The Final Suspects
#11
A Bone to Pick is the seventh "episode" in this series of podcasts (actually eight so far plus a short teaser), and it is finally the first podcast with audio from the actual investigation underway into further testing of the DNA of what are claimed to be Lou Smit's top-ten list of suspects.  The subject of that audio is the visit by Doug Longhini and Jameson to Rick Gardiner (Sp?) who was a cook and "salad man" at Pasta Jay's restaurant in Boulder.  It was wonderful to  hear this audio; it provides valuable insight into how the request of a subject's DNA and its subsequent collection can go down, as well as provide assurance that this is being carried out in a professional manner, as professional as can be done by private citizens.  Like Jameson, I am skeptical that this particular individual will turn out to be the contributor of any DNA from the crime scene, but like many others, I've felt for years that this is the kind of effort most likely to succeed in identifying the killer, especially compared to the failures of BPD, the FBI, and the celebrity ciminalists so far.  The only problem is correctly prioritizing which rocks should be turned over first.  This is where a theory of the crime can help.  I personally see this crime more about ego than anything else, with revenge being only a secondary or tertiary motive, and money from publicity being a more likely motive than revenge per se. I also see any sexual assault as adding to the notoriety rather than as an end in itself.  But everyone has their own prioritization, and Lou Smit's is probably as good as one can hope for.  This latest episode is the kind of podcast I've been expecting since the preview episode.

One odd thing about the audio was that Rick Gardiner and John Kenady not only sound similar, but speak in a similar rather unusual manner.  If I didn't know better, I'd swear that the same actor was playing both roles.  It probably actually has a lot to do with Boulder and its culture, itself a kind of American counter-culture that is becoming more and more popular.
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#12
Confronting the Hendersons is the "eighth" episode (actually nine plus teaser) of this series of podcasts.  Here again are interesting audio clips from inside this investigation as well as background information about convicted embezzler  Sandra Henderson, her ex-husband, and two stepsons.  Although it does seem a bit of a stretch to include the Hendersons, it's possible that Lou Smit did not have them listed as high-priority suspects.  The actual order of Lou's priority does not seem to be available to these investigators.
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#13
In the first half of the "ninth" episode, Pam Griffin, Paula Woodward, and Stephen Singular discusss a bit of the pageant scene in Boulder.  Singular suggests, as he often has, that perhaps the killer was from the world of child beauty pageants.  This is all old news.  The second half of this episode dealth with John Eustace, a convicted child killer and pedophile from North Carolina.  Although an interesting but quite demented portrait is provided, it is very unlikely that Eustace was involved in the death of JonBenét.  This episode does not seem to progress the case at all.  To be quite frank about it,  I am beginning to wonder whether or not the suspects in this entire series of podcasts actually are Lou Smit's top ten suspects.  No doubt they were listed in his spreadsheet, but at the very top of it?  Smit is on record saying that he believed that the killer was a sadistic pedophile.  Eustace is one, but he was almost certainly in North Carolina at the time.  A number of the suspects so far discussed in this series of podcasts are not sadistic pedophiles as far as we know.  It's as if this were Smit's list after some unexplained culling was done.
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#14
In the "tenth" episode, Predators, John Mark Karr is discussed at first.  Apparently there are still people who are unconvinced that Karr has been looked at thoroughly enough, and in this episode, Laurie Simpson is given a lot of time to present her views on why Karr should still be considered a serious supect.  Unfortunately, claims of this type involving supposedly new evidence could be made over and over again regarding any suspect, resulting in endless loops of investigation.  In contrast to Simpson, Jameson provides some excellent and convincing reasons why Karr should not be considered a serious supect.  Jameson also talks about how Karr has tried to convince her that he really did kill JonBenét, yet he refuses to provide any proof of this, claiming that he doesn't want to be convicted of the crime.  I find it quite disappointing that yet another unlikely suspect is still being seriously considered by anyone.

The second suspect discussed is Ted Cohen, associated with World Pageants Inc. and Gold Coast Talent Agency, who was charged with molestation of underaged girls.  It's possible that he was a judge at a pageant in which JonBenét participated, but there is no evidence of this.  Furthermore, Cohen was based in Florida, a long way from Colorado.  Doug Longhini interviews a son of Cohen who claimed his father modelled himself after Hugh Hefner, which his son found disgusting and "a lot creepy."  Apparently his father's life consisted purely of politics and beauty pageants.

At the end of this episode, Jameson provides the name of Jeff Owings who appears to be Jefferson Wade Owings, now incarcerated.  Owings was suggested by photographer Randy Simons as someone that should be investigated for the Ramsey homicide.  This recommendation alone makes him a better suspect that either of those discussed earlier in this podcast.
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#15
The "eleventh" episode of this series of podcasts, A Way Forward, includes a phone call to a DNA expert, analytical chemist Richard Eikelenboom.  Eikelenboom's wife, who trained as a doctor and worked as a psychotherapist and welfare worker, started an independent testing lab in the Netherlands which Eikelenboom later joined.  Eikelenboom has been a controversial figure in Denver in the past.  At the start of the episode, Doug Longhini and John Andrew Ramsey discuss advances in DNA technology and how more could be done today than could be done in 2000 and 2008. 

The result of the interview with Eikelenboom is pretty much what anyone with some background in a physical science as well as an introductory course in probability and statistics, armed with an executive summary gleaned from mainstream news magazines of recent developments in DNA technology, could easily have suggested.  Also not surprising is Eikelenboom's criticism of the policies of the FBI regarding CODIS profiles which lag behind recent technological developments and don't make particularly good use of partial profiles.  The main problem, of course, is how to obtain and apply resources to accomplish these suggestions.  An accompanying problem is prioritization, optimization of the sequence of testing, to be determined by the questions: Who are the most likely suspects and/or what is the most likely theory of the crime?  For listeners who lack a background in a physical science or in probability and statistics, Eikelenboom straightforward explanations may nevertheless prove informative and persuasive.

Although Eikelenboom didn't mention it, people are so used to hearing quadrillions- and quintillions-to-one results that they fail to recognize that one in 256 can produce an excellent suspect in most cases.  Common-sense techniques of combining age and geographical exclusion with lab results that have been successfully applied for years in other areas, for example in fingerprint analyses, could be applied to DNA testing to make use of partial profiles.

On Edit: I neglected to write that Eikelenboom confirmed that new samples from existing evidence would be needed for genealogical testing.  Genealogical testing requires different information than that developed for the profiles that are obtained for entry into CODIS.  Whether or not developing this information is being done for this case appears not to be publicly known at this time.
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#16
The "twelfth" and "final" episode, The Killer Among Us, is a summary of previous episodes and of the series of podcasts taken as a whole.  If one wanted to know what this series is about, not much would be missed by listening only to this latest episode.  Although the host characterized this as a "deep dive" into Lou Smit's "database," I quite frankly think that most professionals involved in research other than investigative reporting, for example career scientists, would characterize it differently, such as a brief wade into the shallow end of a pool.   It was interesting to hear the conversation between Doug Longhini, Jameson, and John Andrew Ramsey on the one hand, and John and Jan Ramsey on the other, as the summary was discussed.  Hope of a revived investigation on the part of the Boulder Police Department (BPD) was raised, given that there soon will be a new Chief of Police who was hired from outside BPD.  The obvious paths of genealogical DNA testing and the testing of additional items of evidence were suggested as possible avenues for the potentially revived investigation.  The podcast closed with an appeal to anyone who might have additional information, much like the appeals of John Walsh throughout his programs.  The best that we could probably hope for is that this investigative work has resulted in some promising additional information that was not discussed in the podcasts.
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