Unsolved: The Murder of JonBenét Ramsey (1996)

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This next case is the most talked about in the Colorado Area. They have done a TV show on Investigation Discovery and even brought in a former FBI agent to help with this case that remains unsolved. This is the case on JonBenét Ramsey.

It was the early morning hours of December 26, 1996, when John and Patsy Ramsey awoke to find their 6 year old, JonBenét Ramsey, missing from her bed in their home in Boulder, Colorado. John and Patsy had gotten up to prepare for a trip, when Patsy discovered a ransom note on the stairs demanding $118,000 for their daughters return.

With the ransom notes warning about not contacting the police, Patsy immediately called them, as well as friends and family to help this family find JonBenét. The call was made at around 5:45 AM and by 5:55 AM the police had arrived. Police began to search the property and found no signs of forced entry, but to no suspicious did they check the basement of the Ramsey Home. Why wouldn’t they check there? If there was force entry why not check all areas of the home that would include the Attic and the basement?

Before the body was found, police made many investigative mistakes, they only cornered off JonBenét’s room. But if a child was missing wouldn’t the whole house had been taped off and every square inch of that place be searched? I’m not fully understanding why only her room was taped off. Along with only her room being taped off, friends and family continued to come in an out of the house destroying all evidence that could have been anywhere else in the house. Police also shared evidence with the family before conducting interviews with them.

At 1:00 PM, the detectives tell John Ramsey and a family friend to go around the house to see if anything was missed. And low and behold the first place John Ramsey goes is the basement, why would he bee line straight for the basement? That is where the found the lifeless body of JonBenét. John Ramsey immediately picked up his daughters body and brought her upstairs destroying any piece of evidence that could have been there.

I get it, as a parent your first reaction would be to scoop them up in your arms, but common sense would tell you that you not touch the body because that is now a crime scene. That could be just me because I have watched and listened to so many crime shows and episodes but that would be my first instinct I would think.

She had sustained a broken skull from a blow to the head and had been strangled; a piece of cord was found tied around her neck. The autopsy report stated that JonBenét’s official cause of death was “asphyxia by strangulation associated with craniocerebral trauma “. Her death was officially ruled a homicide. Her mouth had been covered in duct tape and her wrists were wrapped with a white cord like her neck and her stomach had been covered in a white blanket. There was no conclusive evidence of rape as no semen was found on the body and her vagina appeared to have been wiped clean, although sexual assault did occur. The coroner found what was believed to be a pineapple in JonBenét’s stomach, but her parents do not remember giving her any the night before she died, but there was a bowl of pineapple in the kitchen which had her brother Burke’s fingerprints on it. However this was meant little since time cannot be attributed to fingerprints. The parents insisted that Burke was in his room all night asleep and there was no evidence to reflect otherwise.

Despite a larger pool of suspects, the media immediately focused on JonBenét’s parents, and they spent years under the harsh limelight of the public eye. In 1999, a Colorado grand jury voted to indict the Ramseys on child endangerment and obstruction of a murder investigation, however the prosecutor felt that the evidence did not meet the beyond a reasonable doubt standard and declined to prosecute. JonBenét’s parents were never officially named as suspects in the murder.

Alternatively, the intruder theory had lots of physical evidence to support it. There was a boot print found next to JonBenét’s body which did not belong to anyone in the family. There was also a broken window in the basement which was believed to be the most likely point of entry for an intruder. Additionally, there was DNA from drops of blood from an unknown male found on her underwear. The floors in the Ramsey’s home were heavily carpeted, making it plausible for an intruder to have carried JonBenét downstairs without waking the family.

One of the most famous suspects was John Karr. He was arrested in 2006 when he confessed to killing JonBenét by accident, after he had drugged and sexually assaulted her. Karr was eventually dismissed as a suspect after it was revealed that no drugs had been found in JonBenét’s system, police could not confirm he was in Boulder at the time, and his DNA did not match the profile generated from the samples found.

Much of the recent investigation in the case revolves around the DNA profiles developed from the sample found in her underwear and the touch DNA later developed from her long johns. The profile from her underwear was entered into CODIS (the national DNA database) in 2003, but no matches have been identified.

In 2006, Boulder District Attorney Mary Lacy took over the case. She agreed with the federal prosecutor that the intruder theory was more plausible than the Ramsey’s killing their daughter. Under Lacy’s lead, investigators developed a DNA profile from touch DNA (DNA left behind by skin cells) on her long johns. In 2008 Lacy released a statement detailing the DNA evidence and fully exonerating the Ramsey family, saying in part:

“The Boulder District Attorney’s Office does not consider any member of the Ramsey family, including John, Patsy, or Burke Ramsey, as suspects in this case. We make this announcement now because we have recently obtained this new scientific evidence that adds significantly to the exculpatory value of the previous scientific evidence. We do so with full appreciation for the other evidence in this case.

Local, national, and even international publicity has focused on the murder of JonBenét Ramsey. Many members of the public came to believe that one or more of the Ramsey’s, including her mother or her father or even her brother, were responsible for this brutal homicide. Those suspicions were not based on evidence that had been tested in court; rather, they were based on evidence reported by the media.”

In 2010 the case was officially reopened with renewed focus on the DNA samples. Further testing has been conducted on the samples and experts now believe that the sample is actually from two individuals rather than one. In 2016 it was announced that the DNA would be sent to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to be tested using more modern methods and authorities hope to develop an even stronger DNA profile of the killer.

There was a theory on the 911 call that is rather unusual. There was a team to used modern equipment and they had a interview with the 911 dispatcher who took the phone call the night JonBenét went missing, to examine the 911 call and claimed that there were 3 voices on the tape: Patsy, John and Burke. They believed one of the 3 voices was a young boy. At the end of the call the 911 dispatcher heard Patsy say, “Ok, we’ve called the police, now what?” By slowing down the last 6 seconds of the call, they heard 3 people talking. Patsy was deemed to have said, “What did you do?” and “Help me, Jesus.” John saying, “We’re not speaking to you.” A child, more thank likely Burke, saying “What did you find?” But what stands out to me is, Patsy never uses her daughters name, not once, she is just saying, “I’m the mother, we have a kidnapping.” If it was me I would be giving so much more details that just pretty narrow answers.

I had managed to see what the ransom note says, I have put it below in the picture of the note and as well as the text.

“Mr. Ramsey,

Listen carefully! We are a group of individuals that represent a small foreign faction. We do respect your business but not the country that it serves. At this time we have your daughter in our possession. She is safe and unharmed and if you want her to see 1997, you must follow our instructions to the letter.

You will withdraw $118,000.00 from your account. $100,000 will be in $100 bills and the remaining $18,000 in $20 bills. Make sure that you bring an adequate size attache to the bank. When you get home you will put the money in a brown paper bag. I will call you between 8 and 10 am tomorrow to instruct you on delivery. The delivery will be exhausting so I advise you to be rested. If we monitor you getting the money early, we might call you early to arrange an earlier delivery of the money and hence a earlier delivery pick-up of your daughter.

Any deviation of my instructions will result in the immediate execution of your daughter. You will also be denied her remains for proper burial. The two gentlemen watching over your daughter do not particularly like you so I advise you not to provoke them. Speaking to anyone about your situation, such as Police, F.B.I., etc., will result in your daughter being beheaded. If we catch you talking to a stray dog, she dies. If you alert bank authorities, she dies. If the money is in any way marked or tampered with, she dies. You will be scanned for electronic devices and if any are found, she dies. You can try to deceive us but be warned that we are familiar with law enforcement countermeasures and tactics. You stand a 99% chance of killing your daughter if you try to out smart  us. Follow our instructions and you stand a 100% chance of getting her back.

You and your family are under constant scrutiny as well as the authorities. Don’t try to grow a brain John. You are not the only fat cat around so don’t think that killing will be difficult. Don’t underestimate us John. Use that good southern common sense of yours. It is up to you now John!

Victory!

S.B.T.C”

Now there is a lot of grammar errors in this so it might be hard to read but this is directly pointing at the father, what was going on but according to my research, John Ramsey had gotten a Christmas bonus, and guess how much it was? You guessed it right, $118,000.

Experts also took the time to recreate the ransom note and and it took more than 21 minutes for them to copy it, which makes them think it took the killer or killers more time to write. The pen and paper that they used were not left out, but returned to their exact spot where it had been, and many lines had been taken from various films.

There is a new show that I just watched on TV about this case which peaked my interest about this case and started doing research, there had been many theories on how the “kidnappers” got into the house, for some unreason that night, the alarm had not been set so they believed they entered through an open window in the basement and in this show, it does show a possible scuff mark on the wall but what shocked me was there was a suitcase by the window where they supposedly came in at.

Why would there be a suitcase by the window? Were they planning on putting JonBenét in there and she put up a fight? Or did they use it to climb back out the window? There was an alley way that was completely obscure to anything and lot of hiding places for the supposed killers to hide and get away.

But don’t you think that by now somebody would have talked about this? I mean somebody would have had to have opened there mouth and started to brag about getting away with this murder for 24 years and making the police not have one single lead in there investigation.

Patsy Ramsey died almost 10 years after the murder of her daughter, im sure the death and the investigation of her daughter along with fighting stage 4 ovarian cancer just took its toll on her and exhaustion got the best of her. Hopefully police and investigators will be able to close this case and give the rest of this family closure about what happened to their daughter, sister, granddaughter, friend.

Sources:

JonBenét Ramsey – Crime Museum

The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey – Wikipedia