Mrs. Santa, Doris "Janet" McReynolds, was a character as well. A smaller woman, her
"not white but auburn" hair and easy smile made her look like anyone's older aunt. A movie reviewer for years, she had tried her hand at writing plays as well.
The only play the public has been made aware of - award winning HEY RUBE - was performed off-off Broadway at the NY Interart theater. It opened on March 15th, 1978 and ran for 16 performances. It was based on the true story of Sylvia Likens, a young girl who was held captive in an Indiana basement in 1965. She was abused, tortured, and finally killed. A book by Kate Millett, The Basement, details the Likens murder - and the motive or explanation for the crime seemed to be simply doing what one daydreams about doing, making fantasy fact. The book is an upsetting read - I doubt the play was uplifting for anyone.
Concerning the play, the reviews were not flattering. The NY times review said, "It is not clear what the author intended to write. The play could be a psychological study of the killer, a sociological study of sexism, a sympathetic profile of the hapless victim, or a courtroom melodrama." But it was the 70's and free speech and "deep" interpretive plays abounded. The play itself was never published.
One bit of the play did make it onto the Internet. A young girl went to her mother and reported that she had been "touched" by a man - a stranger.
Anna: The way he looked at me, Mama. I couldn't run because I had Ruthie and then he sort of brushed against us and he put his hand - -
Mabel: Where did he put his hand, Anna?
Anna: Right in my crack. I just wanted to die.
Mabel: You go take a nice bath, Anna. It'll relax you.
In 1977, Janet gave a local paper an interview and said "I've always been interested in the way victims frequently seem to seek their own death, or to deliberately choose their own murderer." This quote, and other views and statements Janet shared, caused some alarm among followers of the Ramsey case.
When they were reportedly investigated, people took a deep breath. When no arrest followed, the Santas were all but dropped from the internet discussions - for a while. People were always aware that they had not been officially cleared.
Janet stood by Santa. She was at his elbow constantly, not silently, but adding her own view to the chaos. Bill had told her what an angel JonBenét was. She stood by him when he showed the world (via tv) his harp and said he wanted to carve her name on it. She stood by as he showed the world the picture of JonBenét in his home, a kind of shrine, the picture and the little vial of glitter (a gift from JonBenét) he wants mixed with his ashes after he dies.
She showed a few moments of temper when asked for a copy of her play, said she would give an advance copy to the reporter AFTER he found her a publisher! Sleuths who watched her from across the country watched her closely.
Later, information was revealed about two children of Bill and Janet McReynolds. A daughter, Jill, had been abducted with a friend when she was nine years old . The friend was molested and then both girls released. This 22 years TO THE DAY before JonBenét's murder. No one was arrested in the case. A son, Jesse, came to light when he publicly announced he was innocent! He had an alibi - he had been at a family party. He said he had been asked for samples and had cooperated. He said he didn't do it and didn't know why the Ramseys were trying to blame him. People all over the net wondered what he was talking about - we had never heard of him! One interesting thing came out though. The parents said they were in bed at 8 that night - Jesse said they could vouch for him because they were all at a family party.
The name McReynolds never left the discussion for long.

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