The Today Show recently interviewed true-crime writer Aphrodite Jones about one of the most fascinating and still unsolved cold cases on record. The case of JonBenet Ramsey has never been solved even though it occurred 15 years ago. It is considered one of the most tragic American tragedies of our times.
In 1996 the beauty pageant star was found murdered in her home on Christmas Day. Jones, whose series "True Crime With Aphrodite Jones" airs on Investigation Discovery (ID) on Thursday nights, will kick off Season Two with never-before-seen home videos of the beautiful blonde child and her family.
Although JonBenet's parents, Patsy and John Ramsey were exonerated by DNA in 2008 as the killers, they were tragically tried, convicted and hung by the media and the world before that point.
If losing a child to murder is the worst thing in the world, having the whole world think you did it is a very close second. In some cases media outlets referred to the parents as sexual predators and child killers.
Patsy Ramsey died of cancer in 2006 at the age of 49 -- two years before DNA evidence cleared the family in the case. She died knowing that the whole world thought she killed the most precious person in her life.
On NBC's Today Show Jones said that "the JonBenet case is the biggest case next to Jack The Ripper."
Why is the JonBenet unsolved after all these years? Jones told Today "Well one of the reason's it's unsolved is because the investigation was botched by the Boulder police department. There was a kidnapping letter, so they thought this was a kidnapping. And they did not sweep the house. Because they were waiting for a call for ransom. And a police officer at the scene sent John Ramsey to go look to see if they missed anything in the house. And so John Ramsey finds his own daughter and becomes the immediate suspect."
Jones points out that John Ramsey, when finding his daughter, picked her up and took her out of the crime scene taking her upstairs (from the basement) which actually proves his innocence. Jones told Today "if he had killed his daughter, he never would have taken her out of the crime scene. He would have left the crime scene intact."
Jones said that there is new types of DNA evidence that can be looked at now to try and get more information on solving the case. The ID host told Today "what they're looking at and what they have found is something known as touch DNA. And that's a new form of DNA. Where they have actually found now, there was DNA under JonBenet's fingernails and DNA on JonBenet's underwear that was available to the police in 1997 but they did not share that with the DA. We did not know of it until 2008.
She continued "we don't expect that typically to be a territorial fight, who's right. And another thing with the new DNA, the touch DNA, they found a third marker of foreign DNA substance on JonBenet's nightgown."
Although Patsy Ramsey was initially a suspect because of her implication in the random note, that implication was also dismissed as a result of detailed analysis of the note.
Longest Ransom Note In History
Jones also explained that she had a textural analyst examine the ransom note which was found and based on the textural aspect of the ransom note and what they found was "the words used (in the note) were very masculine, strong words that women wouldn't typically say. But yet it seems like it was dictated by a male to a female. Indicating that there were actually two people who committed this crime. And the reason they say this is that it was the longest ransom note in history. Nobody sits and writes a three page ransom note."
Other evidence which was examined includes the two footprints found in the basement where JonBenet's body was found. According to Jones "one was a hi-tech sneaker that is clearly imprinted in the floor of that mud room. And the other, a partial footprint."
While preparing for her show about JonBenet's unsolved murder Jones spoke to John Ramsey about the case for "quite a long time."
Why The Ramsey Family Was Accused Of The Murder
She explains that the reason John and Patsy Ramsey were initially blamed for the death of their daughter was due to the fact "he's a stoic individual" and he and his wife "looked very composed from the get-go. They were dressed up, they were composed, they did not cry and beg the public to help them find the killer." As a result, the public judged them harshly and blamed them for JonBenet's death.
The show which airs on Thursday (March 31, 2011) will revisit all the evidence from the case with forensics experts and will provide a new understanding of how the police botched the case so badly.
During the broadcast Jones will also look into the suspicious suicide of a local man who was found dead the day after the chief of police went on TV to make a plea to the killer. Not only did the man have the same boots with the words "hi-tec" on the soles as the footprints found at the scene of the murder, but his supposed "suicide," which was almost physically impossible to have been self-inflicted, was not properly investigated, either.
Not only is there tremendous public interest in what happened to JonBenet, it is a case that hopefully can be solved to completely exonerate the Ramsey family for the tremendous pain and suffering they have endured throughout this entire ordeal.
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