News Column

JonBenet Ramsey Case Timeline, 1996-2012

Jan. 28, 2013

DEC. 26, 1996: JonBenet Ramsey, 6, is found dead in the basement of the family's Boulder home, 755 15th St., several hours after her mother, Patsy Ramsey, called 911 to say the girl was missing and there was a ransom note in the home.

JAN. 1, 1997: Patsy and her husband, John Ramsey, go on CNN for their first interview, proclaiming their innocence and saying, "There is a killer on the loose."

JAN. 4, 1997: Reports surface that JonBenet's skull was fractured and the ransom note was written on paper from a tablet in the Ramsey home.

APRIL 27, 1997: The Ramseys run a newspaper ad offering a $100,000 reward for information about JonBenet's killer.

APRIL 30, 1997: The parents first submit to formal interviews at the Boulder County Justice Center.

MAY 20, 1997: Patsy Ramsey, still not ruled out as the author of the ransom note, provides authorities with a fifth handwriting sample.

JULY 9, 1997: The Ramseys buy a new home in Atlanta, where they move after a summer at their vacation retreat in Charlevoix, Mich.

FEB. 13, 1998: Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter says the investigation is hindered by the Ramseys' lack of cooperation.

MARCH 12, 1998: Boulder police ask Hunter to take the case to a grand jury, saying there was not "sufficient admissible evidence to convict anyone of the murder of JonBenet Ramsey."

JUNE 1-2, 1998: Boulder police spend two days presenting the results of their investigation to Hunter's prosecutorial team and outside advisers, including forensic expert Dr. Henry Lee and DNA specialist Barry Scheck, at the University of Colorado's Coors Events Center.

JUNE 24-26, 1998: John and Patsy Ramsey are interviewed separately over three days by investigators and prosecutors from the Boulder County District Attorney's Office.

AUG. 12, 1998: Colorado Gov. Roy Romer announces, and Hunter confirms, the Ramsey case will be going to a grand jury.

SEPT. 15, 1998: The Boulder County grand jury begins hearing evidence in JonBenet's death.

SEPT. 20, 1998: Retired Colorado Springs homicide investigator Lou Smit leaves the investigation, saying in a resignation letter that "John and Patsy Ramsey didn't kill their daughter."

OCT. 13, 1999: The grand jury disbands, and Hunter announces, "We do not have sufficient evidence to warrant a filing of charges against anyone who has been investigated at this time."

MAY 31, 2000: John and Patsy Ramsey and former Boulder police Detective Steve Thomas square off on CNN's "Larry King Live." Patsy tells Thomas that he is "going down the wrong path" with allegations that she killed JonBenet in an "explosive encounter" over a bed-wetting incident.

MARCH 29, 2001: The Ramseys file an $80 million libel and defamation lawsuit against Thomas and unidentified officers at the Boulder Police Department. Attorneys for Thomas subsequently agreed to an undisclosed settlement in the case.

DEC. 26, 2002: The Boulder County District Attorney's Office, now led by Mary Lacy, formerly Mary Keenan, takes over the investigation from Boulder police.

MARCH 31, 2003: In dismissing a libel lawsuit brought against the Ramseys by journalist Chris Wolf, who was briefly a suspect, a federal judge says that evidence in the suit is "more consistent with a theory that an intruder murdered JonBenet than it was with a theory that Mrs. Ramsey did."

APRIL 7, 2003: Lacy agrees with the judge's assessment.

JUNE 23, 2003: Investigator Tom Bennett is hired by Lacy's office, where he will work on the investigation 20 to 30 hours a week.

DECEMBER 2003: Lacy confirms that DNA from a spot of blood from JonBenet's underwear has been entered into the FBI's national database. The DNA, which investigators said is from a male who is not a member of the Ramsey family, is the "single-most important piece of evidence in the case, " Ramsey attorney L. Lin Wood says.

FEB. 1, 2006: John and Patsy Ramsey meet with Lacy in Boulder to "check in" on the status of the investigation.

JUNE 24, 2006: Patsy Ramsey dies in Roswell, Ga., at age 49 after a 13-year battle with ovarian cancer. The cancer was first diagnosed in 1993 -- three years before JonBenet's death. Wood said she had fought hard to stay alive because she wanted to see the person who killed her 6-year-old daughter captured.

AUG. 16, 2006: John Mark Karr, a 41-year-old American school teacher who confessed to the crime, is arrested in Bangkok, Thailand, in connection with JonBenet's death. The Boulder DA's Office says the arrest followed a several-month investigation during which John and Patsy Ramsey had been consulted.

AUG. 28, 2006: Lacy announces that DNA tests show Karr's genetic profile does not match the unidentified male DNA found in JonBenet's underwear, and abandons plans to prosecute him in the girl's death. He is re-arrested the same day and faces extradition to Sonoma County, Calif., on child pornography charges.

OCT. 5, 2006: The Sonoma County, Calif., child pornography case against Karr is dismissed due to a lack of evidence.

JULY 9, 2008: Lacy makes public a letter she has written to John Ramsey explaining that new DNA tests in the case have convinced her that no member of the Ramsey family should remain "under any suspicion in the commission of this crime," and that her office now intended "in the future to treat you as the victims of this crime, with the sympathy due you because of the horrific loss you suffered."

FEB. 2, 2009: Boulder police Chief Mark Beckner and newly sworn Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett announce that the Boulder Police Department is taking the Ramsey investigation back from the district attorney's office. Additionally, Beckner announces formation of a new task force to take a fresh look at the case, which is to include representatives from the FBI, Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Colorado Attorney General's Office.

SEPTEMBER 2010: Reports surface that, as part of a plan to take a fresh look at the Ramsey case, police seek to re-interview JonBenet's brother Burke, who had been 9 at the time of her death. Ramsey family attorney Lin Wood confirms a detective met with Burke, gave him a business card and said, "If you want to talk to us, here's how you would contact me."

JULY 21, 2011: John Ramsey remarries. Press reports identify his wife as Jan Rousseaux, 53, a twice-divorced Las Vegas designer. The wedding is a private ceremony in Charlevoix, Mich.

MARCH 14, 2012: John Ramsey publishes his book "The Other Side of Suffering: The Father of JonBenet Ramsey Tells the Story of His Journey from Grief to Grace."

JUNE 14, 2012: A. James Kolar, who worked as an investigator in the DA's Office under Lacy, publishes his book "Foreign Faction -- Who Really Kidnapped JonBenet?", casting doubt on the involvement in the case of an intruder and asserting that each member of the Ramsey family in the house "may have been involved at least as an accessory after the fact."

Camera file photo

SECRETS OF THE JONBENET RAMSEY GRAND JURY The Daily Camera has confirmed that the grand jury investigating the death of JonBenet Ramsey voted to indict John and Patsy Ramsey on charges of child abuse resulting in death but then-District Attorney Alex Hunter refused to sign the indictment and prosecute the case.



Source: (c)2013 the Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.) Distributed by MCT Information Services


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