The 6-year-old girl was found dead on the morning after Christmas 1996. A window in the basement was broken and an unidentified footprint was found at the scene. One of America's most famous unsolved cases is undoubtedly the murder of JonBent Ramsey in Boulder, Colorado and CBS has opened its own investigation with the two-part special The Case Of: JonBent Ramsey. His wife's book, what happened to their own daughter etc. One of his Santa jobs included an appearance at the Ramsey's holiday party three days before JonBenet's death, where he gave JonBenet a cardwhich said "You will receive a special gift after Christmas." McReynolds is described as the man hired by Patsy to play Santa Claus at the Ramsey family's Christmas parties in 1995 and 1996. Watch the full story on "20/20" Friday at 9 p.m. 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. You think about this number and how its relevant John Ramsey got a bonus from his company for $118,000, Garrett said, referring to JonBents father. Anderson said that the team narrowing down Smits list met with Boulder authorities in September 2020 to present the list of their top 20 suspects in the case. It was really important to him.. However, physical evidence suggested that those details were part of a set-up. He was not an initial suspect because he had no former ties to the Ramsey family and no DNA evidence was found that could incriminate him. | The case is officially unsolved, and has become one of the most mysterious and controversial in America's history. Madison McReynolds played Lindsey from Season One to Season Five; Kay Panabaker took over the role in the Season Six finale Way to Go, and continued to play it up until Season Twelve's episode Zippered, via photo, where she's uncredited. DNA has since cleared Helgoth of any involvement. He loved that little girl. Keep in mind that just after JonBent's death, there were rumors that sexual assault was a factor in the murder, but those claims are under dispute in light of recent interviews like A&E's The Killing of JonBent: The Truth Uncovered, which aired on Labor Day weekend. Indeed, they were reportedly made privy to evidence that those of us in the general public have never seen nor even known about, though they admittedly never had the latest though, for many, still inconclusive DNA evidence back then. Bill McReynolds had been enjoying life as a retired journalism professor in Boulder, Colo. Then his life suddenly changed after volunteering to play Santa at an annual Christmas party attended by JonBenet. All because they thought Burke might be arrested for eating pineapple with JonBenet? One of the major twists in the investigation of the murder of JonBent Ramsey is that detectives interviewed Bill McReynolds, a friend of the family, because he had played Santa Claus at a Ramsey Christmas celebration two days before the 6-year-old's body was found. Adam Driver & Wife Joanne Tucker Are Expecting Baby #2, This Alvin Ailey Dancer Fuels Herself With Healthy Meals, Yet All Her Kids Want Is Sugar, Courteney Cox Just Responded To Prince Harrys Story About Doing Mushrooms At Her House, Daisy Jones & The Six Is A Nostalgic Series Based On A Best-Selling Book, What Parents Are Talking About Delivered Straight To Your Inbox, By subscribing to this BDG newsletter, you agree to our. JonBent's death, in some respects, paralleled the plot of a play McReynolds' wife had written before the killing. Barry Williams/Getty Images News/Getty Images, Janet McReynolds wrote a play about a young girl, sexual assault was a factor in the murder. 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. Lawrence Brandon McReynolds is an American professional stock car racing driver and the No. She had dressed up as Mrs. Claus at the Christmas party and way back in 1976, Janet McReynolds wrote a play about a young girl who was abducted, molested, and found dead in a basement. In a 911 call just before 6 a.m., her mother Patsy Ramsey was inconsolable as she told the dispatcher that her daughter was missing and that shed found a ransom note at the bottom of her stairs. Additionally, the McReynolds' 9-year-old daughter was reportedly abducted on Dec. 26, the same day JonBent was found dead, only years prior in the 1970s. They returned for another one in June 1998, but this time, the investigators recorded it on video. According to The Daily Camera, the McReynolds' middle daughter, 9-years-old at the time, was abducted on December 26, 1974, and witnessed the sexual molestation of her friend. He takes pictures of her dying and possibly records it. The body was found by her father, John Ramsey. Just because he saw JonBenet last? The South Carolina native got engaged over the weekend to Kendall McReynolds, daughter of two-time Daytona 500 winning-crew chief and NASCAR on FOX analyst Larry McReynolds. Katy Perry is JonBent Ramsey. In the ensuing years, Smit continued to look at the information he had on the JonBent case and compiled it all into a database. Despite their denials, police continued to suspect the parents in JonBents murder. Smits daughter, Cindy Marra, said the interviews firmed up his belief that the Ramseys had nothing to do with JonBents murder. Cookie Notice JonBent Patricia Ramsey was a six-year-old beauty pageant contestant who was brutally murdered (and possibly raped) in her home, on the night of 25 to 26 December 1996. Helgoth was found dead shortly after JonBent's murder, and his death was ruled a suicide. Patsy Ramsey said that when they found out they were main suspects in their daughters death, she didnt believe it.. So who is Bill McReynolds? I admittedly came to this preliminary conclusion despite a plethora of additional evidence strongly suggesting otherwise. He found JonBent in the basement, a part of the home that police had neglected to search. The Guardian reported that McReynolds had allegedly given JonBent a Christmas card which reportedly stated that the 6-year-old would be receiving a "special present" after Christmas. Knowing what you value will help you build the most meaningful life possible. The 26-year-old committed suicide two days after a 1997 press conference where the Boulder DA announced that they were looking at a new suspect. Smit also spoke about the DNA evidence that police had found underneath JonBents fingernails and in her underwear in the video diaries. The child beauty queen had died sometime during the previous night but wasnt found until hours later. But there are always exceptions. Another suspect was Bill McReynolds. According to CNN, an original prosecutor on the Ramsey case claimed that Bill McReynolds had given JonBenet a greeting card, later found in the trash bin of the Ramsey home right after her death, with the cryptic message: "You will receive a special gift after Christmas." The note read that if the Ramseys had contacted the police, or told anyone of JonBents disappearance, she would be murdered. In 1976, Janet McReynolds had written an award-winning play about the sexual assault, torture and murder of a girl whose body was found in a basement. Here is the exact wording of the recently released grand jury's recommended indictment of both John and Patsy Ramsey, which concluded that they each "unlawfully, knowingly, recklessly and feloniously permit[ted] a child to be unreasonably placed in a situation which posed a threat of injury to the child's life or health, resulting in her death." The idea that a parents first thought upon finding their child murdered is to start a coverup out of pure survival instinct is fantastical. The police quickly decide John and/or Patsy killed JonBenet. We needed to look back at the family, the people who were in the home that night to determine what motive, what opportunity, what could have caused this situation to occur and eventually be reported to police on the morning of December 26, he said. In a June 1997 Denver Post article, a number of people who knew JonBent spoke to the outlet about what she was like as a person because the 6-year-old murder victim was far more than the pageant star whose glamour shots had been splashed across nearly every print and media outlet in the country. He quickly began reviewing the evidence and finding potential leads that the police and public had overlooked or dismissed. (This is the same scenario some cite to suggest that John and Patsy were protecting their son, Burke; though it is one thing to hypothetically cover up their daughter's death at the hands of her 9-year-old brother to protect him, and quite another to do so for an adult friend or acquaintance.). They went to a war: they kept lying, twisting facts, throwing friends into the fire, and obstructing justice for decades now. JonBenet may personally have even given her favorite "Santa" a guided tour of her sprawling home in 1995, a year before being found dead in that same home. When Bill died in 2002, The Daily Camera emphasized that police sources never considered he or Janet "serious" suspects. Marra said she doesnt believe at this point that they are actively investigating this case.. Apparently they're supposed to use separate clippers for each nail. Fascinating. She had tape over her mouth. JonBent's mother, Patsy, called police initially believing that her daughter was missing after a ransom note was found on the staircase. I kind of joked with her, saying that, If somebody did get in that house, it mustve been Santa Claus coming down the chimney.. I place particular importance on this aspect of the JonBenet Ramsey case because this group of eight men and four women had access to a massive amount of evidence related to the circumstances surrounding JonBenet's death, and sufficient time to consider it in depth and detail. "He was scarred. According to a CNN report in 2006, Trip DeMuth, an original prosecutor on the case, said that McReynolds' alleged Christmas card to JonBent was particularly concerning: The McReynolds were reportedly cleared of charges after submitting DNA samples, CNN reported. There were some reasons to suspect this. Press J to jump to the feed. Simson trial and quickly gained traction with news outlets around the world. what type of cancer did emily riemer have? 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. The family moved to Florida when Robert was six years old. Moreover, both he, as a retired journalism professor, and his wife, an award-winning playwright, clearly had the creativity, literary skills, knowledge, and background needed to construct the so-called ransom note (see Part 2), either together or individually, including the ability to make it sound as though it was written by someone else, in part through the deliberate and deceptive inclusion of misspellings and grammatical errors. This seems really strange and coincidental. McReynolds daughter was kidnapped 22 years before which caused more suspicions . Why not just take some photos of her and be gone. What we all share in common is that commitment to fulfill Lous dying wish that this case doesnt die with him, said John Anderson, a friend of Smits and former sheriff of El Paso County in Texas. Serving as the crew chief in the Winston Cup until 2000, McReynolds . Bill Cosby and daughter Erika, 11, watch son Erinn, 10 and daughter Ennis, 7, upload snowballs, on winter stroll on 60th Street on January 25, 1977. 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. However, Olivas DNA was cleared for the murder but was later arrested for possessing child pornography. TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. A memorial service is scheduled for Friday in Massachusetts. Dawn Miller 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. Apparently, not unlike in the JonBenet Ramsey case, no one was ever arrested for that perverse crime. The child had also suffered an 8-inch skull fracture, shocks from a stun gun and sexual abuse with a broken piece from the paintbrush used in the garrote, according to Brad Garrett, a former FBI agent and ABC News contributor who wasnt involved in JonBents case. She was named after her parents, John Bennett . McReynolds claimed he was innocent and died in 2002. I thought there was no dna found under her fingertips? While elected by Districts, each member represents the interests of the City as a whole. For other inquiries, Contact Us. J. MCREYNOLDS: The basic thrust and the parallel that I am now seeing with the JonBenet case is that the victim, in my play, was a scapegoat for the sins of the community. Might the McReynolds together or Bill or Janet separately have harbored such toxic resentment, directing it at John Ramsey and his family? However, the connections turned out to be purely coincidental, as both Bill and Janet submitted hair, handwriting, and blood samples and were cleared of any involvement in the crime. Police arrived shortly after the 911 call and began investigating the scene for clues about the kidnapper. In 1996, John and Patsy Ramsey lived in Boulder, CO along with their nine-year-old son Burke and their six-year-old daughter JonBenet. Suspicious. Why Are So Many Young Men Single And Sexless? The still unsolved case has seen many people come under suspicion as it's shrouded in conspiracies - with some even suggesting her older brother Burke could have been behind the grisly murder. JonBent was buried in Marietta, Georgia, the Ramseys hometown, on Dec. 31, 1996. Its also believed that because of the initial belief that the Ramseys had something to do with JonBents murder, other leads were neglected by authorities. Contact reporter Christine Reid at (303) 473-1355 or email@example.com. Why write a ransom note? He celebrated the holiday with the doomed 6-year-old beauty queen just two days before her battered body was found at her parents' mansion. A former Boulder, Colo., police detective who spent almost two years investigating the killing of JonBenet Ramsey . No one was ever arrested for the crime. 2023 BDG Media, Inc. All rights reserved. But another less obvious and commonly unconscious aspect of this abusive behavior toward others by trauma victims is related to repressed feelings of rage and resentment regarding what was unfairly done to them by others, and an unrelenting need for revenge or retaliation against the perpetrators specifically or perceived stand-ins for the original perpetrator, or against society in general, and, sometimes, against God for allowing this traumatic experience to have happened to them. The interrogation ultimately took place at a different police department and the Boulder investigators were forced to watch from a separate building. Following the Ramseys exoneration thanks to new DNA technology, many hoped the killer would eventually be found. 5 Spiritual Practices That Increase Well-Being. Can Good Relationship Experiences Change Attachment Styles? 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 childs 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.. By subscribing to this BDG newsletter, you agree to our. But they also know that he couldn't have written the note and they know that neither one of them wrote it or did anything wrong because they were together the entire time. Some perpetrator to whom John and Patsy granted willing access to their daughter, someone who subsequently sexually abused, tortured, and murdered her. He pointed out the open window in the basement, but photographs showed cobwebs on the window that wouldve likely broken had someone snuck through. If its not a stun gun, what is it? When Haney suggested there might be trace evidence that appears to link Patsy Ramsey to her daughters murder, Patsy Ramsey said, That is totally impossible. In that particular movie, a fat cat industrialist, his son was kidnapped. Bill McReynolds. Her case remains unsolved. 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. Multiple attempts to reach out to Janet McReynolds for comment on the play and CBS docu-series were unsuccessful. A minuscule amount of mixed DNA (from different locations and multiple foreign sources) doesn't prove much - unless someone cleaned up afterward, there should have been much more evidence from a single profile left. The correspondence took a disturbing turn, with Karr talking about his sexual fascination with JonBent. What did they know? Family and friends were of the Ramseys were also allowed in and out of the house before the initial investigation was completed. McReynolds won a Western States Art Foundation regional prize and a $7,500 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, but it was never published and no copy has been released to the media since. All in the Ramsey's home in such a short time span? The Ramseys said, We dont trust the police. The killer resembled JonBenet's brother John Andrew. If we leverage the evidence, we follow the facts, we will find this killer., 24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events. Theres 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. Bill McReynolds was found dead in his Mashpee, Mass., home Monday by his wife, Janet, when she returned from a weekend trip. Why not write a confession letter by Patsy and mail it to the police. At the time of Bill's death, the couple resided in Cape Cod they reportedly left Boulder in 1998 in order to seek a new beginning, far from where the tragic murder occurred. My play was loosely based on, or suggested by, a Tom Haney, a detective with the Denver Police Department, interrogated Patsy Ramsey, while Smit interrogated John Ramsey. She wakes Burke up and the two go downstairs together where they eat pineapple. Or perhaps the Ramseys felt that, with poor JonBenet already dead, they did not want to see their friend, Bill, who was already in poor health, die in prison. Or it may have been deliberately staged to leave this impression. In the aftermath of their daughters murder, John Ramsey went on to lose his job and claims he spent millions of dollars on private investigators, lawyers and security. It was later revealed that the note was written on stationery found in the familys home. However, the McReynolds were officially cleared (again, via DNA analysis, which is certainly not infallible) of any involvement in the crime, with these startling aforementioned "facts" deemed purely coincidental by both themselves and, presumably, the Boulder police department. We were shocked, added John Ramsey. 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] Ive got 18 bullets, Arndt said, adding, I didnt know if wed all be alive when people showed up.. Therefore, he very controversially decided not to file any formal charges against the Ramsey's at all. An Associated Press report from March 1997 stated that McReynolds and his wife, Janet, were initially questioned less than six weeks after the murder. The big question is could you have gotten through this window -- this small window -- without disturbing this cobweb, Garrett said. Maybe that family member enlists a friend to do it instead so that police wouldn't quickly make the connection and unbeknonst to them, that friend is a creep, so things go horribly wrong and turn from kidnapping to murder. Anything I'd say would sound suspicious." Barry Williams/Getty Images News/Getty Images, will air a six-hour, three-part documentary. Yet Burke and both his parents have been officially exonerated (see Part 1), based mainly on the most recent DNA evidence. 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. The now late Bill McReynolds was also a suspect in the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. Though at one time JonBent's parents were questioned, they have maintained their innocence and in 2008 were officially cleared of any involvement in the murder, and were never the only people investigated. Starting with the 2018 Election, four (4) Councilmembers were elected by Districts with the remaining three (3) Councilmembers elected by Districts in 2020. We do not know. But even as he stepped away from his official role in the case, he continued to push for justice for JonBent while standing on her parents side, Marra said. His DNA under JonBenets fingernails is the only trace of him left behind. 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. "Wolf denies a report that he was a friend of another onetime suspect, longtime CU journalism professor Bill McReynolds, who played Santa Claus at the Ramseys' Christmas party two nights before the murder. Jonathan Webb, one of the grand jurors, told 20/20 that Smits intruder theory didnt make sense. The team referred to the database Smit had created to begin narrowing down suspects. "Some of his students kept relationships with him their entire lives," Cosper said. YouTube Yes. Since it was Christmas, the department was short-staffed and was not prepared for the scene they were faced with at the Ramsey House. His latest book, "Larry McReynolds: The Constant Pursuit of Perfection," was released in 2016. It is reported that McReynolds paid a little too much attention to JonBenet and had supposedly chosen JonBenet to be his "special friend". And there may be many others. However, John and Patsy Ramsey referred to him as a suspect in their book The Death of Innocence, and Janet stated that her husband was deeply affected by the suspicion: "He was scarred. He attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from 1982 to 1989 and was Sorted into Gryffindor House. I hurt a little girl.. They tell him to go back to bed and agree to deny he was ever up. When Hunter called for a grand jury to assess the evidence in 1998, two years after JonBent was killed, they listened to Smits intruder theory. And he asked me to write down a name, and I did. He retired in 2019 to spend more time with his children and . People in the community who tell the police, Give them room. But speaking to JonBents parents, the main suspects in the case at that point, as part of a formal interrogation at the police station was challenging. McReynolds played Santa Claus at a Christmas party at the Ramsey house a few nights before JonBent was killed. Also, using the words of one of the handwriting experts, it's extremely unlikely for a random killer to have a handwriting so uniquely similar to Patsy's. JBR could just have been bragging. "I spoke to Bill McReynolds once in my life, and that was during a class that he was teaching," Wolf said. Meet Son Brandon McReynolds. According to CNN, an original prosecutor on the Ramsey case claimed that Bill had given JonBent a card with the message: "You will receive a special gift after Christmas." The killer resembled JonBenet's brother John Andrew. We also should have separated John and Patsy and gotten full statements from them that day. Another was Michael Helgoth, an electrician who worked at a nearby auto salvage yard. It seemed as though the parents were probably involved, Smit said in video diaries that he began recording while investigating the case. The killer lay in weight until the Ramsey's came home. McReynolds' big heart made him a popular instructor, said Doug Cosper, who taught with him at CU. Apart from it, how come the killer left no traces behind? KEVIN E. SCHMIDT. Wait, I meant, this is complete bullshit. He earned his doctorate in American Studies and was hired by CU's journalism department in 1968. Go retest. He said she told him it was impossible for them to have physical evidence linking her to the crime. McReynolds also stated that JonBent had given him a vial of gold glitter at both the 1995 and 1996 Christmas parties. The story of the girls brutal murder is a hot topic of discussion as her killer was never brought to justice. William "Bill" McReynolds, 92 formerly of Dumas, passed away on Friday, August 14, 2020. 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. Have you read The Greenland Theory? 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