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Dr. Phil Defends Burke Ramsey for Smiling During Interview About Sister JonBenet Ramsey

Dr. Phil McGraw wasn’t fazed when Burke Ramsey smiled while discussing the murder of his late sister, JonBenét Ramsey, in their three-part interview.

“People have commented on his smile, which is purely from anxiety. He’s kind of a loner. He’s socially uncomfortable,” the TV host, 66, told Entertainment Tonight on Thursday, September 15.

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“When people are anxious, they do different things,” he continued. “They pull on their hair or fiddle around, or whatever… for him, it’s a nervous smile. I think [some have] gotten past that and listened to the sincerity of his answers and said, ‘OK, he’s just nervous.'”

As previously reported, Burke’s discussion with McGraw happened nearly 20 years since JonBenét’s death. During the chat, Burke appeared to grin while discussing some of the more gruesome details.

Burke Ramsey
Burke Ramsey

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Burke was just 9 when the young beauty queen, then 6, was found dead in the basement of the family’s house in Boulder, Colorado, on December 26, 1996. He and his parents, John Ramsey and the late Patsy Ramsey, were initially considered suspects but later cleared by DNA results. (Patsy died at age 49 from ovarian cancer in June 2006.)

“Burke is not and has never been a suspect in this case. I think people have considered him otherwise because, in the very beginning, the DA and the Boulder PD have acknowledged and admitted they put out misinformation to the media, to the public, to try to put pressure on the Ramseys to either make a mistake or break or confess,” McGraw told ET. “Burke has been the missing link in this whole thing because in 20 years, he’s never spoken. He is, as I say, the only other person known in the house.”

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Burke graduated from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, in 2010 and now works as a software engineer. John married his third wife, fashion designer Jan Rousseaux, in 2011 and currently resides in Las Vegas.

“[Burke’s] a very private individual, but he has a great career and has a good relationship with his father,” McGraw noted. “They’re not together all the time. They live half a country apart.”

Watch a clip of Burke’s interview with McGraw in the video above.

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