JonBenét Ramsey’s brother gives his first interview ever – to Dr. Phil

It’s been 20 years since 6-year-old JonBenét Ramsey was found murdered in her Colorado home, and the killer has never been found. Her case is soon getting the Making A Murderer treatment with a 6-hour documentary miniseries on CBS. In advance of the premiere of this show, JonBenét’s older brother, Burke, is giving his first interview ever. Instead of going to, say, a real journalist, Burke has decided to break his silence and talk to, of all people, Dr. Phil. (CBS distributes the Dr. Phil show and the new mini-series in on the network, so go figure.)

Burke, now 29, will talk about his sister’s murder in a three-part interview, kicking off Dr. Phil’s 15th season (!) on September 12, 13 and 14. The trailer sure doesn’t give much away.

Burke was only 9 when JonBenét was killed. The case baffled investigators, who initially thought the former child beauty queen was kidnapped. The case still has not been solved, and everyone from JonBenét’s parents, John and Patsy, to Burke himself were suspects at some point. DNA evidence ruled out Burke in 1999, and in 2008, his parents were also exonerated.

And then there was the mysterious case of Jon Mark Carr, an elementary school teacher who falsely confessed that he killed JonBenét back in August of 2006. He claimed he assaulted the child, but that her death was an accident. When he was unable to produce any details of the case that weren’t already public knowledge, prosecutors announced that no charges would be filed against Karr for the murder. The press coverage brought the case back into the public eye, but to this day, the real killer has never been found.

In the upcoming interview with Dr. Phil, Burke opens up about the murder, saying “I know people think I did it; that my parents did it.” He goes on to describe his sister’s funeral, recalling, “I remember the viewing. The casket was small. Her eyes were closed.” When asked why he waited 20 years to finally speak out, Burke said, “I want to honor her memory by doing this interview. I don’t want anyone to forget.”

As I mentioned, the case is being revisited on the CBS-produced Case Closed: JonBenét Ramsey, which is the first installment of a new true-crime anthology program. The 6-hour series airs over 3 nights – September 18, 19 and 25 . Jim Clemente, one of the original FBI investigators on the case, and Laura Richards, a Scotland Yard Behavioral Analyst, will work with many of the other former investigators on the case to try and get to the bottom of this 20-year mystery. In addition to improved technology, the investigators are also using a full-sized recreation of the the Colorado home where the crime occurred. The trailer looks pretty compelling. I’m in.

Even with all of this new insight, interviews and technology, can this team actually solve a case that’s been open for 20 years? Well, Making A Murderer freed Brandon Dassey, so stranger things have happened. And, since they do have 6 hours to cover everything, maybe they can address the wacky conspiracy theory that popped up earlier this year claiming that Katy Perry is actually the grown-up JonBenét. That’s a show I would definitely tune into.


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194 Responses to “JonBenét Ramsey’s brother gives his first interview ever – to Dr. Phil”

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  1. lvw2 says:

    that 1st pic of dr. phil is very disturbing.
    like, nightmare inducing.

  2. Chaucer says:

    Ehhh. I wouldn’t say the case “baffled” investigators. It was pretty clear they knew who the killer was early on, they just didn’t have that final piece to convict. If you read the books or the ama’s on reddit of the investigators, you’ll get the jist. There was corruption and bribery within the department at the time, so the case was botched. Unfortunately, I don’t think justice will ever come for her murderer.

    • mee says:

      who was it?

      • tracking says:

        There is a lot of evidence that debunks the intruder theory, and points to the parents, probably Patsy. It is widely believed she wrote the ransom note, for instance.

      • JenniferJustice says:

        The parents.

      • Chaucer says:

        I try to be delicate because I don’t think anyone intended the issue to go as far as it did. The investigation points to an altercation between JB and Burke in the night. It was possible that Burke became upset about something and hit JB, rendering her unconscious. An adult (in my opinion pasty, but a lot of folks believe it was Jon as the knot was a specific sailors knot and he spent time in the navy I believe) stepped in at a later time and completed the murder. They may have thought the wound was too severe for JB to recover from. I really believe there was no malice was originally intended, it was an accident that got out of hand. You have one child who is possibly severely injured, and another child who committed the crime. You don’t want to lose both of your children or your good name.

        It’s so unfortunate and might have ended better had one of the members of the family had come forward.

      • Liza says:

        Case prosecutor Steve Thomas firmly believes it was Patsy.

      • Sb says:

        When Patsy referred to her own daughter as “that child” in the context of “I did not kill that child” it sent shivers down my spine.

      • Chetta B. says:

        I think Patsy Ramsey died of guilt cancer myself.

      • Nancy says:

        Even as a teenager when the murdered occurred, the whole family gave me the creeps. I always thought it was the mother but could never figure out the why. They totally blew the investigation. In Cleveland there was a girl named Beverly Potts that disappeared from a park in the 1950’s or earlier and they never found her or her abductor. This case reminds me of that, we will never have the answer. Poor little JonBenet.

      • hannah says:

        There were enough solid evidences pointing to Patsy Ramsey as the killer.

      • Jwoolman says:

        Patsy is most likely as an accidental murderer, especially since she was losing it periodically long before. Patsy was not dealing well with stress at the time. She could easily have seriously injured the child by being too rough in reaction to dawdling or the bedwetting just before they were supposed to leave on a trip. That rambling “ransom note” sounded like pure Patsy. It’s all so sad – I’m sure it was accidental and the parents suffered for the deed and the coverup forever after. They must have been in high panic mode, just lost their daughter and risked losing everything else including their son. Justice has already been more than done.

    • Bridget says:

      I remember the whole case being hamstrung by how badly the police department botched everything – the crime scene ended up being so contaminated that by the time they started investigating it was really hard to find evidence.

      Who is the alleged killer?

    • Startup Spouse says:

      I know about this case, but never did a deep dive. Who did they think did it?

      • Anon says:

        @chaucer I don’t really have a dog in this fight, I’m not someone who hopes the parents didn’t do it. I do have a hard time believing the investigators after they allowed themselves to get SO caught up. Going on the record saying “I could tell by the look in his eyes that he had done this” should remove an investigator from a case. Someone who says something so asinine shouldn’t be able to investigate a murder case.

        For me, the strangest piece of evidence is that she was found in the basement. Your daughter is missing, and you don’t look in the basement? That to me was extremely strange.

    • Anon says:

      DNA evidence exonerated them 2 years after Patsy died. The family didn’t do it. So, yeah, I think its safe to say the police are baffled by the case since they still don’t know who did it. I remember watching all those shows, the lead detective convinced it was the father saying “I could see it in his eyes” that’s not evidence.

      • Chaucer says:

        The DNA evidence would be of no use in this case really. The parents DNA is spread all over that house, and the additional DNA was determined to be likely from a packager or manufacturer of her underwear.

        There was a two hour window between the being knocked unconscious and when the strangulation occurred. It’s so, so unlikely that it was an intruder. Occam’s razor.

      • Anon says:

        Determined by who? The underwear would have to be new/unwashed for trade DNA from a manufacturer to still be there. I 100% believed the parents were involved, but I can’t get past the DNA.

      • Chaucer says:

        The underwear was new. Patsy Ramsey retrieved the packaging. I realize it’s incredibly difficult for some to think that the the family would do that, but it’s the likeliest conclusion. You can read Mark Beckner’s AMA on a mirror via the Denver Post. You can also read the multitude of books written about it by the investigators. The intruder theory doesn’t hold up. Honestly the miniscule DNA is the only thing that barely keeps it hanging on.

      • augustus says:


        I happened to be in the AMA while it was live and before it was deleted. It sparked my interest in the case. I had read that the panties were bought for an older niece and JonBenet liked them and wanted them, Patsy was like whatever fine wear them. They were new out of a package and they were significantly too big for JonBenet.

        Dr Phil is buddies with the lawyers for the Ramsey’s they are heading off what is about to come out about them. Burke is probably going to be implicated too and that is why we are seeing thim

      • Anon says:

        @Chaucer, I don’t have a hard time believing a parent would do this to a child, it happens every day. IF the underwear was new then I hope the investigators can prove that THAT underwear came from THAT package and that it comes up in the show. If they had been able to prove that without a doubt then I think its unlikely that they would have been exonerated. I have read many of the investigators books, and it all just is a LOT of circumstantial evidence.

      • Lucrezia says:

        I believe in DNA evidence over “evidence” such as “you could see it in his eyes” or “hand-writing analysis”.

        However, touch DNA evidence is tricky at the best of times. I didn’t like it as evidence in the Amanda Knox case, and I’m feeling the same way here. I don’t think it’s sufficient to exonerate her family, nor to convict someone else.

        A lot of the time, touch DNA is lab contamination. They ruled out the lab-workers and police as direct sources, but it doesn’t mean they didn’t accidentally spread someone else’s DNA around. There was one case where a homeless man was charged with murder after his DNA (touch traces) was found at the crime scene. Eventually, they figured out that the DNA had been accidentally transferred to the crime scene by the attending paramedics, who’d happened to treat the homeless man earlier that day.

        If they ever do figure out who the DNA traces point to, I’d want some other evidence before being convinced he was guilty.

  3. Fran says:

    I’m not entirely comfortable with a child’s murder being televised in this way. I completely get why it’s compelling but solving it on TV feels a little ghoulish and crass.

    • honeybee blues says:

      This is NOT the first docudrama on this case.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      When I first heard about this, it was my feeling…but then I found out that Jim C. and Laura Richards are doing it. Laura is a HUGE victim’s advocate. She has done a lot of work in the UK in regards to stalking (worked to help make it a criminal offense, developed stalking risk assessment procedures, created a stalking advocacy service called Paladin). Jim has many years as prosecutor, FBI agent, Behavioral Analysis team, etc.

      So while I do have concerns about exploitation, I am happy that it is these individuals who are looking into it. I think they will really look at the details along with more advanced testing that can be done, and maybe they can get somewhere.

  4. Liza says:

    Such a compelling, heartbreaking case. Amazing to think twenty years have passed.

    • Annetommy says:

      It’s not an either / or. Personally I don’t determine my empathy for murdered children based on their ethnicity. I suggest you shouldn’t either.

  5. Tiny Martian says:

    Dr. Phil is a sexist hack. He’s the absolute worst! I watched his show at first, but after seeing him repeatedly pander to the audience while giving out terrible, terrible advice to people who were desperate, I stopped watching. I just found it all too sickening.

    • hogtowngooner says:

      I remember he had two women on the show in the lead up to the Iraq War of 2003. They were against any such action for pretty common-sense reasons (Iraq has no WMDs, were not involved in 9/11, no imminent danger that necessitated US military involvement, etc) and he just berated them for being “anti-American” and “tools of Saddam” and had the audience seal-clapping all of it. It was so infuriating to watch. He’s a shameless hack.

    • Redgrl says:

      I agree re the sexist hack – few times I’ve watched he berates the women and tries to talk circles around them. But when he tries to cross-examine someone who stands up to him he just sputters and doesn’t know what
      to say. Can’t stand him. Amateur.

  6. JenniferJustice says:

    I still believe one or more of the parents were involved. I don’t know why they would do it and I don’t believe we’ll ever know for sure, but I can’t get past the ransom note being written there at their home on their paper as the supposed kidnapping took place. I still think the garrote was staged to make it appear she’d been choked/raped. But she was beaten beyond that and they never talk about that. The Ramseys hired their own investigator and he claimed Jon Benet was tasered and taken down to the basement to be raped/molested. The investigator said she was tasered in her bed to immobilize her – that it knocked her out. If she’s already knocked out, why a beating? None of it makes sense. And the specific amount requested for ransom $118,000.00 – the exact amount of the father’s recent bonus. These details continue to point to either a parent or both parents. I never thought the son had anything to do with it. I have questions regarding her body aside from that horrible day – were there signs of previous trauma to her vagina/labia etc that would imply she had been molested or raped before? If yes, I can’t help but think it’s the father. It should also be clarified that exonerating the parents in 2008 was due to a lack of evidence to press charges. The Boulder police could no longer deem them suspects, so they stopped pursuing them. That’s not the same as saying they no longer suspected it was them, but merely that it was time to let go due to a lack of evidence and any future prosecution.

    This is all just my opinion. I’m still open to other theories and perspectives.

    • doofus says:

      JJ, just based on what I read during the time it happened, I always thought that it was one or both of the parents, too. like, Patsy was a “failed” beauty queen, and she was living vicariously through her daughter. Dad was molesting daughter and mother knows it. Daughter finally “rebels” and either tells mom she doesn’t want to do the pageant thing anymore or fights back against dad.

      • Chaucer says:

        Investigators believe the vaginal trauma was staged. There was no proof of previous sexual assault and the papers mistakenly reported that she had been to a pediatrician multiple times for yeast infections.

        Misinformation printed by the papers was a huge issue that caused this to be a messy case. You can go back and read AMA’s, books, and check out the evidence that’s been released. I do believe the parents had a hand, but I don’t believe she was being sexually assaulted.

      • isabelle says:

        She had no signs of previous abuse and investigators believe the so called sexual abuse before the murder was staged to look like something had happened during the attack.

      • The DEEEH on Twitter says:

        @isabelle Actually that’s not true, JonBenet had something insanely high amount of vaginal infections, many visits to the Pediatician, and I didnt think a 6 year old would have even one of these, and she’d been treated for them for years… She was also a bedwetter, and both of these point to sustained and prolonged sexual abuse.

        Patsy was bleaching that child’s hair since she was 4, the woman was a psycho.

      • K2 says:

        The AMA quoted above with a lead detective in the case states very clearly, and more than once, that there were healed injuries to her hymen and vagina that indicated abuse had occurred prior to the events of that night. Horrible, but the case.

        Of course, that doesn’t prove any one individual was responsible.

      • Annetommy says:

        The DEEH, I don’t know enough about the sexual assault issues and I won’t be researching them. I do know that there are many causes of bedwetting that are nothing to do with sexual assault and that great care should be taken in linking them.

    • augustus says:

      The DNA that supposedly cleared them was touch DNA that could have come from the factory overseas who made the underwear. The “clearing” is a misdirection.

      James Kolar on one of the lead investigators wrote a book called Foreign Faction which strongly;y suggest Burke did it and the parents covered it up. The grand jury recommended indicating for putting Jon Benet in a dangerous situation.

      There is so much more to this story than the watered down version the main stream media reports. The parents have expensive lawyers and public relations people who can spin this and change public opinion. They also report things as facts when they are not and it becomes ingrained in the public’s mind.

      • Esmom says:

        Interesting. Once again I’m reminded how much easier it was to control a narrative in the pre-internet/social media days.

      • Tourmaline says:

        Agree with your whole comment @augustus. Foreign Faction by James Kolar is really good and I tend to buy his theory.

      • 5thHouse says:

        Thanks for the title. I’m placing this on my must-read list.

    • Size Does Matter says:

      And remember the pineapple? The family insisted she fell asleep in the car and was carried to bed Christmas night. But there was pineapple in her stomach contents (and she had not eaten pineapple Christmas Day) and a bowl that looked like it had held pineapple in the kitchen. What intruder gives the kid a snack in the kitchen during the middle of a kidnapping? Why would the family lie about it for no reason?

      And Patsy was wearing the same clothes from the day before. And there was hair in the duct tape similar to fur she had been wearing. And everything with the ransom note.

    • Wren says:

      I don’t know what to think but everything about the case is just weird, weird, weird. It doesn’t make sense, the parents don’t make sense, and the “clues” are very odd and incongruous with the supposed story. The media circus muddied the waters so much and it doesn’t look like that’s going to stop.

      I wonder what will be brought up in the interview and what he’ll say.

  7. Oatmeal says:


    So who.was the suspected perp?

  8. Betti says:

    This case always disturbed me. From early on it became obvious that it was a family member as there was simply no concrete evidence that it was a botched kidnapping. The evidence that it was family was/is very strong particularly with the handwriting on the random note being similar to the mothers. There was talk of motives being sibling jealously to sexual abuse.

    Combined with the father being well connected and the police botching the investigation up the killer will never be known but someone in that family knows the truth.

    • JenniferJustice says:

      Only the parents knew the truth and they’re both dead now. Burke was a 9 yo kid and I don’t believe for one moment he had anything to do with his sister’s murder or ever knew his parents’ involvement. He was a sheltered child. I’m sure he does believe his parents were innocent -what son wouldn’t w/out hard evidence? We’ll never know the truth.

      Also, regarding suspicion of the parents, remember the interviews Patsy gave immediately following finding Jon Benet’s body – lots of cry face but never one tear. I have watched body language experts and behaviorists analyze her following the days of the murder and they all think she either did it or was involved in helping the father cover up that he did it. I have since learned some things about facial behavior. In those interviews where Patsy was pleading with the public to protect your children, she was fake crying. Not just fake crying, but her facial expressions were put on. Real crying and grief involves all of the muscles of the face – the forehead, the lips, eyes, cheeks – quivering, tics, flushing, blushing, swelling, mucus. None of that was present on her face – just the fake puckering up. Along with everything else, it’s just one more piece of circumstantial evidence. And I’m good with circumstantial evidence if there is a lot of it and it’s weighty. There was for sure a lot of it.

      • Anon says:

        The father is is still alive and DNA exonerated the entire family years ago.

      • KBeth says:

        Isn’t the dad still living?
        I never thought the parents did it only because it seemed mind boggling that they would cover for one another.

      • Kate says:

        The father is still alive, I believe. And he’s remarried. He also dated Natalie Holloway’s mother for a time after the mother died.

        I always suspected the mother was the one who did it.

        I don’t know why the brother would want to go public.

      • Betti says:

        @anon. I believe DNA only exenorated her brother. The parents were exenorated due to lack of enough evidence to charge them. There was also evidence of historical sexual abuse, old and healing wounds. The little girl was badly beaten and from what I can recall the autopsy couldn’t say exactly how she died as there is also evidence that suggests the strangulation happened after death.

        The authorities know who did it but can’t prove it.

        One of the big theories is that it was the mother after she discovered the sexual abuse. Whether it was by an extended family member, family friend or someone associated with the pageant circuit will never be known.

      • augustus says:

        @Anon……it was trace DNA. It could have been from the workers who made the underwear.

      • Anon says:

        @Betti no, it exonerated the entire family. It was male DNA from an unknown individual. It cleared the entire family.

      • Anon says:

        @augustus that’s operating under the presumption that the underwear was new and unwashed – which is a huge stretch. I’m not saying I know for sure that it wasn’t those things but I find that to be a pretty remarkable conclusion that would still exonerate the entire family.

      • augustus says:

        @Anon…….the amount found was not enough to determine how it got there. Even Barry Scheck says you can’t rule out the DNA got there from the manufacturers. The family has enough money to misdirect the media.

        Factory Worker DNA
        Evidence in Favor of Asian Factory Worker Source
        Unnamed Investigators’ View. However, “Investigators in the JonBenet Ramsey case believe that male DNA recovered from the slain child’s underwear may not be critical evidence at all, and instead could have been left at the time of the clothing’s manufacture. In exploring that theory, investigators obtained unopened “control” samples of identical underwear manufactured at the same plant in Southeast Asia, tested them – and found human DNA in some of those new, unused panties.”
        Tom Bennett’s View. Former Boulder DA investigator Tom Bennett stated in 2004: “The DNA on the underwear may be from the killer, but it may not be,” Bennett said.”It`s minute DNA, like from a cough or sneeze…. You can`t just jump to conclusion it`s positive proof that will trace back to the killer.” full article (registration required); quotation posted 12-10-2006 03:54 PM by Internet poster Candy
        Michael Kane’s View. In November 2002, it was reported (AP report from Internet poster Candy): “There is always a possibility that it got there through human handling,” former prosecutor Michael Kane told the News. “You have to ask yourself the possible ways that it got there: whether it was in the manufacture, the packaging or the distribution, or whether it was someone in the retail store who took it out to look at them,” said Kane, who ran a 13-month grand jury investigation which yielded no indictments.
        DNA Expert Barry Scheck’s View. Likewise, attorney Barry Scheck has asserted “we don’t know whether that’s saliva or what, whether that’s skin cells, you know, there was — it could be DNA from the original manufacturer of underwear

      • Anon says:

        @augustus EXACTLY as I said, ” investigators obtained unopened “control” samples of identical underwear manufactured at the same plant in Southeast Asia, tested them – and found human DNA in some of those new, unused panties.”

        The operative words are “new, unused” they didn’t provide any evidence that her panties were new or previously unused. It feels like they still believe the family didn’t do it.

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        It wouldn’t be possible for DNA evidence to exonerate the parents. Their DNA would have been all over the house and her. From a strictly DNA perspective, it is always possible they did it. If I am screwing this up, please enlighten me.

      • Anon says:

        oops @augustus I meant to say, it feels like the police still believe the family did it. I understand why they thought that, I did too based on their findings. But this underwear would HAVE to be unused, for that DNA to be from the manufacturer. We simply have no reason to think that it was and neither do the police.

      • Lucrezia says:

        Washing removes most, but not all traces of DNA. A quick googling found a study where underwear was stained with semen and machine washed. Laundered cotton underwear retained 43% of the DNA compared to control, unwashed underwear, more than enough for a full DNA profile. (Nylon underwear cleaned up much better.)

        [Ew! 43% of DNA remains after washing?! Gross! I’m going to try to forget I ever learned that.]

        Admittedly, that study was done with enough semen to replicate a typical rape case, millions of cells, not just a handful. However, when you wash things you generally remove a percentage of the dirt/whatever. Say it’s 50% removed each wash. Start with 100 units of “ick”. Wash once, down to 50 ick. Wash it again it won’t be down to zero, it’ll only be reduced to 25%. Because you’re only removing a percentage, you get closer and closer to zero, but never get there. That means trace DNA will stick around a lot longer than you might think.

      • Penelope says:

        Great stuff, JJ.

        I’ve always believed Patsy killed that poor child.

      • Christin says:

        I remember the parents going on a PR blitz of interviews, and I thought it was all a tad bizarre. I still believe the remaining two who were in the house that night know more than they’ve ever said.

      • Dinah says:

        Very similar to Susan Smith, pleading via the media with the imaginary man who had allegedly carjacked her two young boys. No tears were shed and of course she had murdered them to try to nab a rich man who has to live every day knowing he told her that he didn’t want her because she had kids (when the truth was she was just a piece of trash to him, hired by his dad’s company, who he’d screwed around with and then sent flying when he’d grown tired of it). Patsy watched the police through her hand-covered face with the fingers spread apart like spider legs. That’s a frightening sight. I’ve seen it and it send shivers through chills. Scott Peterson watched Laci’s friend through the slats of a kitchen door in the same way. It is incongruent and disingenuous. Later JonBenet’s dad dated Natalee Holloway’s mother, and the old rumor around Mountain Brook was Ms. Holloway had a wild streak her daughter had inherited (which is why Natalee was so easily whisked away by a group of strange men in a foreign country). Rumor was Natalee’s mom enjoyed a few intoxicated trysts with local strangers some years after Natalee’s tragic demise. Some say Natalee was figuratively JonBenet all grown up. Beautiful Affluent Blondes marked for tragedy will always generate a headline and countless copy of intrigue.

    • Anon says:

      @MissJupitero its possible to exonerate them because there was DNA in her underwear (and I heard under her fingernails but I dont know if thats true) that was identified as known male DNA that did not match any member of the immediate family. That excluded the parents. It COULD be trace DNA from the manufacturer of the underwear, but only if the underwear was new/unwashed. Which, we have no reason to think it was.

      • augustus says:

        Supposedly they were new unwashed panties. They were a size 10/12 fresh from the package that was bought for a niece. I know some people say who buys other kids panties? I have bought my nieces clothes for years and I always buy them panties and socks and I don’t think it’s weird.

      • Anon says:

        @augustus I don’t think that’s weird, I DO think its weird not to wash them though. Maybe Jonbenet was throwing a fit and Patsy caved not wanting to deal with it, who knows. I just really hope they dive deep into that on the show because its a critical piece of evidence. I think in circumstantial evidence we can find value, but I would need to know that that specific pair of panties came from that specific package and that they had not been washed.

      • augustus says:

        @anon that is what I think I read. She was throwing a fit or something and Patsy was like ya whatever. I was thinking that was so something I would do, ya whatever sure just put them on. I wash panties before I wear them or my kid does, because I always imagine gross stuff happening to panties out in the open in stores. Maybe if they come from a pack they were like ya whatever.

        This case is really just the weirdest ever. If you take the DNA you say well that means they didn’t do it, but then you take the ransom note and it is pretty clear Patsy wrote that or did she write it, but if the their son did it why didn’t they just say so, he wouldn’t have been prosecuted at that age. The whole thing is like a circular riddle.

      • mar_time says:

        @anon I’m not sure why you’re having such a hard time accepting it being new/unwashed underwear?? It was Christmas, I can very well see her wearing new clothes and new undies. My aunt washes all the new underwear for my cousin but I never wash new underwear for example. That’s the only thing you keep clinging to, like you’re fighting the parents being guilty…I am all for circumstantial evidence and the circumstances say Patsy had a big hand it in

      • Jwoolman says:

        L84Tea- Patsy didn’t need a motive if the death was accidental, likely precipitated by something Patsy did out of impatience or anger. The theory that the brother did something is possible but for a lot of reasons seems more of a stretch. Once a coverup begins, it’s hard to stop.

        I suspect the same thing happened with that little British girl who was allegedly kidnapped in Portugal while her parents were at a nearby tapas bar. My bet is that the parents (both physicians) gave the kids something to keep them sleeping deeply but the girl woke up between parental checks and injured herself fatally wandering around groggy. The rest was coverup. As physicians, her parents would have known she was not revivable when found and so would have no reason to call for medical assistance. The coverup then took over their lives.

    • Karen says:

      I lived in Boulder at the time and had a connection to the chief of police. He continued to say “if you knew what I knew you would have no doubts Patsy did it” to us, so at first I believed him. Nothing has come out that directly implicates the parents and the chief has never said what he was referring to. It was proven without a doubt that the police completely mishandled every part of the case – it was a mess.
      I also saw the autopsy photos. There was no beating evident, just one horrible blow that made her head look like someone had cracked an egg open. It was awful. I truly do not believe the 9 year old brother could have had the strength to do that. I also saw the signs of strangulation and the garotte, plus marks that definitely looked like taser wounds.
      I at first suspected the guy who played Santa at the party the family attended – who better to coax a child out of bed in the middle of the night? He also had some things in his background – his wife wrote a book about a child being killed, etc., but he was ruled out as a suspect. Also ruled out as suspects were the parents, but it seems that no one believes it to be so. There is a lot of interesting things in this case that were misrepresented or left out of the media coverage. The case is odd and I really hope that one day JonBenet killers are found.

      • L84Tea says:

        What would be the motive for Patsy killing her? I’m not doubting any of it. I’ve always suspected the parents, but why Patsy specifically? People have always been so sure of it being her, but what was the motive? That’s the part I don’t understand.

      • The DEEEH on Twitter says:

        @L84Tea it has been suggested that Patsy was sexually abused herself, given the way she checks out of life, and was on medication for mental issues, so the idea is that Patsy may have directed her rage at the child, seeing her as competition for her husband’s affections, since it is assumed based on his actions that he was raping the child. Statement analysis points to his inability to say his own child’s name, for instance. This is not normal behavior in the innocent.

        Patsy used to misuse the word hence, she used to say “And hence” and this phrasing was used in the “ransom note” that someone upthread pointed out revealed that the “kidnapper” knew EXACTLY how much money they had in their bank accounts, because that’s how much the “kidnapper” asked for.

        Is anyone else creeped out by Burke on sight?

      • Canadian Becks says:

        Could you explain how it is misuse to say, “And hence…”

        It doesn’t seem incorrect to me.

        For example: “We’ve had some unfortunate set-backs with our manufacturing and hence the next quarter will see a decline in dividends.”

      • Tiny Martian says:

        @Canadian Becks: I don’t think that using the phrase “and hence” is necessarily grammatically incorrect. My understanding is that it isn’t a commonly used expression in the average person’s speech. And in most cases, when the word “hence” is used, there is no “and” preceding it, so in your example above the majority of people who use the term “hence” would write: “…….set-backs with our manufacturing, hence the next quarter will see……..”.

        In the Ramsey case, I believe the use of the expression “and hence” was found not only in the kidnapper’s note, but also in an announcement written by Patsy for JonBenet’s funeral. Using that same specific verbiage seems unusually coincidental. I don’t remember the exact details or have access to a direct quote though, so perhaps someone else here can clarify!

  9. honeybee blues says:

    The Jon Mark Carr case was not mysterious at all: he was out of the country when she was murdered, and he has a history of mental illness. I live in Boulder, and the day that demented soul came to town with his BS story (that we all knew instantly), the press came out in full force for the non-story to milk this tragedy more. Everyone in Boulder pretty much knows what happened (a nasty moment/possible accident followed by a massively bad attempt at a cover up by Patsy), and that the police were hung out to dry by DA Alex Hunter because NOT ONE of his team had been in a courtroom in 17 years. Boulder County famously pleads out all (very few, fortunately) violent crimes. Hunter and his team were terrified to look like fools in front of the court against the Ramsey’s pit bull. Lin Wood, (with whom I personally had a couple of dealings, and he is as unpleasant a man that ever drew breath;), so they hung out the Boulder PD to dry in public. They literally (I’m an English major and am using that word correctly) sabotaged the police department’s case at every turn. Plus, as there is an average of 0.5 homicides per annum in Boulder, we don’t have a homicide department, so to call them Keystone cops for not being experienced was unfair. Det. Steve Thomas (lead Det. on the case) wrote a book on it, and I used to work for a man who ran against Alex Hunter, and he and Det. Thomas put together quite the dossier against DA Hunter’s incompetence. I don’t recall the name of Thomas’ book, but it is a very good and somewhat academic approach to the entire tragedy and what it did to this town. If anyone is truly interested in what happened that night, the book is very much worth the read. Det. Thomas writes about the department’s near constant frustration at the obstacles the DA’s office threw in their path at every turn. Oh, and that “exoneration” of the parents was 100% politically motivated. She wanted to get elected and the best way was to do something to give the impression that at least one aspect of this case had been “put to rest.” We all knew it was BS. Still do. There are but a handful of people in this town who had any involvement whatsoever who still believe that the case is “unsolved.” The case has been “solved” in this town almost since the beginning. It was a horrible accident (probably), and rather than own up to it, Patsy went about attempting to ruin the reputations of more than a dozen people in this town. Fortunately, we all caught on pretty quickly.

    • Anon says:

      The “political motivation” of the exoneration still doesn’t change the fact that the DNA found on the body and in the little girls underwear that didn’t belong to any member of the family.

      • honeybee blues says:

        Nor was it human. I didn’t belong to any human.

      • Char says:

        How did the DNA not belong to a human? It’s been classified as male DNA that exonerated her Dad & brothers.

      • honeybee blues says:

        Sorry, I need to clarify. I was talking about the DNA on her thigh, not the underwear. The trace DNA on her thigh that was a big “piece of evidence” for awhile, was probably from her playing with a dog earlier that day (yes, dog saliva can leak through fabric clothes). It was trace. Also, regarding the vaginal trauma. She’d been given a new bike that day and had fallen a couple of times. The bruising fit the bike pattern.

      • honeybee blues says:

        That the DNA wasn’t the parents does not, in any way exonerate them. In fact, it’s the lack of their DNA, particularly Patsy’s, that was most alarming. She claimed to have carried her in and put her to bed. Her DNA should have been all over the body.

      • Lucrezia says:

        I really think you’ve misunderstood honeybee. They didn’t NOT find parental DNA. It’s just automatically discounted because they live together.

        Think of it this way: you don’t see the reports saying JB’s own DNA was found on her body … of course it was. It has to be. But since it’s so obvious that it’s going to be there, the lab reports don’t go out of their way to mention it. Exactly the same thing with DNA from the rest of the family – it would be expected to be there so the lab reports ignore it. They’re only looking for DNA that they can’t explain.

    • Dibba says:

      Interesting stuff. My only problem with patsy theory/accident/coverup is that I find it hard to believe any parent could garrote and violate their child just to cover up an accident.

      • Tiffany :) says:


      • honeybee blues says:

        Then you’ve not known a true narcissist who will do ANYTHING necessary to protect The Image.

      • Tourmaline says:

        See for instance, the Jeffrey Macdonald case, and what he did to his 2 year old daughter to support a cover story that crazed hippies attacked his family.

      • Dinah says:

        So true about Jeffrey MacDonald. He killed his pregnant wife and older daughter in a rage after having been on diet pills (speed) and awake working (to stay away from them) for days. He and his wife got into a horrible fight. He lied it was the younger girl’s urine in the bed when it was clearly established it was the older girl’s urine. A cover-up for sexual molestation of her that triggered the wife when she caught him in the act? Only he knows now. He stabbed his baby girl with a knife multiple times in the back. He couldn’t talk about her death because that was the one he had to perform in cold blood. So, yes, such a parent, under pressure and in the midst of “a perfect storm” closing in on him, can do utterly inhuman acts to his own flesh and blood, then spend the rest of his life trying to cover it up with a pile of lies.

    • Kate says:

      @honeybee blues: I’ve had dealings with Lin Wood too. My impressions are the same as yours.

      • honeybee blues says:

        My dealings were on the telephone. He was calling me in Boulder from his Atlanta office to threaten my then-boss to keep his mouth shut about what he knew. He actually attempted a thinly-veiled threat against me, and I burst out laughing. I then hung up on him. I don’t play that shite.

    • Anon says:

      @honeybee where did you see that? Everything I have read says it was “male DNA that points to an unknown individual”

      • honeybee blues says:

        My bad. I meant the DNA on her leg that ultimately belonged to a dog. The underwear DNA was most likely touch DNA from the manufacturer.

  10. Char says:

    Ok, but there was male DNA that did not belong to a family member & obviously can’t be Patsy’s. How do all the “it was obviously a family member” people explain that? My mom still fully believes it was a family member, she didnt know about the male DNA until I told her. She didn’t think the parents reacted appropriately. But over the years I’ve come to understand that you just can’t predict how you will react when you are in shock. The police botched this. They didn’t search the house, allowing Mr Ramsey to be the one to find the body. The Ramsey’s had also given out an absurd amount of house keys. The only part of this that still makes me suspect a family member is the ransom note that knew Mr Ramsey’s exact Christmas bonus amount. But the DNA throws me. I don’t know that we’ll ever find out the truth.

    • Anon says:

      THANK YOU! I feel like I’m losing my mind here. I think the police 100% believed it was the parents, and I think the media bought what they sold (several members of law enforcement including the head detective spoke out on 20/20 and similar programs after saying they “knew” it was the parents) so the public did too. The reality is they couldn’t have done it because the physical DNA evidence points to someone else.

      • Char says:

        & I keep seeing people say it was “touch” DNA in her underwear, but from my understanding the same DNA was under her fingernails. Or at the very least there was additional DNA under her fingernail, again, clearing her parents or brothers, since it wasn’t a match to them.

        I think it was easy to believe the media narrative at the time. But it’s been 20 years, more details have come out & I find it less likely that it was a family member at this point.

      • Anon says:

        But touch DNA in her underwear? DNA isn’t a magical particle that cannot be erased. I minored in forensic science (which admittedly was a few years ago and I ended up pursuing a different field), a simple wash could get rid of that. So, if its trace DNA on the underwear from a manufacturer that basically means the underwear had to be new/unwashed. Thats a big stretch.

      • Bridget says:

        If it was Christmas Day, if underwear was in her stocking or given as a gift, it’s totally plausible that it would go straight out of the packaging and onto the child.

      • Char says:

        Oh I agree with you on that! Here is an article on the DNA found, although I first heard it on a crime program at some point.

        This is from CNN & says the DNA under her fingernails & in the underwear is from an unidentified male. So even if it was just “touch” DNA in the underwear, it obviously can’t be from the packaging company if the same DNA is under her nails.

      • Deedee says:

        The underwear was about 5 sizes too big for JB. The mother said the new Bloomies underwear was a Christmas gift for a cousin.

    • Anguishedcorn says:

      My sense was always that the DNA evidence was suspect, based on how contaminated the crime scene was, and how incompetent every process seemed. So in this particular case, I wouldn’t feel confident in that DNA evidence.

      • Anon says:

        But isn’t that the investigators having their cake and eating it too? THEY contaminated the crime scene but not properly securing it. So now that they have evidence pointing to a third party, suddenly the crime scene is too contaminated?

      • Deedee says:

        Everything at that crime scene was contaminated. If it was an intruder, then he/she was the smartest and yet dumbest intruder ever, to climb in through a window without disturbing an old cobweb across it, to carry that child’s body around in the house, to use tools found in the house to murder instead of bringing in his/her own, to sit and write that elaborate ransom note instead of getting the heck out of there, and to get away with it for decades.

  11. aims says:

    We have a similar case in my area that made national headlines a few years ago. A little boy was dropped off at school by his step mom and never seen again. I believe that the police butchered the investigation in Jonbetè and our lost little boys . Children don’t just end up killed or missing .

    • JenniferJustice says:

      I remember reading about that on CNN. The primary suspect is/was the stepmother. Absolutely heartbreaking! And didn’t the father leave and divorce the stepmother – like he, too, believes she is guilty?

      • aims says:

        Yes! As the info was coming out, the husband was starting to connect the dots and divorced her got custody of their daughter and publicly said he believes she had something to do with it . The little boy has been gone for years and the police have no idea where he went or what happened . It’s heartbreaking and I honestly don’t know what happened in the investigation .

      • Kate says:

        I remember this too. Did they never find out what happened to that little boy? Wasn’t his name Chiron or something similar?

    • Erinn says:

      We had a local case where a 12 year old girl went missing. They later found her body in a river.

      The media went HARD at the father, saying the mother could never have done such a thing. Turns out the mother strangled her daughter so she could keep her boyfriend who’d given her an ultimatum. She strangled her daughter with a piece of twine, drove the body to the river, and then pulled her pants down to make it look like a sexual assault. Then rolled the body down the river bank. She went and called neighbors, teachers, family members to tell them that the daughter had run away or gone missing.

      I remember watching the news before the body was found – and immediately got the feeling the mother did it. There was something super off about the whole thing – and the father got DRAGGED over it. She had been living with her father for a while, and had wanted to go live with her mother. At the time he didn’t want her to leave… but he didn’t want to be like “no, you can’t see your mother”. All that horrible woman had to do was call him up and say she didn’t want the daughter living with her anymore. Instead she murders her.

      It always baffles me when people say things like “a mother would never”. or “no parent would ever”. People have been murdering their families forever. Some people are just terrible when it comes down to it. And honestly – when people start to get emotional about it, and assume no mother could do something so horrible – they’re bumbling things. They’re letting their own projection get in the way of justice for the poor kids.

    • Size Does Matter says:

      That’s Kyron Harmn, right? They think the stepmom ever actually dropped him off. And there was a little girl in the Midwest who disappeared out of her crib while mom was sleeping off a box of wine. These stories are so haunting.

    • Kelsey says:

      AIMS, I am from Portland too and the kyron horman case is heartbreaking. Obvi Terri did it, my heart hurts for his birth mom everytime I think about it

      • aims says:

        Me too. Kyron’s mother was destroyed . How do you recover from something so awful? It’s unimaginable . I still don’t know why they haven’t arrested her. Something got screwed up somewhere and this is unresolved and it’s so sad .

    • isabelle says:

      Kyron Hormon? She had such a small time frame its possible she actually “gave/sold” him to someone. Horrible to think about it.

  12. littlemissnaughty says:

    Okay, I’ve only recently read up on the basics of the case but … it was the parents, no? Or one of them. It’s the only conclusion that makes any sense unless we move into Lost territory.

    • Betti says:

      It’s long been theorised that it was the mother I a fit of rages free discovering sexual abuse, whether by the father, family friend or pageant contact we’ll never know. As I mention above she was badly beaten with evidence of attempted sexual assault. It’s been suggested that the strangulation happen after she was dead to cover up the assault. No one believed she died in the basement, she was killed somewhere else and placed there for the alibi. People forget several hours passed before she was allegedly found by her parents.

      • Dibba says:

        She wasn’t beaten but had cracked skull. Had been hit hard with object flashlight?

      • Deedee says:

        Or golf club. The father’s golf clubs were removed from the house pretty quickly. Why? Going golfing while your daughter’s murder is being investigated?

      • honeybee blues says:

        The BPD theory, based on credible evidence in an upstairs bathroom, is that JBR, who at six was still bed-wetting (not that uncommon), and the “help” had said that PR was getting tired of having to get up in the middle to the night to change sheets. The theory goes that that night, in the child’s bathroom (and remember PR had consumed a few glasses of wine at the party they’d attended earlier), lost her temper at having to deal with the mess and backhanded her daughter, who fell and hit her head against the tub and cracked her skull. I hate to be graphic here, but because of this case I now know that that sound would have been VERY loud and terrifying to hear. PR would not have been able to revive her, and even with immediate medical attention, per the coroner’s report, she would have died. PR could have claimed JB slipped, and she doubtless was hysterical over what had happened, so first responders would have been able to see a clearly distraught mother. But no, she was well-known for protecting her public image at all costs, so the coverup began. That is pretty much the accepted theory here, which is why we don’t blink when yet another “theory” comes out. So many things don’t get reported that are observed by others like staff, neighbors, teachers, parents of other students, etc. That’s why a city is, in essence, always a part of these real-life dramas. In another city, this case would not have played out as it did.

      • Christin says:

        Another theory is bed wetting and somehow her head is slammed into a bathroom fixture.

        This theory suggests the rest was a coverup, when the child was actually still alive from the initial injury.

      • JenniferJustice says:

        I read the autopsy results. I read every report from every investigator whether they were FBI, Boulder Police, or hired by the parents. All say the beleive the garrote and strangulation occurred after she was already dead. However, they say there was petichial bleeding in both eyelids, above and below the garrote, so my question is: Does petichial bleeding occur after death? I’m totally confounded. I thought it only happened while the blood was circulating, so you’d need to be alive to have petichial bleeding. If she were already dead when she was strangled, why would there be petichial bleeding at all? Please chime in. I’m not done with this thread even though it’s a day old.

    • Kate says:

      I’ve always believed it was her mother. But I was only about 15 when this happened so I didn’t really fully understand it at the time.

  13. Dibba says:

    The only theory that fits most fm the evidence is that son did it and parents covered up. The one thing that always struck me was patsy was wearing the same outfit she wore the day before. I don’t think she ever went to bed

    • JenniferJustice says:

      I think it more probably the mother hit Jon Benet over the head in an abusive/impatient moment and was trying to cover herself. This all happened supposedly in the middle of the night. I can understand her not changing her clothes yet because most of us on Christmas Eve, stay up after the kids go to bed, to put presents out so it looks like Santa came. But still not changing by morning – that’s suspect.

      My point is, why would a 9 yo brother be hitting Jon Benet with anything in the middle of the night?

      Other points to ponder:

      Bed-wetting: At the time, rumor had it that Jon Benet was wetting the bed and perhaps Patsy raged on her for it this time. I have never known if her bedding was wet that night. Someone elighten me. But all of that said, we have all heard that victims of molestation and continued rape, especially children, will purposely soil themselves to be unattractive or unwanted to the perpetrator. I’ve wondered if Jon Benet who seemed well-adjusted in all other areas of her life, was wetting the bed because she’d been being molested, and if so, not by a 9 yo brother – it would have been the father.

      My own Experience: I was molested by a stepfather. My mother was pregnant at the time. By all accounts, I believe he was attracted to her but became turned-off by her pregnant body, especially in the last trimester. I make no excuses for this monster and to this day, I hate his guts. That said, I firmly believe my mom’s pregnancy contributed to his attention being put on me. I was developing so no small child. Again, I make no excuses for this creep but I’m trying to explain that I believe the circumstances played a part in his acting on his attraction to me. I have wondered if Patsy’s battle with cancer, treatment, and ensuing balding, sickly demeanor, etc. might have pushed the father to act on a sexual attraction he already had for his little girl. Creeps are creeps, and it doesn’t happen over night, however, there are always specific factors that make them finally act on their desires, whether it be opportunity, deprivation, rejection, etc. Just a thought.

      • Beebee says:

        The bed wetting: Unfortunately, there were problems with evidence collection, but police who were first to arrive on the scene before and after she was found claimed that her bedroom “reeked” of urine.

        At this point in time, however, it seems that the bedwetting was a regular occurrence for both children.

        I should also point out that Jonbenet visited the doctor for this and related issues well over a dozen times that year (i forget the exact #, but it was a heavy amount of doc visits for an otherwise healthy child) before her demise.

      • honeybee blues says:

        Bedwetting for children that age, especially girls, is fairly common. JBR had been diagnosed with an underdeveloped bladder, the #1 cause for children under 10.

      • Beebee says:

        Jonbenet visited her doctor 27 times in the last three years of her life -this is not typical or normal for someone with diagnosed “bladder issues.” Furthermore, detailed medical records, unless released by the court, are confidential, we don’t know anything about a bladder issue. Also, both children had bed wetting and occasional problems with defecating themselves in their sleep, not just Jonbenet.

      • honeybee blues says:

        It was Christmas night, not Christmas Eve. No reason for her to be up all night. And Beebee, that story was debunked at the time as having been fabricated. She did NOT visit any pediatrician any more than other children her age. There were no 27 visits.

  14. Dibba says:

    I just read the article on DNA. The DNA from underwear and longjohns MATCH. Not sure if also match to fingernail DNA. But that match is pretty compelling evidence of an intruder

    • Chaucer says:

      I’ve discussed the DNA a multitude of times, so I won’t continue with that. The only other sign that points to a potential intruder is the broken window. However, there were so visible footprints around either the window well, or JB’s bedroom. Additionally, the cobwebs on the window frame were not disturbed. So the guy magically prances through the snow without leaving any footprints, breaks the window and crawls in just right to leave the cobwebs untouched, then walks all the way up to JBs room. Somehow kidnaps her without a sound, hits her on the head, hangs around the house for another 45 minutes to two hours, and then kills her and gets away? No fingerprints, no substantial DNA, no nothing. So unlikely.

      • Anon says:

        See I have read the investigators books, but I also saw a show years after the fact (I THINK it was CBS) with a famous forensic investigator who basically debunked that it could not have been an intruder. Wish I could remember more of the details, he”ll probably be on the show though. Looking forward to having the intruder question straightened out AND the underwear question.

      • Tourmaline says:

        @Chaucer you forgot the guy also hangs out in the kitchen of the house for a long time to find a notepad and a Sharpie pen and writes a 3 page ransom note in what is much like Patsy’s handwriting

      • honeybee blues says:

        Anon, that guy is a nutter. He also insisted they couldn’t be guilty because “we prayed together.”

    • Anon says:

      which article, can you send a link?

  15. SM says:

    Oh my God. As an European I never heard of this story. But just by looking at that young man’s grin I can’t help but think some dark and twisted things going on in that house. The most conventional story would suggest that the father molested and killed his beauty queen daughter. The other motive I kept thinking of while watching the promo for the show – is that the mother may have treated her daughter as a Barby doll, so probably she was more of an object to her than a child. She does not seem to be very devastated in any of the footage. Maybe the girl misbehaved, or maybe the mother felt like her daughter is getting more affection from the husband and she snapped? Or was the bigger brother really twisted? In any case, the whole kidnapping narrative looks like a cover up and a sloppy one that may have allowed to get away with murder 20 years ago, but I doubt it would work now.

    • Bridget says:

      The guy spent 2/3 of his life living under the spectre of his sister’s death and the suspicion that he or his parents did it. He wasn’t going to turn out happy go lucky.

  16. allison says:

    Regarding Burke and people who say he couldn’t have done it…he hurt her in the past, I believe he hit her with a golf club. If you read alot about this case and not just the sensational stuff, it’s very possible that Burke killed his sister and the parents covered it up. That makes most sense to me. If a husband killed a child, I can’t see a wife covering for them or vice versa, but I can see them covering for their other child. Don’t just say oh, no way a kid could not have done it…read about Burke as a little kid and the stuff he did to JB. And yes, a whole hell of ALOT was covered up because the Ramsey’s were very rich and lawyered up very fast. I personally don’t think we will ever know the whole truth.

    Read here for more on the infamous “DNA”

    • JenniferJustice says:

      Thank you for providing the link. I read it thoroughly and am surprised there were several things from forensics I did not know about – the panties were definitely new, the neighbors heard voices and saw lights in the Ramsey’s house in the middle of the night, Jon Benet received one fatal blow to the head – a huge one fracture – cracked her skull from one side of the head to the other, John Ramsey got rid of his set of golf clubs immediately after the murder, Patsy was on a high dose of valium after the murder. Even more surprising, that the authors of two of the books do not think Patsy was involved in the murder, nor Burke. They both believe beyond a doubt that the evidence leads to John Ramsey as the sole murderer/rapist and only he staged the cover-up – body wise. Patsy wrote the ransom note, but John staged Jon Benet’s body. They believe she was killed in the kitchen shortly after or during the eating of the fresh pineapple on the counter and only later, taken to the basement to stage the body. The author of the other book thinks it was Burke. But none of them believe it was Patsy. They think she helped to protect either her husband or her son, but not that she was the murderer. So much to think about….

  17. Bohemian Martini says:

    Such a tragedy. I’ll throw in my two cents – as a mother myself – nothing about Patsy’s reaction seemed authentic. I recall Oprah making a comment on her show about Patsy – it had to do with her providing writing samples to authorities. Oprah ( I’m paraphrasing and going off memory) said simmering along the lines of – if it helped find my child’s killer – I’d write all day long and fill pages up. It really gave me the impression that Oprah want buying what the Ramsey’s were selling.

  18. Lauren says:

    If you read about the case it becomes pretty apparent that Burke was a very emotionally disturbed child (he smeared his feces on a box of Jon Benet’s chocolates). I don’t think it should be ruled out that he hurt her and a cover up was done by the parents.

    • tmc says:

      The thing that didnt fit to me was that they sent him, Burke, off to a friends house that morning … I guess maybe that seemed the better option than leaving him where the police were? Probably the friends didnt ask him anything but I would think they would be worried the kid would talk (assuming he knew something). I think he said somewhere that he never talked about her death with the parents …

      Also they found a comment years later when reviewing the end of the 911 call when it hadnt been completely hung up and it seemed like it was Burke saying to the parents … either … what did you do? or what did you find…?

  19. what's inside says:

    Poor little baby girl… still makes me tear up with all that happened to her.

  20. Beebee says:

    Ok, so there is a lot of misinformation in this comment feed. I’ll start by saying that I was a student of international crime and despite the fact that the Jonbenet murder is domestic, I’ve studied the evidence for years, have read all of the books, followed new releases of information from the investigation and have kept up with important details after all these years.

    1. The Ramseys were only “cleared” by Former County DA Mary Lacey, someone who really had no grounds to clear anyone, as she was disconnected from the investigation and Burke was “cleared” by Alex Hunter, the DA primarily responsible for the destruction of the legal structure of the case. The DNA evidence we refer to when talking about the findings on Jonbenet’s body are the ones found in the underwear she was wearing when she was found. She was wearing underwear that was spotted with some of her blood, a fraction of different DNA that was ultimately was scientifically determined to have come from someone from the matrilineal side of Jonbenet’s family (Patsy?) and a third, still unidentified ( and incomplete) DNA sequence. The third piece has been widely determined by investigators (FBI, CASKU, and an endless stream of independent investigators called upon by the Boulder police) to have come from the manufacturing end of the underwear factory. That is to say, that the highest concentration of this third DNA profile are found in the waistband and other areas that are known to be most heavily handled by the people who work in production for that specific underwear company.

    The Ramseys can never be fully cleared per the actual investigative forces because their DNA was found all over the home, including on Jonbenet’s body when she was “found” hours after her death.

    2. The Boulder police did make a lot of mistakes in the initial part of the investigation because the crime was called in as a kidnapping and they were inexperienced for what this crime would become. The reality is that a lot of the early police work was mishandled, but throughout the development of the case, the Boulder PD worked endlessly to investigate real leads and to identify and work from actual, verifiable evidence, much to unfortunate consequences that included estrangement from the DA’s office, countless reputations ruined, professional relationships severed and loss of public trust. The Ramseys hired powerful lawyers and PR representatives (only a day or so after the crime) who spent the majority of their time working to help the Ramsey family appear as helpless, persecuted victims while painting the local police as ineffective, biased and incompetent. The Ramseys were responsible for the investigation going south after many years of avoiding official interviews, refusing to submit clothing worn at the time of the crime (which eventually was sent in but some say that Patsy sent a new top instead of the one she was actually wearing under her infamous red sweater) and other avoidant efforts like withholding Burke’s medical records from release to investigators.

    3. The last sentence above is important because Burke exhibited a lot of abnormal behavior for a child of his age. His grandparents and family members bought parenting books for Patsy that were written to help cope and deal with a child having trouble discerning right from wrong, among other behavioral issues. A rep from child services interviewed Burke almost immediately after the crime and found him to be despondent, unconcerned about Jonbenet’s state and emotionally disconnected from his family. When asked if he felt safe, he said yes, despite the idea that an unknown person(s) entered his home and kidnapped his sister. Burke never asked if Jonbenet was found and in subsequent interviews with a child therapist, was more concerned about eating and playing games than in learning anything about the state of his sister, despite the fact that John and Patsy claimed never to have discussed the crime with him. When Burke was asked to draw a picture of his family, he left out Jonbenet, which is actually odd, as most children include their deceased relatives in family drawings years after their death. Jonbenet’s brother was disturbingly cold and unconcerned during the course of this time in his life; a photo taken by investigators of the family shows an exhausted and crushed Patsy and Jon and a smiling, almost laughing Burke. Aside from the above, Burke also had bedwetting problems and was thought to have scatological issues as well -some of his excrement was found in Jonbenet’s candy and other areas of her bedroom.

    Also, the White family, Ramsey’s neighbors were known to be close with the family and after much consternation ended up seriously distancing themselves from the Ramseys after they endlessly refused to be questioned. Fleet White, the patriarch, was actually with John Ramsey when he “found” Jonbenet and was close enough to see the aftermath from up close. The Whites ended up writing letters to lawmakers asking for independent investigators to help lead the case because of the “the refusal of John and Patsy Ramsey to cooperate fully and genuinely with those officials charged with the responsibility of investigating the death of their daughter Jonbenet.”

    There is a LOT more where the above comes from and my own determination is that there was never an intruder in that house at any point in time.

    PS. OH! Let’s not leave out the fact that the grand jury who heard this case presentation actually voted to indict only to be blocked by DA Alex Hunter, who prevented this from going to trial.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Some have said there was DNA under her fingernails and I believe they said it wasn’t from a family member. Do you know anything about that?

      • Beebee says:

        Hi, Tiffany. Yes, the scrapings from underneath Jonbenet’s fingernails revealed marginal samples of DNA that belonged to two different male subjects and one unidentified female. The samples were much too small to show any biological origin. The determination made here by experts says that the DNA under her fingernails most likely comes from family or contact with people she encountered during the party at the White residence earlier. If we count one piece of DNA under her nails, we have to count all and if there is little to no evidence to suggest 1 intruder, it is much less likely that there were 3 in her home.

        None of the DNA found under her fingernails matched the fragment of DNA found in her underpants.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Interesting! Thank you very much for the reply.

      • Beebee says:

        Of course!

    • Andrea says:

      Burke’s problems I never heard about before and are startling to say the least.

      • Beebee says:

        I agree. You know, I went through periods of thinking Patsy was involved to John being the sexual molester to both having conspired and colluded to cover the crime up to now thinking it has more to do with Burke. I never thought a 9-11 year old child could ever do any of this, but it seems to make more sense in my head considering the parents never interacted with one another during the time they “waited” for the ransom call while police were in their home. I think it is possible that Burke was sexually assaulting and violently taking his frustrations out on his sister (he once hit her with a golf club) for a long time and eventually took out his resentment on her by hitting her with the maglite flashlight (that had no fingerprints or DNA on it -at all- like to an abnormal degree) while they shared or she took a piece of pineapple from his bowl.

    • Chicken says:

      But if Burke didn’t know right from wrong, what was to keep him from just telling one of the many people who interviewed him that he did it? If he didn’t see it as wrong, and he wasn’t particularly accustomed to doing what his parents told him to do (if they told him to keep quiet), wouldn’t he have said something at some point? I find the rest of it compelling, but that point just keeps sticking for me.

      • Beebee says:

        From my own perspective at this point, he now had his parent’s full attention. Would he mess that up after everything that happened? He told a psychologist and/or a social worker that he had a “secret” or that he “kept secrets” that he couldn’t share because then they wouldn’t be secrets. With Jonbenet now gone, Burke was now the sole focus and he wouldn’t mess that up now that he got what he always wanted. I can’t imagine that there wasn’t any resentment left for the parents after (and if, of course) all of this happened, but there was a very dysfunctional home life already going on according to witnesses. Their former housekeeper Linda informed investigators that Burke was always the one left behind in the shadows of Jonbenet’s spotlight. Plus, I imagine he remained in therapy for most of his life and was able to learn how to form a relative sense of belonging and connection to those around him.

        In fact, a few of the family friends removed themselves from the Ramsey’s inner circle (as mentioned above). A parent of one of Burke’s friends overheard him tell his young friend that Jonbenet was strangled before that was “public info” (and talked about/acted out the details about how that might happen), so I imagine there were not only reasons the friends got creeped out but also reasons for the parents to continue to shut the lid on that little boy.

      • SM says:

        Why would he have to not know right from wrong to do it? He may have very well understood that. However for a child it is easier to live with the understanding that what he or she does is wrong because he may have felt emotionaly wronged long before this happened because she evidently was the star of the family. Add to that the usual jealousity for younger siblin and you have a distressed child that probably had psychological problems and lack of attention from parents. Probably he had no intent to kill her but when it happned and his parents covered for him probably he realized that despite doing wrong he did achieve his personal happyness by getting the atention and being the special one. Most kids understand when they are doing something bad or something they are not allowed but they just can’t control their urge to do it in the moment.

      • freewhitebaby says:

        Not knowing right from wrong probably isn’t correctly stated. My guess is that he was showing early signs of sociopathy. He didn’t CARE about what was right or wrong, only about whether he was happy. Sociopaths don’t care who they hurt in their desire to meet their own needs. But they DO have a good idea how to lie to stay out of trouble. I think maybe Burke intentionally killed John Benet for whatever reason and then lied to stay out of trouble. Then his parents took over lying for him, and he was off scott free.

  21. Jayna says:

    What is even sadder is if Patsy, Jon, and Burke are totally innocent, yet , through many different “theories,” are guilty in so many minds.

    Law enforcement and DAs have put many innocent people away. I thought that ex-FBI profiler who took on the case gave compelling argument it wasn’t the family from his investigation.

    I don’t think anyone will ever know the truth of her death, if it was a family member or someone else. I’ve gone both ways with it as I’ve read or watched interviews on crime type shows that covered it over the years.

    • MAC says:

      Yes the ex FBI profiler wrote a book and determined it was not the family. He went over every piece of evidence. I thought what he wrote was the best on the tragedy as he had a lot of experience with murder scenes and hard cases.

      No-one will ever know, I think that if any of us were put under that type of microscope our families might look so great.

  22. Snarkweek says:

    For me if there was DNA under her nails and in her underpants I can not believe the family did it. I would also want to know if the DNA from the nails/underwear matched one another. Why didn’t the police tae a sample from every male JonBenet came in was even remotely acquainted with? Also if the DNA under her nails never came up in any subsequent crime database scans then it is even more likely that the child was killed by an acquaintance in a crime of opportunity. When crimes of this nature are committed by a stranger it is almost always a result of escalating predation. The perpetrator would almost certainly have gone on to commit crimes that were almost identical in method over the years. Of course not every crime, criminal or case always fits so neatly into known parameters but there is so much that points to this being done by an acquaintance of the child. I find it hard to believe that this case won’t be solved someday.

    • Lucrezia says:

      No, they don’t match. So far, there are 6 different, unidentified touch DNA profiles associated with the case.

      Scrapings from left fingernail: unidentified male #1
      Scrapings from right fingernail: male #2, female #1 (which was possibly JonBennet’s own DNA, the sample was too weak to be conclusive)
      Underwear: male #3
      Waistband of leggings: male #3
      Wrist bindings: male #4
      Garrote: male #5

      That is the problem with touch DNA, it’s just too sensitive.

      • Snarkweek says:

        Then I 100% believe that the brother killed JonBenet and both parents covered it up.

      • cindy says:

        Yes, me too. The brother did do and the parents covered it up. Read my post below about the book Forereign Factions, he lays out this case perfectly. Burke killed Jon Benet. I am so shocked this book isn’t widely known, because this case really has been solved.

    • Lucrezia says:

      I just realised I didn’t respond to the bit about DNA databases and taking a sample from every man JonBennet has been in contact with.

      They have tested and excluded some suspects. But mass-testing ruins the math that makes DNA such powerful evidence. DNA is great at excluding people – proving that the sample didn’t come from them. It’s not so good at proving someone committed a crime.

      A “DNA match” doesn’t mean they looked at your entire DNA sequence and found that the entire thing matched. What they do is look at a few sites, and see if the DNA matches in those particular spots.

      CODIS (the Fed database) looks at 13 sites. Depending on how rare the alleles in question are, the odds of a random person matching at all of those 13 sites is somewhere between 2 million and 200 million.

      The best piece of DNA in the JB case is that from male #3 (underwear and longjohns). But there are only 10 clear sites on that sample (and the 10th one is particularly weak, they originally could only find 9 sites). Think of it like the lottery – you’re much more likely to match 4 balls than all 6, right? Same principal here: since we’ve only got 10 sites to compare (rather than 13), we’re much more likely to find a match. I don’t know what genes are on those 10 sites, or how rare they are … but let’s randomly say it’s a million to one chance that an innocent person matches.

      Now, what’s the male population of Boulder – 50,000? Test all of them and it’s like buying 50,000 lottery tickets – you increase your odds of a match. You’ve now got a 1 in 20 chance of “matching” an innocent person. If you were on the jury, would you convict if that was the only evidence? I might suspect they were guilty, I’d need something more. I wouldn’t risk a 5% chance of convicting an innocent person.

  23. allison schaffer says:

    The DNA in this case is pretty meaningless. And besides, what mother…especially a woman like Patsy, who lives in a meticulously decorated house with a housekeeper, a woman who bleaches her daughter’s hair and makes her wear a “flipper” so she can look “perfect” for pageants, snatches up a pair of underwear for her daughter to put on that has never been washed?? Ew. I have a little girl. If she wet her bed and there were no clean underwear in the drawer (which btw I highly doubt was the case here) I would have just put on a pair of clean pajama bottoms. Also, going with the same mode of thought…what wealthy woman who is flying in private jet to her 2nd home, gets up and puts the same clothes on that she wore the previous night? Really? The fact is, she never changed because she never went to bed that night. God knows what crap went down in that house that night. Also, did anyone bring up the enhanced 911 call? Burke or a ‘young male” is heard in the background while John and Patsy insist that he slept through everything. They are all guilty in my opinion.

    • tmc says:

      I agree I always thought (once I learned more about the case, only recently) the fact that Patsy was wearing the same clothes was very odd for someone like her in particular and something she would not do. They had to follow a timeline because they were scheduled to be at the airport flying out that morning so they had to call 911 by a certain time to say Jon Benet was * discovered.* But even so, I would think Patsy would have changed. Burke saying Jon Benet walked into the house the night before (they claimed she was carried in by the father), the eating of the pineapple (pineapple found in her stomach and on kitchen table) .. she was awake but they wanted to paint a picture of her being straight asleep from right after the drive from the party and someone else (an intruder) disrupting her…

      I just mentioned the 911 call earlier but that was telling also.

    • honeybee blues says:

      Allison, you’ve hit it. You see, the only part of that house that was “meticulously decorated” was the front receiving area, as it were. ALL accounts by close friends, housekeepers, delivery people, etc., are that the rest of the house was messy, dirty, and unkempt. Again, it was the IMAGE that mattered to Patsy most of all.

  24. DiamondGirl says:

    They had been at a Christmas party. She could have gotten someone’s DNA in her nails from playing or some contact, and even have transferred it to her own underwear herself in the bathroom.

    There can be so much more to a situation than DNA.

  25. Tourmaline says:

    For me the ambiguous DNA is outweighed by 1) the content and circumstances of the ransom note which fairly scream “staged misdirection” 2) the family’s behavior that day including: the brother being quickly whisked away without allowing the police to speak to him at all, the father getting on the phone right after the body was found to demand his private pilot ready a plane to fly the family out of town that afternoon–the police had to stop him and say sorry, we need to ask you some questions and 3) the family’s continued non-cooperation with police and egregious pointing of fingers at totally innocent friends, neighbors, and business associates in a clear attempt to keep the focus anywhere but where it belonged–on the people who were known to be in the house when this happened.

  26. Adele Dazeem says:

    I know we haven’t seen much live footage yet but man Burke is a dead ringer for his mother. I wonder where he is now and what he’s doing with his life, anyone know?

    • Tourmaline says:

      I think I’ve read he graduated from Purdue five or six years ago and works in a computer/IT field. He lives in Indiana or maybe Michigan?

  27. cindy says:

    I implore anyone interested in this case to read Foreign Faction by James Kaylor (you can find it on Amazon). He was a former investigator in the case and essentially solved the crime beyond a shadow of a doubt. It could not be prosecuted for reasons which are explained throughly in the book. Burke killed his sister, the parents knew, and helped cover up the crime. The parents in no way knew Burke did this, only discovered it, went into shock and in protection mode, circled the wagons and kept Burke free. Please read the book. It is well researched, well written and it is not just a sleazy true crime book. Burke really did do it. Yes he was a tiny boy, but he used a method of strangulation that required very little force. Also the sister trusted him so it was easy for Burke to talk her into a supine position. Burke was a disturbed boy, this also comes out in the book. I am always shocked when I hear of this case as being “unsolved”. It’s not. Read this book.

    • SM says:

      I believe this version. Never heard of this story before and did not know who he was until I saw this headline her. I came to this post only out of curiousity to learn who that young man with a smile of a psycho in the header photo is.

  28. Amelie says:

    The parents did it. One or the other. I was young when this happened so I don’t know the particulars except for the sketchy ransom note and the fact she was found in the basement strangled the day after Christmas. I have a hard time believing some unknown intruder managed to sneak in on a holiday with the whole family home and take her down to the basement without anybody hearing a thing. Someone in that house (ie family) killed her. Nobody else.

  29. allison schaffer says:

    Burke was a messed up kid. Did messed up stuff to his sister. His parents knew he was “sick”, didn’t do anything about it. He smashes his sister’s head with a flashlight one night and the parents go into panic mode and stage a scene. Better for everyone to think JB was killed by a deranged pedo than the truth come out that their sonny boy is a very sick ticket.
    Even the Whites, their very best friends at the time, changed their opinion about their guilt when they saw from the inside how beligerent they were with the police and investigators…why be so uncooperative??

    • isabelle says:

      He was pretty young to be able to smash a flashlight that hard and the skull fracture was extensive. Investigators don’t think it was him that killer her. A few arm chair ones or ones investigation from afar,

      • allison schaffer says:

        I think they were seated at barstools in the kitchen. I think if he stood up over her and brought it down, that would be enough force to inflict that kind of damage. Or she was hit and then fell backwards and cracked her skull on the floor. I dismiss the theory he could not have done it simply because they feel he lacked strength. It was definitely possible.

        This kid smeared feces all over stuff in his sister’s room. This kid was disturbed. I think he had it in him to use brute force. Another incident prior to the death had him swinging a golf club at Jonbenet…and this is only some of the stuff that came to light…can you imagine what else went in that house? And how about all of JB’s visits to the pediatrician?

      • Tourmaline says:

        But James Kolar (author of Foreign Faction book) wasn’t an armchair investigator or “from afar”. He was a lead investigator on the case for the Boulder County Attorney’s Office. Believe his theory or don’t but it can’t be discounted on that basis.

      • cindy says:

        Exactly. Burke was a sexual predator in the making and his parents suspected this. He was doing horrible violent things to Jon benet right under their very nose. He attached her one night in the basement with too much force and killed her. Strangled her. The parents found this the next morning, panicked and proceeded to cover up in any way they could, and succeeded. This cover up made them look guilty, and in a way, they were. They covered for their psychopath child instead of protecting their murdered one, all to keep the perfect family image. Nice family I guess. Foreign Factions does such an excellent job solving this case . I wish the series would be based on this book, because THAT is the truth of what happened to Jon benet.

  30. allison schaffer says:

    Here’s a portion of the enhanced 911 call:

    extra 911 audio enhanced at the end of the call – it had not ended

    male (angry): “We’re not speaking to you!”
    female:”Help me Jesus Help me Jesus”
    young male: “Well, what did you find?”

  31. jeanpierre says:

    I firmly believe several members in this family are guilty of this crime, if not all. And nothing can convince me otherwise. Parents are the prime suspects to me. Even if it was the brother and they were “only” covering it up for him they acted freaking foul. She really was just an object to them. They never respected her, living or dead. Whatever happened they are guilty for her fate.
    RIP JonBenét.

  32. Ishouldbeworking says:

    This case has fascinated me for years, and I’ve gone back and forth on believing the family had something to do with it or that intruders were involved. It can get very confusing because there is a lot of misinformation out there, purposely I think. After reading the solvingjonbenet blog, I now fully believe it was her father, acting alone. Once you take out all of the distractions/red herrings it all makes sense. Google it!!!

  33. Velvet Elvis says:

    I read someone where that statistically, the parents of murdered children end up in divorce on down the road. The Ramsey’s came together strong though. Why do you think that was? Someone in that house did SOMETHING because the ransom note was clearly written by someone in that house, so there was a cover up at the very least. If John had done the crime there is no way that Patsy would have stood by him. Jonbenet was her favorite child. She would have turned on him in a second. If Patsy had done it (and John knew) he wouldn’t have withstood the onslaught of Hell that he went through afterward without turning on her at some point, I think. That leaves the one person they were both protecting, their remaining child. Him being the possible killer of of Jonbenet makes the grand jury’s finding that the parents permitted JonBenét to be placed in a dangerous situation that led to her death make a lot of sense. Possibly the son was a sick kid, had done things to Jonbenet in the past… the parents knew but did nothing about it. Makes me wonder why in the hell he would be doing an interview now. “I don’t want anyone to forget” is BS. No one will forget this case.

    • Tourmaline says:

      Yes to this, I’ve thought about it through this lens too. If they were both protecting their only remaining child instead of each other, that explains a lot.

      • Betti says:

        Also could explain her brother’s interview – preemptive PR.

      • JenniferJustice says:

        Definitely preemptive PR on Burke’s part currently. He knows the docu-series is going to air soon. It’s the 20th anniversary of her death, so it’s being covered to some extent by every major media outlet. He knows his name is going to come up again, so he’s coming out first to cut them off at the path and claim again that it was an intruder.

  34. Betti says:

    This thread has been very informative – its making me think about what i thought i understood about the case. Even thou I’m in the UK i would be very interested to see both documentaries. The facts have never matched what the Ramsey’s are selling. To have both children wetting and pooing the bed indicates high levels of stress. Why were both kids stressed to that degree? What was going on in that house that drove things toward what eventually went down regardless of whether it was an accident caused by Burke or Patsy?

    • Tourmaline says:

      Some other good books on the case, besides Foreign Faction by James Kolar, are Perfect Murder, Perfect Town by Lawrence Schiller and JonBenet: Inside the Ramsey Murder Investigation by Steve Thomas. Foreign Faction is by far the most recent book but the other two have good background on the case as well.

    • Lucrezia says:

      You have to be careful in assuming that 2 children in a family wetting the bed is particularly unusual. It’s highly heritable, they’ve even identified certain genes that play a role. Could be the environment (stress/abuse), sure, but it also be that they’ve both inherited the genes that mean their bladder doesn’t “shout” loud enough when it’s full.

    • JenniferJustice says:

      It should also be noted that their nanny stated in a witness depo that Jon Benet regularly wet and soiled her bed at night. Changing her bedding was the one and only chore Patsy did herself and forbade the nannies to do. Not Burke’s too – just Jon Benet’s. Why? What else might have been on that soiled bedding that she felt the need to take care of herself, but not her son’s too? I believe Patsy knew Jon Benet was being molested.

      Also, It’s very telling that in the interviews immediately following the murder, they all claimed that Burke slept through every thing – the murder, the parents screaming and crying for Jon Benet in the morning when they were looking for her, the police coming, all of the friends coming. It wasn’t until hours later that John “woke” Burke and summarily had the Whites whisk him off to their house. Police, detectives, investigators and interrogators all say the same thing – Burke knew nothing because he slept though it all but he never once asked what was going on or where his sister was? Hmmmm…….

  35. K8typat says:

    After seeing the railroading that goes in these cases I am not sure I would subject myself to police interviews either.

  36. Alexis says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the brother did it and the parents tried to cover it up to make sure he didn’t go to prison. Then again I hate to buy into this conspiracy theory business. Either way, justice should be served for this poor guy, RIP

  37. Tallia says:

    My first thought when this happened was the father was abusing the daughter, the mother was jealous and/or blamed the daughter. Pure conjecture and wild exposition.

  38. marymoon says:

    “Has it ever occurred to you that your parents actually thought you did this and didn’t ask you because they didn’t want to know?” the TV host asks the now 29-year-old.

    (Burke) replies, “I know people think I did it, that my parents did it. I know we were suspects. I want to honor her memory by doing this interview. I don’t want anyone to forget.”

    Huh. That non-answer is rather telling.
    I wonder if Phil followed up with “Now, are you gonna answer my question?”

  39. Trillion says:

    Oooh I canNOT wait to hear what Georgia and Karen have to say about this show on My Favorite Murder!

  40. dibba says:

    I know an FBI agent who has worked the case and interviewed B. B is married and has a daughter. FBI guy believes B did it.