Kelli Albert
3 min readFeb 24, 2021


What Happened to JonBenét Ramsey?

JonBenét Ramsey was an American child beauty queen. She was the daughter of very wealthy parents, and had an older brother named Burke. She was only six years old when she was murdered in her Boulder, Colorado, residence on December 26, 1996. To this day, her murder is still unsolved. Her murder has also been one of the most talked about and one of the most famous police investigations. JonBenét was an outgoing Southern girl who enjoyed being the center of attention. By age six, she had already won multiple pageant titles, thanks to her bouncy blonde hair, poised smile and glittery costumes. Her father, a multi-millionaire businessman, and her mother, who was also a former beauty queen (Miss West Virginia of 1977), doted on their daughter in every way they could. Their luxurious home was plush with everything JonBenét needed to live a comfortable life (Worthen, 2020).

JonBenét’s death was extremely mysterious. On the morning of December 26, 1996. Patsy, her mother, found a three-page ransom note demanding $118,000 for her daughter’s safe return.The girl’s body, however, was discovered in the basement later that afternoon. JonBenét had a fracture to her skull, she had been sexually assaulted and she was strangled with a garrote made from one of Patsy’s paintbrushes. According to the coroner’s report, JonBenét’s official cause of death was “asphyxia by strangulation associated with craniocerebral trauma” and her death was classified as a homicide (Worthen, 2020).

Since I was not alive yet, I got to talk with a friend about the when they found out about the murder of JonBenét Ramsey. She was a teenager when it happened and has followed the story for many years. “I can tell you that this was a media frenzy. Every tabloid and news outlet was coving it to death and for years and years after it. I can say that the media at one point or another tried to pin it on each of the family members. They drug those people through the mud and exploited Patsy so badly. She was a bad mother for the pagents. and apparently for how they “acted” following the murder of their child. The media wanted us to think it was them so that is the info we received. It was wrong and we didn’t have the information. They further sexualized that little girl by splashing her pageant photos everywhere. Further making the parents seem disturbed and guilty. It was awful and turns out they should have been looking for an unknown suspect all along. Patsy died and all that time was pained as a terrible mother that might have killed her child. An abuser that killed her for wetting the bed with no reason for these suspicions whatsoever. Just another case of trial by media, and a smear campaign that prevented the crime from being solved. Add to it the fact that this sexualized little white beauty patent girl has the whole world obsessed with her death and yet similar crimes involving non whites and atrocities go unchecked. Some words I think of are sickening, shameful, life ruining. American culture failure.” My friend really was able to tell her feelings about the whole situation, and to this day, I still believe that JonBenet is very sexualized with her pageant photos.

In 2008, they were able to use a more developed technology to test the DNA, and it proved that the Ramsey family was free from any wrongdoing in her murder. Which is good since they tried to throw every single family member under the bus. Recent in 2016 evidence suggests that the DNA evidence is actually a mixture of DNA and more testing is expected to take place. To date, no one has ever been charged for JonBenét’s murder and the investigation remains open over two decades after her death. Countless books, documentaries, and true crime shows have featured their own theories about JonBenét’s murder. Outside of the Ramsey Family, the media has also reported on others deemed suspicious: from the convicted child sex offender (Gary Oliva) to the housekeeper (Linda Hoffman-Pugh) to the electrician (Michael Helgoth) to even the town Santa (Bill McReynolds). However, none of these people have been charged.


Worthen, M. (2020, November 17). JonBenét Ramsey. Retrieved February 24, 2021, from