Playing the odds
I agree with investigators, BORG and IDI, that when a very young child is brutally killed in their own home it will usually be a domestic incident.  After all, how many enemies can a child have and how many intruders really are daring enough to enter a home with a full family on site?

But the fact is, some intruders ARE that daring and are willing to do this kind of horrible crime.

Reviewing Thomas' book today, I came across some interesting statistics on page 33.

In child murders, and this includes ALL child murders, not those limited to the child's home
                         54% of the time the killer will be a family member, it will be a domestic incident.
                           6% of the time, the killer will be a STRANGER
Which means 40% of the time it will not be family but will be someone who knows the victim - like a neighbor or someone from their school or church.

Considering the FACT that there is not a single know case of a parent murdering their child with a garotte, and that we have foreign DNA found mixed with her blood from the sexual assault that took place that night, I think the odds it was either a stranger or (more likely) an acquaintance go up to 99.9%
The statistics depend upon the age of the child.  Very young victims (under age six or so) are very often killed by people very close to them and their family.  Over age six or so, a fairly rapidly increasing number of young victims are killed by those who are farther out of the circle of family and close friends.  An obvious explanation is that this is because they start attending school and are suddenly more and more visible in the community.  

JonBenét was at the age of the beginning of this transition, so it's still very likely she was killed by someone who was quite close to the family --- someone that she and her family knew, not a complete stranger.  Most complete strangers didn't even know she existed, despite her participation in tiny-tot pageants.

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