Suspect Gary Oliva admits to killing JonBenét Ramsey in leaked prison letters

The six-year-old child beauty queen was found dead in the basement of her home in Boulder, Colorado, on December 26, 1996.
The six-year-old child beauty queen was found dead in the basement of her home in Boulder, Colorado, on December 26, 1996. Photo credit: Getty

A suspect in the murder of JonBenét Ramsey has admitted to killing the girl in letters written from his prison cell. 

Gary Oliva, 54, allegedly wrote letters to his school classmate Michael Vail, 55, from prison, in which Oliva claims he killed the young beauty queen by accident in 1996, the Daily Mail reports

"I let her slip and her head bashed in half and I watched her die. It was an accident," Oliva wrote in a letter to Mr Vail from his cell in Limon Correctional Facility, Colorado.

Oliva is serving a 10-year sentence for possessing child pornography. He was arrested in 2016 and police found he had kept up to 355 images of JonBenét.

The six-year-old child beauty queen was found dead in the basement of her home in Boulder, Colorado, on December 26, 1996. 

No one was ever arrested over her death, but Mr Vail told the Daily Mail he hopes the letters will prove to be enough evidence to have Oliva charged with JonBenét's murder. 

Oliva is serving a 10-year sentence for possessing child pornography.
Oliva is serving a 10-year sentence for possessing child pornography. Photo credit: Getty

He says he's stayed in touch with Oliva for decades exchanging letters in the hopes that he would someday admit to killing the child, who would now be 28. 

"The thought that he could be released on probation next year chills me to the bone because he should never be allowed out. He is a danger to society," Mr Vail told the Daily Mail

Mr Vail has urged police to charge Oliva for JonBenét's death as he's due for parole in 2020.

The letters have been sent to Boulder police in Colorado, Mr Vail said, adding that he hopes it will "bring justice for JonBenét and peace for her family". 

While Oliva has been a suspect in the girl's murder since 2002, investigators believe there were several men involved in the killing. And Mr Vail hopes Oliva will identify his accomplices. 

In an interview with Daily Mail TV, Mr Vail said his suspicions about Oliva began in 1996 when the accused told him he had "hurt a little girl". 

When Mr Vail read about JonBenét's death in the news, he says that's when he connected the dots and contacted police. He then decided to keep in touch with Oliva. 

In one letter to Mr Vail, Oliva said: I'm a serial murderer. I have a disorder that cannot be stopped."

Last week JonBenét's brother, Burke Ramsey, settled the billion-dollar lawsuit he filed against television network CBS over a documentary theorising that he killed her.

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