Thursday, Mar. 01, 2007

The Murder of JonBenet Ramsey, 1996

Two corollary developments distinguish this terrible unsolved killing of a beautiful six-year-old girl in Boulder, Colo. The first was the suddenly widespread revelation of the existence of children's beauty pageants — in which JonBenet was entered time and again by her former beauty queen mother, Patsy. Public fascination and repulsion over the makeup, costumes and prepubescent swimsuit competitions at times overshadowed the crime of child murder itself. The second development was the tenacity with which observers and large segments of the public held on to suspicions that JonBenet's wealthy family had something to do with her death. The murder was discovered the day after Christmas 1996 and to this day no credible suspect has been arrested, despite the high-profile false confession of teacher John Mark Karr. In the meantime, Patsy Ramsey has died of cancer. But those who view her with suspicion have not relented.

[Editor's Note: A year after this package was published, DNA evidence prompted the Boulder District Attorney to apologize to John Ramsey and his immediate family, saying they were not considered suspects in the crime.]

From the Archive:
Who Killed this Child?