Multiple People Now 'on the Radar' in JonBenet Case

Cops in Colorado say they're looking into 'new persons of interest' in 1996 murder of 6-year-old
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2023 10:45 AM CDT
Updated Sep 30, 2023 6:30 AM CDT
Multiple People Now 'on the Radar' in JonBenet Case
In this May 24, 2000, file photo, Patsy Ramsey and her husband, John, parents of JonBenet Ramsey, appear at a news conference in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/Ric Feld, File)

It's been 27 years since 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey was found murdered over the Christmas holiday in her Colorado home, with most of the leads on who killed her having gone cold over time. Now, however, Boulder police suggest they may be making advances on that front. "There are several people on the radar," a police source tells the Messenger. "New persons of interest. And we are seeing if any of them are the key to solving this case." Cops there say they've never stopped investigating, noting in 2021 that they'd analyzed almost 1,000 DNA samples in an attempt to track down JonBenet's killer, as well as interviewed more than 1,000 people.

Earlier this year, Boulder police say they started using new DNA technology to take a look at never-before-examined evidence in the case. Authorities have focused in the past on at least two men: John Mark Karr, who confessed to the killing but was later released for lack of evidence, and Gary Oliva, a convicted pedophile who also claims he killed JonBenet (JonBenet's half brother, John Andrew, doesn't believe Oliva is the killer). "Of course the entire department is aware of these men," the police source says. "And sure, if anything comes up that leads back to them, then that's the avenue that we'll take. But now, there are new people to look at."

In 2008, JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, long looked at with suspicion themselves, were exonerated through DNA evidence. (Patsy Ramsey had died two years prior to that, of ovarian cancer.) JonBenet's older brother Burke, who was 9 at the time of her murder, was also said by police not to be a suspect. "Time will tell if we get the answers we need," the police source tells the Messenger. "This is a marathon, not a sprint." Meanwhile, John Ramsey talked to the Sun last month on what would've been JonBenet's 33rd birthday, wondering if his daughter might still be alive if she hadn't been involved in the world of beauty pageants.

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"I thought these pageants were just attended by moms and dads and grandparents, and so I didn't really worry about that exposure," he said. "But we later learned there were people attending these pageants that had no business being there: pedophiles. ... We were so naive." As for what Ramsey would say to JonBenet today if he had the chance, he noted, "I'd tell her, 'I'm sorry I didn't protect you.' That's a dad's job. ... We were just complacent. We thought we lived in la-la land with no need to worry [...] but we were wrong." Read more from him here. (More JonBenet Ramsey stories.)

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