Excuse me, are you Listening? 7-13
Monday, July 21, 2008

Dear Readers,

I carried an article around with me in 1996 when JonBenet Patricia Ramsey was murdered the day after Christmas.  My birthday is December 27, so to hear about such a heinous crime on a day that was supposed to be so joyful for me stuck to the hairs on the back of my neck like a yoke. 

I thought to myself, who would be sick enough to commit such a crime. Even more chilling, it was her father, John Bennett Ramsey, who found her in the basement hours after the murder, in their 15-room home in Boulder, CO.   JonBenet’s case is still unsolved. 

JonBenet Ramsey was an American beauty by all standards.  Some seem to forget that she was only 6 years old at the time of her death by strangulation.  Her mother, Patricia Ramsey, grew up in the beauty queen contest circuit, so it was quite natural that she groom her daughter to do the same.  We teach our children what we know.  I don’t know too many musicians who have children who don’t aspire to be musicians or performers. 

The “Beauty Queen” image was sensationalized by the media to the point where it clouded our senses.   The police department was baffled  and allowed family and friends on the scene without collecting evidence properly.  By all accounts, it was one of the most sensationalized murders in my lifetime.  The Ramsey’s hired a public relations firm to help them with the media frenzy and the accusations of law enforcement.

At the time, I couldn’t understand why the police where solely focusing on the family.  It was bad enough they had just lost their daughter but to also have to be under the scrutiny of the police and the public must have been unimaginable. 

It’s now 2008, and I ripped out an article from the Detroit News about JonBenet Ramsey’s family being cleared because of new DNA testing.  In a statement The Boulder Colorado prosecutors cleared her parents and her brother in the killing. The new testing was not available at the time of the murder.

After 12 years and the death of JonBenet’s mother, Patricia, who succumbed to ovarian cancer in 1996, the family finally has some peace.  Even though cleared the whispers will continue.

I wonder if the Ramsey’s would have been imprisoned without vast monetary resources?  It was reported that Mr. Ramsey was worth $6.4 million in May of 1996.  I wonder if there would have been a new DNA test done if Mr. Ramsey was falsely imprisoned or had indigent defense?   I wonder how many others who have been wrongly accused will have the DNA Touch testing available to them?  I wonder how many innocent people are in jail who didn’t have the resources?  I wonder...


Rina Risper


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