OnlyOnAOL: Who killed JonBenét Ramsey? One expert weighs in

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By: Donna Freydkin

It's hard to fathom that she'd be 26 today.

JonBenét Patricia Ramsey was found strangled in her Colorado home in December 1996. The case quickly captivated the media and the public for a number of reasons. First, Ramsey was a telegenic, perky beauty queen, part of the insular world of child pageants.

John and Patsy Ramsey Questioned by Colorado PoliceThere was a strange, complex, bizarre ransom note found on the staircase in the home. Her parents John and Patricia spoke to TV crews, but not the police – until 120 days after their daughter's death.

And on Sunday and Monday, CBS digs into the story with "The Case Of: JonBenét Ramsey." We spoke to James Fitzgerald, retired FBI supervisory special agent and forensic linguistic profiler who was part of the original investigation and who analyzed the case.

"We have so many images of this young girl. We almost feel to some degree like some of us know her," says Fitzgerald.

There was no sign of forced entry. And while the family, including older brother Burke, were suspects, it remains unsolved. Would the crime be cracked wide open if it happened today?

"The answer would be: yes. It would depend on the circumstances and variables involved," says Fitzgerald.

(FILES) In this 12 October, 2000, file pRAMSEY ARRESTJonBenet Ramsey's murder

Fitzgerald says that though the Ramseys were cleared, their delayed sit-downs with police didn't help resolve anything. "With so much time having elapsed at that moment, quite frankly from the interviews themselves, not a whole lot came out," says Fitzgerald.

As for the nonsensical ransom note: "The letter was one big act of staging," says Fitzgerald. "Of someone writing something, in 385 words, to make it look like something other than what it really is."

He says the producers contacted the Ramseys (Patsy died of cancer in 2006) but were turned away. "They weren't interested in involving themselves directly in this," says Fitzgerald.

19 PHOTOS
JonBenet Ramsey
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JonBenet Ramsey
UNDATED PUBLICITY PHOTO - Actress Julia Granstrom portrays the late young JonBenet Ramsey in the television movie " The JonBenet Ramsey Story". The movie will be telecast in the United States February 16 on the FOX network. FSP/SV
Aug. 17, 2006 - JONBENET RAMSEY.SUPPLIED BY JONBENETRAMSEYRETRO(Credit Image: © Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com)
289830 05: The site where 6 year old Jonbenet Ramsey was killed in Boulder, Colorado, 1996. (Photo by Karl Gehring/Liaison)
318902 01: People light candles at the murder site of 6 year old Jonbenet Ramsey in Boulder, Colorado, December 1997. (Photo by Karl Gehring/Liaison)
BOULDER, CO - MAY 01: John and Patsy Ramsey, the parents of JonBenet Ramsey, meet with a small selected group of the local Colorado media after four months of silence in Boulder, Colorado on May 1, 1997. Their 6-year-old daughter was found dead on Christmas night 1996. (Photo By Helen H. Richardson/ The Denver Post)
BOULDER, CO - MAY 01: John and Patsy Ramsey, the parents of JonBenet Ramsey, meet with a small selected group of the local Colorado media after four months of silence in Boulder, Colorado on May 1, 1997. Patsy holds up a reward sign for information leading to the arrest of their daughter's murderer. Their 6-year-old daughter was found dead on Christmas night 1996. (Photo By Helen H. Richardson/ The Denver Post)
BOULDER, CO - MAY 01: John and Patsy Ramsey, the parents of JonBenet Ramsey, meet with a small selected group of the local Colorado media after four months of silence in Boulder, Colorado on May 1, 1997. Their 6-year-old daughter was found dead on Christmas night 1996. (Photo By Helen H. Richardson/ The Denver Post)
8/27/1998 Colorado Jonbenet Ramsey House In Boulder. (Photo By Karl Gehring/Getty Images)
BOULDER, CO - MAY 01: John and Patsy Ramsey, the parents of JonBenet Ramsey, meet with a small selected group of the local Colorado media after four months of silence in Boulder, Colorado on May 1, 1997. Their 6-year-old daughter was found dead on Christmas night 1996. (Photo By Helen H. Richardson/ The Denver Post)
Murdered 6-yr-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey's image amblazoned on dozens of binders crammed w. investigators's reports for case which still unsolved after 6 months, in Sheriff's office (Photo by Ray Ng/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
ATLANTA - AUGUST 16: Lib Waters places a note on the grave of JonBenet Ramsey August 16, 2006 in Marietta, Georgia. A suspect in the murder of Ramsey, the 6-year-old beauty queen whose parents were under suspicion early on, has been arrested in Thailand. The note Waters left reads: 'Dearest Patsy, Justice has come for you + John. Rest in Peace. Your friend, Lib Waters.' (Photo by Barry Williams/Getty Images)
Bangkok, THAILAND: US teacher John Mark Karr (C), 41, flanked by Thai police, walks towards a van on his way to the airport from a detention center at the Thai Immigration Department in Bangkok, 20 August 2006. Thai authorities deported the US teacher arrested here over the 1996 killing of child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey, amid serious doubts about his involvement in the brutal crime. Karr was arrested 16 August 2006 in connection with the slaying of six-year-old JonBenet, who was found strangled and beaten to death in the basement of her family's Colorado home on the day after Christmas 1996. AFP PHOTO/ Saeed KHAN (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - AUGUST 22: John Mark Karr, the suspect in the killing of child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey, appears at an extradition hearing at the Los Angeles Superior Court August 22, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. Karr agreed to be extradited to Colorado to face charges of murder, kidnapping and sexual assault in the JonBenet Ramsey case. (Photo by Mario Anzuoni-Pool/Getty Images)
BOULDER, CO - AUGUST 28: Karen Salaz, spokesperson for the Colorado state court system, approaches the news media with copies of a release announcing that charges against John Mark Karr in connection with JonBenet Ramsey murder case were dropped August 28, 2006 in Boulder, Colorado. A DNA sample taken from Karr after he arrived in the U.S from Thailand where he was arrested last week did not match a sample taken at the murder scene. Ramsey is the six-year-old beauty queen found murdered in the basement of her Boulder, Colorado home the day after Christmas in 1996. Karr could still face unrelated child pornography charges in California. (Photo by Thomas Cooper/Getty Images)
Dec 26, 1997 - Marietta, Georgia, USA - JonBenet Ramsey grave on one year anniversary of her death. Former Little Miss Colorado JonBenet Patricia Ramsey (8/6/90-1996-12-25), was found strangled in the basement of her family's home in Boulder, Colorado, Thursday, Dec. 26, 1996. 
Marietta, GA -- JonBenet Ramsey would've turned twenty years old this week. The child beauty pageant star was mysteriously killed on Christmas, 1996 in Boulder, Colorado. She was six years old. Dozens of theories abound, but no one has ever been charged with her murder.
Aug 20, 2006; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Members of the news media gather at the arrival area of Los Angeles International Airport to interview passengers arriving from the same flight with John Mark Karr, the suspect in the killing of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006. 
John Mark Karr (C) is taken into a court room with his attorney Rob Amparan before his bail hearing in Santa Rosa, California, September 19, 2006. Karr, the schoolteacher who made worldwide headlines by confessing to one of America's most notorious unsolved crimes, the murder of six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey, is now facing charges of five counts of possessing child pornography. REUTERS/John Burgess/Pool (UNITED STATES)
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