HE’S GOT A SICK AND TWISTED HISTORY
Oliva had long kept in touch with an old high school pal, Michael, by exchanging funny cassette tapes. But suddenly, the tapes get “darker, more depraved, and sicker; it would turn my stomach,” says Michael. In one, Oliva simulates raping a little girl he’s babysitting.
After doing prison time for sexually assaulting a 7-year-old girl he was babysitting in Oregon, Oliva breaks probation by trying to strangle his mother. “I should have killed you a long time ago,” he tells her, then admits to cops that he thought “the world would be a better place” without her.
Jonbenét is murdered at her home down the street from St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, where Oliva, then homeless, spent time. Days later, he allegedly calls Michael and confesses that he’s hurt a child. “He was sobbing like you’ve never heard a grown man sob in your life. I knew this was very serious,” says Michael, adding that he called cops about Oliva, but they didn’t follow up.
He’s spotted attending a candlelight vigil (below) outside her house on the anniversary of her death. “Jonbenét’s murder touched me very deeply,” he says. “I feel she was an exceptional girl whose death was an exceptional loss.”
Police search Oliva’s backpack during a drug and trespassing arrest and find a stun gun, a picture of the slain beauty queen and a poem entitled “Ode to Jonbenét.” “I felt the need to build a monument, a shrine, to remember this little girl,” explains Oliva, who is finally questioned by cops about the murder.
In a jailhouse interview, Oliva insists to 48 Hours that he’d never used a stun gun on a child and he didn’t kill Jonbenét, but that he became obsessed with her after she died: “I believe she was a genius at the age of 6.”
Acting on a tip sent from Google to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Boulder cops arrest Oliva — who is homeless — less than four miles from the scene of Jonbenét’s death. He’s charged with possessing more than 20 explicit images of child porn, mostly depicting girls around 4 to 7 years old.