Crime Con 2022
#1
NEWS April 30, 2022

John Ramsey, the father of murdered JonBenet Ramsey, on Saturday announced the start of a petition asking Colorado Gov. Jared Polis to allow an independent agency to conduct DNA testing in the case rather than the Boulder Police Department (BPD).

"It's a petition to hopefully get the state of Colorado to intervene and have the items from the crime scene that could be tested for DNA that haven't been tested," Ramsey told Fox News Digital at the CrimeCon 2022 convention in Las Vegas on Saturday. "It's going to take a lot of help to get that moving again. But, you know, the government is very reactive, and we're talking about politicians, and we want them to do the right thing."


If Colorado officials "know there's enough people behind" the petition "asking them to do the right thing, they'll do it," Ramsey said.

"It's a cold case, and they don't call it a cold case, but it is for all intents and purposes a cold case," Ramsey said. "Why they won't test the DNA samples that should be tested for DNA, I don't know. It's baffling."


JonBenet's mother reported her missing to police when she was 6 years old on the morning Dec. 26, 1996, after finding a lengthy ransom note demanding more than $118,000 in exchange for JonBenet. John Ramsey found her body later that same day in the basement of her home.

An autopsy revealed that JonBenet died of strangulation and a blow to the head. The Boulder City Medical Examiner reported an 8 1/2-inch fracture on her skull. Authorities have not convicted any suspects in the case.

Ramsey and investigative journalist Paula Woodward, author of "We Have Your Daughter," spoke Saturday afternoon at the conference featuring thousands of guests and speakers ranging from crime victims to high-profile law enforcement figures and scientists.

"The Boulder police were totally inexperienced, and I don't blame them for that," Ramsey said during the conference. "I fault them for not accepting help from people who knew what they were doing."

Ramsey criticized the department for its "arrogance," "pride," "ego" and inexperience at the time his daughter was killed. He went on to make the case that child murders should be investigated as federal crimes.

"We can't let the murder of a child be left up to local police," Ramsey said, adding that the BPD are "just big enough that they think they know everything and they don't."

BPD said in a December 2021 statement marking the 25-year anniversary of JonBenet's homicide that they have processed more than 1,500 pieces of evidence and "reviewed or investigated more than 21,016 tips, letters and emails."

BPD also said in its statement that due to advances in DNA technology, "multiple suspects have been run through the system to check for matches" and that investigators have updated more than "750 reference samples with the latest DNA technology."

"As the Department continues to use new technology to enhance the investigation, it is actively reviewing genetic DNA testing processes to see if those can be applied to this case moving forward," BPD said at the time.


The new petition, which garnered more than 600 signatures immediately after Ramsey's speech, appeals to Polis to use his "power" to intervene in the case and allow for an independent DNA analysis.

"You have the power," the petition reads. "Given the lack of progress by the Boulder Police, we the undersigned petitioners ask you to move DNA decisions in this case away from the BPD to an independent agency so that JonBenét has a last chance at the justice she deserves."


Boulder Police and the office of Gov. Polis did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.
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#2
Watched the tape of John Ramsey and Paula Woodward at Crime Con. An hour, actually 52 minutes, is not nearly enough time for a Ramsey presentation unless it is limited to one subject. The note, the DNA, the autopsy, the media, Intruder evidence, the BPD.... I could fill an hour with any of those topics.

Paula did pretty good but lost me when she made sure the audience knew the ransom note contained no swear words. Didn't say, "We've got your effing daughter!" I couldn't believe she said that. In my study of ransom notes, I can't remember a note filled with expletives. Not at all.
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#3
On a BORG forum, people were asked for questions they might put to John. The level of their stupidity was summed up in this question proposed by Mickey2942:

"Why didn't you ask more questions when Mark David Carr came forward as Jon Benet's killer?"
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#4
At the end of the session, Paula announced a petition at change.org asking Governor Polis to take the DNA evidence from the BPD and to give it to a different group in order to advance the investigation.

In a statement, Polis' office said, "The State will review the petition and look into how the state can assist in using new technology to further investigate this cold case and to identify JonBenét Ramsey's killer."

BPD released a statement later that Sunday afternoon saying the department continues to test pieces of DNA for potential matches, already works with several agencies to test DNA and will continue to do so.

Blah, blah, blah. Actions speak louder than words and I doubt anything will change for a petition.
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#5
WESTWORD CRIME

JonBenét Ramsey Murder: Boulder Cops Respond to Dad's Support of Polis Petition
MICHAEL ROBERTS MAY 2, 2022

Just over a quarter-century since the December 26, 1996 murder of six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey, the still-unsolved case is again generating national headlines, thanks to the support of her father, John Ramsey, for a petition calling on Governor Jared Polis to take decisions about DNA testing away from the Boulder Police Department and assign them instead to an independent agency.

The development is months in the making and is directly tied to a book by former 9News journalist Paula Woodward, whose interview with Ramsey at CrimeCon 2022, an event held this past weekend in Las Vegas, was the spark that lit the media fuse and prompted the BPD to release a lengthy defense of its work on May 1.

In November 2021, Woodward spoke to Westword about her latest tome, Unsolved: The JonBenét Ramsey Murder 25 Years Later, arguing that new DNA technology had the potential to break the case — if only Boulder detectives would use it.

"This child was tortured and murdered, and her death has never been accounted for because it was investigated by people who were not competent to do so," Woodward said. "And now the decision on whether or not the remaining DNA is tested with new technology that can trace family history is being made by the two investigators who were on the case 25 years ago."


At the time, Boulder Police spokesperson Dionne Waugh wouldn't comment on Woodward's DNA-related accusations. "Because this is an ongoing and open investigation, we are unable to answer any specific questions so as not to compromise the integrity of this investigation," she stated.

Shannon Carbone, spokesperson for the Boulder District Attorney's Office, was more expansive.
"According to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Colorado has over 1,500 unsolved homicides," she said. "Every cold-case homicide and missing-person case represents a tragic and unexplained loss. The victims deserve justice. Their families deserve answers and some form of closure. That’s why our office serves on the Colorado Cold Case Review Team and recently assisted in the successful prosecution of the murderer of Dylan Redwine, which culminated in a trial this past July."

She added: "The 1996 murder of six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey is one of the cases on the list maintained by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Her death sparked prolonged interest that persists to this day. Significant time and resources have been expended trying to determine who killed her, but the case remains unsolved. The Boulder Police Department continues to actively work the investigation. If the perpetrator is identified and arrested, our office would be responsible for the prosecution of the case."


This explanation wasn't good enough for Woodward. "I believe deeply that someone new needs to investigate this case," she emphasized, "and that can only happen if the Boulder DA, the Colorado attorney general or the Colorado governor get involved and make that happen. And they need to. ... JonBenét is someone who would have made a difference in our world, and we can't be satisfied with just going along on a case that's going nowhere. We're better than that."

The next month, the BPD announced that it was "actively reviewing genetic DNA testing processes" to see if they could be used to find the girl's killer. But the lack of new developments in the months that followed helped inspire the Change.org petition titled "Justice for JonBenét Ramsey." Its introduction reads:
25 years ago, six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey was killed in her Boulder, Colorado home.

The ensuing years have brought false investigative starts, wild conspiracy theories, and a seemingly infinite number of accusations against nearly everyone involved with the case.

The one thing the years have not brought is an arrest.

JonBenét Ramsey deserves justice and new advances in DNA technology finally make that possible. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, you are the only person with enough power and independence in the state to put Ramsey DNA testing decisions in the hands of a new agency that’s free from Boulder’s significant history with the case.

Since her death in 1996, advances in DNA have allowed for testing of even trace amounts of severely degraded samples. Combined with innovation in forensic genetic genealogy (which led to the arrest of the Golden State Killer), new arrests and identifications in cold cases are happening across the country at an unprecedented rate. Private labs like Othram use best-in-class technology to work directly with law enforcement and state crime labs to support the processing of samples. In fact, earlier this year, police in Denver (less than 30 miles away) used genetic genealogy and familial DNA to solve four homicides from the early 1980s.

So why is new DNA testing technology and forensic genetic genealogy searching not being used in the JonBenét case? Here’s what the Boulder Police (BPD) posted on the 25-year anniversary of the case:

“As the Department continues to use new technology to enhance the investigation, it is actively reviewing genetic DNA testing processes to see if those can be applied to this case moving forward.”

They can. Right now. Everyone who understands this technology knows that.

Boulder Police are working hard to placate the public by telling the media that they hope DNA will solve this case while, at the same time, doing very little to make that happen. And it makes sense: the same two key investigators from 1996 still have control of the case. Isn’t it time for new perspectives and ideas?

In short, justice for JonBenét has seemingly given way to politics and the massaging of egos. She deserves better. Everyone, from the police to the family, should have a vested interest in finding the truth. The fact that those with the ability to do that are not doing it should tell us everything we need to know.

Governor Polis, you were born in Boulder 15 years before JonBenét. You have a connection to the city. Your intervention in the Colorado truck driver case shows you have compassion. You have the power. Given the lack of progress by the Boulder Police, we the undersigned petitioners ask you to move DNA decisions in this case away from the BPD to an independent agency so that JonBenét has a last chance at the justice she deserves.

The petition has generated just over 2,200 signatures to date, but it received a massive publicity burst on April 30, thanks to the advocacy of John Ramsey. In an interview with Fox News, he said: "We have 1,800 police jurisdictions in this country. Each one's a little kingdom. They have full authority of the crimes committed in their territory, other than bank robberies and a few other things. But why we don't make, as a society, the murder of a child be a criminal offense at the highest level and bring all of our resources to bear on that is beyond me. We have one of the highest child murder rates of any industrial country in the world. We should be ashamed of that."

As for the murder of his own daughter, Ramsey added, "We can't let the murder of a child be left up to local police. They're just big enough that they think they know everything, and they don't."

That put the Boulder Police Department on the defensive, and its May 1 release provides the specifics that weren't shared with Westword last year. Here's that response, followed by a video of John Ramsey speaking to Fox News:

Boulder Police Department statement:
The Boulder Police Department is aware of the recent request involving the homicide investigation of JonBenet Ramsey and wants the community to know that it has never wavered in its pursuit to bring justice to everyone affected by the murder of this little girl.

Ever since Dec. 26, 1996, detectives have followed up on every lead that has come into the department, to include more than 21,016 tips, letters and emails and traveling to 19 states to interview or speak with more than 1,000 individuals in connection to this crime.

This case has been under constant review with federal, state, and local partners. As recently as March 2022, the Boulder Police Department hosted another meeting with federal, state, and local agencies working on this case and in consultation with DNA experts from around the country. That collaboration will continue.

Boulder Police have sought out and worked regularly with multiple stakeholders across the country, to include the FBI, the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office, Colorado’s Department of Public Safety, Colorado’s Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and several outside forensic labs. Multiple suspects have been run through the system to check for matches due to the huge advances in DNA technology. As of this past December, CBI has updated over 750 reference samples with the latest DNA technology.

Additionally, Boulder Police have worked with CBI to ensure the DNA in the system can be compared correctly to new DNA samples that have been uploaded to ensure accuracy. That DNA is checked regularly for any new matches.

The Boulder Police Department understands how grievous the loss of a child is for both the Ramsey family and the community as a whole. That’s why detectives have steadfastly worked to solve this horrible crime.

“We have a shared goal to bring justice—and hopefully some peace—to JonBenet’s family and everyone who was impacted by her loss,” Police Chief Maris Herold said. “Our investigation with federal, state and local partners has never stopped. That includes new ways to use DNA technology. We’ve always used state of the art technology as it has been at the forefront of this investigation. Every time the DNA technology changed, we worked to make sure the evidence could be tested.

“This investigation has always been and will continue to be a priority for the Boulder Police Department.”

Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty concurred.

“Every unsolved homicide is a tragedy, especially when the victim is a child,” Dougherty said. “The murder of JonBenet Ramsey has left a long, terrible trail of heartbreak and unanswered questions. Our office will continue to work with the Boulder Police Department, state agencies, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. As in any murder case, if evidence leads to an arrest, the D.A.’s Office will work tirelessly to secure justice for the victim, closure for loved ones, and answers for our community.”

Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact our tip line at 303-441-1974, BouldersMostWanted@bouldercolorado.gov or Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or http://www.nococrimestoppers.com.


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CRIME

Paula Woodward on John Ramsey's Call for Change in JonBenét Murder Probe
MICHAEL ROBERTS MAY 4, 2022 7:05AM

Ramsey's comments, offered at CrimeCon 2022 in Las Vegas, generated another round of national headlines for Colorado's most infamous unsolved homicide and prompted a statement in which the Boulder PD defended an investigation that has been roundly criticized for decades.

These developments wouldn't have happened without the efforts of Paula Woodward, a former 9News journalist whose on-stage interview with Ramsey at CrimeCon 2022 prompted his remarks. But this conversation only hints at her role. Woodward's recent book, Unsolved: The JonBenét Ramsey Murder 25 Years Later, highlighted concerns related to DNA that prompted CrimeCon to launch a change.org petition asking Governor Jared Polis to designate another entity to look anew at testing options — and Polis's office isn't brushing off this possibility. "The state will review the petition and look into how the state can assist in using new technology to further investigate this cold case and to identify JonBenét Ramsey's killer and bring him or her to justice," says Polis spokesperson Melissa Dworkin.

Shortly after her book was published last November, "the people at CrimeCon asked to interview me," Woodward says. "I didn't know what CrimeCon was, but when I looked into it, I found out how awesome it was. I did the interview in December, and they made Unsolved their book of the month for January and February."

Along the way, Woodward was asked to speak at CrimeCon 2022, where other participants included such well-known figures as forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee, true-crime figurehead Nancy Grace, and multiple broadcasters associated with Dateline NBC: Chris Hansen, Josh Mankiewicz and Keith Morrison. She subsequently came up with a presentation focusing on what she calls "myths of the case."

She has a vast collection of them. Some examples: John and his late wife, Patsy, supposedly "didn't act right" after discovering the crime, but early reports documented extremely emotional, heartbroken reactions; investigators suggested that the possibility of an intruder was disproven by a lack of footprints in snow, but there wasn't any snow on the south side of the house; the autopsy failed to find any signs of previous abuse, but Boulder detectives made a show of interviewing former Miss America Marilyn Van Derbur, who'd been molested by her father; and suggestions that Patsy had written a ransom note were allowed to linger despite handwriting analysis that seriously undermined the theory.

The planning for Woodward's presentation was well underway when the CrimeCon organizers made a suggestion of their own. Recalls Woodward: "They called and asked, 'Would you consider having John Ramsey be a part of it?'"

Woodward has maintained contact with Ramsey since her earliest days of reporting on the murder, and while she was writing the book, she says they communicated once or twice a month. They both agreed to a joint appearance at CrimeCon, a brief snippet of which can be seen in the following Instagram post, which captures Woodward asking Ramsey if he killed JonBenét.

Once this question was out of the way, Woodward and Ramsey moved on to other matters, including DNA. "It's imperative that the minute amount of DNA that is left in the case be used in genealogical testing," she says, noting that it provides insight on linkages between family members, among other things.


The Boulder Police Department tested DNA in the case in 2016, a year after Police Chief Mark Beckner belittled the possibility that such analysis could prove the key to identifying a suspect; Woodward's analysis of Beckner's comments, made during a Reddit forum, can be found on her website, paulawoodward.net. Since then, Woodward notes, "the technology has gotten better and better. It's been seven years, so why won't they test it?"

Her hypothesis: The case is being handled by two Boulder Police investigators, Ron Gosage and Tom Trujillo, who have been involved since the first week after JonBenét's death, "when the strategy was being formed that the Ramseys did it," and they're locked into that narrative.

The press release issued by the BPD after Ramsey endorsed the CrimeCon petition works hard to refute this notion, but Woodward considers it "total public relations," in part because it doesn't directly address the issue of genealogical DNA testing.

Plenty of folks fascinated with the JonBenét case have long been convinced that her parents were guilty of the crime. But Woodward didn't sense that the CrimeCon audience members had closed their minds. "It was very heartening to me that people listened," she acknowledges. "I don't know if it affected their views of whether the family did it or not, but my interest has always been in accuracy, and trying to reverse the trend of manipulating information about the evidence by Boulder investigators when they talked to the media. There's been a pattern of manipulating evidence that's as wrong as you can get. And here we are 25 years later."

If there's still a chance for the case to be solved, Woodward believes "you need to look at DNA and genealogy, and at this point, Governor Polis is the only one who can make sure that happens."
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