April 20, 2016
'Casting JonBenét' New Feature Film: Has Ramsey Child's Killer Been Found?

JonBenét Ramsey is swirling in the media again, 20 years after the child's bloody murder in the basement of her parents' home on Christmas Day in Boulder, Colorado.

JonBenét's death has remained a mystery all these years, although a new film that quietly wrapped this past week may reveal the secret killer.

Casting JonBenet is directed by Kitty Green and according to Deadline Hollywood, is "a sly and stylized exploration of the world's most sensational child-murder case, the unsolved death of 6-year-old American beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey."

The film, which has been kept under strict wraps, will chronicle the impact the child's murder has had on the Boulder area and beyond. Casting JonBenet is a provocative hybrid of documentary and narrative feature, including interviews and memories from Ramsey's own community.

The film is being made with grants from Screen Australia, Film Victoria, the Sundance Documentary Film Program, and Cinereach. Producer Scott McMacaulay teamed up with award-winning filmmaker Green (The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul).

"Precisely two decades after the JonBenet Ramsey case first made headlines, Kitty Green and I are excited to be partnered with James Schamus, Meridian and Symbolic Exchange on a film that radically explores the imprint that crime has left on our lives."
Symbolic Exchange president Schamus agreed.
"Kitty Green is among the most fearless and original new voices in cinema today, and we are thrilled to be a part of her team. I'm also pleased that her film marks the first production to be financed under our agreement with Meridian, whose support for original and groundbreaking filmmakers is making this possible."
The film's timing coincides with a buzz about the murderer's identity finally being revealed. An article in Woman's Day cited InTouch, saying the Ramsey family hired a private investigator to find the killer.

The P.I., Ollie Gray, has fingered 26-year-old Michael Helgoth, whose family ran a Boulder junkyard.

"Based on what we know, I believe Helgoth and his accomplices committed the crime."
Opposing Views reported that a former employee of Helgoth, John Kenady, told InTouch that Helgoth was the killer.
"There was a tape recording made by Helgoth. And in it, he said he killed JonBenet."
Kenady told InTouch that he began having suspicions about Helgoth about a month before Ramsey's murder in 1996.
"I will never forget they were walking toward his house and he said, 'I wonder what it would be like to crack a human skull. I was amazed. I thought it was a very odd thing to say.'"
Helgoth allegedly committed suicide in 1997. He had been cleared of the murder because there was no DNA evidence found, although police had not been made aware of the tape.JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, were not cleared of JonBenet's murder until 2008, two years after Patsy died of ovarian cancer.

Jumping on the American Crime Story bandwagon, CBS is planning an as-yet-untitled True Crime series about JonBenet Ramsey's murder. Rolling Stone reported that it will likely be in the vein of the Netflix hit, The People Vs O.J. Simpson.

There was widespread hysteria over the killing of the tiny pageant star, and as The Minaret describes in a blog entitled The Blonde In the Basement, there is still much speculation about her death. She had disappeared from her bedroom in the wee hours of Christmas, and a two-page ransom note was left on the back stairs demanding $18,000. The amount was the same as John's Christmas bonus.

The Ramseys dialed 911, and they searched the house, including the basement, but they didn't look into the far corner of the wine cellar. The police, thinking they were setting up for a kidnapping, brought recording equipment and surveillance, but they didn't thoroughly check the house.

JonBenet's body was found by her father about 10 a.m. in the wine cellar, wrapped in a blanket, with her hands bound and her mouth duct-taped. He carried her upstairs, removing the duct tape, and Patsy threw herself on the body, thus both parents contaminated the evidence.

During the investigation that followed, both parents and JonBenet's brother Burke were considered suspects.

It remains to be seen whether the feature film Casting JonBenet will examine all these factors.

There has been no word whether Katy Perry is in the film.

[Photo of JonBenet Ramsey House by Brennan Linsley/AP]