Today is the twentieth anniversary of the death of JonBenét Ramsey on December 26, 1996. Many of the issues that dominated local headlines this year — including homelessness, the rising cost of housing, a steady influx of transplants and an increasingly crazy election — were all too easy to predict. But it was impossible to guess how much attention would be given this anniversary, hardly a thing to celebrate, since the murder of the six-year-old beauty queen remains unsolved. Even so, the national media coverage started up again with a vengeance in September and isn't about to stop. Keep reading for three of the odder JonBenét Ramsey stories this year, from our Strange but True section of the Year in Review.
A film crew shooting a movie about the Ramsey case in Boulder in February included on its props list a video camera, a police car and a dead deer provided by the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife. The deer came as a surprise to Boulder officials — and Parks and Wildlife. After learning about the film crew’s plans, Boulder police spokeswoman Shannon Cordingly told the Daily Camera, “I don’t know how this works, but I feel like Parks and Wildlife doesn’t give out dead animals.” She’s right: The department actually gives out permits to possess animals, living and dead. And anyway, deer? JonBenét? “My initial thought is, does a deer even play into what happened?” asked Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill. In all the weird shit that’s been associated with the JonBenét Ramsey case, “no one has ever mentioned a deer in the same sentence as that investigation,” she concluded.
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Just ask Tupac: The Internetz can come up with some crazy conspiracy theories about famous people. In February, the web blew up with a new theory that JonBenét didn’t die and actually grew up to become pop singer Katy Perry. The Huffington Post corralled every conspiracy theory linking the two and found a few major threads, including the fact that the two sort of look alike, that their parents sort of look alike, that they have the same eyebrows, and that both know the lyrics to “God Bless America.”
Amid the bullshit that came out of the twentieth anniversary of JonBenét’s death — chiefly an endless parade of terrible TV “investigations” that uncovered nothing new and just further exploited the little girl — was one actual game-changer. A Daily Camera and 9News joint investigation “uncovered serious flaws in the interpretation of previous DNA testing on the panties and long johns the girl was wearing when she was killed late on Christmas night in 1996, or early the next morning,” wrote the Camera, which led to a new round of DNA tests on key evidence. May 2017 be the year when JonBenét is finally laid to rest.
Watch for more Strange but True stories from 2016 all week.