The Suitcase At The JonBenét Ramsey Crime Scene Might Be The Key To The Case

It seems like nowadays, everyone loves true crime. But even if reading about cold cases gives you the heebie-jeebies, you're probably familiar with the JonBenét Ramsey case. JonBenét was 6 years old when she died in Boulder, Colorado in 1996, according to Crime Museum. Her case made national attention because of its many bizarre features. JonBenét's parents first called the police because of a suspected kidnapping, having come downstairs in the morning after a Christmas party to find a ransom note on their steps, demanding $118,000 cash for their daughter's return.

But it wasn't long after the police investigation was launched that JonBenét's father, John, found his daughter's body. Huddled in the corner of a dark basement room, JonBenét had been strangled, hit over the head, and garroted, according to the Denver Post.

The discovery of the body was baffling: why would a killer leave their victim on the premises if they planned to demand a ransom for her return? For that matter, why would JonBenét be targeted at all? Over the years, many different theories have cropped up to try to explain the case, but ultimately, JonBenét's murder has remained unsolved, via Out There Colorado. However, that may not remain the case forever, as amateur and professional sleuths alike continue to dig into the details of the case. One piece of evidence that's particularly captivating: a suitcase found at the crime scene.

Theories behind the killing

Many of the theories about JonBenét's death center around a staged kidnapping. According to these theories, the evidence simply doesn't add up that someone wanted to extort money from the Ramseys. Instead, the theories suggest that the ransom note was an attempt to hide the family's own involvement in the case. Some people believe that one or both of JonBenét's parents killed JonBenét; others say that JonBenét's brother, Burke, killed JonBenét in a fit of anger, via Out There Colorado.

As evidence for this theory, people point to strange elements of the case like the precise figure of cash that the ransom note demanded, and the fact that the ransom note was written on a pad of paper from the Ramseys' own kitchen, via Crime Museum. However, it's important to note that DNA testing in 2008 led the family to officially be cleared by police, according to Bustle, and they are no longer considered suspects.

Other people believe in the veracity of the ransom note. These people, who believe an intruder killed JonBenét, are persuaded by key pieces of evidence including an unidentified male's DNA which was found in JonBenét's underwear, according to Crime Museum, and a suitcase found in the Ramseys' basement, per Bustle.

What the suitcase points to

The Ramseys lived in a large house with a relatively large basement, according to the Denver Post. JonBenét's body was found in the back corner of the basement in the wine cellar. On the other side of the basement, there was a broken window under a grate.

John Ramsey said he actually broke the window some weeks earlier when he was locked out of his house, according to Bustle, but that doesn't discount the possibility that someone else could have taken the open window as a way to slip into the house. In fact, one retired police detective actually demonstrated that an adult male could fit through the gap.

There was also a suitcase below the window that indicated someone might have recently come through. According to the Denver Post, the Samsonite suitcase was situated as a stepping stone and also had a footprint on it. People who support the intruder theory in JonBenét Ramsey's case believe this is evidence that someone actually had snuck in the house that night.

The evidence is far from definitive. There are other elements suggesting an intruder didn't come in through the window that night, including a spiderweb outside the window which suggested the opening had remained undisturbed for some time, according to Bustle. Still, the suitcase provides an interesting piece of evidence that just might turn out to be key to cracking this case wide open one day.