Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Profiling JonBenét Ramsey's Murder

Crime Scene (cont.)

From the moment the police arrived, the crime scene was compromised because the house was not secured. The note had been moved and the Ramseys' friends had been allowed to walk around freely. No scent dog from the K-9 unit was utilized, and several different people touched crucial pieces of evidence.

Outside the Ramsey Home
Outside the Ramsey Home

John Ramsey called his attorney to discuss the ransom money. The deadline for the kidnappers' call came and went without any communication. No one seemed to know quite what to do. During questioning, Patsy seemed to be confused as to whether she had gone to JonBenét's room first or found the note first.

By noon, most of the official personnel had left, except for one detective, Linda Arndt, but seven civilians were in the home. No one had yet really searched the house, so the detective directed John Ramsey to take a friend with him to do so, to see if they could find something that had belonged to the missing child. At 1:00 P.M., he and another man began to go through the house. They started in the basement, spotting a suitcase near the broken window and wondering if an intruder had put it there.

Suitase Found in Basement
Suitase Found in Basement

Around 1:20, Ramsey opened the door of a dark room, the so-called wine cellar, and discovered his daughter's body on the floor. She lay on her back, her arms bound over her head with a cord, another cord wrapped around her neck, and her torso wrapped in a white blanket. A piece of black duct tape was over her mouth. Although she was dressed, close by lay her favorite pink nightgown.

Blanket in which body was wrapped.
Blanket in which body was wrapped.

John Ramsey immediately ripped off the duct tape, removed the blanket, and tried to take off the binding. Then he carried the body of his daughter upstairs. The dead child was laid out and covered with a blanket. She was in a full state of rigor mortis, although there was no expert around to give a proper assessment of its progress. Because of the holiday, the coroner, Dr. John Meyer, did not arrive for over six hours. At 8:00 that evening, he examined the body and had it moved to the morgue.

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