Friday, July 15, 2016

The Mystery of JonBenet Ramsey's Murder

Few unsolved murder cases are as well-known as the one involving this beautiful little girl:



She was killed on Christmas night, only hours from the time this photo was taken of her and her mother:



It all started with a call to 911 from Patsy Ramsey. They had found a ransom note in their daughter's room.



Soon after police arrived, JonBenet's father found her body in the basement. For years, the world was sure the parents had done it.



Years later, it came out that there had been evidence of a break-in. The couple was cleared in 2008, two years after JonBenet's mom died of ovarian cancer.



Some have said the son was guilty, with the parents covering it up. The parents insisted he'd slept through the whole thing, but the 911 recording showed he may have been awake earlier than his mom has always said.



In recent years, more information has come out. There were more than 100 burglaries in the neighborhood in the months preceding the murder. There was a pattern of someone breaking in late at night dressed in black, attempting a sexual assault, and fleeing. One break-in involved an attempted assault on a little girl who danced at the same studio as JonBenet. The intruder knew her name. 

Police were so focused on the parents, they refused to listen.



In recent years, attention has turned to a man named Michael Helgoth, who committed suicide mere hours after a press conference where the district attorney said the suspects would be narrowed down until "soon there will be no one on the list but you." Who is Michael Helgoth?



Helgoth ran a car salvage business and was described to the police as having been "violent and bizarre." They said he enjoyed killing kittens. Police focused the investigation on him for a while, but stopped when he committed suicide.



In late November, he told a friend he was excited about a moneymaking opportunity. The two of them planned to make around $50,000 or $60,000 each. The ransom note demanded $118,000.


After Christmas, his friend said he was depressed...and the money he was expected to earn was nowhere to be found. The friend reported it to the police, but nothing happened.



In recent years, though, detectives have discovered he collected Barbie dolls and got a little too close to a girlfriend's daughter. She took out a restraining order to keep him away.



Among his collection of videos were violent films and a recording of news coverage of the murder of a little girl. They also found a stun gun among photos of his suicide scene. A stun gun was used on JonBenet Ramsey.



The JonBenet Ramsey murder remains a cold case, but it's possible with DNA advancements, the case may be resolved in our lifetime.

What do you think happened to little JonBenet Ramsey?

I'm guest posting on different blogs throughout the month of August to celebrate the release of my new series. Let me know if you want to help out!


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55 comments:

  1. Just think of the hell the family went through while they were suspects.
    Sounds like that guy probably did it.
    And sorry, I think beauty pageants for little girls are just creepy. Results in creatures like Honey Boo-Boo.

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    1. I think beauty pageants for little girls are great--as long as they let them be little girls. The makeup and hair have just gotten ridiculous. Who thinks that's attractive? It's just silly!

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    2. AND, the Botox! I saw a show once and the little girl's mother paid for Botox to her forehead because she had creases at 9 years old....WTF??!

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  2. I agree with everything Alex said above.

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  3. My heart breaks for the parents of that little girl. I do hope they solve this murder someday.

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    1. Once a case gets this old, it's just too hard to solve, from what I understand.

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  4. that was a sad bizarre case, for sure. I do think with DNA, etc it could get solved some day

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    1. True. Apparently they were able to clear the entire family with DNA in recent years.

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  5. It shows the devastation that a closed mind can cause. What bothers me is that more children were probably killed by the killer. I don't fault the police for investigating the parents. I fault them for not investigating the entire situation and not jumping to a conclusion. It was bad police work and leadership. I remember the case and I never thought the parents were guilty.
    I don't care for those child pageants; but, beauty pageants are serious business. The adult ones can open a lot doors for young women. I don't care for them. But I do like any opportunity that life opens for a young woman. Media focused too much on the perverseness of a beauty pageant for children to generate headlines.

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    1. They are serious business. I think that the kid pageants could be great if they'd just let the girls be kids. There's no point in all that makeup. It sends a bad message.

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  6. It's a shame when the police have too narrow a vision which results in not looking at other evidence. I always suspected the older Hal brother who had left shortly before but this guy you mention could really be the killer. Even if he isn't he sounds way beyond creepy and anyone who kills animals is an S.O.B. In my book. I dislike these kids pageants because they no longer look like kids. They are made up so garishly and it is the parents fault. It is very sad.

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    1. I know it's common procedure to focus on those closest to the victim first but in this case it totally backfired. Apparently DNA ruled out a relative? Was Hal blood related?

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  7. This case has always bothered me. I hope DNA can eventually bring a concrete resolution.

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    1. I think they've been able to rule out family but I'm not sure the police are actively looking into anyone else at this point. I'm sure they've moved on to other cases.

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  8. How horrible for a parent to have to go through that, and then to be accused of the murder. Sounds like the mother died while she was still a suspect? Just horrible.
    Yes, it does sound like the guy did it.

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    1. I can't imagine. And it's scary how the wrong people can be tried and convicted in the media.

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  9. Probably that guy I guess

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  10. I never knew any of that about the Helgoth guy. You'd think his name would have made it into more news outlets.

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    1. For years, everything focused on the family. By the time DNA results vindicated the family, the media, quite frankly, didn't really care anymore. The only people really looking into it are documentary filmmakers and true crime TV shows. Regular media outlets want fresh stories to cover.

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  11. I remember this horrible tragedy like it was yesterday!!!! So, so disheartening and sad.

    (I still don't get these mothers dressing up their precious girls like this.)

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    1. I know. Why is that even a desirable thing to do? Who decided young beauty pageant contestants need to wear tons of makeup and have their hair done like that?

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  12. If the person who did this is still alive, then I hope the truth comes to light so they can be brought to justice. If that Helgoth guy did it, though, then maybe the cops can still get a definitive answer with DNA.

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    1. They likely can--but you have to wonder if the new leading suspect is dead, will the police actively pursue it, since all it really will do is make the family feel better? Police may prioritize cases where they feel the perpetrator will be a danger to society. It likely would take a detective determined to just resolve it once and for all.

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  13. When I was still working we had a conference for the sheriffs of California. The police chief from Boulder was a guest speaker at one of the afternoon seminars. We didn't get a lot of information, but the room was packed. He spent a lot of time talking about the press and how to handle the press. What they did right and what they did wrong.

    I hope they close this case someday. It's been cold for far too long.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. I can only imagine what police go through with the press. I wonder about armchair detectives in the Internet era...there are now people out there trying to solve cases on their own and trying to get access to sealed documents. It has to be a nightmare for police!

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  14. Poor girl. I still have no clue who did it. I hope it is solved, for her father at least.

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    1. I wonder if her father is pushing them to resolve it. I have a feeling the mother would be.

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  15. Definitely one of the more disturbing events in recent times. Thanks for the recap, I had never heard of the Helgoth person. Sounds like he might be the killer.

    I hope her dad can eventually know what happened.

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    1. It does sound like it, but I believe even if it wasn't him, it's notable that there were so many break-ins/assaults in the weeks leading up to her death.

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  16. This was in the news for so long with the police trying everything possible to pin it on the parents. So sad. Thanks for the update. I hadn't heard about this new suspect, and he sure sounds like the one they should've been after instead of the parents.

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    1. I'm sure in the moment, it made sense to them. The ransom note was odd...as was Patsy's behavior that day. But who's to say what a "normal" way to react to a child's death is?

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  17. Also, I meant to add that I'll be happy to have you guest post on my blog. Good luck with your new release!

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    1. Thank you! Just choose a date from the form and I'll be in touch!

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  18. Because I did pageants back then, I know a little about this case. They thought someone involved in the system might have done something. A man from my state was questioned because he went to jail and lost his business license over a molestation charge. Sadly, the little girl pageant world is FULL of weirdos. Poor thing....

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    1. I didn't know you used to do pageants. I might need to interview you someday... I have a tween beauty pageant book circulating in my brain!

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  19. I hope that the mystery is solved, but even knowing who did it won't take away the sadness that it happened. I've no interest in the pageant world, but if it is going to exist, I hope that JonBonet's story leads to some heightened awareness about all the consequences of putting children on display, dressed like little adults.

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    1. i think that's the most important part of this--solving this case at this point will only help the dad/brother have closure. Especially if the killer is now dead.

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  20. As if the murder wasn't devastating enough, her mama died before ever being cleared of suspicion. Such a sad string of tragedies. I had not heard about the stun gun, the absence of which should have diverted suspicion from the family right away. Seems like I heard something about this case finally being laid to rest recently...wishful thinking?

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    1. The latest I found on it was that this Helgoth guy is the most likely suspect...but that's just documentary/crime show filmmakers' take on it. We'll never know what the police are doing on the case unless they finally decide to make an arrest. I didn't realize until I watched that show with the two women crime prosecutors that a LOT is required before a district attorney will agree to make an arrest. Which makes sense, since you can only try someone for murder once.

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  21. I remember this case. So sad. A child is gone. Memories linger. Lives ruined. Rest in peace JonBonnet, precious girl.

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    1. She's in a better place now, for sure.

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  22. I remember this case. Whatever happened it was tragic.

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  23. That was such a horrible murder. It's clear America just can't let it go. As mysterious as DB Cooper who the FBI just gave up on.

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  24. Although I had no evidence to go on, I always felt that the parents were innocent. I've seen other dramatizations of real-life kidnapping and killings where the parents were actually convicted and then years later the real killer was found. The police seem too often to charge and then convict the first suspect they see. That being said, I also think O.J. was guilty.

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  25. I totally agree with Denise. So many times, the parents are blamed, and meanwhile, a true killer goes free. This theory sounds plausible, especially with the suspect's suicide.

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  26. That case was mangled from the beginning. The police made up their minds that very night, overlooked and contaminated evidence, and then had to make up for that by digging in their heels and sticking with their original suspects.

    This Hogarth characters seems like a likely suspect. If it was him, I'm glad he got scared by the news coverage and offed himself before hurting any other little girls. Who knows how many young women are alive today because he is gone?

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  27. A dreadful murder, Stephanie. I do hope they keep digging until the mystery is solved.

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  28. First, thank you for visiting my blog, Everything Must Change and leaving a comment.
    I remember when this happened. It was horrible and I too thought that the parents had done it. Later on I thought the brother had done it out of jealousy. What a waste of life. A young girl dies with people in the house and no one knows how.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia

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  29. I don't know if this murder will ever be solved. Might be one of the big unsolved mysteries that has us talking for centuries after.

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  30. Whoops, I think I put my comment on your tour registry:))

    Anywoo, I felt this was one of the saddest events of my lifetime.

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  31. I don't remember how long it was after the crime that the Today show hired an investigator to look into the case. Then they did a series of segments on what he found. He said the local police so rarely investigated a murder that they didn't know what they were doing. They didn't even declare the house a crime scene, so people were coming and going. Then they found the body and decided that the parents did it and refused to follow up on other leads. The investigator said there was definite evidence of a break in. Because of the lack of concrete evidence against the parents or the brother, I've never thought that a member of the family killed her. Perhaps they said her brother slept through the whole thing because they wanted to keep him from knowing what happened to his little sister. It was a terrible situation all around.

    Love,
    Janie

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  32. I remember this being all over the news and in the Star Magazine as they tried to pin it on the parents. Never made sense, and I think of the heartache they sufferd along with dealing with cancer. So sad.

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