Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Interview with Stephen Singular

The Pornography Connection

The Pornography Connection

Q: How did you make the connection between the JonBenet Ramsey case and child pornography?

I didn't make the connection as much as I felt that this area should be investigated by the authorities because of the similarities between what I'd seen online and the child's murder. And because I'd been told by cyber-crime specialists that JonBenet was precisely the kind of child, because of her beauty pageant experience, who could be sucked into the world of child porn. She was a natural candidate to attract attention — and pedophiles. Once it became apparent, from the cops' investigation, that the Ramseys did not seem to be involved in abusing their child and this was not an obvious case of a parent raping or killing their little girl, then the next place to investigate was the subculture of exploitation and violence that JonBenet was exposed to through her success in the pageant world. If you can determine that her parents had no criminal past or even criminal tendencies, and you can also determine that a child was connected to things that hold criminal behavior, why wouldn't you investigate those things and that behavior?

Q: You were responsible for focusing Alex Hunter and his team on another suspect weren't you?

Yes, I told Hunter that a photographer (Randy Simons) who'd taken JonBenet's picture and who, according to some pageant moms in the Denver-Boulder area, had asked if he could photograph their girls nude or semi-nude, had freaked out following the murder and had acted very suspiciously ever since. I was not suggesting that Simons participated in the death of JonBenet but that he might well have knowledge of the kinds of activities and subculture I was telling Hunter about. At the time I told the DA this, he'd never heard of Simons, which indicates just how much the Boulder police resisted investigating the murder outside of the family and how little they knew about the world JonBenet had been exposed to through her
pageant connections.

Q: What was the result of those investigations?

The police never truly investigated Simons or anyone else who raised the possibility of a different scenario for this homicide. They were, to use Hunter's word, "fixated" on the Ramseys and still are.

Q: So when police chief Mark Beckner told the press that his detectives had "intensively investigated" numerous other suspects, apart from the Ramseys, he wasn't telling the truth?

He was telling the truth as he saw it. They did devote a little time to this or that person but never with any conviction or genuine curiosity. From firsthand observations of the police behavior in this case, I can tell you that they have not deeply investigated a number of credible leads. They haven't acted this way out of malice, but because they hold only one view of the case. The murder can't be solved, I believe, because that view doesn't fit the evidence.

Q: In February this year, a Californian woman came forward and, through her counselor, advised the Boulder police that she had previously been molested at the hands of a pedophile ring that she thought was also responsible for the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. How significant was her evidence and do you think Alex Hunter and the BPD treated it seriously?

I think much of what she said — and I was present during several of her interviews — is very significant. The Ramseys have gone on TV and begged the public for information about this murder. They have presented a profile of their daughter's killer: a pedophile in Boulder who knew their family. This woman came forward and talked about a pedophilic group in Boulder with connections to their family, and she suggested that this group might have played a role in their daughter's death. The Ramseys wanted absolutely nothing to do with her — even though she was talking about things that appeared to exonerate them in the murder of their child. What does this tell you? They don't want this pedophile door opened even one crack. The
secrets of the case, I believe, lie in there and they (or at least one of the parents) don't want anyone to explore this realm of child exploitation, abuse, and pornography. It is better to be accused of being a murderer than to have other things come out. Hunter took her seriously, but the BPD, which interviewed her and was the agency that should have investigated her claims, dismissed her the same way they've dismissed everyone and everything that haven't fit their scenario. For the Ramseys, or one Ramsey, there appeared to be a worse scenario than having both Patsy and their young son Burke being publicly accused, for the past three years, of killing JonBenet. That scenario had to do with making their daughter the victim of a child sex ring in Boulder. Why was this more threatening than having your family members accused of the most terrible thing a person can do?

Q: Can you suggest any scenarios that would explain why they would want to cover something like that up and allow themselves to be implicated in their daughters murder in the process?

Both parents, as I've suggested, are not involved in the same things, so the cover-up then becomes broader than merely hiding things from the police. And once certain actions were taken on the night of the murder, taken in a moment of absolute panic, they could not be undone. Also, the Ramseys have never been legally implicated in the murder of their daughter. They've only been accused of this by the media and others. So the plan, at least to date, has worked. They are not in jail and not likely to be charged with the crime soon. It is better, isn't it, to be thought a bad person by much of the world, than to face the worst accusations from the people closest to you? So silence prevails.

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