Few murder mysteries have captured America’s attention like JonBenet Ramsey’s death because no clear evidence was ever found to be able to convict someone. Background Info (JBR profile, family demographics/profile, age, location, date): JonBenet was a 6-year-old girl living in Boulder, Colorado with her mother, Patsy, father, John, and brother, Burke. JonBenet was a beauty queen with a whole life yet to live up until her death.
Summary of Case (Crime – the general overview of what happened): JonBenet Ramsey was reported missing the morning of December 26th, 1996 by her mother Patsy Ramsey after she discovered a ransom note on the stairs of their home claiming someone had kidnapped their daughter. As the investigation went on, the kidnapping turned into a murder. John Ramsey soon found his daughter’s body in the basement of his home. Thesis: Based on the physical evidence, jealous and angry Burke Ramsey murdered his sister JonBenet Ramsey while his parents aided in the cover-up of her murder.
Body Paragraph 1: T: Motives of why JonBenet was killed still linger in people’s minds today. E: The main motive of why Burke killed JonBenet was out of anger and jealousy towards his sister. S; Jealousy and anger are easy emotions to acquire as a child. JonBenet had it all. She had her mom wrapped around her little finger. She was outgoing, beautiful, winsome and a rising star in the pageant world. Burke was the opposite. Burke was quiet and kept to himself as he watched his mother flaunt over JonBenet. In January of 1994, JonBenet was hit on the cheek with a gold club by her brother Burke while playing outside (JBR Case Encyclopedia).
Two years before the murder, Burke was already violent towards JonBenet. At the time of JonBenet’s death, Burke’s birthday was a few weeks away. Burke’s jealousy and anger were raging when he saw JonBenets presents and all the attention she was getting. The night JonBenet was killed, she was put to bed like normal, but woke up and headed downstairs. Burke was downstairs having a snack of pineapple and tea. JonBenet, who loved pineapple, snatched one of the slices from Burke’s bowl. The distressed Burke became deleterious towards his sister taking the pineapple.
According to the autopsy report, JonBenet had a piece of undigested pineapple in her stomach (JBR Case Encyclopedia). This means that JonBenet had been awake when she ate the pineapple. Burke was enraged as JonBenet ran downstairs to get away. Out of anger, he struck JonBenet with a flashlight. As JonBenet collapsed to the ground Burke was frightened to see his sister not moving or breathing. To see if she was breathing, Burke poked JonBenet with his train track set to try to awaken her. The marks of the train track on JonBenet resemble marks of a stun gun found in the autopsy report (JBR Case Encyclopedia).
Once JonBenets parents found out Burke had killed her, they tried to cover the murder up to save their family image. The Ramsey family already lost JonBenet, so they protected Burke by covering up the murder of JonBenet. Not only do motives point to Burke and his family, but physical evidence does as well. Body Paragraph 2: T: Evidence found in the Ramsey home and physical evidence found on JonBenet’s body were crucial to the case. E: The evidence found does not absolve Burke and his family from being the cause of JonBenet’s death. S:
Evidence in the case of JonBenet Ramsey could have been handled with higher quality, but evidence still points to the family. The first piece of evidence found was a ransom note on the spiral staircase in the home. The note is very long and very detailed. Why would someone trying to kidnap a little girl have time to write a long ransom note? Unless it was staged to cover something up. The ransom note was also drafted on a paper taken from the middle of a pad of paper located in the Ramsey home (JBR Case Encyclopedia). The other interesting piece of evidence was that other pages in the pad were also torn out, but were never found.
So where did they go? The pen used to write the ransom note was also found in the Ramsey home. The pen was located near where the pad was found and the felt tip was said to be “neatly put in its container” (JBR Case Encyclopedia). Someone who has kidnapped a child would most likely be in a rush to write the note and get out of the house before anyone were to wake up. Another key piece of evidence that caused controversy was the 911 call made by Patsy Ramsey. After Patsy thought she hung up the phone, the dispatcher was not disconnected and could still hear a conversation.
After going over the tapes, there are voices that can be identified as 3 different people. The voices that are said to be heard are John. Patsy, and Burke who was allegedly asleep at the time (JBR Case Encyclopedia). After enhancing the tapes, you can hear Patsy stating “We called the police, now what? ” John replies, ‘We’re not speaking to you? ” Patsy then says, “Help me, Jesus, help me, Jesus. ” And Burke clearly replies, ‘What did you find? ” with an emphasis on did (JBR Case Encyclopedia). Burkes voice being heard on the 911 tape would mean that the Ramsey family was lying about him being asleep during the time of the call.
When the police arrived on the scene the family said that they did not know where JonBenet was. After the investigators said that they were going to search the home, John all of a sudden went downstairs with his friend and found JonBenet. John also picked JohnBenet up and moved her upstairs which would contaminate the evidence, and also prove why things like animal hair were found, and pieces of wood (JBR Case Encyclopedia). This is suspicious because why he all of a sudden know where she was? Why would he move her and then put her on the floor?
Another piece of evidence that would help prove that the family is guilty is the lack of cooperation with the police. The Ramsey family failed to go in for interviews. John Ramsey made a phone call the day of his daughter’s death saying to get the plane ready so they could leave to go on their trip (JBR Case Encyclopedia). Why would John call and want to leave when his daughter had just been murdered? Also, while the initial police reports claimed there were no signs of forced entry, a damaged basement window was later investigated as a possible entry point.
Although this piece of evidence would prove the family innocent, a tiny piece was overlooked. There was a small triangle of cobwebs in the window from which the intruder entered the home that went completely undisturbed during the abduction (CBS The case of JonBenet Ramsey). How would an intruder enter the house without disturbing the cobweb? This evidence immediately points the finger back to someone in the Ramsey household. Evidence, in this case, points to the family even if some of the evidence had been moved or tampered with.
The mishandling of evidence, in this case, helped set the stages for how police go about investigating cases like JonBenets. After the JonBenet case, police departments changed how cases like JonBenets were handled. Now, police investigators must secure the crime scene unlike in JonBenets when friends were let into the household right after the murder. After JonBenets case, parents of the child will immediately need to give a full statement to the police. John and Patsy did not give a full statement until much later after the death of their daughter.
Investigators must also wear protective gloves, and follow certain procedures because of the murder of JonBenet. Law enforcement does not want a case like JonBenets to happen again because of police mistakes. Because of these mistakes, people have misconceptions about who killed the beloved JonBenet Ramsey. Some people may believe that an intruder killed JonBenet because of the broken window and the ransom note, but both of those pieces of evidence could have been staged. The window could have been broken by anyone in the Ramsey family to help stage the intruder theory, not someone breaking in from outside.
The lengthy ransom note with different motives and detailed information about the family could have been written by someone in the family as well, not written by a group called S. B. T. C. Based on those pieces of evidence, the cobweb in the window untouched and the oddly lengthy ransom note make this theory unlikely. Because of envy and aggression, Burke Ramsey killed his sister JonBenet. The lengthy ransom note, suspicious 911 call and untouched cobweb in the basement window would imply that John and Patsy Ramsey, not a suggested intruder, aided in the cover up of their daughter’s murder to save their reputation and not lose another child.