23 years later, 6-year-old beauty pageant star JonBenet Ramsey's brutal murder remains unsolved

23 years later, 6-year-old beauty pageant star JonBenet Ramsey's brutal murder remains unsolved

Little JonBenet Ramsey was discovered dead in her home in Boulder, Colorado in 1996 on December 26, just a day after Christmas. At the time, she was only six years old and was found by her father John Ramsey eight hours after being reported missing by her parents. 



JonBenet 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. Police have no clue as to what happened that fateful day and now, over two decades later, the child's death still remains unsolved generating conspiracy theories and headlines. 

Attempting to give a deeper insight into the case is a new documentary 'Hunting JonBenet's Killer: An Untold Story' which features on the A&E network; journalist Elizabeth Vargas believes that even though 23 years have gone by since the six-year-old was found dead, there could be some hope for answers and a key to what may have happened. 


On December 26 morning, Patsy Ramsey called the authorities after finding a three-page long ransom note which demanded $118,000 in exchange for the safe return of her child. JonBenet's father found her lifeless body in the basement later that same afternoon. Her official cause of death was given as "asphyxia by strangulation associated with craniocerebral trauma" and her death had been described as a homicide. The ransom note also warned the family that they were under constant surveillance and claimed to be from a "small foreign faction."

When the Boulder authorities had arrived on the scene of the crime, they made several crucial mistakes which ended up compromising the investigation. One of the biggest mistakes made was that John Ramsey was allowed to carry the body his daughter from the basement. He and his wife Patsy were also not interviewed separately and since there were no major leads for the next four years, both the parents became the main suspects. 


John Ramsey and Patsy Ramsey, parents of beauty pageant star JonBenet Ramsey (Source: Getty Images)

However, once DNA evidence was taken from the child clothes, JonBenet's parents as well as brother were cleared in 2008. According to Boulder District Attorney, Alex Hunter, there was insufficient evidence against the parents and brother. When the case was dropped, the Ramsey family returned to Atlanta, Georgia in order to get away from the prodding and prying media. In 2016, evidence suggested that the DNA evidence is a mixture of DNA while more testing will take place. 

According to John San Agustin who was an investigator into the JonBenet Ramsey case, "the alarm in the house was not set".  As Agustin says, "It was reported that the Teak doors were ajar. The plan was that they (Ramsey family) were going to get up and head out to Florida." As Patsy Ramsey came down the staircase, she found the ransom note which stated, "Mr. Ramsey, Listen carefully! We have your daughter." A part of the note also said: "not to contact law enforcement."


A twisted pedophile John Mark Karr had admitted to killing JonBenet in 2008 but it became apparent that he had made a false confession. In 2019, another pedophile Gary Olivia admitted to the murder but no evidence was found. 



Little JonBenet had won several beauty pageants including Little Miss Colorado, Little Miss Charlevoix, Colorado State All-Star Kids Cover Girl amongst several others. She was known for her blonde hair, charming smile, and glittery outfits and had the support of her parents, John, and Patsy Ramsey. No one has been charged with JonBenet's death and the investigation remains open as many theories have come into play about what may have possibly happened. 

Share this article:

 Revisiting the cold case of child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey murder unsolved crime