What happened to JonBenet Ramsey? A look at the unsolved murder case

There have been many theories about potential suspects in the case, including JonBenet Ramsey's brother

JonBenet Ramsey was found dead in the basement of her home on December 26, 1996, in Boulder, Colorado when she was just-six-years old. After her parents Patsy and John Ramsey realized that she was missing from her bed, Patsy found a three-page, handwritten ransom note, on stationary from inside the house, demanding $118,000 for her safe return. She called the police immediately and friends and family started to search the house. While the frantic search for the young girl occurred, everyone in the house was potentially destroying evidence that could be used in the case. Ultimately, John found their daughter in the basement of their home with her mouth covered in duct tape, her wrist wrapped with a cord, her neck wrapped with a cord attached to a stick, covered in a white blanket. Her father took her body and brought her upstairs when she was found.

The case remains open today and the question of what happened to JonBenet Ramsey remains unsolved. John is still pushing for answers and has been fighting for the Governor of Colorado to allow an independent agency to test DNA in the case. The DNA that was found on her body and clothing has been tested over the years have not yet been matched to any individual. 

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Who killed JonBenet Ramsey? 

To this day, no one knows who killed JonBenet Ramsey, although there have been many theories. The two main theories behind her death are the theory that someone in the family killed the young girl or that it was an intruder. No one has officially been charged with the crime. Many documentaries and movies have been made from different perspectives about what happened to the young beauty pageant contestant.

JonBenet Ramsey's murder remains unsolved today. Her father, John Benet is still trying to find answers. 

JonBenet Ramsey's murder remains unsolved today. Her father, John Benet is still trying to find answers.  (John Ramsey)

Some believe that one of JonBenet's immediate family members were behind the crime. The ransom note that was left asked for almost the exact about that John had received as his bonus from work and the note was written with stationary that was inside the house. Although this has been a theory for many years, none of the DNA found on JonBenet matches any of the family members and they have not been charged with the crime since it happened over 20 years ago.

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The second theory is that someone broke into the house and killed JonBenet. Some evidence was found to support the intruder theory as there was a footprint found next to her body, which did not belong to a family member. A broken window in the basement and DNA from drops of blood from an unknown person on her underwear. In 2021, a documentary that came out about this case was called "JonBenet Ramsey: What Really Happened" and includes audio tapes from a detective Lou Smit, who worked very closely on the case. Until his death in 2010, he believed that her family were not responsible for the young girl's death. To this day, no charges have been filed in regard to this case.

What was JonBenet Ramsey's cause of death? 

It was revealed through autopsy results that JonBenet Ramsey had died from asphyxiation due to strangulation. She also had an 8.5 inch fracture on her skull. Her death was ruled a homicide. 

JonBenet Ramsey was six years old when she was found dead in the basement of her home in Boulder, Colorado. Her cause of death was asphyxiation due to strangulation. 

JonBenet Ramsey was six years old when she was found dead in the basement of her home in Boulder, Colorado. Her cause of death was asphyxiation due to strangulation.  (Polaris/Discovery+)

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Did JonBenet's brother kill her? 

JonBenet’s brother Burke was never an official suspect for his sister’s murder, but there were theories that he could have been behind the killing. The CBS special that came out in 2016 called "The Case of JonBenet Ramsey," implied that he was behind her murder. After its release, Burke sought out $750 million for defamation but the outcome of the lawsuit was not made public. This case is still open, and it remains one of the most well-known unsolved mysteries in history.