For the past several weeks, the hit podcast The Killing of JonBenét: The Final Suspects has been following a brand-new investigation into one of America’s most heinous unsolved murders – in an attempt to finally secure justice for JonBenét.
As Star readers know, the child beauty queen was found in the basement of her family home in Boulder, Colorado, on December 26, 1996, eight hours after she was reported missing. Her skull had been smashed and a garrote placed around her neck. It’s unclear which proved fatal – strangulation or the blow to her head,but what remains is the fact is that over two decades after her death the little girl’s killer is still at large.
While the initial investigation was flawed, with police and prosecutorial misconduct, as well as widespread evidence tampering, the current investigation remains mired in doubt and misinformation. Someone had to find out the truth.
Now, for the first time, one of the most thorough investigations into the murder ever conducted is being shared with podcast listeners. A team of internationally renowned criminal investigators and journalists, experts and lawyers worked under the direction of JonBenét’s own father John Ramsey, his family and closest friends.
Together, the team sifted through scores of new tips and leads, pored over never-before-seen crime scene evidence, searched through hundreds of pages of evidence, and conducted many exclusive new interviews.
And it’s not too late to join the thrilling investigation. Catch up with the first half of the series in this Star gallery. And listen to new episodes of The Killing of JonBenét: The Final Suspects every Monday through March 16 wherever you get your podcasts.
Episode 1: Christmas Tragedy
Christmas evening 1996 was a festive night in Boulder, Colorado. But by the early hours of the next morning, Dec. 26, The Ramsey’s posh home would become an unimaginable house of horrors. Shortly before 6 a.m., Mom Patsy discovered a two-and-a-half-page ransom note on the back hallway stairs demanding $118,000 for the return her adorable daughter.
In a state of shock and disbelief, she searched the child’s empty bedroom and called 911. Within minutes, police, family and friends swarmed the house, contaminating the crime scene.
John Ramsey prepared to pay the ransom, then at 1 p.m. made another desperate search to see if anything was “amiss.” He went to the basement and opened the door, making a grisly discovery: the lifeless, sexually abused body of his beauty pageant princess.
Two theories emerged: a possible intruder or a family member. Police suspicions immediately focused on the family, primarily mom Patsy. But why would a good Christian woman want to harm her beautiful child?’
Episode 2: The Case Against the Ramseys
All of the evidence against John, Patsy and Burke Ramsey is investigated in great detail. Could one — or perhaps all of them — be responsible for JonBenét’s death?
The podcast features arguments from those convinced of their guilt, as well as detailed evidence from investigators who believe they are victims of police harassment, cover-ups, and a 23-year smear campaign.
Episode 3: A Father’s Anguish
In an exclusive interview, John Ramsey tells all about the worst morning of his life, as well as new details about the family life he, Patsy, JonBenét and son Burke enjoyed, and the decades of suspicion he has endured as prime suspect for the killing of his daughter.
He addresses the inconsistencies in his own accounts of that Christmas night and Boxing Day, and outlines his own efforts to find JonBenét’s killer.
Episode 4: Narrowing Down Suspects
While the Boulder Police Department suspected a family killer, the District Attorney’s office leaned toward the intruder theory. Early suspects included a kindly older man who played Santa Claus for the Ramsey’s two years in a row, the housekeeper who continued to work for the family, and a local who died soon after the little girl’s murder as a questionable “suicide.”
Dozens of DNA tests were performed. But still police had no leads. That was until ten years later when a 41-year old former elementary school teacher claimed he murdered JonBenét.
Arrested in Bangkok, Thailand, he confessed he drugged, sexually assaulted and accidentally killed the little princess. Many of the details in his statement were publicly known facts. On other points he was just wrong. He said he hung her up by her wrists but there was no evidence of that. Police also doubted his story because no drugs were found in her body.
The podcast discusses these famous suspects and explains why those names are easy to rule out.
The search for a killer continues, and the list of possible suspects has grown.
Episode 5: New Leads
Over the more than two decades since her tragic murder, leads have been followed to dead ends, rumors have circulated, and the internet has exploded with suspicions. But does one particular JonBenét expert really hold the key to solving this mystery once and for all?
Episode 6: Alleged Business Grudges
One of the suspects discussed in the podcast is a man from Boulder who may have had a motive to kill JonBenét, related to an alleged grudge with JonBenét’s father John Ramsey. His dark past is uncovered, along with his whereabouts the night JonBenét died.
Also explored is the strange world of child beauty pageants that Patsy and JonBenét were such a big part of. Are they a pedophile’s playground? How aware of the dangers were the Ramseys?
Episode 7: A Bone to Pick
More names of possible killers are investigated, while a startling discovery could change everything.
In the remaining episodes, more suspects are investigated, as well as a deep look into perhaps the most well-known and notorious aspect of the whole JonBenét mystery: her participation in child beauty pageants. Did those pageants put her at risk from potential abusers? And is her murderer to be found in that community?
New episodes of The Killing of JonBenét: The Final Suspects are released every Monday through March 16, wherever you get your podcasts.