On December 25, 2006, JonBenet Patricia Ramsey’s life was brutally cut short by an unknown person a couple of hours after she has been reported missing. Her death and the consequent investigations and the various controversies became a point of huge interest from the public, interest that was highly heightened by the flurry of attention that it generated from the media. To date, her death and the circumstances surrounding her kidnapping have remained a mystery; the various efforts to unearth this mystery have remained fruitless. JonBenet Patricia Ramsey was born on august 6, 1990 in Atlanta.
The media has been describing her as a media queen not only due to the various children beauty pageants she frequented but also due to the fact that her mother, Patricia Ramsey, was a former miss West Virginia. It is her mother that had introduced her to the world of beauty and she is said to have sponsored numerous pageants which JonBenet frequented. Her father, John Ramsey is a chief executive of a computer services and accessories company (Stephen, 2002). The roots to her death can be traced to her kidnapping. Her mother found a ransom note requiring to hand $118000 to secure the life and the return of her daughter.
The two and a half pages long note had made it clear of the non involvement of the police. Despite this though, the mother contacted the police and informed the rest of the family members. Police launched immediate investigations into the kidnapping starting with the house where they were unable to find any clues of forced entry. According to the ransom note, the kidnappers would closely monitor the delivery of the ransom and if compliance was exercised, they would ensure that JonBenet was safely returned upon the exchange.
Consequently, the family made arrangements for the delivery of the ransom but this safe exchange was never to materialize. The police instructed Ramsey and his friends to conduct a thorough search of the house and report anything they would find unusual. The search in the basement did not reveal anything unusual, but in the wine cellar, they found the covered cold body of JonBenet. The preliminary reports on the cause of death resolved that she died as a result of asphyxiation from possible strangulation. JonBenet had been strangled with a garrote and had been hit with a blunt object.
However, unusually, there was no evidence that she had been raped or sexually assaulted (Stephen, 2002). The finding of JonBenets body led to speculations of all manners and theories explaining her death. The police suspected the parents to be behind the killing, this is the story that was widely taken up and widely broadcasted by the media. The investigations into the case have been widely revisited and dissected by crime analysts all over the nation, many have agreed that they were not thoroughly conducted and the proper procedure was not followed.
It is important to point out that indeed the case was attracting immense attention due to the social status of those involved. The Ramsey’s were considered a prominent family in the neighborhood drawing friends from across affluent circles. Any theory pointing an accusing finger at the parents was bound to be highlighted (Murdering JonBenet). Faults have been made at the investigation process. Police failed to seal the scene of the crime and hence made it possible for cover-up and tampering with the evidence by the possible suspects.
This was made worse by the instruction by the police to Ramsey to search the house and report anything he would find unusual. It is only after the body of the young girl was discovered that the forensic team sealed the house detailing it as a crime scene (Walter, 2004). As most analysts have pointed out, the lackluster conducting of the investigations may have been caused by the unfounded belief that the Ramsey’s were the key suspects. This was so immediately after the kidnapping was reported and this was the reason behind the non sealing of the crime scene.
Forensic evidence was also not sufficiently corrected or preserved. There are those who have said that this was due to the fact that this area rarely had these kinds of crimes and hence the police were inadequately armed with the relevant experience. The District Attorney had also voiced his suspicions on the Ramsey’s; his suspicions were fuelled by the fact that the body of the little girl was found in one of the rooms in her home and also by the fact that there was no break-in or any footprints leading to the house.
This was indeed a possible indicator that this crime was committed by someone form inside the house making her parents the prime suspects. This was the initial conclusion reached by the Boulder Police (Murdering JonBenet). Due to the profile of the case, the family and the nature of interest that it aroused, a number of investigations were conducted by both the police and private investigators hired by the family wishing to clear its name. Forensic experts found blood on the girls underwear believed to belong to an unknown male; this sample did not match with anyone in the FBI database.
The key suspect, John, Patricia and their son Burke aged nine years then gave their blood and hair samples and these did not match the DNA profile of the suspect’s blood (Lawrence, Peter, John, 2005). Indeed speculations and theories of the suspect to the murder had become common in the news headlines. The girls parents were the most vindicated and the media always took up the story in frenzy. The police with no other suspects in mind also fuelled this speculation and made no effort to disapprove it.
By February 1997, the police had sought a search warrant in their bid to look for pornographic materials to support their theory that JonBenet’s father had been sexually assaulting her and that it is this deviance behavior that led to her death. The search however did not establish anything but this did not stop the allegations being leveled against the parents (Lawrence, Peter, John, 2005). Whereas all the speculation was pointing to the parents, experts and forensic evidence indicated otherwise.
Linguistic forensic experts for example established that the ransom note was not written by the parents. This was a situation further exacerbated by the false confession of a former JonBenet’s teacher, John Mark, who was tracked through the self implicating emails he had sent to journalists in 2006. His confession was invalidated by the police as his DNA did not match that of the suspect’s profile. With advent in technology however, the family was cleared of suspicion in 2008 when the Boulder District Attorney, Mary Lacy publicly exonerated the family and issued an apology over the pain caused.
This was as a result of the findings that the male DNA evidence on the girl’s underclothes did not match any known individuals DNA and least of all the family (District Attorney Office, 2008). Indeed the investigations into the death of JonBenet Patricia Ramsey have been long and full of controversy. Despite the fact that she was murdered over a decade ago, the suspect is still at large and the police still have no clue on who could have carried out the gruesome killing. The family has suffered a great loss, both due to the death and also due to being implicated into the murder.
The series of defamation lawsuits leveled against the major media stations have not borne fruit. Patsy Ramsey, who died in 2006, went to her grave either with a grave secret or still in the dark as to who was behind the death. She however suffered immense humiliation and anguish by the negative media attention and the suspicion that her or her husband had a hand in their daughters death. The recent DNA findings, though welcome to the family, have come years late but have brought the case into the national limelight.
References Murdering JonBenet. Lulu. com Stephen T. H. (2002) Profiling violent crimes: an investigative tool. SAGE, Walter A. D. (2004) An Evening with JonBenet Ramsey. iUniverse, Lawrence S. , Peter M. T. , John M. C. (2005) Speaking of crime: the language of criminal justice. University of Chicago Press, District Attorney Office (July 9, 2008). Mary T. Lacy, District Attorney. Twentieth Judicial District. Retrieved on May 6, 2009 from http://www. hmflaw. com/documents/RAMSEYLETTER. pdf .