In 1996, a murder of a little girl gripped the nation and rocked the city of Boulder, Colorado. She was found murdered in her basement and immediately the Boulder police and most of the nation’s media outlets suspected her parents of the heinous crime. It was Christmas night and they were returning home from a Christmas party at a friend’s house. JonBenet, who had fallen asleep in the car, was carried up to her bedroom and put to bed. Early the next morning, Patsy Ramsey was coming downstairs and found a note that was two and a half pages long. It turned out to be a ransom note that said JonBenet was kidnapped and the kidnappers, a “small foreign faction” demanded a ransom of over a hundred thousand dollars. Patsy ran back upstairs and screamed for her husband as she checked JonBenet’s bedroom. Much to her chagrin, JonBenet was not there. They called the police and waited for a telephone call that was supposed to be coming from the kidnappers. A lot of mistakes were made in the initial investigation by the police as they did nothing to protect the crime scene and friends and family were allowed to come and go from the house.
John Ramsey went down into the cellar with a friend and that is when they found JonBenet. She was covered in a white blanket and she was dead. The parents were suspects in the murder for years and then in 2006, a former schoolteacher from California, living in Thailand, confessed to the murder. John Mark Karr said that he had drugged JonBenet and sexually assaulted her. After that, he accidentally killed her. However, things didn’t add up in his confession and Karr’s ex-wife said he was in Alabama for the entire holiday season with his kids that year. Also, the autopsy done on her body a day after she was found showed no traces of drugs or alcohol in her system.
DNA evidence found in her underwear and under fingernails matched nothing in the F.B.I.’s database. A Grand Jury investigation ended in 1999 with no one being charged for the murder but the parents and her brother, aged nine at the time of the death, were still under a cloud of suspicion by the police and the media. In June of 2006, Patsy Ramsey died from ovarian cancer.
On July 9, 2008, the Ramsey family was finally exonerated from being suspects in the murder after more than a decade. A new “touch DNA” test was done on old evidence that was not available in 1996. This evidence points to an “unknown third party” who is not a member of the Ramsey family. It is a shame that Patsy did not live long enough to know that she is no longer a suspect. The Boulder Colorado sent John Ramsey a letter apologizing for “adding to their distress of JonBenet’s murder.” The murder is presently still unsolved.
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