Trigger Warning: This is a true crime novel. Status update contains discussion of the death of a child and abuse.
On the morning of December 26, 1996, Patsy and John Ramsey awoke to find a ransom note in their kitchen and their 6 year old daughter, JonBenét, missing from her bed. That same afternoon, the young child’s body was discovered by her father and a family friend in the wine cellar of their home. What followed would be one of the most tragic and controversial unsolved mysteries in the United States to date: who killed JonBenét Ramsey? Was it a botched kidnapping or a lone intruder intent on harming the child? Or was it something even more unimaginable: were her parents responsible for this heinous crime?
Like many Americans, I was riveted by this tragic story. I had watched interviews with the parents, as well as true crime shows covering the case. Even so, there were many elements of the case I didn’t know. For example, one of the things I learned here is that forensic examiners discovered JonBenét had been sexually abused in the days, weeks, or months prior to her murder. They couldn’t determine the exact timeframe of the abuse, or how long it had occurred, but the prior abuse was evident. The only expert to dispute this was JonBenét’s doctor – who had seen her 33 times in a 3 year period.
The author of this book, A. James Kolar, was one of the lead investigators. He does a great job of laying out all of the evidence they compiled, and he tries to be as objective as possible. Of course, he has his own theory about what happened, and who is responsible, so there is some element of bias as he will surely try to make a case later in the book. But so far he’s done a great job of trying to keep his own biases at bay. He provides all facts, not just those relevant to theories proposed by investigators and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
So far it’s an extremely compelling read. I’m completely riveted.