WARNING: This is a true crime novel. Review contains discussion of the death of a child and abuse.
"A former lead investigator in the JonBenet Ramsey homicide case breaks six years of silence. Foreign Faction blows the cover off the lone-intruder / sexual predator theory and reveals startling new evidence that heretofore has only been seen by a select few. Explore the journey of these discoveries, and determine for yourself who really was responsible for the kidnap and murder of the childhood beauty queen, JonBenet Ramsey."
"In the faces of our children we are granted the opportunity to glimpse the future, and the untimely death of one irrevocably changes us all. As criminal investigators, it is our chosen duty to go willingly into the breach in defense of the weak and the powerless: to stand tall in the face of adversity, and to seek the truth no matter where the course may lead. Justice deserves no lesser effort."
- A. James Kolar
John and Patsy Ramsey at a press conference in May 1997 offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the killer of their daughter.
Foreign Faction is by far one of the best books I've read regarding the JonBenét Ramsey murder investigation. While the blurb for the book might sound horribly kitschy, the reality is that the author, former lead investigator A. James Kolar, handles the delicate subject matter with care. Never once does he forget that it was a six-year-old girl who was the victim of this heinous crime. However, his professional law enforcement background allows him to lay out all of the evidence clinically and methodically. He lays the case out piece by piece, and then discusses two of the predominate theories: the lone intruder theory, and the parents-as-perpetrators (whether by accident or with intent) theory. He then provides his own perspective, based on all of the compiled evidence, as to who he feels may have been responsible.
I have to say, Kolar pretty much decimates the lone intruder theory. He dissects the point of possible entry, as well as aspects related to the design of the Ramsey home. Kolar provides blueprints and photos of the Ramsey house, and stills from the crime scene video related to the point of entry. A word of warning that he also includes two photos of JonBenét's injuries. They are cropped so that only the injuries themselves are visible, but this does not make them any less upsetting and disturbing.
Kolar also provides an enormous amount of information that I was not aware of before, such as the fact that JonBenét had been sexually abused sometime during the days, weeks, or months prior to her murder, and that a large amount of fibers from the shirt JonBenét's mother, Patsy Ramsey, was wearing on the evening JonBenét was killed was found by forensic experts at the crime scene. Patsy Ramsey insisted she was nowhere near the area that evening.
Kolar does an incredible job of putting all of this together. And while he tries to keep his emotions out of the equation, you can tell that he was deeply affected by this case.
In the end, despite it all, what compounds this horrible tragedy is that there will probably never be justice for this little girl. In my opinion, this case exemplifies the fact that wealth allows some to manipulate the system to such an extent that they can get away with anything. Including the murder of a child.
If you are looking for a comprehensive and thoughtful look at the Ramsey homicide case, I highly recommend Foreign Faction. I also highly recommend JonBenét: Inside the Ramsey Murder Investigation by former lead Boulder Colorado Police Detective Steve Thomas.
Final Rating: 5 stars