Incoming Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett May Send the JonBenet Ramsey Murder Investigation Back to the Police
UPDATE: August 6 is the birthday of the murdered Boulder kindergartener JonBenet Ramsey. She was born on August 6, 1990. She was tortured, strangled, sexually abused, and bludgeoned to death in her basement on the anniversary of Mao's birthday, December 26, 1996.
At first, her family and their circle were suspected, but last summer the Boulder district attorney, Mary Lacy, sent a letter of apology to JonBenet's father and explained that new scientific methods had detected unknown male DNA from several places on her outer and underclothing.
JonBenet was a very sweet little girl. Her kindergarten teacher tells this story: One time, another little girl brought cupcakes to kindergarten for her birthday, but she was one short. JonBenet offered to split her cupcake with the birthday girl so that everyone would have a treat.
The diabolical Kindermord could only split JonBenet's head.
I think that the JonBenet Ramsey murder was a provocation organized by someone who was intimately familiar with the history and ideology of the American Indian Movement (AIM). The purpose of the murder was to discredit law enforcement by suggesting that the authorities were protecting a ring of powerful pedophiles.
My theory is very complicated, but if you are interested you can go to the very first post on this blog and start reading. The best thing to do is click on the February 2006 archive at the right, scroll to the bottom, and start from the beginning.
Some posts about AIM, the KGB/communist manipulation of AIM, the history of the Osage Indian murders, and KGB active measures/provocations that don't even mention JonBenet may provide background for understanding my theory of the motive for this brutal crime.
The first post on this blog is called "342 Indians." Another early post that provides background for my theory is called "The Osage Indian Murders and the Legend of Pine Ridge."
JonBenet Ramsey was probably killed in the early hours of December 26, 1996, on the anniversary of Mao's birthday. Mao's birthday may have had a symbolic significance for the AIM-inspired killer. AIM has killed on a symbolic date in the past. For example, AIM hero Leonard Peltier and others killed two FBI agents on the June 26 anniversary of the Battle of Little Bighorn/Custer's Last Stand. A recent post that attempted to briefly connect some components of my theory is here.
Charlie Brennan, of MyFox Colorado (12-26-08), reports on new developments in the JonBenet Ramsey investigation. Be sure to watch the video, too. Mr. Brennan was on the scene when they removed JonBenet's tortured body from her home. He covered the investigation of her murder while working for the Rocky Mountain News.
Today is the anniversary of the brutal murder of JonBenet Ramsey in Boulder, Colorado. JonBenet was probably killed in the wee-hours of December 26, 1996, in her home. The family had reportedly spent Christmas night at the home of friends and returned home late in the evening.
Heath Urie of the Daily Camera (12-26-08) reports in the first of two articles:
Twelve years after the murder of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey, the case is considered colder than ever.
To help change that, Boulder’s incoming district attorney [Stan Garnett] plans to blow the dust off the case and, possibly, send it back to the police department for the first time in six years...
But on Jan. 13, [outgoing D.A. Mary] Lacy will be replaced by Stan Garnett, who says he could make big changes in how the case is handled.
“I’ll certainly consider asking the police department for help,” Garnett said. “I’m anticipating that, within the first 30 days, I’ll make some decision about how to handle the investigation.”
The Ramsey investigation was moved to the DA’s Office in December 2002, following years of public criticism of the Boulder Police Department’s handling of the case.
Garnett said he’s still wading through the evidence and complex history of the case, and he plans to meet with investigators familiar with the homicide before deciding how to handle it.
...Garnett said the police department likely has more resources and is better equipped to handle the investigation at this point.
“I want to look very closely at the resources of the DA’s Office and make a careful decision about what resources to continue to expend on the case,” he said. “There is something seductive about this case that can cause every law-enforcement person who works on it to become fascinated with its twists and turns and thereby spend endless energy on it.”
Unlike his predecessor, Mary Lacy, who has made clear her view that an intruder killed JonBenet, Garnett said he doesn’t have any preconceived notions about the case or where any future investigation should lead.
“District attorneys have to be very thoughtful and very sober and clear-eyed,” Garnett said. “I have very high regard for Mary Lacy, and I’m not a person who second guesses other people’s decisions. But I’ve been elected by the people of Boulder County to use my own judgment.”
Mark Beckner — Boulder’s police chief and one of nine Boulder officers intimately involved in the original investigation who are still with the department — said he’d gladly accept responsibility for the case six years after giving it up...[Full text].
In a second article Heath Urie of the Daily Camera (12-26-08) writes:
Mary Lacy, Boulder’s term-limited district attorney, will turn over the office next month to a new leader — but the unsolved murder case that earned her worldwide recognition is staying behind for a new set of eyes.
Lacy, who has been in charge of the JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation since it was handed over by Boulder police to the District Attorney’s Office in December 2002, says she believes that even after 12 years of chasing fruitless leads, the case will be solved.
...Lacy said she’s leaving the office certain of her decisions, her intentions and at least one other thing — that the Ramsey family “didn’t do it.”
Today marks not only the anniversary of the day the little girl’s body was found, but also six years since Lacy first received control of the investigation.
...“Out-of-control media,” [Lacy] said, “led to a situation where this family truly was presumed guilty, even though there was never evidence to file charges against them.”
Lacy has long been a proponent of the theory that an intruder — not someone known to the little girl — was responsible for the murder. Now, 12 years later, Lacy said she’s more convinced than ever that no one within the Ramsey family was involved.
...Technically, the Ramsey case is considered “cold,” Lacy said, even after new technology used in March discovered two new samples of DNA near the waist of JonBenet’s long johns, and that genetic material matched DNA recovered years ago from her underwear.
Lacy said she believes the DNA evidence was left by the killer, and there are any number of reasons why law enforcement hasn’t found a match with samples listed in a national database of convicted felons.
“The person could be in prison and not due for release soon and hasn’t taken the sample; the person might be dead; the person could have gone to another country that doesn’t collect DNA samples,” she said. “But the most likely explanation is that, for whatever reason, that person’s DNA is not in the data bank.”
Lacy is hopeful that plans by the FBI to expand the DNA database in January to include not just samples from people convicted of crimes, but of those arrested on suspicion of crimes, will “dramatically” increase the chances of finding a match in the Ramsey case.
...Lacy said the public perception of the Ramsey case has been shaped over 12 years by the media, not facts, and that does frustrate her.
“I don’t think the truth has ever really been out there for people to see because it’s an open criminal case,” she said. “The public assumes they know more based on what they see in the media, and that’s the part that’s personally difficult for me” [Full text].
The current D.A. Mary Lacy sent this letter last summer:
On December 25-26, 1996, JonBenet Ramsey was murdered in the home where she lived with her mother, father and brother. Despite a long and intensive investigation, the death of JonBenet remains unsolved.
The murder has received unprecedented publicity and has been shrouded in controversy. That publicity has led to many theories over the years in which suspicion has focused on one family member or another. However, there has been at least one persistent stumbling block to the possibility of prosecuting any Ramsey family members for the death of JonBenet – DNA.
As part of its investigation of the JonBenet Ramsey homicide, the Boulder Police identified genetic material with apparent evidentiary value. Over time, the police continued to investigate DNA, including taking advantage of advances in the science and methodology. One of the results of their efforts was that they identified genetic material and a DNA profile from drops of JonBenet's blood located in the crotch of the underwear she was wearing at the time her body was discovered. That genetic profile belongs to a male and does not belong to anyone in the Ramsey family.
The police department diligently compared that profile to a very large number of people associated with the victim, with her family, and with the investigation, and has not identified the source, innocent or otherwise, of this DNA. The Boulder Police and prosecutors assigned to this investigation in the past also worked conscientiously with laboratory analysts to obtain better results through new approaches and additional tests as they became available. Those efforts ultimately led to the discovery of sufficient genetic markers from this male profile to enter it into the national DNA data bank.
In December of 2002, the Boulder District Attorney's Office, under Mary T. Lacy, assumed responsibility for the investigation of the JonBenet Ramsey homicide. Since then, this office has worked with the Boulder Police Department to continue the investigation of this crime.
In early August of 2007, District Attorney Lacy attended a Continuing Education Program in West Virginia sponsored by the National Institute of Justice on Forensic Biology and DNA. The presenters discussed successful outcomes from a new methodology described as "touch DNA." One method for sampling for touch DNA is the "scraping method." In this process, forensic scientists scrape a surface where there is no observable stain or other indication of possible DNA in an effort to recover for analysis any genetic material that might nonetheless be present. This methodology was not well known in this country until recently and is still used infrequently.
In October of 2007, we decided to pursue the possibility of submitting additional items from the JonBenet Ramsey homicide to be examined using this methodology. We checked with a number of Colorado sources regarding which private laboratory to use for this work. Based upon multiple recommendations, including that of the Boulder Police Department, we contacted the Bode Technology Group located near Washington, D.C., and initiated discussions with the professionals at that laboratory. First Assistant District Attorney Peter Maguire and Investigator Andy Horita spent a full day with staff members at the Bode facility in early December of 2007.
The Bode Technology laboratory applied the "touch DNA" scraping method to both sides of the waist area of the long johns that JonBenet Ramsey was wearing over her underwear when her body was discovered. These sites were chosen because evidence supports the likelihood that the perpetrator removed and/or replaced the long johns, perhaps by handling them on the sides near the waist.
On March 24, 2008, Bode informed us that they had recovered and identified genetic material from both sides of the waist area of the long johns. The unknown male profile previously identified from the inside crotch area of the underwear matched the DNA recovered from the long johns at Bode.
We consulted with a DNA expert from a different laboratory, who recommended additional investigation into the remote possibility that the DNA might have come from sources at the autopsy when this clothing was removed. Additional samples were obtained and then analyzed by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to assist us in this effort. We received those results on June 27th of this year and are, as a result, confidant that this DNA did not come from innocent sources at the autopsy. As mentioned above, extensive DNA testing had previously excluded people connected to the family and to the investigation as possible innocent sources.
I want to acknowledge my appreciation for the efforts of the Boulder Police Department, Bode Technology Group, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, and the Denver Police Department Forensic Laboratory for the great work and assistance they have contributed to this investigation.
The unexplained third party DNA on the clothing of the victim is very significant and powerful evidence. 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. This is particularly true in this case because the matching DNA profiles were found on genetic material from inside the crotch of the victim's underwear and near the waist on both sides of her long johns, and because concerted efforts that might identify a source, and perhaps an innocent explanation, were unsuccessful.
It is therefore the position of the Boulder District Attorney's Office that this profile belongs to the perpetrator of the homicide.
DNA is very often the most reliable forensic evidence we can hope to find during a criminal investigation. We rely on it often to bring to justice those who have committed crimes. It can likewise be reliable evidence upon which to remove people from suspicion in appropriate cases.
The Boulder District Attorney's Office does not consider any member of the Ramsey family, including John, Patsy, or Burke Ramsey, as suspects in this case. We make this announcement now because we have recently obtained this new scientific evidence that adds significantly to the exculpatory value of the previous scientific evidence. We do so with full appreciation for the other evidence in this case.
Local, national, and even international publicity has focused on the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. Many members of the public came to believe that one or more of the Ramseys, including her mother or her father or even her brother, were responsible for this brutal homicide. Those suspicions were not based on evidence that had been tested in court; rather, they were based on evidence reported by the media.
It is the responsibility of every prosecutor to seek justice. That responsibility includes seeking justice for people whose reputations and lives can be damaged irreparably by the lingering specter of suspicion. In a highly publicized case, the detrimental impact of publicity and suspicion on people's lives can be extreme. The suspicions about the Ramseys in this case created an ongoing living hell for the Ramsey family and their friends, which added to their suffering from the unexplained and devastating loss of JonBenet.
For reasons including those discussed above, we believe that justice dictates that the Ramseys be treated only as victims of this very serious crime. We will accord them all the rights guaranteed to the victims of violent crimes under the law in Colorado and all the respect and sympathy due from one human being to another. 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.
We prefer that any tips related to this ongoing investigation be submitted in writing or via electronic mail to BoulderDA.org, but they can also be submitted to our tip line at (303) 441-1636.This office will make no further statements.