The case of the murdered beauty queen has gone cold, but the questions continue

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated December 17, 2004 08:00 AM

This Christmas will mark the eighth anniversary of the death of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey in her parents’ Boulder, Colo., home, in a case that captured the nation’s curiosity and has yet to be solved.

And the story is far from over. On Saturday, CBS’s 48 Hourswill focus a report on Colorado University at Boulder professor Michael Tracey, who’s tracked the case for two years and believes that, even though some trails may have gone cold and the public may have lost interest, JonBenet’s story is still worth pursuing.

“There were a number of really interesting suspects who were never investigated,” Tracey tells the Colorado Daily newspaper. “There were two known pedophiles living on 15th Street at the time of the murder that were never interviewed.”

In particular, he thinks investigators should take a hard look at forensic evidence pointing to a key suspect: Boulder 1997 suicide victim Michael Helgoth.

“There was also a really interesting assault with a girl in September ’97 that was never properly investigated with some remarkable similarities to JonBenet,” says Tracey. “The father makes a very, very powerful indictment in the way in which he was treated and the way in which the assault on his daughter was never investigated.”

Tracey said these issues were never investigated properly because the Boulder police and the District Attorney’s office paid too much time looking at the murdered mini-beauty queen’s parents, John and Patsy Ramsey. Tracey considers the treatment of the Ramseys by authorities (and by public opinion) to have been unfair.

The Ramseys have a case pending in Denver federal court, in which they have sued FOX News for defamation over a report that linked them to their daughter’s murder.

Boulder Police spokeswoman Julie Brooks tells the Daily that the case is no longer under the jurisdiction of her department, adding: “We don’t comment on (the Ramsey case) anymore.”