Tuesday, August 30, 2016

JonBenet Ramsey: 20 Years Later

It has been a few years since I have posted here.  Only one case could bring me back.  I am not the first to claim that the JonBenet Ramsey case is the case that haunts them.  I go back to this case often to see if there is anything new, anything I may have missed, something that would bring some answers or at least some common understanding, or maybe even something to just bring me to a place where I can stop thinking of it.  To be clear, I don't think of this case everyday, I am not family or a close friend, or a fanatic (believe me there are fans) but from time to time when I am thinking of True Crime, or I see a little girl who looks like her, it all comes back, all the wacky details, the red herrings, the myths.  I can easily get pulled into online arguments about who did it and then I remember that this was a real child, an innocent little baby girl who died in her own house while her family was there and all the doors were locked on Christmas night.  

I get angry each time. 

If you are reading this and you are not aware of the documentary coming out on CBS this September and the interview that her big brother Burke is going to give Dr. Phil shortly before and during, then let me tell you, both of these things are HUGE.  

It has been 20 years since JonBenet was murdered in her home in the middle of the night and only three people were there during the murder, her parents and her then older brother, 9 year old Burke.  Burke Ramsey has never spoken about the case as an adult.  He gave a few interviews to police when he was 9 and again I believe a year later, both interviews have never been seen nor heard and now, apparently for the first time the public will see clips of these on the Dr. Phil show on September 12. 

Now here is where a person who has followed the case, like me, gets a bit suspicious of this timely reveal.  Burke has never openly discussed his sister's murder, not to the public, nor to friends, he has never lost his will power and ranted about it online, nothing at all.  Nothing has ever been leaked about his thoughts, he has been literally mute about this for 20 years and well protected by his father who is still alive (his mother Patsy Ramsey is dead).

There are three popular theories about who killed JonBenet, the first is the intruder, someone who came in from the outside and murdered her. The second is either one or both her parents caused her death, this theory comes with a lot of speculation, from an accident turning into a cover up, to a molestation turning into a cover up. The last theory and the most argued, is that Burke killed JonBenet Ramsey by mistake or in a rage and that the parents staged the entire intruder scene.   

If you watch the trailer for the CBS documentary it becomes clear that it is leaning toward the murder scene being staged. Here we are 20 years later and the media landscape has changed but the narrative and evidence has not.  The power of social media and social justice is something to fear. It can destroy your career, your family and even if you are found innocent by law and let free, if the social media beast decides you are guilty you could end up living your life in the shadows (see the Casey Anthony).

In my opinion, Papa Ramsey (who will also be on the DR. Phil show) is preparing for some damage control.  If he gets ahead of this and can coach his son to convince viewers that they are victims still, he can avoid the social media justice seekers that will surely consume their lives if they are not believed to be innocent.

The alternative of Burke continuing his 20 year silence could be seen as proof of his own guilt, or proof that he knows more than he says - or doesn't say.   There will be lots of people watching, including their new friends, their old friends, new business partners, potential employers, neighbors and a parade of strangers who will now know who they are.  It is a wise decision for them to do this, but it can also backfire if Burke and John Ramsey do not come off as sincere.  

I am prepared to hear Burke say he doesn't remember anything about that night and slept through it.  This is the story the Ramsey's kept to and I do not expect Burke to deviate.  I expect her will talk about life before her murder and how much he loved her and then about life after her and how hard it has been for him and his family to move on and out from beneath the umbrella of suspicion.

This is all we will get from them. 

For all of us that have followed this case and read transcripts, and evidence and listened to recordings and witness' statements.  For those of us who have read the books, who have walked the house, who have read the ransom note many times, we know how this will play out.  

Often, the Ramsey's have expressed their anger at "armchair detectives".   They want people to mind their own business, leave it alone, forget it all. How dare people pry, how dare people not accept their version and just be done with it.   

For me, the thing that bothered me the most about this case wasn't all the evidence making the intruder theory impossible, or even the evidence that gives it some thought, all of this is compelling, but what always brings me back, what makes me question them, is the fact that there was no crusade to find the real killer, no keeping her in the media, no trying to find the man capable of coming into YOUR house while you slept and killing your daughter. No anger and obsessing to find this person before he did it again.  It was just a lot of noise about leaving it be, letting them move on. 

20 years later and the public and the "armchair detectives" will NOT move on.  It can't be left alone, this was a horrific crime and JonBenet deserves justice even now after all this time.  Even while I write this and truly believe in this justice.  I can also see the ugly in all of this, the ratings the show is hoping to make, the money exchanging hands on the back of this murdered child.  I cringe at the thought of the media dragging every ugly bit into the new world of social media.  But as a parent of three, I have to hope that the risk of the ugly is worth a shot at finally finding out who did this and making them answer for it.  

No other crime like this has ever been committed in the Boulder area or around it, or anything similar anywhere.  So this mastermind murderer was just going for one perfect murder and was then satisfied, never again to speak of it, never showing off and blabbing about how he pulled it off, he never again slipped up?  He just let it go, moved on with his life, left it in the past, closed the door. 

No.  I can't accept that. 

The door is now going to be forced open, again.

P.S. I know all about the DNA, the man who killed himself and the Santa. I don't need a lesson on this case, but I would like to know your thoughts on the new documentary. 

No comments: