Why John and Patsy Ramsey Quickly Became Prime Suspects in Their Daughter JonBenet’s Murder Case

The JonBenét Ramsey murder case remains unsolved 23 years later, but when the news of her death first broke in 1996, police suspected that her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, were to blame.

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“Their whole strategy — and we were told this later by the district attorney — was to release a lot of information to the media that was accusatory, suspicious, made us look guilty, potentially guilty, and the media would bring intense pressure on Patsy and I, one of us would crack, turn the other one in, confess, case would be solved,” John claims on the podcast “The Killing of JonBenét: The Final Suspects.”

The 76-year-old believes that authorities and the press “convinced 70 percent of the world that we were guilty of murdering our child” after the case started making headlines across the nation.

JonBenet's parents, Patsy Ramsey and John Ramsey
JonBenet’s parents Patsy Ramsey and John Ramsey in 2000. Sipa/Shutterstock

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In episode 2 of the podcast, titled “The Case Against the Ramseys,” John, retired detective Robert Whitson, former sheriff’s investigator John San Agustin, local news reporter Paula Woodward and others involved in the case break down various arguments and evidence from the past 20-plus years.

“As far as I know, the only suspects they really pursued were John and Patsy Ramsey,” Woodward says of the Boulder Police Department in Colorado. “They have said that they pursued others, looked at others. From the information that I have in examining that investigation, they were locked onto the family by the first day, and they didn’t change their focus.”

Ultimately, however, the Ramseys were cleared by DNA results, and the district attorney at the time sent the family a letter of apology.

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JonBenét was found dead in the basement of her family’s home in December 1996. She was 6 years old.

The 12-part podcast comes from the creators of “The Killing of Marilyn Monroe” and “Fatal Voyage: The Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood.”

If you have information that could help investigators and the Ramseys identify JonBenét’s killer, please email tips@justiceforjonbenet.com.

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