JonBenet Ramsey Biography

(1990–1996)
JonBenet Ramsey was a 6-year-old beauty queen who was found murdered in her parents' Boulder, Colorado, home on December 26, 1996.

Synopsis

JonBenet Ramsey was born on August 6, 1990, in Atlanta, Georgia. The daughter of a socialite and a wealthy businessman, she was a 6-year-old beauty queen who was found murdered in her parents' Boulder, Colorado, home on December 26, 1996. Still unsolved, the murder led to one of the most publicized police investigations of the 1990s. In 2008, new DNA technology cleared all members of her family.

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Mysterious Death

Born on August 6, 1990, in Atlanta, Georgia, JonBenet Ramsey was the daughter of a socialite and a wealthy businessman. She was a 6-year-old beauty queen who was found murdered in her parents' Boulder, Colorado, home on December 26, 1996. Still unsolved, the murder led to one of the most publicized police investigations of the 1990s.

Noticing that JonBenet was not in bed that morning, Patsy Ramsey called the police after finding a ransom note demanding $118,000 for her daughter's safe return. The girl's body, however, was discovered in the basement later that afternoon. She had a skull fracture and had been sexually assaulted and strangled with a cord. According the coroner’s report, Ramsey died some time in the early morning hours of December 26, 1996.

Investigation

What followed was what some say were unforgivable errors by the Boulder Police Department. The crime scene was compromised when John Ramsey brought his daughter upstairs; the Ramseys were not immediately and separately interviewed.

For the next four years, the investigation came up short, with the Ramseys themselves as lead suspects. The evidence, though circumstantial, crucified the Ramseys in the eyes of the public: The ransom note was written on paper belonging to the Ramseys; fiber found on the duct tape used to bind the child was consistent with that found on Patsy's clothing.

On December 13, 1999 the Boulder grand jury brought the $2 million investigation to an inconclusive close. The Ramsey family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and published a memoir, The Death of Innocence, in 2000 to counter the media persecution they felt had ruined their lives.

Clearing the Ramsey Family

Patsy Ramsey died June 24, 2006 of ovarian cancer at the age of 49.

In July 2008, new "touch DNA" technology cleared all members of JonBenet Ramsey's family in the 1996 killing. Boulder County District Attorney Mary Lacy formally apologized in a letter to John Ramsey for the cloud of suspicion his family had lived under for nearly 12 years.

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