Wednesday, July 9, 2008

DNA Clears Parents of JonBenét Ramsey's Murder

USA TODAY and other news sources reported a few hours ago that the parents of JonBenét Ramsey have been cleared of her murder by DNA test results. The reports also say that the DNA evidence points to an unknown male. (Story here with video)

If you're young, you may not recall the Ramsey case, but I do. In 1996, little JonBenét, age 6, was found beaten and strangled to death in the basement of her parents' Colorado home.

As in most cases of child murder, the parents were the police department's first suspects, and as usual, the public sympathized with the parents. However, as pictures of JonBenét surfaced showing the little girl in beauty pageant regalia complete with extravagant hair, clothes that seemed too adult for a child, and make-up, the public quickly believed the Ramseys, a wealthy couple, were guilty. They followed the lead of the head detective on the case and speculated that the parents were the most likely suspects since the child died in her own home, and if the parents didn't do it directly, then they gave access to another fiend. Folks fabricated truly evil tales about how JonBenet may have died.

I never believed the parents did it, but not because I had any special feeling for the Ramseys beyond being a parent myself and sympathizing with their loss. My son and JonBenét were the same age when she died. She'd be turning 18 this August had she lived. I didn't believe these parents murdered their little girl because I didn't want to believe it.

Also, growing up in New Orleans with pageants, balls, and Mardis Gras, pictures of the little girl dolled up like an adult beauty queen didn't seem as bizarre to me as it did to others. Nevertheless, JonBenet's pictures disturbed me. They just didn't disturb me enough to make me believe her mother and father had a hand in her death.

I last recall hearing about this case in 2006 when a strange man, John Mark Karr, surfaced and was named as a viable suspect. It appeared later, however, that while Karr may have been a pedophile obsessed with the child, he did not murder JonBenet.

Some of the ugliness also surfaced again, criticism of the Ramseys as parents, but nothing like the meanness of 1996 and 1997. Back then I think some people blamed JonBenét's mother, Patsy Ramsey, suggesting that if her mother hadn't dressed JonBenet like a little woman, the girl wouldn't have attracted a pedophile and murderer. I always thought that was a horrible accusation, excessively harsh.

Patsy Ramsey died at age 49 from ovarian cancer in June 2006, months before the story broke about Karr. Sadly, she's not here to see DNA clear her and JonBenét's father, John Ramsey, beyond shadows of doubt.

So, here we are, twelve years after this little girl's murder, still talking about unknown males as primary suspects. At this CNN link, you can view video of an attorney discussing the toll terrible suspicions took on JonBenet's parents. He said that Patsy lived long enough to see public sentiment swing to perceive her and her husband as victims, not monsters. The smallest solace sometimes takes the longest route. (Video)

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Hello there...

It is amazing to me that there are ONLY A FEW people that this little girl would have trusted enough NOT to scream when being taken from her bed...eventhough the DA has cleared the family...I still believe that the family KNOWS more than what they are saying...

There were no witnesses and there was no evidence that could tie O.J. to the murders...and usually NO witness and NO murder weapon means NO CASE AT ALL...but O.J. was black.

The killer of Jon Benet was white... and I don't believe at all that there was a "mystery" intruder...I believe the killer WAS KNOWN to the family and to the little girl...

{shaking my head sadly}


Vérité Parlant said...

Anything's possible. It would be very sad if that's the case. But remember, the police messed up the case. They zeroed in and stuck to the parents so much they overlooked evidence that's long gone now.

I think O.J. did it, btw. I think he's a sociopath and I thought so long before Nicole turned up dead.