It’s a tough call on this one. Not because I am torn between believing or not believing that Jonbenet’s murderer, her brother Burke Ramsey, is guilty, but blogging an opinion about the Ramsey boy without concrete evidence of his guilt seems unfair. If, by a long shot, Burke isn’t guilty then I owe him a big apology, but that seems unlikely. He is the person in the family most likely to have killed his younger sister: he had motive and he had opportunity, along with other peculiar facets of this crime. Here are some of the obvious:
- 9-year-old Burke was jealous of the endless attention his sister received from the press, his parents and family friends. It cannot feel good to be a sibling who lives in the shadow of his younger sister. Jonbenet’s father described her as “the sparkplug of the family….she kept things going.” watch the death of jonbenet ramsey - the sparkplug of the family
- Burke had oodles of opportunity. He lived in the house. Jonbenet trusted him. He knew where the secret room was where he attacked and murdered his sister. The crime scene: what is known
- The blanket that covered her body is typical of a killer who knows the victim and, in an odd way, is expressing remorse. Her favourite nightgown was laid beside her body. Who else but the parents and brother would have known which gown was Jonbenet’s favourite?
- The practice ransom note seems like something a youngster would do. However the content of the note itself reads more like a letter from an adult or possibly a crime magazine, or book.
- Burke was not tested for DNA, as were his father and mother. Both parents were cleared after the DNA test.
- It sounds unlikely that a child as young as 9 is capable of murdering a family member but there are recorded cases of this exact crime. Watch child of rage – the documentary
- It would have been easy for Burke to lure Jonbenet to her death. She trusted her brother and had no reason to fear him.
- Recently a reader posted to me that Burke hit Jonbenet over the head with a golf club two years before her murder. She recommends reading Foreign Faction for more information about Burke and his troubled relationship with his sister.
- The Ramseys had always maintained that Burke had slept through the entire episode, until awakened several hours after the police arrived.
- The behavior of John and Patsy Ramsey after the crime was consistent with the parents of other murdered children, and was inconsistent with known cases of parents who killed their children.
- The DA speculated that JonBenét was killed by a young, inexperienced criminal (eg, the possible digital penetration of the girl’s vagina was consistent with other young sex offenders motivated by a naive curiosity about female anatomy) who was sexually obsessed with her.
Patsy and John Ramsey did not speak about Burke to the press, careful not to reveal whether or not the police suspected Jonbenet’s older brother of her murder. Perhaps they too wondered if their 9-year-old son was guilty, a thought too unbearable to entertain. Of course in blaming Burke they blame themselves: where was Burke when Jonbenet was lavished in attention and winning beauty pageants? watch dramatization perfect murder perfect town – 2
Speaking of speaking, an analysis of the diction both parents used when speaking with the press revealed key psychological issues in the family. Click on the link above to read this analysis, provided by SCAN, a program developed by Avinoam Sapir. SCAN (sometimes known as Statement Analysis) is a tool for law enforcement personnel, investigators, social service personnel, and anyone else who needs to obtain information from written material. LSI provides SCAN training throughout the US and Canada, and also in Mexico, the UK, Israel, Australia, and other countries.I can’t personally attest to SCAN’s legitimacy or frequency of usage but Sapir’s analysis of the Ramsey’s interview is worth examining. Sapir reaches the conclusion that Jonbenet was her father’s incest victim.I’m not in agreement that John Ramsey was sexually abusing his daughter. I also wonder about Sapir’s analysis that “the majority of parents suspected of sexual abuse relate to their children by first name or the gender.” Don’t most parents refer to their children by name? However, sexual abuse between Burke and Jonbenet was a possibility, since the murder was clearly sexually motivated. Parents often choose to overlook incestuous behaviour between siblings; they don’t want to acknowledge that it exists in their family. They don’t want to be accountable for perverseness among their offspring. Meanwhile, both parents sexualized their daughter by making her up to look like a teenager, rather than a child. Burke might have been sexually aroused by the implied transformation from girl into woman by the use of costumes and cosmetics. Conclusion: There are enough signals in the language to indicate that John Ramsey is involved in the murder of JonBenet. Patsy Ramsey is likely to have known of the sexual abuse.
The strange analysis “it has been found to be associated with a sexual motive” is very vague. Find by whom? How often? I don’t see a sexually abusive father in John Ramsey. He was too open with the press and the police, too cooperative. He has given many interviews to the press, including in the years since Patsy died. This is not a man with something to hide. If he had knowledge of sexual abuse of Jonbenet, my guess is that he suspected his son, Burke, of molesting his sister. Perhaps no-one will ever know the truth of what went on in the Ramsey house when the 6-year-old was sexually assaulted and garroted on Christmas Night, 1996. But my money is on Burke Ramsey.
In 1999, a grand jury in the brutal murder case of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey voted to indict her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey. Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter refused to sign it, citing that he could not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. The indictment’s existence was not known until earlier this year. A judge ruled that the current Boulder DA Stan Garnett must show why the un-prosecuted indictment must remain secret. Boulder DA’s office said releasing the document would be a breach of promise“to the jury, citing the importance of the integrity of grand jury secrecy. Every grand juror, and every witness who appears before a grand jury, takes an oath of secrecy and every witness and grand juror is promised that those involved in the process will honor that oath. The DA’s office stated for this defendant to hand over documents from the grand jury would be a breach of promise to the hundreds of citizens serving on grand juries across Colorado,
After all these years, Boulder police received thousands of tips about her murder and still receive several monthly. DA Garnett said in 2011 that he personally gets two or three a week, A decade and a half later, there is still no justice for JonBenet. If she were alive today, JonBenet would be 23.