Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Profiling JonBenét Ramsey's Murder

Discussion and Analysis (cont)

Gregg McCrary, former FBI Profiler and Author
Gregg McCrary, former FBI Profiler and Author

It is important to note not only where the offender left the body but also how he left it. The offender wrapped JonBenét's body in a white blanket "papoose style" or, as John Ramsey stated, " if somebody were tucking her in..." and her favorite pink nightgown was laid next to the body. Further, Linda Haufman-Pugh, the Ramseys' housekeeper, believed the white blanket and possibly the pink nightgown had been in a washer or dryer that was built into a cabinet. It is difficult to imagine that a stranger would know which nightgown was JonBenét's favorite and then spend time rummaging through the house in the dead of night looking for it so they could leave it next to the body. The careful wrapping of the body also suggests caring and concern for the victim. Collectively, these behaviors exhibited by the offender suggest a pre-existing relationship with the victim.

The duct tape found over JonBenét's mouth could be interpreted as an attempt to silence her during an abduction. If that were true then, in all probability, the offender would have forced her from the house immediately; however, we know that this did not happen. The binding tied around her right wrist was so loose it easily slipped off. The duct tape, like the cord, are best considered additional elements of staging, designed to mislead investigators into thinking that there was an attempted abduction.

The offender spent a significant amount of time inside the Ramsey house writing the note, committing the murder with items from the house, engaging in post mortem activity with the body, placing it in a hidden room, wrapping it in a white blanket from the house, and placing a pink nightgown next to the body. Not only did the police not discover JonBenét's body during their search, they never even located the room within the room in which the body was placed.

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