Confession time: I am a documentary junkie. Conspiracy documentaries and unsolved crimes that linger in the media grab my attention often and I am not shy about my interpretation of what may have happened. As I begin to research (binge-watching documentaries is a big component of what I loosely call research) my sporadic OCD kicks into high gear and I go full on obsessed.
There are a few true crime stories I am confident will go to the grave with me as they collect dust in the "unsolved" mystery cabinet. Over 20 years later I feel certain the horrific murder of JonBenet Ramsey, the young beauty pageant winner who was found murdered in her home on Christmas Day in 1992 will remain in this category
Investigations unfolded, and the world watched detectives try to find JonBenet's killer. Stories about a long, twisted ransom note written on paper from inside the Ramsey home begin spreading. When asked for handwriting samples from both parents, John gave detectives a sample of his handwriting and a notebook he found in the kitchen containing Patsy's household notes. It was soon discovered that the ransom note was not only written from Patsy's pad of paper but was used along with a pen Patsy owned as well. True crime junkies don't agree on many things, but the deliberate attempts to draw attention in as many directions as possible contained in the infamous random note is something most believe.
The ransom note asked for a very specific amount of money:$118,000. How did the kidnappers pick this number? Searching "What does a kidnapper typically ask for?" in Google was probably not the best idea for finding credible sources when asking how the JonBenet ransom amount was picked.(Just so you know, an in 2012 the average ransom demand was $2 million).
Anyone can pick a dollar amount that may or may not seem like a fair amount to pay to receive your child back from kidnappers. The kidnappers did not go with a standard $1,000,000, $50,000 or even $5,000,000. The ransom amount happened to be $118,000, the exact amount of the year-end bonus that JonBenet's father received that year.
So now we have a ransom note written on a note pad and pen owned by Patsy Ramsey found in the house and a request for a specific ransom matching the exact amount of John's recent bonus.
What else stands out?
Out of the 3-page letter consisting of 376 words, there are 2 simple words that appear misspelled and ironically enough, they are both in the first paragraph. "Business" was written "bussiness" along with "your daughter in our posession". This may seem trivial, but this is the same kidnapper that went on to demand an adequate size attaché being brought to the bank. I'm not sure if I could spell attaché correctly to include the accent in the proper place, as the kidnapper did. Was misspelling 2 words in the first paragraph of a 3-page letter intentional to throw off the recipients?
Recently, speculation Burke Ramsey, Jon Benet's older brother who was only 9 years old when his sister was brutally murdered being the killer had an interesting turn of events. CBS aired a documentary in 2016 suggesting this possible theory and found themselves facing a defamation lawsuit "seeking no less than $250 million in compensatory damages and no less than $500 million in punitive damages" filed by Brock Ramsey.
It was announced in January 2019 that Burke settled the lawsuit he filed against CBS Corp for $750 million.
Burke finally broke his silence after 20 years of seclusion and virtually no contact with the press. As a long time "seeker of truth" I added the date on my calendar and anxiously waited for something, anything really, the world may have never known. Unfortunately, Burke's interviews offered no new answers in what is one of the most famous unsolved crimes of our time.
There have never been any arrests in the brutal murder of JonBenet and the case remains an open investigation. JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey remained adamant that they were not involved in the murder of their 6-year-old beauty pageant winning daughter.
Sadly, Patsy died at the age of 49 from ovarian cancer without closure on her daughter's death. With new forensic advancements being made faster and better than any other time in history, I hope this case will be solved and those involved will finally find the peace they deserve.