Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Murder of JonBenet Ramsey

A Stun Gun

The measurement of the two electrodes on the end of the stun gun was within a millimeter of that of the two injuries on the little girl's chin, Doberson said. He also noticed where a small metal bar on the weapon also could have left a mark. Doberson noted that any stun-gun wounds on JonBenet would not have been lethal. "There's some danger in making a decision based on photographs without having talked to the people who did the autopsy and who saw the injuries," he said.

Chief Beckner said he was already familiar with Smit's theory that a stun gun was used on JonBenet. "I can say, we have evidence to the contrary." He also said he was disturbed that Smit decided to talk about evidence in the unsolved case. "He's willing to go out and talk about his theory, but in so doing, he ignores a lot of other evidence," Beckner said.

Boulder County Coroner John Meyer declined to comment on Doberson's opinion.

Some weeks later, John and Patsy Ramsey continued to promote Smit's intruder theory when they gave an interview to ABC's 20/20 program. They also suggested that the police should look to the Ramseys' "inner circle" to find their daughter's killer, perhaps someone who was familiar with the family and may be a pedophile. The Ramseys said they believe an intruder may have waited for hours in their home before strangling and beating JonBenet. "I can't believe that we have ever knowingly met anyone that can be this vicious. But someone killed our daughter. So we have to start looking. We start at the inner circle and keep moving out," Patsy Ramsey said.

The Ramseys also accused police of ignoring such evidence as a handprint and DNA that could not be matched to family members or friends. Later, when appearing on the Today show, John Ramsey again suggested that people assume an intruder killed JonBenet, and he asked the public to contact authorities if they had any leads. "I'm not going to try to persuade people that I'm innocent. That's not important here. I want people to be objective and listen and think. Because that's how this crime is going to be solved," he said.

Smit resigned from Hunter's office in September 1998, after Hunter decided to take the investigation to the grand jury. Smit said he quit, in part, because he believed Boulder police and prosecutors "had developed tunnel vision and were focusing only on the Ramsey family and not on other suspects."

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