Society

New Information On DNA In JonBenet Ramsey Case

| by Jordan Smith

An investigation has uncovered new information about the DNA found in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case.

JonBenet died on December 25, 1996 following a blow to her head that caused a fractured skull.

The joint inquiry by the Boulder Daily Camera and KUSA released on Oct. 27 revealed that the DNA on JonBenet’s long johns likely came from more than one person.

At the time of the murder, forensic experts determined that the DNA recovered from two places on JonBenet’s long johns came from JonBenet and at least two other sources.

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In clearing the girl’s relatives, District Attorney Mary Lacy said in 2008 that the DNA found on JonBenet’s underpants and long johns belonged to her killer.

“It's a rather obvious point, but I mean, if you're looking for someone that doesn't exist, because actually it's several people, it's a problem,” Troy Eid, a former U.S. attorney for Colorado, told the Daily Camera.

The experts concluded that the DNA on the long johns could be entirely innocent, and could have got there due to inadvertent contact or from another piece of clothing.

In addition, the experts found that the profile, referred to as “unknown male 1,” could be a composite of more than one person’s genetic material.

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Lacy’s office was informed of these results in 2008, but she issued an exoneration to JonBenet’s relatives.

“The previously identified profile from the crotch of the underwear worn by JonBenet at the time of the murder matched the DNA recovered from the long johns,” she wrote in a letter that was made public.

The recent investigation calls into question this statement.

“It’s certainly possible that an intruder was responsible for the murder, but I don’t think that the DNA evidence proves it,” said William Thompson, professor in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at University of California Irvine.

“I have absolute and total confidence in the integrity of former District Attorney Mary Lacy, and I am also aware of internet comments by former Boulder police Chief Mark Beckner where he, within the last several months, affirmed that the Ramsey case was a DNA case,” Lin Wood, an attorney for John Ramsey, JonBenet’s father, told the Daily Camera.

Lacy has not responded to requests for comment since the Daily Camera’s report was published.

“I’ve withstood worse than this,” she told ABC in an interview prior to the investigation’s publication. “And it's nothing compared to what the Ramsey family has gone through targeted as suspects in their own daughter's murder.”

Sources: Boulder Daily Camera, ABC News / Photo credit: Taurusrus/Wikimedia Commons

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