Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Interview with Stephen Singular

Other Theories

Other Theories

Q: In the past months, the Boulder authorities have alluded to "new evidence" that has supposedly been uncovered by Dr Henry Lee. Do you know what evidence they are referring to?

I don't think it's new evidence. It's forensic evidence, of the sort mentioned above, which doesn't match the Ramseys. Until someone starts talking or until the authorities can match that foreign DNA on JonBenet's body to a known human being, they have no case.

Q: The most curious piece of evidence seems to be the ransom note and its mention of the unusual figure of $118,000, which seems to indicate someone close to the family is responsible. How does that fit with your theories?

I believe that the child was removed from the house that night, for the seemingly innocent purpose of photographing her or exploiting her in some way, and she was killed at another location. At least one parent knew this removal had taken place. I think that JonBenet was then returned home and the crime was covered up by someone inside the family. Both parents, in my opinion, do not have the same information about what occurred that night.

The unmatched hard evidence mentioned above excludes the Ramseys as the killers and most likely excludes their home as the scene of the crime. The death was "accidental" in that no one intended for her to be hurt, let alone killed.

Q: If that's the case, why not dispose of the body completely and claim that the child was abducted? Why would anyone go to the trouble of providing an elaborate ransom note to suggest a kidnapping when the body was found in the house? Can you provide any hypothetical scenarios to explain how and why this may have occurred?

I'm suggesting that the Ramseys loved their child deeply, despite what happened to her. To get rid of her on a cold night in December, by tossing her in a ditch or something of this sort, would have been a very difficult thing for a parent to do. I'm also suggesting, more significantly, that both parents did not participate in this cover-up. Only one. And the cover-up primarily intended to fool not the cops but the other parent. So it had to look credible while accomplishing other things: keeping the child in the house, even though she was dead, and making it look as if someone who knew their family and hated the father had come in and done all this to JonBenet. Also, one parent could not easily have left the house that night with the body. Something had to be done immediately that would occur in the home and be believable. According to John Douglas, the ex-FBI profiler who examined the Ramseys briefly after the murder and concluded they were not child killers, only one parent knew that John Ramsey had recently received a $118,000 bonus and that parent was the father. I believe that a husband's inability to confront his wife at a critical moment — because of his desire to protect her feelings — played an important role in this case. It is possible to be afraid of the cops, but terrified of your wife.

Q: Isn't it possible that JonBenets murder was perpetrated by someone whose sole purpose for committing the crime was to implicate John Ramsey?

Then why won't John Ramsey pursue information that could get him off the hook? Why does he brush it aside?

Q: What do you think of Lou Smits "intruder theory"?

I don't think an intruder killed JonBenet. I don't think either of the two prevalent scenarios — the Ramseys did it or an intruder did it — can explain both the hard evidence coming from outside the family and a ransom note that appears to have come from within the house. Three-and-a-half years into the case, both scenarios have led nowhere. This is an extremely complicated case, which is what the police and the media have never wanted it to be. When Dr. Henry Lee, the world's foremost forensic specialist, tells you that law enforcement needs "luck" to solve this case, he's telling you that they haven't put the pieces together and figured out what happened to JonBenet.

Q: What about an intruder who was an active pedophile who also knew John. Someone who lusted after JonBenet to the extent that they gained entry to the house while the family was out to dinner with the sole intention of abusing JonBenet while the parents were sleeping? Isn't it possible that someone like that could lose control of such a situation and kill the child accidentally while involved in some perverse sexual act and then decide to use their privileged information regarding John's bonus payment to implicate the Ramseys and draw suspicion away from themselves?

That could have happened. But if it had, I suggest that the Ramseys would at some point have come forward and offered some useful information to the police and to the public about a real suspect — because there were adults in JonBenet's life who were paying attention to her in ways that was not quite appropriate. But the parents have never done this. They've never said or done anything truly useful in terms of finding the killer. And now we have it on the record that they don't want potentially very good information about dangerous pedophiles in Boulder — precisely the kind of person who fits your scenario mentioned above. This tells me that at least one parent has no interest in seeing the case solved.

Q: A recent news item has alleged that a girl from JonBenet's dance class had been sexually molested in her bedroom by an intruder just months after JonBenet's murder. If the report is true, doesn't this suggest that a sexual predator with a possible link to the pageant circuit was active in the area at the time?

It could. What it suggests more strongly is that the police never followed this lead or its possible connection to the Ramsey case — any more than they followed the other things I've been talking about. They key question in this murder is not: Who killed JonBenet? It is: Why won't the authorities open up their investigation to the natural place it belongs — the criminal subculture of child abuse and exploitation that touched JonBenet's life and may have ended it.

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