“We work on this daily. In the ensuing years, Smit continued to look at the information he had on the JonBenét case and compiled it all into a database. By 2008, new DNA testing technology had been developed, called touch DNA, which allowed forensic experts to test the dead skin cells left behind on objects at crime scenes. Sep. 12, 2016. After JonBenét’s parents’ first formal interrogation in the spring of 1997, four months after her death, it would take nearly two years for them to sit down with the police for another interrogation. “It was really important to him.”. We’re not interrogating possible suspects. They’re grieving. “There’s no reason at all for the Ramseys to use a stun gun and the Ramseys don’t have a stun gun,” Smit recorded himself saying at the time. The Case of JonBenet Ramsey. “The Ramsey’s said, ‘We don’t trust the police. 2016. “My daughters … will continue on with this case when we end up being too old to do it,” said Marra. Over 24 years later authorities are still trying to answer that question. “First of all, we didn’t know whether the kidnapper was going to call that day because the note said, ‘I will call you tomorrow. When Hunter called for a grand jury to assess the evidence in 1998, two years after JonBenét was killed, they listened to Smit’s intruder theory. John Anderson, former sheriff of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office in Texas, talks about his friend Lou Smit, the legendary detective who died before he could solve 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey's case. Anderson said that the team narrowing down Smit’s list met with Boulder authorities in September 2020 to present the list of their top 20 suspects in the case. In the aftermath of their daughter’s murder, John Ramsey went on to lose his job and claims he spent millions of dollars on private investigators, lawyers and security. For someone to get through a small window like that and not disturb the cobwebs “would be remarkable,” he said. Smit was called out of retirement to help the investigation three months after JonBenét was found dead in the basement of her parent’s Boulder, Colorado, home on the morning of Dec. 26, 1996. But although the grand jury may have believed one of the parents was culpable and the other helped, they couldn't say who did what, and Hunter ultimately announced that they did not have sufficient evidence to file charges against the parents. CA nurses, doctors, and lawmakers question move to open up. There’s a group of dedicated volunteers that work on this daily.”, “I think it’s really important for people to understand that this case can be solved,” he went on to say. “How many people knew that? The three-page long note said in part that if JonBenét’s parents called the authorities, she would die, and asked for $118,000. “People were streaming through that house. Investigators cleared the Ramsey family as suspects. She is now tasked along with other members of Smit’s family with solving his last case as part of his dying wish -- that of 6-year-old JonBenét Ramsey. Throughout both interrogations, JonBenét’s parents vehemently denied anyone in their family killed their daughter. The case's lead investigator, Mark Beckner says there are “significant results” from the 1,058 pieces of evidence taken from the home. With the case now in the public’s view, police sought to question JonBenét’s parents. After several hours, the police began to leave the Ramsey home. JonBenet Ramsey’s bedroom walls and Christmas presents were ‘smeared in feces by disturbed brother Burke’—after new claims emerged he killed the child beauty queen. I kind of joked with her, saying that, ‘If somebody did get in that house, it must’ve been Santa Claus coming down the chimney.’”. “The police did a terrible, terrible job securing that scene … and if you don’t secure the scene, you don’t get good evidence,” said Diane Dimond, an investigative reporter who covered the case. Detective: JonBenet's father did it ( 0 ) NEW YORK, Sept. 13 -- One of the Colorado detectives initially assigned to the JonBenet Ramsey case … Legendary detective Lou Smit created an eight-hour video presentation that includes his notes on the JonBenet Ramsey murder case, notes on potential suspects and the evidence he collected. He believed the answer to the identity of JonBenét’s killer lay in the DNA found in her underwear and underneath her fingernails. Cheer, Louise, and Khaleda Rahman. People in the community who tell the police, ‘Give them room. Storm timeline: Here's when rains, winds arrive to Bay Area, Here's what's reopening in every Bay Area county this week. Outdoor dining, salon reopen for business in Contra Costa Co. Service dogs in training travel with help of North Bay pilot, 'Warning flags' over racial equity found in COVID vaccine data, Google aims to expedite vaccination process with new partnership, 1st Black, Asian woman elected VP: Watch Kamala Harris' journey, How to register for a COVID-19 vaccine in every Bay Area county, CA COVID-19 vaccine tracker: See your status here, Bay Area Life; Sundays at 6:30 p.m. on ABC7, JonBenet Ramsey's half-brother recalls day of the murder: 'This case can be solved', Forensic psychiatrist who consulted on JonBenet Ramsey case killed. “The police … are faced with lawyers and wealthy friends. She was killed accidentally while they were using garrote (choking torture tool). In an interview with USA TODAY, JonBenét's father John Ramsey, who appears in the documentary along with Smit's daughter, son and others connected to the investigation, said he … “I had seen evidence of an intruder in the house that night.”, With his intruder theory regarding JonBenét’s murder increasingly pushed by the wayside, Smit ultimately chose to resign from the case, writing in a letter to Boulder District Attorney Hunter: “Even though I want to continue to participate in the official investigation and assist in finding the killer of JonBenet, I find that I cannot in good conscience be a part of the persecution of innocent people,” said Smit, referring to JonBenét’s parents. Jonathan Webb, one of the grand jurors, told “20/20” that Smit’s intruder theory didn’t make sense. Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter, however, wasn't convinced of their guilt and wanted to explore other theories. Any information that we come up with a match will be turned over immediately to the Boulder [district attorney] and Boulder Police Department, and they will follow that.”. But like police, the jury didn’t believe someone could’ve entered the window with the cobwebs remaining intact. Daily Mail. As the investigation continued under Smit, he became concerned that authorities had totally ruled out the possibility of an intruder killing Jon Benet, and therefore weren’t looking for evidence of the possibility, Marra said. Patsy Ramsey said that when they found out they were main suspects in their daughter’s death, she “didn’t believe it.”. “We went through the people of interest ... and came up with our top 20. Her father, John, found the girl's body in the basement of their house about seven hours after she had been reported missing. Two granddaughters of the longtime detective in the JonBenét Ramsey case are keeping his legacy alive and doing what they can to honor the slain girl's memory as well. 2016. JonBenét's cause of death was determined … Bill McReynolds, a man who dressed up as Santa Claus for Christmas parties at the Ramseys’ home for three years, was also investigated but ultimately cleared when his DNA did not match that found by investigators. Smit was already a well-known figure as a police detective before he worked on JonBenet's murder investigation. I thought it would be a slam dunk, and I even remember talking to my daughter. After 13 years, Smit still believed that an unidentified intruder was responsible for JonBenet’s murder. JonBenét’s cause of death was determined to be strangulation with a makeshift garrote, a weapon that, in this case, involved a string wrapped around a piece of one of Patsy Ramsey’s paintbrushes. “I’m not saying parents don’t kill their kids … parents do kill their children,” Smit said in his tapes. Copyright © 2021 ABC News Internet Ventures. There’s a lot of the same verbiage in this note as was in even the note that was written in that particular movie,” Smit said in the recordings. Mary Lacy, the district attorney of Boulder at the time, decided to use this new test on JonBenét’s pajama leggings and the results came back positive for at least one unknown male’s DNA, possibly even two. “Particularly when you start with children of this age, when they die, tend to die at the hands of their parents,” Garrett told “20/20.” “So the focus is naturally gonna be on the parents to begin with. While JonBenét’s half-brother, John Andrew Ramsey, said his father has remarried and is focusing on life, he also said their fight for justice on behalf of his half-sister is not over. Three months after JonBenét’s death, he brought Smit into the fold. This is the detective's-eye view of THE great unresolved murder case of the 1990s, aside from the OJ case. However, with the Ramseys’ friends showing up for moral support, they also contaminated the scene by moving about the house. Smit also spoke about the DNA evidence that police had found underneath JonBenét’s fingernails and in her underwear in the video diaries. “We had a higher priority at that point and that was to bury our daughter.”. But when 10 a.m. passed and there still wasn’t a call, Arndt said “there was no acknowledgment” from either of JonBenét’s parents that “the deadline imposed by the author of the ransom note [had] come and gone.”. “We are just trying to eliminate people from that list and we just figure, if we keep at it, hopefully, we’ll finally whittle it down to one person remaining on that list,” said Marra. There were some reasons to suspect this. We were shocked,” added John Ramsey. But even as he stepped away from his official role in the case, he continued to push for justice for JonBenét while standing on her parents’ side, Marra said. What’s the matter with you,’” said Dimond. But as Smit began to investigate the case, he started to believe that police should actually be looking at a possible intruder. I tried to untie the cord that was around her arms and I couldn’t get the knot untied.”. Michael Helgoth, who owned a pair of Hi-Tec boots and a stun gun and had died by suicide shortly after JonBenét’s murder, was also cleared after the team found his DNA did not match that found at the crime scene. “The police are thinking, we gotta talk to those parents and we gotta talk to them right now before they start getting their story straight together.”, John Ramsey said they had asked police to meet them at their home because Patsy Ramsey was sick with grief in bed, “barely able to move.”, “We were perfectly willing and anxious to speak with the police to find the killer,” he told Walters in 2000. “But we’re not gonna stop investigating. “We’re not investigators. Episode 10 of 'The Killing of JonBenet Ramsey: The Final Suspects' reveals two other persons of interest on late detective Lou Smit's list — listen “He just said, ‘I want somebody to continue this case. John Ramsey said he brought his daughter upstairs and laid her on the floor, hoping she was alive. She had tape over her mouth. Police arrived shortly after the 911 call and began investigating the scene for clues about the kidnapper. The Colorado detective who died from cancer in 2010 had investigated over 200 cases over the course of his career and every one of them had led to a conviction, according to his granddaughter Jessa van der Woerd. JonBenét’s murder came on the heels of the O.J. Television documentary, accessed on CBS On Demand, September 23. Go retest.” He said she told him it was impossible for them to have “physical evidence” linking her to the crime. Cindy Mara is one of the daughters of Lou Smit, who investigated JonBenet Ramsey's case and whose dying wish was for his family and friends to find her killer. Police had also found a shoe print from a Hi-Tec brand boot near JonBenét’s body -- no one in the family-owned shoes from this brand -- as well as two marks on her face and back, which he deduced had been made by a stun gun. “There were months and months of negotiations, things about whether they could be videotaped, what are the questions going to be … should the Boulder police be a part of it,” said Carol McKinley, an investigative journalist. Arndt suggested that John Ramsey look around the house for any signs that his daughter’s belongings were out of place. Jessa concurs, pointing out that the goal with their podcast and research is to finally offer clarity for those who continue to grieve. The grand jury ended up accusing both John and Patsy Ramsey of “unlawfully, knowingly, recklessly and feloniously permitting a child to be unreasonably placed in a situation which posed a threat of injury to the child’s life or health” as well as “rendering assistance to a person, with intent to hinder, delay or prevent the discovery, detention, apprehension, prosecution, convictions and punishment of such person for the commission of a crime.”. Exclusive clip: Discovery+ re-examines JonBenet Ramsey case with new audio from detective JonBenet Ramsey's death in 1996 still baffles investigators. The team referred to the database Smit had created to begin narrowing down suspects. There were some friends of Patsy’s that were helping her wipe up the kitchen. John Ramsey later found JonBenét in the basement, a part of the home that police had neglected to search. Arndt confirmed to him that the child had died. Please don’t let it die,’” she said. Smit’s daughter, Cindy Marra, said the interviews “firmed up his belief that the Ramseys had nothing to do” with JonBenét’s murder. JonBenet Ramsey. “In that particular movie, a ‘fat cat’ industrialist, his son was kidnapped. John Ramsey’s son, JonBenét’s half-brother John Andrew Ramsey, said that the family gave blood and fingerprints to the police as part of their investigation. “What we all share in common is that commitment to fulfill Lou’s dying wish that this case doesn’t die with him,” said John Anderson, a friend of Smit’s and former sheriff of El Paso County in Texas. “There’s a narrative out there that this is an unsolved homicide and that we just have to accept that as a fact, and that is not the truth. Video: JonBenet Ramsey's half brother speaks out on her 1996 murder in new TV special praising investigator who believed pageant queen's parents were innocent - and declares DNA … Get plenty of rest.’ I was deathly afraid that tomorrow was, in fact, the 27th.”, “You lose all perception of time, of place,” added Patsy Ramsey in 2000. … They didn’t do it.”. JonBenét Ramsey was killed in her family's Colorado home in 1996. Despite their denials, police continued to suspect the parents in JonBenét’s murder. First detective to respond in JonBenet case resigns. that will air Friday, September 9. … I immediately knelt down over her, felt her cheek, took the tape off immediately off her mouth. “When he got sick with cancer … he knew that his time was limited and so, during that time, he just talked to others about not letting this case die,” said Cindy Marra, Smit’s daughter. The interrogation ultimately took place at a different police department and the Boulder investigators were forced to watch from a separate building. An outsider — Lou Smith, Homicide Detective on the JonBenét case believes it may have simply been a kidnapping gone wrong; “I believe that he was going to take her out of house. The blanket was wrapped around her. “You think about this number and how it’s relevant… John Ramsey got a bonus from his company for $118,000,” Garrett said, referring to JonBenét’s father. We’re just not going to do it.”. Nearly 25 years after JonBenét Ramsey's infamous and still unsolved death, the case of the 6-year-old pageant queen is back in the news again. The child beauty queen had died sometime during the previous night but wasn’t found until hours later. But he was running out of time. Marra said that before his death, while he was still in the hospital, he told her that he wanted someone to keep investigating the case. Police didn’t believe it was possible to fit through the window, and then Smit showed them it was by going through it himself. Now, out of that top 20, what our team has been doing is focusing on collecting DNA and testing DNA,” Anderson said. Maxwell behind JonBenét Colorado detective had received a mysterious telephone call about JonBenét murder case. “I thought this was [going to] be a fairly easy case. Tom Haney, a detective with the Denver Police Department, interrogated Patsy Ramsey, while Smit interrogated John Ramsey. Turn on desktop notifications for breaking stories about interest? The note said, “You are not the only fat cat around,” and also included other lines that were similar to the dialogue from the films “Dirty Harry” and “Speed.”. It was after this test that Lacy wrote a letter to John Ramsey stating that her office does not consider him, his wife Patsy Ramsey or anyone in their immediate family to be under suspicion for the death of JonBenét. “How could they think that? Eager diners hit SJ outdoor restaurants as state lifts lockdown, CA lifts stay at home order, will announce change in vaccine eligibility stages soon, Atmospheric river to slam Bay Area with heavy rain, winds, LIVE: Track rain in Bay Area with Live Doppler 7, Bracing for mudslides in Bay Area fire zones. “The big question is could you have gotten through this window -- this small window -- without disturbing this cobweb,” Garrett said. “We were outraged. Patsy Ramsey died of ovarian cancer in 2006 and was buried next to JonBenét in Georgia, JonBenét’s half-brother, John Andrew Ramsey, said. Nearly 20 years have passed since 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey was killed in her family's Colorado home. … Their actions before, during and after [JonBenét’s death] are all consistent with innocent people. He said that this evidence “was not something that was made public for quite a long time.” An analysis found that it didn’t match anyone in the Ramsey family. John Anderson, former sheriff of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office in Texas, talks about his friend Lou Smit, the legendary detective who died before he could solve 6-year-old JonBenet … As the first detective to arrive at the Ramsey house on Dec. 26, 1996, Linda Arndt endured stinging criticism and ridicule because of what she did and didn’t do once she arrived on the scene. Specifically, he noted the similarities to the kidnap drama “Ransom,” which had been playing in Boulder at the time. Multiple former investigators in the JonBenet Ramsey murder speak out about their theories on the case in a new two-hour special Dateline NBC: Who Killed JonBenét? Two granddaughters of the longtime detective in the JonBenét Ramsey case are keeping his legacy alive and doing what they can to honor the slain girl's memory as well. Then, the next day, her parents appeared on CNN for an interview in which they pleaded for the public to help them find their daughter’s killer. MORE: Video: JonBenet Ramsey Case: Who Was Patsy Ramsey? Marra believes her daughters, Smit’s granddaughters, will push forward his dying wish even if they’re unable to. “But [the police] are trying to say Patsy did it. He quickly began reviewing the evidence and finding potential leads that the police and public had overlooked or dismissed. ET on ABC. Investigators weren’t able to find anything incriminating during the Ramseys’ interrogations. As part of their promise to keep the case alive, van der Woerd and Smit’s other granddaughter, Lexi Marra, created the podcast “The Victim’s Shoes,” where they discuss details of the case. But speaking to JonBenét’s parents, the main suspects in the case at that point, as part of a formal interrogation at the police station was challenging. If we leverage the evidence, we follow the facts, we will find this killer.”, 24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events. He pointed out the open window in the basement, but photographs showed cobwebs on the window that would’ve likely broken had someone snuck through. Lou Smit, a longtime police detective who was called out of retirement to help investigate the 1996 slaying of JonBenet Ramsey, the 6-year-old beauty pageant winner, but … “You’ve just been dealt a horrible, crushing blow.”. Two granddaughters of the longtime detective within the JonBenét Ramsey case are holding his legacy alive and doing what they'll to This Detective's Granddaughters Want to Solve the JonBenét Ramsey Case … “I thought there was something drastically wrong and that there was a gross injustice in this case,” he said in the tapes. “As we looked at each other, I remember -- and I wore a shoulder holster -- tucking my gun right next to me and consciously counting [that] I’ve got 18 bullets,” Arndt said, adding, “I didn’t know if we’d all be alive when people showed up.”. “I mean, we’re suffering from having lost our child … and then, for someone to accuse you, it’s just, you can’t believe that would happen,” she told CNN in January 1997. JonBenét was buried in Marietta, Georgia, the Ramseys’ hometown, on Dec. 31, 1996. We were a normal family.”. “And he asked me to write down a name, and I did. 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