JonBenét Ramsey’s dad John thinks ‘boastful’ article published 5 days before her murder may have enticed killer
BOULDER, COLORADO: The father of JonBenét Ramsey worries that by boasting about his company's success in a newspaper story that was released only days before his daughter was killed, he may have put his family's backs on the line. In the early 1990s, John Ramsey, who is now 79, was a successful businessman in the tech industry. In the 1980s, he founded a computer company that would eventually be worth $1 billion.
John became the president and CEO of Access Graphics after Lockheed Martin acquired his business in 1991. John‘s net worth was projected to be around $6.4 million by 1996 and his business appeared to be on the upswing. The Boulder Daily Camera published a story headlined ‘Access Celebrates the $1 Billion Mark’ on December 21 of that year to commemorate the company exceeding $1 billion in sales. The tragic events occurred five days after the piece was published. The family was scheduled to leave the state for a vacation so John and his wife Patricia 'Patsy' Ramsey got up early on December 26, 1996. When Patsy screamed incoherently from another part of the house, John was shaving in the bathroom. A ransom note that claimed to have been written by a foreign faction addressed to John, demanding $118,000 in payment to ensure JonBenét's safe return had recently been discovered by her on a back stairway.
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The unusually precise amount was nearly identical to a deferred bonus that John had received earlier in the year. John noted that although the ransom note didn't make much sense to him at the time, he wasn't studying it at the moment and was instead focused on getting the money. He was in a state of shock and racked with dread. Despite promising to phone John "tomorrow" at 10 am in the confusing two-and-a-half-page note, the alleged kidnappers never got in touch with the Ramseys again. Seven hours after the note was found, John later discovered JonBenét dead in the basement of the family's Boulder, Colorado home. Her mouth was covered with duct tape and her hands were restrained over her head. She also sustained a skull fracture and hypoxia was declared to be her official cause of death. Exactly what happened to the six-year-old beauty queen and why she was killed is still a mystery even 26 years later.
John thinks that his daughter was murdered with the intent to harm him, possibly by a disgruntled former coworker or someone who simply despised him and what he stood for. And he worries that the arrogant story that appeared in the Daily Camera may have been the tipping point. "That [article] was a huge mistake," reflected John in an interview with The Sun. "Our company had just crossed a threshold of sales and our PR person said they would call the newspaper and get publicity. I had a gut feeling it wasn't a good idea. You should always really listen to your gut feeling, but I didn't because I thought it would be nice for our employees and so that they could be proud of their company. And in this element of pride on my part, I wanted my neighbors to know, which is why pride is a bad idea and dangerous," John said.
John thinks there's a chance the braggadocios tone of the piece may have placed a bullseye on his family's back. "Now did that attract attention to my family?" he asked, adding, "Possibly [...] I always look back and regret doing that."