JonBen%C3%A9t Ramsey Case Timeline by CrimeShots%C2%A9
December 23, 1996: The Ramseys host a Christmas party, with approximately 30 guests attending, and with former journalism professor Bill McReynolds playing Santa Claus.
At 6:47 p.m., someone attending the party placed a 911 call, which was answered by police dispatcher Therese Hilleary. The caller hung up without saying anything. Police call back only to get the Ramsey's anwering machine. Officer "B.O. 266" goes to the home at 6:54 p.m. and leaves at 7:09 p.m., after being assured that there was no emergency.
December 24, 1996: The Ramseys attend twilight service at St. John's Episcopal Church in Boulder.
At 9 p.m., John Ramsey retrieves a brand new silver girl's bike stored in neighbor Joe Barnhill's garage and places it under the Christmas tree for JonBen%C3%A9t.
December 25, 1996: The Ramseys attend a Christmas dinner at 5:00 p.m at the Fleet White residence. After the family returns home, JonBen%C3%A9t is carried? to bed at about 9:30 p.m. The family had plans to fly to Michigan early the next morning.
Sometime before dawn, JonBen%C3%A9t is killed; her skull is fractured, she is strangled with a cord, duct tape is put over her mouth, and her body is placed downstairs in a small windowless room in the basement. She is wrapped in a blanket, with the ligature still around her neck, head uncovered, and her arms above her head.
December 26, 1996: Patsy Ramsey calls the police at 5:52 A.M., shouting "send help!" and saying that her daughter is missing and that a 2%C2%BD page ransom note demanding $118,000 had been left by the kidnapper on the steps of the back stairs leading to the kitchen.
The note begins: "Dear Mr. Ramsey, We have your daughter..." and includes the words "behead" and "attach%C3%A9." It was printed in block letters with a "Sharpie" felt tipped pen. Four misspellings in the note appear to be intentional. Patsy Ramsey screams for John and they check Burke's room, but JonBen%C3%A9t is not in there. Patsy begins to phone friends.
Friends begin gathering at the home almost immediately. Police arrive at approximately 6:00 A.M and perform a cursory search of the premises. A window in the basement was found broken with a suitcase underneath. There is no other indication of forced entry. They contact the FBI and begin making plans to deal with the kidnapper. A detective does not arrive until two hours later.
John Ramsey begins arranging to obtain cash for the $118,000 ransom.
At approximately 8:00 AM Law Enforcement arrive and set up a wiretap and recording equipment.
Around 1:00 p.m., Linda Arndt asked Fleet White, a friend of the Ramseys, to take John and search the house for "anything unusual." At approximately 1:30 p.m., John Ramsey and his friend Fleet White discover JonBen%C3%A9t's body in the basement.
John Ramsey removes the tape from her mouth and carries her upstairs in outstretched arms, where he lay her on the floor at the top of the stairs and requests a blanket from the couch to cover her. Patsy flings herself onto JonBen%C3%A9t's body and shouts "help me Jesus!". Linda Arndt shortly thereafter, moves JonBen%C3%A9t's body over near the Christmas tree and places a Colorado Avalanche's sweatshirt over her.
Twenty minutes later, John is overheard placing a phone call to his pilot to ready the plane to head for Atlanta. Police instructed them not to leave town, so they began staying at a friend's home in Boulder.
At approximately 2:00 P.M., as the Ramseys are leaving their home after JonBen%C3%A9t's body is discovered and it is declared a crime scene, John Andrew, Melinda and Stewart Long (Melinda's fianc%C3%A9) arrive in front of the house. Investigators begin a 10 day evidence gathering quest.
The coroner arrived at approximately 8 PM and entered the house where the decedent's body was located at approximately 8:20 PM. The Boulder County coronor's staff removed JonBen%C3%A9t's body from the house at approximately 9:45 p.m.
December 27, 1996: The Boulder County coroner reported that an autopsy revealed that the cause of death was asphyxia due to strangulation, and her death was ruled a homicide.
December 28, 1996: Detectives inspect the body for evidence of semen, blood and saliva, and take blood, hair and handwriting samples from the Ramseys and their relatives and friends.
December 29, 1996: A memorial service is held for JonBen%C3%A9t at St. John's Episcopal Church in Boulder.
December 30, 1996: The family takes the body by private jet to Atlanta, which was their former place of residency before their move to Colorado.
It is also reported that the Ramseys have retained Bryan Morgan and their attorney, and that JonBen%C3%A9t's two older half-siblings, John Andrew (who lived at the Ramsey home) and Melinda, were out of town on the night of the murder.
A press conference is held by Leslie Aaholm, city of Boulder spokeperson.
December 31, 1996: JonBen%C3%A9t is buried at a cemetary in Marietta, Georgia, her birthplace, next to her half-sister Elizabeth, who had been killed at the age of 22 in a car accident in 1992.
January 1, 1997: John and Patsy Ramsey appear in an interview on CNN and state that they are not the killers and that "there is a killer on the loose." They also say that they have hired their own investigators (Ellis Armistead and David Williams) and were offering a $50,000 reward for information on the killer.
It is reported that Patsy Ramsey has retained defense attorney Patrick Burke.
Boulder detectives go to Georgia to interview relatives, friends, and associates of the family.
January 2, 1997: It is reported that JonBen%C3%A9t had been sexually assaulted.
In response to Patsy's comment on CNN, Boulder Mayor Leslie Durgin made a statement denying that there was a killer on the loose in Boulder.
January 3, 1997: The Ramseys return to Boulder and begin staying in the homes of family friends.
The family hires media consultant Pat Korten, from Washington, D.C., to handle inquiries from the press.
It is reported that there was forced entry into the Ramsey's home and that as many as 15 people had keys to the house. Durgin states in a press conference that thirty police had been assigned to the case.
January 4, 1997: Police complete 10 days of evidence gathering at the house.
It was reported that the note had been written on a legal pad found inside the house and also contained a warning that the Ramseys prepare for a rigorous ordeal.
It was also reported that the Ramsey's security system was not operating at the time of the murder.
January 5, 1997: Police submit a list of written questions to John and Patsy Ramsey and begin searching the Ramsey vacation home in Charlevoix, Michigan.
Lead investigator Sgt. Larry Mason is reassigned, supposedly because of leaks to the media.
January 5, 1997: Pat Korten arranges a photo opportunity for the media when the parents and son Burke attend Sunday church service in Boulder.
January 6, 1997: A school-wide assembly is held at High Peaks Elementary School to inform the students about the murder. Meanwhile, detectives return from gathering information in Georgia.
The Colorado Daily reports that the police had searched the windowless room earlier than John Ramsey and that the body was not there at that time.
The media attempt to use legal means to obtain information about evidence removed from the house.
January 7, 1997: Boulder District Judge Diane McDonald seals all documents, including the search warrant, relating to the case for 30 days. A Michigan judge seals the search warrant for the vacation home.
It is reported that investigators had found a small portion of a "practice" ransom note in the house, which was produced using the same pen and pad of paper.
January 8, 1997: The Ramseys provide written reponses to the questions submitted by investigators.
It is reported that detectives in Michigan are looking for any information documenting threats to the Ramseys.
January 9, 1997: It is reported that a cord tied around JonBen%C3%A9t's right wrist matched the cord around her neck. Police Chief Tom Koby announces at a press conference that the investigation has narrowed, but does not name suspects.
The Rocky Mountain News reported that police did not search the room where the body was found the morning of the 26th.
January 10, 1997: It is reported that the 911 call made during the Ramsey's party three days before the murder was not an emergency, but an accidentally made call by a guest at the party, that was later reported to have been Fleet White.
January 11, 1997: The Globe obtains stolen photos of the body and the crime scene.
January 12, 1997: Local stores announce they will refuse to sell the Globe edition containing the stolen photographs.
January 13, 1997: The photos appear in the Globe. The Boulder coroner sues to stop publication of further photographs.
J anuary 14, 1997: It is reported that the Ramseys have hired their own handwriting analysts to evaluate the ransom note, along with former-FBI agent, John Douglas, known for his work in in profiling criminals.
The Globe agrees not to publish additional photographs, but retains rights to those that were published.
January 15, 1997: Lawrence Shawn Smith, an employee of Photo Craft Laboratories, Inc., the photo lab that processed the crime scene photos, is arrested, along with Brett Allen Sawyer, a Boulder private investigator and former Boulder County Sheriff's deputy, in connection with the stolen photos.
January 21, 1997: It is reported that investigators have provided a copy of the ransom note to the Ramseys. Police state that the $118,000 demanded in the ransom note is the amount received recently as a bonus by John Ramsey.
January 22, 1997: An attorney for John Ramsey stated that the District Attorney had reported that JonBen%C3%A9t had not been abused; however, the DA's office responded that it had made no statement "one way or the other' on the subject.
It is reported that the Ramsey family has been asked to take polygraph tests, and that the family had refused.
January 24, 1997: Burke Ramsey returns to school. Police have collected handwriting samples from employees of Access Graphics.
February 12, 1997: It is reported that police obtained hair and blood samples from Bill McReynolds (Santa Claus).
February 14, 1997: A Boulder County judge seals portions of the autopsy report unsealed for 90 days or until a suspect is arrested.
February 15-16, 1997: Detectives return to Atlanta to conduct additional interviews.
February 19, 1997: Ramsey media consultant Pat Korten states that investigators have requested a third handwriting sample from John Ramsey.
February 25, 1997: A judge orders case documents sealed for another 90 days or until an arrest is made. Pat Korten states that police appear to view John Ramsey as the main suspect.
February 26, 1997: It is announced that investigators have interviewed Patsy's friends and relatives in West Virginia, where she grew up.
February 27, 1997: Alex Hunter, Boulder District Attorney, says police are checking John Andrew's alibi.
March 6, 1997: It is announced that both John Andrew and Melinda Ramsey have been cleared as suspects.
March 8, 1997: Boulder police spend an hour carrying out a second search warrant on the Ramseys' summer home in Charlevoix, Michigan. Unidentified sources tell the Denver Post that police were looking for "unrehearsed" writing samples to determine if Patricia Ramsey wrote a ransom note that demanded $118,000 in exchange for JonBenet.
April 4, 1997: DNA tests begin on evidence found at the crime scene.
April 11, 1997: Patricia Ramsey agrees to hand over a fourth handwriting sample to authorities investigating the murder of the 6-year-old beauty queen.
April 19, 1997: For the first time, Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter publicly identifies John and Patricia Ramsey as the focus of the investigation into their daughter's death. "Obviously, the focus is on these people," he says, when asked if they are suspects. "You can call them what you want to."
April 30, 1997: John and Patricia Ramsey have their first formal interviews with police -- four months after JonBenet was found slain in the family's home. According to the district attorney's office, the meetings mark the first time John and Patricia Ramsey sat down separately to be formally questioned by police with their attorneys present, although both parents discussed the killing with police in the hours after their daughter's body was found.
May 1, 1997: John and Patricia Ramsey publicly proclaim their innocence in their first meeting with reporters since shortly after JonBenet was found murdered. "I did not kill my daughter," John Ramsey tells six local reporters. "I will miss her dearly for the rest of my life." Patricia Ramsey, sitting next to her husband and fighting back tears, said, "I did not kill JonBenet." The couple insist the killer would be found. Said Mrs. Ramsey: "God knows who you are, and we will find you."
May 11, 1997: A newspaper advertisement is published promoting a $100,000 reward in the killing and suggesting a possible suspect.
The new ad, in the Boulder Daily Camera, asks: "Anyone with information regarding a well-dressed male approaching young children around Christmastime, please call."
Investigators in the case have not publicly suggested they were searching for such a person. The reward is funded by the JonBenet Ramsey Children's Foundation, the sole contributor of which, CNN learns, is JonBenet's father, John Ramsey.
May 15, 1997: Genetic test results from crime scene evidence in the killing of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey are returned to investigators, but police decline to release any results.
Investigators caution reporters not to expect a "smoking gun" from the DNA tests, and say it might take weeks to analyze the results.
July 12, 1997: JonBenet's bedroom furniture and other belongings are on a moving van, on their way to her parents' new home in suburban Atlanta, near where the slain 6-year-old beauty queen is buried.
July 14, 1997: Details from her long-sealed autopsy report are released under court order and show JonBenet Ramsey died a brutal death.
The report details a deep ligature around the victim's neck and another around the right wrist -- evidence she was bound and strangled.
The autopsy confirms that blood and abrasions were found in the girl's vaginal area -- and that she was struck on the head violently enough to cause bleeding and an 8.5 inch fracture to her skull.
July 23, 1997: John Ramsey says the news media have behaved like "sharks," trying to profit from his family's tragedy.
Ramsey also announces that he plans to step up the search for his daughter's killer, now that he is "confident" police are looking at suspects other than him and his wife Patsy.
In an interview with a computer trade magazine, Ramsey again denied that he had anything to do with the death of his daughter.
"We're normal human beings and a good family that loved our children more than anything in the world," said Ramsey. "The question that I'd like to ask some of these [media] people is,'Would you kill your daughter or child?' No. Then why would you think I would?"
August 13, 1997: The full autopsy report is released. The coroner who first examined the body of JonBenet Ramsey says the murdered 6-year-old girl had a white cord wrapped around her neck that was attached to a stick with the word "Korea" written on it.
The report, released over the objections of investigators, was made public to comply with a judge's order. It confirmed much of what has been made public, but it does not, as expected, indicate the time of death.
Portions of the report released earlier indicated the girl had a fractured skull and was strangled. Evidence of sexual assault was inconclusive, although previous information indicated she had "chronic inflammation of the vaginal wall."
August 26, 1997: Boulder police spokeswoman Leslie Aaholm says police are still "months away" from forwarding evidence gathered in the murder investigation to the District Attorney's Office.
September 8, 1997: District Attorney Alex Hunter releases a photocopy of the ransom note found in the Ramsey home eight hours before JonBenet Ramsey's body was discovered on December 26.
September 9, 1997: Investigators from the Boulder County District Attorney's Office and the Boulder Police Department meet with members of the FBI's Child Abduction and Serial Crimes Unit to discuss the case. According to an FBI spokesman, the purpose of the meeting was to come up with a profile or criminal investigative analysis to help police narrow the focus of their investigation to a few suspects.
September 29, 1997: Authorities release 65 pages of search warrants and related documents that allowed police to spend eight days going through the Colorado home of John and Patsy Ramsey. The Ramseys had objected to the release of the search warrants, arguing their right to privacy would be violated.
October 10, 1997: Boulder Police Chief Tom Koby names Cmdr. Mark Beckner to take over the Ramsey investigation from Cmdr. John Eller, who headed the probe for nine months. Koby acknowledges mistakes in the investigation, saying, "If we had it to do all over again, we would do it differently."
November 17, 1997: District Judge Richard W. May orders that documents involving a search of the summer home of John and Patsy Ramsey be made public, but rules that some of the information could be blacked out.
November 19, 1997: Boulder Police Chief Tom Koby says he will retire at the end of 1998 but plans to decide whether to charge someone with the Ramsey murder within six months.
December 5, 1997: Lead police investigator Mark Beckner says John and Patsy Ramsey "remain under an umbrella of suspicion" and will be questioned again.
December 9, 1997: Ramsey friends report that investigators are searching for the owner of certain types of shoes, leading some observers to speculate police may have footprint evidence. December 5
January 16, 1998: John and Patsy Ramsey won't give Boulder police another interview unless investigators show them all the evidence gathered in the murder of JonBenet. But police say letting the couple and their legal team see the files might compromise the year-old investigation.
February 15, 1998: Boulder police lose evidence collected in the case, forcing them to re-trace some investigative steps taken in the 14-month investigation. Detectives have told friends of the Ramseys they no longer have records of some interviews and palm prints the friends had given.
March 10, 1998: District Attorney Alex Hunter indicates that the 15-month-old murder case of JonBenet Ramsey could be headed for a grand jury. Grand jury proceedings, which are secret, are akin to preliminary hearings in a criminal case in determining whether someone should be bound over for trial. A grand jury may issue an indictment to arrest someone for probable cause, a lower standard than the "beyond reasonable doubt' threshold that must be met to find someone guilty at trial. March 10
June 25, 1998: JonBenet's parents are interviewed by investigators from the Boulder County district attorney's office. Attorneys for John and Patsy Ramsey had said they were willing to cooperate with the district attorney's office in its investigation now that police have turned over the case to Alex Hunter's office.
June 26, 1998: An investigator at the district attorney's office questions Burke Ramsey for some six hours.
August 8, 1998: Steve Thomas, a lead detective in the investigation, resigns, saying prosecutors have "crippled" the case by not supporting the investigators and cooperating too much with Ramsey family lawyers.
August 13, 1998: Governor Roy Romer announces that the investigation will go to a Boulder County grand jury.
September 15, 1998: A grand jury convenes to hear evidence in the case. The jurors, eight women and four men receive an overview from the district attorney's office.
January 28, 1999: Hunter asks public's help in locating manufacturer of a toy bear in a Santa Claus suit reportedly found in JonBenet's room.
March 20, 1999: More than three years after the strangled body of their 6-year-old daughter JonBen%C3%A9t was discovered in their Colorado home, the Ramseys have broken their silence to discuss the tragedy of their daughter's death, and to answer the nagging questions in the minds of the American public.
September 17, 1999: A former detective, Linda Arndt, in the JonBen%C3%A9t Ramsey case told ABC NEWS she knows who killed the young girl, but doubts they will ever be prosecuted.
September 23, 1999: Grand jury returns to work for the first time since May 25.
October 7-12, 1999: With Oct. 20 grand jury deadline nearing, panel meets several more times as speculation mounts that decision whether to indict anyone is near.
October 13, 1999: District attorney announces that no indictments issued; cites lack of sufficient evidence.
Dec. 2, 1999: Regana Rapp, 29, who along with her husband was accused of providing confidential information about the JonBenet investigation to a tabloid, pleads guilty to racketeering. Under a plea agreement, Rapp received a two-year deferred sentence and 50 hours of community service.
Dec. 20, 1999: Craig Lewis, editor of the supermarket tabloid, Globe, was arrested after being indicted on extortion and bribery charges for his efforts to obtain information about the JonBenet case. The indictment accuses Lewis of offering $30,000 for a copy of the ransom note that Patsy Ramsey reported finding hours before her daughter was found dead.
J anuary 13, 2000: Grand jury prosecutor Michael Kane and famed criminalist Dr. Henry Lee will return to Colorado this month to confer with Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter on the JonBenet Ramsey case.
Sources close to the case say those meetings are slated for Jan. 26 and 27.
It will represent the first meeting among the three men since just before the Oct. 13 conclusion of the grand jury investigation into the 6-year-old's 1996 slaying.
January 28, 2000: Famed criminalist Henry Lee called the JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation a "warm case" Thursday.
But, after a half-day meeting with prosecutors, police and analysts Thursday, the 3-year-old murder case appeared no closer to being solved.
February 7, 2000: Ramsey deposition reveals turmoil
JonBenet's father talks about seeking slaying suspects, estrangement from his former friends. The deposition was part of a libel lawsuit filed by photographer Stephen Miles against the National Enquirer and Ramsey. The lawsuit accused Ramsey of leaking information to the tabloid as to who committed the murder.
February 27, 2000: A private therapist from San Luis Obispo, California said Friday that she stands behind her client who claims to have crucial information to help investigators of the death of JonBenet Ramsey.
Mary Bienkowski, a licensed marriage, family and child counselor, said her client gave police names of individuals who are witnesses in the killing of JonBenet as well as ongoing sexual and physical abuse of other children.
February 27, 2000: Perfect Murder, Perfect Town movie airs at 8 tonight.
February 28, 2000: Ramsey tipster painted as unreliable
California cops cite history of false reports; Boulder assigns 3 detectives to verify claims Sheriff's officials here say the woman claiming to have information critical to the JonBenet Ramsey murder case has a history of making false reports.
Among several alleged false claims, San Luis Obispo County sheriff's officials said investigators spent hundreds of hours looking into the woman's claim in 1991 that she had been raped, which an investigation never confirmed.
March 4, 2000: A Jefferson County judge Friday refused to disqualify the prosecutor from the case of a man indicted in the attempted sale of the JonBenet Ramsey ransom note.
Lawyers for former lawyer Thomas Miller wanted prosecutor Dennis Hall thrown off the case because he reported Miller for calling CBI agents "a bunch of f------ Nazis" and giving Hall the Nazi salute after court hearings in December.
March 6, 2000: Boulder police detectives will be in San Luis Obispo, Calif., Wednesday to interview the therapist of a woman who claims to have information possibly connected to the JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation.
Mary Bienkowski, a licensed family therapist, said detectives have scheduled to meet with her to discuss her client, a 37-year-old sexual assault victim who has been seeing Bienkowski for 10 years.
Bienkowski said she believes her client may have important information about widespread sex rings that involve the abuse of children and might provide a possible link to the Dec. 26, 1996, strangulation and beating death of JonBenet Ramsey.
She said she encouraged her client to take the information to Boulder police so it could be investigated.
Bienkowski has since become critical of the department and reluctant to cooperate with police.
March 17, 2000: Barbara Walter's Special on 20/20 aired. For the first time on television, actual police photographs of the crime scene was shown. The Ramseys' story%E2%80%A6 All the questions answered with no lawyers present%E2%80%A6 No holds barred...
March 17, 2000: The Ramseys release their book, "The Death of Innocence," about their daughter's death and launch a national media campaign to promote it.
March 2000: The Ramseys settle a $25 million lawsuit against the supermarket tabloid, Star, for stories linking JonBenet's death to Burke, who was 9 at the time of his sister's killing. Boulder police have said Burke is not a suspect.
March 9, 2000: Boulder DA announces retirement and makes statement
Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter, often criticized for his handling of the unsolved JonBenet Ramsey slaying, on Thursday announced he will not run again, saying he did everything he could with the evidence he had.
March 10, 2000: The first copies of John and Patsy Ramsey's book were placed under armed guard behind a barbed-wire fence because of concerns its contents would be leaked before sales begin March 17.
March 13, 2000: A veteran homicide detective, who believes an intruder killed JonBenet Ramsey, has broken his silence on the case.
In an interview with Newsweek that hits stands today, retired El Paso County sheriff's investigator Andrew "Lou" Smit outlined previously undisclosed evidence that led him to believe that John and Patsy Ramsey are not responsible for their daughter's death.
March 13, 2000: Wounds found on JonBenet Ramsey's face appear to match a particular type of stun gun, Arapahoe County's coroner said Monday.
Dr. Michael Doberson said he recently examined photos of injuries found on the chin and lower back of slain 6-year-old beauty queen and compared them to a Taser stun gun.
"It just looked to me, superficially, that it fits," Doberson said.
The two electrodes on the end of the stun gun were within a millimeter of the two injuries on the little girl's chin, Doberson said. He also noticed where a small metal bar on the weapon also could have left a mark.
It's the first time a medical authority has confirmed the possibility a stun gun was used on the girl who was found slain in her Boulder family home Dec. 26, 1996.
Prosecutors last year allegedly tried to stop detective Lou Smit from sharing with a grand jury his theory that an intruder killed JonBenet Ramsey.
March 15, 2000: Court documents unsealed Tuesday show Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter obtained a court order in February 1999 prohibiting Smit from testifying before the grand jury investigating the 6-year-old beauty princess's slaying.
March 16, 2000: Gov. Bill Owens isn't buying John and Patsy Ramsey's book or their claim of innocence.
"This book is obviously part of an orchestrated 'the Ramseys are innocent' campaign," Owens said Wednesday. "It's clear, I believe, what they are trying to do -- it's to remove the focus on them as suspects. I don't think it will work."
Owens commented after reading a section of the book in which the Ramseys accuse him of playing politics when he challenged them last fall to "quit hiding behind their attorneys" and return to Colorado to help investigators solve the murder of their daughter, JonBenet.
March 17, 2000: The Walters interview will airs first on the ABC newsmagazine 20/20. It is highly critical of Gov. Bill Owens.
March 20, 2000: Katie Couric begins interviews which will be broadcast in installments on NBC's Today show.
March 21, 2000: An Atlanta lawyer for John and Patsy Ramsey said Monday they have settled a libel lawsuit brought on their son's behalf against a supermarket weekly.
March 21, 2000: There is new evidence in the slaying of JonBenet Ramsey, Gov. Bill Owens said Monday, although that claim left Boulder law enforcement officials somewhat puzzled.
"There was substantial new evidence in October, and there's even some new evidence in the last couple of weeks," Owens said during an appearance on ABC's Good Morning America that produced a heated exchange between him and Barbara Walters.
March 25, 2000: The libel lawyer for John and Patsy Ramsey has begun collecting evidence that might lead to defamation suits against the couple's most vocal critics, including radio talk show host Peter Boyles and Gov. Bill Owens.
"There are so many targets to potentially pursue," attorney Lin Wood said Friday. "It would be an ideal world if they could sue everyone who defamed them. But we'll try to focus on a handful of major figures."
April 10, 2000: A former lead detective in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case says he believes the mother of the slain girl wrote the ransom note that was in the family home the day her daughter's body was found.
In an interview on ABC's Good Morning America, Steve Thomas, who resigned in protest of what he called the lack of aggressive prosecution of the case, said Patsy Ramsey wrote the note.
April 28, 2000: John and Patsy Ramsey went on national television to say they are willing to take a lie detector test, but the test must be given by someone selected by their lawyers.
Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner rejected the offer.
May 2, 2000: Police and prosecutors in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case reviewed hair and fiber analysis from FBI experts Tuesday in their first meeting since January.
Chief Mark Beckner and Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter would not discuss what they heard or assess what impact the latest analysis of forensic evidence in the December 1996 murder might have on the course of the investigation.
May 2, 2000: A candidate for Boulder District Attorney said Tuesday that he knows who killed JonBenet Ramsey, and he will seek an arrest in January if he's elected.
Attorney Ben Thompson, who is challenging prosecutors Trip DeMuth and Mary Keenan for the Democratic nomination for district attorney, said he knows evidence in the case and has a team of people %E2%80%94 including former Boulder detective Steve Thomas who wrote a book about the Ramsey case %E2%80%94 who would help him take a case to court next year.
May 3, 2000: FBI experts will conduct more tests on evidence for Boulder police investigating the JonBenet Ramsey murder case, authorities said Wednesday.
Police and prosecutors involved in the investigation of the 6-year-old's murder concluded a two-day meeting about the case by asking FBI analysts to do more examinations of some of the 1,200 pieces of evidence collected by police in the lengthy investigation, said Police Chief Mark Beckner.
May 8, 2000: The Ramseys file libel suits against the New York Post and Time Warner for $4 million each, saying they libeled the Ramseys' son, Burke, by portraying him as the prime suspect in his sister's murder. (Time Warner is the parent company of CNN.com)
May 11, 2000: The Ramseys file two multimillion-dollar lawsuits claiming a book and a supermarket tabloid falsely accused their son Burke of molesting and killing his sister. The suits were filed in Atlanta and Austin, Texas, against the Globe and Windsor House Publishing Group, the publishers of "A Little Girl's Dream? A JonBenet Ramsey Story."
May 15, 2000: Police said Monday they have found no evidence to support a California woman's theory that JonBenet Ramsey was killed by a child sex ring.
"We concluded there is no evidence to support her claims," said Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner. "We looked at her allegations to see if there was any connection at all to the Ramsey case, and we could not find any."
May 18, 2000: Supermarket weekly editor Craig Lewis and former Boulder attorney Thomas Miller have lost their bid to sidestep charges of commercial bribery and extortion by having the statutes declared unconstitutional.
Jefferson County District Judge Jane Tidball upheld the constitutionality of both statutes in a ruling.
John and Patsy Ramsey taped a segment on James Robison's program in the Tarrant County suburb of Euless that will air in mid-July, producers said.
May 22, 2000: Police have new questions for John and Patsy Ramsey in the investigation of their daughter's death, police Chief Mark Beckner disclosed Wednesday.
Beckner said additional questions have arisen since a Boulder grand jury concluded an inquiry in October 1999 without indicting a suspect.
May 22, 2000: The Ramseys announce at a news conference that the results of their lie detector tests say they were not involved in the death of their daughter JonBenet, and that neither knows who killed her. The tests were not administered by the FBI and therefore not acceptable to Boulder, Colorado, authorities.
May 30, 2000: The parents of JonBenet Ramsey discuss the death of the 6-year-old beauty queen and their religion on a Texas television evangelist's talk show to be aired later in the summer.
May 30, 2000: Patsy Ramsey challenged former Boulder Detective Steve Thomas to accuse her face-to-face on national television of killing JonBenet.
June 3, 2000: John and Patsy Ramsey have posted on their Internet site a psychic's composite sketch of a suspect in their daughter's strangulation.
The sketch is based on the work of the late psychic, Dorothy Allison. The Web site, www.ramseyfamily.com, asks: "Have you seen this man? This man may have been in the Boulder area in December 1996. ... We firmly believe that this most horrible of killers will be caught based on information provided by people who care about right and wrong. ... Please help, so another innocent child will not be a victim and another family will not suffer unbearable grief."
June 19, 2000: Private lie detector tests taken by John and Patsy Ramsey to prove their innocence in the death of their daughter, JonBenet, didn't sway public opinion in Colorado, a new poll shows.
Only one in eight Coloradans in the Colorado News Poll said they believed the results of the polygraph tests showing the parents were not involved in the December 1996 death of the 6-year-old in Boulder.
July 6, 2000: John and Patsy Ramsey are selling their recently renovated Atlanta home to help pay huge legal expenses, their attorney said on Thursday.
"They reached a point financially where they had to sell it," said Lin Wood, the Atlanta libel lawyer who represents the Ramseys now. They still owe money to their criminal defense attorneys, hired shortly after the battered body of their 6-year-old daughter, JonBenet, was found in the basement of their Boulder home on Dec. 26, 1996.
July 10, 2000: John and Patsy Ramsey have agreed to meet in Atlanta with Boulder detectives investigating the slaying of their daughter, their attorney said Monday.
Attorney Lin Wood said he suggested seven potential dates this week or next week for police detectives and prosecutors to meet separately with the Ramseys in his Atlanta office. He also said the family has not imposed any conditions on the interviews, except that Wood be present during them.
August 1, 2000: Police review evidence again in an unsolved 1997 sexual assault case to see if it might be connected to the 31/2-year-old slaying of JonBenet Ramsey.
Beckner said detectives in September 1997 compared evidence and circumstances surrounding the unsolved case to the December 1996 slaying of 6-year-old JonBenet, who was found dead in her parents' basement.
August 1, 2000: Fleet and Priscilla White file criminal libel suit.
August 10, 2000: The former housekeeper for JonBenet Ramsey's family filed a federal lawsuit Thursday seeking permission to use her secret grand jury testimony in a book.
The lawsuit contends a state secrecy rule violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech.
August 10, 2000: Several news organizations and journalists are targets of a Boulder police investigation into whether they criminally libeled Ramsey murder case witness Fleet White.
Denver lawyer Tom Kelley, a specialist in libel and other First Amendment issues, said Friday the criminal libel statute has never been used against a news organization or journalist.
August 28, 2000: John and Patsy Ramsey's lawyer nearly called an early end to the Boulder police interview of his clients Monday, angrily calling the questioning a "fishing expedition."
Ramsey attorney Lin Wood said the investigators made progress during a four-hour morning session when attorney Bruce Levin asked questions. But the interviews deteriorated after special prosecutor Michael Kane took over in the afternoon.
August 29, 2000: Police concluded two days of interviews Tuesday with John and Patsy Ramsey without all the information they'd sought during their first meeting with the couple in three years.
The Ramseys complimented Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner after finishing more than 10 hours of interviews in the Atlanta office of their attorney, Lin Wood.
August 30, 2000: Boulder's police chief accused the lawyer of John and Patsy Ramsey Wednesday of jeopardizing the investigation into the death of their daughter.
The Ramseys' libel lawyer Lin Wood released a 22-minute segment of videotaped interviews of the Ramseys to support his charge a special prosecutor was overzealous in his questioning.
August 30, 2000: Prosecutors will not ask a court to release any portion of testimony before a grand jury that investigated JonBenet Ramsey's murder last year.
Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter said Thursday that he and special prosecutor Mike Kane, who led the 13-month investigation that ended in October 1999, could not release any of the transcripts and would not ask a judge to do so.
January 9, 2001: When prosecutor Mary Keenan is sworn in as district attorney today, it will mark the end of Hunter's 28-year reign as the county's top prosecutor.
January 9, 2001: Parents still in Ramsey murder spotlight. None of Boulder County's unsolved homicides has received more attention than the Christmas-night 1996 slaying of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey .
After more than four years of expensive investigation %E2%80%94 along with myriad fights between police and prosecutors, police resignations and civil suits %E2%80%94 not much has changed.
February 16, 2001: A series of behind-the-scenes controversies that marked the first two years of the JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation will unfold publicly in May when a former Boulder detective's lawsuit against her former bosses goes to trial in federal court.
Linda Arndt %E2%80%94 the first detective on the scene of the Dec. 26, 1996, slaying %E2%80%94 filed the suit against current Boulder police Chief Mark Beckner, former Chief Tom Koby and the city of Boulder in 1998. She resigned from the force in 1999.
February 20, 2001: The Ramseys' lawyer reports that John Ramsey surprised a burglar in his Atlanta home and fought with the man before the intruder fled.
March 15, 2001: An order was issued, demanding the district attorney's office hand over all documents connected with the murder to the paper %E2%80%94 including those from the grand jury %E2%80%94 by Monday.
The order is on hold until a judge rules on the district attorney's motion.
March 17, 2001: While law enforcement agencies increasingly utilize the Internet to help solve murders by putting up Web pages detailing unsolved cases, the general public is already there.
The True Crime magazines and pulp-fiction crime stories have gone the way of rotary phones and typewriters, but amateur sleuths have more than made up for their absence.
Internet sites dedicated to the discussion and solution of murder cases have given anyone with a modem a shot at solving America's high-profile homicides.
March 20, 2001: A lawyer representing a former housekeeper for JonBenet Ramsey 's family says a federal judge's ruling means he can question former Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter, Gov. Bill Owens and other officials.
The statement by attorney Darnay Hoffman came after U.S. District Court Judge Wiley Y. Daniel refused to throw out a lawsuit Hoffman filed for client Linda Hoffmann-Pugh, claiming her civil rights are being violated because state law blocks her from using her grand jury testimony in a book.
Hoffman said the decision would allow the depositions of Hunter, Owens, current Boulder District Attorney Mary Keenan and Michael Kane, who headed the grand jury investigation into JonBenet's death.
March 30, 2001: The Boulder County district attorney asked a federal judge on Thursday to stop the New York Post from seeing stacks of documents from the JonBenet Ramsey investigation.
The newspaper is seeking all documents associated with the 6-year-old's 1996 slaying in Boulder, including those from the grand jury, which disbanded without indicting anyone in the case.
Last May, John and Patsy Ramsey filed a $4 million libel suit against the Post, claiming it falsely alleged that their son, Burke Ramsey , killed JonBenet, that he was the prime suspect in her killing and that his representatives were %E2%80%9Cin secret plea bargain negotiations%E2%80%9D with the prosecutor.
Post Publisher Ken Chandler has said the Ramseys ' case was frivolous.
The subpoena, issued March 15, orders the district attorney's office to hand the documents over on April 2.
April 21, 2001: Former Ramsey family friend Fleet R. White, Jr. is attempting to revive a now-dormant investigation in which he is seeking criminal charges against journalists who last year wrote stories mentioning him in the JonBenet Ramsey slaying.
White, who was with John Ramsey when he discovered his 6-year-old daughter's body in the family's basement, also hopes to convince Attorney General Ken Salazar to launch a grand jury investigation into allegations that media members criminally libeled him in stories spurred by a California woman's claim she was sexually assaulted as a child.
April 27, 2001: A former investigator for the district attorney's office says he plans to release crime scene photos of the JonBenet Ramsey investigation next week over the objections of the district attorney.
Retired Colorado Springs Detective Lou Smit says the information, some of which has never been released, points to the strong likelihood that an intruder, and not 6-year-old JonBenet's parents, killed the girl in 1996. The parents remain under police suspicion.
May 1, 2001: A retired investigator who was involved in the JonBenet Ramsey case presented photos on national television Monday that he says support a theory that an intruder killed the 6-year-old.
The photos, including a picture of a white cord wrapped around the child's wrist, were shown on NBC's %E2%80%9CToday%E2%80%9D show by retired homicide Detective Lou Smit, who initiated the intruder theory.
A former investigator said Tuesday police ignored evidence that a stun gun may have been used on JonBenet Ramsey because it didn't fit their theory that her parents killed her.
May 2, 2001: Lou Smit, a retired homicide detective, appeared on NBC's %E2%80%9CToday%E2%80%9D show as part of a weeklong series on the death of 6-year-old JonBenet, found beaten and strangled in the basement of her Boulder home on Dec. 26, 1996.
%E2%80%9CToday%E2%80%9D aired autopsy photos provided by Smit showing red marks on JonBenet's face and back he believes were caused by a stun gun.
JonBenet Ramsey 's killer acted out a sexual fantasy that included tying the girl up to give the appearance of bondage, a retired investigator said on NBC's %E2%80%9CToday%E2%80%9D show Wednesday.
May 3, 2001: Lou Smit, who worked on the case, also said unidentified DNA under JonBenet's fingernails and on her underpants point to an intruder as the culprit, not her parents.
%E2%80%9CToday%E2%80%9D is airing parts of an interview with Smit over five days this week. The Colorado Springs man was coaxed out of retirement by former District Attorney Alex Hunter to help investigate the Dec. 26, 1996, death of 6-year-old JonBenet.
May 4, 2001: Nearly four years ago, former Boulder County prosecutor Trip DeMuth and sheriff's Detective Steve Ainsworth were the subject of a state investigation for allegedly stealing information from a %E2%80%9Cwar room%E2%80%9D computer regarding the JonBenet Ramsey murder.
This week, DeMuth and Ainsworth appeared on NBC's %E2%80%9CToday%E2%80%9D show with investigator Lou Smit, who is advocating that an intruder beat and strangled 6-year-old JonBenet on Dec. 26, 1996.
May 14, 2001: The first detective on the scene at the home of JonBenet Ramsey says in an affidavit that she feared for her life and believed a friend of Patsy Ramsey was stalking her, The Boulder Daily Camera reported Sunday.
Linda Arndt, in papers filed in U.S. District Court in a lawsuit against the Boulder Police Department, also said she had kept some of her case notes after resigning because she feared the department would lose them.
The claims were made in affidavits filed last week in Denver U.S. District Court. Arndt also said former Police Chief Tom Koby told her that he believed Patsy Ramsey was responsible for the death of JonBenet. Arndt is quoted in the affidavit as saying the evidence points to John Ramsey as being responsible.
May 15, 2001: The first detective on the scene of the JonBenet Ramsey murder has said she determined John Ramsey had killed his daughter only seconds after he found the child's body but admitted she had no evidence to support her opinion.
Former Boulder Detective Linda Arndt made the revelation in a deposition for her lawsuit against the Boulder Police Department, which now appears ready to go to trial on May 29.
U.S. District Judge William Downes on Monday denied a motion by Boulder's attorneys to dismiss the case, but dismissed the part of the suit that claims the department violated Colorado law.
May 31, 2001: John and Patsy Ramsey asked Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar to intervene in the investigation of their daughter's slaying and appoint outside investigators to look into evidence that could indicate she was killed by an intruder.
If he refuses, they said they want Boulder police and the district attorney's office to publicly state there is not enough evidence to charge them now in the death of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey .
June 6, 2001: A Boulder police detective testified that she lost $200,000 in wages and couldn't find other work because her supervisors wouldn't dispute allegations that she bungled the investigation of JonBenet Ramsey's death. Linda Arndt, 40, told a federal jury that she was forced to tap her retirement account after resigning from the Boulder Police Department in April 1999. She said she unsuccessfully pursued more than 30 jobs before finally accepting a tree-trimming job in Boulder.
J une 11, 2001: The ongoing civil trial of former police Detective Linda Arndt versus the city of Boulder could severely damage any future criminal prosecution in the homicide of JonBenet Ramsey, legal experts agree. Arndt is suing the city, former police Chief Tom Koby and current Chief Mark Beckner in federal court, claiming violation of her First Amendment rights. She claims Koby and Beckner prevented her from defending herself against negative news-media reports of her handling of the Ramsey case.
June 12, 2001: A judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by a former Boulder police detective who said her bosses unfairly blamed her for mistakes in the JonBenet Ramsey investigation. U.S. District Judge William Downes ruled Tuesday, after two weeks of testimony, that Linda Arndt failed to prove the chiefs violated her First Amendment rights by preventing her from commenting on allegations that she bungled the investigation. Arndt, 40, was the first detective to arrive at the Ramsey home on Dec.
Attorneys for a lawyer accused of bribery for trying to buy the JonBenet Ramsey ransom note said Tuesday he was charged only because attorneys for JonBenet's parents pressured the district attorney in an attempt to destroy his credibility.
June 13, 2001: Attorneys for Thomas Miller said during opening statements in his Jefferson County District Court trial that John and Patsy Ramsey want to discredit Miller, a certified handwriting analyst, because he had concluded publicly that Patsy Ramsey wrote the note and could be called to testify if either Ramsey is ever charged.
June 17, 2001: The parents of JonBenet Ramsey are suing Court TV for $70 million, claiming that the cable network falsely named their son Burke as a prime suspect in his sister's murder. John and Patsy Ramsey contend in the lawsuit filed Friday that 12-year-old Burke Ramsey was defamed by a Court TV program and a related Web site that named him and his parents as the focus of the police investigation of JonBenet's slaying.
J uly 5, 2001: No indictments were ever issued in the Boulder, Colo., grand jury proceedings that ended in 1999 and neither was any report ever issued, meaning under Colorado rules that grand jury witnesses had to keep their testimony secret indefinitely. Linda Hoffmann-Pugh, who wants to write a book about her experience working for John and Patsy Ramsey when they lived in Colorado, sued Boulder's current district attorney, Mary Keenan, arguing the state's strict secrecy rule for grand juries was unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Wiley Daniel agreed, ruling that Hoffmann-Pugh could repeat what she testified before the grand jury in 1999.
July 28, 2001: The Boulder County District Attorney's Office is fighting a subpoena from the New York Post seeking access to reams of documents from the JonBenet Ramsey investigation.
U.S. District Judge Walker D. Miller heard arguments Friday about whether the district attorney's office should turn over files associated with the 6-year-old's 1996 slaying. He asked the sides to come up with proposals on how a review of the documents could be limited.
The district attorney's office said the request is too broad and would force the agency to conduct a burdensome review of tens of thousands of documents, some of which contain information privileged because of the ongoing investigation into the unsolved slaying.
%E2%80%9CThey are seeking to go through every single record in the JonBenet investigation and decide on their own what they need,%E2%80%9D said Andrew Macdonald, representing the district attorney. %E2%80%9CWe can't just allow them to come in with a copy machine and start sorting through the files.%E2%80%9D
The newspaper said it needs to review the documents to defend against a defamation lawsuit John and Patsy Ramsey filed over a Post article linking their son, Burke, to his sister's death.
August 17, 2001: Police investigating the murder of child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey are having DNA tests conducted on an item submitted by an Internet tipster, a new lead in the nearly five-year-old case, officials said on Friday. "We did receive a tip, a piece of information we thought worth testing," said Boulder Police Department spokeswoman Jana Petersen. She declined to identify the item that has been turned over to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for tests. The body of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey was found in the basement of the family's home in Boulder, Colorado, in December 1996.
August 31, 2001: It is reported that Patsy Ramsey has challenged the Boulder police to file charges against her if they think they can prove that she killed her daughter.
September 2, 2001: Former police Detective Steve Thomas has been ordered to give a deposition in a defamation lawsuit filed by a former reporter named as a possible suspect by the parents of JonBenet Ramsey .
At issue is a book written by John and Patsy Ramsey which named former housekeeper Linda Hoffmann-Pugh and Boulder-area journalist Chris Wolf as suspects in the slaying.
Thomas argued he should not be forced to give a deposition in the Wolf case because of a separate lawsuit filed against him by the Ramseys . Atlanta U.S. District Judge Julie Carnes on Friday disagreed.
Thomas must submit to examination under oath, prior to the end of September.
September 9, 2001: Colorado investigators are seeking the identity of an America Online subscriber who posted a message on an Internet bulletin board saying he witnessed the 1996 slaying of 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey. Boulder Police Detective Thomas Trujillo asked Loudoun County investigators to file a search warrant in Loudoun Circuit Court asking AOL for the subscriber's name, other screen names, e-mail files, buddy lists and aliases. According to the affidavit for the warrant, Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner received an e-mail on Aug. 8 from an AOL user saying that a "confession" had been posted on a Web site devoted to JonBenet.
December 6, 2001: Ramseys To Testify in $50 Million Lawsuit.
December 13, 2001: A lawyer who had up to seven hours to question the mother of JonBenet Ramsey under oath accomplished little while taking a deposition, Patsy Ramsey 's attorney said.
Darnay Hoffman, who is representing former Boulder reporter Chris Wolf in a civil libel lawsuit, questioned Ramsey for about three hours Tuesday in the offices of her Atlanta lawyer, L. Lin Wood.
December 19, 2001: Retired cop continues seeking justice for JonBenet, keeps adding to his library of leads. Nobody's paying him now, not even the Ramseys, he said. He works only for JonBenet. He keeps her picture in his home office. "My work," he said, explaining his passion, "is my hobby."
December 22, 2001: It's one of the biggest murder mysteries in the annals of American crime, and after almost five years of fruitless investigation there is still no answer to "Who killed JonBenet?" Despite spending $1.7 million and interviewing 650 people, Boulder, Colorado police are still unable to solve the crime and charge anyone with the slaying of six-year-old child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey on December 26, 1996. Police have said the girl's wealthy parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, are under an "umbrella of suspicion.
February 16, 2002: Recurrance of Cancer Found in Patsy Ramsey.
March 20, 2002: An ex-detective who wrote a book accusing John and Patsy Ramsey of killing their daughter will pay the couple an undisclosed sum to settle their $80 million libel lawsuit. Former police detective Steve Thomas, co-author Don Davis and publisher St. Martin's Press are participating in the settlement, Ramsey attorney L. Lin Wood said Tuesday. He would not say how the three will divide the payment.
July 4, 2002: Former Ramsey family friend Fleet White Jr. and his wife, Priscilla, have filed a lawsuit in district court asking a judge to order the Boulder Police Department to turn over numerous documents related to the JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation.
White, who was with John Ramsey when he discovered his 6-year-old daughter's body in the family's basement in December 1996, is seeking documents pertaining to a California woman's claim she was sexually assaulted as a child, according to the lawsuit.
%E2%80%9CDuring the (California woman's) investigation, plaintiffs learned that (the woman) had falsely reported to the Boulder police that she had been a victim of serious and violent crimes committed by members of plaintiffs' family including plaintiff Fleet Russell White Jr.,%E2%80%9D the lawsuit states.
August 23, 2002: L. Lin Wood, the Ramseys' attorney, tells the Rocky Mountain News that Mrs. Ramsey is making progress in her treatment for a recurrence of cancer, diagnosed Feb. 12.
August 24, 2002: Investigators have concluded that both a palm print and a footprint found in the home of JonBenet Ramsey were actually made by family members, not an intruder as some have suggested, the Rocky Mountain News reported Friday. Investigators believe the prints found in the basement of the home were not related to the unsolved killing of the 6-year-old beauty queen, whose body was found Dec. 26, 1996. Investigators have known the answers for some time, the newspaper reported.
September 7, 2002: The Santa Claus figure in the JonBen%C3%A9t Ramsey murder case died over the weekend from a heart attack.
Bill McReynolds was found dead in his Mashpee, Mass., home Monday by his wife, Janet, when she returned from a weekend trip. He was 72.
McReynolds, a former University of Colorado journalism professor, portrayed Santa Claus at the Ramseys' home for the third consecutive year in 1996 %E2%80%94 two nights before the 6-year-old was found slain.
September 14, 2002: A district judge will consider a request by two former friends of JonBenet Ramsey's family for access to some of the police files kept in the investigation into the girl's 1996 slaying.
Fleet White Jr. and his wife, Priscilla, have asked officials to turn over files involving a California woman's claims that the Whites were part of a child sex abuse ring that contributed to JonBenet's death. Police have said there is no evidence to support the woman's theory.
Boulder District Judge Lael Montgomery told the couple at a hearing Thursday that she will rule on the request.
September 25, 2002: The former Boulder police detective who was first on the scene when the body of JonBenet Ramsey was discovered should be allowed to rebut allegations that she botched portions of the investigation, her lawyers told a federal appeals court Tuesday.
A federal judge in June 2001 dismissed a lawsuit filed by Linda Arndt, who claimed that her supervisors in the Boulder Police Department used her as a scapegoat and then refused to allow her to hold a news conference to defend herself.
A lawyer representing the city of Boulder told a three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that Arndt's desire to defend her reputation could jeopardize the investigation into the unsolved slaying, and therefore she does not enjoy free-speech protections under the First Amendment.
September 27, 2002: A district judge ruled Thursday that she will review a portion of the JonBenet Ramsey investigation files to determine if any of it should be seen by a Boulder couple who claim they were unfairly linked to the 6-year-old girl's death.
%E2%80%9CThe Court is not persuaded that the public's interest would be served in any fashion by preventing these people access to the now-discredited accusations which had been leveled against them in such an extraordinarily public way,%E2%80%9D District Judge Lael Montgomery wrote in her ruling.
Earlier this month, former Ramsey family friend Fleet White Jr. asked Montgomery to order Boulder police to give him investigative records from the murder case detailing accusations that he was involved in a child-sex ring and may have had a part in JonBenet's death.
October 4, 2002: More than a year after the murder of JonBenet Ramsey, an investigator suggested to her mother that physical evidence linked her to the slaying, according to a videotaped police interview.
The interview, shown on CBS "48 Hours", is used in a segment called "Searching for a Killer."
It was not clear who made the video available to the network. Boulder police insist they did not.
October 17, 2002: A former newspaper tabloid writer has filed a libel lawsuit against the publisher and author of the JonBenet Ramsey book %E2%80%9CPerfect Murder, Perfect Town.%E2%80%9D
The book by Lawrence Schiller was published by Harper Collins Publishers Inc. in February 1999 in hardcover and in November 1999 in paperback.
Jeffrey Shapiro, 29, who wrote about JonBenet's death for the Globe, filed his lawsuit last week in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque, N.M., where the statute of limitations is less restrictive.
The lawsuit alleges that %E2%80%9CPerfect Murder, Perfect Town%E2%80%9D contains a libelous statement regarding a plot by Globe editors to try to extort information on the case from former Boulder detective Steve Thomas.
October 24, 2002: The Boulder County District Attorney's Office filed a motion earlier this week to have a special prosecutor once again look into accusations that media outlets committed criminal libel in a series of stories related to the JonBenet Ramsey murder.
The claims come from Fleet and Priscilla White, who contend that the Boulder Daily Camera implicated Fleet White as having a part in JonBenet's death by reporting on claims made by a California woman. The White's also claim that other media outlets might have committed libel by following up on the stories.
November 21, 2002: For the first time in six years, a portion of the Boulder Police Department's JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation file is being made available to the public.
However, police have deemed the details in the 285-page file %E2%80%94 which is at the center of a criminal libel complaint by a former friend of the Ramseys who claims the records unfairly link him to the 6-year-old's murder %E2%80%94 not credible.
Before making the records public, Judge Lael Montgomery already had allowed the Boulder man, Fleet White Jr., access to the file despite the Boulder Police Department's objections.
November 29, 2002: A confidant of John and Patsy Ramsey said she sold handwriting samples and interrogation transcripts from their daughter's murder investigation to a supermarket tabloid for $40,000.
Susan ***, 51, of Hickory, N.C., told the Rocky Mountain News she sold the material to the National Enquirer because she believed that its publication would prove the Ramseys ' innocence.
It was used in the tabloid's Dec. 3 edition in a 31-page story headlined: %E2%80%9CJonBenet Secret Video Evidence: New Clues Expose Mom & Dad!,%E2%80%9D on newsstands today.
Ramsey attorney L. Lin Wood said the couple feels betrayed that a friend would sell information. Wood said tabloids have cast suspicion on the parents throughout the six years of reporting on the unsolved case.
December 6, 2002: A newly released court document shows a DNA sample was discovered nearly two years after JonBenet Ramsey's slaying. The document, released this week, is a 192-page transcript of Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner's deposition in a civil case involving the 6-year-old girl's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey. JonBenet Ramsey The sample was discovered sometime after September 1998, when a Boulder County grand jury convened to investigate the December 1996 slaying. It is unclear where the DNA was discovered, but Beckner said it did not come from JonBenet's body or clothing, where previously disclosed DNA was found.
December 22, 2002: Boulder District Attorney Mary Keenan voiced strong concerns about whether she could restore credibility to her office in the days before she finally took control of the JonBent Ramsey murder investigation on Friday, The Denver Post has learned.
December 23, 2002: Boulder District Attorney Mary Keenan said that her office's investigation will be conducted without police help for the first time and will follow leads not previously investigated. John and Patsy Ramsey have requested a new direction since the body of JonBenet, 6, was found strangled and beaten in the family basement Dec. 26, 1996. A key factor in the decision to reopen the investigation was Miss Keenan's "belief that the Boulder Police Department has done an exhaustive and thorough investigation of this case.
December 26, 2002: New lawsuits. New investigators. New spins.
In the case that never ends, there is only one thing still certain about the JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation %E2%80%94 her killer is still free.
Six years after the news about the death of the 6-year-old started spilling into the nation's consciousness, the Boulder Police Department is calling it quits and handing the investigation over to District Attorney Mary Keenan.
%E2%80%9CWe are not going to have anybody working on the case other than tying up loose ends,%E2%80%9D Chief Mark Beckner said Monday. the Ramseys as potential suspects," Miss Keena