How JonBenét Ramsey's 1996 Murder Turned Into a National Preoccupation

Apart from the possibility that the actual fate of 6-year-old JonBenét Ramsey will never be known, the crime that stunned the country had all the makings of a lasting fascination.


"The suspect list gets smaller. You will soon be the only one on the list." Alex Hunter, District Attorney for Boulder, February 13, 1997 This year would have marked JonBenét Ramsey's 33rd birthday. 

But she didn't even reach number seven. 

On the afternoon of December 26, 1996, in Boulder, Colorado, the youngest child of John and Patsy Ramsey was discovered dead in the basement of their home. 

This occurred nearly eight hours after Patsy had frantically called 9-1-1 to report that her 6-year-old daughter had been abducted.

Around 5:30 a.m., Patsy woke up to discover a two-and-a-half-page, carelessly printed ransom note at the bottom of the stairs, threatening to "behead" the girl unless her parents paid a ransom of $118,000 to some "foreign faction." 

Shortly after 1:30 p.m., on his second check of the house which by then was already crowded with police and family friends John found JonBenét's body. 

He brought the child up the stairs, where he lay her down next to the living room's Christmas tree, still in the pajamas she had worn the previous evening.