1997-02-07: Letter may shed light on murder mystery
Letter may shed light on murder mystery
By ALLI KRUPSKI
Camera Staff Writer
Friday, February 7, 1997
Boulder Police are seeking the author of an anonymous, handwritten letter that may provide insight into the murder of JonBenet Ramsey.
The letter - mailed from Shreveport, La., and postmarked Jan. 27 - apparently reports details relevant to the homicide, sources said.
"There's a good possibility that it has facts in it that the media haven't reported yet," a source said. "It'd be very helpful to find out what exactly the author knows so we can use the information, along with things like DNA test results, and arrest a suspect."
Police began investigating the slaying after John Ramsey, JonBenet's father, and a friend discovered the 6-year-old strangled in the Ramseys' home at 755 15th St. on Dec. 26. About eight hours earlier, Patsy Ramsey, JonBenet's mother, found a ransom note demanding $118,000 and called police.
As authorities continue to search for clues, Boulder Police detective Steve Thomas called the Shreveport Police Department Wednesday. "He said the letter contained information that could be important to the case," said Cindy Chadwick, spokeswoman for the Louisiana department.
Police have asked people not to respond to the plea unless they wrote the letter. "This is not a request for unsolicited or psychic information," Thomas said in a press release from the Shreveport Police Department.
Boulder Police have not contacted Chadwick about sending an investigator to Louisiana, she added.
"We probably won't fly someone down there unless something major turns up," one source said. "There's a chance that the person who wrote this letter just mailed it from Shreveport and doesn't live there, so flying someone there could be a waste of time. Hopefully, we'll find the person, because on the surface, the letter seems very interesting."
Sources said the department does not immediately plan to submit the letter for handwriting analysis.
City spokeswoman Leslie Aaholm declined to comment on the contents of the letter. "The police want to find the author to ask some follow-up questions," Aaholm said. "We hope the person will come forward. But I guess the opposite could happen: If they were hesitant to sign their name in the first place, this (media attention) may convince them that they made the right decision."
The department has received 600 letters and more than 1,300 calls about the murder, Aaholm noted.
"I'm sure the police have gotten a lot of letters, and I hope they find who wrote the Shreveport letter," a Ramsey family friend said. "It could be anyone, even someone at the Miss USA contest (held Wednesday) in Shreveport. I mean, JonBenet and Patsy were in beauty pageants, so the author might be someone from those contests or other contests."
Meanwhile, police continue to await complete DNA test results from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
"They're done with some of the preliminary processing," a source said, noting that investigators recently returned to Georgia to interview Nedra Paugh, Patsy Ramsey's mother. "Everything could come back as early as (today), or it may be a little while longer. Those tests, other evidence and interviewing people will help us build a really strong case.