A Bungled Investigation

This image made from an undated family video shows JonBenet Ramsey performing during a beauty pageant
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
We're all still stunned by the arrest made in the JonBenet Ramsey case. It's almost 10 years since the little girl was murdered at Christmastime.

Now there is a real suspect who says that yes, he was there when she died and when asked if he was innocent, he said no.

For almost 10 years, the Ramsey family declared their innocence. Each went under the microscope — John, Patsy, even their son. Did we believe them? It seems pretty clear now we should have.

Like other high-profile cases, a bungled investigation leads to horrible consequences. The Ramseys were fodder for endless speculation. Surely people who would put their precious daughter in gaudy beauty contests must have some character flaws, even criminal ones.

Who issues the apology to the Ramsey family not only for the hell they have endured for the last 10 years, but for the fact that when they were trying to mourn their daughter's death, we were treating them as suspects?

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
By Harry Smith