In the latest issue of In Touch, Michael Vail, the man who tipped off cops about a dangerous pedophile with a strong connection to JonBenét Ramsey, breaks his silence and reveals his identity after 20 years.
Vail reveals to In Touch what his old high school pal Gary Oliva said in the early morning hours of Dec. 27, 1996, just days after the six-year-old beauty queen was murdered.
“He kept moaning, ‘I hurt a little girl. I hurt a little girl,’” Michael exclusively tells the magazine.
Shocked, Michael was only able to coax a location out of the distraught man — Boulder, Colo. — before Gary hung up on him. An In Touch investigation confirmed that no other little girls were harmed in the area that night.
"To me, Gary’s call that night was a full confession,” Michael says. Gary, 52, denied killing JonBenét but now two decades later, the cold case is getting renewed attention because he has been arrested on charges of child pornography possession.
One of the most chilling insights Michael can reveal is how familiar Gary was with the murder weapon. JonBenét was strangled with a garrote made from a broken paintbrush and an expertly knotted piece of rope. “My blood ran cold when I read that,” says Michael, who learned years later that the reported paranoid schizophrenic had once been arrested for allegedly trying to strangle his own mother with a telephone cord.
“Gary used to carry paintbrushes like that with him when he was an art student and he studied how to make knots. He had drawings of them, and put them in his collages,” he continues. The explicit collages, that can be seen here, featured magazine clippings and drawings pasted together, and provide a terrifying glimpse into the mind of a monster.
Michael says he won’t stop until justice is finally served. “This has been an open wound for me,” he tells the magazine. “He’s a monster and he needs to be where he can never strike again. No other family should be ripped apart by a predator like him.”
For more from Michael, including the description of the “scary" audiotapes Gary Oliva sent him, pick up the latest issue of In Touch, on newsstands now!