168 MIN READ TIME

JonBenet Murder Mystery Solved? (Not by Psychics)

JOE NICKELL

On the day after Christmas 1996, child beauty-pageant star JonBenet Ramsey, age six, was found dead—garroted and her skull broken—in the basement of her family’s home in Boulder, Colorado. As police vied with the district attorney’s office over incompatible theories, the mystery of the little girl’s death became a national media sensation, but it never led to an arrest. The case is a complex puzzle—not only with many pieces to sort out and fit into place but with some bogus pieces tossed into the mix.

I have worked privately on this case over the years. Unfortunately, I lacked the direct access (to police files, crime-scene evidence, etc.) that I had when I was enlisted to investigate homicide cases (e.g., Nickell 2007; Nickell with Fischer 1992, 107– 129; Nickell and Fischer 1999, 39). Still, much essential evidence in the Ramsey case has now become publicly available.

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