This Christmas will mark 20 years since the murder of JonBenét Ramsey, and as the case has long gone unsolved, the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of the 6-year-old child beauty queen continues to garner widespread public interest. JonBenét's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, once were at the center of that interest, as officials previously believed the parents were partially or fully responsible for JonBenét's death. But former Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter refused to pursue charges against the parents, even after a Colorado grand jury recommended to indict them for the murder.
Despite remaining unsolved, the case has focused on numerous suspects throughout the years, as well as a false confession. The mysterious circumstances surrounding JonBenét's death and the discovery of the body — John found his daughter in their home's basement, with a garrote wrapped around her neck — originally led investigators to look almost exclusively at the parents and JonBenét's brother, Burke.
In 1999, a Colorado grand jury voted to indict John and Patsy on two counts each of child abuse resulting in the murder of their daughter. Although the Ramseys were not implicated in her death directly, the grand jury accused them of placing JonBenét in a dangerous situation that ultimately led to her death, as well as aiding the unknown murderer. Former Boulder County DA Hunter, however, refused to sign off on the indictment.
Despite retiring from his position as DA in 2000, Hunter again made headlines in 2013 when the Boulder Daily Camera reported that he had failed to indict the Ramseys in 1999. Hunter claimed that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute them. And evidently, it was a good thing that he chose to not charge them.
Both John and Patsy denied any involvement in the murder of their daughter, and in 2008, new DNA evidence exonerated all members of the Ramsey family. With a false confession already dogging the case, indicting the Ramseys would have only slowed down the process further.
And though the case has continued to fascinate the American public, it appears as though Hunter has largely stayed out of the limelight since retiring in 2000. None of the upcoming television specials on the murder mention him as a guest.
Despite all of the media attention, however, Hunter told The Denver Post that he did not regret his tenure as district attorney. Upon his retirement, he told the publication "It's been a good life."