Telling his side of the story. Dr. Phil McGraw opened up about his three-part interview with JonBenét Ramsey’s “socially awkward” brother Burke on the Today show on Monday, September 12, just days after a preview of the bizarre sit-down made headlines.
Speaking with Savannah Guthrie, the 66-year-old TV personality spoke out about his feelings on Burke’s first-ever media interview, in which the 29-year-old computer security analyst smiled and laughed while discussing the mysterious December 1996 death of his sister.
“He is smiling. People are going to see this throughout the entire interview, [a] really unusual affect, either smiling or laughing,” Dr. Phil explained Monday morning. “This is a very socially awkward young man — but understand, from the time this happened, his parents, depending on your interpretation, either protected him or hid him. … He has not had the social contact that most kids have growing up.”
As for why Burke decided to speak out nearly two decades later, Dr. Phil says JonBenét’s brother “knew his anonymity was gone” and he “wanted to control the narrative.”
JonBenét’s murder has returned to the spotlight in recent months with a series of new documentaries and interviews 20 years after her death. CBS is set to launch a six-hour docuseries on Sunday, September 18, to reexamine the case days, while Dr. Phil’s three-part interview with Burke kicks off on Monday, September 12.
During Dr. Phil’s sit-down with Burke, the psychologist says Burke will reveal key details in his sister’s murder. “He’s gonna make a shocking admission about this mystery footprint [found at the scene] that people speculate about so much,” Dr. Phil teased on the Today show. “He’s going to talk about the incidents of violence, of hitting his sister in the head earlier with a golf club. … He’s going to talk and give a very significant answer about … a bowl of pineapple that was found on the table in the house that was not there when everyone went to bed. Pineapple was found during the autopsy in [JonBenét’s] stomach. He’s going to talk very specifically about how that pineapple came to be in his little sister’s stomach the night that she was found dead.”
Dr. Phil’s interview with Burke airs in nationwide syndication on Monday, September 12; Tuesday, September 13; and Monday, September 19.
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