The Murder of JonBenet Ramsey


Jennifer Flores, Writer

On December 26, 1996, JonBenet Ramsey was found dead in her basement in Boulder Country, Colorado. JonBenet Ramsey was a 6-year-old beauty pageant winner in her hometown Colorado; her name is pronounced in a French style (Zhawn-ben-AY). She lived with her mother and father Patricia ‘Patsy’ and John Ramsey.

Patsy Ramsey was a pageant winner in Virginia in 1977 and attended West Virginia University and graduated with a B.A in Journalism in 1978. Two years later Patsy married John Ramsey who was a Navy as a Civil Engineer Corps officer in the Philippines and Atlanta. After the birth of JonBenet the Ramsey moved from Atlanta Georgia to Boulder Colorado, in 1991 for John’s work. The Ramsey family’s net worth in 1999 was reported to be $6.4 million.

JonBenet had four siblings: Burke Ramsey, John Andrew (half-brother), Melinda Ramsey (half-sister) and Elizabeth Ramsey (half-sister). The morning of December 26 at 5:30 am, the family awoke to catch a private flight to their second home in Michigan, Patsy went to start breakfast for the family. A few steps from the bottom of the staircase Patsy found a ransom note for John Ramsey; demanding $118,000 for the safe return of his daughter JonBenet Ramsey. Patsy called the police right away after reading the ransom note to report their missing daughter, and in the meantime the Ramsey’s began to call their friends the Whites to help them find their missing daughter. The Whites arrived to help search the house and everyone tampered with the evidence by picking up things around the house, making it difficult for the police to solve the crime when they arrived at the scene.

Around 1 pm John Ramsey and Fleet Whites found JonBenet in the wine cellular in the basement of the Ramsey house. JonBenet was wrapped in a blanket with tape over her mouth, scratches all over, and a wire cord tied around her neck; John Ramsey brought her to the couch in the living room so the coroner to inspect her. The coroner John Meyer inspected JonBenet and concluded that Jonbenet had died from strangulation and head injury, he also concluded that there was pineapple in her stomach that appears that she eaten it the night before she was dead. However, the parents don’t recall giving her pineapple but there was a bowl of pineapple in the kitchen table which had Jonbenet 9-year-old Burke Ramsey fingerprints all over. This evidence was not important since fingerprints can’t tell time. John Meyer found blood in her underwear that showed signs of sexual assault, but her area was wiped clean.

There are two theories about the JonBenet case, the family theory and the intruder theory. The family theory was that the police figured out that the ransom note was written with a pen and paper that was used in the Ramsey house. Detectives who helped try to solve the crime, noted that the ransom note was staged and was too long because it was a three-page note. The note also asks for the same amount of money that John Ramsey received as a bonus from his job. However, the detective did an investigation on each of the family members of the Ramsey. They tested out each of their handwriting to see if it matches the ransom note, but none of the family member’s handwriting matched and this analysis was not further supported by any other evidence.  The detective also pointed out that the Ramsey relationship with JonBenet, they said that the family showed child endangerment, but there was very little evidence shown to that.

The intruder theory was also focused on too because police officers found things outside the Ramsey’s house that the family believed that it wasn’t theirs such as a bat outside their basement window. Detectives theorized that the intruder broke in the house and waited for the whole family to be asleep and kidnapped JonBenet to hurt her, but they don’t understand about the note why it was written while JonBenet was already hurt and dead. They couldn’t find any more clues about the intruder after that. This investigation went on for years.

On December 2003 scientists form a new DNA technology improvement and a new DNA blood drop sample that was found in JonBenet underwear that detectives believed it could be from the intruder who was an unknown male was sent to the FBI database to find a new lead. After analyzing there was no matches were identified to connect to the intruder. The Ramsey moved to Atlanta after the killing of JonBenet Ramsey and buried her body in Marrietta, Georgia. On June 2006 Patsy Ramsey passed away due to cancer and was buried alongside with her daughter JonBenet. On August 16, 2006, the officials announced that they arrested a 41-year-old American man in Thailand, John Mark Korr. He was arrested for admitting to the American investigators that he drugged JonBenet and sexually assaulted her before accidentally killing her. No evidence was found that John Mark Korr drugged her, and this information was left unknown when the DNA failed to link him with the crime.

The Boulder Daily Camera reports that in 1999, the trail of JonBenet, the jury voted that the parents were responsible of the death of JonBenet due to child abuse since the detectives reviewed about the family after JonBenet murder. Later, this wasn’t enough evidence to solve the case. In 2016 CBS aired a docu-series about the death of JonBenet and suggested that her brother Burke Ramsey was the culprit of this crime. Burke files a $750 million deformation lawsuit against this network and the production company due to false information.

Today the crime of JonBenet Ramsey still remains unsolved. Detectives are still hoping someone would step forward about this crime that happened 26 years ago hoping to find an answer to this.