JonBenet Ramsey Case


Introduction to JonBenet Ramsey

-          6 years old

-          Former Little Miss Colorado and National Tiny Miss Beauty

-          Has 2 brothers and 2 sisters (1 sister died in a automobile accident)

-          Mother (Patsy Ramsey) – Former Miss West Virginia (1977). She was active in the community of Boulder, Colorado, and was recovering from ovarian cancer around the time of JonBenet’s death. Patsy had also become a very religious person during her struggle with cancer.

-          Father (John Ramsey) – C.E.O. of Access Graphics; very wealthy businessman. Ramsey was voted Boulder’s “Business Man of the Year” in 1996.


Time Line of Crime

December 25, 2006 – JonBenet is last seen at 10:30 p.m. when parents put her to bed.

December 26, 2006 – Patsy Ramsey calls 911, reports that her daughter has been kidnapped. She tells the dispatcher that she has found a kidnap note on the stairs. The police arrive at 5:52 a.m. JonBenet’s body is found at 1:00 p.m.

December 27, 1996 – Autopsy conducted.

December 31, 1996 – JonBenet is buried in Marietta, Georgia.

January 4, 1997 – Police find a notepad similar to the table used for the ransom note.

March 6, 1997 – The adult children of John Ramsey are eliminated as suspects

March 14, 1997 – Police determine that John Ramsey did not write the ransom note; they believe a female wrote it.

September 29, 1997 – Police execute search warrants on the Ramsey home and find duct tape, rope, and fibers that match those found on the body of JonBenet.

October 13, 1999 – The grand jury announces that it has found insufficient proof to indict anyone in the death of JonBenet Ramsey.


Days Prior to JonBenet’s Death

-          Christmas function 3 days before JonBenet’s death in the 15-bedroom suburban home

-          Night before JonBenet’s death – Christmas dinner at the Whites’ home (family friend)


Morning of JonBenet’s Death

-          December 26 (5:52 a.m.)  Patsy Ramsey go into JonBenet’s room to find her missing, along with a ransom note on the stairs

-          Patsy Ramsey notifies police, who arrive 10 minutes later (Officer French) and then soon after Sergeant Reichenbach. When they arrived Patsy was completely dressed, including face makeup

-          The Ramseys’ family friends come to the home at 6:30 (the Whites and Fernies)

-          The Ramseys’ priest also arrived at the home

-          Detectives Patterson and Arndt  arrive at 8:03 to the scene

-          At 1:00 p.m. Detective Arndt asked Fleet White and John Ramsey to search the entire house

-          JonBenet was found dead in the basement at approximately 1:00 p.m.

o       Wrapped in a white blanket with a piece of duct tape next to her on a blanket

o       Arms were both straight above her head with a white cord tying her right wrist  

o       Another white cord was wrapped around her neck connected to a broken paint brush handle that was use as a garrote for strangulation

o       Mucous stains on the sleeve of her shirt

o       Her pants and underwear are stained with urine


Autopsy Reports of JonBenet’s Death

-          Ligature strangulation

-          Ligature of the right wrist

-          Cranial hemorrhaging and injuries

-          Abrasions on the body such at the right cheek, left lower leg, left lower back, neck

-          Abrasion and vascular congestion of vaginal mucosa


The Ransom Note

            Cords or Bindings

·   The cords are significant in some religious redemption ceremonies; signifying Satan’s hold over a person.


·   Well known acronym in church subculture. It stands for Saved By The Cross.


·   Plays a large part in subculture religious groups. It is believed that the only way one can truly cleanse themselves of one’s sins is by spilling the blood of another person or animal.


·   Victory is used as a verb in the ransom note. It is seen as the result of actions taken by believer to bind and overcome Satan’s power primarily in the areas of physical health.



            Duct tape

            Broken paint brush

            Broken window in Ramsey home

            Fibers and hairs found on or near JonBenet


Who did it?

The Ramsey family

                        The Ramsey children

                        John Ramsey

                        Patsy Ramsey

Outside Suspects

                        Linda Hoffman-Pugh

                        John Ramsey’s employees

                        Pedophile from the pageantry 


Conclusion of the Profile

1.      The profilers believed Patsy Ramsey to be a delusional sociopath.

2.      Patsy saw JonBenet’s death as a sacrifice for sins she had committed, an assumption based on the profilers experience with religious sociopaths.

3.      Patsy Ramsey motives and post-incident actions cannot be understood with rationality which leads the profilers to believe she was the prime suspect.

4.      They believed that Patsy Ramsey killed JonBenet for a ritualistic religious ceremony, and that John Ramsey played no role in the actual killing, but he did aid his wife with the cover up.

Aftermath of JonBenet Case

            Ramsey Family

                        Patsy Ramsey’s death

            Officials involved with the case

            John Mark Karr


Questions to think about:


What necessary measures should have been taken, or not been taken, in order to help solve the JonBenet murder?


Based on the information given from the case, who do you believe killed JonBenet Ramsey? What evidence would lead you to this conclusion?




Holmes, R. M., & Holmes, S. T. (2002). Profiling violent crimes: An investigative tool (3rd ed.) (pp. 243–267). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


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