In a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” this week, former Boulder police chief, Mark Beckner, answered a few questions from Redditors on the subject of the JonBenet Ramsey investigation. While he did not become deeply involved with the murder investigation until approximately September of 1997, his observations have shed a new light on failures in the initial days of the investigation.
Unfortunately, Beckner mistakenly thought the environment would be secure and his answers would not leak out into the rest of the world. When they did, those comments suddenly were deleted from the reddit discussion. Fortunately, some news outlets were able to access the comments before they were deleted.
One of the most significant comments to come out of the event was Beckner’s assertion that police erred in not separating the Ramseys and getting full statements from both Patsy and John on the day JonBenet’s body was found. According to Beckner, the department was short-staffed due to the Christmas holiday.
“It was the Christmas holiday and we were short staffed, we faced a situation as I said earlier that no one in the country had ever seen before or since, and there was confusion at the scene as people were arriving before we had enough personnel on the scene.”
Beckner lamented that they did not interview the Ramseys immediately that day, and were not able to interview them until May of 1997, five months after the murder and about that long after they’d retained lawyers. If the Ramseys were involved in JonBenet’s death, could this error have given the girl’s parents enough time to get their story straight? We may never know for sure.
What remains of Mark Beckner’s Reddit AMA
Ex-Police Chief: JonBenet Ramsey Crime Scene Was Mishandled (ABC News)
JonBenet Ramsey case: Former Boulder police chief Mark Beckner says police botched initial handling (KMGH)
Ex-police chief inadvertently reveals misgivings about JonBenet Ramsey investigation (The Washington Post)
FORMER BOULDER POLICE CHIEF SAYS JONBENET RAMSEY CRIME SCENE WAS MISHANDLED (KTRK)
Photo: Mark Fix/ZUMA Press/Corbis