5 Things To Know About The JonBenét Ramsey Case —​ 20 Years Later

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jonbenet ramsey
Buzz, Heartbreak

A new documentary series is aiming to break this case wide open.

Sadly, this year marks the 20th anniversary of JonBenét Ramsey’s murder. I vaguely remember when it first happened, but the details and importance of the case never really HIT me until I just started researching it. Any time a child dies, it’s tragic, obviously. But when it’s sensationalized like this was, and remains unsolved, it holds a cloud of discomfort and sadness that's hard to deal with for anyone.

The Investigation Discovery channel will be airing a three part documentary series on September 12th, profiling the case in hopes to break it open, clear up inconsistencies, and close the very cold, controversial case.

Want to watch it but not sure of the actual details? No worries, we got you covered. But WARNING: Grab the tissues. This story is all SORTS of messed up!


1. JonBenét Ramsey was six years old when she was found dead in her parents' basement on Christmas day.

Let’s stop right here and look at just how terrible that is: a CHILD was found murdered on CHRISTMAS day in her own home. During the Christmas season, children bring such joy to what could otherwise be a really difficult time for people. The excitement of opening presents juxtaposed with being killed makes this truly a tragedy. OK! Moving on. 


2. Her family was suspected to be involved in her murder.

When her mother, Patsy, discovered her daughter was missing, she immediately called 911 — during which time she found a ransom note asking for $118,000 for the return of her daughter. The amount requested in the ransom note came into question when it was realized that her father, John, had just received a bonus for approximately the SAME amount.

One of the detectives on scene recommended that a family friend search the house with John for any unusual clues. The two started in the basement, where they eventually found JonBenét's lifeless body under her own white blanket. According to the autopsy, she died of head trauma and strangulation (asphyxiation). It didn’t appear the little girl was raped, but they never ruled out the possibility of sexual assault.

Immediately, the parents and older brother Burke were considered suspects, and with good reason — statistically, when a child dies in the manner that JonBenét did, it’s someone within the child’s close circle.

In newly released court documents, it showed that in 1999, her parents were actually indicted on charges of abuse that led to her untimely death. However, the district attorney refused to sign the indictment, stating there was insufficient evidence to try them in court. 


3. Her mother, Patsy Ramsay was thought to have killed her.

Patsy, who passed away from ovarian cancer in 2006, was active in the child beauty pageant scene with daughter JonBenét, even winning several crowns. Suspicions among the detectives, and media, surfaced about Patty, with rumors that she hurt JonBenét so badly after a night of wetting the bed, that she killed her to cover up the injuries.

Another lead was that Patsy was jealous of her daughter, and could no longer handle the attention she was receiving. Those rumors were never confirmed and eventually, in 2008, all of the Ramsey family members were no longer considered suspects.


3. Someone else confessed to her murder, but things didn't add up correctly.

In 2006, a 41 year-old teacher named John Mark Karr confessed to the brutal murder, but his statements only reflected what was released to the media, with no distinct information that only the murderer would know.

At the time of his confession, Karr was being held on child pornography charges which were later dismissed. It wouldn’t be completely out of the realm of possibility for there to have been a child predator involved with the murder, especially since, according to sources, she was a prime candidate for such a situation.


4. An autopsy finding and a fruit bowl could be the key cracking to the whole case.

A highly revered forensic psychiatrist, Steven Pitt, has gone public about his concern with a key piece of evidence: undigested pineapple. When the autopsy was conducted, pineapple was found in JonBenét's digestive tract, indicating it hadn't yet been digested. Both parents had claimed that she didn't have any pineapples, yet there was a bowl of fruit on their table with fingerprints matching that of her brother, Burke.

The time table of the fruit being eaten and her murder could reveal more information about the homicide.


5. We still don't have any definitive answers.

Despite the hard work of the Boulder Police Department and the countless detectives assigned to the case throughout the 20 years, no one is any closer to solving the mystery of JonBenét's death. The upcoming documentary series may shed some light on new evidence, but until then, it's just guesswork. 

We can only hope that with more exposure, time, and patience, the truth will prevail and innocent JonBenét will receive the justice she, and EVERY abused or murdered child, so rightly deserves. 


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