Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Profiling JonBenét Ramsey's Murder


The Ramseys had moved from Georgia to Boulder, Colorado, five years earlier, after JonBenét was one year old, moving into a large brick house in a quiet area. It was a four-story Tudor style house, approximately 5,000 square feet, with their additions. There were two staircases to the second floor (the closest to JonBenét's room was a spiral staircase), and the master bedroom was on the third floor, while JonBenét's had been on the second. There was no intercom system. The home had recently been part of an open house tour in the area to benefit a charity, and the Ramseys employed housekeepers.

JonBenét Ramsey
JonBenét Ramsey

JonBenét was home-schooled and attended a church pre-school. She traveled widely, spending summers in Michigan where she participated in a variety of sports. Her mother dyed her dirty blond hair platinum for her participation in beauty pageants. She started these when she was four, with Little Miss America. She quickly won a local title, and she was reportedly a free spirit as well, with an extensive vocabulary for a child. Her mother bought expensive lessons for her to improve on stage, but not a specific trainer, and JonBenét appeared to throw herself into doing her best. She enjoyed the costumes and was described as a "natural." Her mother said she loved the shows and begged to be allowed to do them. It was a Southern tradition, teaching young girl's poise, confidence, and manners.

Patsy & John Ramsey
Patsy & John Ramsey

Patsy Ramsey, 39, had long kept a bedroom next to JonBenét's, as she suffered through chemotherapy for ovarian cancer, but by the time of the incident had returned to the master bedroom upstairs. Patsy had been involved in the world of beauty pageants herself, as had her sister, both of them winning state titles and competing for the Miss America title. She was the second wife of John Ramsey, 53, and they'd been married 16 years. With him, she had two children.

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