"It doesn't precisely say that the grand jury thought they killed JonBenet," Toobin said. "It's not precisely clear what they thought they did."
The grand jury in 1999 didn't have the DNA findings that emerged in 2008, Toobin said.
Winner of child pageants
As a little beauty queen, JonBenet pranced across the stage and into America's heart 17 years ago. In heavy makeup, almost like a real-life doll, her images captivated the nation with every strut, every twirl, every wave.
But even with the fame that followed her death, the question of who killed her remains unanswered.
An analysis of the girl's clothes showed the source of the DNA was not a family member, according to court documents.
Death of a beauty queen
On Christmas of 1996, JonBenet received a gift bike. The next day, her parents called police to report she had been kidnapped. The mother found a note demanding a ransom of $118,000 for her return.
But later that day, JonBenet was found dead in the family basement.
Questions and speculation reigned, and the country was riveted by the videotaped performances of JonBenet and her big blonde hair at child beauty pageants. Her parents lived under a cloud of suspicion. Were they involved? Was there an intruder in the house that night?
Years went by. The innocent little girl remained forever 6.
In October 1999, grand jurors assigned to the case went back home, sworn to silence. The eight women and four men had convened regularly for 13 months. They heard from dozens of witnesses, considered 30,000 pieces of evidence. All with one question in mind: Who killed JonBenet?
They had nothing to show for their efforts. Or so it seemed.
On Wednesday -- 14 years after the grand jury dispersed -- Judge J. Robert Lowenbach ordered the release of four pages of sealed documents, as requested by local journalists.
The indictment consists of two pages about the mother and two pages about the father. Only the documents signed by a foreman are being released, according to the judge's order. But the foreman's signature is removed from the documents.
In January, the Boulder Daily Camera, citing unidentified jurors and an assistant district attorney, said the grand jury voted to indict her parents on charges of child abuse resulting in death. The newspaper and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press then successfully sued for the documents' release.
Lowenbach's order Wednesday made reference to the grand jury's report.
"It appears that the district attorney, presumably acting at the direction of the grand jury, prepared a series of possible charges regarding John Ramsey and Patricia Ramsey based on the fact that the child had died and that there was evidence that a sexual assault of the child occurred," Lowenbach wrote.
But then-Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter said there was insufficient evidence to warrant filing charges. He did not sign the indictment, according to the Daily Camera. It had remained sealed until Friday.
The attorney for John Ramsey recently reasserted his client had no role in his daughter's death.
"I have known for years that Boulder prosecutors did not file charges against John and Patsy Ramsey because the evidence to prosecute them did not exist," Wood, the Atlanta lawyer for John Ramsey, said this year.
'Killer on the loose'
Patsy Ramsey had always said her family was innocent.
"There's a killer on the loose," she said a few days after her daughter's body was found. "I don't know who it is. I don't know if it's a she or a he, but ... there's someone out there."