at this point the results of JonBenét’s autopsy had not been determined and the blow to her head showed no external signs of trauma. While such an extreme act by a child would often indicate further violence later in life, it’s possible Burke’s rage disappeared after he eliminated the source of it: JonBenét. By all accounts he has lived a normal albeit secluded life, graduating from college in 2010 and working as a programmer in Atlanta. I’ve tried to find more about Burke’s life online and found only vague mention of him being “friendly” and having girlfriends, interspersed with Vimeo and YouTube accounts of remotecontrolled airplane test drives. With the 20th anniversary of JonBenét’s death approaching this Christmas, there has been a slew of documentaries bringing unseen evidence to the public, sparking a public re-interest in the case. While a lone CBS series was announced in April this year, it arrived in September amidst a flood of sudden specials by Dateline NBC, A&E, Investigation Discovery Network, and a threepart interview with Burke Ramsey on Dr Phil—his first ever media interview. The A&E special was firmly behind the Intruder Theory (and made with heavy involvement from John Ramsey), while Dateline and ID tried to present a broader view of the case (though the latter entertained a crass interview with John Mark Karr). The CBS special gathered a team of forensic experts to reexamine all available evidence and constructed recreations of key rooms in the Ramsey household, unanimously concluding that Burke killed JonBenét. I was most excited for the Dr Phil episodes, with teasers that seemed to promise a noholds-barred interview and when the full episodes aired they were an armchair detective’s dream. Burke stiffly smiled and laughed his way through details of his sister’s brutal murder. In a huge slip he even admitted to being downstairs after everyone had gone to bed, something that seems damning given the prior insistence that this never occurred. However it was not long until I learned the Ramseys and Dr Phil share the same lawyer, Lin Wood, and in a last-minute additional episode Dr Phil was quick to put Burke’s behavior down to awkwardness. A Lifetime channel adaptation, Who Killed JonBenét?, is set to air early November and is eerily narrated by the ghost of JonBenét à la The Lovely Bones. If she was still alive today JonBenét would be twentysix years old. What would she be like? Who would she have become? We will never get to know and her story will not end until her killer is found, and having spent so much time on her case I get the feeling too much has been kept quiet for that to ever happen. I know I will continue to speculate, and my version of events could change if we are finally told more about what happened that night, but all I can really do is hope that one day justice will be served. Unfortunately justice for JonBenét seems just as unlikely now as it did back in ‘96, when police and the public alike found themselves baffled by the horrific murder of a six year old girl on Christmas night.
unsuccessful in waking her. Finding himself alone and curious—books found within the house indicate that Burke was having behavioral issues—he perhaps begins to examine his sister’s body, even inserting a paintbrush into her vagina. He then constructs a “leash” out of rope and a broken piece of the aforementioned paintbrush, ties it around her neck, and drags her body around the room (JonBenet enjoyed playing ‘kitty’ and this could be seen as a twisted incarnation). The rope pulls taut and the strangulation kills JonBenét. A neighbour of the Ramsey’s reported hearing a scream from the property between midnight and two in the morning. There is no doubt that if someone screamed within the Ramsey house the family members would have heard it. While many propose the scream to be that of JonBenét, I think it’s more likely to have been Patsy. Upon waking up after falling asleep early she goes to check on her children and discovers they are not in their beds. Knowing that Burke enjoyed playing in the basement, she heads down to see if they were there and finds an unconscious JonBenét accompanied by an unfazed Burke, and lets out a scream. Piecing together what has happened and seeing the rope around JonBenét’s neck and possibly the broken paintbrush from her molestation, Patsy sends Burke to bed and wakes up John, and they try figure out what to do—their son has murdered their daughter and they are faced with losing their now only child. What follows is a frantic attempt at a cover up. After wiping her body and the weapon down—the flashlight believed to have been used in the blow to JonBenét’s head was found completely wiped clean, including the batteries inside—they began to write the ransom note. It took a few tries to get it right—several ‘practice’ notes were later discovered—as the Ramsey’s came up with a story of kidnapping subconsciously inspired by thriller movies, with several lines from the note being taken indirectly from film scripts. Patsy calls the police at a time that would fit in with the day’s plans and then the chaos begins. I think John and Patsy intended to remove JonBenét’s body from the property but, when time ran out, she was simply hidden to be found later—stashed in the dark and windowless wine cellar. I believe the events of the night of JonBenét’s murder were a series of tragic accidents, where a jealous sibling acted out and when faced with the scene two parents united to protect their only child. If John or Patsy were involved in their daughter’s death I don’t think either would hesitate to turn the other into police; the Ramseys did not seem close at the time and they each hired separate lawyers before talking to police. It would be necessary that they keep Burke away from questioning until they could properly coach him on what to say, while also reiterating to him that he had not done anything wrong and he would be okay. In an interview with a child psychologist thirteen days after JonBenét’s murder Burke is asked if he knows how his sister died, he responds with “I know what happened to her” and mimics the motion of striking someone hard on the head from above—but