The JonBenet Ramsey Murder
JonBenet Ramsey was born on August 6, 1990. She was a true beauty queen as a young child, as she was very successful in numerous beauty pageants all over the United States. The titles she held include Little Miss Charlevoix Michigan, Colorado State All-Star Kids Cover Girl, America’s Royal Miss, National Tiny Miss Beauty, Little Miss Merry Christmas, Little Miss Colorado, and Little Miss Sunburst (wikipedia). JonBenet lived in Boulder, Colorado, with her parents, John and Patsy, and her brother, Burke.
Sadly, JonBenet Ramsey and her family became best known to the American public in the aftermath of the events surrounding her mysterious death on December 25, 1996. A combination of police blunders, mysterious evidence, and other conclusions created a national media buzz that continues on, even to this day. John and Patsy Ramsey are continually looked at the most likely culprits in the public eye, and the young Burke has even been mentioned as a possible murderer in some accounts (Maloney).
The Ramsey family lived the quintessential “good life” in Boulder. John was a very successful businessman who had moved his family there from Atlanta, Georgia, in 1991 with the financial resources from a lucrative computer business that he started out of his very own garage (Maloney). The family built a house in an upscale neighborhood and made many new friends, their home becoming a regular party spot for their companions in the neighborhood. With all the riches that they had, not to mention a beautiful and very successful young daughter, would they have killed her? This is a question that still remains unanswered.
After attending a Christmas party at a friend’s home on December 25, 1996, the Ramseys returned home early that night, around 9:30, planning to get up at dawn and head for their vacation house on Lake Michigan (Maloney). JonBenet had fallen asleep in the back of the family vehicle, so Patsy took her upstairs and put her in bed. She and John went to bed a short time later.
Patsy Ramsey awoke around 5:00 a.m. on the morning of December 26th, and headed for the kitchen, as many of us do as a routine each day. She was shocked to find a two-and-a-half page ransom note on the counter explaining that JonBenet had been kidnapped. In the note, the criminals claimed to be “from a small foreign faction that respected John Ramsey’s business, but not the people in it.” They would give JonBenet back for an amount of $118,000 (Maloney). The note also said that John Ramsey could expect a phone call to his home in between 8-10 a.m. explaining the ransom instructions in a more precise way to him. Local authorities were anxious to tap this call, yet it never came. In their great anticipation of this phone call, they failed to seal off the Ramsey household as a crime scene. Friends of the family were in and out of the house throughout the entire day, which could have obviously resulted in evidence being destroyed or tampered with.
Later in the afternoon, John was instructed by authorities to go around his home looking for JonBenet. Ironically, Mr. Ramsey found his daughter’s body in the very first place he looked, down in the wine cellar of the house. Even more disturbing is the fact that he picked up the body and brought her back upstairs immediately, which would most definitely ruin a crime scene. He emerged from the basement with his little girl. Her arms were raised above her head and there was a string around her right wrist (Maloney). She had blue lips and was not breathing; the body was identified by John as being JonBenet.
The cord tied around her wrist did not indicate that her body had bound together. Police immediately speculated that she had strangely been tied up after her death. She had blood spots in the crotch area of her panties, but nothing on her skin. There were also dark fibers contained in her vaginal area which suggested the body had been wiped down by a cloth (Maloney). As stated above, it is extremely eerie that John Ramsey happened to find his daughter in the first place that he looked in the house just minutes after he was instructed by authorities to go look for her. There is much more evidence that points to the Ramseys as well. The body was removed from the house via search warrant instead of the consent of the parents, which is customary in this particular situation (Maloney).
After taking the body from the home, police immediately began a search of the house for hair fibers, pens, and the notepad which the ransom note was written on. Steve Thomas, a Boulder City detective in the case, believes that JonBenet Ramsey was most definitely killed by her mother. Thomas says that being exhausted from the grind of Christmas Day and an argument with JonBenet had left Patsy very agitated. Patsy frequently wanted her daughter to be dressed just like her, and this was something that the young child had gone against that day; she wanted to wear something different to the family friend’s Christmas party. After coming home from the party, JonBenet was hungry and ate some pineapple before she went to bed. Patsy checked on her in the middle of the night and discovered that she had wet her bed, and Thomas feels this is where the mother could have become very angry and snapped. JonBenet was possibly dragged into the bathroom and beaten up pretty badly. The eight-inch skull fracture on her head seems to suggest that her head was slammed against a very hard surface, presumably the edge of a tub (Maloney). It is this blow that initially knocked her unconscious and led to her eventual death. Patsy immediately realized the magnitude of what she had done, and was probably in a great state of panic by this point. She would have been much too scared to take JonBenet to the hospital at this time, knowing that if police got involved, they would be able to figure out what had happened pretty easily. Therefore, she moved the body into the basement and went about planning her “kidnapping” scene. She tied her daughter up and strangled her from behind with a piece of rope and a paintbrush, then covered the child in a white blanket and left her to die, moving on to the kitchen to write the ransom note. She used her own writing pad and a pen from a jar that she kept on the counter.