When there is a will, there is often a way. When it comes to solving crimes, it also helps to have DNA. 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.
In the last few years, some things have changed in the JonBenet Ramsey case, but the essentials remain the same. The precious little beauty queen has been dead since Christmas 1996 and the epic mystery of her murder lives on. Who killed JonBenet? An answer to that question would still captivate Colorado, America and much of the world.
Lots of sensational crime stories have come and gone, but none quite like this. It was a macabre murder on Christmas, an extraordinary crime scene, which included a lengthy handwritten ransom note, a garotte, and stained underwear (which many years later, yielded the interesting DNA). In her death, poor JonBenet became a magazine cover girl and international icon of innocent beauty. The images still haunt.
One big change is in the people putting together the puzzle. Mary Lacy is no longer the Boulder DA and neither is her predecessor, Alex Hunter. They made a mess of the matter. Do you remember Hunter and his odd musings with tabloid reporters, and Lacy's dogged pursuit of an obvious fraud, John Mark Karr?
Mary Lacy, distrusting Boulder PD's theories, took the extraordinary step of taking the case investigation away from the Boulder Police Department in 2002. In 2008, shortly before leaving office; Lacy publicly exonerated the entire Ramsey family.
Lacy is gone now. The Boulder Police have had the case back since February, 2009. The current Boulder Police Chief is Mark Beckner. It was then Commander Mark Beckner who famously announced to the world on December 5, 1997, that the Ramseys "remain under an umbrella of suspicion."
It was Boulder DA Stan Garnett who, in 2009, gave the case back to Beckner and the Boulder PD. I have known Stan since we worked together as Denver prosecutors in the 1980's. Stan, less than two years into his first term as Boulder DA, is running for Colorado Attorney General. Stan likes the spotlight and has strong ambitions. Nothing could catapult a career like solving America's most enduring crime mystery.
Stan Garnett has been talking to the media, including the September 14 edition of our award winning Caplis and Silverman radio show. When asked "Have you ruled the Ramseys out?" Boulder DA Stan Garnett said "I'm not going to comment on that." Now that is interesting, especially in light of Garnett and Lacy further sniping at each other in the media.
Famed detective Lou Smit, who defended the Ramseys' innocence, has passed away. Also gone is JonBenet's mom, the unforgettable former Miss West Virginia, Patsy Ramsey. John Ramsey and Burke Ramsey, JonBenet's father and brother, remain alive, looking for answers. This current spasm of publicity follows the public announcement that the Boulder Police would like to get some answers from 23 year old Burke, now old enough to be on his own.
Burke Ramsey could never have been the perpetrator. The autopsy revealed that poor JonBenet was strangled to death by ligature applied through the twisting of a fairly intricate garrote. The expansive and sophisticated three page ransom note is forever an inextricable part of this murder. None of this was conceivably within the capacity of a 9 year old like Burke Ramsey, who did not kill his little sister.
As for the parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, they long labored under an "umbrella of suspicion." With Beckner back on the case and the belittling of all things done by prior DA Lacy, it would not be wise to bank on any legal assurances previously given.
Is the JonBenet volcano about to explode? There have been rumblings, but nothing like the eruptions that occurred in the latter 1990s, nor the big belch which was the John Mark Carr fiasco. For the many millions of people wanting desperately to know who killed JonBenet Ramsey, there remains the tantalizing possibility that this truth might still be told.