New information has been released that revealed a grand jury voted to indict John and Patsy Ramsey for the tragic murder of their six year-old beauty pageant daughter, JonBenet Ramsey. The information also stated that the prosecutor in the case chose not to file any charges.
The grand jury determined John and Patsy Ramsey’s actions resulted in Jon Benet’s death. JonBenet Ramsey, 6, was found murdered in the basement of her parent’s Boulder, Colorado home on Christmas morning in 1996.
At 5:52 a.m., Patsy Ramsey hysterically called 911 and reported that she’d discovered a ransom note on the staircase. She stated that kidnappers wanted $118,000 for the return of their daughter.
Several hours later, John Ramsey and a family friend found JonBenet’s body in the basement of her home. The little beauty pageant queen had tape across her mouth and a ligature was buried deep in the skin of her neck.
The coroner determined the ligature was a garrote fashioned from court and a broken paintbrush from Patsy Ramsey’s art supplies. Additionally, the cord was also found bound around her right wrist.
In her autopsy, the coroner found that JonBenet has also suffered from a blow to the skull. Her death was rules as a result of asphyxia by strangulation associated with craniocerebral trauma.
Signs of vaginal trauma were also found however, the coroner was unable to determine if they preceded her death. The crime scene that had been contaminated made investigating JonBenet Ramsey’s death more difficult.
Up until April 30, 1997, the Ramsey’s had refused to submit to detailed police interviews. The case went before the grand jury in September 1998 after then-Governor Roy Romer forced D.A. Alex Hunter to explain the investigation into the little girl’s death.
The Daily Camera reported that even though the grand jury voted to indict the Ramsey’s, District Attorney Alex Hunter declined to prosecute. Hunter has maintained that there was not enough evidence to take the case to trial.
In October 13, 1999, Hunter said, “I and my prosecution task force believe we do not have sufficient evidence to warrant a filing of charges against anyone who has been investigated at this time.”
The Daily Camera interview on of the juror’s on the grand jury indictment. The juror said, “We didn’t know who did what but we felt the adults in the house may have done something that they certainly could have prevented, or they could have helped her, and they didn’t.”
Another member of the prosecution confirmed the indictment to the Daily Camera. Former Boulder First Assistant District Attorney Bill Wise confirmed the grand jury’s vote to the Camera. Wise said, “It [the indictment] names both of them, John and Patsy Ramsey.”
Hunter wasn’t the only person involved in the investigation who didn’t believe there was enough evidence to file charges. Lou Smit, an outside expert hired by the prosecution resigned from the case only a month after Hunter refused to take it to trial.
Smit stated that the reason he resigned as a part of the prosecution team was because he felt the evidence revealed that the Ramsey’s were being wrongly targeted.
John Ramsey’s attorney during the grand jury, Bryan Morgan commented on the situation. “If what you [the Daily Camera] report actually happened, then there were some very professional and brave people in Alex’s office and perhaps elsewhere whose discipline and training prevented a gross miscarriage of justice.”
The Ramsey’s have always maintained their innocence and have been fully exonerated of any involvement in JonBenet’s death. Patsy Ramsey died in 2006.
John Ramsey went on to remarry in 2011. In 2012, John Ramsey published a book regarding the death of his daughter.
The book, “The Other Side of Suffering: The Father of JonBenet Ramsey Tells the Story of His Journey from Grief to Grace” chronicles the pain of losing his daughter and finding a way to go on. Had JonBenet Ramsey lived, she would now be 22.
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