A Det. On The Ramsey Case Speaks, 20 Years Later
Nearly 20 years have passed since 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey was killed in her family's Colorado home. The circumstances of the case — including the girl's entry into several child beauty pageants and the scrutiny that her family faced in the aftermath — brought tabloid press and amateur detectives running. Two decades after her death, JonBenét Ramsey's murder remains unsolved. The media is marking this sad anniversary with several new specials about the case. The Killing Of JonBenét: The Truth Uncovered aired on A&E on Labor Day. CBS is prepping a docu-series for this fall. And this Friday, Dateline NBC: Who Killed JonBenét will premiere. According to Deadline, the Dateline special includes an interview with Jane Harmer, who had a big role in the case. Bustle reached out to Harmer for further comment on her role and has not yet received a response.
Jane Harmer was a detective in the Boulder Police Department at the time that JonBenét Ramsey died. Per the Deadline article, Harmer no longer is employed there. However, her name appears in several articles chronicling movement in the investigation. According to CNN, in March 1997, Harmer was the detective who conducted the second police search of the Ramseys' summer home in Charlevoix, Michigan. In August 1997, The Denver Post reported on the details released to the public about the murder weapon, a homemade garrote. The article also states that several Boulder investigators were set to take a trip to the FBI's headquarters in Quantico, Virginia to collaborate with federal agents on the case. Detective Jane Harmer was included in that caravan.
According to Deadline, Jane Harmer will address the investigation into JonBenét's parents following her death in the Dateline special. JonBenét's mother, Patsy, passed away in 2006 of ovarian cancer, but maintained her innocence until her death. JonBenét's father, John, has also maintained his innocence and in 2008, both were officially cleared of any involvement in their daughter's death by DNA evidence. Though they were never charged with killing their daughter, in 1999, a grand jury voted to indict John and Patsy for two counts of "alleged child abuse resulting in death," as reported by the Denver Post. However, then-District Attorney Alex Hunter did not pursue the charges. The Ramseys' attorney, Lin Wood, called the indictments "non-sensical" when they were made public, according to CNN, and said, "They reveal nothing about the evidence reviewed by the grand jury and are clearly the result of a confused and compromised process."
In the Dateline special, Harmer says about the indictment, "I think that the grand jurors heard the evidence and came up with that conclusion and I would agree with their conclusion." But according to Deadline, Harmer will also explain why she agreed with both the indictment and Hunter not charging the Ramseys in the special.
This Dateline appearance will mark the first televised interview Harmer has ever given. Several other investigators have commented publicly on the case on news programs and elsewhere. Former detective Steve Thomas even wrote a book about the murder, JonBenét: Inside the Ramsey Murder Investigation, while former Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner did a Reddit AMA (though it was later deleted because, as Beckner told the Daily Camera, he didn't know his comments would be public).
When Dateline NBC: Who Killed JonBenét premieres on Sep. 9 at 9 p.m. ET, Harmer will be able to share her perspective with the public too.