- Category : 1990-births
- Type : PSP
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Sphinx 3
American homicide victim, one of the most famous and frustrating cases of the '90s. The daughter of a charming socialite, Patricia Ann Paugh (born 12/29/1956 in Parkersburg, WV and wealthy businessman John Bennett Ramsey (born 12/07/1943, Lincoln, NE), JonBenet had an older brother, Burke (born 1/27/1987, Marietta, GA) and two older half-siblings, John Andrew (who lived at the Ramsey home) and Melinda. They were both out of town on the night of the murder. The family lived in a 15-room Tudor style home in Boulder, Colorado.
Called "America's Tiny Little Miss," the adorable child was a six-year-old beauty and talent contest winner, dressed in sophisticated costumes and able to model like a pro.
On Christmas night, 1996, she went to bed cheerfully. Sometime before dawn, JonBenét was killed; her skull fractured; she had been sexually molested and strangled with a cord. Duct tape was put over her mouth, and her body was dragged downstairs to a small room in the basement. She was wrapped in a blanket with her feet taped together, her head uncovered and her arms above her head.
When her mom checked the household the following early morning, she found that JonBenet was not in her room. Patsy Ramsey called the police at 5:52 A.M. MST, shouting "Send help!" and saying that her daughter was missing and that a 2½-page ransom note demanding $118,000 had been left by the kidnapper on the steps of the back stairs leading to the kitchen.
The note read, "Dear Mr. Ramsey, We have your daughter..." It was printed in block letters and had neat margins. It also made reference to a Navy air base in the Philippines where John Ramsey had served. Four misspellings in the note appeared to be intentional.
The police arrived at 5:55 AM and made a brief search of the house. Two hours later, a detective arrived, and FBI agents came in at 10:30 AM. It was not until 1:00 PM that someone thought to look in the basement and John Ramsey discovered his daughter’s body. He removed the tape from her mouth and carried her upstairs. She laid on the floor beside the Christmas tree until 10:45 that night, when the coroner’s staff took the body to the police morgue. When John Ramsey found JonBenet at 1:05 PM, her body was completely set with rigor mortis, which indicates that she had died between 10:00 PM on December 25 and 6:00 AM on December 26.
Devastating errors were committed by the police immediately following the crime, so grievous that some critics said, "It was as if the police were attempting to do everything possible to handicap the prosecution." They irrevocably disrupted the crime scene by allowing John Ramsey to pick up his daughter’s body and carry it upstairs to cover it with a blanket. A cord attached to a wooden handle was wrapped around her neck. DNA evidence was contaminated and as well, the Ramseys were not immediately and separately interviewed.
The case remained in the media for the following four years, with apparently no solid evidence to lead to the killer. The Ramsey parents were the focal point of investigations, both of them leading suspects of the police investigation. The ransom note was from paper belonging to the Ramseys and fiber found on the duct tape used to bind the child was consistent with that found on Patsy’s clothing. The small amounts of evidence were basically circumstantial and not enough to bring charges. Though the ransom note was similar to Patsy’s writing, it could not be definitively proven.
The case was tried and the Ramseys lynched and damned by the media and the public. Whether or not the case is ever solved, their lives have moved from one hell to another. Week after week, JonBenet’s exquisite features were pictured in the tabloids until the public began to cry "Enough! Let that poor child go." Six months after the murder, Patsy, John and Burke moved to a home in the Atlanta area to try to mend their lives.
A former beauty queen herself, Patsy began to enter her child in pageants when she was five, donning elaborate costumes and sophisticated makeup. The quantity of glamour shots of the little girl, some as provocative as those of an adult model, helped to fuel public interest in the case.
On 10/13/1999 a Boulder grand jury wrapped up a 13-month inquiry during which it had examined 30,000 pages of testimony and evidence, bringing the $2 million investigation to an inconclusive finish. They were no further toward solving the murder than on that shocking day after Christmas three years before.
The Ramsey's memoir, "The Death of Innocence," went on sale 3/17/2000, the same day that they began a string of TV appearances objecting to their persecution in the media as being the killers of their daughter.
News media reported that John and Patsy Ramsey, parents of the slain 6-year-old JonBenet, settled a $35 million lawsuit against the Globe supermarket tabloid over November 1998 stories that suggested their son, Burke (now 14), molested and murdered his sister.
In late March 2001, they filed a $65 million libel and defamation lawsuit against former Boulder, Colo., police detective Steve Thomas, who accused the couple of having a role in their daughter's death, reports the Associated Press.
On August 16, 2006, John Mark Karr was arrested in Thailand as a suspect in the child’s death and deported to the US, arriving in Los Angeles on August 20. Despite hopes that the killer had at last been found, Karr was shortly afterwards determined to be not guilty of this heinous crime.
In December 2003, forensic investigators extracted enough material from a mixed blood sample found on JonBenét's underwear to establish a DNA profile. That DNA belonged to an unknown male person. The DNA was submitted to the FBI's Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), a database containing more than 1.6 million DNA profiles, but the sample did not match any profile in the database.
In October 2016, new forensic analysis uncovered that the original DNA actually contains genetic markers from two individuals other than the victim, JonBenét.
It was reported in September 2016 that the investigation into JonBenet's death continues to be an active homicide case, per Boulder Police Chief Greg Testa.