When six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey was murdered almost 20 years ago in 1996, public attention turned immediately, as it so often does, to her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey. The Ramseys were never officially indicted or charged, and were in fact officially exonerated in 2008 by DNA evidence. But none of this has done much to sway public perception of the family, and John Ramsey has continually popped up in the media every so often ever since the gruesome murder. In every interview he gives a brief update on his life, and how the case has affected him, and reiterates that he is innocent. John Ramsey's quotes about JonBenét Ramsey insist that he had nothing to do with the murder, but they do show that his life has completely turned upside down.
John Ramsey's wife, Patsy Ramsey, was held under equal scrutiny. Or, as the Denver police famously called it, an "umbrella" of suspicion. Patsy died in 2006 of ovarian cancer, two years before she and her husband were officially exonerated. John Ramsey has since remarried and tried to move on with his life. But interest in the case has once again resurfaced with multiple specials revolving around the case, including the highly anticipated CBS docu-series The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey, which seeks to uncover new evidence regarding who committed the crime and is set to air on Sept. 18. In the past 20 years, here are some of the things John Ramsey has said about his daughter and the case.
"Death would have been a welcome relief from the pain and agony I felt."
In his interview for the A&E documentary which premiered on Labor Day, Ramsey discussed further just what his family has been through in the wake of this tragedy. The affects are clearly still keenly felt almost two decades later. This quote reflects the depth of the pain John Ramsey has undergone since his daughter was murdered. He also says in the documentary, "Life is difficult to go on with. The burden is almost too heavy."
"I now believe with all my heart that it's not a good idea to put your child on public display."
Many of the pictures of JonBenét splashed across tabloid covers were of the little girl all dolled up for beauty pageants. Many years later, Ramsey has said that he regrets putting JonBenét in the pageants, if only for the kind of unwanted attention it garnered her, both during her life and even more so after her death.
"'Next time you go in the supermarket, call the manager over when you see our child's photo on the front cover, and ask him to remove it."
In his 2015 interview with Barbara Walters, Ramsey discussed his and Patsy's desire to shield their other child, their son Burke, from the media's accusations. You can't blame them. The media coverage has always been overwhelming, and that could completely overtake a small boy.
"They totally focused on our family to the exclusion of other leads, real facts, and real evidence."
Having always maintained his innocence, Ramsey has understandably been extremely frustrated with the way the case was handled. He has said that the Denver police remained so focused on his family as the prime suspects in the case that they did not fully examine all of the real evidence.
When asked for comment about the public scrutiny the family faced following JonBenét's death, L. Lin Wood, the family's attorney, had the following to tell Romper:
In terms of the accusations against John and Patsy Ramsey, the Boulder District Attorney, Mary Lacy, publicly exonerated them in 2008 based on irrefutable DNA evidence. She apologized to the family and assured them that in the future, they would be correctly treated as victims. The days of Ramsey accusations should have ended then and there.
"Forgiveness is a gift to give yourself."
In his journey to make sense of the tragedy and to find peace, Ramsey turned to his Christian faith, and strives for forgiveness. Hopefully John has found peace with the fact that this is not something any parent can plan for, and has been able to somewhat move on with his life.