As we get closer to the 20-year anniversary of the tragic murder of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey — and the much-anticipated CBS docuseries, Lifetime movie, and A&E documentary — it's a good time for a refresher on some of the people involved in the infamous case. Those who have followed the case or read about it may recall that neighbor Fleet White Jr. was helping John Ramsey search the basement of the house when Ramsey found his daughter's dead body. The case followed him for years after the fact — all the way up until 2014.
Since the initial trial, White and his wife Priscilla have been cleared as suspects from the case three times, the last instance taking place in 2014, according to Boulder, Colorado's Daily Camera. At the time of their third exoneration, Boulder Chief of Police Mark Breckner released a statement regarding the Whites and the decision:
Since December 26, 1996, the homicide of JonBenet Ramsey has been the subject of widespread news reports and speculation by the media. A great deal of that reporting and speculation targeted innocent community members whose only connection to the crime was as cooperating witnesses. This includes the Fleet White, Jr. family of Boulder who suffered embarrassment and damage to their reputations. The Boulder Police Department recognizes the suffering the Whites have endured as a result of the accusations made against the White family during the course of the investigation. The Boulder Police Department investigators have always considered the White family to only be witnesses in this case.
As reported by the Daily Camera, the first time the Whites were announced as mere witnesses was in April 1997. The Boulder police chief at that time, Tom Koby, released a statement saying:
[The Whites] are considered key witnesses. The Boulder Police Department appreciates the full cooperation they have received from the Whites since the beginning of their investigation I feel this response is necessary due to the inaccurate portrayal of Mr. and Mrs. White in certain media publications.
The Whites were later declared cleared from the crime for the second time in 2008, by Mary Lacy, who then was District Attorney. Via the Daily Camera, Lacy wrote a letter to the Whites that stated "I am willing to reaffirm that you are not suspects in the murder of JonBenet Ramsey."
Over the past couple of years, the media has left White and his wife alone. Given the long history of the case though, and the complicated relationships of those involved, it will be interesting to see if he and his family are mentioned in the upcoming portrayals of the case.