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Nine Years since Jonbenet's death
December 25, 2005 10:08 PM   Subscribe

Jonbenet Ramsey has been gone for nine years, but her death has still not been solved. Though theories still exist that her brother Burke was involved*, her parents were ruled out as suspects earlier this year, thanks to DNA evidence. Of course, that goes against the astrological evidence. None of the Ramseys have ever been charged with Jonbenet's murder, and they have taken CourtTV to court in order to maintain their innocence.
Jonbenet's murder has been lampooned repeatedly, it can be viewed as the start of a new era of crime journalism.
*graphic description on a Geocities page, N remotely SFW
posted by aristan (53 comments total)

 
amazingly the geocities page was still up a whole five minutes. That's probably some kind of record. Probably holiday related.
posted by delmoi at 10:14 PM on December 25, 2005


Just in case it does go down (a geocities site go down? never!), I've already got the Archived version from archive.org queued up for you. :)
posted by aristan at 10:21 PM on December 25, 2005


So what happened with the Court TV lawsuit? That was over four years ago.
posted by DirtyCreature at 10:30 PM on December 25, 2005


I had forgotten all about this. She's still dead you say? Well, that's a shame.

How about OJ? Did he ever find the real killers?
posted by boaz at 10:39 PM on December 25, 2005


If the parents have been ruled out by DNA evidence, wouldn't it follow that their son would be ruled out as well?
posted by stavrogin at 10:48 PM on December 25, 2005


stavrogin: that was my first thought as well. If they've got some DNA to test against then that should be made clear.
posted by Kickstart70 at 10:50 PM on December 25, 2005


Meanwhile, how many other abducted and missing children have there been since, and before? And how many of these weren't wealthy blond white girls? The media share for these other abductions compared to this one is what, now?

This post, as they say, sucks.
posted by loquacious at 11:03 PM on December 25, 2005


loquacious, That's kind of the point I was trying to make with the last few links to people like Elizabeth Smart, Laci Peterson, etc. All of those kidnappings are almost always linked to the Ramsey murder in some fashion.

Now I guess I know why so many people just read MeFi rather than try to get involved in any fashion.
posted by aristan at 11:12 PM on December 25, 2005


well said, aristan. loquacious, any post sucks that doesn't focus on precisely the victims you choose? this case was a noteworthy media moment a la the simpson murders, and this follow up post is well constructed with informative links. what's wrong with that? just that it doesn't link to every kidnapping/murder you're aware of? if you don't like the ramsey case, don't confuse that with disliking the post. you comment, as they say, sucks.
posted by shmegegge at 11:42 PM on December 25, 2005


*your
posted by shmegegge at 11:42 PM on December 25, 2005


I just want to make it clear that I didn't click on any of the links because I DON'T GIVE A RAT'S ASS about this.
posted by neuron at 11:57 PM on December 25, 2005


Wouldn't it be wonderful if JonBenet could be brought back to life? Of course we know that would be impossible, or is it? The old JonBenet with memories of family and friends is gone. But, there could be a new JonBenet with new memories, new friends, a new family and with a new time frame to live in. I am talking about cloning. I propose that JonBenet be the first human to be cloned."

[...]

"CloneBenet Stranglehold" would be a great band name.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:01 AM on December 26, 2005


link.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:03 AM on December 26, 2005


Damn them Geocities!
posted by maryh at 12:04 AM on December 26, 2005


The Archived Version of Fandango Matt's link
posted by aristan at 12:05 AM on December 26, 2005


Apologies. It is indeed the subject that sucks, not the post.

Sorry. It's been ten years. I'm suffering from outrage fatigue. Sensationalist media is crap, the story is crap, the whole small-child-as-tarted-up-adult beauty pageant thing is nauseating and so on.

There are moments when I wish (fruitlessly and pointlessly) that MetaFilter was a bastion and fortress against anything even remotely associated with mainstream sensationalist "journalism", even if this post is an attempt to debunk said sensationalism.

See also: Outrage fatigue.
posted by loquacious at 12:21 AM on December 26, 2005


Err. It's been almost ten years.
posted by loquacious at 12:27 AM on December 26, 2005


outrage fatigue is totaly cliche.
posted by delmoi at 12:33 AM on December 26, 2005


Stay far, far away from that first archive.org link. I closed the browser when it started to veer into a graphic description of near-incest and rape... Seriously, how many puppies to you have to torture as a child to write something like that as an adult? Although the the disclaimer at the bottom gives you a peek into the guy's mind:
This theory is my attempt to assemble this crime puzzle into a scenario that makes sense to me. I do not assert that this article is factual.
Uh huh...
posted by SweetJesus at 12:38 AM on December 26, 2005


The Onion, circa 1997:

Ugly Girl Killed - Nation Unshaken By Not-So-Tragic Death.
posted by O9scar at 3:45 AM on December 26, 2005


outrage fatigue is totaly cliche.
posted by delmoi


So is death, but that's reality, for you.

I never understood what this whole story was about. I remember when all this hit the fan some 9-10 years ago. I was working hard to take a company public and was out of the loop on most of the news and such. I remember seeing "Jonbenet" murder stories blaring from the tabloids in the checkout line as I'd buy groceries on my way home from work at night.

A couple of years later, I was working on an intensive grad degree, and still saw Jonbenet's picture on the tabloids.

A couple of years later, I had returned from overseas work and still saw Jonbenet's picture on the tabloids.

Two years ago, I was back in the states again and STILL saw Jonbenet on the front of some tabloid, again.

Now it's 2005 and we're still hearing about Jonbenet.

I always thought that there must be something incredibly captivating about this story for people to still be interested in it. The only thing I saw in any way captivating was the grotesquery of "tarting-up" a 6-year old girl to try to look like a seductive woman. Hence, the pictures of Jonbenet in full make-up and hairstyle gave me a morbid shudder.

I admit, though, my only understanding of the whole thing was crafted from tabloid healines, from which I gathered, basically amounted to:

Rich, white 6-y.o. girl, beauty pageant competitor, killed. Murderer unfound. Parents may be involved. Or Batboy.

I was amazed that this story had legs to walk so far. Notwithstanding the possible Batboy connection, it seems like it would have been a sensation for a summer and then left to rot with the detritus of other flash-in-the-pan seasonal trivia.
posted by darkstar at 5:20 AM on December 26, 2005


that onion story is fantastic.
posted by shmegegge at 5:53 AM on December 26, 2005


Now it's 2005 and we're still hearing about Jonbenet.

Not to mention Jack the Ripper, the Black Dahlia murderer and a host of others. Certain unsolved crimes just seize the public imagination, presumably because of the vast number of people who want to succeed in solving the case where the huge resources of the original investigators have failed.

Personally, I found the links interesting, if somewhat misleading. While I don't have a take one way or another on whether the parents did it, I don't see how the recently discovered dna evidence conclusively proves their innocence. The fact that their paid investigators say it does cuts little ice as far as I'm concerned. They were saying the parents were innocent long before this came up -- that's what they're paid to do.

This quote both tickled and chilled me at the same time:

"When you see that footage of her in her little cowboy suit going, 'I wanna be a cowboy sweetheart' and all that, I've never seen anything like it," says Oliva. "I believe she was a genius at the age of 6."

Oliva, a convicted pedophile who used to hang around the Ramsey's old neighborhood, adds...

posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:27 AM on December 26, 2005


Metafilter, Don't Feel Sad, I'm In Heaven Now, Singing With The Pretty Angels
posted by destro at 6:34 AM on December 26, 2005


Yes, it's been nine years -- so can we please stop hearing about it already? I don't understand the obsession with this case, nor do I understand why people have to keep dredging it up. "Case still not solved." Ok - then quit bringing it up until it is, okay? It's depressing, and I'm tired of hearing about it already.
posted by jzb at 6:59 AM on December 26, 2005


I'm determined to crack the case.
posted by maxsparber at 7:19 AM on December 26, 2005


I have to agree with the dissenters. These sorts of murders happen virtually every day. The only reason that JonBenet got all the headlines was, as has been pointed out, she was an especially pretty child and those quasi-porn glamour pics of her were disturbing.

The way the muckraking media goes on and on about her, even almost a decade later, really just sends the message that Americans ONLY care if pretty white people die. And if they are sufficiently pretty and white, we will continue to mourn their passing endlessly even as untold numbers of presumably ugly brown people worldwide are killed, by us or others.

For example, just a few months ago, there was a horrific multiple murder in a town less than an hour from me. (Marianna, FL) A mother of three knifed to death and nearly beheaded, and two of her children trussed up and drowned in the bathtub. The third and youngest was left alive and presumably witnessed the whole thing. Police never caught anyone, never (so far as we know) even had any leads, and after the initial flurry of media, simply allowed the story (and the case) to grow old and be forgotten by people. Even though the murder could possibly represent the return of a serial killer who stalked the area a decade ago.

The mother was a single black woman living in a poor area of town.

Coincidence? I'm not sure, but it was the most horrific single crime I'm aware of in the state all year, yet as of right now, I cannot find A SINGLE hit on google talking about the case. Not one. This wasn't a random act. You don't tie up and drown children in a fit of passion. Whoever did this is still on the loose, and completely forgotten.

But we're still more concerned with a 9-year-old murder of a pretty little girl who, let's be honest, was almost certainly killed by someone in her family.

(yes, this is mainly about me being pissed off about that murder not being solved, but my point stands. I would bet every state in the union has, by now, witnessed at least one murder more horrible than the JonBenet killing, yet has gone unsolved and completely forgotten)
posted by InnocentBystander at 7:45 AM on December 26, 2005


So...anybody cached that Geocities link?
posted by alumshubby at 7:46 AM on December 26, 2005


Mommy dearest found her diddlng herself and offed her.
posted by HTuttle at 8:37 AM on December 26, 2005


Props to InnocentBystander. How about the Khmer Rouge? It's been 25 years later -- what are we going to do about that? There weren't any white people, but there probably were a lot of pretty 6-year old girls. Come on, media.
posted by rolypolyman at 9:14 AM on December 26, 2005


hey, she was asking for it.
posted by quonsar at 9:20 AM on December 26, 2005


And if they are sufficiently pretty and white, we will continue to mourn their passing endlessly even as untold numbers of presumably ugly brown people worldwide are killed, by us or others.

I don't think it has anything to do with whether she's white or pretty, and I don't think the coverage has anything to do with mourning Jon Benet's passing.

It's all about the way a particular case seizes the popular imagination. Normally the way that happens is to do with novelty. It has to be the first of something. Or it has to have something mysterious and seemingly inexplicable at its core.

If Jon Benet's father had been arrested and convicted the day after the event, none of us would give a shit about it today. But because the case is both unsolved, and has the peculiar world of children's beauty pageants at it's heart, the story has legs in a way that very few other murders generally do.

The case of the Atlanta Child Murders gets a fair amount of media coverage. Those children were neither pretty or white, and Wayne Williams was convicted of two of the killings. However, there are those who firmly believe that Williams was innocent, and the case was reopened this year.

Or Ted Binion's murder. Ted was Vegas royalty -- a rich, fat middle aged dopefiend. A completely unsympathetic victim. But because his wife and her boyfriend were the suspects, you have the sexual component necessary to a good murder story, and because they were acquitted, you have a mystery. My guess is that that one will also run and run.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:26 AM on December 26, 2005


How about the Khmer Rouge?

The Khmer Rouge did it.

Next.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:27 AM on December 26, 2005


Meanwhile, how many other abducted and missing children have there been since, and before? And how many of these weren't wealthy blond white girls? The media share for these other abductions compared to this one is what, now?

Wow, never heard that angle before.

The reason the post sucks is because it's a topic that's been covered a million times. And if you happen to actually want to discuss the case on its own its not five minutes before someone spews out that tripe as if no one's ever heard it before. Young, white, rich girls get more attention than any other race or sex or class...shocker.
posted by justgary at 9:54 AM on December 26, 2005


Personally, I think the reason the Jonbenet thing won't go away is entirely due to the sick, creepy, quasi-kiddie-porn aspect of the case. Those frightening competitions.
To me, there seemed to be this unspoken undercurrent that, any day now, the whole thing was going to crack open and reveal some sort of world-wide child prostitution/porn kingdom...complete with snuff videos. Or something like that.
The whole case just reeked of the hidden underbelly of people's darkest fantasies. Kind of like Usenet.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:13 AM on December 26, 2005


Gee, speaking of world-wide child prostitution/porn kingdom.
posted by hortense at 11:29 AM on December 26, 2005


I've never seen anyone put forward the theory that the Ramsey's had, at the time, believed their son, Burke had killed Jon-Benet and created an elaborate cover-up to protect him, when in fact an intruder had indeed killed her and they had only realized this later.
posted by DirtyCreature at 11:31 AM on December 26, 2005


Dr. Cyril Wecht, the forensic pathologist better known for his criticism of the JFK autopsy, has no doubt about molestation or who the guilty party is. "This to me is evidence of sexual abuse," he said in a newspaper interview. "I think any forensic gynecologist and forensic pathologist would agree with that." He would also state, point blank, "If she had been taken to a hospital emergency room, and doctors had seen the genital evidence, her father would have been arrested."
posted by hortense at 1:19 PM on December 26, 2005


Mommy dearest found her diddlng herself and offed her.
posted by HTuttle at 8:37 AM PST on December 26


thanks for another great post
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:32 PM on December 26, 2005


Mommy dearest found her diddlng herself and offed her.
posted by HTuttle at 8:37 AM PST on December 26

thanks for another great post


/ignore sarcasm on
Hey, anytime.

I find the free pass most give the mom to be blatant sexism.

But then even the most 'progressive' folk often have a hard time being truly equal. Equal as much for evil as for otherwise.
/ignore sarcasm off
posted by HTuttle at 4:03 PM on December 26, 2005


Oh no, nine years. You realize what this means? Next year will be 10 fucking years and this supermarket tabloid staple will probably show up in the viewfinder again. Sigh.
posted by telstar at 4:40 PM on December 26, 2005


I find the free pass most give the mom to be blatant sexism.

What the fuck are you talking about? If you have evidence that she killed her daughter, please alert the Boulder Police Department. Otherwise, a comment like "Mommy dearest found her diddlng herself and offed her" is fucking retarded just like every other shit post you've been riddling this place with.

You're as disingenuous as you are stupid and you ought to be embarrassed to spam this site with your little ridiculousnesses instead of revelling in it like the piece of shit, worthless fucking nobody you are.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:33 PM on December 26, 2005


An interesting book on the topic -- 'Perfect Murder, Perfect Town'
posted by ericb at 6:59 PM on December 26, 2005


It always comes back to JonBenét. Amazing!

The Twittys' attack on Aruba has left a lot of its people angry, reports Burrough. Former Aruban government minister John Merryweather tells him, "This is just a concerted attack on Aruba. A terrorist attack. Why blame the whole island, a whole country, for something that is out of our control? She attacks our justice system? What about yours? JonBenét. Was that ever solved? Michael Jackson—he gets off. O.J. That's American justice, and the woman is criticizing us?"
posted by somethingotherthan at 9:03 PM on December 26, 2005


the piece of shit, worthless fucking nobody you are

take a breather, optimal chump.
posted by quonsar at 9:34 PM on December 26, 2005


I still find it bizarre, just as McDermott says above...

Not to mention Jack the Ripper, the Black Dahlia murderer and a host of others.

There's just something so creepy about the family, that you think, it had to be them, but at the same time you can't believe that. It's very strange.
posted by cell divide at 10:22 PM on December 26, 2005


Cell divide, there are lots of creepy rich people of their genre in the US; it's just that their daughter was murdered. They family was creepy before the murder. So, creepy, yes; a false-positive? Quite possibly.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:24 PM on December 26, 2005


The only reason this case really grabbed our attention was the forbidden pedophilic nature of the events. The fact the family was rich, hired PR people and was otherwise very normal cemented it. It uncovered the weird world of childhood beauty pagents that the rest of this country sees as a pedophiles fantasy.

Besides we all know that if there was even a single incident of the dad abusing anyone in the family or getting into any trouble earlier we'd be accusing him. If the mother popped Valium or was molested as a child we'd all think it was her. The fact is that the case was a real mystery, with pedophilia overtones in an otherwise "this doesn't happen to those people" class.

I personally find it interesting (in a CrimeLibrary sort of way) that the ransom amount was the exact amount of the Christmas bonus, along with the strange pubic hairs. I was under the impression that the typical pedophile doesn't just go after one child, and that especially a serial killer with sexual edge doesn't stop until they're caught. The fact it has yet to match anything is odd. The behavior of the parents and these facts just make everything strange enough to keep it in the papers for this long. If you take a step back from being so jaded about this being a rich, white family receivin too much attention, the case itself is interesting. Does it happen all the time? Probably, but usually they just blame someone and case shut, and you don't get anywhere near the level of details available publically as we got here.
posted by geoff. at 11:40 PM on December 26, 2005


JonBenét

Accent aigu? Why? Why? Why?
posted by Tommy Gnosis at 4:10 AM on December 27, 2005


Has anyone else linked to Wikipedia's excellent Missing White Woman Syndrome article yet?
posted by jessamyn at 5:45 AM on December 27, 2005


Now THAT was interesting.

Thanks jessamyn!
posted by darkstar at 6:32 AM on December 27, 2005


> The way the muckraking media goes on and on about her, even almost a decade later,
> really just sends the message that Americans ONLY care if pretty white people die.
> And if they are sufficiently pretty and white, we will continue to mourn their passing
> endlessly even as untold numbers of presumably ugly brown people worldwide are
> killed, by us or others.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.
posted by jfuller at 4:28 PM on December 27, 2005


Blondes, like Marilyn and Jonbenet have a mysterious iconic power, especially in death,perhaps a vestige of ancient Goddess worship, or cultural nostalgia, not only for Americans, there are tabloid scanners worldwide.
posted by hortense at 8:01 PM on December 27, 2005


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