How Did Patsy Ramsey Die? JonBenet's Mother Was A Suspect In Her Daughter's Murder


JonBenét Ramsey's 1996 murder commanded international attention. Two decades later, a new CBS doc-series, The Case of JonBenét Ramsey, is expected to deliver a comprehensive analysis of the gruesome crime that was never solved. In the years following JonBenét's death, her mother and father played a central role in the investigation: they were both suspected of the crime and eventually cleared, but continuing questions about their innocence by a curious public dogged them even as they pushed for justice. Now, only JonBenét's father is alive to carry on the fight. How did Patsy Ramsey die? She lost her life to ovarian cancer, CNN reported.

Patsy died in 2006 at only 49 years of age; according to ABC News, her husband, John Ramsey, was with her in her father's house when she passed. After an initial cancer diagnosis in 1993, a successful treatment regimen led to nine years of no evidence of disease, CNN reported. Patsy's cancer returned three years prior to her death. After the news broke, NBC News published a comment from her lawyer, L. Lin Wood:

She was a unique, unique person who had the ability to look forward in her life and I think was able to deal with the tragedy in a fashion that most of us simply could not understand , much less could we ourselves be able to deal with the situation the way she did. Patsy just always looked forward and enjoyed every day.

The murder of JonBenét horrified millions. At just 6 years old, the elementary schooler was a successful competitor on the beauty pageant circuit, according to CNN. On December 26, 1996, Patsy called the police to report her daughter missing, adding that she found a ransom note at their home. Later that day, her body was found; she'd been beaten and left in the basement of the Ramsey house. Both John and Patsy were questioned multiple times in the murder, but investigators ultimately determined that neither one killed their daughter. Though little progress has been made on the case over the years, there have been several major developments that reignited attention. In December 2003, a DNA test revealed that the blood of an unknown male was found at the scene. Officials made an arrest in 2006, taking a man named John Mark Karr into custody; he was exonerated after a DNA test. Karr's attorney did not immediately return a request for comment. Twenty years after the murder, there is still no conviction.

CBS's six-hour series, The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey, is set to premiere on Sunday, September 18 at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The second installment will air Monday, September 19 at 9 p.m., and the final installment is scheduled for Sunday, September 25 at 8:30 p.m.