JONBENT: A Fathers Anguish
I think anyone who suffered the loss of a child those that that. There's just a lot of times that let's family and friends and clergy people. We lost our daughter. That's the worst possible. Ospel thing that could have happened to us. Anything that has happened in the aftermath pales by comparison. We feel like they're at least two people on the face of this earth. No who did. And that is the killer and someone that that person may have confided them. Welcome to episode three of the killing of Jon Benet Ramsey the final suspects. I'm your host Daniel Roby last time we heard how twenty three years after the broken and abused body of six year. Old jonbenet Ramsey was discovered by her father in the basement of their Boulder Colorado home. The identity of her murder still baffles law enforcement officers bottomline. There's still a killer out there. It also how armed with a list of remaining suspects from lead detective loose-knit a new team of investigators. Journalists and private citizens are doing what the boulder older police department has yet to be able to put aside any agenda other than finding answers for the Ramseys it is this spreadsheet and a short list of ten suspects. Vex that is now forming the basis of our new investigation Dylan Howard Doug Lumbini Jamison and their team along with John and John. Andrew Ramsay are determined determined to pick up with detective. loose-knit could not finish it. Used to be what I'd wake up in the morning had to get up up quick because I lay in bed. Start thinking that was tough to start your day. That way better yet reminded. No I have pictures of Jon Benet and and Beth. My other daughter on my desk came sometimes. Look that makes both happy and said well you know for so long long. My father's born the brunt of working with the media and putting himself out there and he's gone to tremendous links that really to protect us kids to the we can have a semblance of normal life. I'm at the same time I've got a vested interest in this. I've got young children myself. My wife has been affected by this murder. And I want the truth. And that's why I'm I'm doing this. I don't have any aspirations beyond just getting to the truth and this is this is a means to an end. As I said we were naive pass. He came from a small town west. Virginia I was born and raised in Lincoln Nebraska. We thought the world was a nice place John Andrew along with sisters Elizabeth and Melinda lived with their mother in Atlanta. Their parents had divorced in nineteen seventy eight and John. John Married Patsy in nineteen. Eighty Burke Ramsey was born in one thousand nine hundred seven and Jon Benet three years later even after John and patsy moved to boulder all all the children remained close. This is John Andrew. My Dad's company merged with two others in the headquarters was in boulder her once Access graphics was sold to Lockheed Martin my dad was promoted to CEO President. In of course steph point made the move to full-time in boulder but coming from Atlanta Boulder was. It was kind of a novelty right until the story of. You've gone out there as a as a seventh grader Meena Buddy. We had our bikes. We could ride our bikes everywhere. I mean this was unthinkable in the sprawl of Atlanta. You walk the places. It was kind of this quaint small town so we thought we didn't pay attention to keep our doors lock. We thought we lived the Nice safe community in one of the things. Police asked me early on. Do you know anybody could have done this. I said I don't know anybody this evil. This is an evil horrible saying that human being into a child. I don't know anybody I've never met anybody. That said Evil John. John Andrew Remembers. Jon Benet some fourteen years his junior as a boisterous fun loving kid. I'm not GonNa say we were best buddies or anything but As I remember being really Tomboy I mean she this older brother Burke who had a bunch of you neighborhood buddies played baseball and whatever sports the day and she just Kinda hung out with them and I really saw her as as a tomboy be yes she was a sweet fun kit at the some of this has been trumped up and really portrayed as overwhelming personality but I guess I don't remember that and I think I there's just genuine this weekend one of the things that I regret big time obviously is that we didn't take our home security more seriously without Linden in a very peaceful AC- Harriet type of community. Our House had alarm system. Stay in the house. We bought it but it was one that put without this excruciating noise and the theory behind that type assists to was it drives you nuts and some as intruder. He just wants to get out of the house as his his ear. Drums are breaking. So we'd never used. Johnny said off one just punching buttons. It was horrible. She said it makes expires loud. That's the idea so we'd ever use it because it was horrible system but on the morning after Christmas nineteen ninety-six. Everything changed our plan that morning. That was get up early. Blind to Minneapolis meet John and my daughter Melinda and they go on up to northern Michigan for like a second Christmas with Miller kiss and then they were going to go back home. And we're going to take Johnny Burke on the Disney cruise so it was the day after Christmas and I had spent Christmas with but my sister Melinda in mother and if Lanna and after was flying to meet my dad passing family. We were GONNA go to Charlotte Michigan time. We'd at home but the plan was to meet any apple's so we were flying Minneapolis Got Off their plane and I can't remember someone handed me a note flight attendant or somebody they pulled me aside and said you need to call call home essentially pay phone and called my dad and he told me that Johnny Been Kidnapped and I think he I essentially we. Just this means that split-second decision why Denver that point after patsy discovered the ransom note claiming Jon Benet had been kidnapped. She called called nine one one. The police responded and so began the initial agonizing. Wait for the family well. I described the feeling to people. It's like when you're in a shopping center and you've got your small child with you and your rookie through clothing and look round gone. He had this desist. Hit My gut like my God. Where's bird or she go? Where did he go a star frantically looking and then you find him over in the next? I'll somewhere minutes later. I had that panic yet in the gut feeling all morning what do I what have I got to do to get her backed. It's cold out there. It's dark and I do whatever I'm capable of doing that we call the police immediately obvious to get her back. That was my the whole focus. What a helpless? I didn't know what to eat. Our can give blocked roads lead. Get pleased at the airport. I but the cops answer here. They know what they're doing. I I don't I don't should be done. But in retrospect they didn't have a clue what they're doing and I should'VE MM-HMM I should've I don't how would escalate it. But I should have called a friend of the governor's office. I should have done something to say. Look we got a major problem. I I need help. Call up the National Guard. I don't know but but I thought it what the kidnappers tomorrow at ten o'clock and I didn't know if tomorrow is tomorrow or the day we are in so ten o'clock came and went and the place thought it was suspicious. They should have all the pieces when they didn't call a ten but I didn't know if he met tomorrow at ten o'clock and my God if I gotTa wait twenty four hours mm-hmm so I didn't know that the police observed that I did let ten o'clock come and go and I didn't gration burn as suspicious suspicious. I was going to the mail. Then they thought that was bizarre. I was looking for another communication from the kidnapper. Anything I was looking at the window looking. Is Anybody anybody watching the house. I was trying to do whatever I could get my daughter back and the police watch too much grade C eh crime movies I should be over tearing my hair out and ripped my clothes off at cry. I was father when we get back. What can I do this over when I lost my Dr? Beth was killed in a car accident. I got a call. My brother said death is dead. I couldn't do anything. I couldn't get the best doctors for her. I couldn't fly. Why tour it was? This wasn't over in my mind that morning. 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But somehow we got on an airplane to Denver Info there in arrived to taxi cab from their their Ford and arrived right as just after they had found body. They were walking out of the house. So it's quite a way to see. It had to be very difficult. Yes absolutely and I remember being scared to. I didn't know who had done this against our family. There's I remember it did in our cabin Dan. That's coming out of the house. Presumably they just found Giannini's body and we were ushered into a car. Ars Essentially ran my dad's to the effect that Shamanee's been is in heaven and killed and Patsy. He was just devastated. I mean on the floor just devastated. The police were there of course and I the thing thing I can remember as as Burke being brought in and just that just that just he was he was just a nine year old. Oh you know smiling. Little boy and is his best friend is sister. Little sister was was murdered and that was just devastating devastating to me. See that his you know he just had this look of innocence on them walking in there kind of a big awkward smile. Oh I know this is this is not good. All these people around me were crying. A mother's on the floor but you know he's it just just awful nightmare however was just beginning and as it turned out the investigation into who killed Jon. Benet was to be defined from the start by a series of catastrophic blunders by the Boulder Police Department. I've met a foreign six expert years later. And he said it was bizarre. What they didn't do he said the first thing we do do when a child is missing as we go through the House thoroughly? Were they hiding under a blanket. Were they hiding in a closet where they played some Kinda game. We look everywhere in the house. I they didn't do it. That's the first avenue if a child missing this police work one on one. Didn't have it all the way. Our country's structured for the most part we have eighteen thousand police jurisdictions if a crime occurs in that jurisdiction that crime is responsibility ability of the local police. If they don't ask for help help cannot be given and certainly was the case in in Boulder. You are the expert in everything no are they wise enough to know. They're not sometimes yes sometimes. No Nar case dancer was no. They thought they can handle it. They tend to be very territorial very protective of their cases and they wanna not have help. And that's that's unfortunate yours. Get in the way. This is an expert on the Jon. Benet Ramsey case Jameson. They turn down can help immediately from the Denver. Police said you've had one homicide in how many years we have unfortunately for Denver of much larger number. YOU'RE IN DENVER. Said we have got equal that know how to do the crime scenes. Let us help you. An older apparently said no are. Oh you know. Don't think we're like maybe able to do something we we'll take care of our own and so Denver had to step back and let boulder do your thing which they didn't new very well in hindsight. Well that's the one day I will old boulder a responsible for. I don't criticize him because they had no experience. I appreciate ashamed that they were working on it. But they should have realized they didn't have the the expertise inexperienced to deal with it and they should have welcomed the help of Denver for example or the sheriff's Department or whomever and that's what I will fault them for that next day we went down to the police station and young in my mind. I'm a dumb nineteen year old kid. Really connect the dots and interrogation. But that's what it was police price of eight separate me from my family for hours on end. Bring me into some window. Lists the interrogation room. And so I'm sitting there and I'm sure there's a video of this somewhere out there in the in the world thinking that okay well here comes the the best and brightest here comes the FBI you know CBI. This is peculiar okay. Good we're going to get to you. Know get to an answer here and then walk. Ron gossage in Steve. Thomas from the border police mayhem either. Business cards and I look added in one says auto theft and the other says narcotics and literally. I just bury my head in my hands because I knew at that point. We we're screwed. These guys had no business investigating a homicide so the hope of finding the suspect at that moment it was in jeopardy at that they want. When does auto theft on does narcotics? The same thing happened to you as he was pretty. Well go on. I mean she was just devastated that I talked them. This the answer to the questions and try to this all. We needed to come down on the station and by then the media was outside. I said we'RE NOT GONNA go down. You know we can't. Why does she dies? compeer appear. We'll talk to you so much you Avi please come here in this safe haven force somebody out there killed our child. We don't know who they were. We don't WANNA go out in front of Twenty TV cameras. He Sculpture Talk to you for sure. The initial police operation had been defined by incompetence what followed appear to be a campaign directed squarely against the ramseys themselves. We won we come down station. We have paper staedtler well. At that moment Mike. Them who's good friend was their deliveries food for the people career Luna's and he was a former assistant district attorney new the voter police. What they that? They weren't bit at any. Take time out. I'm out. I'm an Attorney K.. Maurice John which allow me to do some things here that I think are necessary and and Mike apparently then told police. Aren't that no. They're not gonNA come to the station. You call me later dear. Trying to to get us and I've gotten a call that same day from Tho the work for him and he said John I got this message from somebody inside. The system will tell you a voice but they sit. Tell John to get the best defense attorney and get his hands on because they think he killed his daughter and they're out to get it. They beat the police and I'm thinking Holy Mackerel unbelievable so I was sort of primed for Mike to say you need an attorney his. I've gotten this call this warning the Woohoo K.. Whatever and the next day introduced to two attorneys? So what do we need to attorneys for. He swell one one can't represent both of you in Colorado. Wanted to sit down with police. Do it under a week to help forward hand down so we went back to Atlanta buried. Johnny her family cemetery blunt and said okay. We're was back to get on with the killer. And they said lots of fast and they pretty much said please shot get you they take. DNA did they tell you right away. The results of that. And you know they. You didn't We saw the results several years later. Which said we've tested the family? They're excluded. There's no match but they couldn't overlook that problem But we given everything you've ever asked for pure there's nothing they asked where we didn't give them. We gave them our bank rates. We gave credit card records our phone records we gave him DNA. We gave him hair samples who gave him pubic hair samples. We gave them see my volumes of handwriting samples. Jose House rewrite that horrible note with a right hand and then with our left hand. I probably wrote that. No which is very six seven times times so they could then look at my handwriting and make a judgment superpower broke the notre non so we did everything they asked. Well Yeah I mean you know day one week. Good under police station. Because why wouldn't you gave handwriting samples and Blood Samples Hair samples holzen pubic hair samples. which is you know? It's a pretty dramatic experience fingerprints all sorts of stuff but thing you would anybody anybody would do in that situation and so we did. They did not fess up that there was foreign mailed the in multiple locations on for a long time. Yeah of course. Eventually they compare my sample. Of course it doesn't search and none of your family's things matched You're not dealing with good cops for dealing cops water convicted murdered as much as I love true crime in solving elving mysteries. Sometimes even I need a break from time to time but in order to do my best work as a detective on to stay shop and keep more Brian Active. That's that's why I love solving puzzles. And playing games to keep myself shop like best fiends. Best fiends is a mobile puzzle game. That's totally free to download you match match three of a kind to clear the bowed but unlike some other matching games of plight this one lets you collect characters along the way that help you in the game it. It can be a challenge but it's a fun little game that really anyone comply with my work. I tend to travel a lot so I like to apply it when I'm waiting for my flight when I'm on the plane since she dot need to be connected to the incident apply. Engage your brain with fun. Puzzles and click tons of characters to trust me with over one hundred million downloads. This five star rated mobile puzzle game is a must ply. Dan Light Best Feigns Free on the apple APP store or Google play. That's friends without the I this fiends The strain on the grieving family was almost unbearable. So what happens to your brain disappeared. John your daughter's lost the daughter in you're dealing with I mean your family's Iraq understandably in your shock I mean not not necessarily but you're in shock and you're absolutely not capable of making good decisions and I write that my book said if you take one thing out of this look take this. Do not make big decisions after a tragedy and I'm not talking about the next month I'm talking about a couple years. Give your friend and your checkbook. Don't sell your house. Don't move to you know just everything park at your job. Parking arc. You're find is you've not capable of making the decision. He really not turn Oracle shop and I was but you don't necessarily recognize having lost their daughter and sister in the most brutal way possible. The Ramsey soon realized that things would only get worse. Where did you start thinking in a minute? There's something wrong here yet. I mean obviously I knew where I was As I was thousands of miles away in Atlanta Georgia with my family and friends. And but yeah I think probably the the moment I got a basically. My Dad hired a lawyer for me in my sister. Belinda because the police had made a concerted effort to to basically dangle me out into the to the press as a potential suspect and they did it on purpose. We now know their tent. There was they knew Dan have anything to do with it. But their intent was to put public pressure on my dad Ed Bats Ada see if they would would break but yet that's dishonest. Just awful I mean these guys were young inexperienced and in a tornado of scrutiny. And I can understand that. That's hard and you police by nature our fraternity right. It's a brotherhood and and as I see it with these guys did a circle the wagons and they protected their own and they fought viciously to protect their their own. The reputation and I don't agree with that. I would like to think if I was in their shoes I would have realized that I was outgunned. And you didn't have the experience to dissolve this and the reach out for help in nineteen ninety seven with their case floundering older PD brought in legendary retired. Detective Lou Smit who with hundreds of successful homicide investigations under his belt was seen as is the man to finally cracked the case. A year later he was forced to resign again. After presenting to the Department is absolute conviction that an intruder intruder was responsible for jonbenet's murder undeterred. He continued to work the case on his own steam until his death nine years ago. Did you ever get to meet loose-knit I did a couple times. The first time I met loose-knit they brought me in or asked to talk it to me about what you said. What do you know about stun-guns? I don't know anything about stun guns. You know and I to be frank at the time time. I was pretty distrustful and editor towards the police account lump Lou into that collective but yeah over time it learning of his reputation and it just seems work. You know that a man of integrity would just follow the truth. I mean that's hard to do in that environment where there's a lot out of public pressure. Everything was being leaked to the media. The world over day. Kinda stand on your principles. Hard to ease to tell me I'm GonNa get this going. You want to get him and he'd gotten a lot of criminals in his career. It's his reputation was founded on salt or hundred coal cases smets and detective. Smith did not work alone. Who was Ali Gray? All Gray was a retired tired homicide detective from California or also judge number years quite a career in law enforcement was retired in Colorado Springs and got interested in this case Early on and did quite a bit of work on the elude worked pretty closely together. We both lived in Colorado Springs all knew a lot about the case. Say Both Allure Long Time homicide detectives and and have lots of experience got a real life. Colombo's basically how did you first get involved with Janus. We became aware IRV Jameson. She was reported to have a very detailed timeline of information online about on our case and it was very accurate berry non biased. One way or the other wasn't trying to convince people were guilty or innocent. It was just the facts. She had a good reputation for website of being very accurate in this data less started fairly early on on and she has maintained it over the years. She very careful about making sure. It was accurate in correct. She put it on her site at that point wait. I was pretty well known as being a supporter of the intruder theory. I had made some enemies. The ramseys were aware of my existence. Assistance I became worried that somebody might pretend to be me to gain their trust and I thought I had to stop snap that so I met with them and when I came out here to again I came out here several times. Then and each time I would meet with those Smith. Just a wonderful guy and he introduced me to Ollie Gray and he introduced me do several other people they were working on the case. After Lewis Smith's death he left his case files to his daughter Cindy Mara as well as his master spreadsheet detailing every suspect for the murder of Jon Benet he developed this database of people have interest. In our case I'd come in his tips and each each name had a columnist. What had been done if anything on this tip was followed up on his DNA take three perch taken in intellect coughing very extensive database very thorough? And when he died he left that as legacy and and Cindy Mara his daughter is taken up that database and move forward on doing what Lou would have done had lived. So yeah. Yeah it's it's really a gift he left because you know as a family here we have. We have nothing else you know. The police haven't shared any really not any information with us. So the work that we did is what we've got it. Is this spreadsheet and a final shortlist list of ten suspects that is now forming the basis of our new investigation. Douglas Genie Jason and their team along with John and John John Andrew Ramsay are determined to finally finish with Detective Smith started and they formed his team if kept very low profile but they are basically taking lose extensive database of information on this case and methodically going through each dame each lead and either eliminated eminating or resilient and they're eliminating it based on Giddy. Dna We have foreign mail. DNA always voice have had in this case in lieu fell was going to be solved by fighting DNA mash. So they're going through and get Indian each of these people I I either take him off. The list is debated match. Or there's some connection than pursuing it for. They're going from the top down but they do you believe that the name of the killers in that most very convinced them is. They're still evidence that should be tested for DNA one we have the killers DNA. Let's start there so that's hugely important. It will ultimately solve this crime in two. Yes there are additional items that should be tested given today's new technology for additional samples and then three and the advent of using genealogy to identify killer is hugely promising in that technology will get better right. I I mean from where we were in nineteen ninety six to where we are. Today's leaps and bounds improvement. DNA technology so. I know in my mind if it's not today's tomorrow we're GonNa crack this absolutely confident. Well Lou Smith told me that early early on that. There is four DNA under her fingernails. He said she got a piece of it. I think Lou believe this was going to be solved by DNA area part of the challenge with our cases to just the volume of nation in the overtime. This five there's no one in the police department. That really understands CNN's Casey more. They're not new people the same people that were there and didn't solve this twenty two years of the same people in charge now. Well I I think in terms of moving and forward if we can get the boulder police to test the evidence that hadn't been tested for DNA. We understand that there were five pieces suspended for testing to the DNA lab only one or two protested. The other three. I assume returned back to the police. Evidence files we can take. Those three pieces haven't tested see. what DNA zone the the rope the the tape? The killer obviously had a touch. I mean this this is a in. My mind is simple process of just working through the list collecting DNA in your this. Isn't this isn't rocket science at this point. I believe we have the name the killer on lose list and we need to now put any effort to track down these individuals. Israel's collect their DNA ruling in or out. Next time on the killing of Jon Benet Ramsey. The final suspects back. There was a person who had committed suicide. And they were looking at that person because he had a stun gun. And he had high-tech shoes I can tell you I've been to a lot of suicide doubts and I've never seen anybody shoot themselves down in their lower left torso the killing of Jon Benet. The final suspects suspects is hosted by me. Danielle Rowe Bay executive produced by Dylan Howard and Matt sprouts. And is a production of broaden water studios and endeavor audio executive producers include. Tom Freestone Doug Long Dini Susan Bennett. James Robertson Andy Tila. The series is written by Dominic Button Martin reporting by Doug Montero the series is mixed and engineered by Sean Kravis and Sam Ada. There is so much more to the story. And you don't WanNa Miss Anything I can and assure you subscribe to the killing of Jon. Benet the final suspects wherever you get podcasts. If you have any information Asian that could help our investigators and the ramseys identify jonbenet's killer. Please help us at tips at justice for Jon. BENET DOT COM Hey there this is Christoph- puzzle host of American Jihadi a new podcast from endeavor audio American Jihadi follows reporting on Omar Hamami an American from Alabama. Who Rose through the ranks of the Somalias llamas extremist group al-shabaab? We spoke in secret for over a year. Omar tested in ways. No other subject had covered before hat and he disrupted the tidy story. I had told myself about the line between good and evil. Don't miss a minute of the story. Subscribe to American Jihadi or ever. You get your podcasts.