Could BDX cult leader Scott Caruthers be involved in the murder of 6-year-old pageant star JonBenet Ramsey?
The murder of little JonBenet Ramsey, the six-year-old beauty pageant star, took place at her home in Boulder, Colorado, in 1996. Still unsolved, the police have no clues or leads to help close the shocking case which continues to grip the world.
JonBenet was found bludgeoned, strangled and hidden underneath a white blanket with a nylon cord around her neck. Her wrists had been bound above her head while her mouth was covered using duct tape. A new documentary 'Hunting JonBenet's Killer: An Untold Story' which features on the A&E network is attempting to find answers to some pressing questions on one of the world's most notorious cold cases.
Even though 23 years have gone by since JonBenet's murder, journalist Elizabeth Vargas is still hopeful for answers as to what happened. Since the murder, there have been multiple theories and claims as to what could have happened to little JonBenet.
One of the theories made by 68-year-old Colorado woman Bernice Johnson, who is locked up in prison, stated that the clues written in the ransom note found near the scene of the crime point to another suspect, Scott Caruthers. Retired FBI agent Robert Clark traveled to Baltimore, Maryland, to investigate details about Caruthers, who was known to be a cult leader.
Caruthers had started the Beta Dominion Xenophilia aka 'BDX' cult and, according to Johnson, moved to Maryland in 1989. Johnson also revealed that she and Caruthers had made several trips from Maryland to Colorado. She also claimed that Caruthers had hired her baby daddy Todd Fuss to kidnap JonBenet Ramsey. Johnson alleged that Caruthers and Fuss had crossed paths before, but she wasn't sure when.
Clark met with former journalist Dan Fesperman, who did an investigative piece on Caruthers. "What's interesting is now that I write fiction, I still have not come up with a character quite as bizarre as Scott Caruthers. As early as high school, he was already spinning people stories of being a space alien," Fesperman shared as he recognized some of Caruthers' computer artworks which involved aliens. Caruthers was able to gather around him a group of people who were very loyal to him as he convinced them he was connected to higher alien beings.
During the '80s and '90s, Caruthers was recruiting followers and sex partners for BDX. According to Mark Powers, who was a former exit counselor, Caruthers was the commander and needed "positive energy" which women had. He had also cultivated young girls who were the daughters of some of the cult members. Caruthers' former driver John Griffin shared that he was such a threat to little girls that Griffin informed the state police about the cult leader.
Caruthers was arrested for hiring a hitman to kill the enemies of BDX and had also allegedly arranged a plot to kidnap a six-year-old girl. Bernice Johnson claimed that Caruthers masterminded the idea of JonBenet's murder. Johnson also added that she could connect the ransom note to Caruthers because of the language. The letter was signed off with the text "Victory, SBTC."
1997 JonBenét Ramsey investigators announce #OTD that the ransom note was torn from a tablet of paper found in the house @CI @bouldernews @crimelibrarian @DiscoveryID @IDCrimeFeed pic.twitter.com/bEXD84su8j— Iain McDougall (@Iain_McDougall) January 3, 2018
"Every hair on my body stood up, I knew exactly who that was — it was Scott," Johnson shared. One part of the ransom note talked about "small foreign faction" and Caruthers would consider himself to be "foreign" meaning extra-terrestrial. He also wanted to be an ambassador from a different country and wanted diplomatic immunity from anything he got into trouble.
Another part talks of "counter-measures and tactics" and when it comes to this, Caruthers used to love telling people about his service in the CIA and these are terms that only units in Intelligence would use. The ransom note had been signed off with the word "victory" followed by SBTC. Caruthers always insisted he was from a dimension called "victory" which is in the Kabbalah mystical tree of life.
According to Johnson, the Kabbalah mystical tree is "various dimensions based on the teachings within BDX." The last most astonishing link between Caruthers and the ransom note came from the word "truth". Even though the actual word "truth" does not come in the note, the initials in the bottom of the note — SBTC — Johnson claimed spelled out 'Scott Brook (his middle name) Truth (a term often used by Caruthers in his BDX teachings) Caruthers.
Former employees of a product Caruthers invested in — Bob Bonnell and Richard Matz — also recalled how Caruthers spoke of truth a lot. A former husband of a former BDX cult member also recognized the initials — SBTC, confirming Johnson's claims. Other people also recalled seeing Caruthers refer to himself as SBTC on TV.
JonBenet's father John also remembered the day before the murder noticing a well-dressed couple from back East at the Ramseys' church and the restaurant at Boulder where they ate dinner. John Ramsey was unable to identify whether it was Caruthers or not.
Eventually, a file entry from a former BDX member revealed that Caruthers was in Maryland on the night that JonBenet was killed. Caruthers flatly denied being involved in the murder of JonBenet. However, there was no physical evidence tying him to the murder and he was crossed off the list of suspects.