Nearly 20 years after the murder of JonBenet Ramsey, interest in the Colorado 6-year-old's case is still strong—stronger than former Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner may have realized. In remarks he now says he regrets making, Beckner told a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session on Saturday that police had initially botched the case in December 1996, reports the Denver Post. In now-deleted remarks, Beckner said he wished police "would have done a much better job of securing and controlling the crime scene on day one" and that it was a mistake not to separate her parents and get full statements from them that day, the Daily Camera reports. "Letting them go was a big mistake, as they soon lawyered up and we did not get to formally interview them again until May of 1997," he said.
Beckner blamed the mishandling on "the perfect storm type scenario." "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," he wrote. Beckner tells the Daily Camera that he didn't realize the remarks would become public. "I talked to the organizer and my impression was that this was a members-only type group that talked about unsolved mysteries all around the world," he says. In his final comment on Reddit, he said he wanted to "emphasize that I do not fully know what happened that night or who killed JonBenet, as some have surmised." (Read more JonBenet Ramsey stories.)