So, who killed JonBenet? I want to give you an answer. Unfortunately, after 20 years, one false confession, and a 1999 grand jury indictment to put the parents on trial, there is still no answer. Anyone who is aware of this case has their own opinion. To believe one opinion over all others, you must often forego evidence to the contrary. After reading countless articles on this case, watching nearly every documentary regarding it, and mulling through the case files, I can tell you I’m more confused, not less. But, of course I have come to my own conclusions.
There are two basic opinions on who is responsible for the death of JonBenet. The first is that someone in her family is to blame. The question of which member of the family varies among those in this camp. Some believe that Patsy became so enraged by her daughter wetting the bed that she hit her over the head, fracturing her skull. Both parents then panicked and staged the death to look like a kidnapping gone wrong. Others say Burke, the then 9 year old brother, was the one who hit her. Again, in a panic, Patsy and John staged the death. Even others simply believed the parents together killed JonBenet; there have been reports, though ultimately never proved, that JonBenet was molested over a period of time.
The second belief is that someone got into the Ramsey home, wrote the ransom note and had planned to kidnap JonBenet. Something went wrong during the kidnapping and JonBenet was tortured and killed instead of being taken. There were, after all, 38 registered sex offenders in a 2 mile radius of the Ramsey home and more than 100 burglaries occurred in Boulder in the months leading up to JonBenet’s death. It was also well known that the Ramsey’s were very wealthy; just before JonBenet’s death, John’s company announced that it had a net worth of one billion dollars. The ransom note seeks money for JonBenet’s safe return. If the potential kidnapper needed money, they perfectly pinpointed a very wealthy family with two young children to quickly obtain said money.
Ultimately, I believe, just as Boulder police did 20 years ago, that the family is responsible for JonBenet’s death. I think JonBenet’s brother, Burke, enraged at something she did, hit her over the head. Upon doing this, the terrified 9 year old sought help from his parents. Realizing that JonBenet was seriously hurt, the parents staged her death to appear as though it was an attempted kidnapping. There’s so much that might tell me this is not true. But I find it impossible to believe these things about a potential intruder:
- they got into the Ramsey home and pulled JonBenet from her bed without anyone hearing
- they tortured and killed her in a room that was not easily accessible
- they had the forethought to bring JonBenet’s favorite white blanket down to the wine cellar
- they had time to draft and write a nearly 3 page ransom note
- they asked for $118K in the ransom note which is nearly exactly the amount John received in a recent bonus
- they left absolutely no DNA on any portion of the house despite having to be on multiple floors in order to commit the crime
- they killed JonBenet without seemingly attempting to kidnapping her
Outside – Here – the house looks quaint from the front but is actually extremely large – no footprints are found – no signs of forced entry noted by police
Ransom note – Here – extremely bizarre for a ransom note as it’s over 2 pages in length, written with a notepad and pen in the Ramsey home, and drafts of the note were also found – the note cites quotes from movies, uses phrasing the Ramsey family often used in their own Christmas cards
Inside – Here – considered a labyrinth – Patsy calls the police just after 5:30 AM and JonBenet’s body isn’t found in the same house for 8 hours (found, coincidentally by her father) – seems plausible that police searches came up empty after realizing the house layout
JonBenet’s body – I will spare you the graphic nature of the photo, though you can find it online, but there are marks present on JonBenet’s neck and face – some have indicated that this may have been a taser – others note that a piece of a toy train owned by Burke was found near the body and could make exactly the marks that appeared on JBR’s face
Family behavior – after police arrive to the Ramsey residence they note that the parents are acting strangely and their behavior is not consistent with that of family who have a missing child – Burke stays in his room for the first several hours that police are in the home
There are so many details that I’m leaving out. I could truly go on and on about evidence and theory:
- Burke’s 3 taped interrogations and his very bizarre behavior during them
- pineapple in a bowl on the kitchen table with Burke’s DNA on it and pineapple in the stomach of JBR indicating it was the last thing she ate
- Patsy’s handwriting was potentially consistent with that of the ransom note
- the police failed to seal off the home (though to their credit they thought they were initially investigating a missing persons case) and friends and family members walked all over the house while JonBenet’s body was in the basement
- John finds the body and brings her upstairs ruining any evidence to completely convict or exonerate him/his family of the crime
One item that resonates with me more than any other today is the idea of JonBenet as a pageant queen. Nearly all of the photos you see of her today are the pageant photos. To the left is what this little girl actually looked like. To the right is how you know her.
Did you know Patsy bleached JonBenet’s hair? Maybe this was normal in the pageant circuit. It does not make it any less strange to me. What should be kept in mind is that JonBenet really was a 6 year old human child. She played with toys and peed the bed and had friends in her kindergarten class. The media has made her into a doll, a fake thing. But she was real. She was killed. And whoever killed her was never caught.
Don’t blame me if you become enveloped in this case. You will turn it over and over in your mind, believe me. I have. It’s hard to imagine parents staging their own child’s death. Equally as difficult is imagining a 9 year old boy killing his sister. But, the mounting evidence that I see against them far outweighs any intruder theory that I’ve come across. My question, the one that continues to linger, is, how do you live with that? And, more specifically, how do you, as a mother, take that that your grave? I don’t know. But I think Patsy did.