JonBenet Ramsey Case Should Have Been Handled Differently, Ex-Police Chief Says
Mark Beckner, former chief of the Boulder, Colorado, police department, spoke candidly in a Reddit AMA about the investigation he led for years. He later said he did not realize he was speaking in a public forum.
In hindsight, Beckner said the crime scene was not properly handled because police were understaffed over the holidays.
John and Patsy Ramsey also immediately should have been questioned separately during the investigation, he said.
Still, mistakes were somewhat understandable because of the unique circumstances of the case, he said. It was the only time in history a homicide victim was found dead at home after a ransom note had been left, he said.
Beckner did not say who he thought was guilty of killing JonBenet, but he said the inconsistencies and odd circumstances related to her parents should have been put to a trial.
Handwriting experts found a number of strange observations, Beckner said, and the FBI had never seen such a lengthy ransom note.
The note was also written at the scene, a completely unusual circumstance, he said.
And the note referenced $118,000, the exact amount of a bonus John Ramsey had previously received. Beckner did not speculate on how that was possible.
Only the fingerprints of police and Patsy Ramsey were found on the note.
Beckner admitted there were several unanswered questions about the Ramseys.
No charges were ever filed against the Ramseys, and they were publicly cleared as suspects. Patsy Ramsey died in 2006 of cancer.
Another mystery of the case was a trace of DNA from an unidentified man that was found on JonBenet's clothing. Beckner said a number of explanations are possible.
He would have liked to see the case go to trial.
Instead, the only person ever arrested in the case was John Mark Karr, a teacher who was found to have falsely confessed.
Before the former chief deleted his comments, he also spoke in favor of making more information about the case public.
Claudia Koerner is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.