In Brief

Jailed paedophile claims he killed JonBenet Ramsey

Gary Oliva confessed to 1996 murder of child beauty pageant queen in prison letters to former schoolmate

A suspect in the killing of child beauty pageant queen JonBenet Ramsey more than 20 years ago has claimed responsibility for the murder.

Convicted paedophile Gary Oliva, 54, has told an old friend that he killed the six-year-old, who was found dead in the basement of her family home in Boulder, Colorado, in December 1996. She had a fractured skull and had been asphyxiated with a garrote.

No one has ever been formally charged with her murder, but  Oliva - currently serving a ten-year sentence in a Colorado prison for child pornography offences - has long been a suspect. 

Now, the Daily Mail is claiming to have obtained letters sent by Oliva to a former high-school classmate in which the prison inmate writes: “I never loved anyone like I did JonBenet and yet I let her slip and her head bashed in half and I watched her die. It was an accident. Please believe me. She was not like the other kids.”

In a second letter, he added: “JonBenet completely changed me and removed all evil from me. Just one look at her beautiful face, her glowing beautiful skin, and her divine God-body, I realised I was wrong to kill other kids. Yet by accident she died and it was my fault.”

The Denver Post reports that the letters were sent to Michael Vail, a music publicist.

Vail told the Daily Mail he had always suspected that Oliva was involved in JonBenet’s murder and believes the confession is genuine.

But Boulder newspaper the Daily Camera says the information provided by Vail has “elicited a dismissive response” from local police, who say Oliva has made similar claims before that were later disproven.

Police spokesperson Laurie Ogden said: “The Boulder Police Department is aware of Mr Oliva and has investigated his potential involvement in this case, including several previous confessions.

“Information provided to the police department is reviewed along with the many tips and theories we receive. There are no new updates in this investigation and the department will not comment further.”

Recommended

Has Gaza avoided a fifth full-scale war?
A Palestinian woman walks through rubble in front of her home in Gaza
Today’s big question

Has Gaza avoided a fifth full-scale war?

What happened to Owami Davies?
Owami Davies
Speed Reads

What happened to Owami Davies?

‘Ninja’ missile part of a scary new generation of unregulated weapons
A Hellfire missile is loaded onto a US Air Force unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in 2016
Expert’s view

‘Ninja’ missile part of a scary new generation of unregulated weapons

Why cats prefer people who hate them
A cat
Tall Tales

Why cats prefer people who hate them

Popular articles

Will China invade Taiwan?
Chinese troops on mobile rocket launchers during a parade in Beijing
Fact file

Will China invade Taiwan?

Is World War Three on the cards?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Is World War Three on the cards?

Best new TV crime dramas of 2022
Roger Allam and Nancy Carroll in Murder in Provence
In Depth

Best new TV crime dramas of 2022

The Week Footer Banner