Tuesday, March 30, 2010
“Statistics show that in the United States, 58,000 children are kidnapped by people other than their families each year, and 40 percent of them are slain in the end” (“The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2002”, china-embassy.org). Those who are returned are left with years of emotional damage that they must deal with, but in the case of JonBenet Ramsey the emotional damage was left for her friends and family to work past. What made JonBenet a case still remembered by many today? What exactly happened to JonBenet Ramsey that sent many into stage of grief? JonBenet Ramsey’s case is special for several reasons; JonBenet lived a short life, but a life so different from other six year olds, her death was considered cruel and unusual to many, the case did have several suspects, but has never been solved.
By the age of six, JonBenet was already an experienced model and pageant contestant. She had one over half a dozen crowns including being crowned Little Miss Colorado. Several pictures of JonBenet were of her in her showgirl costumes and bright lipstick that she loved to wear. ''Beauty pageants in particular blur the lines between what is cute and what is sensual,'' (Pappano, “Never too Young to be Perfect”), but those who knew JonBenet would describe her as a little girl with a beautiful spirit and who always seemed to bring happiness where ever she went. “JonBenet was a beautiful and typical 6 year old American child. She loved pigtails, she loved kitty cats, she loved blue jeans, she loved standing on her head,” (Ramsey, “A Memorial for JonBenet Ramsey”). JonBenet is still missed by many whom wish that they could reverse the events of December 26, 1996.
It was the morning after Christmas and Patsy Ramsey was on her way downstairs when she noticed something on the stairs, a ransom note. The ransom note was two and a half pages of anger toward John Ramsey and asked for 118,000 dollars for the safe return of John Benet. “You will withdraw $118,000 from your account. $100,000 will be in $100 bills and the remaining $18,000 in $20 bills” (“Full Text of the JonBenet Ransom Note”, http://www.cnn.com/US/9703/ramsey.case/documents/note.html). Patsy Ramsey then called 911 at 5:52 in the morning, to report JonBenet missing. The Boulder Colorado Police Department arrived and started to follow the terms of the ransom note gathering the money asked for and waiting for the reply of the kidnappers. Unfortunately eight hours after the call to 911 was made, John Ramsey found his six year old daughter lying dead on their basement floor (“Justice for JonBenet?”, http://www.cnn.com/US/9712/ 26/ramsey.year.later/).
JonBenet Ramsey’s life had been taken away from this earth in a malicious and destructive manner. “The murdered 6-year-old girl had a white cord wrapped around her neck that was attached to a stick with the word "Korea" written on it,” (Meyer, “JonBenet Ramsey Autopsy Report”). A full report of JonBenet’s autopsy was later published with objections by the police department. The report showed that the cause of death was asphyxia caused by strangulation. Unfortunately the coroner could not determine whether JonBenet had been sexually abused or not, though there was said to be inflammation of the vagina. The police are still baffled as to who could commit such a terrible crime against a little girl of six (Meyer, “JonBenet Ramsey Autopsy Report”).
Though the case has never been solved there have been many ideas as to what happened the day of JonBenet’s murder. The Police department has always thought of three people who may have committed the murder of JonBenet; her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, and John M. Karr, a school teacher who was arrested for child pornography. Patsy Ramsey was the only family member whose handwriting samples came back inconclusive when tested against the ransom note causing many to believe that she was the one who wrote the ransom note. Though John Ramsey’s handwriting samples proved that he was not the author of the ransom note, he is still under suspicion by the police because he was the one who discovered the body and some things didn’t seem to add up (“Justice for JonBenet?”, http://www.cnn.com/US/9712/26/ramsey.year.later/). John M. Karr, the only non-family member suspected of killing JonBenet was considered obsessed with her and was arrested for her death after sending several disturbing emails to a professor asking him to read them where JonBenet’s body was found. Unfortunately, DNA evidence left at the scene did not match so charges were dismissed leaving no strong suspects (Johnson, “Ramsey Case Suspect Cleared after DNA Test”).
Over ten years later, JonBenet’s murder is still unsolved, but her case will never be forgotten. JonBenet had her whole life before her; she was a pageant contestant on the rise and was known for her sparkling personality. Her murder was a terrible crime that has not been brought to justice yet, but many still are searching for answers. Sadly as years pass by the chance of answers dwindles so that we may never know who committed this terrible crime. We must all trust that JonBenet’s memory will be left unsoiled by the terrible act that brought about her untimely death. Her memory will live on inside of those who knew her hopefully bringing her loving personality to all.