Police launch new probe into murder of six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey

‘Since JonBenet’s murder, detectives have investigated leads stemming from more than 21,000 tips, letters, and emails,’ police say

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Thursday 10 November 2022 18:18 GMT
Related video: 25 years later, Father of JonBenet Ramsey hopes to find his daughter’s murderer

Police are starting a new investigation into the murder of six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey in Boulder, Colorado, almost three decades after her death became global news in late 1996.

The Colorado Cold Case Review Team is looking into the 26-year-old case with the support of Boulder Police.

“Since JonBenet’s murder, detectives have investigated leads stemming from more than 21,000 tips, letters, and emails. We have travelled to 19 states to interview or speak with more than 1,000 individuals,” the department said in a statement on Wednesday.

More than 160 people came under investigation at the time of JonBenet’s death, and claims were made against the family of the child beauty pageant contestant.

Several people admitted to having committed sexual assault against her and to have strangled her using a garrote made from nylon cord and a broken paintbrush handle, and then to have placed her in her favourite white blanket and left her on the stone floor in the family’s wine cellar, according to The Daily Beast.

Police later confirmed that DNA didn’t match any possible suspects and that the family was also cleared of wrongdoing.

JonBenet was reported missing in the morning on 26 December 1996. John Ramsey discovered a handwritten note covering three pages demanding $118,000 in cash, specifically in $100 and $20 notes.

The note was signed “S.B.T.C.” and said: “Listen carefully! We are a group of individuals that represent a small foreign faction. We do respect your bussiness [sic] but not the country that it serves.”

“Any deviation of my instructions will result in the immediate execution of your daughter. You will also be denied her remains for proper burial,” the note continued. “The two gentlemen watching over your daughter do not particularly like you so I advise you not to provoke them.”

The note issued a threat that JonBenet would be decapitated if her parents got in touch with law enforcement. The parents contacted the authorities anyway.

“Don’t try to grow a brain John. You are not the only fat cat around so don’t think that killing will be difficult,” the note concluded. “Don’t underestimate us John. Use that good southern common sense of yours. It is up to you now John! Victory!”

Mr Ramsey found JonBenet’s body about seven hours after she had been reported missing. Police weren’t there when he searched the residence.

The parents spoke extensively to the press, but only took part in an interview with the police four weeks after the killing, The Daily Beast noted.

Police have said that they will now employ new technology to test the small amount of DNA evidence found in the case in an attempt to build a profile that may lead law enforcement to the killer.

“The amount of DNA evidence available for analysis is extremely small and complex. The sample could, in whole or in part, be consumed by DNA testing,” Boulder Police said. “In collaboration with the CBI and the FBI, there have been several discussions with private DNA labs about the viability of continued testing of DNA recovered from the crime scene and genetic genealogy analysis.”

The mother, Patsy Ramsey, passed away in 2006 following a battle with cancer.

Mr Ramsey told The Daily Beast in 2019 that suspicions against him remain despite the fact that he’s been cleared.

“The fact I’m no longer under suspicion will never bring back my life,” he said. “Once your reputation is tarnished, it stays tarnished.”

Brother Burke Ramsey was nine years old at the time of the death of his sister.

Appearing on Dr Phil last year, he said the possibility of a regular childhood was taken away from him.

TV host Phil McGraw asked him: “Has it ever occurred to you that your parents actually thought you did this and didn’t ask you because they didn’t want to know?”

“I know people think I did it; that my parents did it. I know that we were suspects,” the brother said.

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