Police have been unable to solve the case of JonBenét Ramsey’s 1996 murder, but they have looked into a number of possible suspects in the 23 years since.
Episode 4 of “The Killing of JonBenét: The Final Suspects” shares compelling clues that the 6-year-old child beauty queen’s photographer, Randy Simons, may have been involved in her death — something that he has long denied.
“My wife, Joyce, and I began talking with pageant mothers in the area who had been in on the child beauty pageant circuit with Patsy and JonBenét, and we heard a couple of things,” says author Stephen Singular, who looked closely at Simons while writing his 1999 book, Presumed Guilty.
“We were told that JonBenét’s primary personal and professional photographer was a man named Randy Simons, and Randy had been shooting her picture for a couple of years,” Singular continues. “All of the beauty pageant mothers that we spoke with said exactly the same thing to us — that since the murder, Randy had been calling them up in the middle of the night, after midnight, hysterical screaming and crying, saying, “I did not kill JonBenét, I did not kill JonBenét.’”
At the time, the pageant moms did not view Simons as a suspect, so they were “totally mystified,” according to the writer.
“They had never seen him behave this way before,” Singular says. “They just sort of began telling us the same story, which we found very curious.”
Detectives in Boulder, Colorado, questioned Simons but eventually ruled him out as a suspect after determining that his DNA was not a match in the Ramsey case.
However, in October 1998, the shutterbug was arrested for walking naked down a residential street. His behavior only became more bizarre in the months that followed — and he was arrested again in July 2019 for downloading child pornography. He is now serving a prison sentence in Oregon.
“Just because Randy Simons’ DNA does not match, we don’t know who Randy Simons was associated with and hanging out with in the timeframe of … December 25, 26 of ’96,” former sheriff’s investigator John San Agustin says on the podcast. “If we can show that he’s in that area and we can show that he had an affiliation or somebody that he was aligned with that ends up matching the DNA … he would still be charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.”
JonBenét was found dead in the basement of her family’s home on December 26, 1996. Her parents, John and the late Patsy Ramsey, were later cleared by DNA results.
If you have information that could help investigators and the Ramseys identify JonBenét’s killer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.