Tags: jonBenet pamsey | death | scene | mishandled | police | chief

JonBenet Ramsey Death Scene Mishandled, Says Police Chief

Image: JonBenet Ramsey Death Scene Mishandled, Says Police Chief
Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner holds off questions from a reporter during a press confrence regarding the Jon Benet Ramsey murder case at the Justice Center in Boulder, October 14, 1999. (Reuters/Landov, file)

By    |   Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 07:40 AM

The former police chief who led the investigation into the high-profile 1996 slaying of 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey has acknowledged that officers botched the initial handling of the crime scene.

Mark Beckner, former chief of the Boulder Police Department, participated Saturday in an "Ask Me Anything" session on the social-networking and news site Reddit, reported The Associated Press. He told the Daily Camera on Tuesday that he didn't realize his comments would filter out to the rest of the world.

"I talked to the organizer, and my impression was that this was a members-only type group that talked about unsolved mysteries all around the world," said Beckner, 59.

JonBenet Ramsey was found dead in the basement of her family's home on Dec. 26, 1996, after her mother, Patsy Ramsey, called 911 to say her daughter was missing and a ransom note had been found.

In the Reddit forum, Beckner said police should have separated JonBenet's parents and gotten full statements from Patsy and John Ramsey that day. The case was initially mishandled due to a "perfect storm type scenario," he wrote.

"It was the Christmas holiday and we were short staffed, we faced a situation as I said earlier that no one in the country had ever seen before or since, and there was confusion at the scene as people were arriving before we had enough personnel on the scene," he wrote online.

No one has been prosecuted in the case. Court documents released in 2013 show a grand jury recommended indictments against the Ramseys, contrary to the long-held perception that the secret panel ended their work in 1999 without deciding to charge anyone.

At the time, then-District Attorney Alex Hunter didn't mention an indictment, saying only that there wasn't enough evidence to warrant charges against the Ramseys, who had long maintained their innocence.

In 2008 — two years after Patsy died — former District Attorney Mary Lacy cleared the Ramseys of any role in their daughter's death, based on DNA evidence that pointed to the involvement of a third party.

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The former police chief who led the investigation into the high-profile 1996 slaying of 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey has acknowledged that officers botched the initial handling of the crime scene.
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Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 07:40 AM
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