JonBenét Ramsey’s dad believes there is a “huge connection” between his daughter’s murder and a frightening attack carried out months later on another young girl who went to the same dance school as the slain beauty queen.
In an exclusive sit-down interview with The U.S. Sun, John Ramsey, 79, said he believes that the same culprit may have carried out the two attacks and slammed “lazy” detectives for failing to investigate what he sees as glaring parallels between the two incidents.
JonBenét Ramsey was just six-years-old when she was found beaten, bound, and strangled to death in the basement of her family’s home in Boulder, Colorado, on December 26, 1996.
For almost 26 years, her death has been shrouded in mystery and rampant conspiracy with no arrests ever made in connection to the case. It has since become one of the most infamous unsolved cases in American history.
Nine months after JonBenét’s murder – and mere streets away from the Ramseys – a girl who attended the same dance school as the pageant queen awoke in the middle of the night to find a man dressed in black standing at her bedside with his hand over her mouth.
Across a period of several horrifying minutes, the young girl – whose family has given the pseudonym “Amy” to protect their privacy – was sexually assaulted by the assailant before her mother burst into the room and chased the attacker away.
Amy’s father previously told The U.S. Sun that, had his wife not woken up after hearing noises coming from their daughter’s room, they believe Amy would likely have met the same tragic end as JonBenét.
He also said he believes the attacker had been stalking the family for some time, likely targeting Amy at her dance school.
Amy’s dad urged detectives to investigate the possibility that the same person could have carried out JonBenét’s murder and the attack on Amy.
However, he says he was laughed off by Boulder police, who Amy’s dad believes were “fixated” on the idea that it was John or his wife Patsy who had likely killed JonBenét.
John Ramsey called perceived similarities between the two incidents “unbelievable” after being provided with police documents about Amy’s case by The U.S. Sun.
More shocking still, he said, was that Boulder detectives didn’t take Amy’s dad more seriously when he urged them to investigate the cases as connected after Amy’s attack.
“It could very well be the same guy,” John said, speaking from his living room in Utah.
“I really thought this was related; there’s a similar mode of operation, and it needs to be considered a possible link.
“But it’s shocking, absolutely shocking [that Boulder police didn’t investigate the link] … they absolutely should have.”
He added: “It’s like a second bank robbery in a small town: you’ve got to look and see if there’s a connection.
“And in my mind, there was a huge connection, both in terms of how it was accomplished, the fact they were both children, and that my daughter and Amy both went to the same dance school.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to say, ‘Wait a minute, this is serious. We’ve got to look at this as a possible connection.’
“But they didn’t … it’s insane.”
JonBenét Ramsey was first reported missing by her mom Patsy in the early hours of December 26, 1996, after she woke up around 5.45am to find a haphazard two-and-a-half page ransom note laid at the bottom of a staircase.
Within hours, John would discover JonBenét’s body in the basement after a detective instructed him to search the property for anything that seemed out of place.
JonBenét’s hands had been tied above her head and duct tape placed over her mouth. Her official cause of death was ruled to be asphyxiation due to strangulation, though an autopsy revealed she’d also been struck over the head with a blunt object, causing an eight-inch fracture to her skull.
Additionally, the autopsy report showed some damage to JonBenét’s hymen, indicating possible sexual assault.
John and Patsy Ramsey, as well as JonBenét’s nine-year-old brother, Burke, were the only other people known to be in the house at the time of the killing.
A cloud of suspicion would follow each of them, with John and Patsy both considered persons of interest in the case by police for many years.
Burke was cleared of any wrongdoing by detectives in 1999. John and Patsy were then exonerated by the District Attorney’s office nine years later in 2008 – two years after Patsy died from ovarian cancer.
As the investigation remains ongoing, myriad potential suspects, persons of interest, and suspicious figures have come to the fore, but no arrests have ever been made.
It’s John’s belief that JonBenét’s killer had been surveilling the family for some time prior to her murder.
He believes the killer broke into their four-story mansion through an unlocked basement window when the family was out having Christmas dinner at a friend’s home.
While the Ramseys did have a burglar alarm, they hadn’t switched it on for months. The family was also out of the house for several hours, which would have given the assailant plenty of time to craft the ransom note, John said.
He believes the killer then hid in the basement or elsewhere in the home and waited for the opportune moment to strike, perhaps accidentally murdering the girl in a “kidnapping gone wrong.”
John’s theory – otherwise referred to as the “intruder theory” and which was first put forward by veteran detective Lou Smit – shares stark similarities with what Amy’s father believes happened in his daughter’s case.
In the hours before the attack on Amy, which unfolded early on Sept. 14, 1997, the girl and her mother had been out watching a movie while her father was out of state for work.
They returned home late, and Amy’s mother took her straight to bed, saying goodnight before switching on the burglar alarm and heading off to sleep herself.
In an interview with The U.S. Sun and in conversations with police at the time, Amy’s dad said he believes the attacker was already in the home when his wife and daughter returned, likely hiding in an upstairs closet.
At no point before the attack did the alarm trigger, and the family’s dog also did not alert to any kind of disturbance.
Amy’s dad also believes his family was being surveilled for some time prior to the attack.
He believes his daughter’s rapist “drew a bead” on Amy at her dance studio, Dance West, where JonBenét had also taken lessons shortly before her death, and waited until he was out of town to pounce.
It could very well be the same guy. I really thought this was related; there’s a similar mode of operation, and it needs to be considered a possible link.
According to Amy’s dad, Dance West had a public viewing platform that members of the public could walk in and out of undetected.
Lee Klinger, the owner of the since-demolished studio, previously told local media that he was never contacted by law enforcement regarding either case.
While BPD investigators have never publicly acknowledged a link between Amy’s and JonBenét’s cases, John Ramsey has urged the department to take a second look.
“When I first heard about it and the circumstances surrounding it, I thought it’s got to be [linked],” said John.
“What I believe [happened to JonBenét] is that this person came into our home while we were gone, waited until we’d gone to sleep, and then went into JonBenét’s room.
“And in their situation, they got home, locked the doors, and set the burglar alarm. And then, fortunately, thankfully, the mother heard a noise and […] found this guy over his daughter.
“The alarm didn’t go off. So he had to have been in the house before they set it […] and I think that’s exactly the method of operation of this creature in our case.”
Referencing comments made by Boulder PD’s then-Chief of Police Mark Beckner at the time, John added: “But the police chief in all his brilliance said it’s not the same case because the second little girl wasn’t murdered.
“That was unbelievable […] just insane comments.
“Are these people brain dead? Or are they so biased and vindictive trying to get [me or Patsy] that they didn’t want any questions?
“But I really think it is […] it needs to be considered a possible link.
“Thank god [Amy’s dad] didn’t have to go through the pain of losing a child.
“It’s the most horrible thing in the world.”
‘INCOMPETENCE & ARROGANCE’
The Boulder Police Department declined to comment when approached multiple times with questions about its handling of both Amy’s case and the murder of JonBenét Ramsey.
Amy’s father previously described the detectives who worked his daughter’s case as “arrogant,” “incompetent,” and, at times, hostile.
He claims that, in addition to neglecting to investigate any potential ties between the attack on his daughter and JonBenét’s murder, the police also failed to properly gather evidence and chase other promising leads.
John Ramsey offered a nearly identical assessment of Boulder Police Department investigators, sharing the same sentiments of perceived arrogance and incompetence that he believes are still rife within the department today.
Documents obtained by The U.S. Sun revealed that two prominent detectives on the JonBenét Ramsey case were also involved in the investigation into the attack on Amy.
Those detectives were Linda Arndt and Thomas Trujillo.
When made aware of the connection, John exclaimed: “Both of those idiots were over both cases? “Holy mackerel!”
Linda Arndt was the only cop inside the Ramsey home when JonBenét’s body was found.
Arndt was widely criticized for her handling of the initial stages of the investigation and for failing to properly secure the crime scene, which destroyed or contaminated potentially crucial DNA evidence in the process.
She was removed from the Ramsey case in May 1997 and was assigned to oversee the Amy investigation that September after returning from an extended period of medical leave.
Arndt left the Boulder Police Department two years later and unsuccessfully sued the department for defamation.
Trujillo, meanwhile, is a 36-year veteran of the Boulder Police Department who earlier this month was ousted from the investigations unit after an internal review found that a number of cases had not been properly investigated between 2019 and 2022.
He has since been re-assigned to night patrol and will no longer be involved in any of the department’s ongoing investigations, including the JonBenét case.
Four other officers in the department’s investigations division were also cited for misconduct. All five of the officers were recommended for termination by an oversight panel.
John Ramsey believes issues within BPD’s investigations unit stretch much further back than 2019.
“Well, we know it does from our own experience,” he said.
“When Trujillo was put on this case as a homicide investigator, he’d previously been an auto theft investigator, and what does he know about investigating the murder of a child? Nothing.
“And he wouldn’t have gained a whole lot of experience in 25 years, because thankfully for Boulder, they don’t have many homicides.”
Speaking to the wider investigation into BPD investigators, John continued: “It’s shocking, absolutely shocking.
“Those guys should’ve been dismissed then, not still here 26 years later when a police review board recommends termination for them.
“And they still haven’t been terminated.”
John Ramsey, like Amy’s dad, has long been critical of the Boulder Police Department.
He said it’s his belief that the investigation into who killed JonBenét both began and finished on December 26, 1996, before police considered any evidence or conducted any interviews.
John explained: “Their whole strategy for solving this case [was], ‘We know it was one of the parents, we just don’t know which one but they were both in the house.’
“They ignored unidentified male DNA […] and they used the media to put pressure on us, releasing a lot of misleading information […] in the hope that one of us would confess.
“Their whole case against us was that we apparently ‘didn’t act right that morning’. That was their whole case.”
Referring to Linda Arndt, he said: “One of the detectives that first came to our house said, ‘I saw it in his eyes,’
“Like, yeah, that’s a useful talent […] she was as crazy as a fruit fly. But that’s what we’re dealing with. It’s nuts.”
Lind Arndt appeared on Good Morning America in 1999, months after resigning from BPD. She recounted the moment John found JonBenét’s body in the basement of the home.
During the interview, she sensationally claimed she feared John had killed JonBenét and was going to kill her too.
“We shared a nonverbal exchange that I will never forget,” recounted Arndt.
“And as we looked at each other, I remember, and I wore a shoulder holster, tucking my gun right next to me and consciously counting out the 18 bullets.”
When asked why, she responded: ” ‘Cause I didn’t know if we’d all be alive when people showed up.”
In a police report written by Arndt on January 8, 1997, almost two weeks after the murder, the detective neglected to mention the apparent “nonverbal exchange.”
However, she did appear to accuse John of a series of behaviors that she deemed to be out of the norm, considering the circumstances.
Their whole strategy for solving this case … [was] ‘we know it was one of the parents, we just don’t know which one but they were both in the house.’
Those behaviors included apparently smiling, laughing, and at one stage “casually” sifting through the family’s mail.
Arndt also said that John and Patsy remained in separate rooms throughout the morning.
And after JonBenét’s body was found early in the afternoon, she wrote that John “made sounds as if he was crying [but] I didn’t notice any tears.”
John has trashed Arndt’s characterizations of his behavior that fateful day.
During the hours JonBenét was missing, John said he tried to keep his emotions under control, focusing his energy on finding his daughter and bringing her home.
After being the one to discover her lifeless body in the family’s basement, he said was overcome with profound shock.
“I just screamed,” he said.
“I guess you just go into a state of shock. You don’t cry. You’re just in shock screaming. The tears come later.”
‘THIS NEEDS TO BE SOLVED’
For years, John has been fighting for JonBenét’s case to be removed from the Boulder Police Department’s jurisdiction and into the hands of another law enforcement agency, whether that be the local sheriff’s office, the much larger Denver Police Department, or the FBI.
He has also recently renewed his push for BPD to turn over the DNA evidence they have in the case to a specialized lab with more advanced DNA testing capabilities than the Colorado government currently has at its disposal.
To aid the push, John penned a letter to Governor Jared Polis last month, writing: “I am 78 now and realize that time for answers is running out.”
Polis’ office has acknowledged receiving the letter, though John told The U.S. Sun he has so far received no direct response.
“We’ve fought for years to get more DNA testing done. Technology has advanced dramatically in the last 25 years.
“We know for a fact that the police originally sent some number of samples from the crime scene to be analyzed for DNA, and five or six of them were sent back, not tested.
“We don’t know why it was it may be because of a cost issue, maybe they felt like they got enough DNA off the three or four things that they did test.
“So we’ve been pushing to get that done for a long time and [BPD] just refuses to do it.
“It makes no sense. It defies intelligence. And I’d bet dollars to donuts that if they did what we’re asking, there’s a very high likelihood the murder would be solved pretty quickly.”
John Ramsey has also launched a Change.org petition, which has so far garnered 29,000 signatures, asking BPD to hand over the evidence.
This story is the first of an upcoming series of stories with John Ramsey for The U.S. Sun.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6913667/jonbenet-ramsey-update-dad-john-rapist-link-murder/ JonBenét Ramsey’s dad John believes there’s a ‘link’ between her murder & ‘dance school’ rapist as he slams ‘lazy’ cops