Your tip

JonBenet Ramsey Case: Why The Grand Jury Wanted To Indict Her Parents


Jan. 28 2013, Published 6:27 a.m. ET

Link to FacebookShare to XShare to FlipboardShare to Email
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

No one was ever charged, there was no trial, so the evidence presented to the grand jury in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case has never been revealed.

But as previously reported, the grand jury voted to indict JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, for actions that resulted in her death, according to a detailed report in the Daily Camera.

The investigation into the little girl's death took many bizarre twists and turns, and the personal behavior of the principal players in the story - most notably John and Patsy - was put under a microscope, like few people ever have.

Article continues below advertisement

JonBenet, a six year-old beauty queen, was found murdered in the basement of her parents' posh home in Boulder, Colorado on Christmas, 1996.

In a frantic call to 911 at 5:52 a.m., Patsy Ramsey told Boulder police she'd found a ransom note on the staircase leading down to the kitchen, demanding $118,000 for her daughter's return. There was never any follow-up from an assumed kidnapper.

Hours later, JonBenet's body was found by her father and a family friend.

The little girl had tape across her mouth and a ligature buried deep in the skin of her neck through use of a garrote fashioned made from cord and a broken paintbrush taken from her mother's art supplies. Some of the same cord was bound around her right wrist. During her autopsy it was also discovered that she'd suffered a blow to the skull from a blunt object.

The coroner ruled that her death was the result of asphyxia by strangulation associated with craniocerebral trauma. There were also signs of vaginal trauma, although whether that had preceded her death could not be determined. A thoroughly contaminated crime scene didn't help determine what had happened.

Article continues below advertisement

John and Patsy hired multiple lawyers, including Hal Haddon, one of the most highly respected criminal defense lawyers in Colorado. He then hired a public relations consultant, who many experts believed did more harm than good on how the grieving parents were perceived, especially when some law enforcement sources were publicly complained that the Ramseys were not cooperating with the investigation. In fact, they declined to submit to detailed police interviews until April 30, 1997.

Article continues below advertisement

The case was brought before the Boulder County grand jury in September 1998, only after then-Gov. Roy Romer summoned D.A. Alex Hunter's team to Denver to explain their handling of the investigation. By that summer, the case was plagued by disarray, reports the Daily Camera.

Although the grand jury voted to indict the Ramseys, District Attorney Alex Hunter declined to prosecute, insisting there was not enough evidence.

Article continues below advertisement

One key investigator, Boulder police Detective Steve Thomas, later wrote an exhaustive, blistering resignation letter chastising Hunter for timidity and labeling the D.A.'s office as "thoroughly compromised."

On the flip side, a month later, one of several outside experts drafted by Hunter's team, Lou Smit, also resigned. He quit saying he could no longer serve a prosecution team that he believed was wrongly targeting the Ramseys in defiance of evidence.

Article continues below advertisement

The Ramseys subsequently gave the police numerous interviews and Patsy provided a reported five handwriting samples as doubts lingered over who had written the ransom letter.

The Ramseys always maintained their innocence, and were fully exonerated of any involvement in their daughter's death.

Patsy died in 2006 and John remarried five years later.

Last year, John published The Other Side of Suffering: The Father of JonBenet Ramsey Tells the Story of His Journey from Grief to Grace.



More From Radar Online

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2024 RADAR ONLINE™️. A DIVISION OF MYSTIFY ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK INC. RADAR ONLINE is a registered trademark. All rights reserved. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service, Privacy Policy and Cookies Policy. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services. Offers may be subject to change without notice.