Nearly 22 years after the brutal murder of child beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey, the case has been blown wide open by the mysterious ransom note left at the scene of the crime — which is believed to contain coded messages that identify her killer.
RadarOnline.com has learned the 350-word note is filled with a bizarre series of lettered patterns and words written backward that investigators have been analyzing with CSI-like forensic lighting.
Now the cryptic ransom note has sparked a fresh manhunt in Boulder, Colo., where a crack team of cold case investigators is assisting detectives.
"Without a doubt this is a breakthrough for the teams working on this case," said a top law enforcement source. "It's another step toward revealing the identity of those responsible."
A leading forensic investigator with long-standing ties and influence in the Ramsey case, Roscoe Clark, who has assisted cops in their investigation, strongly believes unraveling the ransom note's hidden message will solve the crime.
Clark has used state-of-the-art Polilight PL500 equipment, a device that utilizes high-powered infrared and ultraviolet bulbs, to filter out the different shades of gray water-based marker used to write the letter.
The tests have also revealed handwriting pressures, drafts and mistakes in the note.
"What's important is that by using CSI lamps I can see the overlap of the ink so that I can tell which words were written in reverse," Clark told Radar. "It points to a code or a hidden message."
Roscoe has a chilling theory on why the note was written in code.
"I think the mastermind of the murder does want people to know who he is, but he doesn't want to give away his identity because he's too proud and believes he's smarter than the police," he said.
Clark's assessment is corroborated by renowned forensic document expert Brenda Anderson — who studied the three-page ransom note and explained such letters are typically short and to the point.
"I've never seen a three-page ransom letter," Anderson told Radar. "If someone goes to great lengths to write three pages there has to be a motive. Why go to all that trouble?"
"Maybe this individual was so twisted he left the clues behind in the note and it's somehow coded," she continued. "It's something that needs to be pursued because the handwriting is very unusual."
Ramsey was sexually violated and strangled inside her family's ritzy home in Boulder on Christmas night in 1996.
Cops suspect the killer broke a basement window, crept into the house and knocked the 6-year-old out with a stun gun.
Ramsey was carried to the basement, bound, silenced with duct tape, molested, strangled with a garrote and smashed in the head with a baseball bat.
After her body was discovered by her dad, John, the ransom note demanding $118,000 was found on the kitchen staircase.
"This is a giant step in the right direction," said renowned attorney Peter Gleason, who once ran for the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.
"There is no such thing as over-analyzation of evidence when it comes to criminal matters. This could definitely lead to new suspects!"
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