Read the report in the Daily Camera: JonBenet Ramsey murder suspect Gary Oliva charged in Boulder child porn case. Copied below in its entirety:
As more than half a dozen national television productions prepare to mark the nearly two decades that have passed since the murder of JonBenet Ramsey, a suspect in the notorious unsolved slaying is in the Boulder County Jail on charges of sexually exploiting a child.
Gary Howard Oliva, 52, was booked without bond into the jail Friday on a case brought by the Boulder Police Department, the same agency that has labored for two decades to bring resolution to the notorious Christmas night 1996 slaying of the 6-year-old child beauty queen.
The affidavit for Oliva’s arrest alleges that in April he uploaded to a Google email address 20 or more images of graphic child pornography. Some images featured a girl estimated to be between 4 and 7 engaged in sexual acts with an adult male whose face is not seen.
The most recent investigation into Oliva was sparked by a “cybertip” from Google to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, then forwarded to Boulder police via the Internet Crimes Against Children task force.
Oliva, who is described in the affidavit as homeless, allegedly accessed child pornography through an IP address traced to the 5300 block of Western Avenue, Boulder. That was “very similar” to an address he used with Boulder police when registering as a sexual offender in October 2015, the affidavit stated.
More recently, Oliva registered again with the city as a sexual offender on June 1, according to the affidavit.
Oliva was formally charged at the Boulder County Jail on Tuesday with two counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a child and one count of sexual exploitation of a child, all class 4 felonies. He was ordered held on $10,000 bond, and his preliminary hearing is set for July 11.
A number of people over the years have risen to the surface as suspects in the Ramsey case, only to subsequently be dismissed as non-factors or officially cleared of suspicion. Some have died as time has passed, even as the mystery of what happened in the Ramsey house lives on.
Oliva, a previously convicted sex offender from Oregon who had traveled numerous times to Boulder, was targeted as deserving close scrutiny as a suspect by the late Lou Smit, the highly respected Colorado Springs homicide detective hired to assist the Boulder District Attorney’s Office in the star-crossed murder probe.
Smit became a staunch advocate of the Ramseys’ innocence and a proponent of the theory that an intruder came into their home to kill the girl. Smit continued to work the case on his own after splitting from the District Attorney’s Office, developing numerous alternate suspects in the case. Smit died in 2010, succumbing to cancer four years after Patsy Ramsey, JonBenet’s mother, met the same fate.
Oliva penned ‘Ode to JonBenet’
Oliva was not among the early suspects to surface in JonBenet’s murder, but was highlighted in an in-depth piece broadcast by the CBS program “48 Hours Investigates” in October 2002.
In that piece, Oliva was identified as a then 38-year-old convicted and registered sex offender who was possibly close to the Ramsey home the night JonBenet was killed.
Smit said that Oliva also appeared at a candlelight vigil outside the Ramsey residence one year to the date of the crime — the type of behavior that is sometimes seen in criminal perpetrators.
According to the program, Oliva had been classified as a paranoid schizophrenic who once tried to strangle his mother with a telephone cord and had a conviction for assaulting a 7-year-old girl in Oregon for which he spent time in prison.
Oliva, it was also alleged, frequented addresses in Boulder owned by a local church which fed homeless people. Some of those locations were reportedly not far from the Ramseys’ residence at 755 15th St. Due to the notoriety of the property, the Ramseys’ former address has since been re-tagged as 749 15th St.
The CBS program reported that Oliva called a close friend not long after JonBenet’s death, sobbing and saying he was in Boulder and that he had “done something horrible” and had hurt a child.
Additionally, he was arrested Dec. 12, 2000, on the University of Colorado campus on allegations that included criminal trespass, possession of marijuana and possession of a weapon by a previous offender. That weapon was a stun gun.
Oliva’s possession of a stun gun was potentially significant because some investigators, Smit included, believe such a weapon was used on JonBenet. Other detectives are not convinced on that point.
Oliva was discovered to be carrying a photograph of JonBenet in his personal property. Also, Oliva had in his possession a poem he had written, titled “Ode to JonBenet.”
In the 2002 jailhouse interview that was part of the “48 Hours Investigates” broadcast, Oliva denied hurting or killing JonBenet. He also said he had never used a stun gun on a child.
But Oliva did admit to an obsession with the Ramseys’ youngest child.
“I believe she came to me after she was killed and revealed herself to me,” he said. “I’d like to see a memorial set up for her. I haven’t seen that, anywhere.”
In an interview with the Daily Camera after the 2002 CBS broadcast, then-Boulder Police chief Mark Beckner said Oliva remained a suspect in the Ramsey case.
“We haven’t cleared anyone per se,” Beckner told the Camera. “Before you solve the case, you can’t say anyone has been cleared. I think we’ve been very careful at not doing that at all.”
Tuesday, city spokeswoman Sarah Huntley said, “Over the history of this case, there have been a variety of people we have looked at for potential connections. Mr. Oliva is one of those people.
“The police department is certainly very familiar with him, both because of the investigation that was done in the context of the Ramsey case, and because of his criminal history and the fact that he is a registered sex offender.”
Huntley added, “The police department diligently investigated these current allegations and believes there is probable cause to support the arrest. But we’re currently not comfortable ruling anybody out as a suspect, or ruling anybody in as a suspect in the Ramsey case.”
The department would have no further comment, she said.
‘Dr. Phil’ on the case
Former Boulder County District Attorney Mary Lacy did rule suspects out, doing so with a July 9, 2008, letter to John Ramsey. Lacy said she was clearing John Ramsey, his deceased wife and their son, Burke, of any suspicion in JonBenet’s murder due to new findings based on analysis of what is termed “touch” DNA.
Lacy’s successor, Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett, has openly questioned Lacy’s decision to issue that exoneration, and is not bound by that or any other decisions his predecessors made in the case.
John and Patsy Ramsey were both indicted for child abuse resulting in death and accessory to first-degree murder by a Boulder County grand jury that reviewed the case for 13 months before being disbanded in October 2000. The indictments were not disclosed to the public at that time and only became public 13 years later after a lawsuit filed against Garnett secured their release.
Those indictments were never prosecuted by former Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter, however. He concluded they were based on evidence insufficient to secure a conviction at trial.
JonBenet, who had enjoyed some success in the world of children’s beauty pageants, was found bludgeoned and asphyxiated with a garrote in her family’s basement the afternoon of Dec. 26, 1996. About eight hours earlier, her mother had frantically called 911. She reported that upon waking that day, she had found a 2 ½ page ransom note on a staircase leading to the family’s kitchen.
The ransom note sought $118,000 in exchange for the child’s safe return. That amount matched John Ramsey’s bonus that year for his work as president and CEO of Boulder’s Access Graphics, then a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin.
There was never an attempt to collect that money. JonBenet’s body was ultimately discovered by her father that day in a little used room in the family’s basement after he and family friend Fleet White were prompted by the lone detective on the scene to conduct another search of the house.
Members of the Ramsey family have always maintained their innocence in the case and asserted that an intruder gained access to their home on Christmas night.
Every aspect of the Ramsey saga is likely to get a thorough examination in the coming months, with television productions geared to the passing of 20 years since JonBenet was killed.
The “Dr. Phil” program is the latest to have contacted potential guest experts with invitations to participate in a Ramsey production.
I’d like to see a follow-up report detailing just which local homeless shelter/services providers have been enabling this pervert, Gary Oliva, and I’d like to read the excuses offered by the clowns who are running the crooked nonprofits . . .