true crime

The six mind-boggling details we'd forgotten about the JonBenet Ramsey case.

Two days after the shocking two-part series The Case of: JonBenet Ramsey, there are still a million questions about this 20-year-old unsolved case running through our minds.

The documentary also served as a reminder of the many strange details that came out of the case in 1996, and continue to puzzle us to this day.

the case of jonbenet ramsey part I

The group of case experts. Source: Channel 9

Patsy Ramsey's attempt to hang up on her 911 call.

Following the discovery of the ransom note and her daughter missing from bed, Patsy Ramsey called 911. Sounding panicked, she reported what had happened and requested urgent assistance before putting the phone down — a move that struck many people as strange.


Former FBI agent Stan Burke says it's extremely rare for people to hang up on 911 calls, as Patsy did.

"I've looked at a lot of 911 calls over the years," he says. They'll hold on until you get there; that's their lifeline; that help indicates hope. The moment you hang up that phone call you end the hope. And for that phone to be hung up, you've got to ask yourself why?"

911 operator Kim Archuleta speaks for the first time. Post continues... 

Video by The Case of: JonBenet Ramsey

The second problem comes after Patsy has made the report and thinks she has hung up. She did not, and so 911 operator Kim Archuleta stayed on the phone to listen to what was being said in the background. She says what she heard will stay with her forever.

"I just remember having that sunken feeling like something wasn't right," she says.

"If you hear the frantic in her voice as she's speaking to me where she couldn't even answer my questions, it immediately stuck. What bothered me immensely," she continued, "it sounded like she said, 'okay we've called the police, now what?' and that disturbed me," going on to say that she could hear an almost immediate shift in Patsy's tone as soon as she thought she had hung up the phone.

the case of jonbenet ramsey part I

A section of the ransom letter. Source: Channel 9.

The oddly long ransom note.

Like Patsy's phone call to police, there are several inconsistencies with the ransom letter.

Compared with other ransom notes it is uncharacteristically long in length, with experts finding it would have taken more than 20 minutes to write out. Two practice versions of the letter were also found.


Additionally, the ransom letter was written on paper from Patsy's desk and using a pen taken from their telephone table, meaning the kidnapper would have been openly roaming throughout the house for a long period of time.

The letter was then placed on the staircase, which experts say is also inconsistent with kidnapping cases. Normally letters are placed at the site of kidnapping, which in this case would be JonBenet's bedroom.

jonbenet ramsey case reopen

JonBenet Ramsey. Source: Channel 9.

John Ramsey's whereabouts.

One of the greatest tragedies of murder is that statistically, a direct family member or person known to the victim is overwhelmingly likely to be responsible, even if they are presenting as a compelling victim to police.

Knowing that, it is essential for police to maintain visual contact with members of the family at all times while at the crime scene. This also avoids potential contamination of a crime scene.

In the case of JonBenet Ramsey, however, her father John disappeared within their four-storey house for more than an hour and a half, with police never learning where he was or what he did during that time.

When he returned, though, "his demeanour [had] changed," Richards says. He was "agitated."

the case of jonbenet ramsey part I

Behavioural analyst and investigator Laura Richards. Source: Channel 9.

The discovery of JonBenet Ramsey's body

Despite arriving at the Ramsey's house before 6am, police did not conduct a thorough search of the house until after 12pm.

When police told John Ramsey they were set to conduct a search, he went to the cellar of the house almost immediately, taking a friend with him. It was there that JonBenet's body was discovered.

"Virtually every staged murder I have seen," former investigator Anthony Kolar says, "the perpetrator manipulates the arrival of friends or other family members who are then put into situations where they actually discover the body or they are with the perpetrator when the body is discovered. They bring somebody along, they discover the body but they have  a witness who can testify their shock and awe and horror at what they find," he continues.

jonbenet ramsey case reopen

JonBenet, John, Patsy and Burke Ramsey. Source: Channel 9.

John Ramsey's decision to move JonBenet Ramsey's body

After discovering his daughter in the cellar, John Ramsey then removes JonBenet from the crime scene, carrying her upstairs.

Once in the main living area of the house, John lay his six-year-old's lifeless body on the floor.

As Jim Clemente pointed out while looking at a floor plan of the rooms, "here is a living room couch, a coffee table, chairs. Why would he put her on the floor?"

Shortly after this, JonBenet's body was moved again into another room by police officer Linda Arnt.

the case of jonbenet ramsey part I

Behavioural analyst and investigator Jim Clemente. Source: Channel 9.

Burke Ramsey's disengagement during his psychology interview

Interviewed by a child psychologist following the murder of his sister, a then nine-year-old Burke Ramsey spoke of what he thought happened to JonBenet.

During the interview, not only did Burke hypothesise what happened, he also physically demonstrated someone violenting hitting his sister over the head. And as we now know, JonBenet died from a head wound.

"It's just odd that he's acting it out at all, anyway," Richards says, continuing, "most children would not kind of future project this or reenact it in a room."

"And on top of it all," Clemente adds, "there is no emotion, no appropriate emotion at all."