“I’m not saying parents don’t kill their kids … parents do kill their children,” Smit said in his tapes. John Ramsey later found JonBenét in the basement, a part of the home that police had neglected to search. Her father, John, found the girl's body in the basement of their house about seven hours after she had been reported missing. 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. The interrogation ultimately took place at a different police department and the Boulder investigators were forced to watch from a separate building. “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.”. 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. Jonathan Webb, one of the grand jurors, told “20/20” that Smit’s intruder theory didn’t make sense. Details are not shared. Now, in the house, the ransom note is written on a pad that belongs to Patsy.”, He said police began to suspect that maybe the Ramseys had “harmed their child in some way, then panicked and tried to create basically a kidnapping scenario.”. Watch the full story on "20/20" Friday at 9 p.m. 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. Police arrived shortly after the 911 call and began investigating the scene for clues about the kidnapper. Detective: JonBenet's father did it ( 0 ) NEW YORK, Sept. 13 -- One of the Colorado detectives initially assigned to the JonBenet Ramsey case … 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. He found JonBenét in the basement, a part of the home that police had neglected to search. What’s the matter with you,’” said Dimond. 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. Smit also spoke about the DNA evidence that police had found underneath JonBenét’s fingernails and in her underwear in the video diaries. Police didn’t believe it was possible to fit through the window, and then Smit showed them it was by going through it himself. “My daughters … will continue on with this case when we end up being too old to do it,” said Marra. “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. 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. 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. Marra said she doesn’t believe “at this point that they are actively investigating this case.”. that will air Friday, September 9. Specifically, he noted the similarities to the kidnap drama “Ransom,” which had been playing in Boulder at the time. “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. Investigators weren’t able to find anything incriminating during the Ramseys’ interrogations. Throughout both interrogations, JonBenét’s parents vehemently denied anyone in their family killed their daughter. A former detective on the famous cold case writes in a new book that a cobweb and a child's toy could hold the answers to the 1996 murder of six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey. Investigators cleared the Ramsey family as suspects. 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 wasn’t involved in JonBenét’s case. Marra said that after his death, her family teamed up with some of Smit’s former homicide partners to keep investigating the case. Copyright © 2021 ABC News Internet Ventures. But like police, the jury didn’t believe someone could’ve entered the window with the cobwebs remaining intact. 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 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. “It seemed as though the parents were probably involved,” Smit said in video diaries that he began recording while investigating the case. Exclusive clip: Discovery+ re-examines JonBenet Ramsey case with new audio from detective JonBenet Ramsey's death in 1996 still baffles investigators. 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. As he worked his way up through the ranks to detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department, Smit had numerous notable cases in his roster. “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. “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. “The family has not lost the will to fight and the will … to find the killer,” John Andrew Ramsey said. ET on ABC. JonBenét Patricia Ramsey (August 6, 1990 – December 25, 1996) was an American child beauty queen who was killed at the age of six in her family's home in Boulder, Colorado.A lengthy handwritten ransom note was found in the home. 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 … 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. “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. Arndt said the moment sparked fear in her that JonBenét’s father might have killed their daughter, and so she braced herself for a possible confrontation. After several hours, the police began to leave the Ramsey home. John Ramsey said he brought his daughter upstairs and laid her on the floor, hoping she was alive. JonBenét’s parents anxiously waited for the supposed kidnapper’s call with just one detective there: Linda Arndt. 2016. 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 … 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. “I thought there was something drastically wrong and that there was a gross injustice in this case,” he said in the tapes. For someone to get through a small window like that and not disturb the cobwebs “would be remarkable,” he said. He quickly began reviewing the evidence and finding potential leads that the police and public had overlooked or dismissed. 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 … For the first time, viewers will be able to hear the previously unreleased audio diaries of Lou Smit, famed Colorado Springs homicide detective who was coaxed from retirement to try and bring some clarity to the chaos surrounding this case. 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. 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. I expected to be bored with this one because Schiller's Perfect Murder, Perfect Town: The Uncensored Story of the JonBenet Murder and the … 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. The blanket was wrapped around her. “How many people knew that? Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter, however, wasn't convinced of their guilt and wanted to explore other theories. Smit’s daughter, Cindy Marra, said the interviews “firmed up his belief that the Ramseys had nothing to do” with JonBenét’s murder. “The police … are faced with lawyers and wealthy friends. “It was really important to him.”. The $118,000 figure also seemed suspicious to authorities. Now, out of that top 20, what our team has been doing is focusing on collecting DNA and testing DNA,” Anderson said. Patsy Ramsey died of ovarian cancer in 2006 and was buried next to JonBenét in Georgia, JonBenét’s half-brother, John Andrew Ramsey, said. In JonBenet, the most authoritative and comprehensive study of the Ramsey murder, a former lead Boulder Police detective, Steve Thomas, explores the case in vivid and fascinating detail-pointing the way toward an analysis of the evidence some deem too shocking to consider. 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. In his video diaries, Smit pointed out that whoever wrote the ransom note included language that was drawn from several movies. Marra believes her daughters, Smit’s granddaughters, will push forward his dying wish even if they’re unable to. Read on for her father's hopes for the new project. 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. Daily Mail. Simson trial and quickly gained traction with news outlets around the world. MORE: Forensic psychiatrist who consulted on JonBenet Ramsey case killed outside his office, MORE: Ex-DA Opens Up About Why She Cleared the Ramsey Family of JonBenet's Murder. People in the community who tell the police, ‘Give them room. They’re grieving. But he was running out of time. She had tape over her mouth. “The big question is could you have gotten through this window -- this small window -- without disturbing this cobweb,” Garrett said. 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. “People were streaming through that house. “But [the police] are trying to say Patsy did it. We don’t want them there.”. Maxwell behind JonBenét Colorado detective had received a mysterious telephone call about JonBenét murder case. Please don’t let it die,’” she said. We’re not interrogating possible suspects. “We were outraged. “But we’re not gonna stop investigating. There were some friends of Patsy’s that were helping her wipe up the kitchen. Go retest.” He said she told him it was impossible for them to have “physical evidence” linking her to the crime. Television documentary, accessed on CBS On Demand, September 23. 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. The Case of JonBenet Ramsey. 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. “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. 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. JonBenét Ramsey was killed in her family's Colorado home in 1996. … They didn’t do it.”. Turn on desktop notifications for breaking stories about interest? The three-page long note said in part that if JonBenét’s parents called the authorities, she would die, and asked for $118,000. JonBenét and her older brother Burke Ramsey. With the case now in the public’s view, police sought to question JonBenét’s parents. The day after Christmas — Dec. 26, 1996 — JonBenét Ramsey was found murdered in the basement of her family’s Colorado home. There were some reasons to suspect this. 5 people, including pregnant woman, fatally shot in Indianapolis, Capitol riot latest: Man accused of stealing documents from McConnell's desk charged, Biden's COVID relief package presents 1st test of his deal-making skills. 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.”. JonBenét's cause of death was determined … “We’re not investigators. The case's lead investigator, Mark Beckner says there are “significant results” from the 1,058 pieces of evidence taken from the home. … Their actions before, during and after [JonBenét’s death] are all consistent with innocent people. They were in the kitchen, they were in the living room. JonBenét’s murder came on the heels of the O.J. “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. 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. Twenty-four years after the beauty queen was killed in her Boulder, Colo. home at the age of 6, ABC’s 20/20 is devoting its Friday, Jan. 15 episode to the ongoing investigation of the still-unsolved crime. When reached for comment, the Boulder Police Department said there is still an active, ongoing investigation into JonBenét’s murder; however, the department has never publicly commented on its handling of the case. Tom Haney, a detective with the Denver Police Department, interrogated Patsy Ramsey, while Smit interrogated John Ramsey. There could’ve been fingerprints there.”. 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. We’re just not going to do it.”. I thought it would be a slam dunk, and I even remember talking to my daughter. Her hands were tied above her head. 2016. 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. It also said that JonBenét’s parents would receive a call from the supposed kidnapper “tomorrow” between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. “It was awful,” John Ramsey told ABC News’ Barbara Walters in 2000. “We work on this daily. That’s the question I always ask.”. After 13 years, Smit still believed that an unidentified intruder was responsible for JonBenet’s murder. “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. 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. “It would be highly improper and unethical for me to stay when I so strongly believe this.”. “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. “She was lying on a white blanket. Smit was already a well-known figure as a police detective before he worked on JonBenet's murder investigation. If we leverage the evidence, we follow the facts, we will find this killer.”, 24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events. “We went through the people of interest ... and came up with our top 20. 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. However, with the Ramseys’ friends showing up for moral support, they also contaminated the scene by moving about the house. 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? He believed the answer to the identity of JonBenét’s killer lay in the DNA found in her underwear and underneath her fingernails. JonBenét’s parents initially thought she had been kidnapped during the night. Three months after JonBenét’s death, he brought Smit into the fold. Over 24 years later authorities are still trying to answer that question. The team referred to the database Smit had created to begin narrowing down suspects. 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. 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.”. I tried to untie the cord that was around her arms and I couldn’t get the knot untied.”. 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. “The Ramsey’s said, ‘We don’t trust the police. … I immediately knelt down over her, felt her cheek, took the tape off immediately off her mouth. 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