The JonBenét Ramsey Murder: A Detailed Timeline

 JonBenét Ramsey [Wikipedia]

Wednesday, December 25, 1996: The last time that six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey was seen alive. After attending a party with family friends, Patsy claimed she put JonBenét to bed. John and JonBenét’s nine-year-old brother Burke were also in the house.

Thursday, December 26, 1996: Patsy Ramsey calls police at 5:52 A.M. and says that her daughter has been kidnapped and reports finding the ransom note. The note claims to be from “a small foreign faction” and demands $118,000 in cash. Police arrive and begin their investigation, but fail to secure the crime scene. That afternoon, John Ramsey searches the home and discovers JonBenét’s body in a spare room in the basement. She had been strangled with a garrote, and her mouth and neck had been bound with duct tape.


A photo posted by JonBenet Ramsey (@jonbenet_support_group) on

Monday, December 30, 1996: Police announce that they have taken blood and hair samples from John Ramsey and other members of the family. Police also say that John Andrew Ramsey and Melinda Ramsey — JonBenét’s adult half-siblings — were out of town the day of the murder.

Tuesday, December 31, 1996: JonBenét is buried in Marietta, Georgia, next to her half-sister Elizabeth, who was killed in a 1992 car crash.

JonBenét Ramsey's grave at Saint James Episcopal Cemetery in Marietta, Georgia. [Taurusrus (Panoramio) via Wikimedia Commons]

JonBenét Ramsey’s grave at Saint James Episcopal Cemetery in Marietta, Georgia. [Taurusrus (Panoramio) via Wikimedia Commons]

Friday, January 3, 1997: Investigators announce that the ransom note appears to have been torn from a tablet of paper found in the house — which would mean that JonBenét’s killer would have had to have written the note after arriving at the house.

Thursday, February 13, 1997: Police Chief Tom Koby and District Attorney Alex Hunter hold a news conference to vow that the killer will be brought to justice. Hunter announces the formation of an Expert Prosecution Task Force, including forensic expert Henry Lee and DNA expert Barry Scheck. Both Lee and Scheck were involved with the O.J. Simpson defense team.

Friday, March 7, 1997: Handwriting analysis appears to show that John Ramsey did not write the ransom note demanding $118,000 for his daughter, but could not rule out Patsy Ramsey as the author.

Related: The 5 Most “Out There” JonBenét Theories: Satanic Nazis, 9/11, Illuminati & More

Wednesday, April 30, 1997: Police conduct their long-awaited interviews with John and Patsy Ramsey.

Thursday, August 6, 1997: Detective Steve Thomas resigns, and in his letter says Hunter’s office is “thoroughly compromised” and has “crippled” the case.

1997 to 1999: Grand jury hears forensic evidence, but disbands without an indictment in October 1999. The grand jurors are sworn to silence.

June 4, 2006: After a long battle with ovarian cancer, Patsy Ramsey dies.

July 2008: The Boulder District Attorney’s office announced that, as a result of newly developed DNA sampling and testing techniques (“touch DNA“) the Ramsey family members were no longer considered suspects in the case.

Related: Barbara Walters Presents American Scandals: Could A DNA Database Help Solve The JonBenét Ramsey Case?

August 2008: Former schoolteacher John Mark Karr confesses to killing JonBenét, but it soon became evident that he could not have committed the murder.

February 2009: The Boulder police department took the case back from the district attorney and reopened the investigation.

January 2013: The Daily Camera breaks the story that the grand jury voted to indict John and Patsy Ramsey back in 1999, but the D.A. refused to sign the indictment.

JONBENÉT: AN AMERICAN MURDER MYSTERY follows experts as they reexamine the evidence of one of the most baffling and infuriating cold-cases of all time, using the latest technology, insights from specialists who have studied the case for more than two decades, and interviews with new and old key players. Watch on ID GO now!

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Main photo: JonBenét Ramsey [Wikipedia]



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