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People Top 5
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- July 28, 2008
- Vol. 70
- No. 4
JonBenét Ramsey Case No Longer Suspects
After 12 Years New DNA Evidence Leads the Boulder D.A. to Apologize to the Ramseys
But on July 9, Boulder D.A. Mary Lacy announced that at long last there was enough evidence to clear both John, 64, and Patsy (who died of ovarian cancer in 2006). Lacy announced that using a technique called "touch DNA" analysis—in which invisible deposits of genetic material are recovered from surfaces—scientists had found samples on the waist area of the long johns that JonBenét was wearing when she was killed and that the samples did not match anyone in the Ramsey household. The samples did, however, match genetic material that was mingled with a drop of JonBenét's blood that had earlier been found on her underwear, leading Lacy to conclude that the new DNA belonged to the killer. "It is the responsibility of every prosecutor to seek justice," said Lacy, who apologized to the Ramseys for what she called the "ongoing living hell" they had endured.
Some experts questioned the decision to clear the Ramseys, cautioning that it's possible that the recovered DNA could have come from someone other than the killer. Still, John Ramsey told Denver TV station KUSA he was "grateful" for the news and hoped that eventually the killer could be found by matching the DNA with the growing number of samples taken from convicted felons around the country. "Conviction is still not a certainty," says Denver criminal-defense attorney Scott Robinson, "but with what they have, it's going to be awfully hard for even a clever defense attorney to explain away."
- Vickie Bane/Denver.
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