Jonbenet Ramsey Murder – John and Patsy Ramsey of Boulder, Colorado, found their six-year-old daughter JonBenét missing from her bed in the early hours of December 26, 1996. When Patsy and John got up early to pack for a trip, she found a ransom letter on the stairs demanding $118,000 to restore their daughter.
Despite the note’s warning, Patsy immediately called the police and her friends and family to help find JonBenét Ramsey. Police came at 5:55 AM, but since they witnessed no forced entry, they did not search the basement, where her body was eventually found. The investigation before JonBenét’s body was found made many mistakes. Friends and family just cordoned off JonBenét’s room, so they searched the house and maybe deleted evidence. The Boulder Police Department delayed interacting with the Ramseys’ parents while giving them evidence.
The detectives instructed Mr. Ramsey and a family friend to inspect the house around 1:00 PM for any problems. They found JonBenét’s body in the basement. John Ramsey dragged his daughter’s body upstairs after finding it, disturbing the crime scene and destroying any evidence. JonBenét Ramsey’s autopsy found a skull fracture and strangled asphyxiation. Her lips were taped and her neck and wrists were wrapped in white ribbon. A white blanket covered her body. Despite a sexual attack, no semen was found on the body and her vagina appeared to have been wiped clean, hence rape was not proven. The improvised garret was made from a basement paintbrush and cable.
The coroner found pineapple in JonBenét’s stomach. Her parents don’t remember giving her any, but her nine-year-old brother Burke’s fingerprints were on a dish of pineapple in the kitchen the night she died. Since fingerprints cannot establish time, this meant little. The Ramseys said Burke slept all night in his room, but there was no evidence. Ramsey’s main hypotheses are the family and intruder theories. The original investigation focused on the Ramsey family for various reasons. The cops suspected the message was fake because the ransom demand was about the same as John’s bonus earlier in the year. Written with the Ramseys’ pen and paper, it was exceptionally long. The Ramseys also refused to cooperate with authorities, claiming they were afraid of being singled out as suspects and not receiving a proper investigation.
However, investigators interviewed all three closest family members and compared their handwriting to the ransom message. Burke and John were acquitted of memo-writing. No evidence supported Patsy’s handwriting sample’s allegation that she could not be cleared. JonBenét’s parents were the first to be spotlighted, despite a larger number of suspects. In 1999, a Colorado grand jury indicted the Ramseys for harming children and hindering a murder investigation, but the district attorney declined to prosecute because she considered the evidence was insufficient. JonBenét’s parents were never accused of murder.
The intruder theory had more evidence. A non-family boot print was found next to JonBenét’s remains. A damaged basement window was the most likely entry point for an intruder. Her underwear contained DNA from an unidentified male. The Ramseys’ home had thick carpeting, so a robber could carry JonBenét downstairs without waking them. John Karr was a prominent suspect. After drugging and beating JonBenét, he was arrested in 2006. After no narcotics were found in JonBenét’s system, officials were unable to confirm Karr’s presence in Boulder, and his DNA did not match the profile formed from the samples, Karr was dismissed as a suspect.
The case’s latest investigation relies on her underwear DNA and touch DNA from her long johns. In 2003, CODIS received her underwear DNA profile but found no matches. In 2006, Boulder District Attorney Mary Lacy handled the case. She agreed with the federal prosecution that the intruder scenario supported the Ramseys’ daughter’s murder. Lacy helped investigators construct a DNA profile utilizing touch DNA from her long underwear. Lacy stated: The Boulder District Attorney’s Office doesn’t suspect Burke, Patsy, or John Ramsey. Because of this fresh scientific data, we’re announcing this immediately. We do so fully appreciating the other data.
JonBenet Ramsey’s murder garnered national and worldwide attention. The public began to suspect one or more Ramsey family members—her mother, father, or brother—were responsible for this horrible murder. Media stories, not legal review, supported those suspicions. In 2010, the investigation was revived, focusing on DNA evidence. After further investigation, specialists believe the sample is from two people. In 2016, it was stated that the murderer’s DNA would be sent to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for sophisticated analysis.
CBS’s 2016 broadcast of The Case of JonBenét Ramsey accused her nine-year-old brother Burke, despite DNA evidence exonerating him and proving an intruder. Burke sued CBS for $750 million slander. His attorney described the 2019 settlement as “amicably resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.” The JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation continues.