A private investigator hired by the parents of murdered six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey has returned to name his top suspect.

Ollie Gray continues to investigate the unsolved murder even decades after he quit working for the Ramseys.

He's convinced that an electrician named Michael Helgoth was involved.

In an interview with the Today show, Gray said Helgoth may have been involved in the six-year-old pageant queen's disturbing 1996 murder and that a taped confession may even exist.

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The 1996 murder of 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey made international headlines and captivated the nation.
The 1996 murder of 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey made international headlines and captivated the nation.

"There are probably three or four people who should have been investigated earlier and still need to be investigated," Mr Gray told NBC.

"The latest development in this particular case as far as I'm concerned is Michael Helgoth. He was basically a hellraiser," Mr Gray said.

Helgoth's name reportedly came up early on in the investigation, but Boulder, Colorado investigators never got any answers because he committed suicide just months after the murder, reports the Daily Mail.

Ollie Gray tells NBC ...
Ollie Gray tells NBC ... "There are probably three or four people who should have been investigated."

"I don't think Mike did all of this by himself," Mr Gray added, inferring that Helgoth may have been murdered by a conspirator to keep his mouth shut.

"Based on what we know now, I believe Helgoth and his accomplices committed the crime. There's no doubt about it," said Mr Gray.

His opinion was backed up by John Kenady, a man who used to work for Helgoth, who told the magazine InTouch; "There was a tape recording made by Helgoth. And in it, he said he killed JonBenet."

Gray called Helgoth a 'hellraiser' and says he may have been killed by a co-conspirator in the murder.
Gray called Helgoth a 'hellraiser' and says he may have been killed by a co-conspirator in the murder.

Mr Kenady also claims that someone close to Helgoth still has the tape, which was overlooked by police during the investigation.

Mr Kenady claims that he first grew suspicious of Helgoth a month before the murder.

"In late November, Helgoth had told me that he and a partner were going to make a great deal and they each will bring in around $US50,000 (NZD$73,100) or $US60,000," said Mr Kenady.

"I will never forget we were walking toward his house and he said, "I wonder what it would be like to crack a human skull."

The body of JonBenet was found bludgeoned and strangled in her basement on December 26 1996.
The body of JonBenet was found bludgeoned and strangled in her basement on December 26 1996.

"I was amazed. I thought it was a very odd thing to say."

The body of JonBenet was found bludgeoned and strangled hours after she was reported missing and covered by a white blanket with a nylon cord around her neck, her wrists bound above her head and her mouth covered by duct tape.

Her skull was also cracked.

Her parents John and Patsy had called police to report her kidnapping and said they found a note demanding a ransom of $US118,000 for her safe return and was warned not to contact the authorities.

Boulder County District Attorney Mary Lacy apologised to the family in 2008. Photo / AP
Boulder County District Attorney Mary Lacy apologised to the family in 2008. Photo / AP

John and Patsy would remain the primary suspects in their daughter's death for more than a decade, and it was not until 2008 that police finally cleared them of any wrongdoing. Boulder District Attorney Mary Lacy even wrote a letter to the family apologising for any pain caused by a suggestion of involvement in the crime.

At that time, Pasty had been dead for two years after a lengthy battle with ovarian cancer.

Kenady believes Helgoth was murdered by an accomplice or accomplices who were with him when he killed JonBenet.

Young beauty contest princess JonBenet Ramsey as she appears on cover of 1997 People Magazine.
Young beauty contest princess JonBenet Ramsey as she appears on cover of 1997 People Magazine.

"The gun was found on Helgoth's right side, but the bullet hole goes from left to right. It doesn't make sense why someone would commit suicide in that manner," said Mr Kenady.

"He was murdered to keep his mouth shut."

A few years after his death however Helgoth was cleared when it was revealed that none of his DNA was found under JonBenet's fingernails or in her underwear.

Mr Gray however thinks that he is the killer, and claims he knows how to officially solve the case once and for all.

"If they could find out who killed Helgoth it could lead police to his accomplices in her murder," he explains.

Many however still believe it was a member of the family, something JonBenet's father addressed in a TV interview that aired last year.

Most of these stories focused on parents John and Patsy, but some went so far as to claim that her brother Burke had been responsible for his sister's death, despite the fact that he was only nine-years-old at the time.

"We tried to shield him from that," John said.

He was exonerated by DNA evidence in May of 1999, a little over two years after the murder.

Burke, now 29-years-old, has never spoken publicly about his sister's death and has kept a low profile for the past decade.

JonBenet, who would now be 25 years old, is buried next to her mother Patsy in Georgia.