JonBenet Ramsey – 1996

By | March 10, 2017

John found his daughter’s corpse covered by a white blanket



John and Patsy Ramsey hold a flyer offering $100,000 for information

JonBenet Ramsey was born on 6 August 1990 in Atlanta, Georgia. Her parents began entering her into beauty contests, her mother, Patsy, having been Miss West Virginia 1977. JonBenet won several of the competitions she entered. On Boxing Day 1996 Patsy discovered her daughter was missing and found a two and a half-page ransom note demanding $118,000 for the six-year-old’s safe return.

Patsy called the police at 5.52am and summoned family and friends to her side, despite instructions not to in the ransom note. The police examined the Ramsey’s house but found no signs of a break-in although a basement window had been broken before Christmas and left unrepaired. JonBenet’s father John arranged for the ransom and then was asked by the police to conduct a search of his house to see if he noticed anything suspicious. They began in the bathroom in the basement and then moved on to another room before entering the wine cellar where John found his daughter’s corpse covered by a white blanket.

The police immediately suspected the Ramseys of murdering their daughter. The autopsy revealed that the little girl had been garrotted with a cord and the broken handle of a paintbrush and that she had also suffered a skull fracture. The bristles of the paintbrush were found in Patsy’s belongings but the final part of the broken paintbrush was never found.


755 (now 749) 15th Street, Boulder, Colorado, USA


Thursday 26 December 1996


In December 2003 a DNA sample was recovered from JonBenet’s underwear but no match was found. Police later revealed that 38 registered sex offenders were living within a 3 km (2 mi) radius of the Ramsey house.

On 16 August 2006 a 41-year-old paedophile, John Mark Karr, was arrested in Bangkok in connection with the case. He claimed to have been with JonBenet when she died and said her death was an accident. However, his DNA did not match that at the crime scene and on 28 August it was announced that no charges would be brought against Karr.


On 9 July 2008 the Boulder District Attorney’s Office exonerated the Ramsey family of any involvement in JonBenet’s death. It was rather too late for Patsy Ramsey — she had died aged 49 of ovarian cancer on 24 June 2006.

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