Another day, another television program about JonBenét Ramsey‘s death, right? The unending public fascination with the still-unsolved 1996 murder of the 6-year-old pageant star continued with a Lifetime original movie on Saturday, November 5, following the true story of the controversial police investigation. Here are six of the most cringeworthy and often bizarre moments from Who Killed JonBenét?
JonBenét Narrates It From Beyond the Grave
We’re still wrapping our heads around this one. A young girl’s voice, portraying JonBenét, narrated the film throughout. She introduced characters, gave odd commentary and even revealed her frustration when the case wasn’t getting solved. She’d say things like, “That’s Steve Thomas. He’s the detective. Maybe he’s the one to solve the puzzle!” At one point, she wondered, “Is this the part of the story where the hero finally figures out how to save the princess?” Bone-chilling and borderline inappropriate? Probably.
An Actual Photo of JonBenét Appeared During the Funeral Scene
In a scene depicting JonBenét’s funeral, the film used an actual photo of JonBenét in a pink shirt, instead of a photo of the actress (Peyton Lepinski) who played the pageant queen in the previous flashback scenes. When the movie portrayed JonBenét on the cover of countless magazines, however, it did show photos of Lepinski that mimicked the actual JonBenét pageant images. Very weird.
It Features the Actual CNN Footage of John and Patsy Ramsey
Instead of having cast members Michel Gil and Julia Campbell portray John and Patsy Ramsey in their infamous CNN interview, the movie used the actual 1997 footage. It was chilling and disjointed all at the same time. The movie even did a freeze frame on the real Patsy’s grieving, distraught face! Odd and morbid creative choice? Or did producers perhaps just want to cut down on the number of scenes they had to shoot? It was hard to know.
Burke Ramsey Is Portrayed as Bratty
The scene depicting Burke Ramsey‘s interview at the child advocacy center was particularly hard to watch. When asked if he had any “secrets,” JonBenét’s older brother said (in a quote from the actual interview), “If I did, I wouldn’t be telling you because they wouldn’t be secrets anymore.” Terrifying.
Later in the scene, when the interviewer accidentally drank from his soda, Burke shouted, “Hey! That’s mine! I can’t drink that now!” (The real-life Burke filed a $150 million defamation lawsuit last month against forensic pathologist Werner Spitz for claiming in the CBS docuseries The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey that Burke killed his sister.)
It Showcases the Newly Released Case Information
In addition to the years-ago Burke interview that was recently made public, the movie also depicted the indictment results released publicly in 2013 from the grand jury case against John and Patsy. While the movie doesn’t exactly take a stand on who killed JonBenét, it does manage to glide right past the fact that John and Patsy were exonerated in 2008 using DNA evidence. The film also relies heavily on the point of view of detective Steve Thomas (played by Eion Bailey), whose prevailing theory is that the Ramseys were involved in the murder.
JonBenét Forgives Detective Steve Thomas, Tells Audience to “Let Go”
The ending of this movie is by far the weirdest part of the entire film. The closing shot features detective Steve placing flowers on the grave of JonBenét. The late pageant star then delivered a creepy monologue, saying, “This is where I am now. I’ve been here for 20 years. … I’ve seen all of you looking at me.” In a questionable creative choice, JonBenét’s narration continues, saying, “I forgive you, Steve, and I’m sorry, too. Your life would have been better without me.” Um, what?
She ended with, “In the story of my life, bad guys don’t get caught. … Maybe I can let go. Can you?” So. Weird. What. Just. Happened. Did a voice portraying JonBenét’s ghost actually just tell us to “let go”? Considering there have been at least four television specials this year alone about her murder, clearly the public isn’t letting go just yet.
Tell Us: Do you think it was disrespectful of the filmmakers to use JonBenét’s point of view as the narration for the film?
Who Killed JonBenét? airs on Lifetime Saturday, November 5, at 8 p.m. ET.
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