The crime happened in 1996 and still hasn’t been solved yet.
A little girl, JonBenet Ramsey, was murdered in her home in Boulder, Colorado on the day after Christmas in 1996. Her mother, Patsy Ramsey, found a very weird, three-page long, rambling ransom note threatening that the child would be “beheaded” if $118,000 in ransom was not paid; several hours later, JonBenet’s body was found in a basement room in the house. She had been hit on the head. She had been strangled. She had been shot with a taser gun. There were traces of sperm in the child’s underpants. It was a horrific collection of assaults to have been done upon a first-grader.
Those were the bare facts of the case. Unfortunately they became quite lost beneath a whole collection of red herrings.
First and foremost, JonBenet Ramsey was a child beauty pageant contestant. This crime might have been solved long ago if only the murdered child’s parents had given the news outlets footage of the little girl playing rather than the ones they made the mistake of releasing instead. Back in 1996, before shows like Toddlers and Tiaras graced the airwaves, this terrible murder case provided most of us with our very first glimpse of kiddie pageants ever. JonBenet’s parents were proud of her pageant accomplishments and thought the clips would show her in a great light – but they were some sight to see. I remember how my jaw dropped when I first saw the pageant clips of “murdered child beauty queen JonBenet” on the news – strutting around in a manner that seemed far more appropriate to a call girl working the streets than any first grader I’d ever seen. The child was shown in far too much makeup, sequins and feathers. She was pulling off some startlingly realistic “come hither” looks and stalking and strutting across a stage in a manner that would have done a hooker proud – in a clip of the talent portion of a pageant. And she was six years old? What was this insanity?
It begged the question: what kind of parents would allow their daughter to do that? The public’s sympathy immediately turned away from girl’s mother and father, Patsy and John Ramsey. That was unfortunate. So was the fact that her parents “lawyered up” and did not want to immediately talk to the police about the case, which caused them to look nothing less than ultra-suspicious. Evidence, however, now points to the idea of two intruders as the murderers of the child and not her parents. The DNA in the sperm found in the little one’s underwear did not match any members of her family.
There are two major “red flags” in this case. One is the mention of $118,000 as the amount demanded in the ransom note. JonBenet’s father, John Ramsey, had just received a Christmas bonus of $118,000 at his computer company, Access Graphics. Anyone in his company or at his bank who had any knowledge whatsoever of that bonus should have been brought in for questioning at once.
The second “red flag” was the labyrinthine layout of the Ramsey house. There had been additions to the house that altered the original flow of the rooms and made the internal navigation into an uphill battle. It was shown on a television program regarding the case once, and the route between JonBenet’s bedroom and the basement room where her body was found was not direct, to put it mildly. Her parents’ room was on another floor, supporting the idea that they didn’t hear the intruder(s). The lovely home had been on a Christmas tour, where members of the public could see the family’s Christmas decorations, so strangers had been in there and could have learned the layout. Still, it’s a safe bet that only someone very familiar with the interior of that house could have taken that child from her bed, through the house, and into the basement room.
Now who had knowledge of the amount of John Ramsey’s bonus and also had been familiar with the interior of the Ramsey house? As the poor kid was sexually assaulted on top of all of the rest of the indignities involved in her murder, it would not shock me a bit if one of John Ramsey’s co-workers had seen her performing in a pageant. A cross-checking of the employees of John’s business, Access Graphics, and some sex offender records would have been the first thing I would have done, had I been in the Boulder PD.
Boulder Police Department: now these are some avenues you might wish to pursue!