DNA Analysis Raises New JonBenet Questions

DA's decision to exonerate family is questioned
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2016 8:53 AM CDT
DNA Find Adds New Twist to JonBenet Case
In this Aug. 28, 2000 photo, John and Patsy Ramsey leave their attorney offices.   (AP Photo/Gregory E. Smith, File)

After just short of 20 years, the murder of JonBenet Ramsey is as much of a mystery as ever—especially in light of a new examination of DNA evidence. A joint investigation by the Boulder Daily Camera and 9News calls into question former District Attorney Mary Lacy's decision to exonerate the Ramsey family. At the time, Lacy concluded that DNA evidence found on JonBenet's underwear and long johns belonged to a male intruder who was not part of the Ramsey family. But now three forensic experts who examined the DNA test results and lab reports used by Lacy say they do not support her conclusion. For one thing, a sample on her underwear identified as coming from "Unknown Male 1" may in fact be a composite from multiple people and thus "worthless as evidence," says the news report.

Another revelation that further muddles the picture: DNA samples on her long johns appear to come from JonBenet and at least two other people, not one, a fact that has never been revealed before. What's more, the independent experts say all of the unknown DNA may be the result of "inconsequential contact with other people," reports the Camera. With the exoneration, "I was trying to prevent a horrible travesty of justice," Lacy tells ABC. (The interview was done before these latest revelations.) "I was scared to death that despite the fact that there was no evidence, no psychopathy, and no motive, the case was a train going down the track and the Ramseys were tied to that track." Comparison to the DNA profile now in doubt was used to exonerate dozens of other potential suspects. (JonBenet's older brother is suing a pathologist who accused him of the killing.)

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