June 15, 2004
Who Killed the Pageant Queen
The Prime Suspect
Shown in the UK on Real Crime ITV1 (Transcript by Jayelles)
Produced by Michael Tracey and
Co-produced with David Mills
Narrator: Tonight, new evidence about the murder of a six year old beauty queen and about the prime suspect, who might have killed her.
Pageant Hostess: Name and how old you are?
JonBenét: My name is JonBenét Ramsey and I’m five and a half.
Narrator: The torture and killing of JonBenét Ramsey in her parents’ home on Christmas Night, reverberated around the world. It made her the most famous murdered child in history. And her millionaire parents, accused of the killing, the most hated couple in America.
Woman: We the jury find John Bennett Ramsey, liable for the wrongful death of JonBenét Ramsey.
Geraldo Reviera: John Ramsey liable. And as to Patsy?
Woman: We the jury find Patsy Ramsey liable for the wrongful death of JonBenét Ramsey.
John Ramsey: Because we’re the parents we’re the murderers? Is that the thesis? I … eh … it’s sad if that’s what we think as a society of ourselves.
Patsy Ramsey: I don’t know what they think, all I know is we didn’t do it. I don’t know what happened. God knows and he’s not telling.
Narrator: Few believed them, but despite all the accusations and outrage, the parents were never charged. Today they live quietly in Michigan – a remote area of the US, north of Detroit. America is beginning to forget. The murder of their daughter is slipping out of the headlines, but that is now about to change.
A completely new team of investigators has recently uncovered dramatic new facts about the murder. They have identified a number of suspects including one who is now their prime suspect.
John San Augustine: We’ve gained more information in the last year than probably the prior four or five years. It’s now a whole new era of the JonBenét case. We now have evidence that will tell you who the killer is.
Narrator: Boulder, Colorado. One of America’s most remarkable cities. At the foot of the Rocky Mountains, its hi-tech companies have attracted many of America’s most talented people. With its own skiing resort, exclusive restaurants and bars, it is a haven of affluence and privilege. But the murder of JonBenét, seven years ago, has revealed a darker, bleaker side to Boulder. The story of that murder began here at the Ramsey’s home on Boxing Day morning 1996. Her parents say they awoke early to find their six year old daughter JonBenét missing from her bedroom and a ransom note lying on the stairs. Minutes later, Patsy Ramsey called the police.
911 Tape: “We have a kidnapping. Hurry….”
Narrator: The police arrived within minutes. From the outset, they suspected the parents. Their suspicion grew, when John Ramsey asked by the police to search the house, found his daughter’s body in this small cellar room.
By the time JonBenét’s body was removed from the house that night, Police already believed the parents were responsible. It was leaked to the media that not only was there no evidence of a break-in, but no-one could have got in because there were no footprints in the snow. The media was then told that there was evidence of pornography and sexual abuse. When police leaked their belief that Patsy Ramsey had killed her daughter in a fit of temper about bed-wetting and then staged a kidnapping to cover it up, media coverage became hysterical.
Announcer: “Bombshell in Boulder. A published report puts JonBenét Ramsey in her parents’ own bed when the brutal attack began”
Tony Frost: The most likely scenario is that JonBenét went up to her parents’ bedroom, wet and weepy. Her frazzled Mum completely lost it, and battered her”
Narrator: Police Interrogators, put the bed wetting theory to Patsy Ramsey.
Interrogator: How about the theory that this was an accident? JonBenét got up or something happens. There’s an accident. Someone…..
Patsy Ramsey: You’re going down the wrong path buddy.
Interrogator: Somebody accidentally .. or gets upset over… bedwetting is one of the things that’s been proposed.
Patsy Ramsey: Didn’t happen. If she got up in the night and ran into somebody, it was somebody there that wasn’t supposed to be there and I don’t know what transpired after that whether it was an accident, intentional, premeditated or what. But it was not one of her three family members that were also in that house. Period. End of statement.
Narrator: The Boulder police were convinced she was lying. Outside prosecutors were appointed who took the case to a Grand Jury asking that the Ramseys be indicted for Murder. Yet District attorney Alex Hunter surprised everybody when he announced the result.
Alex Hunter: We do not have sufficient evidence to warrant the filing of charges against anyone who has been investigated at this time.
Narrator: Most Americans, led to believe the parents were guilty, greeted the announcement with disbelief. But two years ago, ITV’s Real Crime, revealed the truth behind the shocking decision not to indict the Ramseys. It showed that the case against the parents was spurious and untrue. No evidence of sexual abuse or pornography had ever been found and police photographs showed not only hardly any snow around the house, but clear evidence of a break-in. ITV also revealed that the police theory that JonBenét had been killed by a sudden angry blow was also untrue. Forensic evidence shows she had been hit on the head but only after being immobilised by a stun gun, tortured and garrotted.
Lou Smit: If someone is hit on the head with any force at all, it will either swell or it will bruise or it will bleed. In the case of JonBenét, there was no swelling, there was no bleeding, there was no bruising. If JonBenét was hit on the head first, there would be some length of time, between the time you would even think of staging this crime then you would have to go out and you would have to find duct tape, you would have to find cord and you would have to construct a garrotte and you would have to tie her hands. Then you would have to bring her down into the basement and then you would have to sexually assault your own daughter. If that would have taken all that time to do this, there would have been massive bleeding inside that skull. So, it’s ludicrous even to think that the head blow came first. The head blow came last. Almost at the time of death.
Narrator: Despite this, and despite the Grand Jury verdict, the Boulder police maintained unrelenting pressure on the parents.
Interrogator: If I told you right now that we have trace evidence that appears to link you to the death of JonBenét, what would you tell me?
Patsy Ramsey: That is totally impossible. Go retest.
Interrogator: How is it impossible?
Patsy Ramsey: I did not kill my child. I didn’t have … a thing to do with it.
Interrogator: And I’m not talking somebody’s guess or some rumour or some story ...
Patsy Ramsey: I don’t care what you’re talking about.
Interrogator: I’m talking about scientific evidence.
Patsy Ramsey: I don’t give a flying flip how scientific it is. Go back to the damn drawing board. I didn’t do it. John Ramsey didn’t do it and we didn’t have a clue about anybody who did do it... My life has been hell from that day forward and I want nothing more than to find out who is responsible for this. OK? I mean, I want to work with you not against you. OK? This child was the most precious thing in my life and I can’t stand the thought, of thinking that somebody’s out here walking on the street ... God knows he might do it again to some other child. You know, quit screwing around asking me about things that are ridiculous and let’s find the person who did this. Criminy.
Narrator: There was widespread concern that murder detective Lou Smit had resigned because of how the parents were being treated.
Greg Walta: I think the case is in real trouble and I think its in deep trouble because the Boulder Police Department has really staked its reputation on the Ramseys being guilty and once that’s happened, that police department can’t perform its function.
Narrator: That Edition of Real Crimes was so controversial, it did not go out in the US for over a year, but insiders in Boulder, knew what was happening. Within days of the programme’s eventual transmission, DA Mary Keenan took the case away from local police and called Lou Smit back to lead a new investigation. For most Americans still convinced of the parents’ guilt, it was another unexpected twist, but they are about to hear much more extraordinary news. During the past year, the new investigation set up by the DA’s office has uncovered dramatic facts about the killing that will shock America and which identify an entirely new prime suspect.
Narrator: After ITV reported on the Ramsey murder, Lou Smit, the detective who did most to clear the parents, was called back by the Boulder District Attorney to lead a new investigation. Because of this, he is bound by the confidentiality of her office and no longer able to talk to us. But the Boulder DA’s office is neither equipped nor funded to carry out major investigations. So it has also sought the help of private detectives once employed by the Ramseys to hunt the killer. These investigators have been involved from the beginning. Although now unpaid volunteers because of the DA’s limited resources, they are an important part of the new investigation and the are free to talk. They are led by Ollie Gray, one of America’s leading private detectives. He and his partner John San Augustin have worked on some of the nation’s biggest cases. The Boulder police tried to hire them the day after the murder but only to pursue the parents so they declined to help. David Williams, one of Colorado’s leading private detectives was also involved from the first day. Former investigator Jennifer Getty was hired a week later by the parents. They are deeply disturbed by what they have discovered.
Jennifer Getty: There was information turned over to the Boulder Police that there were several individuals who had not yet been interviewed who lived on the block …
Narrator: It has become clear that the Boulder Police even failed to carry out proper house to house enquiries.
John San Augustine: We were finding out that there were people that were never even followed up, I mean literally people within, you know, 100 feet. There were certain individuals in the neighbourhood who had criminal backgrounds that had never been talked to.
Narrator: These include two men living near the Ramsey home who left Boulder immediately after the murder. Both have criminal records yet neither has been interviewed. Two convicted paedophiles who lived nearby have also never been eliminated. These detectives have found too that the Boulder Police dismissed important information if it pointed away from the Ramseys.
David Williams: They would either treat it with indifference, or they would attempt to discredit it. Early on, the Boulder Police Dept made their minds up about the Ramseys and that was that.
Narrator: Frustrated by Police indifference, many with information passed it instead to the Ramsey lawyers. Eventually the paperwork on these leads filled 67 boxes. The leads were given to the police but little was done. These detectives have discovered an even more dramatic failing in the original investigation. From the very beginning, the Boulder Police had DNA evidence now believed to be the killers but what forever reason, failed to test it. It was in one of two small bloodspots in JonBenét’s panties. The police did have one of the spots analysed, it turned out to be JonBenét’s blood but within it, there was a speck of mystery DNA which was consistent with more mystery DNA found under her fingernails. Both had come from the same unknown white male. It all but cleared the parents. But the Boulder Police said nothing.
Ollie Gray: I’m very upset about it because they have put the Ramsey family through Holy Hell. You sit down and figure out that they knew in January of 1997 that the DNA found on the child was not John and Patsy Ramsey or any of the Ramsey family.
Narrator: Worse, the Boulder Police failed to request an analysis of the second bloodspot on JonBenét’s panties. This was only done when an attorney, preparing the evidence for the Grand Jury insisted on it 3 years later. The result of the second analysis was a bombshell. While the earlier DNA had been far too weak to identify the killer, the DNA from the second bloodspot was almost capable of doing so and it came from the same white male. It was the most important evidence in the case and the Boulder Police had missed it for three years.
David Williams: It’s horrible what happened. I’ve never seen it before. That that kind of length of time would pass …
Narrator: When the DA’s office took over, the gave priority to enhancing the DNA until it identified the killer. His DNA has now been put into CODIS, America’s combined DNA index. It is the first big breakthrough in the case but it has not yet thrown up a match and the forensic scientist responsible urges caution.
Greg Laberge: I think it would be wrong for them to focus just solely on the DNA because the DNA (as important an aspect as it is), it is not the sum total of the investigation. You may never get a hit. Because the suspect may never have committed a crime that qualified him to be in the database or he’s just not been caught yet.
Narrator: Even if the killer is not in the database, investigators think they may in any case have his name. They think it is probably in one of these boxes full of leads which have never been followed up. They have searched and come up with a dozen new suspects. One of them is now their prime suspect. This is why they think he may have done it.
Six weeks after the murder of JonBenét, Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter, invited journalists to a press conference. He ended it with this message ...
DA Alex Hunter: I want to say something to the person or persons who took this baby from us, the list of suspects narrows. Soon there will be no-one on the list but you ...
Narrator: The words had been written by the FBI. It was part of a strategy to use the media to put the killer and any accomplices under pressure. Soon afterwards, car mechanic John Kenady approached the Boulder Police to tell them about someone he thought might have been involved in the Ramsey killing. It was this man, Michael Helgoth, who helped run a car salvage yard in Boulder. Helgoth had committed suicide, it was believed, just hours after Alex Hunter’s press conference. According to Kenady and others, he had been violent and bizarre.
John Kenady: He liked shooting guns. He had a little crotch pocket, so he’d reach down and grab it and he’d point the pistol right at your head and just shoot off the side of it and then if he just missed a tenth of a second, you’d have a bullet in you. It was kinda unnerving.
Helgoth friend: I was actually scared, I was standing behind him when the bullets were flying by my head. He would shoot the cats in the back
John Kenady: He thought that was great sport. He had a fun time with that because he could kill. I think he liked to. Something that he enjoyed quite well and he ended up getting kittens from the junkyard there and picking them up and wrenching their neck ...just killing them with his bare hands.
Narrator: It was not only violence against animals that excited Helgoth.
John Kenady: We were walking along headed toward the house and he just casually comes up and says “I wonder what it would be like to crack a human skull”, you know I looked at him and I thought “Woah, I don’t want to have this conversation” and just laughed it off.
Narrator: Helgoth left no suicide note. After his death, Kenady was asked to go through his possessions. It was while doing this that he began to think Helgoth might have been involved in the killing of JonBenét.
John Kenady: Alex Hunter, where he makes the finger-wagging speech on the 13th and then Michael dies on the very next day? ...
DA Alex Hunter: Soon, there will be no one on the list ...
John Kenady: Seems a little suspicious to me.
Narrator: But it was more than Alex Hunter’s press conference that led Kenady to suspect Helgoth.
John Kenady: Mike was pretty happy around late November about him and a partner making a killer deal and they were each gonna make fifty or sixty thousand.
Narrator: The ransom note left at the Ramsey home demanded a curious $118,000, close to the amount Helgoth had said he and his unknown partner would make. No ransom was paid.
John Kenady: And then Christmas goes..comes and then he’s really depressed and there’s no money. And then he said that he wanted to crack a human skull and then she received a crack on her skull and I felt obligated to go to the police department and tell them what I knew.
Ollie Gray: John Kenady provided a very relevant piece of information in my opinion, that should have been a priority lead for the Boulder Police Department.
John Kenady: I called ten or fifteen, twenty times and got no response. I called sergeants, I called officers, I left messages... no one would call me back.
Ollie Gray: (chatting) And one of the reasons we were interested in that very issue was not just Helgoth... Randy Simons ...
Narrator: The new investigators have taken Kenady’s information seriously, and what they have discovered about Helgoth astonishing.
Narrator: Three months after the murder of JonBenét Ramsey, the Boulder Police were told that this man, Michael Helgoth, might have been involved. They ignored the information, but a new team of detectives appointed last year, have taken it seriously. They’ve discovered Helgoth had an infatuation with young girls. A girlfriend says that he actually collected Barbie dolls. She eventually had to take out a restraining order on him to protect her daughter. She had come home unexpectedly one evening and found her on his bed. He was in bed naked. He said he couldn’t trust himself with her daughter.
Ollie Gray: I think this is very relevant to our case. We’re looking at a potential paedophile. This has all the characteristics of sexual deviation. The age bracket of the child was within two years of the one we were investigating and I felt that it should go further.
Narrator: Detectives found out something else about Helgoth that caught their attention. It was among his videos. What they contained, they say, is significant. They found not only a lot of violent scenes like this (film clip of lone gunman shooting at crowds of young people), but numerous images of children including this one from the Disney family film ‘The Santa Clause’ showing a little girl being awoken by Father Christmas on Christmas Eve. JonBenét was awoken by someone on Christmas Night.
John San Augustine: In a lot of these types of investigations you see that these criminals hide their activity within media. What they’ll do is, they’ll play a movie and then somewhere in the middle of the movie, they will put their piece of their criminal activity within that video and when you look at the Helgoth video, you know, here you have a movie that’s playing along and then all of a sudden you have news coverage of an unsolved murder here in Colorado (News 4 news clip).
Narrator: The news story that Helgoth had kept, told of the abduction and murder of a five year old girl. It occurred near Boulder three years before JonBenét’s killing. It too remains unsolved.
News Reader: A child’s body was found stuffed inside a duffel bag in Deer Creek Canyon yesterday.
Narrator: Yet it was when detectives examined photographs of Helgoth’s suicide that they made the most dramatic discoveries. By now it was known that a stun gun had been used to subdue JonBenét.
David Williams: Do you see here there’s a stun gun? The black object here is a stun gun. Even although it is a different type of stun gun than the one that was used on JonBenét Ramsey, We know that he owned several including an Air Taser stun gun. That is the stun gun that we believe was used on JonBenét Ramsey.
Narrator: It has never been made public, but in the Ramsey home in the small cellar where JonBenét’s body was left, two different footprints were found. They were made at or near the time of the killing and strengthened suspicions that two people might have been involved. One of the footprints was made by a rare Hi-Tec boot.
David Williams: You notice here these black boots? These are Hi-Tec boots. They are the same kind of boots that left a print in the wine cellar of the Ramsey home.
Narrator: Investigators managed to get hold of these boots and compared them with the Hi-Tec footprint left in the mould on the cellar floor.
David Williams: You notice that the Hi-Tec emblem on the right and the impression in the algae on the left are a perfect match. Note the brown material on the left and note the specks of brown material wedged in the Hi-Tec emblem on the right which is the same colour as the algae that is in the Ramsey basement.
Narrator: But there is something even more sinister in these photographs. The fatal shot was fired through a pillow.
David Williams: Note this pillow has a bullet hole through it. See the darkness around the edges is where the bullet entered the pillow. This is the other side of the pillow where the bullet went through. Note a little bit of blood from where the bullet entered the body. The significance of the pillow is that it was used as a muffler and if somebody was gonna commit suicide why are they worried about muffling the shot? He was the only one in the house at the time of death.
Narrator: It is something which bothers friends who knew Helgoth well.
John Kenady: I doubt it. I doubt it seriously that he would silence a shot. He was so out in the open with it. During the day he would pull a 22 out and point it right at your head and just miss you by a little bit ... if he just misses by a little bit you’re gonna get a bullet in you. No ... No.
Narrator: The most startling detail though, is the position of the pistol and the trajectory of the shot.
David Williams: Notice that the gun is found on Michael’s right and he’s right handed. Notice the bullet hole is on Michael’s left and it goes across the body from left to right shoulder area. Add to this the gun, about six or eight inches, a pillow that was used to muffle the gun, to it and try to twist your hand around to where you can get a shot that goes across the body from front to back, from left to right and its almost impossible to do.
John San Augustine: Most people, in my experience when you see people using a gun to commit suicide, they normally shoot themselves in the head, you know, they’ll put the gun in their mouth or under their chin. But in this particular case, it became really odd to us, that you would place a pillow on the left side, guy’s right handed, and then, he would then take the gun and bring it around and then try and shoot himself. It doesn’t make sense why you would have somebody commit suicide in that manner.
Ollie Gray: It makes you wonder even more ... how did he actually die? The gun, the pillow, him being right handed ... are all key factors as to why this could be a homicide and not a suicide. I would bet that this is a murder and not suicide.
Narrator: The Boulder Police have been given the evidence suggesting Helgoth might have been involved in the Ramsey killing and they he might have been murdered. They were unimpressed.
Ollie Gray: I had the distinct feeling that they had absolutely no interest in anything that took them away from the theory that John and Patsy Ramsey killed their daughter.
Interviewer (unseen): Even if that meant ignoring a potential homicide?
Ollie Gray: Even if it meant ignoring a potential homicide.
Investigators (discussing Helgoth Suicide)
He was alive obviously his hands became (unclear) he touched them to his forehead ...
NOTE THE QUOTE BELOW: "These detectives do not see Helgoth as the actual killer, in fact, DNA samples taken at a post mortem show that he was not."
Narrator: These detectives do not see Helgoth as the actual killer, in fact, DNA samples taken at a post mortem show that he was not. But they think he may have been involved. One reason is that they’ve always believed it likely that more than one person was in the Ramsey home that night. The footprints suggest this as do the number of objects taken in and out of the house. These include a rope, stun gun, cord and duct tape. It would have been difficult for just one person to have done everything that was done that night. And the ransom note also suggests that more than one person was involved. It says, “We are a group of individuals that represent a small foreign faction”. It warns about the “two gentlemen watching over your daughter”. Throughout, it refers to the kidnappers in the plural. The new team of detectives think Helgoth may well have been involved as an accomplice of an even more deadly killer. One who later murdered him to stop him talking after Alex Hunter’s unnerving press conference.
In trying to identify a potential killer, they came up with an important clue. In the months before the murder, up to a dozen houses near the Ramseys’ were broken into at night. There was a curious pattern to these burglaries. Little or nothing was taken. Detectives believe they were carried out simply for the thrill of stalking others at night. The break-ins stopped abruptly after the murder. The Boulder Police did not link them to the murder, but the new investigators believe they might be the key to everything because Helgoth too used to stalk people at night. It happened to John Kenady.
John Kenady: I was working on a car late one evening in my garage. I kind of get the feeling there’s something out there and went right up to the window to look. I looked, and it was real quiet and I don’t see anything. I look again and all I could see were a pair of eyes coming out of the black. I don’t know why I figure well this could be Michael, so I said “Is that you Mike? And he goes “Yeah” and I said “Well how long you been out there?” and he goes “Long enough” and ... he’s gone. I thought it was kinda strange.
Narrator: Helgoth used to stalk people at night dressed in black ninja clothing. When looking for his possible killer, detectives looked for a violent associate who shared his interest in martial arts and young girls. They immediately came up with one. A close associate who has since disappeared. A man who frightens those around him.
First Man: I tried to steer clear of that individual because he could have been, you know, a menace ... to me or my family.
Interviewer (Unseen): Were you personally scared of him?
Second man: Phew. On a level, I’d have to say “yes”. Absolutely. I think he was capable of being violent towards anybody.
John Kenady: He threatened to cut one of his girlfriend’s ears off. His ex-wife -- he tried to kill her. They were only married probably five or six days.
Narrator: Helgoth’s associate lived in this trailer park near the car salvage yard. The makers of this programme know his name, but have decided to withhold it, because he has not been charged with any offence. But the more that has been discovered about him, the more he fits the profile of a stalker and a killer.
Second Man: He was very methodical. He wanted everything down to the last detail. He ... didn’t want anybody else to have any control. If he didn’t feel like he was controlling a situation, he would lash out.
John Kenady: Martial arts, he liked those throwing knives, he was into ninja, he was into the dark clothing, he always wore a black t-shirt, black pants, black boots...
Narrator: Helgoth’s associate was convicted following a stabbing here on the trailer park. Witnesses were too frightened to give evidence but court documents summarised his criminal record as “violence -- history of sexual assault”. They also reveal that he was a convicted paedophile. He was imprisoned in the 1980s for a sexual assault on a child. It is believed that he may have worked in the Ramsey home, shortly before the family moved in. Unidentified animal hairs were found in the cellar where JonBenét’s body was left. The hairs were of two colours. Helgoth’s associate raised wolf dogs whose hairs exactly match those colours. Helgoth had bought two of these dogs.
NOTE: In this documentary produced by Michael Tracey, the narrator says, "They immediately came up with one. A close associate who has since disappeared." and later say, "but court documents summarised his criminal record as “violence -- history of sexual assault” as the above document is shown on the screen of the "prime suspect" discussed as Michael Helgoth's partner. The narrator says, "The makers of this program know his name, but have decided to withhold it, because he has not been charged with any offense. But the more that has been discovered about him, the more he fits the profile of a stalker and a killer." The narrator then says, "These investigators see the associate as their prime suspect in the Ramsey case. Tracking him down they say, is a priority."
Although the name on the document is blacked out, the case file number is clearly shown and a lady from Scotland who also accesses the world wide web was watching this program and made a screen capture on her computer screen of the document. The case number on the document was searched via google of public records on the Internet and the so called "prime suspect" in this documentary was John Steven Gigax from Indiana in the United States. John Steven Gigax contacted the Boulder District Attorney's office and was not being searched as the prime suspect in this murder case.
Ollie Gray: If Michael Helgoth and this one associate that we identified were actually involved in the burglaries, they could easily have been involved in the murder also. There’s just too many associated items that could tie him to it that means that he has to be eliminated. We need DNA from him –- wherever he might be.
Narrator: These investigators see the associate as their prime suspect in the Ramsey case. Tracking him down they say, is a priority. The need to do so, made more urgent by revelations about another horrific crime the Ramsey killer may have committed.
Narrator: Seven years after the murder of JonBenét Ramsey, a prime suspect has been identified for the killing. He’s been identified by new investigators, who have also uncovered disturbing facts about another crime he may have committed. It occurred in an affluent area of Boulder, near the Ramsey home just nine months after the killing of JonBenét. A mother and her 12 year old daughter returned to their home here after a visit to the cinema. The girl attended the same dance studio in Boulder as JonBenét. The Dance West Studio is now derelict and about to be pulled down, but detectives think that the fact that the girl danced here might explain what happened that night.
Her father was away on business. When the girl and her mother returned home, they were alone. They are still too upset to talk publicly about what happened next. There was an intruder in their home. The father is anxious to protect the family’s identity.
Father of Victim: My feeling is, he got into the house while they were out and hid inside the house.
Narrator: After turning on the burglar alarm, the mother went to bed. Sometime later, the intruder crept into the girl’s bedroom. He put his hand over her mouth. He used her name, and told her he knew her. He began a sexual assault and a possible abduction. But the mother close by was a light sleeper.
Father of victim: My wife heard whispering. She got up, asked if everything was OK. She got a non-committal reply, thought there might be someone moving around. She took a can of mace and walked into the other bedroom and that’s when she saw a man there, he ran past her and ran out a bedroom window where he had to jump off the roof.
NOTE: In this documentary produced by Michael Tracey, the video shows the "prime suspect" (Intruder dressed in black "Ninja outfit") running out the door. Above comments from the father of the Amy case on the video are, "where he had to jump off the roof." In this documentary, Michael Tracey is giving the viewer the impression that this ninja dress intruder is Michael Helgoth's partner in crime.
Narrator: It is what he was wearing though, that has intrigued detectives.
Father of victim: He was dressed completely in black from head to foot, like a ninja.
Narrator: His mask was pulled up, but detectives say the black clothing strengthens their belief that this case may be linked to the Ramsey murder.
John San Augustine: And what we found was that there were a lot of similarities between the Dance West and the Ramsey case because we have a little girl who was in her room, right next to Mom and Dad and there was an alarm system that was not activated. Somebody entered the home. Somebody assaulted this little girl and then left.
Father of victim: I suggested multiple times that the case seemed very similar to the Ramsey case. When I told the police detectives about this, they said “No, this has no similarity at all”.
Narrator: Frustrated by the attitude of the Boulder Police, the parents hired a private detective. He uncovered the same pattern of late night break-ins that have now caught the attention of detectives investigating the Ramsey murder.
Father of victim: We learned about a series of intrusions and attempted assaults where someone would come home and find someone in their bedroom in the middle of the night or someone appeared in someone’s bedroom on the middle of the night. To me it’s so similar that you’d have to think there’s a very good chance that it was the same person or it may just be that there is a number of low-lifes running around – whether they know each other or not –- who knows? He similarities are pretty compelling though and it seems to me if you were the police, you’d at least be curious about it rather than not wanting to hear about it.
Investigators chatting: They would just enter the home in a ninja costume. All dressed in Black.
Narrator: The detectives now hunting JonBenét’s killer are shocked that the lead was ignored.
John San Augustine: The fact that Boulder PD ignored information was just absolutely ludicrous. Why are you not taking this information and seeing if it is related to the Ramsey case? You have an obligation as a Law Enforcement Agency to take these facts and either eliminate it or say “Guess what? It is part of the Ramsey homicide”.
Narrator: While dismissing any link to the Ramsey case, the Boulder Police dismayed the parents by questioning their daughter’s school friends, in the process, revealing what had happened to her – something she wanted kept secret.
Father of victim: If I had to rate the police performance on this case on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d rate it a minus 10. Because it was not only incompetent and dishonest in that they would tell us they were doing things that they didn’t do. Not only that, but it caused additional harm to a victim.
John San Augustine: You know in the Dance West case, you know, the victim alerts Mom and is able to get up and leave...
Narrator: These detectives had the mother not awoken and disturbed the intruder, it could have gone badly for her too. The parents are only too aware of this.
Father of victim: The possibility that it could have turned out the same way is pretty obvious and then you’d have the police saying “Well, it’s clear that the parent must have done it, ‘cos nobody else could get in there”. But for my wife being a light sleeper we might be in the newspapers now as well as the Ramseys.
Narrator: Today, the Ramseys live in Charlevoix, North Michigan. They are still grieving and are now impoverished. Before the murder of her daughter, Patsy Ramsey had ovarian cancer. When it returned last year, she had no medical insurance. At 60, John Ramsey has considered taking a job as a carpenter to survive. They are involved in a libel action against a US tv station and have been advised not to give interviews, but they gave one to us earlier. Nothing has changed since.
John Ramsey: Regretfully the police walked into our home that morning and said “Ah, murdered child, parents asleep, must have been the parents”. They focused on that from day one. And God knows whether we’ll ever be able to capture the murderer or not.
David Williams: You know a murderer took away the Ramseys’ daughter, but we took away everything else. When I say “we”, I mean society. All of us. The police and press included. Now we have a chance to rectify this situation. We have a chance to identify a perpetrator in this case.
Narrator: The problem is that the Boulder District Attorney’s office is neither funded nor resourced to run police investigations and most people in Boulder just want to forget what happened and move on. There is now public pressure to save money and abandon the investigation in the hope that one day, the DNA database will come up with a hit. As an elected official, the District Attorney ignores such pressure at her peril. But if the investigation is abandoned, none of the suspects that have been identified, will ever be pursued. The detectives involved are appalled.
David Williams: For the first time in 7 years, this case has the ability to be solved and to let it go would be a travesty.
Jennifer Getty: I mean, there’s a little girl who’s dead and it doesn’t seem right that no one cares that the person who committed that crime is still walking around.
Patsy Ramsey: I don’t know whether this person or persons are still in Boulder, you know they may have, by this time be in Timbuctoo but who knows? But we know we can find them if a proper investigation is conducted, I think it’ll happen. And yes, continue to hold your babies close, it is not La-la land. We had a false sense of security about Boulder, we thought it was a nice, quaint, small town.
Father of victim: They say people get the government they deserve and in this case, they get the police department they deserve. The fact that the people of the city are not outraged by murders and sexual assaults and the failure of the police department to demonstrate the most minimal competence or interest in dealing with this, just says to me that’s the kind of police department that the people of Boulder want.
Investigators Chatting: Keep Boulder DA involved as the co-ordinating tool like you say...
Narrator: Given that they now have the killer’s DNA, these detectives believe that to do what must be done, would take six detectives about six months. They believe every police force in Colorado would be happy to help – if only Boulder has the courage to admit that it needs help.
Patsy Ramsey: If you let yourself think that somebody is going to get away with this then you have just lost all hope and it’s just... it’s unbearable. So until we are no longer around, we are committed to finding this person.
December 18, 2004
CBS "48 Hours Mystery"
"JonBenet: Prime Suspects"
Transcribed by ACandyRose
Produced by Josh Gelman
and Doug Linghini
Street Person: What happened to the little girl, it was never fully explained.
Street Person: I always thought her parents were involved in the murder.
Street Person: There had to be some kind of friend or relative involved.
Street Person: I always felt like they were hiding something.
John Ramsey: Because we're the parents, we're the murderers, is that the thesis? I, that's sad if that's what we think as a society.
Ollie Gray: My name is Ollie Gray. I have over 25 years of law enforcement experience.
John San Augustine: My name is John San Augustine. I'm an evidence consultant.
Pete Peterson: My name is Robert Peterson, I'm a private investigator.
Ollie Gray: We have been working on this case since December 1996
John San Augustine: We've gained more information in the last year than probably in the prior four or five years. We now have evidence that will tell you who the killer is.
Voice: I was able to develop a genetic profile that came from a male that was not associated with the case.
Voice: What we found was there was specific DNA samples that pointed to somebody other than the Ramseys.
Patsy Ramsey: If our DNA matched anything significate, they would have arrested us in a New York minute.
John San Augustine: The DNA is the strongest piece of evidence. Who out there has that DNA?
Pete Peterson: From the onset I was fairly convinced that the parents didn't do it. I assumed there was an intruder.
Erin Moriarty: Would it surprise you if I told you their were almost forty registered sex offenders within two miles of the Ramsey house?
Pete Peterson: Not at all, matter of fact that almost sounds concervative to me. Somebody with that kind of a twisted mind. She may have made it look like a really good target.
Patsy Ramsey: we had a false sense of security about Boulder, we thought it was a nice, quaint small town.
John Ramsey: What I can tell America is there's a sick madman in your mist that you haven't caught yet. Wakeup!
Voice over: Jon Benet, Prime Suspects.
Erin Moriarty: Boulder, Colorado, on the surface the ideal American town. It's beautiful, peaceful, and seemingly cut off from the types of crime that infect larger cities. It's no wonder that Boulder attracts successful, affluent families like the Ramseys once were.
John Ramsey: ”We moved to Boulder. We very strongly felt we had moved to a very safe, small kind of 'Ozzie and Harriet' kind of community.
Erin Moriarty: Tonight we're going to show you a different side of this quaint small city -- a darker side, made up of a small group of burglars, thieves, and sex offenders. It's where the answer to Boulder's most notorious unsolved murder may be found, the case of JonBenet Ramsey. There's new evidence that investigators hope will finally lead to a break in the case.
Patsy on 911 Tape: We have a kidnapping.
Erin Moriarty: It began eight years ago in the early hours of December 26, 1996, with a 911 call from Patsy Ramsey.
Police Dispatcher: Explain to me what's going on, okay?
Patsy Ramsey: We have a... There's a note left.. and our daughters gone.
Police Dispatcher: How old is your daughter?
Patsy Ramsey: She's six years old, she's blonde, six years old. Oh my god, please.
Erin Moriarty: Boulder police responded immediately, and what first looked at first like a kidnapping quickly became a murder, when JonBenet's body was found by her father in a small storage room in the basement of her house. Because of the bizarre ransom note, and the fact that JonBenet was killed in her own home, Boulder detectives focused on her parents, John and Patsy, as their prime suspects.
John Ramsey: I did not kill my daughter, JonBenet.
Erin Moriarty: Brushing aside the thousands of leads that came in Boulder police dismissed the possibility that and intruder somehow slipped into the house and committed the murder. Instead, they leaked information to the media -- sometimes fabricated information, to put pressure on the Ramseys.
Lin Wood: They convinced the public of guilt.
Erin Moriarty: Lin Wood, the Ramseys attorney.
"You couldn't go to buy groceries for your family without passing headlines that said that John Ramsey had molested his first daughter. Absolutely false." "Headlines that John and Patsy were pornographers. Absolutely false. Headlines that they were devil worshipers. Absolutely false."
John Ramsey: It's frustrating, it's disappointing, it makes me angry.
Patsy Ramsey: Somebodies out here walking on the street. God knows he might do it again to another child.
Erin Moriarty: Throughout the lengthy and sometimes hostile police interrogations, both in 1998 and 2000.
John Ramsey: I'm not here to prove my innocence, I'm here to find the killer of my daughter.
Erin Moriarty: Ramseys maintained their innocence.
Patsy Ramsey: I didn't do it! John Ramsey didn't do it and we didn't have a clue who, anybody who did do it. My life has been hell from that day forward. And I want nothing more than to find out whose responsible for this.
Erin Moriarty: Right years later, investigators not only think that Patsy Ramsey was right they're no longer focusing on the Ramsey family. Detectives working for the Boulder district attorney now believe that one, possibly two, intruders entered the Ramsey home and killed JonBenet and they are finally concentrating their efforts on the underside of Boulder that was largely ignored during the initial investigation.
John San Augustine: "A lot of people don't really think about, 'Let's go find out who's their next door neighbor.' It's not until something big happens that we worry about who are our neighbors."
Erin Moriarty: John San Augustine and Ollie Gray were originally hired by the Ramseys in 1999, and they are now part of a small band of private detectives, working without pay, and determined to find JonBenet's killer.
John San Augustine: "From the get-go, Patsy and John were the focus of JonBenet's murder" "And nobody really looked into the intruder theory."
Ollie Gray: "When you start turning rocks over in Boulder, you know, stand back," adds Gray.
Erin Moriarty: What they have discovered is startling. Within a two-mile radius of where the Ramseys once lived, 38 of their neighbors, 38 are registered sex offenders. What these private detectives have also discovered is that in the months before JonBenet's murder, there were more than 100 burglaries in her neighborhood.
Erin Moriarty: Patsy Ramsey said she was living with a false sense of security in Boulder. Wash she right?.
Ollie Gray: I would say she's right. "All the crime that was actually going on, I don't think that the Ramseys had any clue that this was going on."
Erin Moriarty: From the outset, police never seriously considered the evidence that JonBenet might have been milled by somebody outside the Ramsey family.
Lou Smit: "I don't think the Ramseys did it and I think they ought to start looking for the people that did."
Erin Moriarty: Retired homicide Detective Lou Smit, who once quit because police ignored the intruder theory is back on the case and he's once again working for the Boulder DA and can no longer speak publicly, but he spoke to 48 Hours back in 2002:
Lou Smit: "This murder was not conducted upstairs in a nice bedroom. This murder was conducted in a basement, and it was very vicious."
Erin Moriarty: Results from the autopsy showed evidence that JonBenet may have been subdued with a stun gun, and then eventually killed with an intricately tied device known as a garrote.
Lou Smit: This is one of the best clues left behind by the killer. This is a sexual device. I'm looking for a pedophile that's a sexual saddest, that's who Lou Smits looking for. This is where I believe that the killer got in. (Smit sitting with Ollie Gray and John San Augustine) Take a look real closely at the window on the left. What you're going to see is leaves and debris pressed right up against the window. Now lets take a look at the one again in the center. No leaves or debris.
Erin Moriarty: Which says?
Lou Smit: That window was open. Directly below that open window you have a suitcase. Directly around that suitcase you have leaves and debris.
Erin Moriarty: The current investigation also focuses on the possibility of two intruders, because of two very clear boot prints in the room where JonBenet was found.
John San Augustine: You have a Hi-tec boot and you have an unknown boot. Just based on that detail you think there's definately two people involved.
Erin Moriarty: You believe there are at least two intruders?
John San Augstine: Absolutely.
Erin Moriarty: And, there's another clue investigators are interested in: a rope found in the bedroom next to JonBenet.
Ollie Gray: The rope, we don't know who it belong to. We don't even know how it got there.
John San Augustine: It's now a whole new area of the JonBenet Ramsey case. We now have leads that we never had before.
Alex Hunter: We do not have suffient evidence to warrant the filing of charges against anyone who has been investigated at this time.
Erin Moriarty: After a murder investigation that went nowhere, the answer to the question, who killed JonBenet is likely in the Denver police department crime lab.
Greg LaBerge (police forensic specialist): Denver Crime Lab: "I believe the technology of today makes it extraordinarily difficult for a killer not to leave his calling card."
Erin Moriarty: That calling card is a complete DNA profile and police forensic specialist, Gregory LaBerge has one for the one he suspects is the killer of JonBenet Ramsey.
Greg LaBerge (police forensic specialist): It would be very very helpful in the investigation to have that DNA matched.
Erin Moriarty: This is what the crime lab has. Two spots of JonBenet's blood found on the underwear she was wearing the night she was murdered. And mixed in with that blood is the DNA of an unknown person. It has taken years to isolate, but forensic scientists in Colorado now believe they have the complete DNA profile of the killer. They know the killer is a male. What they don't know is his name.
Greg LaBerge (police forensic specialist): Well right now the DNA profile at hand doesn't match anyone associated with the investigation and that would include the parents.
John San Augustine: It could be a criminal from way back then, somebody who just hasn't be caught yet, has never offended.
Erin Moriarty: Private investigator, John San Augustine and his partner, Ollie Gray are convinced that the DNA sample belongs to JonBenet's killer, because of a small amount of matching DNA that also was found under the 6-year-old murder victim's fingernails.
Ollie Gray: It's my understanding that all the DNA analysis that has been done match each other
Erin Moriarty: Same Person?
Ollie Gray: Same person.
Erin Moriarty: And not the Ramseys?
Ollie Gray: And not the Ramseys
Erin Moriarty: Do you think it's going to be DNA that's going to solve this case
Ollie Gray: Yes
John San Augustine: Absolutely
Erin Moriarty: 48 Hours has learned that the DA's office is using this DNA profile to investigate several suspects in the case. One of those suspects came to light in a most dramatic way. It was early in 1997, the Boulder District Attorney at that time Alex Hunter, made a startling announcement:
Alex Hunter: "I want to say something to the person or persons that took this baby from us. The list of suspects narrows. Soon, there will be no one on the list but you."
Erin Moriarty: Those words were written by the FBI as part of a strategy to put the killer and any accomplices under pressure.
John San Augustine: Either the bad guy would kill himself or the bad guy would turn himself in.
Erin Moriarty: That strategy may have worked. Just two days later, the Boulder Sheriff's Department discovered a man by the name of Michael Helgoth, dead in his home, an apparent suicide. Do you believe Michael Helgoth was involved in JonBenet Rameys death?
John San Augustine: I think he's somebody who obviously has to be looked at very carefully.
John Kenady: "We were walking along at the end of the day, just as calm as can be. He just casually comes up and says, 'I wonder what it'd be like to crack a human skull.
Erin Moriarty: John Kenady knew Helgoth well. They worked together in an auto salvage yard outside of Boulder.
John Kenady: "And I looked at him and I thought, 'Whoa, I don't want to have this onversation.'"
Erin Moriarty: Just a few months before JonBenet's murder, Kenady says he noticed a change in Helgoth's attitude:
John Kenady: "Mike was pretty happy around late November, about him and a partner making a killer deal, and they were each gonna make $50,000 or $60,000."
Erin Moriarty: Kenady didn't think anything of it, until he read in newspapers about the ransom note found at the Ramsey home that demanded a curious $118,000. It was close to the amount Helgoth had said he and his unknown partner would make -– and it was a ransom that was never paid to anyone.
John Kenady: "Then Christmas goes -- comes. And then he's really depressed. And there's no money. And then he said that he wanted to crack a human skull and then, she received a crack in her skull. I felt obligated to go to the police department and tell them what I knew."
Ollie Gray: John Kenady provided a very relevant piece of information in my opinion that should have been a priority lead for the Boulder police department."
John Kenady: I called ten or fifteen or twenty times times, but got no response. I called sargents, I called officers, I left messages. No one would call me back.
Ollie Gray: "I got the distinct feeling that they had absolutely no interest in anything that took them away from the theory that John and Patsy Ramsey killed their daughter."
Erin Moriarty: But Ollie Gray and John San Augustine were convinced Helgoth was worth a closer look.
Ollie Gray: "His friends say that he owns several stun guns, that he was a gun nut, and supposedly through the sources that we talked to, that he used to break into people's houses just for the thrill of doing it."
John San Augustine: You can see the stun gun here.
Erin Moriarty: The stun gun is important because Gray and San Augustine believe, from examining autopsy photos, that JonBenet was incapacitated with one at some point during her attack.
Ollie Gray: In our conversation with some of his friends, they said he owned two or three different stun guns and one of the stun guns he owned had a laser sight on it.
Erin Moriarty: Which was the same type of stun gun you believe was used on JonBenet Ramsey?
Ollie Gray: Yes
John San Augustine: And you'll notice here that's the high-tec boot later took into possession
Erin Moriarty: These Boots originally ignored by investigators in Helgoth's home were later discovered by John Kenady and passed on to Gray and San Augustine who believes they are a invaluable clue. That's the underside of Helgoth's boot, right there?
John San Augustine: That's correct
Ollie Gray: Right
John San Augustine: On the left is the High-Tec impression that was made in the ground in that area where JonBenet's body was found. There's no reason for Helgoth's boot to be in the Ramsey home where JonBenet's body was found.
Erin Moriarty: The investigators turned the boots over to the Boulder police who now claim their investigation showed they were the wrong size for a match. But they have yet to be turned over to the district attorney for further analysis. The private detectives in their investigation also uncovered a number of Helgoth's personal video tapes that they say the sheriff's office ignored. San Augustin says they found one piece of video that included coverage of an unsolved murder in Colorado.
John San Augustine: The video tapes are more concern for us is one piece of video there's actually coverage of an unsolved murder in Colorado.
NEWS: The search continues for the person or persons......
John San Augustine: That to this day is an unsolved murder and why would a guy have video coverage of just the news coverage of Allie Berrelez death? It's odd.
Erin Moriarty: And what they found next was even more of a concern.
Ollie Gray: We found video tapes of Helgoth with one of his girlfriends children
Erin Moriarty: And what did this ex-girlfriend tell you?
Ollie Gray: "The ex-girlfriend and he had a major argument over supposedly her coming home and finding the daughter in the bedroom, and he was in bed under covers and she was on the covers. They had a big fight and there were temporary restraining orders issued."
Erin Moriarty: Most surprising of all, however, was the nature of Helgoth's suicide. They initially said he died from a bullet to what part of his body?
John San Augustine: His head.
Erin Moriarty: Was there any bullet in his head?
John San Augustine: Absolutly not.
Erin Moriarty: But in Fact, Helgoth's fatal shot was no where near his head.
Ollie Gray: Notice the gun is found on Michael's right and he's right-handed. The bullet hole is on Michael's left and it goes across the body from left to right."
John San Augustine: "It became really odd to us that he would then take the gun and bring it around and then try and shoot himself" "It doesn't make sense why you would have somebody commit suicide in that manner."
Erin Moriarty: The investigators were left with only one conclusion.
Ollie Gray: If he committed suicide it's the most unusual suicide that I have seen.
Erin Moriarty: So you're saying if he didn't commit suicide then someone killed Michael Helgoth?
Ollie Gray: It sure points that way.
Erin Moriarty: And why would someone want to kill Michael Helgoth?
Ollie Gray: "If he's one of two people involved in a major death of a small girl, what's the best way to eliminate an you know, the word getting out that you had any involvement in it?" "You eliminate your partner."
Erin Moriarty: Was Helgoth involved in JonBenet's murder and was he killed by a partner for what he knew? Remember that in the Ramsey ransom note there was the mention of "two gentleman who are watching over your daughter."
John San Augustine: "If you look at the case real close, you'll see that quite possibly there was more than one person involved."
NOTE THE QUOTE BELOW: "But there is one thing investigators are sure of: Helgoth's DNA does not match the DNA profile sitting in the Denver crime lab."
Erin Moriarty: But there is one thing investigators are sure of: Helgoth's DNA does not match the DNA profile sitting in the Denver crime lab.
Greg LaBerge: "Investigators must be careful not to put all the weight in the investigation on the DNA because the DNA, as important as it is, could be misleading them, depending on who it matches or who it doesn't match."
Erin Moriarty: It could mean that if Helgoth was involved, he wasn't alone. And the person who sexually assaulted and killed JonBenet is still out there.
JonBenet: JonBenét: My name is JonBenét Ramsey and I’m five and a half.
Pageant Announcer: Contestant number 67, JonBenet Ramsey
Erin Moriarty: If the killers or killers were in fact strangers who hid inside the Ramsey home, how did six year old JonBenet become a target.
Pageant Announcer: She has blonde hair, green eyes
Erin Moriarty: Investigators Ollie Gray and John San Augustine have a theory of how she may have been marked for death.
Ollie Gray: She had just participated in several pageants in the general area.
Pageant Announcer: JonBenet Ramsey.
Ollie Gray: She had participated in the Christmas parade in Boulder. So you know you have seen her."
Pageant Announcer: Number 16, JonBenet Ramsey.
John Ramsey: "Patsy and JonBenet kind of enjoyed doing those those things as kind of a mother, daughter thing.
Patsy Ramsey: "It was fun, she looked forward to it and..we just had a really fun time."
Erin Moriarty: But investigators now believe that putting JonBenet in the public eye
JonBenet (singing in cowboy outfit): Come on boy.....
Erin Moriarty: May have inadvertently put her in the sights of a sexual predator as well.
Ollie Gray: It's like here's a red flag bull, go charge it.
Pageant Announcer: She has dark blonde hair and green eyes.
Erin Moriarty: 48 Hours has learned that JonBenet may also have been targeted for murder long before she took the stage, possibly at a local dance studio called Dance West, like she, like so many other little girls, took lessons.
Pete Peterson: "To someone with that, you know, kind of a twisted mind, she may have looked like a really good target"
Erin Moriarty: Less than a year after the murder of JonBenet, former private investigator, Pete Peterson, was hired to work on another case in Boulder that had strange parallels to the Ramsey case.
Pete Peterson: "There's a Dance West school where the victim of the assault in our case, the one that we investigated, and the Ramsey girl, both attended."
Erin Moriarty: Peterson now believes JonBenet could have been targeted at that dance studio because of what happened to his client, only nine months after JonBenet was murdered. Like JonBenet, she took lessons at Dance West. And like JonBenet, another girl, who we'll call Amy, was attacked and sexually assaulted at night in her own bedroom. It happened on September 14, 1997, on a night when Amy's father was out of town. After catching a movie, Amy and her mother returned home around 10 PM. What they didn't know when they entered the house was that there was already an intruder inside.
Amy's father: It's very clear that this is a very bold intrustion.
Erin Moriarty: This is Amy's father who spoke to a British documentary crew about what happened that night. To protect his daughter, he asked that his identity be obscured.
Amy's father: "My feeling is he got into the house while they were out and hid inside the house, if so he would have been in there for perhaps four to six hours, hiding."
Erin Moriarty: Before going to bed, Amy's mother turned on the burglar alarm. What happened next is a parents worse nightmare. alarm. Around midnight, Amy woke up to find a man standing over her bed, his hand over her mouth. What did the little girl remember about the attack?
Pete Peterson: "She remembered the intruder addressing her by her name,"
Erin Moriarty: He told her he knew her?
Pete Peterson: Right. He said, 'I know who you are.' He repeated those things a few times, apparently. 'I'll knock you out. Shut up.'"
Amy's father: My wife heard whispering. She got up, asked if everything was okay. She got a non-committal reply."
Pete Peterson: From her bed to the child's bed was probably no more than 20 feet at the most through an open doorway. She proceeded through the doorway, and saw a person and he just brushed her aside.
Erin Moriarty: Startled, the intruder brushed past the mother and quickly made his escape, not by a door but by jumping out a second story window.
Amy's Father: "He was like a ghost," "We couldn't figure out where he came from, or where he went."
Erin Moriarty: By the time the Boulder police arrived, the man was long gone. Because the intruder had gotten in and out of the house so easily Amy's father began to think this wasn't the first time he had done something like this.
Amy's Father: "The first thing that occurred to us was that it was the parallel to the Ramsey case because it was exactly the same situation."
Erin Moriarty: He even told the Boulder police about the Dance West studio connection to the Ramsey case.
Amy's Father: "I think someone, somewhere, drew a bead on her. Obviously had us under surveillance that we were not aware of."
Erin Moriarty: The studio has since gone out of business and been torn down but this picture show that there was a balcony overlooking the dance floor where parents and anyone else could come in and watch the children.
Pete Peterson: There were often people who didn't know their purpose who sat in the gallary kind of situation and watched the participations.
Erin Moriarty: People could watch, strangers could watch the girls dance?
Pete Peterson: Sure
Erin Moriarty: How?
Pete Peterson: Well they could just come in and sit down and observe.
Amy's Father: And I told the police about the information I had and they were completely uninterested in it.
Erin Moriarty: How did the family feel the way the Boulder police dealt with this case?
Pete Peterson: "They were very very frustrated," "It was difficult to get them to do anything much less, you know, beyond taking a report."
Amy's Father: But for my wife being a light sleeper we might be in the newspapers now as well as the Ramseys. They said no, this has no similarity at all.
Erin Moriarty: But not only did the Boulder police dismiss any link to the Ramsey case, they didn't even bother to use the mother's eyewitness description to make a composite sketch. That's when Amy's family hired Peterson. And What he has uncovered in his investigation of Amy's assult may not only solve her case, but also help lead to the capture of JonBenet's killer as well.
Erin Moriarty: Whoever killed JonBenet Ramsey could still be out on the streets of Boulder and stalking other targets.
Pete Peterson: "This person is someone with a huge ego, someone who views himself as bold,"
Erin Moriarty: Private Investigator, Pete Peterson working on the case of the 12 year old there are too many parallels to ignore between her case and murder of JonBenet Ramsey.
Erin Moriarty: Do you believe that the killer of JonBenet Ramsey might have had something to do with Amy's assult as well?
Pete Peterson: We think there's a decent liklihood.
Erin Moriarty: Both JonBenet and the girl we identified only as Amy were sexually assaulted by an intruder at night in their homes at night, within nine months of each other.
Pete Peterson: He obviously waited in the house and acusted the daughter. Nothing was taken. Nothing else was disturbed.
Erin Moriarty: Fiber evidence shows that JonBenet's attacker may have been wearing black as was the man who attacked Amy.
Pete Peterson: This was an intruder all dressed in black with a reverse baseball cap in black.
Erin Moriarty: And there's the fact that both girls took lessons at the Dance West studio. Boulder police never found any connections to the murder of JonBenet but Pete Peterson thinks he has. And what Peterson found was very disturbing. As he collected evidence in and around the house, and did background checks on people who worked in the neighborhood, Peterson found a group of individuals with criminal histories, who roamed the neighborhood at night.
Pete Peterson: There's somebody, I was laying in a field.
Erin Moriarty: These video tapes were taken by Peterson. What you're looking at are the vehicles Peterson believes were used by a roving band of criminals.
Pete Peterson: This is one of the vans they used, we call this the night time reconisense van. We did tail him at one point from within two blocks of the Ramsey house. This is some of the area where we conduct nightime surveillance.
Erin Moriarty: Peterson and his team surveilled this for weeks keeping a close eye on groups of individuals some with a history of burglary and theft who seem to Peterson to be casing the neighborhood.
Erin Moriarty: Where did you get this map?
Pete Peterson: It belonged to one of the people we had under surveillance. They were drawing these maps while they were out on their journeys around Boulder. Nightime, around midnight or usually beyond.
Erin Moriarty: How did you get this from him?
Pete Peterson: This was something they discarded.
Erin Moriarty: What do you think this is?
Pete Peterson: I think it's a blueprint for burglary, at least.
Erin Moriarty: 48 Hours has discovered that, of Colorado's most dangerous sex offenders, one in eight also has prior convictions for burglary or robbery.
Pete Peterson: They burglarize and sexually assault if the opportunity presents itself.
Erin Moriarty: And in Amy's neighborhood, that opportunity seemed to present itself quite often.
Pete Peterson: Approximately a one mile radius of our clients house I think were 19 burglaries, breaking and entering in a two-month period.
Erin Moriarty: Peterson done background checks on his suspects in Amy's case, and discovered that some of them had at one time worked at the Ramsey home.
Pete Peterson: Two or three people we were looking at had associations with both neighborhood, let's put it that way.
Erin Moriarty: It's one of these suspects, this man, that Peterson has focused on. Even as to go so far as to collect a sample of his handwriting.
Pete Peterson: We talked with him several times. ...We had him write something.
Erin Moriarty: Peterson then had an expert compare that handwriting to the Ramsey ransom note and claims distinct similarities were found.
Erin Moriarty: You're not saying there is a match, you're saying....
Pete Peterson: It's an inexact, handwriting analysis is kind of an art. It's pretty subjective.
Erin Moriarty: Were you surprised at what you found at night here in Boulder?
Pete Peterson: Yes I was, I expected it to be a serene, quiet, safe area. It's fairly serene and quiet, but you find that there's a real undercurrent of activity at night that would give me pause for concern if I lived here.
Erin Moriarty: Remember Peterson is a private detective with no police powers. He's been censured by a judge in the past for how he's gathered evidence. And in this case, he's planning to hand over all of his materials to the Boulder DA. He hopes they will take his theory seriously.
Erin Moriarty: In your heart, do you think these two cases are connected, JonBenet Ramsey and the case you investigated?
Pete Peterson: I think that there's a really good likelihood, that's what we're pursuing, we're pursing that angle still.
Erin Moriarty: But the Boulder DA investigators are continuing to pursue their own leads, people they say are worth a closer look
Erin Moriarty: You were living in Boulder when JonBenet was killed?
Gary Oliva: Yeah
Erin Moriarty: Just down the street?
Gary Oliva: Yeah, I don't know, about 8 blocks or so, something like that.
Erin Moriarty: For a very long time, John and Patsy Ramsey were the most hated couple in America.
Patsy Ramsey: "It was like this mass of humanity wanting to crucify us."
John Ramsey: "Our fault was that our daughter was murdered, and we were hated for that."
Erin Moriarty: Boulder police worked almost single-mindedly to try to prove they killed their daughter, JonBenet.
Alex Hunter: We do not have sufficient evidence to warrant the filing of charges against anyone who has been investigated at this time.
Erin Moriarty: But a grand jury failed to indict the Ramseys, in large part because of one critical piece of evidence. The unexplained male DNA in JonBenet's underwear.
Greg LaBerge: Right now, the DNA profile that's in hand doesn't match anyone associated with the investigation, so that would include the parents.
Erin Moriarty: It is says Denver police scientist, Gregory LaBerge, the last and best hope to crack the case.
Greg LaBerge: If the DNA never matches someone, the case, depending on the rest of the investigation, may never be solved.
Erin Moriarty: And now the same DNA that saved the Ramseys from indictment is finally being used to check out the dozens and dozens of suspects who were ignored for years. 48 Hours has learned that investigators are now doing what they call a "grab and swab." Using a simple cotton swab like this, they are tracking down people of interest and demanding a DNA sample from the inside of their mouths. Those people of interest make up an incredable lineup of misfits and criminals who all have one thing in common, a bizarre fascination with a six year old beauty queen.
Candy Cane Man: This was the infamous Globe that came out that had the autopsy photographs in it.
Erin Moriarty: There is this man who investigators refer to as Candy Cane Man.
Erin Moriarty: Where did this come from?
Candy Cane Man: From the front yard
Erin Moriarty: The Ramseys home?
Candy Cane Man: Yeah
Erin Moriarty: This is one of the decorative candy canes that lined the Ramsey's front walk on the night of the murder.
Erin Moriarty: When did you take this from the house?
Candy Cane Man: About a week afterwards
Erin Moriarty: Why the candy cane?
Candy Cane Man: Because it was there
Erin Moriarty: But it turns out that some of the canes were missing the next day, when JonBenet's body was discovered. Investigators fear they may have been taken by the killer or killers as a bizarre souvenir, which led to this man.
Candy Cane Man: These are all pictures of her performances, stills and videos.
Erin Moriarty: He admits once having an obsession with JonBenet. Now this is actually where you had the shrine?
Candy Cane Man: Yeah. It was over here.
Erin Moriarty: He even dedicated a shrine to her that he now keeps on his computer. And there is also his fascination with infamous killers, particualar serial killer, John Wayne Gacy.
Candy Cane Man: I have original John Wayne Gacy pictures. Here's one right here and there's one right there.
NOTE THE QUOTE BELOW: On Candy Cane Man: "This year, he voluntarily gave investigators a DNA sample, and was cleared when it didn't match the Ramsey crime scene DNA"
Erin Moriarty: This year, he voluntarily gave investigators a DNA sample, and was cleared when it didn't match the Ramsey crime scene DNA
Gary Oliva: I started cutting out some of her pictures and eventually I made a little shrine for her.
Erin Moriarty: Another man investigators said should have been looked at eight years ago is Gary Oliva.
Gary Oliva: When you see the footage of her in her little cowboy suit saying I want to be a cowboys sweetheart and all that, I've never seen anything like it.
JonBenet: I want to be a cowboys sweetheart, I want to bump and grind.
Gary Oliva: It struck me in a way I've never been struck before. "I believe she was a genius at the age of 6."
Erin Moriarty: 48 Hours spoke to Oliva in 2002
Gary Oliva: I believe she came to me after she was killed and revealed herself to me.
Erin Moriarty: He's a convicted pedophile who use to hang around the Ramseys old neighborhood. You were living in Boulder when JonBenet was killed?
Gary Oliva: Yeah
Erin Moriarty: Just down the steet?
Gary Oliva: Yeah, about I don't know about 8 blocks or so
Erin Moriarty: Oliva was clearly obsessed with JonBenet Ramsey. Here he is seen at candlelight vigil shortly after her death. Once more, four years later when he was arrested for drug possession, police found a stun gun in his back pack.
Erin Moriarty: Did you ever use that stun gun on a child?
Gary Oliva: No
Erin Moriarty: I have to ask you this though, did you hurt or kill JonBenet Ramsey
Gary Oliva: No, (looking straight into the camera) no I didn't
NOTE THE QUOTE BELOW: "Oliva has also provided a DNA sample, which again doesn't match evidence in the Ramsey case"
Erin Moriarty: Oliva has also provided a DNA sample, which again doesn't match evidence in the Ramsey case
Gary Oliva: They told me I'm clear.
Erin Moriarty: But in fact the Boulder District Attorney investigators haven't completely ruled anyone out and have a list of people they'd like to talk to, reportedly more than 100 names.
Lou Smit: Just so many, so many people, their all alphabetical, everyone of them
Erin Moriarty: It's a list that still includes Gary Oliva and anyone who can shed more light on the mysterious death of Michael Helgoth and that includes their friends and associates that investigators strongly consider people of interest.
John San Augustine: There's a lot to do. It's gonna take a group of investigators to go out and pound the pavement, find out who legitimately could've killed JonBenet.
Erin Moriarty: It's frustrating but there's been considerable progress. As we reported tonight, there is now what is believed to be a complete DNA profile of JonBenet Ramsey's killer, an unknown male. There is strong evidence that he may have had an accomplice and that he may have tried to kill again. The city of Boulder is really no different than any city in America with it's fair share of crime and it's usual suspects that commit them. But Boulder authorities have never bothered to look closely at these suspects until now and with only two part time investigators currently working with the district attorney, it could take years to finally answer the question, who killed JonBenet.
Displayed on screen: The Ramseys are currently living in a small town in northern Michigan with their 17-year-old son, Burke. John Ramsey recently lost a bid for the Michigan State Legislature. Patsy Ramsey continues her battle with cancer. Had she lived, JonBenet would now be 14, and a freshman in high school.