Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Murder of JonBenet Ramsey

Fighting Back

By the end of November, John and Patsy Ramsey made it clear how they were going to proceed. "What we wanted and what we continue to want is that the investigation continues, that it be staffed with people that are really experienced in homicides and this type of crime," John Ramsey told a Nashville TV station. "The last thing we want to have happen is for the investigation to be shelved."

As if in answer, prosecutor Mike Kane traveled to Connecticut following the broadcast to examine crime scene evidence in company with noted criminologist Dr. Henry Lee. At the same time, a Boulder police spokeswoman, Jana Petersen, also confirmed that physical evidence was still being tested.

The Ramseys said they agreed to the interview primarily to promote their book, in the hope that it would spark renewed interest in the case and help to bring the killer to justice.

The following month, they announced through their attorneys that they would be continuing a court action against The Star newspaper and would be seeking $25 million in actual and punitive damages. A statement released by American Media, The Star's parent company, said it would fight the suit and use the libel case as a chance to re-investigate the case.

Lou Smit, former investigator
Lou Smit, former investigator

As 1999 drew to a close, Lou Smit, a former member of the JonBenet Ramsey prosecution team, announced that he was working with John and Patsy Ramsey to prove the theory that an intruder killed their child. Smit, 63, a former El Paso County homicide investigator and a respected veteran of more than 150 Colorado murder investigations, had previously come out of retirement in March 1997, to work with District Attorney Alex Hunter on the investigation. He resigned Sept. 20, 1998, due to concerns that Hunter's team was wrongly targeting the Ramseys.

After the announcement, Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner was quick to criticize Smit's decision when he told an interviewer:

"It would seem somewhat unethical to do that, to have a police investigator that worked for the DA's office, now consulting with people who are still under suspicion in the case. I don't know how you can assist in a third-party investigation without sharing information that you became aware of as a participant in that investigation on the prosecution side, I don't know where that's possible."

In January 2000, the only activity in the Ramsey case wasn't provided by the police, the DA's office or Lou Smit, but rather by a CBS film crew shooting footage for a television mini-series on the murder investigation of JonBenet Ramsey.

The mini-series, to be called Perfect Murder, Perfect Town, is based on the book of the same name.

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