JonBenet Ramsey Murder Suspect: Man Writes Confession Letter From Prison

JonBenet Ramsey Murder Suspect: Man Writes Confession Letter From Prison A&E | Colorado Department of Corrections

A convicted pedophile has penned a letter from prison claiming he murdered JonBenet Ramsey. The 6-year-old was found dead in her parents’ basement on December 26, 1996, but no suspect has ever been arrested or charged with her killing. However, Gary Oliva has since claimed it was he who did it and that it was an accident.

One of Oliva’s high school friends, Michael Vail, always believed Oliva could have been a suspect. He told the U.S. Sun that on the day of JonBenet’s murder, Oliva called him crying and saying he “hurt a little girl.” Vail immediately called the Boulder Police Department but didn’t hear back for three months.

Nothing ever became of it, however, until four years later when Oliva was arrested for trespassing at the University of Boulder campus. They found a taser gun on him as well as “several items related to JonBenet” on him, apparently. Again, no further investigation was done and no charges were filed.

Oliva was arrested again in 2016 for possession of child pornography, and Vail attempted to get a confession from his friend via letters they exchanged while Oliva was behind bars. In the letters, Oliva reportedly claimed he loved JonBenet and that he never meant to hurt her. He also sent detailed drawings of JonBenet.

“I never loved anyone like I did JonBenét and yet I let her slip and her head bashed in half and I watched her die,” Oliva allegedly wrote in one letter. “It was an accident. Please believe me. She was not like the other kids.”

In another letter, Oliva claimed that he’d “killed so many children” that he’d “lost track” of exactly how many. “When I met JonBenét she took away that horrible craving to kill kids that you know me for. She changed me into a new person,” he added.

Of course, there’s no evidence that Oliva’s confession isn’t a false one, and authorities aren’t saying whether or not they plan to pursue Oliva for the crime.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill