Listed among TIME Magazine’s “6 Most Mysterious Unsolved Murders of All Time,” the murder of JonBenét Ramsey still holds massive interest in the hearts of people worldwide. The book going over key witness statements in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case.
Presented is an examination of statements and evidence in the case. Please form your own opinion, theory, or questions about the JonBenét murder case. Just remember, we cannot convict a person, even in our minds, without all the facts of the case. This just gives you something to think about. Many people across the globe are familiar with the unsolved case involving the vicious murder of a precious six-year-old girl named JonBenét Ramsey. It is essentially, by all definitions, a cold case.
There are no new leads— at least none that the public has been made aware of by investigators. No person or suspect has been convicted for JonBenét’s murder. At this point, I do not believe there are any suspects at all. There are just people of interest. I have read reports from reporters, investigators, attorneys, writers, and authorities stating that the case will probably never be solved, partially due to some foul-ups that occurred at the beginning of the case.
Some of you may not be familiar with the case, so let me tell you a little bit about it. I am not going to cover the same information I have read repeatedly with details about a tiny bowl of pineapples, a Santa bear, or if the ransom note was on the floor, the second step, or the third step.
Those things are irrelevant to my research on the case. There are many books available that cover the same information, down to the count of the candy canes that lined the sidewalk. You can read one of the other books if you want layouts of the house, all the detectives’ names, the color of Patsy’s pants, etc.
I do something a little different in my theories, case summaries, and critiques. I do not work for any law enforcement agency or government agency and never have. Instead of looking at the physical evidence, which I do not have access to; I look at the statements everyone has made.
Not only do I perform this kind of work for the JonBenét case. I do it with everything I research and write. I take the words and statements people have made publicly and have affirmed to be true, and I analyze them. I do that until I cannot find anything else in the words. In reading the ransom note multiple times, I discovered something unique almost every time.
The Ramsey family resided primarily in Boulder, Colorado, USA. They lived in what could be considered a mansion. In the wee early morning hours of December 26th, 1996, JonBenét’s parents woke to attend to last-minute preparations for the family’s post-Christmas trip to Michigan.
The Ramseys would be flying via private plane from Boulder to meet the rest of the family. They would all be together in Michigan to celebrate Patsy Ramsey’s 40th birthday.
John Ramsey had three adult children from a previous marriage: two daughters and a son. One of John’s daughters perished in a tragic automobile accident a few years before JonBenét’s murder. John Ramsey’s second marriage was to Patricia Ramsey, and they had two children together. There was Burke Ramsey, who was nine years old at the time his baby sister was murdered. Then there was the youngest of all John’s children: JonBenét Ramsey, who was six years old when she was murdered. She was a tiny, forty-pound-innocent kindergartner.
I say that because some people portrayed JonBenét as some rich little spoiled skanky brat that deserved to be slaughtered for being promiscuous and wearing “adult” looking outfits. JonBenét was a beautiful, precious and blameless child. Go back and watch her videos. She looks like a sweet toddler trying to learn to sing and dance. She was somebody’s daughter.
She was somebody’s sister, somebody’s granddaughter, and somebody’s friend. I heard somewhere that they photoshopped and edited her pictures to darken and add additional makeup to her face to make her look older. That is so rotten. Only four people were supposed to be present in the Ramsey mansion on the morning of December 26th, 1996; John, Patricia, Burke, and JonBenét. I have never been in the Ramsey home, so I can only go by what I have seen on the digital blueprints they have available online.
It appears that the Ramsey mansion consisted of four levels. The uppermost level, which was the fourth level, was Patricia and John Ramsey’s floor. The master bedroom was located there.
The third level is where JonBenét’s, and Burke’s bedrooms were. Remember this house was very large, so Burke’s bedroom was at one end of the floor and JonBenét’s was at the opposite end. Patsy and John’s bedroom/sleeping area was above Burke’s bedroom opposite JonBenét’s.
On the main level, there was the kitchen, living room, and so forth. On the bottom level was the large maze of a basement. The third level of the house, where Burke’s and JonBenét’s bedrooms were, had two staircases leading up to it: one towards the front of the house, where Burke’s room was located. At the opposite end was the other, the spiral staircase, and that was in the kitchen.
That was the staircase that led up to JonBenét’s bedroom. It also led up to the fourth floor into John and Patsy’s dressing room opposite of their sleeping area. The spiral staircase was the primary staircase Patricia Ramsey used, and only her family or workers close to the family would know Patsy used that staircase.
The Ramsey family planned to fly out to Michigan and after that, they would also be going on a cruise. The family was very wealthy. However, on that morning of December 26th, John Ramsey was just a father and a husband. John had to make sure he was prepared to take on the responsibility of getting his family safely to their destination.
John Ramsey woke up that morning and headed to his bathroom on the fourth level. It would be natural for Patsy Ramsey to wake up to the noise of her husband getting ready in the bathroom. Patsy woke up and decided she was too tired to get new clothes out. She threw on the same thing she had worn the previous night at the Christmas party: some black pants and a red turtleneck.
Patsy quickly fixed her face and hair and prepared items to board the plane. She stopped on the third level, JonBenét and Burke’s floor, to throw a few things in the washer quickly. Patsy planned to get herself ready, make some coffee, pack some more things, and then wake the children up at the last-minute.
After that, she headed down the back spiral staircase, as she usually did, to the kitchen to make some coffee. As she headed down the spiral staircase, she noticed that there were a few sheets of paper lying to the side on the second rung from the bottom of the stairs.
Patsy’s first thought was that it must be a note from the family housekeeper, Linda Hoffmann-Pugh. Patsy had allegedly left dozens of handwritten notes for Linda over the past months, so she figured Linda was leaving her a note stating she needed more cleaning supplies or something of that nature.
After stepping beside the note to land on the kitchen floor in front of the spiral staircase, Patsy decided to turn around to read the note. Allegedly, Linda Hoffmann-Pugh, the housekeeper, had called in sick on December 24th, stating she needed to borrow $2,000. Patsy then thought it might be a note from Linda regarding the check Patsy was allegedly supposed to leave for Linda on the kitchen counter. Patsy decided she had better look at it to be sure.
When Linda Hoffmann-Pugh had allegedly called to request a loan from Patsy, Patsy claimed she gladly offered to leave Linda a check to help her out. Linda would supposedly come to the Ramsey mansion and pick the check up on her next scheduled cleaning day, which was the 26th of December.
However, instead of the note being something about Linda’s check, to her horror, Patsy started realizing the three pieces of paper left for her were pieces of a ransom note. Her stomach dropped to her knees.
Patsy ran back up the spiral staircase, stopping to check in on JonBenét in her room. When Patsy observed JonBenét was not in her room, she ran over to the stairs leading up to the fourth level and screamed an urgent cry for John to come.
Patsy told John there was a ransom note and JonBenét was gone. John checked JonBenét’s room. Then they both ran back to the kitchen where the ransom note was, and Patsy frantically made the phone call to 911. These parents did what any normal human being would do! Their precious little girl had been kidnapped so they called the authorities for help!
John got on his knees and quickly read the entire ransom note as Patsy spoke on the phone with the 911 operator. Patsy quickly glanced again at the ransom note as she spoke to the operator. She looked at the beginning of the note and then again as John got to the last page of the ransom note. Patsy noticed briefly how the note was signed: “Victory! S.B.T.C”
Patsy frantically and desperately begged for the 911 operator to hurry and send police right away throughout the call. She briefly described her daughter and told them that someone had kidnapped her. Patsy’s heart plunged deeply with anguish.
Both parents were sick with fear and desperate to recover their daughter. After the 911 call, John hurriedly looked around the house at the doors and thought them all to be locked. Then John ran ahead of Patsy to check on their son, Burke, who they both noticed was still sound asleep.
John and Patsy could not figure out how the killer could have taken JonBenét without breaking into their home. It was such a dreadful and devastating moment. They didn’t know which way to turn or what to do. The Ramseys were smart enough to know that when anyone goes missing, especially when a child is kidnapped that every minute counts. The kidnapper had warned them about calling the police, but what else could they do?
Neither of the Ramseys had police training nor knowledge on how to deal with a deranged person who would kidnap their tiny daughter for a ransom. There was no other way, in their eyes, to get their daughter back than to call for professional help.
That is what most of us believe the police are there for: to help us in the case of an emergency. It is their job. If nobody called the police when they had an emergency, because they were scared, we would not need the police. Police arrived within ten minutes of the 911 call.
The authorities questioned the Ramseys and looked at the ransom note. The kidnappers were asking for such a strange amount: $118,000. Everyone wondered why they asked for so little considering John Ramsey’s company had just hit the billion-dollar mark that very Christmas in 1996. The announcement about his company was made public, so anyone reading or listening in the area would know that.
The authorities set up a secret operation so they would be ready when the kidnappers called for a meeting place to pick up the ransom money. The Ramseys were terrified, but at least they were not alone in this alarming situation. They had professional authority figures in their house that could lead and guide them on what they needed to do to safely get their daughter back. They wanted to cooperate and do everything they could do to help authorities catch the kidnappers.
After all, that was what John Ramsey did in his line of work. When John Ramsey had a problem, he assembled his team of professionals designated in that area of concern. They would collectively figure out how to handle the issue effectively. This situation would be no different.
The Ramseys would rely on the professionals to help them get their daughter back. Both Patsy and John answered a multitude of questions asked by the investigators. When the questioning was complete, for the moment at least, the Ramseys left the professionals to do their jobs.
While the pros were doing their jobs, the Ramseys phoned their family, their pastor, and their closest friends to come and give them physical and emotional support. It was truly a heartbreaking and overwhelming time that no parent should have to go through.
As the authorities and the Ramsey group waited for the kidnappers to call, one of the detectives suggested that the house be searched. John was becoming sick with worry and concern about his daughter being kidnapped. Patricia Ramsey, who was inconsolable, was also sick with fear; she had her pastor, and her closest friends comfort her and pray with her.
Several people, including two officers, searched the Ramsey house up and down and did not find the missing child. They also overlooked what would come to be known as “the secret room”, never entering it. This fact offers validity as to just how “secret” the room was. This also gives legitimacy to the statement that only someone with intimate inside information of the Ramsey home could have committed this unspeakable crime, a violent act against a precious six-year-old child. This “secret” room was also known as the wine cellar during the investigation.
The police failed to find or enter the room, even after searching the basement twice. While they all waited for the kidnappers to call, the authorities asked John and Patsy Ramsey some questions. One was if they knew anyone who was desperate for money or had a grudge against the family. John stated that he had a few disgruntled ex-employees at his business. They asked Patsy the same question and she purportedly told them her housekeeper had just called to borrow money two days before.
The detectives wanted to know more about the Ramseys’ housekeeper, Linda Hoffmann-Pugh, and her family. When detectives questioned Patsy further, she purportedly told them that the housekeeper had been desperate for money and had called a couple of days before the kidnapping, requesting a loan.
However, Patsy allegedly told the investigators that she did not think Linda would hurt JonBenét, because she knew her to be nice. Patsy felt Linda Hoffmann-Pugh just probably needed some money if she had kidnapped her. (The Death of Innocence)
John Ramsey was still sick with worry a few hours later when there was still no call from the kidnappers. The time had passed for their scheduled call. John checked the mail that had arrived through the slot in the front door to see if the kidnappers had left further instructions in the mail. John did not find anything in the mail.
One of the detectives was getting worried about John’s stress and panic. The detective asked John to search the house again from the bottom to the top or the top to the bottom to keep him busy. John took his friend Fleet White and they searched the house again. They started from the basement. John felt this was the most logical place to start because there was a broken window in the basement. He had broken it over the summer, and it was supposed to have been repaired, but it never happened.
Besides, there was another window that had also been found cracked and was halfway opened. John wanted to look for more clues to see if he could figure out if the kidnappers had made entry at that point. For all these reasons, the basement would be the most logical choice to search first, especially for its hidden and easy access.
It would have been much more difficult to scale the brick walls of the mansion and climb up to the back concrete patio on the third floor. The kidnappers would have also had to do some serious climbing to get through the third- and fourth-floor windows of the mansion.
John figured the kidnappers could have gained access through one of the windows in the basement since the main-level doors had been locked. There was only a glaze of frost on the sidewalks and patio decks that previous night.
There were patches of snow clumped in various places on the grass and on tiny portions of the sidewalk that had resulted from the snow melting and the subsequent onset of freezing temperatures. It put a kind of a cold coating on everything. Ostensibly, the detectives’ and police personnel’s footprints did not stick to the sidewalks, so neither would those of the kidnappers.
I will be using various quotes from Detective Steve Thomas’s book about the evidence contained in the case files, JonBenét: Inside the Ramsey Murder Investigation, because Steve had access to these case files.
To the best of my knowledge, the police and detectives were not making false statements in the Ramsey murder case. Therefore, I am posting all statements under the premise they are truthful, as they are important for this commentary. From here on out, when I refer to Steve Thomas’ book, I am referring to only the book-JonBenét: Inside the Ramsey Murder Investigation. If you want to know more about the particulars in the case, you may want to check it out. It is an interesting book.
From pages 16–19: “A light dusting of snow and frost lay atop an earlier crusty snow in spotty patches on the grass. He saw no fresh shoe impressions, found no open doors or windows, nothing to indicate a break-in, but walking on the driveway and sidewalks left no visible prints. It was frigid, about nine degrees, and Reichenbach returned inside” (Thomas & Davis, 2011).
The kidnappers would have most likely entered through the alleyway in the rear of the Ramsey mansion. It was maybe less than 20 feet from the Ramseys’ garage in the back of their house. That would have been the logical entryway instead of parking on the street in front of the house.
John Ramsey, with his friend Fleet White trailing behind him, eventually found JonBenét’s dead and bludgeoned body in the “secret room,” the wine cellar in the basement. The room that few people knew was there. The same room that had been overlooked during the previous searches that morning.
When John came into the room, he searched for the light and turned it on. JonBenét was on the filthy basement floor and she had been “swaddled” in her favorite white blanket. JonBenét’s Barbie nightgown was said to have been lying next to her body. It was as if the murderer was performing an undoing.
I have watched so many crime detective shows. Men who violently sexually assault children will generally chop up, brutalize, or mutilate the little child’s body and/or discard the child’s corpse like a dead animal. Of course, there are some exceptions.
If JonBenét’s body would have been sexually assaulted, (not an alleged faked sexual assault) it would have likely been left in an entirely different manner. This is what led some profilers to believe a woman may had committed this crime with the help of a man, just to assist in the cover-up of the crime.
John Ramsey described his daughter as being wrapped papoose-style in her favorite white blanket. The killer most likely placed her Barbie nightgown beside her body. First, how many men even know how to papoose a child? I know because my mother taught me when I was little. For those that do not know, it is basically like today’s version of swaddling a child. You take a blanket and wrap it very tightly around a child, and tuck the ends in. It provides the child, normally a baby, with security and comfort, and it is supposed to simulate the baby being in her mother’s womb.
What kind of male killer would take the time to swaddle the dead child and then lay out her favorite nightgown beside her, especially after he had bludgeoned, sexually assaulted, strangled, and murdered her. I have never heard of a six-year-old child being swaddled.
This is a practice that is normally reserved for newborn babies. I think that was just one of the clues that made some profilers believe the crime was committed by an older woman. Let us look at this, if it were a male that murdered this child that did not personally know the Ramseys, how would he know all the inner workings of the family schedule and house?
So, this male murderer, who did not know the Ramsey family, broke in and snatched JonBenét out of her bedroom without so much as a peep. The murderous man made sure to ask JonBenét where her favorite Barbie nightgown was, and if the white blanket was also her favorite. He located the secret dryer by JonBenét’s room while talking to her to find out all these things and while he also kept her quiet.
Then this man took JonBenét into her bathroom and changed her clothes. He grabbed an oversized pair of Wednesday underwear out of the drawer to make sure the day of the week was correct and put them on her. Next, he cracked her in the head with a flashlight. Then he dragged her down the spiral staircase and took her to the secret room, that he had NO way of knowing was even there, papoosed her, garroted her, and then stuck a broken paintbrush into her vagina. Then he wrote a ransom note with Patsy’s style of handwriting.
That scenario is extremely unlikely.
A lot of people are stuck on the idea that a male committed this crime, primarily because of the supposed sexual assault. They hear the words “sexual assault” and think nothing but a male killer. JonBenét was not apparently sexually assaulted, as in rape, by a man. Some people still want to believe John Mark Karr did this. Karr was spending Christmas with his children in another state. The man was not even in Colorado. Does he have the supernatural power to teleport anywhere in the world in his mind?
The person who did this to JonBenét ostensibly, faked—the key word is “faked”—a sexual assault by inserting a paintbrush into her vagina. That act is what caused the swelling and bleeding of her vagina. Let us look at John Ramsey. Can you imagine John doing that? For what? Why would he do that? Swaddling or papoosing is not easy to do at all. I have been a mother for over 30 years and when my grandchild came, I had to learn how to swaddle all over again. It is not something everyone knows how to do.
Line up a room of twenty men, working men, and surprise them. Tell them to swaddle or papoose a baby doll and see if they even have any idea what you are talking about. I believe the chance that JonBenét was killed solely, by any man in this universe is zero percent. Nada and none. Then he also took time to lay out her favorite Barbie nightgown beside her?
I also cannot believe how many people are riding the “Burke Ramsey did it” train. Really, do you think a frail, nine-year-old boy like Burke Ramsey knew how to swaddle or papoose his six-year-old sister, who was almost as big as he was?
Let me get this straight! Burke picked up a flashlight that was almost as heavy as he was, cracked JonBenét on the head, faked a sexual assault, and dragged her body that was almost his size down at least two flights of stairs and across the kitchen: then, he fashioned a highly advanced garrote and strangled his sister, tied her arms and feet, papoosed her, and laid out her favorite Barbie nightgown???
Oh, after that, Burke wrote a very lengthy ransom note, ran down the block, hid only part of the evidence, and left the rest in the house: then, he ran to his bed and faked like he was asleep??? That is about the most ignorant and I do mean ignorant and preposterous claim I have ever heard in my life. Did Burke know how to fashion a garrote, fake a sexual assault, and bludgeon his baby sister?
Do you know that it is truly out of the scope of reality to even begin to think that Burke committed this crime? We will look at the statistics, not a person’s guess or feelings, the facts. We will talk about Patsy Ramsey flying into a fit of rage and supposedly murdering her daughter in a minute. Then I will show you why she could not have murdered her daughter.
When John found JonBenét’s body, she was dead and rigor mortis had set in; she was stiff as a board. John did not know it, though. It is not like all of us know what a dead child with rigor mortis feels like. JonBenét had been bludgeoned, strangled, and sexually assaulted. But, not in the way, one would think.
A broken paintbrush from Patsy Ramsey’s paint tote is believed to have been the weapon that was forcefully entered into JonBenét’s vagina to stage a sexual assault. The housekeeper had purportedly taken this very tote to the basement just days before the murder.
Part of the paintbrush from Patsy’s tote tray had also been used to fashion a garrote that was used to strangle the child. This was done after the child had been hit on the head with a flashlight, which cracked her skull in half. JonBenét’s hands had also been bound with rope and raised above her head. The tape was placed over her mouth.
When John found his daughter’s body, in a panic, he ripped the tape off his child’s mouth, probably to try to help her breathe. John tried to untie her hands and then he picked his daughter up. She was as stiff as a board. John raced with his daughter’s lifeless body up the stairs, his friend, Fleet White, running ahead of him. John laid his deceased daughter on the floor.
The detective there told John she was dead. John Ramsey wailed, and Patsy Ramsey also wailed at the loss of their poor daughter. Both John and Patsy allegedly, laid across their dead, murdered daughter, crying. Patsy asked Jesus to take her instead of her sweet, innocent baby.
Patsy had to be medicated to deal with the agony and senseless loss of her innocent child. The grief was so overwhelming for the two of them. John was almost frozen with grief. It was too much to bear. That is all very normal behavior for someone who has lost a child. To think that a kidnapper has your child, and all you must do is give them some money and she will be returned, only to later find out she has been murdered, is too much. No sane parent could endure that kind of pain and devastation and still be breathing without something to help them. The family and their friends mourned with the Ramseys.
There is also a kind of sweet sickness to it all because at least you know where she is, and you know she is not suffering anymore. You know she is in Heaven. However, that’s when hell on earth for the Ramsey family began. After their child’s murder, Patsy Ramsey, JonBenét’s mother, who had been allegedly cleared of cancer, had the cancer return and she died shortly after that, never knowing who murdered her daughter.
She died never knowing her family would be later exonerated. Not only did Patsy pass away not knowing who murdered their child, she died knowing her family remained “under an umbrella of suspicion” for murdering their child. How terrible.
That is why I wrote this book: for Patsy, Burke, John, and JonBenét, for true justice. It is no surprise that Patsy’s cancer returned after all she had been put through. She went through senseless stress, and it was all for someone’s greed. The Ramsey family worked their behinds off, to put it nicely. They worked their way up from nothing to earn what they had. And because someone was greedy and wanted a $118,000 bonus check, they destroyed the Ramsey family’s name and life.
Patsy was not even allowed to grieve the tragic loss of her daughter, because she had to immediately go into defense mode. I did not know Patsy from Adam, but I am a mother. Not only did Patsy battle the endless comments against her, but she had to deal with the relentless comments alleging that her husband was some kind of child molester, and her nine-year-old son was some kind of sexual predator and murderer.
That was on top of her battle to fight cancer. It makes me cry when I think about it. As a mother, I cannot imagine anything worse. Almost from the beginning of the investigation, a big chunk of the world truly believed that the Ramsey family had murdered their daughter. With that, the investigation failed to truly go outside the Ramsey household (with an unbiased mind) to solve the murder.
Keep in mind, I am not blaming the police or the DA, or anyone else in charge of conducting the interviews and collecting the information. I really can clearly see why the world and the authorities might think Patsy Ramsey killed JonBenét. I can see why the Ramseys would be considered suspects. It is simple— because only someone on the immediate inside circle of the family would have had all the means, motives, and the opportunity to commit this murder. I firmly believe that.
I also truly believe that if the detectives had stayed on the path of the original direction the investigation was going, this murder would have been solved before December 31, 1996.
One of the primary suggestions that could have possibly thrown this investigation into Patsy Ramsey’s bosom was the bed-wetting theory. That one idea alone was enough to convict Patsy Ramsey of the crime of murdering her daughter, in people’s minds. She did not need to serve time in a concrete prison cell; she lived in prison from the afternoon of December 26, 1996, until the day she died.