No, of course not!
Legs’ column for VICE.COM
Back in the 90s, the family of famed Dead Kennedys screamer Jello Biafra lived just a few blocks away from JonBenét Ramsey‘s house in Boulder, Colorado. He was in the neighborhood when the famous flaxen-haired six-year-old was brutally slain in 1996.
Why the FBI never interviewed him, the world will never know, but I bet it would have made for hysterical reading.
Instead of lobbying the FBI, I thought I’d conduct my own investigation into the wild world of Jello Biafra, to find out just what he was up to that fateful night… and just who stole that candy cane off their front lawn. His account is below.
The first day after the JonBenét Ramsey murder there were four or five paragraphs on the front of the Boulder Daily Camera. The next day there was maybe triple that amount of ink, and then the next day there was page after page after page and the circus had come to town. It was wild.
A lot of the national journalists spent most of their time hanging around at the bar at the Harvest House Hotel, just getting drunk on each other, but it was crazy. I’d just come back from a New Year’s show at the Blue Bird in Denver and had a little bit of a buzz going on. It was a good show, a lot of energy. It was three in the morning, the night was young, I was bored, What should I do?
I know, I’ll go to JonBenét’s house!
So I stopped by on the way home. It’s about a five-minute walk from where I grew up. It was below freezing outside, with two feet of snow on the ground, and the Ramseys had fled the house to get away from the media. There was a CBS truck or a CNN truck. A couple of those corporate news cartoon vans were floodlighting the front of the Ramseys’ mansion, with their engines running at three in the morning, just in case something happened.
I’m still kicking myself for not pulling over, whipping out the recording Walkman I carried with me everywhere, and just knocking on the door of the van, asking, “What are you trying to do here, people? Now I’m interviewing you! Gimme some fucking news! Do you have any?”
One of my friends, Bob, managed to “acquire” one of the plastic candy canes from the Ramseyss front yard. He got together a bunch of articles about her, and along with the candy cane, built a shrine to JonBenét in his bedroom.
CBS was rooting around, trying to dig up some overlooked suspects in the murder of JonBenét, so Bob invited CBS to come over and check out his shrine. And sure enough, they filmed it and ran the piece! They were pointing fingers at different people on this segment; then there was the candy cane with Bob talking about how much JonBenét meant to him in his life. They fucking fell for it.
So a day or two after the broadcast, the FBI stormed Bob’s house and took away his JonBenét collection, including the candy cane. He’s never been able to get it back.
My family dentist was saying that the grandpa did it, because he was whisked away to the airport in the wee hours of that morning, but I never heard that anywhere else.
I don’t think the little brother did it, because it was too sophisticated for a kid that young. I don’t think he had sperm yet, and they found some kind of semen on her. But again, I could be wrong.
My uncle said that he heard that the Detroit mob did it, to get back at John Ramsey for something he’d done in Detroit. But if the mob wanted to get your ass badly enough, they wouldn’t kill your daughter–they’d kill you.
The other rumor floating around was that 50 different people had copies of the house keys. The Ramseys were trusting and would let people come and go, doing favors for them. The problem is, if even five extra people have keys, a well-meaning person might make a copy for some other well-meaning person who might make another copy for some other well-meaning person who might have some not-so-well-meaning friend swipe the key and make a copy for themselves.
I mean, there was so much missing information, and misinformation, so people could point fingers all they wanted. But I think the DA, Alex Hunter, was right in not brining the case to trial, even when a grand jury recommended charging the parents. Hunter was an experienced prosecutor and knew that the case wasn’t a slam dunk. I think he made the right decision, especially when the parents got cleared later on.
And it’s still going on. It’s still an unsolved murder. I mean, it may be the biggest tabloid sensation of its time since the Black Dahlia murder case.
READ MORE ABOUT JELLO AND HR GIGER, THE RAMONES, and more at VICE.COM