Today is the release date for the latest book on the JonBenet Ramsey case. Written by former El Paso County Sheriff John W. Anderson, the book, LOU AND JONBENET: A Legendary Lawman’s Quest to Solve A Child Beauty Queen’s Murder, the book explains the continuing efforts on the case started by legendary police detective and Colorado private investigator Lou Smit. Smit was asked to come out of retirement to help investigate JonBenet’s December 26th 1996 murder by then Boulder District Alex Hunter in March of 1997. Smit passed away in 2010 at age 75, before he was able to conclusively identify the killer.
Media swarmed on the story of the murder of the 6-year-old child beauty queen of well-to-do parents as soon as it was discovered. Media attention and publicity on the case didn’t let up in the months and years that followed. Book releases such as this one help keep the case in the public eye even more than 25 years later. The case remains unsolved today.
While Boulder Police seem focused on JonBenet’s parents as suspects from the get go, Smit said evidence indicated the murderer was likely an intruder. He worked on the case from March 1997 through September 1998, according to this timeline of the case on Denver’s Channel 7. In his resignation letter, Smit said, “the Ramseys did not do it” and cited “substantial, credible evidence of an intruder,” according to Smit’s Wikipedia entry.
Book says crucial evidence withheld from DA
A summary of the book available on Amazon says this:
“Smit resigned but continued to work on his own time, and at his own expense, determined to find justice for JonBenet.” It goes on to describe author Anderson as “the detective’s lifelong friend and colleague,” and that he continues to “pursue justice based on Smit’s work,” along with a handful of other retired detectives.
The key claim of the book is that crucial DNA evidence found at the scene and under the girl’s fingernails exonerate the Ramseys from any involvement. The DNA evidence was hidden by Boulder Police, according to this recent interview with the author and not provided to the Boulder DA’s office until July 1997.
“Now, for the first time in LOU AND JONBENET, Anderson tells the story of Smit’s investigation and why the Smit family team now believes that the killer can be identified,” according to the book’s Amazon page.
While this blogger has not yet had a chance to read the book, two reviews from today on Amazon both gave it five stars.
“After reading this book, I wonder who performed the psych evals on certain individuals at the Boulder PD, because the lack of honesty and integrity displayed in this book by leadership at that PD is astonishing, has chronicity over time and also involves multiple people in authority,” said one review. Another added that while at first there was disappointment related to an expectation that book would be more about what happened to JonBenet, it was still “a very good read.”
A legendary detective and private investigator’s legacy
According to Smit’s obituary, he solved several high-profile criminal cases in Colorado, including the 1975 rape and murder of Karen Elisa Grammar (sister of actor Kelsey Grammar) and the slaying of 13-year-old Heather Dawn Church, who was abducted from her El Paso County home in 1991.
Let’s hope this newfound attention on the case somehow helps find justice for JonBenet and her family.