Burke Ramsey filed a $150 million defamation lawsuit against forensic pathologist Werner Spitz on Thursday, October 6. Court documents obtained by Us Weekly show that Ramsey is accusing Spitz, who appeared in CBS’ The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey, for “explicitly and falsely stat[ing] that Burke Ramsey killed his sister, JonBenét Ramsey.”
Burke accuses the German forensic pathologist, who has worked on a number of high-profile cases including the assassination of JFK, of “having a disturbing history of making false statements related to the brutal murder of young girls.”
JonBenét’s unsolved 1996 murder was widely re-examined via numerous recent television specials for the 20th anniversary of her death. The child beauty queen was brutally murdered on Christmas Day at the age of 6. Burke was exonerated by DNA evidence in 1999, and JonBenét’s parents, John Ramsey and his late ex-wife Patsy, were removed from the suspect list in 2008.
Spitz, who offered his theory in the four-part CBS documentary that premiered on September 18, also did a September 19 radio interview with CBS Detroit, which is the focus of Burke’s complaint.
“Defendant Spitz has once again interjected himself into a high profile case to make unsupported, false and sensational statements and accusations — this time accusing Burke Ramsey of JonBenét’s brutal murder,” his lawyer John Lesko writes in the filing. “In the Interview, Defendant Spitz claims Burke, age 9 at the time of his sister’s death, bludgeoned her to death. Defendant Spitz made this accusation without ever examining JonBenét’s body, without viewing the crime scene and without consulting with the pathologist who performed the autopsy on JonBenét.”
Burke, now 29, is seeking $100 million in punitive damages and $50 million in compensatory damages, in addition to internet, attorney’s fees and costs. He is also asking that Spitz be ordered to “remove and retract all defamatory statements” about him.
The Purdue University grad spoke about his sister’s death for the first time publicly during a sit-down interview with Dr. Phil, which aired last month.
“I want to honor her memory by doing this interview,” Burke told Dr. Phil, acknowledging that he’s aware many people think he killed his sister. “I don’t want anyone to forget [her].”
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