And as the media circus descended on Boulder, theories began flying thick and fast. Had Patsy herself killed her daughter in a fit of anger? Or had Burke, just nine at the time, accidentally taken the life of JonBenet, with his parents then faking the ransom note in an effort to conceal his guilt?
At the same time, as the Ramseys fought accusations from the press, the police were having difficulties of their own. Indeed, although they had identified more than 1,600 persons of interest by October 1997, mistakes that had been made by officers meant it was proving difficult to narrow the number down.