In Old Interview, JonBenet's Brother Recalls Day of Killing

A&E documentary includes police interview with Burke
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2016 5:33 AM CDT
Did JonBenet's Killer Use a Stun Gun?
In this Jan. 3, 1997, file photo, a police cruiser sits outside the home in which 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey was found murdered.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

A&E kicked off what Rolling Stone calls "television's most anticipated true-crime event of the season" with its documentary re-examining JonBenet Ramsey's murder as the 20th anniversary of her death approaches. One new bit was a never-before-seen police interview with brother Burke from 1998, two years after the killing. Burke—9 at the time of the murder—told police he recalled his mother entering his room in a panic, turning on the light, looking around, and rushing back out again. He remained in his room amid the chaos because he was "just so scared." "I just heard my mom going psycho," he said, per People. He said he learned his sister was dead only after going with his parents to the home of a family friend later, expecting to see her there. "I thought they found her," he said. "I came in excited ... almost relieved ... then my dad told me that JonBenet was in heaven."

The Killing of JonBenet: The Truth Uncovered revisited some familiar terrain: Investigator Lou Smit, who died in 2010, was able to squeeze into the Ramsey's home in Boulder, Colo., through a cellar window, meaning an intruder might have done the same. Smit said a smudge on a wall and a footprint below the window backed up the theory. He also suspected marks on JonBenet's face and back came from a stun gun. "I think that the unescapable conclusion is that an unidentified male committed this crime," said a forensic scientist, per US Weekly, based on DNA results from blood in JonBenet's underwear. Parents John and Patsy Ramsey were exonerated, though author Paula Woodward blames false leaks to the press for keeping suspicions about them in play. "Not a single leak was true: There was no snow around the house. No handwriting expert has ever concluded that Patsy wrote the [ransom] notes. John didn't leave the home that evening, nor was any porn found." (An old suspect was recently charged with child porn.)

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