The Boulder police still don’t get it.

A 25-year-old case that has never been solved and is not being actively and consistently investigated IS a cold case. If you want to make it about semantics, then don’t call it a “cold case.” Call it an abject failure. That is the investigation into the 1996 murder of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey in two words. If you want one word, just say “unsolved.” Then do whatever you have to do to solve it.

The FBI and the Colorado state lab do NOT have the capabilities that the third-party labs like Othram Labs, Parabon NanoLabs have with cutting edge DNA testing of evidence and subsequent genetic genealogy. Sing all you want about how many times your state lab reevaluated (more like extinguished) evidence in this case. It’s like continuing to go back to your general practice doctor when you need a specialist. You will get the same answer: “You’re fine, get lost.”

Last week JonBenet’s father, John Ramsey, said he plans to pursue legal action if the Colorado government ignores his petition to allow an independent agency to conduct DNA testing on evidence in his daughter’s case.

A Boulder police spokesperson is quoted as saying “we are constantly speaking with these investigative stakeholders to assess how best to proceed given legal and scientific rules and restrictions.” And: “[D]ue to the long time since this crime first occurred, the Boulder Police Department must exercise extreme caution in handling evidence and analysis.” Blather.

Pick up the phone and call former cold case investigator Paul Holes or Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert and ask how they were able to “proceed given legal and scientific rules and restrictions” and how they exercised caution in handling evidence far older than that in the Ramsey case and were able to secure the arrest of Joseph D’Angelo for the Golden State killer murders and rapes (committed between 1976 and 1985) in 2018 and send him to prison in 2020. Or call any one of the many law enforcement agencies, big and small, who have had success with the use of third-party labs in their unsolved homicide cases since 2018.

Invite the third-party labs to your agency and have scientists actually explain to you what their processes are and how they handle chain-of-custody and other concerns. PROCEED. The foot-dragging is a very bad look. You owe it to the six-year-old victim in this case, whose case files and evidence have sat in your offices for over 25 years. Get up to speed and get the job done.

9 thoughts on “The Boulder police still don’t get it.”

  1. Don’t even get me started about the Boulder police- they care very little about the residents and certainly don’t want to do more than the bare minimum.

    1. Then they need to be made to care and to do more than the bare minimum. A kick in the ass by the governor, who lives in their city, might be in order. And they need to be under the microscope from now until that evidence is reviewed by a third-party lab. Like New York Times-level microscope. The NYT has done a good job covering cold cases over the past five years, including DNA breakthroughs that have solved very old cases. Boulder is a great place to visit–send a reporter.

        1. Thanks G-Man. The Niles Post of the MSP is putting the Southeastern posts of the MSP to shame. Not only are they collaborating with the WMU cold case program, they have worked with a third-party lab, Identifinders International (Roxanne Wood murder case, referred to in the article you link).

          But Berrien County isn’t Oakland County, lucky for them. The MSP and Oakland County have some explaining to do. Four dead kids apparently don’t rate.

          See also:

  2. I’ve recently got into this case (I’m not from USA) I watched a tonne of Youtube & am currently reading the Steve Thomas book (he was on Boulder team then quit in ’98 because they were doing such a bad job). Here’s what I think:
    1.Patty Def. wrote the Note
    2. The writer of the note was either involved in the cover up OR was the killer.
    3. One Of the three in the house killed Jonbenet – Due to Boulder allowing contamination we can’t say which one.
    4.The ‘outside intruder’ theory doesn’t stack up but is only a very very slim to none possibility due to ‘male DNA found’ (say 1% max chance this person was the killer) The ‘Male DNA found I believe is ‘touch DNA’ & was picked up at the Xmas Party they went to that night
    3.The ‘stranger intruder’ has a zero chance of possibility as the house was a warren of rooms & the general stats on this kind of crime are slim to negligible for a stranger
    5. The kid was soiling the bed – There was interference with her genitals – there was a dictionary with a dog ear page pointing to the word “incest” – Points to sexual abuse from with Family – statistically this points to a Father with a Mother staying quiet about it.
    6. Due to Boulder Authorities Stuff ups A confession has been seen as the way forward (I agree with Steve Thomas on that).
    7. Advanced DNA testing may prove me wrong on 6. & lead to the killer.
    8. John Ramsey with Patty covering would be my prime theory / Second – Patty with John covering my second/ Third – Burke her Brother with John/Patty covering / 4th Outside Known to Family Sex Offender Killer/5Th- Total Stranger sex offenderkiller

    1. The Boulder Police Department owes it to victim JonBenet Ramsey to rerun the evidence in her murder case using the most cutting edge DNA technology and genetic genealogy. The various theories surrounding her murder are immaterial to the need for such an examination.

      Some labs will waive fees in cases where the department can’t/won’t find the funds for such testing. Other cases have been crowd-funded. So cost is not a barrier.

      If the DNA is indeed “touch” DNA from innocent interactions at a Christmas party, this could probably still be easily established with a little real detective work–was the person at the party and where was this person for the next 18 hours?

      If the DNA is from mishandling of the crime scene, that is an easy one to deal with, too. A hit comes back to some ambulance attendant or a cop? Pretty easy to rule the person out.

      And why shouldn’t a police department, who works for the community, not answer to the community for how that crime scene was handled? Next time call the Colorado Bureau of Investigation or the Denver PD if your agency does not routinely investigate homicides.

      When agencies start making bogus excuses for not rerunning evidence or accepting help from labs and other agencies with more expertise, that is a massive red flag.

      The police don’t need to resolve the internet debates about this child’s murder. They are, however, charged with being the voice for the victim who can no longer speak. In a high profile case of this nature, they must take steps to prove they have done everything they can to solve this crime. They have not done so. They have not been an advocate for JonBenet Ramsey. If they come to no usable conclusions after such testing, they owe the community an explanation of why this is so.

      1. Agree with your sentiments. It’s almost as If there’s something/someone they are “protecting” – i.e. they have unprofessionally blinded themselves to where the prime responsibility lies Jon Benet & the Wider Society

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