Chemistry of crime

The case of jonbenet ramsey




The first images of JonBenet Ramsey that were broadcast to the world showed a pretty little girl in heavy make-up and flamboyant costumes parading across a stage. At the time, the media described her as being "a painted baby, a sexualized toddler beauty queen." From the day in 1996, when JonBenet was found dead in the basement of her home in Boulder Colorado, the Boulder police and a large proportion of the world\'s media believed that her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, were responsible for her death.

Prior to the murder of their daughter, John and Patsy Ramsey\'s life seemed almost ideal. Patsy, a former beauty queen, was married to a successful businessman. They had moved to Boulder in 1991 where John ran a computer company that had started in his garage. The Ramsey\'s readily adapted to their new life in Colorado and made several new friends. They built a large house in an elite suburb, and entertained often. Their last party in Boulder, just three days before the murder, was particularly happy. Over a hundred guests were present at a Christmas function with a difference as the Ramsey\'s had good reason to celebrate. Patsy had warded off cancer and John had been voted Boulder\'s "businessman of the year."

According to the Ramsey\'s testimony, they drove home the few blocks from a party at a friend\'s house on Christmas night. JonBenet had fallen asleep in the car so they carried her up the stairs to her room and put her to bed at 9:30 pm. Shortly after, Patsy and John went to bed as they planned to get up early to prepare for a trip to their holiday home on Lake Michigan.

The next day, Patsy woke just after 5:00 am and walked down the stairs to the kitchen. At the foot of the staircase, she found a two-and-a-half page ransom note that said that JonBenet had been kidnapped by a "small local faction" and was being held for a ransom of $118,000. She was to be exchanged for the money later the same day. The letter warned that if the money were not delivered, the child would be beheaded. Patsy yelled to John as she ran back up the stairs and opened the door to JonBenet\'s room. Finding she wasn\'t there they made the decision to phone the police. The 911 dispatcher recorded Patsy\'s call at 5:25 am. The police arrived at the house seven minutes later.

The uniformed police officers that attended were openly suspicious from the start. The Ramsey’s, treating the demand seriously, were already taking steps to raise the ransom. The note said that the kidnappers would call John Ramsey between 8-10 am but no call came. It was while the police were waiting for the call that they made several critical mistakes. They did not conduct a proper search of the house, the area was not sealed off and friends were allowed to walk in and out at their leisure. No moves were made to protect any forensic evidence. The scale of their mistakes became apparent later. On December 27, the Rocky Mountain News quoted an Assistant District Attorney as saying, "It was very unusual for a kidnap victim\'s body to be found at home - it\'s not adding up." According to Charlie Brennan, the journalist who wrote the story, the police had also indicated to him that they held a strong belief that the parents were responsible. Julie Hayden, a television reporter for Denver\'s Channel 7, also covered the story on the same day and drew the same conclusion. She later explained that from her first exposure to the case, the police had made it very clear that they were not scouring the area looking for "some mad kidnapper" but instead, concentrating their efforts on John and Patsy Ramsey.

While spokespersons for the Ramsey’s have contended that the Boulder police failed to investigate anyone but the Ramsey’s, this is untrue. There was a wide-ranging investigation. Other suspects:

1.All present and former employees of Access Graphics (and their spouses) – which had 360 employees in July 1997 – were asked to give handwriting samples.

2. People who had been in the Ramsey house on Dec. 23 were questioned and investigated.

3. The man