'JonBenet Ramsey: What Really Happened': Release date, plot and all you need to know about the Discovery+ documentary

The documentary from Discovery+ explores the iconic JonBenet Ramsey case with a fresh perspective from the audio diaries of homicide detective Lou Smit

                            'JonBenet Ramsey: What Really Happened': Release date, plot and all you need to know about the Discovery+ documentary
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On December 26, 1996, six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey's body was discovered by her father in their basement. She was found bludgeoned, strangled and hidden underneath a white blanket with a nylon cord around her neck. Her wrists had been bound above her head while her mouth was covered using duct tape. JonBenet was a beauty pageant star, having won numerous titles such as America's Royale Miss, Little Miss Charlevoix, Little Miss Colorado, Colorado State All-Star Kids Cover Girl, and National Tiny Miss Beauty.

JonBenet's body was found just hours after her father had reported her missing and had found a lengthy ransom note asking for $118,000. Investigators made many mistakes in the early hours of finding the body. JonBenet's father, John Ramsey was allowed to carry the body out of the basement, and neither John nor her mother, Patsy Ramsey were questioned separately. However, the Ramseys were cleared in 2008 after DNA evidence was taken from JonBenet's clothes. 

While numerous suspects are there in this case, to date, the case has not been solved. A new documentary from Discovery+ will take a look at what happened. Here's everything you need to know about the documentary on the unsolved case.

Release date

'JonBenet Ramsey: What Really Happened' will premiere on Discovery+ on Monday, January 4, 2021.


The official synopsis for the documentary states:

'JonBenet Ramsey: What Really Happened' explores the iconic JonBenet Ramsey case with a fresh perspective. For the first time, viewers will be able to hear the previously unreleased audio diaries of Lou Smit, famed Colorado Springs homicide detective who was coaxed from retirement to try and bring some clarity to the chaos surrounding this case.

Lou tests alternate theories often asking the questions that the Boulder police department had not. Was there an intruder? Was all the DNA identified? Could the killer still be at large? Through these audiotapes, viewers hear how Smit meticulously tested each piece of evidence, debunked erroneous theories and uncovered new information that drove the case in a completely new direction.

The body of the six-year-old was found in the basement of her Colorado home on December 26, 1996. Police immediately suspected her parents John and Patsy Ramsey of the murder, and the press soon began to follow their lead. But after reviewing the evidence, Smit thought there could be more to the story than the public was led to believe and he recorded his investigation from day one.

Now, we will hear from Lou Smit’s son and daughter, his investigative team, as well as members of the Ramsey family including John Ramsey and his son John Andrew, as they reflect on what really happened during those early days of the investigation – a case that fascinates a nation more than two decades later.


'JonBenet Ramsey: What Really Happened' is produced for Discovery+ by Arrow Media with series producer John Owens, director Kim Duke, executive producers Lucie Ridout and Alison Turner, and creative director Tom Brisley.  Jeanie Vink is the executive producer for Discovery+.


There is no trailer yet for 'JonBenet Ramsey: What Really Happened' yet, but keep watching this space for more updates.

If you like this, you will love these:

'The Killing of JonBenet: The Truth Uncovered'

'JonBenet: An American Murder Mystery'

'The Case Of JonBenet Ramsey'

'Perfect Murder, Perfect Town'

'Getting Away with Murder: The JonBenet Ramsey Mystery'

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