Imagine trying to weed through hundreds, maybe thousands, of leads to figure out who killed JonBenet Ramsey. We've heard about some of the suspects over the years, including the Ramseys and their son, Burke. But I wanted to know who we hadn't heard much about, so I decided to look into who some of the previous suspects were and why they were cleared.
Two days before JonBenet Ramsey died, Bill McReynolds played Santa Claus at her home. After her death, investigators instantly became curious about McReynolds and his wife Janet, who had played Mrs. Claus. Back in 1997, McReynolds told a Colorado television station, "I know I didn't do it." But for investigators, there were too many eerie connections between the McReynolds and the Ramseys to just drop it.
Trip DeMuth, one of the original prosecutors on the case, told me that Santa Bill gave JonBenet a card that read: "You will receive a special gift after Christmas."
"Statements like that led me to have some sort of suspicion: What was going on between Santa Bill and JonBenet? Again, he is an individual who was involved with her, had an interest in her, was seen with her, shortly before the murder," DeMuth said.
Investigators were intrigued by the fact the McReynolds' daughter had been abducted 22 years before JonBenet's death ... to the day. And Janet McReynolds had written a play about a child who was molested in her basement, then murdered. The couple gave hair, handwriting and blood samples, but were eventually cleared thanks to DNA tests. Bill McReynolds died back in 2002.
Another man, Michael Helgoth, was also a prime suspect. He was a Colorado native who died shortly after the murder. But his death left more questions than answers.
It appeared to be a suicide. And what about the stun gun discovered next to his body? Investigators believe a stun gun had been used on JonBenet.
Prosecutor DeMuth told me this about Helgoth: "I remember that he had footwear that was consistent with the footprint evidence, he had a stun gun, he had reportedly made statements to a friend, very similar to the types of statements that we're hearing about today in the press with the arrest of John Karr. "
Even more strange, a baseball cap with the letters s-b-t-c was found near Helgoth's body. Those are the same letters found in the ransom note at the Ramsey home. DeMuth says he believes Helgoth's DNA was tested and didn't match up.
All of this leaves me wondering: Will John Mark Karr finally lead to closure in this case or just add himself to the list of names that never panned out?