Lou Smit Releases Crime Scene Photos On National TV
12:15 AM, May 1, 2001
A former investigator said Tuesday that police ignored evidence that a stun gun may have been used on JonBenet Ramsey because it didn't fit their theory that her parents killed her.
Lou Smit (pictured, left), a retired homicide detective, appeared on NBC's "Today" show as part of a weeklong series on the death of 6-year-old JonBenet, found beaten and strangled in the basement of her Boulder home on Dec. 26, 1996.
Smit showed autopsy photos that red marks on JonBenet's face and back that he believes were caused by a stun gun.
Smit believes an intruder killed JonBenet. Smit came out of etirement at the request of then-District Attorney Alex Hunter to elp with the investigation but quit in 1998 because he felt uthorities were wrongly concentrating on the parents, John and
"Stun gun marks are very specific, very specific. Once you know hat they look like, it's not hard to distinguish what they are," mit said.
A Denver-area forensic pathologist who examined the autopsy potos for Boulder police said that s theory is plausible.
"Unless some other evidence is presented to me, the most likely xplanation for those injuries is that they were caused by a stun un," Dr. Michael Doberson told "Today."
No one has been arrested in JonBenet's death, and a grand jury adjourned in 1999 without issuing indictments. Boulder authorities saod that John and Patsy Ramsey remain under suspicion.
The Ramseys have repeatedly denied any involvement in their daughter's death and included Smit's stun-gun theory in their book, "The Death of Innocence." They said a pedophile attracted by JonBenet's participation in child beauty pageants is probably the culprit.
Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner didn't return a call Tuesday. He said in a written statement Monday he would not debate the case publicly.
In the past, Beckner has cautioned against jumping to conclusions about the marks on JonBenet, saying the evidence contradicts Smit's theory.
No stun gun was found in the Ramsey house, however informational material for a stun gun was found.
Smit said that he believes JonBenet was incapacitated by a stun gun, taken to the basement and attacked. Smit said that two marks on JonBenet's face and two on her back were about 3.5 centimeters apart and were likely made while she was alive because they were red.
"You have to explain the fresh marks on JonBenet. Especially on her face. They weren't seen on any of the Christmas photos of any of the photos taken that day of JonBenet," he said.
He thinks a vent pipe running from the basement acted like a megaphone to the outside, carrying JonBenet's cries. He noted a neighbor reported hearing cries around midnight and 2 a.m. but the parents said they heard nothing.
In experiments by investigators, noise from the basement couldn't be heard three floors up in the Ramseys' bedroom, Smit said.
Patsy Ramsey called 911 and reported finding a 2 1/2-page ransom note demanding $118,000 for JonBenet's safe return. John Ramsey found her body in a windowless basement room next to the boiler room about seven hours after the 911 call.