A 59-year-old convicted sex offender currently imprisoned in Colorado is once again the focus of the investigation into the 1996 murder of child beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey in Boulder.
Handwriting analysis by two experts has linked letters written from prison by Gary Oliva to the infamous ransom note written by Ramsey’s killer.
Handwriting experts Mozelle Martin and Dawn McCarty, who had been hired by private investigator Jason Jensen, both told The U.S. Sun that they had found “several significant similarities” between the handwriting of the ransom note and that of Oliva in his letters.
Jensen has been “independently probing” the circumstances around Ramsey’s death, the Sun reported, apparently without a paying client.
The two experts analyzed the handwriting samples independently, but came to similar conclusions.
“On a scale of 1 through 5 — with 1 being a definitive, identical match to the ransom note — both experts ranked Oliva at a 1.75,” the Sun reported.
“And you can’t make this up […] two separate sets of documents by two different authors that have the exact same spacing and all the consistent inconsistencies,” McCarty told the Sun, “how could that possibly be? There’s too many things that are just hard to ignore.
“That doesn’t mean to say he 100% wrote the ransom note,” she added, “but it does call for a serious and more thorough investigation into Gary Oliva.”
“I can’t say 100% that he did it,” Martin concurred, “I wasn’t there and I didn’t see who wrote it, so there’s no way to say for certain, but to me he certainly warrants further investigation.”
Both experts described for the Sun similarities in the ways certain letters were written on in the ransom note and Oliva’s letters.
“Consistency in these features, even when a writer attempts to disguise their handwriting, provides compelling evidence for further exploration,” McCarty wrote in a report of her analysis.
Oliva has also “routinely confessed” to the murder, according to the Sun.
Oliva wrote to Michael Vail, a friend from high school, multiple times from prison, stating that he had killed Ramsey “accidentally” on December 26, 1996.
He has also reportedly been obsessed with Ramsey, who died on Christmas Day when she was only six years old.
“I never loved anyone like I did JonBenét and yet I let her slip and her head bashed in half and I watched her die,” Oliva wrote, according to the Sun. “”It was an accident. Please believe me. She was not like the other kids.”
Oliva has never been charged in relation to the murder, but had reported “ties” to a home only 13 houses away from Ramsey’s at the time of her death.
He was also already a registered sex offender at the time, following a 1990 conviction for sexually abusing a 7-year-old, the Sun reported, and lived within two miles of Ramsey’s home.
Vail has previously said that Oliva called him the day after Ramsey died and said that he had “hurt a little girl” in Boulder.