After all this time, could JonBenet Ramsey’s killer be someone who once pretended to be a family friend?
On the latest episode of the podcast, “The Killing of JonBenét: The Final Suspects,” a team of investigators explore the link between two businessmen and John Ramsey.
Among his other business interests, John was an investor in “Pasta Jay’s”, a popular Boulder pizza restaurant, run by his friend Jay Elowsky.
John and Jay were said to be close good friends, and it was more than a simple business relationship. The Ramsey family were regulars at the restaurant, and even ate there on the Christmas Eve before JonBenet was murdered. In the days after her death, Elowsky put John and Patsy up at his place so they could get of privacy away from the media scrum.
But Elowsky’s desire to shield his friend from the press backfired on him.
“In 1997, Elowsky brandished a baseball bat at two men he thought were photographers who had been harassing Patsy – they turned out to simply be engineers, and in July of that year he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor menacing,” reporter Andy Tillett shares on the podcast.
Gardiner, now 65, is still living in Boulder – and his name is still on the list of uncleared suspects. Detectives working on the podcast were able to track him down and confront the elderly man face-to-face. When they did interview him, Gardiner referred back to Elowsky, and his dwindling restaurant.
“His restaurant was picked up and put on the back of a truck. He loved his restaurant and he lost his restaurant. I thought that he might have some resentment against the city for allowing that to happen. So I thought like, oh, well maybe he has a motive to kill JonBenet to get vengeance on the entire city of Boulder. And that was my theory,” Gardiner stated.
“I started looking around and when the ransom note came out, I started picking up little pieces of paper that had his writing on there,” Gardiner continued. “I started to put a little book together and I convinced myself that he wrote the ransom note. So that freaked me out.”
On June 10, 1999, things came to a shocking head. Rick Gardiner attacked Jay Elowsky with a knife, claiming that his actions were guided by the spirits of dead girls demanding justice for JonBenet. One witness to the attempted stabbing told police that Gardiner claimed: “the children were crying out for vengeance.” Gardiner was arrested and charged with second degree felony assault.
After spending the afternoon with Gardiner, he finally agreed to give a sample of his DNA for testing.
“The Killing of JonBenét: The Final Suspects” podcast aires on Monday, February 10th.
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