Her announcement Wednesday that DNA scraped from the long johns of JonBenet Ramsey matches the genetic material of an unknown male found previously on the murdered girl's underpants provides stunning support for Lacy's long-held theory that an intruder committed the crime. Yet the district attorney coupled this revelation with an apology to the Ramsey family and a declaration that they have been cleared and vindicated.
Not only was it imprudent to go so far but Lacy herself said as much during a press conference following the memorable John Mark Karr fiasco. As you may recall, Karr was arrested in Thailand and brought back to the United States as a suspect in the case, only to be released in fairly short order.
The relevant segment of that press conference was played Wednesday on KHOW radio's Caplis & Silverman show after it was retrieved by Todd Shepherd of CompleteColorado.com.
During that press conference, Lacy was asked if it would be "fair to say that any involvement by John or Patsy Ramsey is completely ruled out by your office. Are you committed to an intruder theory of the crime?"
Her answer: "What we are committed to is solving the crime if we possibly can. You know there are these terms out there - 'umbrella of suspicion' - we don't use that. No one is really cleared of a homicide until there's a conviction in court beyond a reasonable doubt. And I don't think you will get any prosecutor, unless they were present with the person at the time of the crime, to clear someone, like in this case, [where] the facts are so strange and obviously the family was in the house at the time."
That was just two years ago, in case you're wondering.
Let's be clear: The DA's persistence in pursuing leads and employing the very latest technology is highly commendable. And she is apparently correct in asserting, as she did in her press release, that "the unexplained third party DNA on the clothing of the victim is very significant and powerful evidence.
It is very unlikely that there would be an innocent explanation for DNA found at three different locations on two separate items of clothing worn by the victim at the time of her murder.
This is particularly true in this case because the matching DNA profiles were found on genetic material from inside the crotch of the victim's underwear and near the waist on both sides of her long johns, and because concerted efforts that might identify a source, and perhaps an innocent explanation, were unsuccessful."
In other words, the public may be pleasantly surprised someday by the announcement of an arrest for the murder of JonBenet, the result of a DNA match that pops up after the killer commits another crime and is required to provide a genetic sample.
This is a huge development in the case and obviously a heavy blow to those who have so confidently (and recklessly) asserted throughout the years that the killer unquestionably was one of the parents.
Yet let's also not forget Lacy's own words of two years ago: "The facts are so strange and obviously the family was in the house at the time." Not only that, remember how the Ramseys dummied up after the crime, rejecting interviews with law enforcement?
Why, of course they were considered possible suspects.
Lacy needn't apologize because police and prosecutors entertained that thought and failed to clear them earlier. Nor does the apparent existence of a third party absolutely rule out the involvement of others, as remote as it might now appear.
Over the years, we've made no secret of our belief that Lacy is prone to flamboyant excess, from claiming damning knowledge about the University of Colorado athletic program that she clearly didn't possess to engineering the arrest of Karr without having completed the sort of rudimentary probe that would have cleared him and averted the ensuing embarrassment.
Now, at a moment when she can rightly claim a major advance in the most notorious unsolved murder in Boulder in decades, she has sullied the event by showboating once again. It is no coincidence, we might add, that her dubious behavior once again serves the interest not of justice, but of Mary Lacy.