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JonBenét Ramsey case: Ransom note hints that child beauty queen’s killer was college student

'My analysis of the ransom note led me to conclude that the author may have had a high school education,' the private investigator said
JonBenét Ramsey, 6, was found dead in the basement of her home in Boulder, Colorado, in 1996 (
JonBenét Ramsey, 6, was found dead in the basement of her home in Boulder, Colorado, in 1996 (

BOULDER, COLORADO: A new twist has come into the cold case of JonBenét Ramsey, who was discovered dead in the basement of her parents' home in Colorado in December 1996. It has now been speculated that the six-year-old’s murderer was a college student.

The speculation has emerged because of a ransom note that was reportedly found by the child’s mother Patsy on a stairwell inside their house soon after finding her daughter was not in her bed. Addressing JonBenét's father, John, the two-and-a-half-page note had asked for $118,000 as ransom. The letter from the accused also warned the parents of the beauty queen that if they called the police for help, their daughter would be decapitated before the suspect signed it as "Victory! S.B.T.C".


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Many have claimed that the letter was just a hoax to protect JonBenét's parents, who had long been treated as suspects in their daughter’s death. However, Utah-based private investigator Jason Jensen has a different theory as he says the murderer might have been a student of the University of Colorado Boulder (CU), which is not very far from the Ramsey family residence.

Jensen’s theory reportedly emerged from an academic paper about quantum structures written by two CU physicists — named Alex Zunger and Alberto Franceschetti — in March 1996, months before JonBenét’s life was cut short. The paper was about differentiation between pseudopotential and single-band truncated-crystal - or STBC - calculations.

The investigator claimed as reported by The Sun, “The author of the ransom note may have been a student of one of these professors or perhaps a sibling of one of the students. The odds of a paper being written in March 1996 referencing SBTC and a ransom note signed SBTC in Dec. 1996 just 1/2 mile apart seems uncanny to me. I believe the killer or attempted abductor was a local, someone likely living in the neighborhood, so I find this link of SBTC back to the university to be quite compelling.”

Jensen has also rubbished the speculations that JonBenét’s parents are her killers. He explained, “The Ramseys were not involved in the death of their daughter. I have not seen any evidence to overcome the presumption of innocence in this case,” before noting, “My analysis of the ransom note led me to conclude that the author may have had a high school education and read a lot. That is because of three of the words: attaché, deviation, and countermeasures. They are all 11th Grade Vocabulary words. Also the choice to use the printed font of 'a' and 't' rather than the grammar school taught forms of 'a' and 't', indicates that the person read a lot of books.”

Besides, the PI joined the victim’s family in urging authorities to retest DNA collected from the crime scene to find the actual perpetrator. He said: “This case is 25 years old and there was foreign male DNA identified at the scene. I feel all other persons of interest over the years have had their DNA collected and compared, and if any of them were viable theories charges would have resulted by now, so I feel JonBenét's killer has not been discussed yet.”

Jensen also added: “This mystery will be solved. The misunderstanding of the ransom note was in large part a distraction from a real search for her killer that was delayed for 12 years - now we're almost at 26. The clock will continue to count on until all neighbors have been identified and ruled out - and it's possible one of them was a student or aide at the University of Colorado Boulder.”