Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Profiling JonBenét Ramsey's Murder

The Autopsy

Dr. John Meyer MD
Dr. John Meyer MD

On the morning of December 27, Meyer found chunks of pineapple in JonBenét's upper digestive tract. During the autopsy, Meyer was unable to definitively establish the time of death. He removed a ligature from her right wrist and from around her neck, tightened with the help of a short stick. An abrasion was on her right cheek, and another on the left side of her neck, and others on the right shoulder and left lower leg. A ligature bruise was on her right wrist. There were also dotted pattern injuries to her cheek and torso. A spot of blood was inside her panties and around her vagina. There were petechial hemorrhages on her eyelids, lungs, and neck. In addition, there was a large hemorrhage on the right side of her skull, over an eight-inch fracture and a bruising of the brain.

Garrote used to Strangle JonBenét.
Garrote used to Strangle JonBenét.

The cause of death was determined to be asphyxiation by strangulation, and there had been trauma to the vaginal tissues. She had also suffered blunt force trauma to the head, after strangulation.

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