Narrator - Two months after his appointment by the DA's office, special investigator Lou Smit was about to make a discovery
which would change everything.
LOU SMIT - We don't know if the killer was in there or not, but it's only a few quiet steps into JonBenét's room.
This is where JonBenét's bed was. She was asleep in bed. The photographs show that the sheets on her bed were clean. There
was no sign of urine on those sheets. There is no evidence that JonBenét wet her bed that night. There was no sign of a struggle
in this room.
NARRATOR - The bed was not disturbed. Nor was the bed side table. The absence of a struggle pointed towards the parents.
LOU SMIT -Someone that JonBenét knew, like her parents, could have taken her from the bed without a struggle taking place.
NARRATOR - Smit discovered how she was taken while pursuing another problem - the cause of marks on her back and face
which the autopsy report described as "unexplained abrasions".
LOU SMIT - We were pretty sure that these injuries were not on JonBenét beforehand because pictures were taken of her
earlier that day. So these injuries occurred right at or about the time of death so we had to find out what these marks were.
NARRATOR - The explanation came when he and a lawyer in the DA's office, by chance, put these two photographs together.
on back on face
LOU SMIT - Suddenly it became apparent that the marks themselves, both on the back and on the face, were the same distance
apart. Suddenly a little light went on and it was just like, wait a minute, and we both hit on it at the same time, that it was a stun
NARRATOR - Smit looked for other murder cases where a stun gun had been used and found Gerald Boggs. These photos show
the injuries made by the weapon in the Boggs case.
LOU SMIT - They compared very closely with the same marks on JonBenét. In fact the marks were on the same side of the
face and it was a large mark and a small mark. The reason that happens that way is because if contact of the stun gun is placed
directly against the skin, it leaves a smaller mark But if the other contact is left off the skin just a little bit, the arc of electricity
dances around on the skin causing the larger mark.
NARRATOR - Smit also identified the particular weapon which he believed caused these injuries.
LOU - The stun gun that we came up with is this one and its the Air Taser stun gun. If a stun gun is used on a little girl I'm sure it
would have knocked her flat and it would have allowed the killer to take her from her bed without her struggling
NARRATOR - The Boulder police rejected Smit's evidence about a stun gun. They spoke to Colorado's leading expert,
pathologist Mike Dobersen, and claimed he discounted the possibility.
MIKE DOBERSEN - That's right - and that was something of a mistatement since my real conclusion was that I couldn't, at that
time, say whether this was a stun gun injury or not because we had to have a weapon to compare it to.
NARRATOR - When Smit showed him the Air Tazer stun gun, Doberson took a different position.
MIKE DOBERSEN - Lou had found a weapon with characteristics which fit as exactly as you could expect, the injuries on
NARRATOR - Since then, Mike Dobersen has conducted experiments on anaesthetized pigs. The Tazer stun gun exactly
replicated the injuries on JonBenét and the distance, 3.5 centimeters, between those injuries.
MIKE DOBERSEN - My experiments, and the observations that we made and all the work that's been done, I feel that I can
testify to a reasonably degree of medical certainty that these are stun gun injuries.
LOU - If a stun gun is used, it is an incredible clue left behind by the killer. It's not often that he leaves a good clue like this, but
just to disregard it, would be incredibly foolish. Because if a stun gun is used on JonBenét, it points directly at an intruder. It does
not point at a parent.
NARRATOR - What happened next to JonBenét is clear.
LOU SMIT - We're fairly certain that JonBenét was taken from her room down this spiral staircase. There was garland on the
railing of the spiral staircase and there was also garland found in the hair and on the clothing of JonBenét. We know that the killer
brought JonBenét down into this basement, there's no doubt about that, and we found some very significant evidence in this room.
NARRATOR: Smit says in the room in the basement where there was evidence of a break-in, something elsesignificant was
LOU SMIT - There were items in that suitcase which contained fibers which were found on the outside of the clothing of
JonBenét. Is it possible that her killer tried to put JonBenét in that suitcase? Is it possible that he tried to take her out this window
in this suitcase? Could it have been a kidnapping followed by a murder? Very easily it could have been. Perhaps he had intended
to take JonBenét out that window and he just couldn't get her out, and he decided to kill her.
NARRATOR - When Smit presented his evidence to the Boulder police, they rejected it. Lead detective Steve Thomas said the
intruder was 'non-existent' and the idea of a stun gun 'preposterous'. While Smit's findings were kept confidential, the police leaked
their theory to the media.
According to Smit, what actually happened was very different. JonBenét was garrotted to death.
SMIT - There's very strong evidence that JonBenet was killed in this part of the basement and one of the reasons for that is that
there was a paint tray right there, and in this paint tray was a paintbrush that was used to make the garrotte.
The bristle portion was still in the tray. Right next to the paint tray is a very small sliver of wood that came off of that broken
The garrotte was made of the middle portion of that paintbrush, the handle.
Her hair was actually entwined right in the wrappings of the garrotte as the killer made it on the back of her neck, most likely when
she was lying face down on the floor.
He made a noose on the other end of this garrotte. Then this noose was pulled very tightly against the neck of JonBenét, almost
like a control device.
NARRATOR - With a growing conviction that the killer was a violent sexual offender who had broken in to the Ramseys home,
Smit again returned to Colorado Springs to seek advice. This time from Bob Russell, the City's former district attorney.
BOB RUSSELL - We spent five or six hours going through some of the evidence and the pictures he has and at that time I
became convinced that the Ramseys didn't do this.
NARRATOR - Russel's view is widely respected. He's an expert on violent crimes against children. He was spokesman for the
US National District Attorney's Association on the subject.
BOB RUSSEL - Garrotting requires a deliberation, you have to think about it, you have to throw the rope around the neck. In this
particular case you had to create an exact kind of knot, he had to twist the knot, all while that child is still alive. Most of the time
that's a sexual kind of killing.
NARRATOR - Russel also believesthat the evidence of a violent sexual assault on JonBenét pointsto someoneother than her
BOB RUSSEL - Parents don't kill in that manner. They bash, they throw the child down, they hit them on the head and they do
things of that nature. And what makes me believe this is also probably a sexual kind of killing is that there, there is an object that's
jammed through the vagina of the child because blood is drawn. And that's not something a parent does, let alone a mother.
NARRATOR - Ignoring Smit's findings, Boulder police took prosecutors to the Ramsey home as part of a presentation of the
case against the parents - that they had killed their daughter and then staged the garrotting and kidnapping to cover it up. But
prosecutors did not find this convincing as District Attorney Alex Hunter made clear.
DA ALEX HUNTER - We don't have enough to file a case. We have more work to do. This is a tough case, you all know that..
NARRATOR - In fact, the DA's office believed local police had gotten nowhere and now prepared to take over the entire
investigation themselves. They had no idea of the extraordinary development that would soon overwhelm them.
end part 4