from an anonymous group of individuals "that represent a foreign faction" asking for $118,000 in exchange for the safe return of JonBenet was found just hours before, but no call ever came from a kidnapper and it was never linked to a murderer. See the full text of the ransom note originally published by Vanity Fair magazine here.
John and Patsy Ramsey, JonBenet's parents were prime suspects for years and repeatedly appeared on news channels defending their innocence and demanding justice for the murder of their young daughter. The entire Ramsey family was cleared of any involvement in the murder of JonBenet back in 2008, thanks to then newly discovered DNA evidence, according to 9News. Patsy Ramsey, JonBenet's mother, died 2 years earlier in 2006 of ovarian cancer, tragically, she was still considered a possible suspect when she died.
Beginning in 2010, investigators reopened the case and launched a fresh round of interviews with witnesses that could provide more insight into the murder, according to ABC News, but nothing fruitful came of those interviews.
The DNA evidence still points to an "unexplained third party" that serves as a vague lead for authorities still pursuing the case, TIME magazine reported.
According to 7News, Boulder police have tested more than 150 DNA samples and investigated nearly the same amount of potential suspects in their ongoing investigation, but none have ever been linked to the crime.
After all these years, Boulder police have received thousands of tips about her murder and still receive several monthly. Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett said in 2010 that he personally gets five or more tips each month, according to Fox31. The ones that have potential are passed along to Boulder police's Major Case Unit. There have been plenty of false leads as well, including most famously Mark Karr -- who bizarrely admitted to being with JonBenet the night of her death, but DNA evidence later cleared him of any wrongdoing in this case, MSNBC reported. Craig Silverman, talk radio legal analyst on 630 KHOW that has covered the unsolved murder since it first broke, spoke to Fox31 about the public's interest in the case:
It's an enduring, epic mystery. Everybody would like to know who killed little JonBenet.
Silverman went on to say on his Huffington Post blog, "This JonBenet murder mystery has never been lacking for clues. There are too many clues. It is putting all the puzzle pieces together that matters."
It remains one of the most notorious murders in U.S. history and a decade and a half later there is still no justice for JonBenet.
For a full timeline of the events of the unsolved murder case during its peak years in the 1990s check out the Daily Camera's chronological summary of the major events form Dec. 1996 to 1999.
JonBenet Patricia Ramsey winning a beauty pageant at 1996 America's Royale Little Miss National Beauty contests.
A Boulder Police detective walks to the home of John and Patricia Ramsey in Boulder, Colo., on Friday, Jan. 3, 1997, as investigators sifted through evidence in the home in which the couple's 6-year-old daughter was found murdered on Dec. 26, 1996. A decade after the Christmastime slaying of JonBenet Ramsey, two aspects of the case endure: the public's endless fascination with the murder of the 6-year-old beauty contestant, and a sense the notorious crime may never be solved.
Patsy Ramsey and her husband, John, give a news conference in Atlanta on May 24, 2000 regarding their polygraph examinations for the murder of their daughter, JonBenet. The test results said the couple were not "attempting deception" when they denied killing their 6-year-old daughter. Patsy Ramsey has died of ovarian cancer, KCNC TV reported Saturday, June 24, 2006.
In this Aug. 29, 2000 file photo, Patsy Ramsey speaks as her husband John Ramsey listens during a short news conference in Atlanta. Prosecutors say new DNA tests have cleared JonBenet Ramsey's family in the 1996 killing of the 6-year-old beauty queen. Boulder County District Attorney Mary Lacy said Wednesday, July 9, 2008, that the tests point to an "unexplained third party." Lacy apologized to the family, saying, "To the extent that this office has added to the distress suffered by the Ramsey family at any time or to any degree, I offer my deepest apology."
Members of the grand jury investigating the murder of JonBonet Ramsey leave the Justice Center in Boulder, Colo., Wednesday, Oct. 13, 1999. Nearly three years after the slaying of Ramsey, the grand jury decided Wednesday there isn't enough evidence to charge anyone in the 6-year-old beauty queen's strangulation. Grand jurors from left are Martin Pierce, Loretta Resnikoff, Jonathan Webb, Martin Kordas Jr., Josephine Hampton, foreman James Plese, Barbara McGrath-Arnold and Susan LeFever.
American John Mark Karr, center, is taken to a police news conference by Thai plainclothes police officers at Immigration office in Bangkok, Thailand Thursday, Aug. 17, 2006. In 2006 Karr falsely confessed to murdering Jon Benet Ramsey.