On Christmas morning, 1996, the morning his daughter had been kidnapped, John Ramsey received this note: “Listen carefully!  We are a group of individuals that represent a small foreign faction.  We respect your business but not the country that it serves.  At this time we have your daughter in our possession. She is safe and unharmed, and if you want her to see 1997, you must follow our instructions to the letter.”

Six days later, and 380 miles away, the Boulder Police Department contacted Telluride Chief Marshal James Kolar to investigate a family friend of the Ramseys, who was vacationing in the area.  For the next nine months, Kolar would “become a lead investigator in what was to become one of the most bizarre murder investigations this country has ever witnessed.” On Tuesday, October 23 at 6:00 p.m., Kolar will bring his expertise on this case to the Wilkinson Public Library in a presentation that will include pictures of the evidence exhibited in his book, a discussion on the self-publication process, and an opportunity for attendees to inquire about a case that captured the public’s imagination.

Kolar’s book, Foreign Faction: Who Really Kidnapped Jon Benét?, reads like a good crime novel with elements of suspense, engaging characters, and an intriguing plot.  Packaged within a true story, his book leaves the reader with a good idea of what happened on that fateful Christmas night in 1997.   As Kolar explains, “Many people suggest that if you follow the evidence, you will come to the conclusion that an intruder was responsible for the murder of Jon Bénet.  My investigate piece goes through a review of that evidence piece by piece and suggests that it is not consistent with the intruder theory.  When you discount this evidence, you take a leap of faith that more than one individual was involved in the event.”  Kolar cautions, however, that while he provides more than 30 pieces of evidence in his book, it is an extremely complicated legal landscape, and there is little hope for this case being revisited.

For aspiring writers, Kolar’s presentation at the library will also discuss the process of self-publication. “This was a first time endeavor for me, and there were many new things to learn.  In the end, it took me three years to write this book and get it published.” These insights, as well as the story itself, are enough to provide any crime enthusiast or aspiring writer with an evening not to miss.  To hear more about Kolar’s writing process and his thoughts on the case, listen to my interview with him below.

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