Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Murder of JonBenet Ramsey

The Book

On Friday March 16, the Ramseys' book, The Death of Innocence, officially went on sale. The 396-page book, which is an emotional account of the Ramseys' life since JonBenet was killed, includes sharp criticism of how the case was mishandled and how John and Patsy believe it can be solved. The book outlines seven key pieces of evidence that they think might help find the murderer and names several names as being possible suspects:

  • One of the Ramseys' former housekeepers, who may have intended to kidnap JonBenet because she was having money troubles.
  • A man who played Santa Claus at the Ramseys' Christmas parties, including one the week JonBenet was killed.
  • A former Access Graphics employee, who Ramsey writes "was extremely agitated with me" after he left Ramsey's company.
  • A former freelance writer whose girlfriend reported he was acting suspiciously the day after the murder and seemed overly agitated by the killing.

In response to the book's allegations, Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner later told reporters that all the people named in the book have been individually investigated and are not considered as "active suspects"

The book also details the evidence the Ramseys want re-examined, including:

  • DNA found under JonBenet's fingernails,
  • The cord found around her neck and the duct tape across her mouth,
  • A pubic hair found on her blanket,
  • The ransom note,
  • The stun gun that might have been used to subdue her,
  • A palm print found on the cellar door,
  • A footprint of a Hi-Tec hiking boot found near her body.

It also provides a profile of the murderer as being a male pedophile, between the ages of 25 and 35, who may be an ex-convict who used techniques he saw in the movie Ransom, which was playing in Boulder shortly before JonBenet's murder. The Ramseys speculate that the suspect's original intention may have been to use a stun gun to immobilize JonBenet and kidnap her for the $118,000 demanded in the ransom note.

They offer the theory that the attacker's plan could have failed when JonBenet woke up and recognized her attacker, turning the would-be kidnapper into a killer. They write, "When the suspect's background, post-murder behavior, and physical evidence are put together, the identity of this monster will be clear to someone who knows him."

They believe that the killer entered their home while they were at a Christmas evening dinner at the home of Fleet and Priscilla White. They further believe the intruder may have known the layout of the home after touring it during an Historic Boulder Homes Tour in Christmas 1994, and could have become aware of John's business successes through local newspaper stories.

The book also attacks the Boulder police department, criticizing them in an early chapter for not searching the home after the ransom note was discovered. Additional criticisms continue throughout the book, the harshest of which is aimed at John Eller.

The book also heavily criticizes the media, likening them to "vultures, waiting to find tidbits of flesh to pounce on." They explain in great detail how they cooperated with police on 16 separate occasions.

They also describe how they offered to testify before the grand jury and meet with Governor Owens and his advisory council. Both offers went unanswered.

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