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Is it Fair to Name JonBenet Ramsey’s Brother a Suspect?

LOS ANGELES - JUN 2: CBS Emblem at the 4th Annual CBS TelevisioThe world was shocked when six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey was killed almost 20 years ago. The little girl, who regularly participated in beauty pageants, was murdered on either December 25 or 26, 1996. After a series of bizarre and troubling events, she was actually found in her basement despite the presence of a lengthy ransom note. Despite much speculation, the case has never been solved.

Almost immediately, her parents and brother were under suspicion. Something about the case didn’t (and still doesn’t) feel right. It was clear that someone was very angry at the little girl since she had suffered a skull fracture and had been strangled. Curiously, there was a piece of undigested pineapple in her tiny stomach. This detail has plagued investigators for years.

It was clear that the Ramseys showered JonBenet with attention and some had commented on the fact that their son, Burke, who was just nine years old at the time, seemed to be jealous. Neighbors claimed that he showed signs of having a temper and had hit his sister in the face with a golf club one time. Over time, however, the family was cleared of any wrongdoing and this all just ended up being a tragically unsolved mystery.

Television network, CBS, aired a two-part investigative series, The Case of JonBenét Ramsey, on September 18 and September 19, 2016. They recreated the Ramsey home and talked to people involved with the family and the case, as well as forensic analysts. In the end, the consensus was that Burke Ramsey had killed his sister. A lawyer for Burke has announced his intention to sue the network.

They may be completely right in their assessment of the murder. They may be accurate in who they have chosen as the murderer but when did we completely abandon the need for evidence? When did it become okay for a “team of experts” to make such a huge claim and damage or ruin the life of a potentially innocent young man? Have we stopped needing to prove someone’s guilt or has the public become the judge, jury, and executioner?

What do you think? Is it fair to name Burke (even if you agree that he’s guilty)?

Is it Fair to Name JonBenet Ramsey’s Brother a Suspect?

Jeanne Croteau

Jeanne has been a celebrity blogger for eight years and also teaches psychology at the college level. In addition to her passion for mental health, she is an avid reader, hockey fan and mother of four.

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APA Reference
Croteau, J. (2016). Is it Fair to Name JonBenet Ramsey’s Brother a Suspect?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 25, 2020, from


Last updated: 4 Nov 2016
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