Death of JonBenét Ramsey: Help Lou Smit’s Family Continue the Search for Justice
In 1996, a little girl named JonBenét Ramsey was six years old. She was brutally assaulted and murdered on Christmas night in the basement of her home in Boulder, Colorado. The case became international news. Retired homicide detective Lou Smit was called out of retirement to help with the case. During his career, Lou had investigated over 200 homicide cases that led to arrests and convictions. In accepting the job, Lou made the same pledge to JonBenét as he did to the hundreds of other victims he had stood for during his career: he worked for her
. As he did with other victims, he placed a photo of her (shown above) in his wallet, where it remained until the day he died. Lou would spend the rest of his life investigating her case at great personal and professional expense. In the end, Lou believed that DNA would someday solve this case.
In 2010, Lou was in hospice care and his remaining days on earth were down to a precious few. In the midst of saying his loving farewells, he continued to encourage professional associates, friends and family to never give up on the JonBenét Ramsey case. He knew his time to investigate the case was coming to an end, but others could take up his mantle and pursue it in his stead.
Lou’s friends and family have not forgotten his last wishes. In the months following his death, members of his family developed a small “team” devoted to continuing the work that Lou had started on this case. That team includes Lou’s daughter, Cindy, and son-in-law, Kent; Lou’s nephew, Jim and his wife, Melinda; former homicide partners, David Spencer and John Anderson (former El Paso County Sheriff); and several other law enforcement and DNA experts who choose to remain anonymous.
Over nearly 13 years Lou amassed a treasure trove of information that he put into a highly developed database. He then summarized all of that into a spreadsheet of names he felt needed to be cleared through DNA testing. We are confident that the killer’s name is on that spreadsheet. Since Lou died in 2010, our team has been able to clear a number of people from his list, but the work is slow because of the time and expense involved in locating an individual and obtaining and testing his DNA.
It can easily cost $5,000 to locate someone on the spreadsheet and collect and test their DNA. Our hope is that, with the help of generous supporters, we can continue to work through the names on the spreadsheet and complete the work Lou dedicated so many years of his life to.
With your help, together we will find justice for JonBenét.