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Today I review what I feel should be the definitive book on the JonBenet Ramsey case, Foreign Faction: Who Really Kidnapped JonBenet?:
I discussed yesterday how visiting the Ramsey house piqued my interest in the case again. I decided to read the newest book about it, Foreign Faction: Who Really Kidnapped JonBenet? by James Kolar (who kindly autographed my copy).
I find that often, I’m influenced by the latest book I read. I’ll read a book by someone who thinks an intruder killed JonBenet. Everything will pretty much make sense, so I’ll feel that that’s what happened. Then I’ll read another book by someone who feels JonBenet’s parents were responsible. Hmmmm … well, that seems to make sense too.
But what if JonBenet wasn’t killed by intruder, or by her parents? Hmmmm … that’s the theory James Kolar lays out, and I’ve gotta say, I think it makes the most sense of any I’ve read so far (and as I said earlier, I’ve read a lot).
Who is James Kolar, and what gives him the credentials to write such a book? Well, he was the chief investigator for the JonBenet case with the Boulder DA’s office for nearly two years. He was fascinated by the case and spent hours poring over the voluminous amounts of evidence. I think his theory is hard to argue with, although some have.
I felt a lot of frustration while reading the book, because it seemed that so much of the case was bungled by unnecessary human error. The police and DA’s office didn’t work together well. Some authorities didn’t want other authorities involved. Most, if not all, of the DA’s during and since the Ramsey case originated have seemed to bristle at anything that would involve the Ramsey family in any way. One DA went so far as to write a public letter to the Ramseys, exonerating them and even apologizing to them for any suspicions that might have been cast their way.
I was shocked, too, at how the Ramseys seemed to run a lot of the investigation. If they didn’t want to talk to police, they didn’t. Really? I can’t imagine! I would think that, if police wanted to talk to me, I wouldn’t be able to refuse. But the Ramseys hired lawyers very quickly after JonBenet’s murder (which strikes me as really odd, as well), and they have pretty much communicated through those attorneys ever since. Reading this book really did make me feel that money can buy protection, “justice,” etc. It was maddening, really. I’d like to think that all attorneys and law enforcement people do what’s right — what’s best. And yet, this book was full of instances where that was far from reality. I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised; it’s probably that way in every profession. As a former teacher, I know of several teachers who I certainly would not say were doing what was best for the kids in their classrooms. Sad, but true.
So that’s the major feeling I got from reading Foreign Faction: Who Really Kidnapped JonBenet?. At one point, Kolar presented his theory to the DA serving at the time. She told him she didn’t want to pursue his leads because she “didn’t want to harm her relationship with the Ramsey family.” Seriously? This is so disillusioning to me!
I don’t want to tell many more details, because I’d get into “spoilers,” and I think you’d enjoy reading this book yourself. When I saw the size of it (500 pages), I thought I’d be reading for weeks. But I finished it in just a few days — and that during busy summertime with 4-H projects, piano lessons, etc. — because I found myself picking it up in any spare moment. It was that compelling.
Oct. 2013 update: With the news reporting that a grand jury actually accused John and Patsy Ramsey of being an accessory to the crime (although charges were never actually filed), we may be inching closer to learning who really killed JonBenet. This latest news only tends to back up the evidence in this book, and I’m more convinced than ever that Kolar is on the right track.