There are so many strange, strange aspects to this case.
From JonBenét’s child beauty pageant background to the family inviting friends over to hang out at the crime scene while their daughter was missing to the ransom note, there is nothing straightforward about this case. To me, the evidence points to the murder being an inside job to cover up an accidental death. But the evidence doesn’t fit neatly one way or the other.
This article will explore evidence that supports the theory that an intruder came into the Ramsey home that night and killed JonBenét as part of a foiled kidnap for ransom plot. Here are the arguments:
[*] The “Mindhunter” himself John Douglas consulted with the Ramsey family and has written that he fully believes the family is innocent. There aren’t a lot of people in the true crime world that carry so much weight with just their opinion, but John Douglas is definitely one of them. Here he is explaining the lack of motive for the Ramseys to be involved here on a news report about John Mark Karr, who falsely confessed to the crime:
[*] John and Patsy Ramsey were interviewed by the police for over two hours. Burke Ramsey was also interviewed within a few weeks of JonBenét’s death.
[*] The existence of evidence that JonBenét had been sexually assaulted is one of the strongest indicators that this was an intruder crime, as it is much more rare for a husband and wife to work together to cover up abuse only one of them committed. This evidence is inconclusive and it’s not clear whether she was ever sexually abused or not. No semen was found and the official findings is just that sexual assault can not be ruled out.
[*] If someone was forced to kill their daughter to cover up their son’s attack, I don’t think strangulation with a garrote would be what they would come up with. It’s too personal and barbaric.
[*] A blood stain on JonBenét’s underwear was found to have DNA from two people who are not the Ramseys.
[*] Burke has never been a suspect in this crime. He was interviewed by police and by a child psychologist, none of whom walked away believing Burke had anything to do with JonBenét’s murder. Since 9-year-olds aren’t skilled liars or criminal masterminds, I believe the experts involved in investigating this case would have a good handle on whether Burke seemed suspicious.
[*] An unidentified boot print was found in the room where JonBenét’s body was discovered.
[*] Police discovered one door to the Ramsey home was unlocked. There were also two basement windows that were left ajar to allow cords for Christmas lights to be plugged in from the outside. An additional basement window was broken prior to the events of JonBenét’s murder and would have allowed entry into the Ramsey home. (Detractors note that cobwebs, foliage, and debris in the vicinity of the basement window appeared to be undisturbed.)
[*] Marks on JonBenét’s may indicate a stun gun was used on her:
[*] There were over 100 burglaries in the Ramsey’s neighborhood in the months leading up to the murder, there were also dozens of registered sex offenders in the area. Due to JonBenét’s higher profile as a child beauty pageant participant, some believe she was more at risk from stranger abduction by a pedophile.
[*] There was no evidence of blood spatter found in the Ramsey home. This means that JonBenét was likely dead or almost dead when the wound to the head was administered. This contradicts the idea that strangulation was used as part of the coverup after Burke lashed out and fatally struck his sister in the head. Strangulation came first.
[*] Here is John Douglas’ very reasonable theory about what happened to JonBenét:
“JonBenet Ramsey’s killer was a white male, relatively young, who had a personal grudge against John Ramsey and intended to carry it out by defiling and robbing him of the most valuable thing in the world to him. He entered the house while the family was out, either through the basement or with one of the many unaccounted for keys to the Ramsey home, carrying with him a stun gun, a roll of duct tape and a spool of chord. His intention was to incapacitate her, abduct her, and molest her. The ransom demand was an after thought, and could explain why it was written on materials found in the home. He had no intention on collecting such a low sum, he was just trying to make a point, and possibly cast suspicion on the Ramseys. It’s also possible he had already written a shorter and more succinct ransom note, but that given the amount of time he had to himself, wrote a longer one. He went up to JonBenet’s room, incapacitated her with an Air Taser stun gun, which would not have made much noise, taped her mouth shut and then took her downstairs. He began strangling her either during or right after the molestation, and whether he meant to or not, caused her death. When he realized what he had done, he finished the job with a quick blow to the head, and instead of taking her, he fled the house in a panic.”
[*] The Boulder police never felt they had a strong enough case to officially charge the Ramseys with any crime.