Suspicions around Burke Ramsey & mom Patsy are blasted by JonBenét’s dad as he makes emotional appeal to find her killer

JONBENÉT Ramsey’s dad has issued an emotional appeal to find the slain beauty queen’s killer – as he dismisses any lingering suspicions about his family being involved in her murder, calling critics “fantasists” and “fools”.

John Ramsey, 79, told The U.S. Sun he believes that time is running out for him to find out who brutally beat and strangled his six-year-old daughter to death and left her body in the basement of their family home on December 26, 1996.

For years after his daughter's death, John Ramsey could not bring himself to celebrate Christmas


For years after his daughter’s death, John Ramsey could not bring himself to celebrate ChristmasCredit: John Chapple for The US Sun
An ornament of JonBenét is seen hanging on John's tree


An ornament of JonBenét is seen hanging on John’s treeCredit: John Chapple for The US Sun
JonBenét's older brother Burke, who was just nine at the time, fell under a veil of suspicion in connection to her death


JonBenét’s older brother Burke, who was just nine at the time, fell under a veil of suspicion in connection to her deathCredit: YouTube/InsideEdition

No arrests have ever been made in the case. For more than a decade, John and his wife Patsy Ramsey were considered key suspects, before they were exonerated by the Boulder District Attorney in 2008.

JonBenét’s older brother Burke, who was nine at the time of his sister’s death, was never considered a suspect despite rampant speculation in the press.

Desperate for answers in his lifetime, John issued an emotional plea to the culprit responsible ahead of the 26th anniversary of JonBenét’s death, insisting their time to face justice will soon come.

“Well, you’ve hurt a lot of lives,” said John. “And that can’t be undone, but you can at least put to rest the hurt that you’ve inflicted on a lot of people that are totally innocent of any anger you may have for me or for whatever.

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This story is part of an ongoing series of stories with John Ramsey for The U.S. Sun.

“I got a letter the other day from or an email from one of JonBenet’s friends, and they were in school together as kindergarteners.

“And she said I was thankful I could get ahold of you, I just wanted to tell you that I miss JonBenét. I’m going to be married and I’m going to be a pre-med student.

“But even her life was affected by this, a little kindergartener having one of her classmates murdered.

“And it would help if we were able to understand why this happened.

“Because that’s one of the problems I think people have with something like this that is so horrible that you can’t [understand] how could this happen. In sweet little Boulder to a loving family? [You think] ‘it can’t happen to me’.

“And so there’s hundreds and hundreds of people that would benefit from an answer.”

John continued: “And I know that the killer obviously is a psychopath. As I’ve read about it, they have no guilt or sense of remorse. This person obviously, probably fits that category.

“So whether that matters to him or not, who knows? But it’s really impacted a lot of people […] and we need answers.”


When asked what he’d say to JonBenét today, if given the chance, John responded he’d simply tell her: “I’m sorry I didn’t protect you.”

“That’s a dad’s job,” he continued.

“She knew she was loved, I used to tell her every day, but a father has to protect their children. That needs to be a high priority but we were just complacent.

“We thought we lived in La La Land with no need to worry […] but we were wrong.”

Before JonBenét's murder, the holiday season had been a huge event in the Ramsey home, with Xmas trees in every room


Before JonBenét’s murder, the holiday season had been a huge event in the Ramsey home, with Xmas trees in every roomCredit: YouTube/InsideEdition
Final performance: JonBenét is seen singing days before her murder


Final performance: JonBenét is seen singing days before her murderCredit: YouTube/InsideEdition
The girl's body was found swaddled in a white blanket in the basement of the home


The girl’s body was found swaddled in a white blanket in the basement of the homeCredit: YouTube/InsideEdition
John remembers his daughter as an'extravert' who was wise beyond her tender years


John remembers his daughter as an ‘extravert’ who was wise beyond her tender yearsCredit: John Chapple for The US Sun

John has renewed efforts to have the case removed from the jurisdiction of Boulder PD so that fresh eyes can look over the case and better resources applied to the investigation before time for him runs out.

He also recently appealed to the Governor of Colorado Jared Polis to instruct BPD to release any DNA evidence they have to a state-of-the-art genealogy lab.

John said identifying the killer will do little to fill the void of JonBenét’s absence, though he believes it will help to lift the gray cloud that continues to loom over his children and grandchildren.

But even if an arrest or positive identification of the killer is forthcoming, John said his reputation has been so irrevocably tarnished over the last 26 years by the police and media that he knows doubters will always exist in some capacity.

“There are still people out there who think we’re murderers, child murderers,” bluntly declared John.

“And I’ve told people I suppose we could have a killer confess, DNA matched, convicted in prison, and there’d still be 5-10% of people that would say, ‘Nah, parents put him up to that they’re guilty of this.’

“These are the people that don’t believe the moon landing happened or that Elvis isn’t really dead.

“You can’t convince everybody of the truth. The Bible calls them fools. And it says basically, don’t mess with them, you can’t confuse them with facts or logic, just keep them out of your life – and that’s what I finally accepted.”


The murder of JonBenét Ramsey is one of the most famous cold cases in American history.

As part of his extensive interview with The U.S. Sun, John recounted some heartbreaking details from his final Christmas with his daughter.

If I could see her again, I’d say sorry I didn’t protect you. That’s a dad’s job. She knew she was loved … but a father has to protect their children

John Ramsey

He said that he still has one regret from that day that continues to haunt him all these years later.

For her main present that year, John and Patsy bought their daughter a brand-new bicycle.

So excited to ride her new bike, John went outside with JonBenét to watch her pedal up and down in an alleyway behind the family’s home.

But pressed for time, and needing to be at a friend’s home for Christmas lunch, he had to hurry her back inside, ignoring her pleas of “please, just one more go around.”

Calling the memory “hurtful” now, John shared: “We went out in the back alley and she rode it up and down the alley a couple of times.

“And I said, ‘okay, we gotta’ go, we’re going to be late for dinner.’

“To which she said, ‘Oh dad. Please let me go just one more time,’ but I told her no, we’ll do that tomorrow.

“And that’s what I remember vividly, her asking me to go just one more time, and me telling her no we’ll do it tomorrow.

“Of course, there was no tomorrow […] it’s a hurtful thought now.”

John called the haunting memory a life lesson to never be too busy to spend more time with your family because you never know what the future may hold.

“I had a mother write me [years later] and she said your loss made me take that extra five minutes when my child asked for my time because you don’t know,” he added.

“So that’s another life lesson […] don’t be so busy that you say we’ve got to wait until tomorrow.

“That’s what I remember most from that day.”


When the Ramseys returned home late Christmas night in 1996, John remembers carrying his sleeping daughter from the car and up to bed before Patsy changed her into her pajamas.

The family had to be up early the following morning as they were due to meet up with John’s older children from his first marriage to celebrate the holiday season on a Disney red boat cruise.

John and Patsy woke up sometime before 6am on December 26. He had been shaving in the bathroom when he heard Patsy let out a guttural scream from down the hallway.

JonBenét was not in her bedroom and a strange, two-and-a-half-page ransom note has been left on a staircase towards the back of the home.

Addressed to John, and purported to have been written by a “foreign faction”, the author of the rambling letter demanded $118,000 in exchange for the girl’s safe return.

John said the first place his mind goes each morning is to his daughter's murder


John said the first place his mind goes each morning is to his daughter’s murderCredit: A&E
Patsy Ramsey is seen with Burke and JonBenét filming a home video


Patsy Ramsey is seen with Burke and JonBenét filming a home videoCredit: YouTube/InsideEdition

Hours later, JonBenét would be found by John in a seldom-used room they referred to as the “wine cellar” in the basement of the Ramseys’ sprawling four-floor mansion.

Laying on a white blanket, John was initially overcome with feelings of relief to have finally found his daughter, though as he got closer he realized her hands had been tied above her head and duct tape placed over her mouth.

Her eyes were closed and she was not moving.

John screamed. He then picked his daughter up, carried her upstairs, and laid her down next to the Christmas tree.

It was the second tragedy to afflict his family in less than five years.

His eldest daughter, Elizabeth Ramsey, was killed in a car accident on January 8, 1992. She was just 22 years old.

John and Patsy’s lives would never be the same again.

Within days they would be declared suspects in JonBenét’s murder and become household names in the global media.

John would be accused of being a child molester who staged JonBenét’s kidnapping and murder to cover up the unfounded accusations of abuse.

Patsy – who was painted as a pushy pageant mom living vicariously through her daughter – meanwhile, was accused of killing her daughter in a blind rage in the middle of the night having apparently grown incensed that the six-year-old had wet her bed again.

JonBenét’s older brother Burke, who was just nine at the time, also fell under a veil of suspicion. Before long, articles would appear in the press claiming he had killed JonBenét after years of harbored jealousy, which his parents helped cover up to spare him a life behind bars.


John said the accusations against him and Patsy didn’t bother them, for they’d already been hurt as much as they possibly could be by losing their daughter.

But to see their young son being attacked in the press was a hard pill to swallow.

“It didn’t matter,” he said of the attacks against him and Patsy. “I’d already been hurt as deeply as I could be hurt, so to call me the murderer of my child was just noise-level stuff; it didn’t bother me.

“You can’t hurt us anymore, but go ahead and try. We’re as hurt and as low and down as we could possibly be emotionally, and the only thing that got us up off the floor was the realization that we have other children that need us now more than ever to be strong parents.

“So that really got us going again, focusing on that.”

The media frenzy that followed in the two or three years after JonBenét’s murder served as a distraction from John and Patsy’s grief, he said.

All their efforts instead were focused on protecting Burke and providing him with the most normal childhood they could, considering the circumstances.

Though distracted from their grief, one thing the Ramseys could not bring themselves to do in the wake of JonBenét’s death was to celebrate Christmas.

Calling the time of year “too painful”, John said neither he nor Patsy could stand the thought of putting up a tree and celebrating as they once had, considering the dark cloud of grief hanging over their family.

But after a few years, hoping to give Burke the treasured childhood memories that time of year brings, the couple eventually found it within themselves to start celebrating it once again.

“It was [initially] too painful and it still is a little bit,” said John.

“Then we figured out we’ve got to remember what Christmas is all about and do it for Burke’s sake.

“Because he was still a child and he needed to have those memories of family Christmases, so Patsy was really good at giving him that.”


This year, Burke will be spending Christmas with John and his third wife, Jan Rousseaux-Ramsey, at the couple’s home in Utah.

Speaking about his daughter ahead of what will be the 26th anniversary of her death, John says life has pretty much stood still for him over the last two and a half decades.

Each morning he wakes up the first place his mind goes is to his daughter’s murder.

While desperate for answers about what happened to her and why, John tries to fill his mind with other things to distract himself.

But something he has noticed since JonBenét was killed is that he no longer allows himself to feel carefree or happy anymore.

“First of all, you feel guilty for feeling that way. Like you shouldn’t feel that way. So you don’t let that emotion temper down,” he said.

“It doesn’t rule or ruin my day anymore, but I saw a little girl who was about JonBenét’s age holding her dad’s hand walking down the street the other day, and that put a lump in my throat.

“So you get little reminders like that, of what you’ve lost.

“I met a mother who lost a child, and she told me, ‘You know, I feel like I have a hole in my heart and it won’t heal.’

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“And it doesn’t, you don’t get over it. You move on but you’re a different person.

“You’ve been hurt and that’s as hurt as you could be by the world.”

John and Patsy Ramsey were both exonerated of any wrongdoing by the DA's office in 2008


John and Patsy Ramsey were both exonerated of any wrongdoing by the DA’s office in 2008Credit: John Chapple for The US Sun
Burke will spend Christmas this year with his dad in Utah


Burke will spend Christmas this year with his dad in UtahCredit: YouTube/InsideEdition Suspicions around Burke Ramsey & mom Patsy are blasted by JonBenét’s dad as he makes emotional appeal to find her killer


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