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tv   CNN Special Report The Murder of Jon Benet  CNN  December 17, 2016 5:00pm-6:01pm PST

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probation, but again, a hug at the end of all of it. thank you so much for joining us tonight. next on cnn, a cnn special report. "the murder of jonbenet." then, he was the star of the personal transformation moment, but james arthur ray pushed too far. "enlighten us," a cnn film tonight at 9:00. i'm poppy harlow in new york. i'll see you back here tomorrow night. have a good night. the following is a cnn special report. >> police. 755 15th street. >> what's going on there, ma'am? >> it is one of the greatest unsolved crimes in history. >> we have a kidnapping. there's a ransom note here. >> a little girl vanishes from home christmas night. >> it's just like you got hit in the stomach. where's my child? >> hours later, she's found strangled to death. >> i couldn't do anything but scream.
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>> keep your babies close to you. there's someone out there. >> surreal images of the pageant star transfixed the nation. >> you were a stage mother? >> probably. what's wrong with that? >> no charges have ever been filed. nobody ever convicted. tonight, the theories. secrets. and bombshells. >> please hurry. hurry, hurry. >> patsy. patsy. patsy. >> a cnn special report. "the murder of jonbenet." if you could say something to jonbenet now? >> she knew she was loved. i told her every day i love her, and i still do with my kids when i talk to them. as a father, i'm just sorry i didn't protect her.
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i'm sorry. >> december 26th, 1996. a brisk, clear morning in boulder, colorado. john ramsey was up before dawn. >> we were planning to get up early and fly to michigan to meet my older kids for, like, a second christmas. our normal routine like that, if we're going to go somewhere, is let the kids stay in bed. and then, when we're ready to go, we get them up and then we go. they might stay in their pajamas in the car. ramsey's personal pilot, michael archeletto, was all set to take the family there. >> he told me about different people he flew for, but he really liked john and patsy and
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the children, jonbenet and burke. >> pam barday sometimes joined her husband on flights with the ramseys. >> they loaded the plane on the 25th with presents and michael went out there early to get the plane warmed up and ready. >> it was quite early in the morning, and i had gotten dressed and was on my way to the kitchen to make some coffee. >> i was shaving, i guess, in the bathroom. >> and we had a back staircase from the bedroom areas, and i always come down that staircase and am usually the first one down. and the note was lying across the run of one of the stair
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treads, and it was kind of dimly lit. it was just very early in the morning. and i started to read it, and it was addressed to john. >> a terrifying message scrawled across three pages. >> it said, we have your daughter. >> i just heard patsy scream. i could tell by her scream that something horrible was going on. i didn't know what. >> i immediately ran back upstairs and pushed open her door and she was not in her bed. >> it's just like you just got hit in the stomach. this horrible feeling. like, where's my child? >> their 6-year-old daughter, jonbenet, was gone. now john read the letter.
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>> i read it very fast. i was out of my mind. it said, don't call the police. i told patsy to call the police immediately and i think i ran through the house a bit. >> we went to check our son. >> checked my son's room. sometimes she sleeps in there. >> there was no sign of jonbenet in her brother burke's room. >> did you tell patsy to make that 911 call? >> yeah. she was standing by the phone. >> police. >> what's going on? >> 755 15th street. >> what's going on there, ma'am? >> we have a kidnapping. hurry, please. >> explain to me what's going on, okay? >> she was trying to calm me down, and i was just screaming. you know, send help, send help. there's a note left and our daughter's gone. there's a ransom note here. oh, my god, please. >> okay. >> call somebody. >> i am, honey. >> please. >> take a deep breath.
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>> please. hurry, hurry, hurry. >> pat ssy. patsy. patsy. >> the phone rang early at pam barday's house, too. >> john said, where's michael? i said, he's out at the plane. what's wrong? what's up? he said, they've got jonbenet. she's gone, they've got her. i said, what do you mean they've got her? she's been kidnapped. >> boulder police officer fred patterson was one of the first detectives on the scene. >> it was a very rapid response once i knew what we were going to. >> i met him at the front door and told him what was happening and he said, do you think she just ran away? i said, she's 6 years old. heavens no. >> there were no signs of a struggle in the house. there was no signs of forced entry there were no footprints outside the house. >> i was thinking, you know, close the roads. roadblocks. close the airport. you know, what are we doing
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here? and you assume the police know what they're doing. >> sarr sergeant robert whitson arrived and quickly read the ransom note. >> speaking to anyone about your situation will result in your daughter being beheaded. i had been a police officer almost 22 years when this happened. i was totally unaware of any other cases like this where you had a child that was taken for a ransom. i called the fbi. they were one of the first phone calls i made. >> denver fbi agent ron walker took the call and was soon faxed a photo of jonbenet. >> i was kind of flabbergasted. my national impression was, this is a much older girl, 13, 14, maybe even 15 years old. beautifully coifed hair, a lot of makeup. coming up -- red flags. >> in my mind, it was a bogus
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note. this was not really a kidnapping. i thought to myself, we're going to find this girl's body somewhere. this is going to turn out to be a murder. (vo) it's the holidays at verizon, and the best deals are on the best network. with no surprise overages, you can use your data worry free and even carry over the data you don't use. and right now get four lines and 20 gigs for only $40 per line. you'll even get the iphone 7, the samsung galaxy s7, the pixel phone by google, or the motoz droid for only $10 per month. no trade-in required. hurry, these offers end soon. get the best deals and the best network, only on verizon.
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anomaly in town, in some ways, because they were from the south. i don't think they ever felt entirely comfortable in the sort of granola haven of boulder, a place that, you know, disdained mink coats. >> it's a beautiful spot, but very different than what we were used to. we were business people in a near socialist economy. so, it was very strange. >> it was an adjustment for patsy ramsey as well. family friend pam barday. >> she was used to a more formal atmosphere of atlanta. and we were very laid back in boulder. and she always dressed up. she looked beautiful everywhere she went. she said she still had her tiaras and her gowns. >> patsy was once a beauty queen and had been crowned miss west virginia. john was a navy pilot and a divorced father of three children when he and patsy met. they married and had a son. >> burke was like, you know,
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typical boy. >> and a daughter, jonbenet. >> she was very proud that she was named after me because my name is john bennett ramsey. she just had this effervescent personality, just like patsy. just, tah-dah, here i am. >> home had been atlanta, georgia, where jonbenet was born in 1990. the family moved to boulder the next year to expand john's software company. the business grew quickly. the ramseys owned a private plane and bought this 7,000-square foot house in town. do you remember the first time you ever came here? >> i do. it was a christmas party. every room was decorated with huge trees. patsy gave us a personal tour of every room. you couldn't help but be excited and happy with patsy around. she just always had fun. >> energetic and beautiful, jonbenet seemed to be following
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in her mother's footsteps. >> she loved to perform. my hope was she didn't run off to hollywood and be a movie star. >> i think patsy wanted her daughter to have the same opportunities she did. i don't believe she pushed her at all. jonbenet seemed to like dressing up in these beautiful dresses, and she liked the attention. >> but was there too much attention on the ramseys? in 1994, the family opened up their home for a christmas tour. >> this is jonbenet. she's 4. burke is 7. >> and just five days before the crime in 1996, the family was in the news. john's company, access graphics, had cleared $1 billion in profit that year. two days later, jonbenet performed at the mall. ♪ rocking around the christmas
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tree ♪ ♪ at the christmas party hop >> at 6 years old, she had become a little local celebrity. >> she was in the christmas parade. had a float with her name on the side. a big mistake. it gets back to this protecting your children. we let a lot of people into our home, and we thought it was an ozzie and harriet kind of place and turned out it wasn't. >> christmas morning of 1996, that seemed like a wonderful morning. >> well, we had a big christmas planned that year. >> jonbenet got a bicycle? >> uh-huh. she wasn't great at it. we went out in the back. i was kind of holding the seat, and she would be able to get going. >> this was the last photo taken of jonbenet. it is forever etched in her father's memory. >> and i remember that, that she wanted to keep riding her bike, and, oh, we got to go. we had to go out to some friends, and, so, daddy, mreets,
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just, one more time, let's do it one more time, and i said, well, we'll do it later. of course, there was no later. >> the family drove home after christmas dinner with friends. >> we left about 9:00, 9:30, something like that, because we knew we had to get up early in the morning. >> jonbenet was asleep? >> she had fallen asleep in the car, so, she was asleep when we got home. so, i carried her upstairs, and laid her on her bed and then patsy came up and got her into bed. >> later, burke told police about the last night with his sister. >> when's the last time that you saw jonbenet alive? >> probably in the car. tired. laying down. >> the morning after christmas
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the ramseys' storybook life was shattered. >> police. 755 15th street. >> what's going on, ma'am? >> we have a kidnapping. hurry, please. >> the note said not to call 911, right? but you did anyway. >> we couldn't have waited. we'd of gone mad. >> please, hurry, hurry, hurry. >> in the note, the kidnappers specified a ransom amount of $118,000 and said they'd call between 8:00 and 10:00 with instructions on how to pay up. >> i called a friend of mine who was my banker, and he raised our credit limit on our visa card to $118,000. >> by 9:00 a.m., john secured the cash and took burke to a friend's house. hours went by, but no word from the kidnappers. >> we were waiting for the call. it was torture. >> at this point, investigators
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were getting suspicious. >> and i'm still working kidnapping here. although the note is just really bothering me. when we come back -- chaos. >> hold, hold, hold. >> and condemnations. >> let's eliminate every other possibility, so we can prove the parents did it.
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i'll always remember the day after christmas 1996. the jux pa ju the juxtaposition of the crime scene tape and the oversized candy canes straddling the sidewalk. >> it was noon. six hours had passed since patsy ramsey had called 911. their little girl, jonbenet, was still missing. police combed the house, trying to figure out how an intruder could have gotten in. one possibility? an open window in the basement, but that with us dismissed quickly. >> the window well had cobwebs on it. you can't go through cobwebs without disturbing them. >> officers examined the ransom note and tapped the phone. >> the kidnapping note said, i'm going to call you between 8:00 and 10:00. >> as the deadline came and
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went, john ramsey was pacing, so, police asked him to search the house for clues. >> one of the detectives asked me and my friend, who was there, to go through every inch of the house. started in the basement. we have one -- one room in the basement that -- there are no windows in that room. when i opened the door and when i turned the light on, i -- i hoped that she was still okay, but i could tell that she probably wasn't. >> jonbenet's body was covered in a blanket. did you take duct tape off her mouth? >> i took the duct tape off immediately and tried to untie her hands, but the knot was way too tight. i couldn't get -- i couldn't get it loose. i couldn't do anything but scream. >> and john ramsey carried his
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daughter, rigid from rigor mortis, up the stairs and set her body down on the floor. >> later, horrifying details emerged. jonbenet had been brutally tortured and strangled. >> we were no longer looking at a straight kidnapping, we were looking at now a homicide. >> made more complicated by a contaminated crime scene. >> we had victims' advocates there, we had uniformed police, we had detectives, people were in the kitchen making sandwiches. >> who knows who was upstairs, who knows who was downstairs. >> late that afternoon, john and patsy brought their son home from a friend's house. burke later told police what happened next. >> i thought jonbenet was going to be there. >> i thought they found her. so, i came in, real excited. kind of -- almost relieved. and i saw everyone was sad inside. and my dad told me that jonbenet
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was in heaven. >> on new year's eve in their hometown, atlanta, georgia, the family buried jonbenet. >> i think it's the worst thing a human being can experience is the loss of a child. >> but things for john and patsy were about to get even worse. investigators had grown suspicious. >> a lot of things didn't make sense. why would they leave a ransom note with her body still in the house? >> my first impression was that this guy wrote the magna carta. >> you will withdraw $118,000 from your account. >> if i were kidnapping this guy's daughter, i'd ask for a quarter million, half million, $1 million, so, the amount of money is just really odd to me. >> the ramseys thought so, too. >> what's that mean? we looked at psalm 118. was it a biblical reference? where did this number come from? >> when did it hit you that the
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$118,000 equated to your christmas bonus? >> it didn't, initially, because thabo news had actually occurred a year earlier, in january of '96, but it was on every pay stub that i got. >> police asked the ramseys for handwriting samples. john gave them two note pads. >> these pads were pads that were kept by the telephone and each -- john and patsy had their own pads. >> detectives concluded the ransom note was written on pages torn out of patsy's notepad. >> also examination of that pad showed that somebody had started a ransom note at one time and then abandoned it. >> did the kidnapper write a practice note? over the next few weeks, other clues heightened police suspicions towards patsy. >> the garrote was fashioned from a paint brush, which came from patsy's painting supplies. >> she was wearing the same outfit she was wearing the night before.
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>> there was significance derived by some observers from that fact, in that papatsy, a former miss west virginia, would never be seen wearing the same thing twice. >> and police accused both the ramseys of acting peculiar. >> they never really reacted like parents. if it was my daughter that had been killed, i'd be sitting at the police department every day. >> there's been so much publicity, saying the ramseys wouldn't talk with police. >> no, that's total fiction. we talked to them in the home, went down to the basement, talked to them. they kept persisting, we've got to take you down to the police station. >> instead, the ramseys both hired attorneys and gave their first interview, not to the police, but to cnn. >> do you want water before we start, or -- >> i would like a drink. yeah. yeah, that was a mistake. it was a decision we made, but not under our right state of mind. >> you believe that someone outside your home -- >> there is a killer on the
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loose. >> absolutely. >> everybody thought it was bizarre at the time, especially patsy, who looked drugged up and just had to be going through a living hell, but at the same time, i'm looking at john ramsey looking at her. she was the emotional one and he was the ice king. >> keep your babies close to you. there's someone out there. when we return -- theories and suspects. >> this is another thing that made this suitable for the tabloids. i mean, on the suspect list is santa claus. i'ts your tv, take it with you. with directv and at&t,
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i we worked with pg&eof to save energy because wenie. wanted to help the school. they would put these signs on the door to let the teacher know you didn't cut off the light. the teachers, they would call us the energy patrol. so they would be like, here they come, turn off your lights! those three young ladies were teaching the whole school
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about energy efficiency. we actually saved $50,000. and that's just one school, two semesters, three girls. together, we're building a better california. as christmas 1996 turned into the new year 1997, the story of the 6-year-old girl murdered in boulder, colorado, blew up worldwide. >> jonbenet ramsey. >> it started with those videos of jonbenet and her outfits. juxtaposing that with the horrendous killing and it took
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off from there. were you a stage mother, honestly? >> probably. what's wrong with that? >> those pageants were really turned around on you. >> that was something jonbenet and patsy did for fun. we loved our children dearly and yet, people don't like rich people, so, we kind of became that character for people to hate. >> john ramsey says that sentiment was spurred on by the cops in boulder. >> we just didn't trust the police, for good reason. they put out volumes of misinformation and false information to bring pressure on us. >> police denied that allegation and with the ramseys reduced cooperation, built a case against them, with evidence revealed in the autopsy. jonbenet had been the victim of a violent attack. the skull fracture. eight and a half inches long.
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>> this was a forceful impact. this was not something that could be done by just normal rough housing or playing around. following that impact, the assailant placed a tightly applied ligature around her neck. >> slowly torturing her, and then, when they were through, they pulled that cord very hard, and strangled her. >> the report had another gruesome detail. there were spots of blood on jonbenet's underwear, a possible sign of sexual assault. >> there are injuries to the genitalia. typically, a sexual assault of a child like this would result in more profound and significant injuries. >> yet rumors floated that john ramsey sexually abused his daughter. john denied the accusation and jonbenet's pediatrician refuted the theory of ongoing molestation.
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>> absolutely, categorically, no, i do not think she was sexually abused. >> the blood in jonbenet's underpants was critical in another way. >> it did identify a dna profile. >> forensic testing uncovered the dnao an unknown male. the ramseys were not a match. yet detectives zeroed in on patsy ramsey. their speculation? she accidentally killed jonbenet and john helped cover it up. but what kind of accident would cause patsy to murder jonbenet? investigators had a theory. >> she had a bedwetting problem. a serious bedwetting problem that was ongoing for years. >> some believed frustration with jonbenet's bedwetting that night caused patsy to snap. or maybe it was something else that set patsy off. investigators focused on a
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curious finding in the autopsy. >> the small intestine is described as containing fragmented fruit material, which may represent fragments of pineapple. >> but the ramseys had said they put jonbenet to bed right after the car ride home, and had no memory of her eating pineapple. >> that became a contentious point. i said, look i could say i forgot, i gave her pineapple, but i didn't. that's the truth. >> subsequently, both patsy ramsey and burke ramsey's fingerprints were found on that bowl. >> that led to another police theory. >> i'm just wondering if at some point, jonbenet came back down to the kitchen, had gotten pineapple out and patsy just lost it. after that, it was all cover-up. >> and police were still suspicious about the ransom note. the ramseys had submitted multiple handwriting samples.
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>> john's definitively was cleared. and i'm scored a 4.5 out of 5. 5 is definitely no match. >> there are investigators who say that patsy ramsey could not be excluded as an author. it's very subjective. >> three months after jonbenet's murder, police were no closer to an arrest. the d.a. made a bold move, hiring veteran homicide detective lou schmidt. >> perhaps at first, i leaned towards the parents doing it, but as i got into the case, i started seeing red flags, which started pointing the other way. >> the case took on a whole new turn. schmidt found evidence at the crime scene he thought directly pointed away from the ramseys and to an intruder. first, an open and broken window in the basement. police had dismissed it when they first searched the house, claiming the window was too small for an adult to fit through. schmidt begged to differ and made his own demo.
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>> it really wasn't that difficult coming in that window. >> and something else intriguing. john ramsey had noticed it, too. >> that suitcase doesn't belong there. it looked like it was a step, you know, to get out of the window. >> there is evidence on top of that suitcase, a very small tiny pea-sized piece of glass, which could have come off the shoe of the intruder. >> evidence for schmidt's intruder theory was stacking up. >> there was a scuff mark down the wall, there was leaves and debris on the floor directly below that open window. >> police claim the evidence did not hold up, and still pointed to the ramseys. >> the window well had cobwebs on it. that were undisturbed. this person had to go out without leaving footprints. >> so, was it an intruder or an inside job? a sadistic stranger or a monster at home? when we return, john and
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patsy open up to police at last. >> i don't give a flying flip. go back to the damn drawing board. i didn't do it. this is your daughter. and she just got this. ooh boy. but, you've got hum. so you can set this. and if she drives like this, you can tell her to drive more like this. because you'll get this. you can even set boundaries for so if she should be here, but instead goes here, here, or here. you'll know. so don't worry, mom. because you put this, in here. hum by verizon. the technology designed to make your car smarter, safer and more connected. put some smarts in your car.
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so we know how to cover almost almoanything.hing, even a rodent ride-along. [dad] alright, buddy, don't forget anything! [kid] i won't, dad... [captain rod] happy tuesday morning! captain rod here. it's pretty hairy out on the interstate.traffic is literally crawling, but there is some movement on the eastside overpass. getting word of another collision. [burke] it happened. december 14th, 2015. and we covered it. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ there goes my sensitive bladder. sound familiar? then you'll love this. incredible protection in a pad this thin. i didn't think it would work, but it does. it's called always discreet watch this. this super absorbent core turns liquid to gel,
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february 1997, two months after the brutal murder of jonbenet ramsey. d.a. alex hunter delivered an ominous message. >> i mentioned the list of suspects narrows. soon, there will be no one on the list but you. >> it's an untold part of this story is how many leads these guys chased down. >> that's another thing that made this suitable for tabloids.
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i mean, on the suspect list is santa claus. and a guy who had been in the ramsey house playing santa. >> john ramsey later told police he thought santa claus was a strong possibility. >> you got any ideas who this could be? >> bill mcreynolds. he and jonbenet had a special little bond. she worshipped him as santa claus. >> we later find out his daughter had been kidnapped something like a decade before, his wife had written a play about a little girl who was killed. >> it seemed a good lead, but after multiple dna and writing samples, mcreynolds and his wife were cleared. john also pointed to their housekeeper and her husband. >> linda hoffman pew had been employed by the ramseys for a while. she had asked patsy to borrow $2,000 shortly before christmas. >> police searched the housekeeper's home and found possible evidence linking the couple to jonbenet.
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>> for example, the duct tape and the cord that was found. >> but their alibis checked out and dna and handwriting didn't match. detectives had their eyes on other suspects. a convicted sex offender who carried a photo of jonbenet in his wallet. and a boulder journalist who once wrote an article about john's company. but none of these people were charged. police were desperate to talk to their prime suspects. after four months of refusing to cooperate, the ramseys finally sat down with police in april of 1997. two more formal interrogations followed. >> i'm talking about scientific evidence. >> i don't give a flying flip how sicientific it is. go back to the damn drawing board. i didn't do it. >> despite countless days of heated interrogation, there was
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no confession and no charges. >> how about the theory that this was an accident? somebody was upset over bedwetting. >> you're going down the wrong path, buddy. this $100,000 reward -- >> then, the ramseys took their case to the public. >> you may be eluding the authorities for a time, but god knows who you are and we will find you. >> the police never did. so, some investigators turned to the other person in the house that night, jonbenet's 9-year-old brother, burke. rumors swirled that he possibly killed jonbenet in a jealous fit of rage. but police officer fred patterson didn't see it. >> i found nothing that would indicate he even knew she was dead. >> burke had never spoken publicly about jonbenet. but on the 20th anniversary of her death, he sat down for his first ever interview with tv's dr. phil.
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>> did you hit your sister over the head with a baseball bat or flashlight? >> absolutely not. >> if someone in your house did, do you think you would have heard it? >> probably, yeah. >> adding fuel to the burke theory, reports surfaced that there was more to that 911 call his mother made. the ramseys had said burke slept through the drama. >> we have a kidnapping. hurry, please. >> detectives enhanced the 911 audio. there were a few extra seconds at the end of the call after patsy thought she had hung up. >> please, hurry, hurry, hurry. >> patsy, patsy, patsy. patsy? >> some insisted they heard a third voice in the background. >> we do know that burke's voice is on there, saying, what did you say? or what did he say, or something to that nature. they lied about burke being awake at the time the 911 call
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was made. >> the ramseys fired back. >> some police claim they think they hear that. we would challenge the police to release that tape. >> make it all public. >> let's make it public. >> they never did. burke was eventually cleared as a suspect, and to this day whatever is heard at the end of that 911 call is a mystery. nearly two years after the murderle of jonbenet ramsey, the investigation was frozen. the boulder district attorney convened a grand jury. the proceedings were top secret, but what we do know is that for the next 13 months, jurors heard testimony covering every detail of the case. john and patsy ramsey were not asked to testify. >> we were fully prepared to be indicted at the end of the grand jury. i mean, we dealt with a custody letter for burke. he was going to go with my brother. we signed the papers to do that. >> finally, the d.a. came forward with the long awaited
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news. >> the boulder grand jury has completed its work. no charges have been filed. >> the headlines said it all, the nation was stumped. john and patsy ramsey would not be charged and neither would anyone else. >> i think there was a collective feeling of, oh, no, we're never going to know who murdered this little girl. >> a decade after jonbenet's murder, tragedy struck the family again. patsy died after a long battle with cancer. she is buried next to jonbenet. >> patsy was a wonderful woman. she and i against the world is how it felt. coming up -- >> the fbi has arrested a suspect. >> weeks after patsy's death, a shocking twist. >> i was with jonbenet when she died.
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by 2006, the case of jonbenet ramsey had been cold for a decade. >> it was like a game of clue that everybody involved could have had something to do about the murder. >> the fbi has arrested a suspect in the case -- >> then just weeks after patsy ramsey's death came a giant break in the case. >> john mark carr, 41 years old, was arrested for the murder of jonbenet ramsey. >> a confession by a schoolteacher in thailand surfaced out of the blue.
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>> i was with jonbenet when she died. her death was an accident. >> carr was a guy who had been obsessed with the jonbenet case for many years. >> it was another bizarre turn to the bizarre case. >> i always knew that whatever this guy had to say wasn't going to hold water, unless he was the source of that dna in the panties. >> so investigators followed the physical evidence. comparing a small amount of unidentified dna found on jonbenet's underwear with carr's dna. there was no match. after two weeks of drama and false hopes, john mark carr was not the killer. >> turned out that he was just a nut case. he'd arrived back from thailand and got one at the expense of the state. >> after the john mark carr debacle, the case stalled again. then, in 2008, jonbenet was back
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in the headlines. >> new dna tests have cleared the family of the child beauty queen jonbenet ramsey -- >> new touch dna evidence was found by guessing where jonbenet's killer handled her pajama bottoms. forensic scientist angela williamson led the work. >> whoever committed this offense pulled down her long johns then pulled them back up because she was found dressed. >> technicians tested on both sides of the long johns waistband. >> it's the same dna. it's the same male that's in the underpants that's on the side of the long johns. >> tests a decade apart revealed the same unknown male on two pieces of jonbenet's clothing. this led to one of the most controversial moments in this sensational case. a letter of apology to the ramseys from the boulder d.a. >> to come out and say we
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definitely conclude that these folks can be exonerated is an inaccurate portrayal of the evidence. >> current boulder d.a., stan garnett, says an apology to the ramseys was inappropriate. >> it created an impression that the evidence in the case is much clearer than it is. the evidence is very compromised. >> after a dozen years of being suspects, the entire ramsey family was officially cleared. >> people have asked me was that like a celebratory moment? well, no, it was like, okay, now let's solve the case. >> but the case went cold again. then in 2013, another bombshell. >> i had a strong sense that there was a huge story here that had been missed. >> dogged reporter charlie brennan investigated and broke a shocking story. >> i was able to persuade several grand jurors to confirm for me the fact that they had
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voted to indict. >> no charges have been filed. >> the grand jury decision 14 years earlier was not as it had been portrayed. jurors had actually voted to charge john and patsy ramsey. brennan wanted to get ahold of the grand jury's decision, himself. he went to court. >> i don't think most could believe it. he won and they unsealed those grand jury records in 2013, and it was quite illuminating. >> 17 years after jonbenet's murder, the court released four true bills or written decisions from the grand jury. the jury recommended indicting john and patsy ramsey for child abuse resulting in death and accessory to first-degree murder. >> there is insufficient evidence to bring charges at this time. >> alex hunter, the d.a. at the time, declined to prosecute the ramseys. hunter would not return our
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calls. he must have been shocked. >> shocked would be accurate. it's extremely unusual that a district attorney not sign an indictment when a grand jury returns a true bill. >> with the charges that the grand jury had voted to indict, are they referring to a third person? >> it does appear that the theory they were looking at assumed that maybe someone other than the two ramsey parents had been involved in what happened. >> john ramsey, although well aware of the grand jury's decision, has his own opinion. >> what we were indicted for, which was nonsense, was child abuse. resulting in death. and we were told, well you didn't protect your child. and that's true. i mean, i regret that i didn't set the burglar alarm or check the windows. >> what about accessory? they also voted to indict an accesso accessory. >> really? i don't know that. i don't know even what that
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means, frankly. >> meaning that you and patsy helped someone else. >> really? well, that's absurd. that's just absurd. >> there are those who speculate that someone else was burt. jonbenet's big both brother. he sat down for his very first interview ever with dr. phil. >> what do you need to start looking for the person who actually did it? >> you know, burt didn't act right. he was smiling when he was talking. come on. burt is a wonderful young man. i'm very proud of him. >> ramsey says accusations like this motivate him to keep trying to solve the case. >> because patsy's been accused of being a murderer, because now burt has been accused, the only way that's really going to be resolved is to find the killer. >> today, john ramsey works out west in the aviation world. he remarried and enjoys a quiet, anonymous life off the beaten
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path. his little girl is never too far from his thoughts. she would have been 26 years old this year. >> i'm grateful i had her in my life for six years. and i know where she is. she's in heaven. i'll see her again. >> her tombstone says december 25th. >> uh-huh. >> december 25th, even though jonbenet's body was found the day after christmas. >> i debated that. it was mainly to remember and remind the world that there is evil. the worst kind of evil you could ever imagine. that murdered a beautiful child on christmas night. silent night. my child was murdered. >> jonbenet ramsey's murder remains unsolved.
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