The years since JonBenét Ramsey’s death have been shrouded in confusion and speculation. Her brother Burke Ramsey — once thought to be the primary suspect in the murder investigation — believes the case is not as tough to crack as it’s been painted.
During a three-part interview on “Dr. Phil” Ramsey, who was just 9 years old when JonBenét was brutally killed, assured host Phil McGraw that no members of the Ramsey family were to blame. In fact, Burke said the public pointing their fingers at him, his mother Patsy and his father John Ramsey “blows my mind.” Burke questioned what more evidence would need to come forward beyond the family having been cleared by investigators for speculation to stop. In addition to being clear on who didn’t do it, Burke claimed to know who is responsible for JonBenét’s death nearly 20 years ago. Burke alleged that it was “probably some pedophile in the pageant audience.”
While Burke maintains that neither he nor his parents played a part in killing JonBenét, not everyone is so convinced. Retired FBI supervisory special agent and forensic linguistic profiler James R. Fitzgerald, who participated in one of several recently released interviews related to the unsolved mystery, is holding firm to his doubts about the innocence of the Ramsey family — namely JonBenét’s older brother. Fitzgerald participated in the CBS docuseries “The Case Of: JonBenét Ramsey,” where he shared his experiences working on the case. Following the show’s premiere, he sat down with E! News to pick apart Burke’s “Dr. Phil” appearance, telling the publication that he noticed strange “language being used as well as facial tics and features.” Fitzgerald also pointed out that Burke frequently used “hand movements” when answering some questions, which raised red flags for him. He compared the footage to some taken shortly after JonBenét’s death, citing several similarities.
“Almost 20 years apart, the characteristics displayed in both sets of video are not all that different from a young boy to an adult. There’s something more there than meets the eye,” Fitzgerald said. “I give Dr. Phil credit, he seemed to ask most of the right questions and he asked them a few different ways.”
Footage from parts of the “Dr. Phil” interview was released on Sept. 12 and showed Burke being asked some hard-hitting questions. In one clip, McGraw was shown recalling a baseball bat and flashlight believed by authorities to be evidence in the case. He asked Burke flat out whether he killed his sister, which elicited an emotional response. The clip cut off before Burke answered the question, forcing those looking for answers to tune in for more. Another preview video showed Burke discussing life after JonBenét was killed, revealing that he became something of a shut-in.
“I guess I kind of like to avoid conflict, or I don’t know, I guess I just felt safer there,” he said (via Cosmopolitan). “I’m not the worried type. I guess part of me doesn’t want to know what’s going on.”
A number of programs have been released regarding the JonBenét Ramsey murder in recent weeks. On Sept. 12, I.D. released “JonBenét: An American Murder Mystery,” which featured interviews with former Colorado Springs detectives, a number of private investigators hired by the Ramsey family, a neighbor who hand crafted JonBenét’s pageant gowns and John Mark Karr, who famously made a false confession of guilt in the case. On Sept. 5 A&E premiered “The Killing of JonBenét: The Truth Uncovered,” which focused on her family members. In previews for the special, her father stated that he felt the media handled the case incorrectly, adding that the Ramsey family had been “the victims of a lynch mob.”
JonBenét was killed on Christmas day in 1996. She was discovered by authorities beaten and strangled in the basement of their family home. No one was ever charged.