James Kolar's Q&A / AMA March 28, 2015

Discussion in 'Justice for JonBenet Discussion - Public Forum' started by cynic, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. cynic

    cynic Member

    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015
  2. Moab

    Moab Admin Staff Member

  3. cynic

    cynic Member

    Definitely a good idea. :)
  4. cynic

    cynic Member

    • Question:
    The case of Maddie McCann that took place in Portugal has interesting parallels. Again, rich parents with a big
    media drive. And again, parents that were accused.
    But in this case the parents, even over 10 yrs later seem very proactive and are not giving up hope as to finding out what happened.
    Whereas in the case of the Ramsey's I see damage control rather than proactive behavior.
    Chief Kolar, have you read about the McCann case and had thoughts about the parallels that you can share?

    Answer: I have not read about the case. Is there a book on the matter or is it a compilation of media coverage?

    • Question:
    Do you think JBR became unconscious immediately after the blow to the head?

    Yes, the blow was devastating.

    • Question:
    How does writing something in one's personal opinion open one up to a lawsuit?

    In some instances, it could be viewed as libel and slander, causing sufficient harm as to allow for monetary damages to be awarded under tort law. It would come down to being able to prove that the opinion expressed was without merit and maliciously made.
    It is complicated, and that is why I had a 1st Amendment attorney review my work.

    • Question:
    Did police ever get a straight answer as to why Patsy was wearing the same clothes from the night before?

    Not to my knowledge. They suspected that she had never gone to bed or changed clothing from the previous evening.
    Close family friends stated that she would never have been caught dead wearing the same clothes two days in a row.
    If she was in the same clothes from the party, what had she been doing all night?

    • Question:
    Does it strike you as odd that John Ramsey is associated with three people that are dead or missing? Weird they are all female.
    In the case of the 1992 death of his older daughter, have you revisited it to see if there was anything suspicious in hindsight?
    Also did he know Natalee Holloway at the time of her disappearance? Has that been checked?

    I recall that his older daughter was killed with her boyfriend in a motor vehicle accident.
    I don't think he came to know the Holloway family until after Natalee had disappeared. Also, I believe he was no longer seeing the mom when authorities made their arrests in the case.

    • Question:
    Was the 'accident' unsuspicious or suspicious in hindsight?

    I recall it was a tragic accident involving another vehicle. No reason to believe John was involved if that is what you are asking.

    • Question:
    You wrote a terrific, informative book and I love it. I have read it many times over and I have pages and pages of notes from it. I just want to thank you for writing it and for doing this AMA.

    Thank you.

    • Question:
    Do you believe it possible JBR was seated, eating pineapple in the kitchen when struck from behind?

    It is hard to say if she was seated or standing when the blow was struck.

    • Question:
    I have always believed JBR was struck from above and hit over the head with either the golf club or the flashlight. Do you agree?

    At least to the flashlight, Dr. Spitz' experimentation indicates that the head of the flashlight was swung in a downward manner.
    Potentially, a golf club could be swung in an overhead manner, but it seems that it would have been at a little more of an angle given the location of the fracture on the skull.
    I have looked at photos of experimentation with both, and tend to lean in favor of the flashlight at the moment.

    • Question:
    Hi Chief Kolar, thanks for doing this AMA! I have a few questions:
    1. What has been the reaction from the "Ramsey Team" (John + Burke Ramsey, Mary Lacy, Lin Wood etc.) to your book? I've heard that Lin Wood is a very aggressive lawyer and will often threaten to sue anyone he sees as "attacking" his clients - have you heard anything from him?
    2. JonBenet's case has so many red herrings, dead ends, etc. What do you think is the biggest red herring or most widespread myth in this case?
    3. Do you see this case ever going to court? Do you think a successful prosecution is even possible, considering the multiple unknown DNA samples (which could amount to built-in reasonable doubt?)
    4. Just to clear something up: On Tricia's True Crime Radio show, Cyril Wecht says that the strangulation preceded the BFT to the head. But former chief Mark Beckner said in his AMA in February that the head wound actually preceded the strangulation by 45 - 90 minutes. Which is correct?
    Thank you so much for the AMA!

    Questions 1 and 3 asked and answered elsewhere.
    Number 2, I think the biggest red herring was the widespread theory of the point of entry - exit, and the pronouncement that a stun gun was used in the crime. The parents wouldn't have needed to use a stun gun to subdue JBR, and the marks, being a 'close match' to the taser, led some to believe it had to be an intruder. I think this sent the whole investigation into a tail spin from which it never recovered.
    Number 4, Consider this: If the garrote immediately caused JBR's death, how could the injury to her head continue to bleed into her skull for upwards of 45 - 90 minutes?
    Many people seem to think that the blow to the head came late in the attack , but the forensic evidence indicates that she lived for 45 - 90 minutes after receiving the blow.
    The movement of the pineapple in her digestive tract corresponds to this time frame.

    • Question:
    When do you anticipate the updated Kindle FF will be released?

    I need to check with my editor. The grand jury afterword runs to about 20 typed pages and there are a few other additions and he has had it for a few weeks. I am hoping to release in a month or so, but hard to say. I will announce on Foreign Faction's Facebook page and at VentusPublishing.com

    • Question:
    I am very honored to be speaking with you! I ordered a signed copy of your book when it first came out. What new information will I read in the updated Kindle version?

    Grand jury indictment information and some other tidbits. I think it will be worth the read.

    • Question:
    I read recently a report on the murder. The 1st paragraph stated the DNA evidence on the scene exonerated the family completely. After reading your book we know thats not the case.
    Is this proof of what having top of the line publicists can do for you?

    A publicist and expensive attorneys can definitely help spin a message.

    • Question:
    Why do you think John Ramsey has run for office and written two books? Do you think in his mind he believes he is not involved?

    I suspect he is attempting to return to a life of normalcy. The books were a means to portray the innocence of the family, smear the names of friends and other strangers, and to earn $. I can hardly believe they would cast a finger toward the White family and Linda Hoffmann-Pugh!

    • Question:
    Chief Kolar, how would you summarize the key differences between you, Beckner, and Smit in the way you have approached this case and in what you conclude?
    When was the last time you spoke to Beckner, and do to think his regrets about the AMA are out of character or not unexpected? Why are you happy to take the bull by the horns, whereas Beckner wasn't?

    I reflected upon Smit's take on events in FF. I didn't understand how he could declare and intruder was involved after only a week of being on the case. I'd been reading reports, reviewing photos, lab findings for weeks and was still trying to grasp a full understanding of the elements of the case.
    I looked at the same photos and video of the window well as he did, and cannot comprehend to this day how it could be considered a point of entry or exit to the home on the day of this crime.
    It made news for the former Boulder Police Chief to open up like he did, since for so many years, BPD authorities were very tight lipped about the investigation. We worked together in the bureau when I was at the BPD, and we did speak a little after the AMA. As he has stated, he didn't anticipate that the closed interview would have attracted as much attention as it did. I didn't see that he was out of line on anything, and it is too bad that he asked the interview be pulled.
    I think an honest discussion is helpful to the public's understanding of the case, and it serves as an educational opportunity to us all, so that similar mistakes in investigation are not repeated in the future.

    • Question:
    A pageant spectator said she complimented a man on JonBenet's performance. She said something to the effect that the man must have been proud of his daughter's performance. The man said yes and thanked her. When the woman later saw John with JonBenet or a picture of him, I can't remember exactly what it was, the woman said John was not the man she talked to at the pageant. Was the man ever identified?

    Sorry, I am not familiar with the content of your question.

    • Question:
    1. Whilst I personally don't think Burke did it, if we assume for a moment that he did, what are the chances he will kill again? Are there prior cases in the annals of crime history to compare with?
    2. If Burke did do it, then surely he is a very disturbed young man right now. Is there any evidence to support that? Is he potentially a danger to society?
    3. At the autopsy was any livor mortis found on the body? Where?
    4. Was a statement taken to describe exactly the position the body was found in? Was it face up or face down? Does the position accord with the livor mortis?
    5. Here's a hypothetical: a murder takes place in a house. It's beyond reasonable doubt that someone in the house did it, but you don't know who. Under the law in Colorado, if you can show beyond reasonable doubt they are covering up for each other can you send them all to jail, or do you have to find specifically who did it?

    1. Children of Burke’s age at the time, and younger, have committed extreme acts of violence, but not every perpetrator goes on to be a serial offender.
    2. I cannot offer any further comment about Burke at this time.
    3. (and 4) JBR was found on her back, and it is my recollection that there was some blanching to indicate she had been this position for a while. Rigor mortis was in full play at the time John ‘found’ her in the wine cellar.
    4. The prosecuting attorney always has the responsibility to determine the charges to be brought. They would have to show evidence of what each individual did that obstructed the investigation, or how they aided the other party. In this instance, the grand jury apparently felt that they had heard that evidence and voted to indict the parents for those charges and child abuse.

    • Question:
    In Patsy Ramsey’s interview on June 23 and 24, 1998, she was asked by Tom Haney about some pictures taken of JonBenet in the basement laundry room. Because of the wording (and the interference and confusion from Trip DeMuth), it becomes unclear as to whether the question is about photos taken of her doing something while she was in the laundry room, or photos of her that were brought down to the laundry room. DeMuth admits he hasn’t seen the photos in question, so he doesn’t even know what he’s asking about. Haney tries to depict the photos as being of something that JonBenet might have done that was “cutesyâ€. Please tell us as much as you can, Chief Kolar, about these photos. Particularly:
    1. How many photos are being referred to?
    2. Are they small photos as might be from a self-developing Polaroid-type camera (1996 would be pre-digital), or professionally-developed prints (8†x 10â€)?
    3. Were they taken with a camera that the Ramseys were known to have in their possession?
    4. Who would have been most likely to keep this camera?
    5. Exactly what is the nature of the photos?
    6. Why would Haney describe them as “cutesyâ€, and what would be so unique about them to compel this line questioning (after all, there must have been hundreds of other photos taken of JonBenet around the Ramsey house)?
    7. Were the photos suspected to have been taken around the time of the killing?
    8. Did investigators ever conclude who had actually taken the photos?

    My apologies, but it has been a long time since I have read the Haney interview and I wouldn’t want to make an erroneous comment about something for which I am uncertain.

    • Question:
    1. Regarding the DNA on the clothing, do you have any details? e.g. Male or female? How many SNPs and how many STRs were detected? Is there enough DNA to narrow down a halplogroup? Is there enough to say something about ancestral origins? Is there enough DNA to track down who the person is through researching genealogical DNA connections?
    2. What about this DNA says that it has to be the killer? If it is not the killer's, how else could it have gotten there? Via contact with a public toilet seat perhaps?
    3. Can you say anything about dispersion pattern of the unknown DNA on the clothing? Is it on the inside or outside surfaces of the leggings and underpants? Or both? Is it extensive or localized? Is it from saliva, sweat, blood, or some other medium?
    4. There surely must be parental DNA on the clothing simply from handling the body. How does the dispersion pattern of parental DNA compare with that of the unknown DNA?
    5. Was any of Burke's DNA found on the clothing?
    6. Is there any evidence that the body was redressed in clothes that were not being worn during the murder? If so, could the unknown DNA have come from a totally different occasion?
    7. Did JonBenet own more than one set of underwear with days of the week printed on them? (ie. was there only one set of Wednesday underpants, or were there spares?)
    8. There are documented cases of accidental DNA cross-contamination during criminal investigations. Has the unknown DNA on the body been checked against the DNA of forensic lab staff and cops that may have handled the clothing/body and the pathologist and any ambulance men? Human error does occur, and it needs to be checked for.

    Aspects of this have been answered. Yes, law enforcement officers and other personnel closely related to the investigation were eliminated. The samples were too minute to determine a biological origin, although CBI lab technicians thought Distal Stain 007-2 might have been from saliva due to a blue flash during testing that suggested an enzyme was present.
    Transfer of DNA takes place regularly and it is hard to say that the DNA on JBR, her clothing and the implements used in her murder were contributed by her murder(s), or deposited there before the crime occurred, and have nothing to do with the case.
    It was my impression that Patsy had only bought one package of the Bloomies underwear, so I can’t say how many Wed. panties were in the home.

    • Question:
    Is it true cops like eating donuts like in the movies?

    We all have our culinary tastes and I will sample a pastry from time to time. I think that image comes from the cop working a midnight shift, sitting in a Dunkin Donuts shop, sipping black coffee the consistency of tar for its caffeinated value, and getting a sugar buzz from a donut to help him/her make it through the final hours of the night. Oftentimes, there was nothing else open.

    • Question:
    How invested and helpful are John Ramsey & sons to the case/investigation today? Do they ever check-in on the status of the investigation or bring any suspicions/leads they may have to the police?

    To my knowledge, the Ramseys never communicated with BPD after moving from Colorado and I highly doubt they are doing so now.
    They are ‘invested’ in finding the murderer of their daughter as they ever were. To my understanding, the family website and the $100,000 reward offered for a perpetrator’s arrest was dismantled no more than few years after the murder.

    • Question:
    Hi Chief Kolar, First, I would like to thank you for your excellent book which was quite informative.
    My questions, if you can in fact answer them, are regarding the DNA We have heard so much about the "unknown" DNA found but they refuse to release the entire report.
    1. Do you know why they are refusing to release the entire report?
    2. Did they also find DNA belonging to the Ramseys that they "failed" to mention and is that why they are not releasing the entire report? If you know, can you elaborate on this and can you by law, speak to this question?
    Thanks so much in advance for any light you can shed on this topic

    1. Until such time as a person is charged / convicted with this crime, it remains an ‘open’ investigation. And it is typically not the practice of law enforcement agencies to open their case files to the public or media. The defense would have the first opportunity to receive that information after a client was charged, and as they prepared to defend the case, or go to trial.
    2. For obvious reasons, certain information is held back from public scrutiny…stuff that only a perpetrator would know. It helps weed out the mentally diminished who like to confess to crimes like this. John Mark Karr illustrates the example – I knew instantly he was a fraud when his emails with Tracy were revealed. Even though a ton of information had been released, he still couldn’t get it right.

    • Question:
    It has been reported that there was dust and lint that was found and collected from JonBenet's feet. Not knowing, the public has speculated about the amount of dust/lint possibly being an indication as to whether or not her clothes were changed after she was dead, and also of what room she might have been standing in last. I think we can assume the collected fiber evidence was part of the microscopic evidence that was submitted for analysis to Skip Palenic of Microtrace. He reportedly issued a 40-page report on his findings that has only been seen by investigators. I'm sure you've read this report, Chief Kolar. What can you tell us about that report and about the fiber on JonBenet's feet?

    I don’t recall dust or lint being collected from JBR’s feet. Unless there was something there incredibly unique, I think it would be hard to determine where she was last standing in the home.

    • Question:
    Chief Kolar, the basis of Mary Lacy's exoneration of the Ramseys was that there was a DNA match between samples on the panties and on the longjohns. We know the best sample from the panties contained less than 10 markers. How many markers were found on the waistband DNA? If it were a 10 marker sample, that would be very conclusive, but the best DNA found on the panties, with the exception being the 9 marker sample, was less than 3 markers from what I know? If the longjohn DNA was only one or two markers, would a positive match be even possible?

    To my knowledge, the touch DNA samples didn’t range any higher than the 7 – 8 marker range, but it was not revealed what the lower levels were found to be, or what each of those examples actually turned out to be. Comparisons can be made with a partial sample, but I don’t think the experts would label them as definitive. The FBI requires a minimum of 10 markers in order for DNA evidence to be entered into their data base.
    DNA testing is an expanding field with new scientific discoveries being made regularly. There are lab technicians and other scientists out there who can explain this much better than me.

    • Question:
    1. What's your opinion of Linda Hoffmann-Pugh's testimony that said she hid a Swiss army knife in the linen cupboard and yet it was found in the murder scene? Linda points out that an intruder would never have found that knife. Unlikely a 9yr old kid would either. More likely Patsy would have found that knife when getting linen from the cupboard.
    2. What does JBR's autopsy actually say regarding the final cause of death. Was it the blow to the head or asphyxia or some other factor?

    1. I don’t have any reason to doubt Linda’s statement. It is difficult to say either how, or who may have found it after she did so.
    2. The coroner ruled the strangulation / asphyxia created by the application of the garrote was the cause of death.

    • Question:
    So it wasn't done to cover up an accident?

    Don't think so, if i understand your question.

    • Question:
    Hello, Chief Kolar: I'm wondering if you've ever seen the legal document attributed to John Ramsey and widely distributed over the Internet. It's available on a blog along with two displays demonstrating strong similarities between John's writing and the "ransom" note. The same post also contains a link to a website by Italian forensic document examiner Fausto Brugnatelli, who has also posted some very intriguing side by side comparisons.
    Given such strong similarities I'm puzzled by the decision to "rule out" John as writer of the note.
    1. Did the document examiners who ruled him out ever offer any explanation for their decision?
    2. Did anyone connected with the investigation ever look into the scientific basis on which someone can be ruled out when obvious deception is involved?
    3. Did the investigators simply look for similarities and differences, or did they use more sophisticated methods, and if so, what methods, exactly, based on what research?
    Thank you.

    I am not familiar with the website or the handwriting analysis report referenced here, and due the rush to answer some of these last minute questions, won’t have time to check it out.

    • Question:
    1. Other than the fact that Patsy could not be excluded from the handwriting of the note, does any physical evidence point to Patsy Ramsey that is not explainable by the fact she was JonBenet's mother and therefore had close physical contact with her in the 24 hours before her death?
    2. It has been alleged that the underwear DNA is consistent with the DNA from JonBenet's fingernail scrapings. However, there was also a pubic or auxiliary hair found. Does it match the other two sources of DNA?

    1. I think the answer to this relates to the fibers found on the sticky side of the duct tape used to cover JBR’s mouth. Laboratory analysis revealed that these fibers were microscopically and chemically (if I recall the correct language) consistent with fibers collected from Patsy’s jacket worn at the White party and on the morning of the reported kidnapping.
    Investigators posed the question: What were fibers from mom’s jacket doing on the tape reportedly used by the kidnapper / murderer to ‘silence’ JonBenet? By all accounts, Patsy never got near that piece of tape. Techs believed direct contact had to have been made for the transfer to occur between tape and jacket. (Of further note, it took nearly a year for Patsy to turn over that jacket to BPD for analysis. Another illustration of the family’s cooperation with authorities.)
    2. DNA in the underwear was not consistent to DNA collected in fingernail scrapings. 3 Partial samples were collected from her fingernails, a female profile for which JBR could not be excluded and 2 new partial male samples that matched nothing else. The ‘pubic’ hair to which you refer was determined to be body hair, and mitochondrial DNA testing determined that it stemmed from Patsy’s maternal lineage. It belonged to a family member and not a stranger.

    • Question:
    Your book was excellent.
    1. After you retire from active LE, do you see yourself writing another true crime book in the future?
    2. It’s been speculated by some folks on internet forums that the reason there was no court case after an indictment for child abuse and accessory after the fact was due to Colorado’s law shielding minors under 10. Is it a fact that no case containing parental involvement can be pursued in a Colorado court of law if the perpetrator of a crime is a child?
    3. In 2001 Chief Beckner gave a deposition in the Wolf/Ramsey civil suit and was questioned by Lin Wood about something referenced as DNA-X. That DNA-X was not on her clothing or body. It was at the crime scene, but Beckner did not reveal where. This was before the touch DNA evidence, and this DNA-X sample was analyzed sometime after the GJ convened in 1998 and prior to Beckner’s deposition in November 2001. It was also explained that the markers of that DNA-X were analyzed by the FBI. Beckner says there was a reason it was sent to the FBI, but does not reveal the reason. Wood asks this:
    10 Q Well, I'm clearly speculating but I think,
    11 with some degree of a reasonable basis, that John and
    12 Patsy's DNA would have been sent to compare to DNAX.
    13 So maybe the question ought to be just put to you,
    14 were other individuals' DNA samples sent to the FBI
    15 markers for comparison to DNAX, other than John or
    16 Patsy Ramsey?
    17 A Yes.
    My question is this: was DNA-X ever sourced to someone? Not wanting to ask anything out of bounds, but was it sourced to someone outside the family?

    1. As noted, I intend to write in retirement. I have a couple true cases in mind.
    2. In Colorado, a person must be 10 years of age and older to be held criminally culpable. In some instances, other states have set a lower age limit.
    3. Sorry, I don’t know the history behind the DNAX you are referring to or any subsequent test results.

    • Question:
    1. What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?
    2. What's your opinion of OJ and Zimmerman? Guilty or not?
    3. How differently do you think the Ramsey's would have been handled if they were not rich? Can justice get snookered by wealth?

    1. My favorite flavor is chocolate chip mint.
    2. I have no doubt in my mind that OJ got away with murder. I saw the presentation of the crime scene analysis and blood spatter evidence and don’t understand how the jury got so waylaid. I haven’t had enough time to follow Zimmerman.
    3. I think there are plenty of examples where people of means were able to escape the grasp of the criminal justice system, but I don’t think I have witnessed one of this magnitude.

    • Question:
    What other unsolved crimes are you interested in?

    I am intrigued by murder mysteries and enjoy well-documented investigative pieces. I also enjoy many of the fictional writers, my favorite at the moment being John Sandford.

    • Question:
    1. Are you aware that Pam Paugh made note of several things to police who escorted her into the house when she went to pick up items for the family and the funeral? She pointed out specific information about JonBenet's bedroom door and a chandelier that appeared different from normal. The police made no note of this very valid information.
    2. Has the Boulder PD ever considered using familial DNA to enter a partial (most identifiable markers) sample of the DNA profile into CODIS to see if they can find a relative to match the profile DNA? This method has solved many cases in the UK and it's legal in Colorado. Also there is a DNA technique where they can determine genetic defects of the profile, eye color, ethnicity, hair color, etc. This would certainly narrow down the owner of the DNA profile. And even though you do not believe it belongs to the killer they might find the owner and be able to find the owner and possibly eliminate it to move forward.

    The only DNA sample of sufficient quality to compare with anyone is the degraded unknown sample identified as Distal Stan 007-2, which consists of 10 markers out of 13 for a full profile. It is compared on a weekly basis to any new DNA submissions made through the arrest of new offenders. It is also compared against any new unknown DNA samples entered into the unidentified forensic files maintained by state and federal authorities.
    If a partial match was ever identified through a familial sample in the system, I would presume that authorities would take a closer look for a possible match.
    I believe a firm in Florida has been experimenting with genetic profiling, but it has been quite some time since I looked into those capabilities and I don’t know if this testing has been considered by authorities.

    • Question:
    Thank you for doing this AMA, (if you can tell us) is it true Patsy and John didn't testify in front of the grand jury? If they did not testify, do you have any idea why?

    The media did a pretty good job of reporting who had been called to testify before the grand jury and I never saw the parents listed. I can’t tell you why they were not called.

    • Question:
    Similarly to your response about the brutality of it all, I cannot figure out what could possibly have made someone come to the conclusion that the head injury was deadly, at least to the point of finishing off a child. It didn't bleed and yes, the brain swelled, but what possible symptoms would have let someone know it was the end for that child?

    The blow to her head was very serious and caused internal bleeding into the skull cavity. It is extremely unlikely that she ever regained consciousness after receiving the blow and she was dying from that injury. Untreated, that injury would have killed her had it not been for the intervening strangulation by garrote.

    • Question:
    1. When your book came out, there was a segment of the crime scene video that you released in an interview on The Daily Beast. Is there a possibility that you could release more of the video, or even a clean copy of the 911 call? (By “clean†I mean to say one that has not been altered, partially erased, or tampered with in any way.) Anything else of an evidentiary nature that could be released would be greatly appreciated.
    2. In your book, you mention (and put a great emphasis on) evidence of Burke’s fecal smearing and deposits in inappropriate locations as evidence of his possible SBP. One thing that has been discussed among “pajama detectives†is a line of questioning of Patsy Ramsey by Trip DeMuth and Tom Haney in the interview on June 23, 1998, relating to the conditions of what Patsy called “the little bathroom in the basementâ€. You didn’t mention this in your book, and I wonder if you could confirm that what they were trying to establish is whether or not Patsy was aware that Burke was still smearing feces on the wall, piling up toilet tissue (perhaps used) on the floor, not flushing, and generally making a mess of things with his toilet habits? (For reference, they are talking about crime scene photo numbers 242 through 246, and 205.)
    3. During the course of the autopsy, were the fragmented pieces of skull were collected and then put together to give a better idea of what caused the depressed fracture (the "hole")? As an example, Wikipedia has an image of a portion of skull with a depressed fracture. The fragmented pieces of skull have been reconstructed making the weapon (a ball-peen hammer, in this case) obvious. Here's a link to the image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skull_fracture#/media/File:Depressed_skull_fracture.jpg In the leaked autopsy photo of JonBenet's skull, the depressed fracture (the "hole" in her skull) is elliptical -- not rectangular as stated in the report.

    1. Sorry, I am unable to release any additional information at the moment. The Daily Beast clip was intended to show the public the true condition of the window well, something which I think had been misrepresented –misinterpreted by intruder theorists.
    2. There was some mention about the ‘condition’ of the basement bathroom as observed by investigators / CSI’s during the search warrant. I couldn’t find what they were explicitly referring to however, and it is possible that that particular information was buried in something I missed. You have roused my interest again, and I will have to research the matter. Thanks.
    3. It is my recollection that though depressed, the broken segment of the skull was still in place and didn’t need to be ‘collected.’ The leaked photograph of the skull makes it appear that the broken section wasn’t present, which obviously wasn’t the case during autopsy.
    There have been theories that a golf club was used in the blow, and that it is also consistent to the damage thought to have been created by the Maglite flashlight. I am speaking with an individual who has conducted these experiments and may include this in the updated e-book edition.

    • Question:
    What are some good volunteer projects for someone who is interested in working toward a career as an investigator?

    Some agencies offer volunteer programs which allow citizens to perform some tasks related to law enforcement, though I don’t know that criminal investigation would be a part of that. And, some agencies conduct citizen police academy’s that provide an overview of many aspects of law enforcement activities. We have run those in my department in the past and people have really enjoyed them.

    • Question:
    You've convinced me - after reading John Douglas's book, I've always firmly believed an intruder did it. I spent all weekend reading your well-researched book, and now I believe it COULD have been one of the Ramseys. I believe a child Burke's age could have done it, as you imply. I know a young man who is emotionally detached, as you indicate Burke was in the videos. He began watching porn around age nine, molesting a young female when he was 12, and has lashed out violently. I think it's possible that JBR approached her brother in the basement as he was playing with trains or peeking at presents, them quarreling, him bashing her with the golf club, then going and telling one or both of his parents. Here's where I have difficulty:
    Why the strangling and garrotte? I can't imagine a 9-yr old being sexually, intellictually, or physically advanced enough to brutally strangle his sister with a wire and garrotte, even if he had been molesting her in some way. (You state the evidence shows that she had been molested, and that even young children can be sexual abusers). This is such a sadistic act. How would a 9-yr old even know what a garrotte was or that it could be used as part of sexual violence, especially in a mostly-pre-internet world?
    According to your book, evidence shows that JBR was alive when strangled and there was a significant time gap between the head bash and the strangling. If the parent(s) had found JBR unconscious but not dead, wouldn't they have called 911 for assistance, explaining an accident had occurred? If the parents decided, "No, she's half dead....let's go ahead and kill her and make it look like a sexual sadist did it to cover up any evidence of past abuse" (??) - I just can't imagine a parent who seemingly doted on their beautiful pageant girl having the stomach to violently strangle her. These parents had no history of violence. Let's further say John or Patsy WAS sexually abusing their daughter. I still can't make the leap from digital or some other form of penetration to strangling murder.
    Since your book implies that Burke did it, do you have any thoughts on WHY or HOW such a violent and sadistic method of death would be used by either a 9-yr old sexual abuser OR his parent(s) attempting a cover-up? Thank you!

    I struggled with exactly the same questions about the brutality of these events and how people might have acted, or responded to events of the evening. It took quite some time, but after considering what made sense behaviorally, I finally reached a conclusion about how events unfolded that evening.

    • Question:
    This blows the theory that Burke did it by accident and John staged a cover up. So you're saying that a family member strangled her not as a cover up but had some other motivation to strangle her. How does the head blow fit with this?? I'm so confused!! :/

    Sorry, wading into difficult territory

    • Question:
    Is it possible for you to explain your hypothesis in a way that can't get you sued? isn't there a way you can phrase it and protect your free speech?

    I believe this has been asked and answered elsewhere.
    There was an interview I had with Trisha Griffith True Crime Radio where I expressed a little more about the hypothesis. I think it was the second interview with her program, but can't say for certain. (I know it wasn't the last interview I had with her...very disappointing - I had the flu and I don't think I did a very good job for her.)

    • Question:
    Do you think JBR was woken up by someone or do you think she woke up at night on her own? Or do you thinks he never fell asleep?

    I think Patsy woke her up after John carried her to bed from the car. She was probably told to go to the bathroom and brush her teeth.

    • Question:
    Thank you for doing this AMA!
    1. Was it ever determined where in the house JonBenet was struck in the head?
    2. Where she was garrotted?
    3. Where did she actually die? I've always wondered if she was carried downstairs alive and awake (struggling? Making whatever noise she could?) or knocked out first, either in the kitchen or in her room, and then carried downstairs. Either way it has always seemed difficult to believe no one in the house heard anything.

    Obviously, there is speculation as to where in the home that blow was rendered. No one, except for the person who struck her, knows for certain. I have my own theory, based upon the nexus of evidence present in the case, but as indicated previously, can’t expound upon that at the moment.
    I believe the commonly held theory, based upon the sequencing of injuries, is that the garroting and the location of her death was on the small piece of carpet located outside the wine cellar door. Her bladder let go upon death, accounting for the urine stains in the front of her clothing and carpet. The rear application of the garrote is confirming evidence of her being on her stomach during this act.
    As I write this response to your question, I have to tell you that this is very disturbing to me. I have been working on the advance questions for this AMA for over a week, and for all of the analytical evaluation that has gone into this case by me and others, this particular question seems to drive home the absolute horror of this little girl’s murder. It is extremely difficult to comprehend the cold-blooded nature of this attack and I have no doubt that most everyone else feels the same way.

    • Question:
    1. What was your hypothesis that you withheld from the ending of your book in regards to your opinion on what happened in the house the night the victim was killed?
    2. As an officer with access to all evidence in this case what percentage would you assign to the possibility that someone outside of the immediate family was responsible for the victim’s death?
    3. Is there any hard evidence showing someone gained entry to the house on the night of the murder without assistance from the immediate family?
    4. Did the grand jury in fact vote to proceed with a case against the immediate family?
    5. Do you believe the partially unwrapped toys in the basement had anything to do with the crime and if so how?
    6. Were the golf clubs Mr. Ramsey had removed from the house ever recovered and if so was any testing done on them and if so what are the results?
    7. Do you honestly believe there will ever be a resolution to this case?
    8. Was there anything you were unable to include in your book that you were not able to and if so what, please elaborate on this question and all above as much as possible?
    9. Was a source for the pineapple ever found ie an empty can or some in the fridge?
    10. Burke was in the basement peeking at his upcoming birthday presents when found by his sister, he hit her with a golf club and when his parents found out they conspired together to save their son. Scale of 1 to 10 how likely is this?
    11. Do you believe the current DA will be helpful to the case?
    12. Is there any way to make the enhanced 911 tapes publicly available?
    Thank you very much for your time and service!

    1. I withheld my hypothesis from the book because it outlined my theory of the specific role that each person in the home may have played in the death of JBR. It also presented opening arguments that a prosecutor could make to a grand jury, court, or trial jury so that they could grasp the motives and circumstances involved in this murder investigation. In that regard, I expressed the opinion of who did what, and why.
    On the advice of counsel, that ‘theoretical construct’ of events was not published.
    I did, however, in all fairness, give voice to another ‘theoretical construct’ of events in the opening chapter of the book. I ‘followed the evidence’, as many intruder theorists would like to say, and provided a possible scenario of how a foreign faction of kidnappers could have carried out this kidnapping. Is it a plausible accounting of events? You be the judge.
    2. I spent quite a bit of time evaluating evidence of an intruder’s entry to the home and found none. There is always margin for error, but I am going to have to leave it you to determine that percentage after you review all of the evidence.
    3. Yes, the criminal indictment by the grand jury of the parents on two identical charges has been verified.
    4. I believe the torn wrapping on the Christmas presents photographed in the wine cellar played a part in the circumstances surrounding the murder. I can’t say how, because it was a part of my hypothesis.
    5. To my knowledge, the clubs were never sought by investigators after the Ramseys moved from their home.
    6. As stated elsewhere, I don’t believe anyone involved in JonBenet’s murder will ever be held criminally accountable. Will the mystery of her death someday be solved? There is always that possibility.
    7. It is probably best that I don’t respond to this question.
    8. Fresh / raw pineapple in the bowl with rind…doubt there was a can to be found.
    9. It is probably best that I don’t respond to this question.
    10. I have the utmost confidence in Stan Garnett, and his senior staff. I believe he would pursue a prosecution if he thought he could do so. Since taking office, his record indicates that he has been willing to go after murderers who were allowed to roam free by his predecessors. Regrettably, it is beyond his ability to correct the action of those involved in the early years of the investigation.
    11. As an ‘open’ homicide investigation, it is unlikely that any version of the audible 911 tape would be released.

    • Question:
    How credible is the evidence of a neighbor seeing a flashlight in the middle of the night, and the other neighbor who heard a "scream"?

    If I recall, the flashlight could have been seen in use early that morning by the 1st arriving officers. A sgt surveyed the outside of the home and then CSI's were on scene.
    The neighbor hearing a scream is plausible, but she recanted. If it was heard, I thought of a possible explanation and it was part of my theory of prosecutionl

    • Question:
    Do you believe the scream came from PR or JBR?

    Under my theory, Patsy. JBR never would have been able to scream after being struck unconscious.

    • Question:
    Before recanting her account, the neighbor (Melody Stanton) claimed that the scream she heard stopped suddenly. Have you considered that the scream might have been JonBenet's reaction to the sexual assault, and the head blow was struck to stop her screaming?

    The forensic evidence in the case suggested that the injury to the vaginal orifice took place very close to the time of her death by strangulation. JBR would have been unconscious and unable to scream at that juncture.

    • Question:
    Why did Lou Smit believe that the intruder attempted to stuff JBR in a suitcase?
    Is it possible that an intruder wrote the ransom note and purposefully tried to implicate her parents in the murder? By that I mean, purposefully made their handwriting look like Patsy's

    Smit seemed to be intent on focusing on the train room window and suitcase below it. I think it was theorized that it was a possible tool to conceal her during an exit strategy. He certainly thought it was placed to help entry or exit from the window.
    Ramsey family members think one or more people used Patsy's address book to trace the ransom note. Handwriting is more complicated and unique than that and a fraud / forgery expert could provide a better explanation.

    • Question:
    Thank you for doing this AMA! I have not had the pleasure of reading your book yet, so forgive me if these questions are addressed in it.
    1. Can you settle--once and for all--the question of whether Jonbenet endured ongoing sexual abuse prior to her murder? There's been talk of bedwetting, fecal smearing, vaginal damage and recurrent yeast infections, but I'd like to know how much of this is verifiably true.
    2. Also, I've heard that your book focuses heavily on Burke as a suspect. Do you have any statistics on the incidence of sibling murder in the United States? How common is it for a 9-year-old to sexually abuse and murder his kid sister?
    3. I read that the Ramseys had given out no fewer than 15 house keys to random people (nannies, gardeners, housekeepers, etc). Any insight on whether that's true?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. I've answered this elsewhere in the AMA.
    2. I have not checked the statistics collected on child offenders since Foreign Faction was published, so thanks for your question. I will gather those updated stats for the upcoming 2nd edition e-book release. In short, yes, there are many documented instances in which 9 – 10 year olds have committed acts of sexual assault and murder.
    3. I did not waste my time researching the Ramsey’s changing story about keys being passed out to the kingdom. They originally told investigators that John Andrew and their housekeeper had keys, and then that number increased exponentially. I viewed it the same as the Santa Bear ‘mystery’; anything to tie the hands of investigators and send them on a wild goose chase…

    • Question:
    1. Where in JonBenet's room were the feces-smeared pajama bottoms "thought to belong to Burke" found? If they were in plain sight, is there a crime scene photograph of them? Were they collected?
    2. Was the "feces-smeared candy box" collected? If not, do you know why not?

    It is my recollection that the pj bottoms were on the floor but I didn’t see that they or the box of candy were collected. It was an odd observation noted by investigators, but I don’t think they grasped the significance of those items at the time. Interviews were still being conducted with family employees and friends during and well after the completion of the execution of the search warrants.

    • Question:
    The touch DNA on Jonbenet's long johns, and the miniscule speck of DNA on her underwear were found to be a match. What theory can you offer to explain this? Could it be that the clothing she was wearing had been worn previously by another child? Or , is it possible she did wear these to the White's party that night and therefore the DNA could have been transferred from the commode seat to the clothing? Six year olds do use their hands to balance themselves--coming in contact with skin cells; their undies often touch the seat of the commode--possibly picking up fresh DNA from saliva, urine, or sputum. Was the DNA of every person at the Whites' home that night tested?

    I spend a chapter on the DNA and believe simple transfer from one piece of clothing to another accounts for Lacy’s ‘touch’ DNA pronouncement.

    • Question:
    1. Chief Kolar: I’ve never heard it mentioned, but have investigators who listened to the enhanced recording of the 911 call considered that Burke was in the room during the entire call? IOW, he didn’t just walk into the room toward the end of the call as the Ramseys claimed when they were caught in the lie that he wasn’t there at all. If you listen to the beginning of the recording (the part that is usually transcribed as “inaudibleâ€), it seems to be a conversation between Burke asking why they are calling 911, and Patsy explaining that they need to get police to come there. Her tone of voice changes dramatically when she suddenly realizes the phone has been answered and she blurts out, “POLICE!†(alerting everyone in the room to shut up), and then recites the address.
    2. It has been widely reported that Burke Ramsey testified before the Grand Jury. But accounts disagree as to whether his testimony was an actual in-person appearance, or an “in-camera†interview that was videotaped and then played for the GJ. Which was it, and were the GJ members allowed to pose questions to him? Either way, who was allowed to ask him questions and were the questions limited by his lawyer -- as was done in his parents' interviews with investigators? (NOTE: I'm not asking you to violate GJ secrecy rules here. But it seems questions about GJ procedures shouldn't be a problem.)
    3. Because of a line of questioning in one of Patsy Ramsey’s police interviews, there is speculation about blood on JonBenet’s pillow. Is this just a small smear (like from wiping her nose), or is there an actual blood stain as might be expected from some type of injury?
    Thank you, Chief Kolar.

    I suspect that everyone is wondering how long Burke had been within earshot of the kitchen phone during the 911 but the only words believed to come from him were in his exchange with John at the end of the call. I sought additional enhancement of the tape during my role in the case but was told there was no new technology to do so. The other inaudible parts are still in doubt to my knowledge but it would be nice to find the answer to your question.
    In the meantime, I believe Burke was in the area of the kitchen at the time of the 911 call and not asleep upstairs as the parents have claimed. Another behavioral clue for intruder theorists to explain away?
    To my knowledge, every person called before the grand jury testified before them in the flesh. Jurors can ask any question they want of a witness. I am a little rusty on the rules of grand jury procedure, and I can’t recall if attorneys are allowed to accompany their clients into chambers. My apologies, but in some instances it has been years since I reviewed information about specific topics or evidence and my memory is a little vague in some areas. With that qualifier, it is my recollection that any blood observed on her pillow was minimal and not attributable to an ‘injury.’
    For sake of clarification, the only bleeding sustained from an injury was due to the vaginal intrusion. The blow to JBR’s head did not break the scalp and there was no exterior bleeding from that wound. Further, the coroner made no mention of an injury to her nose, or nasal bleeding. Draw your own conclusions.

    • Question:
    Were any friends of the Ramsey's interviewed or investigated? I know a common theory is a disgruntled employee or someone who knew the bonus amount, but did the police ever look at specific people and if so, what became of those investigations?

    Yes, a whole slew of them

    • Question:
    While it is true that unsourced DNA was found elsewhere, don't you find an exact match in three different locations between the panties and longjohns highly suspicious?

    This has probably been asked and answered elsewhere, but the transfer of microscopic DNA between the underwear and long johns is entirely possible. Unintentional transfer of DNA evidence in one crime makes it to another if lab tech's aren't careful.

    • Question:
    Cyril Wecht said her dad would have gone to jail that night if she would have gone to the hospita, regarding vaginal trauma. Do you agree?

    No, but it is difficult to comment further without knowing the full context of his explanation.

    • Question:
    Was it ever determined by scientific examination if the broken window in the Ramsey's basement room was recent (p/o staging), or an old break? Or was JR's claim that he was previously locked out of the house and broke in simply trusted?

    To my knowledge, there is no method to determine when the window was broken. I think investigators took John’s statement about the summer break-in at face value, for the entire condition of the window panes and sill looked dated. My examination of the video and 35 mm photos strongly suggested no recent entry had been made through that location.

    • Question:
    1. Chief Kolar, what is your opinion of the fact that Patsy's sister was allowed to go in to the house and remove enough property to completely fill the back of a squad car? I understand that none of the things she took were catalogued or inspected? Didn't the fact that John wanted his golf bag in the middle of winter raise any alarms? I simply find it mind boggling that this was allowed to happen, especially when she was going there under the premise of getting clothing for the Ramseys to wear to the funeral.
    2. Can you please give us some insight about the ransom note. I know it was examined by a number of experts but all we really know is that none of them were able to exclude Patsy as the author. Did any of those experts give any indication as to the likelihood that Patsy wrote the note? I know when I compare her writing samples to the note, I see many similarities. I also see indications in her writings after the murder, that she was making an attempt to alter her handwriting. Do you believe Patsy wrote that note?
    3. Why do you think that the Ramsey's were and always have been treated as victims? Why weren't they ever separated and interrogated that very day like any other American would have been in that position? The DA denied requests to get phone records, and warned detectives to "treat the Ramseys with respect" prior to questioning. To top it off, when the Grand Jury came back with a recommendation to charge the Ramseys, Hunter lied to the public saying the Grand Jury found no evidence. It seems to me that since day 1 there was a concerted effort from the DA's office to look anywhere but at the Ramseys, despite what law enforcement was telling them!
    Thanks, and I look forward to hearing your opinion.

    1. I didn’t see that any of the things that Pam removed from the home had been catalogued in any specific detail, but I could have missed that document. Investigators denied her access to the basement so she was unable to collect John’s golf bag. Steve Thomas raised that very question about his need for his clubs at that time of year, and given the circumstances pressing upon the family with his daughter’s death.
    2. I agree, I see many similarities as well, and pains were taken to disguise the writing, both during the crafting of the note, and in post-event writing by Patsy. I am aware that a couple experts believe Patsy was the author but are unwilling to say so publically at the moment. Given all of the circumstances surrounding the note, I am of the belief that she wrote it unassisted.
    3. I think I (pre-)answered most of the victim treatment question elsewhere.

    • Question:
    Is it possible that you are grossly overestimating the threat and potency of a libel lawsuit consider the mass/national media have bought the "intruder" theory whole cloth and suing you would on lt serve to give you and your outstanding book enormous free publicity that they would not want?

    The Ramseys sued a number of people / media organizations who pointed the finger of blame at their family and it is a costly process. I am told that with all of the pubic bluster foisted by Lin Wood, he was quick to attempt to reach a settlement behind the scenes after papers were filed.
    I never heard a peep from Wood upon the release of Foreign Faction and I suspect they just want to slip silently away. I didn't have a huge media campaign for the release and it has gained momentum by word of mouth I suppose.
    In any event, if i was ever to be sued for the book, I would get the opportunity to depose the family. I think I know the right questions to ask.

    • Question:
    1. Quite a few questions were asked to both John and Patsy about the box of cigars found in the wine cellar, one specifically addressed whether John was hiding them from Patsy. A round "abrasion" was found near one of JonBenet's ears. Was it later determined that this was a cigar burn?
    2. How are search warrant items determined? I found the following inventory to be odd:
    Burke's science project. What was his project? Was it simply taken for handwritibg analysis?
    Broken purple ornament from basement. Why?
    Cotton from cellar room. Was cotton found on JonBenet's body?
    Angel from Christmas tree. There were trees in every room. From which tree did this come and why?
    Christmas ornament with string. Same questions as above.
    Birthday card. Whose? Where? Why? From who?
    Toilet seat lid. Which bathroom(s)? Why?
    Letter to Santa. Who wrote it?
    Victim's research paper drawings. Victim's? She was only in first grade...
    Bike registration. Why? Handwriting analysis?
    Sleeping mask. Whose? Why?
    Brick. Where was it found? Was it a lone brick or with other bricks?
    Satin bow. Why?
    Gift box with black velvet. Was it found in wine cellar?
    Three photos of victim. Where were they found and why unique to be removed?
    1. Was a lock of JonBenet's hair cut from her head (as Karr said it was)?
    2. Did anyone ever find out what meeting John said he had to attend when he said he had to leave town to attend one less than an hour after him finding JonBenet's body?
    3. Did the GJ have access to all of Burke's and JonBenet's medical records?
    4. Was there anything in the safe that was in the floor of the wine cellar?
    5. John Walsh said that when John Ramsey found JonBenet he "cut her down." Is there any truth to that? (Could this be a piece of information that was never released to the public?)
    6. What steps can be taken to reveal the GJ testimony that led to the true bill?
    7. When John and Linda Arndt were posed over JonBenet's dead body, John told Arndt that he thought it was an inside job (even though the ransom note said a "small foreign faction" was responsible). What are your feelings about that statement? As I recall, Arndt's reaction to this statement was to mentally count the number of bullets in her gun.
    8. USA Today, 8/17/06: "Ramsey family attorney Lin Wood said the Ramseys gave police information about Karr before he was identified as a suspect.
    "He would not say how the Ramseys knew Karr, though JonBenet was born in Atlanta in 1990, and the Ramseys lived in the Atlanta suburb of Dunwoody for several years before moving to Colorado in 1991. Karr was a teacher who once lived in Conyers, Ga., another Atlanta suburb, according to Wood."
    Wood later said he was misquoted. Did the Ramseys in fact give this info to authorities but later decided they didn't want to be associated with Karr?
    During Patsy's 2000 interview, Kane states that every pair of panties in JonBenet's drawer were size 4 or 6, yet she was found in size 12-14. Patsy stated that she bought the larger panties for a niece and was going to give them to her for Christmas but JonBenet wanted them so she left her have them. This makes no sense at all because the larger pairs weren't in JonBenet's drawer. Patsy admits the pack was open, thus implying that if there was an intruder, the intruder didn't bring them in. Where was the pack of panties that was only missing the ones for Wednesday? My guess is that they were wrapped as a Christmas present for the niece after all. The person responsible for changing JonBenet into the larger size panties had to make sure they said Wednesday because someone else might have known that she was wearing Wednesday panties - perhaps someone at the White's house that night...Daphne or whoever. (Sorry if my last sentence sounds convoluted, but I think you know what I'm trying to say.) What are your thoughts?

    I will address the Wednesday panties at another location in the Q&A.

    I am not aware of any leads that the family may have provided to BPD about Karr in advance of his arrest by the DA’s office. By all accounts, the Ramsey family was not communicating with the Boulder Police Department, and based on your comment, it appears that Wood retracted his position on the matter.

    I have seen Detective Arndt’s statement and don’t really have any comment.

    The Whites filed a lawsuit to obtain further details about the grand jury proceedings after Charlie Brennan succeeded in getting the ‘official actions’ released. The case was dismissed and it is unlikely the courts will release any more information related to the indictments. This is a topic being addressed in an updated e-book version of Foreign Faction.

    Accounts by John do not indicate that he had to ‘cut down’ his daughter from any location. She was on the floor of the wine cellar wrapped in a blanket. This observation is supported by Fleet White.

    Safe? I have no recollection of a safe being set in the floor of the wine cellar.

    I am unable to comment on the grand jury question regarding medical documents.

    [About having to leave town] Good question! By all accounts, the Ramsey family was headed to a Christmas gathering in Michigan that morning, and investigators wondered why he would use the excuse of a business meeting to avoid the necessity of cooperating with authorities investigating the murder of his daughter. Why would the father of a murdered child offer this pretext to leave the state? Perhaps intruder theorists would like to offer a theory for this inexplicable behavior.

    Karr said a lot of things which were not consistent with the facts of the case. It is my recollection that the coroner determined that strands of JBR’s hair had been forcibly extracted from her scalp, but I don’t recall that any ‘lock of hair’ had actually been ‘cut’ as posed by your statement attributed to Karr. Some strands of her hair were found in the knots of the handle of the garrote. I would refer you to the autopsy report for clarification.

    I am unable to comment on the search warrant question.

    I don’t recall questioning of John and Patsy about the cigar case at the moment. And, it is not my recollection that the mark on JBR’s cheek was ever attributed to a cigar burn. Det. Smit believed it was a mark left by a stun gun based upon his review of autopsy photos of the victim of a Steamboat Springs murder case. Dr. Spitz didn’t think the mark originated as a burn mark, and expressed the opinion that it may have been an impression left by some small object, like a button.

    My apologies, but in some instances I have not reviewed statements or other information in quite some period of time and it would be inappropriate for me to answer questions for which I am not prepared.
    I'll answer what I can though.

    • Question:
    What--if any--crimes can those responsible for JonBenet's death still be charged with?

    The statute of limitations has run on the indictments returned for the parents by the grand jury. Murder has no statute of limitations, but there could be complications and I can't offer further comment here.

    • Question:
    1. Thanks again for doing this AMA. In 2003, a federal judge handling a defamation lawsuit in Atlanta involving the Ramseys said evidence in the case was more consistent with the theory that an intruder killed JonBenet, not her parents; yet, the BPD continues to this day to point the finger behind closed doors (and in a Reddit AMA) at the Ramsey’s. While some like to say she (the judge) did not have all the evidence. When reading the transcripts it appears she did have all the important evidence. The BPD did present evidence, along with many others. Can you comment on this statement made by Judge Carnes?
    "Carnes reserved special criticism for Thomas, the former Boulder detective upon whose theories the Wolf complaint was based. "Whereas Detective Smit's summary testimony concerning the investigation is based on evidence, Detective Thomas' theories appear to lack substantial evidentiary support," she wrote. "Indeed, while Detective Smit is an experienced and respected homicide detective, Detective Thomas had no investigative experience concerning homicide cases prior to this case. In short, the plaintiff's evidence that the [Ramseys] killed their daughter and covered up their crime is based on little more than the fact that defendants were present in the house during the murder," Carnes wrote."
    1. Again, thank you for doing this AMA. I read your book with interest and have a couple of questions. First, what was your experience as a homicide detective and in criminal forensics, prior to reviewing this case in the short time you worked at the DA's office?
    2. Can you tell us why no major DNA forensics lab (private or public) or state and federal law enforcement agency, like the CBI or FBI, are willing to back your theories? Thank you.

    I must confess that I am not fully conversant with the transcripts of the Wolf vs Ramsey defamation lawsuit, but it is my understanding that Judge Carnes heard testimony about Smit’s intruder analysis. Chief Beckner was also called to testify, but I haven’t had time to research his participation in time for this interview.
    In response to the question, it is my feeling that Smit presented his theory of events as he interpreted evidence observed in the case. Thomas’s theory of events were presented as he interpreted circumstances and events associated with the crime. To what extent Smit’s theories held greater play during the trial I don’t know, but it is clear to me that the grand jury heard the more definitive evidence in the case, and despite having to consider a higher threshold of proof in the matter, they voted to indict each of the parents on two identical charges of criminal conduct. Chief Beckner was unable to share those details during his testimony, so it could be argued that the civil court did not truly hear all of the evidence in the case.
    Under these circumstances, Judge Carne’s statements or opinions about the case seem irrelevant at the moment.
    Without a doubt, Det. Smit possessed volumes of experience in comparison to the minimal number of homicide cases in which I have participated, or when compared to the number of murders handled in Boulder County over the years. To be precise, I have participated /assisted in fewer than a dozen murder cases over the course of my career.
    While homicide investigation is considered to be a specialty assignment, much like other specific categories of crime, it relies upon an intrinsic understanding of human behavior and motivation, the ability to properly evaluate and interpret evidence, and the skill to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together.
    As a career law enforcement officer, my training has included many specialized courses in homicide and suspicious death investigation, sex assault and child abuse investigation, interview and interrogation, domestic violence, narcotic trafficking, criminal intelligence and behavioral analysis to name but a few.
    My experience spans numerous investigations and interviews of witnesses, victims and perpetrators involved in robbery, burglary, assault, sex assault, suicide, accidents, suspicious death scenes, domestic violence, homicide and felony assaults which, had it not been for swift medical intervention, would have become murder investigations. The nature of many of these incidents involved shootings, cuttings and stabbings, blunt force trauma, hanging, overdose and asphyxia.
    Drawing upon nearly four decades of law enforcement experience and training, it was my intention to share the journey of discoveries made during my participation in the JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation. A critical analysis was provided of the physical evidence, victim / witness statements and behavioral clues that comprised the totality of the circumstances surrounding a child’s murder. In doing so, I provided many examples of the criminal cases to illustrate the point being considered.
    To the disappointment of some, I did not specifically identify the person I believe responsible for the murder. Rather, I left it for you to draw your own conclusions based upon your professional and life experiences, and your ability to critically analyze the evidence presently available in this case.
    I realize that this is a long winded response to your question, but this is now your opportunity to put on your own ‘homicide investigators hat’ and make sense of the disturbing circumstances surrounding the murder of this child.
    Lab technicians typically restrict their involvement in criminal investigation to the objective and scientific examination of physical evidence presented for analysis. Theories of how those test results may weave their way into a criminal episode are left to the detectives who are trying to understand the motivation and dynamics surrounding a series of events. That doesn’t mean, however, that an individual in that field of study isn’t willing to provide insight into their interpretation of a particular piece of evidence if asked to do so.
    I have spoken to a number of law enforcement officials, some of whom who participated in the original investigation, who voiced support for my hypothesis. But, as posed by your question, this is a different proposition than having any particular individual or agency publicly back my theories. Realistically, I wouldn’t expect any law enforcement agency to come out and publically endorse one theory or another.
    In the meantime, it was my decision to go public in the matter and irrespective of any public endorsement by a law enforcement agency; I stand alone with a target on my back.

    • Question:
    1. Why would highly educated parents with no history of abuse of any kind or mental issues go to the extreme to stage a crime scene as brutal as this one and concoct a three page ransom note that speaks of foreign factions and beheadings?
    2. Has the Boulder PD ever considered doing Familial DNA to solve this case?
    3. I am very interested in the partial DNA you say was found on the garrote. Wouldn't this DNA most likely belong to the killer since he constructed it in the home? Why was this partial DNA not compared with suspect John Mark Karr or any suspect? And how do you explain your theory of Burke being the killer when none of the partial DNA samples match him or his parents?
    4. Did you ever meet with the Ramseys or view the Ramsey home?
    5. Why do you dismiss the stun gun theory in favor of the marks belonging railroad toy?. Detective Lou Smit found an air taser gun with prongs that match the exact spacing and marks on the body. Is it because there was no stun gun belonging to the family or found in the house and this fails to match your theory of Ramsey guilt?

    I think most people would agree that bad things happen to good people. Whether by design or circumstance, people sometimes find themselves in situations that are rapidly spinning out of control and they are forced to make decisions which are contrary to their background and upbringing. As I have often noted, criminal behavior does not recognize geographic, educational, or economic boundaries, and when pushed to their threshold, people will do incredible things that are contrary to their public persona. Attempting to understand the motive behind these situations is the job of an investigator.
    With that said, I agree that there is no prior history of documented parental abuse and I wholeheartedly believe that John and Patsy were loving and caring parents to all of their children. But forensic experts consulting in the case rendered the opinion that there was evidence of sexual contact that preceded JBR’s death. If that is truly the case, and those observations are to be considered a part of the investigative puzzle, then one must consider the possible explanations that would account for those forensic opinions.
    For the armchair detectives and media sleuths who have followed this case, I would offer the following thoughts: Misconception is recognized as a part of the human condition and we should be ever wary of solidifying our opinions based upon pre-conceived notions of how things have been and how we think they should continue to be.
    Gifted as we are with the ability to reason, in publishing Foreign Faction, it was my objective to dispel inaccurate information which had previously dominated the public perception of the case and to provide new details that were either unknown, or which had been withheld from the public domain. If you are willing to consider all of the various evidence and clues presented in my ‘treatise’ on this murder investigation, the motive behind the staging of a ‘kidnap’ scene might become apparent.
    Immediate family members provided DNA for elimination purposes. It was the best evidence to be obtained under the circumstances. Familial DNA is usually sought under different circumstances: ie., a son is thought to be a suspect in a crime but a DNA sample cannot be obtained from him because he is on the run. A sample from either biological parent could be collected for comparison to an unidentified forensic sample. Since both parents contributed to the composition of their son’s DNA, a familial comparison could be made. If you are going to hang your hat on DNA as proof of an intruder in this case, then it is my opinion that you need to be looking for 6 perpetrators. I don’t think you can pick and choose which DNA samples are to be attributed to the person(s) responsible for the crime. It is my understanding that all of the additional ‘touch’ DNA samples were of insufficient quality to compare against Karr or anyone else. This is probably a question better asked of Mary Lacy. Additionally, I go back to the unknown elements that surround forensic evidence collection: it is difficult to explain why some evidence is, or is not present. There are other people more qualified than I to speak to this question. I was not provided the opportunity to meet the Ramseys, and was unable to secure a tour of the home. It is my understanding that it had undergone significant remodel by the time I became involved as a lead investigator in the case, so I doubt that it would have been a fruitful endeavor. Lastly, Det. Smit’s evaluation of the Air Taser stun gun was not an ‘exact match’ to JBR’s injuries as described in this question, and therein lies a portion of the fallacy that has led some people to believe that an intruder was responsible for this crime.

    • Question:
    1. One of the things that nobody seemed to ask and I never understood why: did anybody ever toss out the idea that the intruder may have been dressed in a Santa costume and that's how he coaxed Jon Benet out of her bed? It's a sickening thought, I know, but then again so is everything else about this case.
    2. Also... why wasn't John more insistent on investigating those who knew his bonus amount?

    I believe the family pointed to Santa as being involved so I guess you could speculate that he was dressed up for the occasion.
    As for the second question, I couldn’t say

    • Question:
    Mr Kolar, I have the following questions:
    1. Was Bill McReynolds' Santa suit ever tested for comparison to the red fibres found at the crime scene?
    2. The arguments as to whether or not this is a DNA case have been raging for years. My question is were any parts of the outer garments she was wearing on Christmas day (e.g the waistband of the black velvet pants) ever checked for a possible match to the unsourced male DNA found on her underwear? I have never heard of this being done yet feel it could prove significant in providing strong indicators one way or another. If such DNA was found, it would lend credence to the possibility that it was secondary transfer from JonBenet's fingers. On the other hand, had this unsourced DNA not been found on her outer clothing it would be a huge contributing factor to the idea that an unknown male handled her inappropriately and left his DNA behind on her underwear.
    3. Until the publication of your book, the pyjama bottoms and chocolate box smeared with faecal material had never been made public. No investigator present at the crime scene that morning nor anyone else involved in the case has ever made mention of it. Do you know why that is? If I am correct in assuming that the BPD decided to withhold this information how and why were you, as an investigator on the case for approximately eight months duration, given permission to reveal this information in your book?
    4. Ethically speaking, do you have any regrets about writing a book in which a young man who was nine years old at the time is implied to be his sister's killer? Do you feel it impacts negatively on Burke's reputation and future endeavours?

    The red fibers found on the sticky side of the duct tape were part of a mix of other colors that were consistent with the materials found in Patsy’s jacket.
    The problem with trace DNA evidence is that it is possible that it could have been transferred from any number of sources. When deciding which best evidence should be submitted for laboratory analysis, the items found on and with the victim at the time of their discovery are considered the most valuable pieces that should undergo examination. Understanding these parameters, it is likely that peripheral items you mention were not considered a high priority for analysis. I learned about the observations of these items when reviewing case reports completed by investigators / CSI’s processing the home during the search warrant. There were many pieces of evidence collected and observed during the investigation and it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for details like these to be withheld from public release.
    Moreover, until such time as a person is officially charged with a crime, there is no obligation for law enforcement agencies to release details about an investigation to the public. In fact, there are ethical obligations required of the prosecutor’s office, and by extension police departments, to limit the amount of information released during pre-trial proceedings. The explicit purpose of this is to ensure that the accused may have a fair trial.
    No one gave me permission to publish my book, and I would not have even considered doing so if there was ever a chance of prosecuting the people who participated in the murder and the cover-up of its circumstances. But to be brutally honest, I don’t believe anyone will ever be held criminally accountable for JBR’s murder.
    Ethically speaking, and in this instance, I believe it was an investigator’s responsibility to carefully consider motives and opportunity for all of the people in the home at the time of the murder. The age of the other child in the home was immaterial, and as it turned out, there were significant questions raised about the knowledge he possessed about the circumstances surrounding the death of his sister.
    In a murder investigation, the fallout from the truth affects people in different ways. And given all of the circumstances present in this case, I have no regrets for having published the information that came to my attention over the course of my inquiry. If you can convince him to speak on the matter, Burke might be in a better position to answer this question.

    • Question:
    1. Do you believe Jon Benet was sexually abused while her mother was in the hospital receiving treatment for cancer and if so by who?
    2. Will you ever be able to write a follow up book with full disclosure of everything you know and believe and if it depends what does it depend on?
    3. Other than Foreign Faction what is another must read for people interested in this case?
    4. What is one thing nobody knows about this case publicly that is interesting?
    5. What is one thing everyone believes is a fact about this case that is wrong and what is the truth about it?
    6. Is it true that no fingerprints were found anywhere on the maglite including on the batteries in the flashlight?
    7. Do you know anything about the Maddy McCann disappearance and if so what is the best book you would recommend on the case in your opinion?
    Thank you sir.

    1. I have not seen any evidence that would suggest JBR had been subjected to sexual abuse at that period of time.
    1. There may come a day when another book would further explore the political components associated with the investigation of this case, but I have no plans at the moment to pursue this line of inquiry
    2. I think Steve Thomas’ book provided excellent insight into the frustrations experienced by the first line investigators who were fighting against the odds to solve this case. And if you are interested in the science associated with statement analysis, I couldn’t recommend a better series of books on the matter than those offered by retired Deputy US Marshal Mark McClish. His book, I Know You Are Lying, presents a detailed analysis of Ramsey statements made over the course of the investigation.
    3. Couldn’t share that at the moment.
    4. As outlined in other responses, it is the belief that a stun gun was used by an intruder to commit this crime. I think there is ample information to impeach this theory, and yet many cling to this erroneous ‘fact’ as a basis to support the involvement of an outside perpetrator.
    5. The maglite question is answered elsewhere in the AMA.
    6. Sorry to say, I am not sufficiently familiar with the details of the McCann disappearance.

    • Question:
    JonBenet was only a month older than me, and one of my clearest childhood memories is watching her on the news. This must have been a terribly sad case. I appreciate the hard work of everyone who did what he/she thought was right in regards to JonBenet.
    1. Regardless of the Ramseys having anything to do with the murder, it certainly seems that the family members' reputations were destroyed. It makes me think of Nick from "Gone Girl", in a way....... If the media hadn't gotten involved, do you think this case would have had a different ending?
    2. I've watched Lou Smit's episode, and he says there were marks on JonBenet's neck that showed she was trying to claw at the rope choking her. If she was knocked out, and the strangulation was staged (as I get the impression that many people believe the murder was staged), how is this possible?
    3. I am definitely "cliff noting" what Beckner said in his AMA, but he doesn't think that someone would murder the child in the house, stick around, that kind of thing, if the murderer was an intruder. Could it have been an intruder? I mean, if people are comfortable enough to sneak into a house, why not stay in the basement for an extra thirty minutes?

    I have had a number of discussions with local, national and international media personnel over the course of my involvement in the case, and it is hard to say exactly how the coverage of this murder might have been covered had it not been for the CNN interview initiated by the parents. That national exposure, and the subsequent play of the child pageant films, generated what has been called the ‘perfect storm’ of the media frenzy.
    With regard to a different ending? The history of the DA’s relationship with the defense bar had too much history and I don’t think anything would have changed in how they interacted with the BPD in their investigation of the case.
    Det. Smit didn’t appear to take into consideration the forensic opinions rendered about the sequencing of injuries. Based upon my review of those theories, it is my belief that the fingernail marks on JBR’s throat were created when the collar of her shirt was pulled tight around her neck, at the same time that the triangular shaped bruise was formed on the front her neck. Next came the blow to her head that rendered her unconscious.
    The garrote could not have been responsible for the triangular bruising, and was applied some period of time later, when JBR was unconscious and unable to struggle against the placement of the cord.
    I don’t believe the strangulation with the cord was a part of staging, and its use constituted an underlying part of the motivation involved in the assault on JBR. A more complete analysis of the sequencing of the injuries was offered in Chapter 6 of the book.
    If you dissect John Ramseys sequencing of events, the intruder(s) remained in the home far beyond the 30 minutes bracketing the estimated time of JBR’s death.

    • Question:
    Chief Kolar, thank you for all of the dedicated work you’ve done on this case and sharing your expertise on Reddit. Just a couple more questions on the evidential pieces of the crime:
    1. Is it correct that approximately 60,000 pieces of evidence were collected by the BPD?
    2. In your book you reference DNA tests on new packages of underwear. The testing was conducted by the Denver Crime Lab to evaluate both the presence and the strength of DNA in new packages. Was this an informal, random test of underwear in new packages, rather than a controlled statistical study from the same factories which produced the NY package of Bloomies?
    3. Was it the conclusion of LE since there were no fingerprints on the Ransom Note that a stager(s) or the killer himself may have been wearing gloves when writing the Note? In your book you reference that lab technicians thought the brown fibers found at the crime scene in the wine cellar may have been work gloves. It seems like latex gloves offer a tighter fit and would be easier to use than work gloves when writing the Ransom Note with a sharpie. Did LE ever find any evidence of latex gloves used that night?

    There were approximately 60,000 pages of reports and documents associated with the investigative file. Over 1500 pieces of physical evidence was collected during BPD’s investigation of the case.
    It is my recollection that the DNA tests were conducted on a random sampling of off-the-shelf Bloomies underwear. It was intended to sample the packaged underwear just as it would have been purchased by Patsy from a retail outlet. I can’t tell you how many times the underwear found on JBR had been worn, washed or stored prior to her murder.
    I don’t believe there was any evidence developed regarding the use of latex gloves.

    • Question:
    For Chief Kolar: first thank you so much for your service, and for taking the time out to talk to us. As eager as I am to hear your opinions about the case, I'd love to know a little bit more about your life as both an author and chief of police.
    1. How do you balance those responsibilities and still have time to write?
    2. What is a day in your life like?
    3. Are you working on any books now?

    It took 3 years of off-duty time to write Foreign Faction. It was a full time job outside my full time job. I spent weekends, evenings, and sometimes took my computer to the beach - pool during vacation to write my ‘treatise’ on JBR’s murder investigation.
    My current responsibilities as the chief of a mountain resort community are many, and working in a small department requires that I wear many hats. During the school season, I cover the school bus zones in the morning. I assist my sergeants in report approval and other supervisory responsibilities. As the chief of my department, I am on-call to respond to any type of emergency 24 hours a day and will respond to a scene in the field on a regular basis. I actively participate in any major case handled by the department and have frequently written reports, arrest or search warrants in order to assist my staff in performing their duties. While I enjoy the major music festivals that we host every summer, (they get me out from behind a desk and I get to do real police work), there are many other mundane duties required of me as an administrator.
    I have been writing fiction for some period of time, and my projects include a murder mystery / international narcotic trafficking novel begun in the mid 1980’s and the completion of three feature-length screen plays. None of these projects have been published or optioned, and I am currently formatting the last one into a novel. It involves a contemporary murder mystery that has ties to Butch Cassidy’s 1800’s bank robbery in Telluride, Colorado.
    At present, an updated edition of Foreign Faction is nearing release for the Amazon Kindle e-book version. It contains details about the grand jury indictment of the parents and a few other aspects that involve the DA’s follow-up actions on the case.

    • Question:
    Wow, incredible!
    First, I love your book. I read it with such intrigue and found myself highlighting important bits constantly. In particular, I appreciated your research on young sexual offenders as I always thought there was no way a nine year old was capable, but your section on this topic quite clearly proves they are.
    1. Was DNA ever taken off the rim of the glass with the tea bag in it? Or the spoon from the bowl? I imagine proving Jonbenet ate pineapple with any one of the Ramseys would be damning evidence.
    2. Based on the input you have received from experts, do you believe Jonbenet had been molested prior to the molestation on the day of her death?
    3. Your book strongly implies Burke was involved in the initial attack and John and/or Patsy did the staging. With that said, does that mean this is 'case closed'? Being that Burke could never be charged and the statute of limitations is expired on accessory, tampering, etc.

    To my knowledge, I don’t believe any DNA testing was performed on the tea glass, spoon or the bowl of pineapple. As you know, fingerprints of Burke and Patsy were found on those articles, which conflicted with Patsy’s recollection of events. I think the significant piece of forensic evidence is that raw pineapple was discovered in her digestive tract, and the only plausible explanation is that she ingested it at home that evening after the White dinner party.
    The forensic experts consulted by BPD indicated that there was evidence of sexual contact preceding JBR’s death, but it could not be determined how many occasions that this had occurred, or the duration. Based upon case studies of this type, I suspect that the pattern of bed-wetting supports these observations and could be related to prior incidents of abuse. As I have stated previously, if Burke was in anyway involved in this crime, he is immune from prosecution in Colorado due to his age. Though nearly 10 years of age at the time of JBR’s death, there are no charges that could be brought against him in this instance.

    • Question:
    From what I have learned touch DNA evidence isn't usually found from just touching clothing. It is found as a result of "forced action" so they look in areas where the perpetrator would have pulled sharply and quickly on clothing leaving skin cells behind. When you have touch DNA evidence on the thermal pants and that matches the saliva mixed with her blood in her panties and both matches the partial profile found under the fingernails (8 markers IIRC) it seems hard to dispute. I want to see it debunked but I just can't understand how that can be done. Can you elaborate further?

    I have not had any cases since JBR that has relied on DNA or trace DNA.
    Further, DNA can be very powerful evidence of proof of involvement or innocence, but it has to be evaluated in the context of all other evidence. Example - We're strangers riding an elevator together and I, suffering from a cold, sneeze on you. I apologize profusely, wiping your coat. We part ways at the 1st floor and 2 blocks later you are accosted by a robber. He grabs your coat and gets your wallet and shoots you dead. His DNA is found on your coat, but so is mine, from saliva and the transfer of skin cells. Police get two separate DNA profiles - can you safely assume that there were two people responsible for the murder.
    Sometimes its easy - the rapist's semen was collected, tested, and identified. The totality of the circumstances need to be evaluated and weighed as to probative value. Just because there are trace amounts of DNA present, it doesn't mean it absolutely belongs to a perpetrator.

    • Question:
    I noticed JBR had several visits to her Dr for impact injuries; e.g., golf club strike, nose impact fall, above eye wound after fall... Were these incidents/injuries investigated as to rule out perhaps an adult lashing out injury as opposed to the reported cause of injury?
    Thanks. Great book Chief, enjoyed it!

    JBR’s medical records were reviewed for signs of prior abuse and I don’t think the Charlevoix golf club injury had anything to do with the parents. Investigators questioned the number of visits to the pediatrician related to urinary tract issues and the unexplained calls to the doctor’s office made late in December. I don’t think they ever received a satisfactory explanation for those calls.

    • Question:
    Chief Kolar, thanks for coming to answer our questions! I'm curious what drove your decision to participate in an AMA. Seeing as the last AMA resulted in the removal of all the answers, can we count on you standing by your responses?

    I have always welcomed an opportunity to interview about this case when possible. Also, I put myself and my observations on the line when writing and publishing Foreign Faction and I’m willing to stand by my responses posted here. I'd like to thank all readers of /r/UnresolvedMysteries for your interest, and for the invitation to participate in this Q & A session.

    • Question:
    Based on your personal investigation, do you think that the perpetrators of this crime had help covering their tracks immediately after JonBenet's death and or shortly after her body was found?

    I think a cover-up began not long after the family left their home on the afternoon of the discovery of their daughter's body.

    • Question:
    What was the explanation for the grass under the grates? That was supposed to prove the intruder theory...

    Lou Smit pointed to the Train Room window as a point of entry or exit used by the perpetrator and demonstrated his theory on national television. He suggested that grass trapped between the metal grate and the cement foundation of the window well was evidence that it had been recently lifted during entry – exit to the home. What he failed to take into account was that the grate did not sit flush to the foundation in many locations and vegetation grew into that space. Further, pine needles and leaves sitting atop the grate would have been disturbed if it had been recently lifted. These clues, and those of the other spider webs, glass fragment, etc. apparently were ignored when this window as hailed as an intruders’ access to the home. I devoted a chapter to analyzing this aspect of the intruder theory and photos were posted to drive home the point that it was highly unlikely this location served as an entry or exit point to the home on the night of JBR’s murder.

    • Question:
    In your book, you give an alternate theory as to the explanation of the strange abrasions on JonBenet's body as possibly being caused by a section of model railroad track. This stands in stark contrast to Lou Smit's stun gun theory. If your theory is true, what importance might it have in the case? What might have been the purpose behind such wounds? Was it a form of torture? Another form of staging?

    The theory involving the use of the stun gun ignores the coroner’s examination of JBR’s body and his pronouncement that the twin marks on her back were “abrasions†and not burn marks, such as would have been left by an electrical instrument like a stun gun. Further, Smit’s experiments with the Air Taser stun gun did not align with the abrasions on JBR’s back. He called it a ‘close match.’
    Discovery of a toy in the home that exactly matched the measurement of the abrasions was an incredible stroke of luck, and thinking outside the ‘investigative box’ on Harry Stephen’s part was a matter of genius. I don’t believe the train track was used for torture, or staging, but for another reason altogether. Its use is a nuance of the overall theory of events that I developed over the course of my investigation. Unfortunately, expressing my thoughts about how and why it was used would probably subject me to greater exposure for a libel lawsuit. So, I will have to leave it to your interpretation after you consider all of the new information, and the totality of circumstances presented in Foreign Faction.

    • Question:
    I heard somewhere that the amount of John Ramsey's bonus (118,000 dollars) was published somewhere about a week before JonBenet died. This could explain why the author of the ransom note asked for exactly $118,000. Was the amount of his bonus ever made public?

    There had been article written about John’s company not long before the holidays but I don’t believe any mention of the amount of his bonus was made. That was internal information known to the family which raised questions about insider knowledge and its use in the ransom note.

    • Question:
    Can you confirm that the underwear she was found in wasn't hers? Can you confirm that it came from an unopened packet that was kept upstairs? If JonBenet died downstairs, does that mean that the killer had to go back upstairs to get the underwear?

    It is my recollection that Patsy had purchased a package of the larger sized underwear for another purpose, but JBR liked to wear them. I don’t recall where they were stored or if there was an explanation of how she came be wearing them that day.

    • Question:
    Did the DA look down or think that they were somehow on a different intellectual and social level as the Police force? Maybe the DA felt their office was somehow peers of the Ramseys and they could not see this kind of crime happening among their peers

    The DA's office certainly held a different viewpoint about the possibility of parental involvement. I don't know about a peer relationship, but they definitely had a close relationship with defense bar. Examples were illustrated in my work and it was a complaint when I worked for Boulder PD 17 years before leaving for Telluride in 1993

    • Question:
    In hindsight, what would you change about the investigation and it's processes?
    And thank you -- this case has long saddened me, my step daughter is a little brown version of JonBenet and it's killed me to think how that little person suffered and never received adequate justice. RIP JonBenet.

    I suspect that there is not a law enforcement officer in the country who wouldn’t like to go back in time and change the way they initially handled a case, regardless of whether it led to a successful arrest and conviction, or whether it went uncharged, or unresolved. And I would challenge anyone currently drawing a breath on this planet to say that they don’t regret the manner in which they handled some personal or professional matter in their lives. We are all human and subject to making mistakes and errors in our decision making processes and it is our responsibility to learn from our collective mistakes.
    As an armchair quarterback armed with the political astuteness of a critic with 20-20 hindsight vision, I think many would agree that the best course of action would have been for police to have taken steps to secure the home and immediately remove all of the family to police headquarters. Phone lines to the home would have been forwarded to that secure location and trap and trace operations instituted in an attempt to identify the caller wanting to arrange a ransom drop.
    An early criticism of BPD’s handling of the matter spoke to these very issues and were subsequently commented upon, and confirmed by Chief Beckner during his AMA interview. While steps were promptly taken to identify a kidnappers’ call to the home, and physical crime scene processing was begun to collect evidence as to the identity of the perpetrator(s), officers bowed to the wishes of a family in acute distress and allowed unauthorized persons into the crime scene. The role of being compassionate and caring over-rode the responsibility of preserving a crime scene and a price was subsequently paid for that human error.
    Had human compassion not entered into the equation, I expect that we would have seen the family transported to a police facility where independent interviews would have been conducted with each of the family members in the home at the time of the kidnapping. Each and every one of them were material witnesses to the crime, irrespective of age, and I think the parents would have had a tough time denying investigators the opportunity to fully quiz Burke about what he might have seen or heard that evening. How could they reasonably deny them that ability, when they were in another part of the home and couldn’t possibly know what he might have witnessed?
    From my perspective, the first battle was lost when family friends were permitted to congregate in the home. For one, the integrity of the crime scene was compromised once they passed the threshold, and more importantly, it surrendered control of the investigation over to the family.
    It is my opinion that Patsy summoned family friends to the home to not only provide comfort in her time of stress, but their presence also served as a physical and emotional barrier between herself and police investigators. I suspect it would have been extremely difficult for her to sit knee to knee with a detective and answer questions about the events of the evening.
    The second battle was lost when the DA’s office began to sidetrack basic investigatory procedures. To address the manner in which their office participated in the investigation would take a book…

    • Question:
    Are you set in stone with the theory of the person who delivered the blow is different than the person who strangled her? On a scale from 1-10 how likely is it that this could be the same person?

    I have not expressed that thought. I believe it possible they were one in the same person.

    • Question:
    Why these leads weren't followed up, or if they were, what was the outcome?:
    1 "a man suspected a coworker of possible involvement (said he wanted to 'crack a skull', was supposed to be in on a scheme that would earn him $50k to $60k, had boots matching the two sets of boot prints found in room where JB's body was found, and acted depressed and strange after Christmas). Even though the guy called police more than 10 times to tell them about his coworker, no one returned his call."
    2." They didn't find the intruder who tried to kidnap a girl who attended JB's dance class less within a year of when JB was killed. According to the article, the father was out of town on business and the mother and daughter returned late from a movie. The mother armed their security system and they went to bed. An intruder woke the girl up in the night, addressed her by name and sexually assaulted her. The mother heard whispering and went into the girl's bedroom to check and the assailant jumped out a second story window. According this other girl's parents, detectives weren't at all interested when they talked to them about possible links to the Ramsey case. They hired a private detective who ran background checks on people who worked in the neighborhood; he found a group with criminal histories and had surveillance tapes showing them wandering the neighborhood late at night within two blocks of the Ramsey house. He also found cigarette butts outside the girl's house that that were the same brand as some found in the Ramsey's alley."

    It is difficult for me to answer this question because I am not familiar with the text quoted or the specific circumstances cited. I didn’t have the time or opportunity to review every report that documented the clearance of a suspect named in a lead sheet. With that said, BPD covered hundreds of leads in the case, from those presented by family and friends to cold-call tips from people who didn’t know the Ramsey circle from Adam. In spite of that situation, they investigated and cleared more than 200 people who were described as suspects – many of whom were total strangers to anyone remotely close to the family. They were cleared of any involvement through a variety of methods, including DNA testing, fingerprints and handwriting analysis. John Ramsey said it best when he declared that the circumstances of his daughter’s death involved someone familiar with the inner workings of the family. To the Boulder Police Department’s credit, they expanded the circle of suspects exponentially beyond the obvious and pursued leads that appeared to be of some promise.

    • Question:
    Hi Chief Kolar!
    Thanks so much for doing this AMA. We all really appreciate it and I've been looking forward to it with a ton of excitement.
    I have a question of my own: How do you think working on the JBR case impacted the remainder of your career? Did you learn anything in particular from being an investigator that you feel was something unique to that specific case?
    I'm intrigued to know how working on such a highly charged, controversial case helped shaped you as a member of law enforcement/changed how you think about going about your job.
    Thanks for your time! :)

    I have always endeavored to hold myself to the highest standards of service, so I can't say that my involvement in this case really had any impact on my career. Once I became familiar with the contents of the case file, and learned more details of how evidence was either ignored, or grossly misinterpreted, I became extremely frustrated with the manner in which the case had been mishandled by some. It just continued to get worse, the further along I got in the case. In that regard, it has made me want to be a better cop to ensure that we don't see that type of thing happen again.

    • Question:
    I'm currently reading your book, and I've been perplexed by the Maglite flashlight on the kitchen counter. The lack of fingerprints seems funky - if it belonged to the family, there should be prints. If it did not, it seems like hard evidence of a gloved intruder. What's your take on the Maglite?

    A good portion of the exterior barrel of the Maglite flashlight has a tightly webbed, cross-hatched surface which is not conducive to the collection of a latent fingerprint. Despite their efforts to collect that type of evidence, Boulder CSI’s were not able to obtain any latent prints from the flashlight, and I think that highlights the issue regarding physical evidence at a crime scene. Sometimes it is difficult to explain why something is or is not there. For instance, John Ramsey handled the ransom note with his bare hands but none of the pages produced his latent prints. We could spend pages discussing physical evidence collection and the CSI effect that crime scene shows have had on the public perception of police work.
    I believe the flashlight was used by Patsy to search for luggage earlier in the day and when returned to the kitchen, never made it back to its storage drawer. Based upon Dr. Spitz’s analysis, I believe it possible that it was the instrument used to deliver the blow to JBR’s head in the area of the kitchen.

    • Question:
    In his book, Steve Thomas intimated that there was no footprints in the fresh snow anywhere around the house. Is this in fact true?

    There was a hard frost on the grassy areas of the yard when officers first arrived that morning and there were no signs of foot prints in those areas. The sidewalks and drive could be walked upon and showed no signs of passing. Somehow, the press reported the conditions as being covered in snow, which was not an accurate representation of the scene. CSI’s also tested the deck outside the locked door of JBR’s bedroom and there were no signs of disturbance in the coating of frost there until they stepped outside.

    • Question:
    Did you investigate the possible involvement of the Stines in covering up the crime?

    I did not personally, but BPD investigators considered all close friends during their inquiry

    • Question:
    Do you ever entertain the theories posted here or other sites such as websleuths?
    Do you value the input of "armchair detectives", or treat them kind of like psychics?

    My apologies, but my current position keeps me too busy to surf the Web-sleuth sites. And while I am always open to new perspectives, my concern is that sometimes when people (if you want to refer to them as ‘armchair detectives’) have written me to share thoughts or theories, they are frequently based on erroneous information. It is one of the reasons I wanted to get out as complete a picture of the investigative facts as possible, so that new theories could be considered.

    • Question:
    1) How did you get involved with the JonBenet case?
    2) What are some debunked theories/leads, you've personally shut down in the course of your investigation?
    3) What are your thoughts on the former Chief Beckner's AMAA?
    4) Why did feel that is was necessary to write your book, because it doesn't seem like it was for monetary gain? From what I've seen, the book costed you your retirement to publish, pretty much angered some of your colleagues, and some of the profit will be going to that organization for missing children.

    1) I handled one lead for the Boulder Police Department within a week of the murder, but my official involvement in the JBR investigation started when I was appointed chief investigator for the Boulder District Attorney’s office in 2005. I had been with their office as an investigator for about a year before I was asked to take the lead in the case.
    2) I went to some length to debunk a number of theories and ‘evidence’ that intruder theorists pointed to as proof that someone outside the family had committed this crime. I think the most significant of those was disassembling the assertion that a stun gun had been used in the crime, the point of entry supposedly used by an intruder to enter or exit the home, and the source of the HiTech boot print in the wine cellar. I also spent some time providing analysis of the DNA samples collected from JBR’s body, clothing, and implements used in the crime. There were many other examples presented in my work that contributed to the debunking of the intruder theory and which was contrary to the public perception of the case.
    It is my argument that if all of the ‘evidence’ that points to an intruder is eliminated, then you are left with only one other possibility to consider: what role did people in the home play on the night of JBR’s murder?
    3) I thought Chief Beckner provided an honest and forthright interview.
    4) I think the decision to fully go forward with a book followed the John Mark Karr fiasco. I tried to get the investigation back on track after he was released, but the DA’s office continued to stonewall their position and I realized the only way to get the truth out was to go public with what I had learned about the case. And I would like to clarify a misperception that is being repeated about my funding of this effort: I did finance this project with a loan from my retirement fund, and though it was a substantial amount, it did not entirely deplete that account. I would like to recoup those funds if possible, and be in a positon to contribute to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, but that hasn’t happened yet. In the meantime, I am happy to be able to contribute a more accurate depiction of the facts of the case than what had previously been fed to the public by the Ramsey team of defense attorneys.

    • Question:
    It's strange to me that (professional) debunkers of the 'Intruder Theory' always seem to act as though it is the one most commonly believed/accepted by the public. This has not been my experience; nearly anyone I've ever spoken to, online or otherwise, believes the parents are guilty.

    I guess it depends on who is doing the surveying. It has seemed to me that a fairly large of percentage of people think an intruder responsible.
    In some cases, I think the media had made their commitment to the evidence presented by Smit and Wood, and are unwilling to backtrack on that error.

    • Question:
    I was brought back around to this case by the writings of Dave McGowan. Have you read his work? He suspects, and I am led to agree, that the murder was part of a larger patchwork of child abuse in the Boulder area. Do you think this is broader than a single murder, that it was part of a larger child rape crime syndicate?

    I am not familiar with McGowan’s writings, but as you may know, a California woman alleged that there was a large sex ring involved in the abuse of children in the Boulder area and that this activity might have had something to do with JBR’s murder. I have not seen one scintilla of proof of this and I think it is highly unlikely that that type of activity was taking place in the community, or that the Ramseys ever would have participated in that type of setting.
    With that said, there are all kinds of pedophiles out there who use the Internet to collect and share child pornography, but I am not aware of any instances in which groups of people in Boulder have actually gathered to sexually assault children as suggested.

    • Question:
    Why did you decide to go into law enforcement?

    The earliest memory I have of being interested in law enforcement was when I was about 6 years old. I had somehow become aware that an FBI agent lived down the street and one day I went down there and knocked on his door and asked for him by name. A woman answered the door and I asked if he could come out to play. I remember her smiling and telling me that her son didn’t live there anymore.
    I was incredibly disappointed that he wasn’t around to become my buddy and share his stories about being a ‘G’ man. Over the years, my interest continued to grow and I eventually found my way into a law enforcement career.

    • Question:
    Besides the JBR case, do you have any other favorite unresolved mysteries? If so, do you have any theories as to their resolution?
    Another question, if I may: what's the thing that tipped you over in the jonBenet case? The one piece that stuck with you and convinced you of your theory?
    Thanks for stopping by and doing this! This is a great community that has awesome mods

    I was open to all theories when I first took the lead in the case, but after much reading and evaluation of evidence, I came off the fence and believed that the family was somehow involved. It took well over a year after I left the DA's office before I finally came to a theory of events that made sense to me. Of course, you are never going to be able to answer all of the questions that come up during a case.

    • Question:
    Hi Chief Kolar! Thank you for taking your time to do this AMA!
    I've read your book and my question pertains mostly to page 58 and the beginning of chapter 6. With all this talk of sexual contact (and presumably abuse), is it totally out of the question that JB inflicted any of the supposed contact by herself?

    I don't believe that the professionals consulted on this aspect of the case thought the injuries were self-inflicted. Their review indicated a perpetrator was responsible, given the signs of abuse seen in other cases. A pattern of abuse develops that are consistent from one case to another.

    • Question:
    How invested and helpful are John Ramsey & sons to the case/investigation today? Do they ever check-in on the status of the investigation or bring any suspicions/leads they may have to the police?
    Thank you for participating in this AMA!

    To my knowledge, the Ramseys never communicated with BPD after moving from Colorado and I highly doubt they are doing so now.
    They are ‘invested’ in finding the murderer of their daughter as they ever were. To my understanding, the family website and the $100,000 reward offered for a perpetrator’s arrest was dismantled no more than few years after the murder

    • Question:
    Which room do you believe it is MOST LIKELY she was hit? Is is more likely she was thrown in to something, or hit OVER the head?

    I theorized that she was struck in the area of the kitchen
    Follow the nexus. It is all there for you to put it together if you don't believe a stranger was responsible.

    • Question:
    Do you think JR discovered the body after the Police arrived but before noon?

    Yes, based upon statements of his daughter's fiance, I believe John found JBR's body around 1100 am, when Det. Arndt lost track of his whereabouts for around an hour. He never reported this to the officers on scene...

    • Question:
    Do you believe he had not known it was down there before this discovery?

    An evaluation of the statement made by John, which I considered to be a spontaneous utterance that formed criminal culpability, suggests that he was not aware that her body was downstairs until he went roaming after the 1000 am ransom failed to come.
    He became an accessory to crime when he failed to tell Det. Arndt that he had discovered the body. His beeline to the basement later with Fleet was thought to be a ruse.
    Arndt had her hands full with the house packed with friends, and with Patsy, who was extremely distraught, puking and crying..

    • Question:
    What about John being heard in the 911 call?

    There is no disputing that he was nearby. He was on his hands and knees in the hallway outside the kitchen examining the ransom note when Patsy called 911

    • Question:
    But that is according to the Ramseys' account. According to them he was still in his underwear reading the note. But from the end of the 911 call until Ofc. French arrived (less than 7 minutes), they claim he ran up the stairs (two flights), got dressed, looked in on Burke, searched briefly for JonBenet, and then got back to the first floor just inside the front door hallway to be seen by Ofc. French when he walked in the door. (No mention that I know of about his being out of breath.)

    I know, many unanswered questions about the events of that night and morning.

    • Question:
    This makes no sense though. If he didn't know where the body was then he wasn't part of it. If he wasn't part of it, then why would he cover for family members who were? Wouldn't he assume it had been an intruder?

    Think it through. What reason would he have to cover for family, and if he did, wouldn't he then become an accessory after the fact?
    The changing story line of his statements over the following months was indicative of deception.
    If he recognized Patsy's handwriting, and her 'turn of phrase' in the ransom note, why would he think there was an intruder involved?

    • Question:
    Why would John not call 911 then? Being described as "calm" and cordial it seems he would opposed to the "hysterical" Patsy.

    Good question. I suspect that he was trying very hard to make sense of the ransom note and told her to go ahead and call police while he studied it.​
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015
  5. DeeDee

    DeeDee Member

    Great to read but frustrating. Nothing new. He dances the same dance as Becker- that they all dance around BR's involvement. I supposed they have to. I agree that no one will ever be prosecuted, this case will never come to trial- but it may be solved. IMO, it was solved long ago. LE knows it, the DA (past and present) know it- and if we are truthful to ourselves, we know it. BR was involved. The end.
    Is anyone as stunned as I am that the pineapple, bowl, spoon, glass were never tested for DNA (as in saliva)? That would have proven who drank/ate from them, while of course, can't be linked to that specific night (other than the pineapple itself, which JB consumed about 2 hours before her death.
    I was also stunned to see that no one in the investigation seemed to find any importance in the fecal matter in the clothing and candy box. Just as incredible- Patsy and her family LIVED with the stench of feces in JB's room (and possibly elsewhere) in the home. Calling them pigs is an insult to ....well, PIGS.
    I have to keep reminding my self why I am still here.
  6. Moab

    Moab Admin Staff Member

    Thank You

    Cynic, thank you so much for doing this! You da Bomb!

    Please take your well deserved bow! :takeabow:
  7. Elle

    Elle Member


    Thank you
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2015
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