When child beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey was found dead in the basement of her family’s Colorado home on Boxing Day, 1996, the police and public eyed her family with immense suspicion.
The six-year-old’s brother, Burke, and his parents were officially cleared by DNA evidence in 2008. But ten years earlier, the police certainly had questions for the then nine-year-old. And now, thanks to a US documentary, we know what those questions were.
The Killing Of JonBenét: The Truth Uncovered aired never-before-seen footage from Burke’s 1998 police interview. The grainy vision shows the boy, dressed in a tracksuit, squirming in his seat as Detective Dan Schuler quizzes him about his sister’s death.
“When is the last time you saw JonBenét alive?” Det Schuler asks.
Burke bites his bottom lip, then responds: “Um… probably…in the car…tired and laying down.”
Sitting opposite one another, Schuler’s notes on the table between them, the detective asks Burke about the moment his mother realised JonBenét was missing. Burke recalls her running into his room, turning on the lights, looking around and then rushing out again.
“Have you ever seen mom like that?” Schuler asks.
“No,” Burke replies.
“I just lay in bed with my eyes closed and like sort of thinking of what might have happened to them… I just heard my mom going psycho.”
Burke said he remained there in his bedroom as police and neighbours came in and out of the house. While “scared” and “worried” for his sister, he didn’t realise she was dead until his parents took him to a family friend’s home.
“I thought JonBenét was gonna be there, I thought they found her,” he told the detective. “I came in excited … almost relieved … then my dad told me that JonBenét was in heaven.”
With this year marking 20 years since the little girl’s murder, TV networks are capitalising on the renewed interest in one of the world’s most famous cold cases.
Burke is due to appear on Dr Phil next week and a number of other documentaries are in the works, including The Case of JonBenét Ramsey, which will see a number of original investigators and experts come together to reexamine the evidence.
Check out the trailer below: