The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey premieres Sunday, Sept. 18th and while the CBS docu-series plans to go back over all the evidence from the Christmas 1996 murder, one since-exonerated suspect will surely get a lot of attention. A huge part of the media circus surrounding the JonBenét Ramsey murder case was the suspicion of her family as the culprits. Both her parents, John and Patsy, and her nine-year-old brother, Burke, were considered to be suspects at one point or another, and since DNA evidence exonerated them all in 2008, videos of John Ramsey addressing JonBenét are heartbreaking.
It's important to note that, in addition to being exonerated after new testing methods determined that trace DNA found on JonBenét's body came from an unidentified male unrelated to her, no one in her family was ever charged with the murder. Unsealed court records revealed that a grand jury had voted to indict her parents on counts of Child Abuse Resulting in Death and Accessory to a Crime in 1999, but the district attorney at the time refused to file charges. Her brother Burke was never formally pursued as a suspect, either.
Videos of John Ramsey addressing his daughter over the years have shifted from a father on the defensive to a more peaceful man who acknowledges that he may never have the answers he wants. Here's how the evolution unfolded.
The 2000 Barbara Walters Interview
Four years after the murder, and just months after the grand jury had secretly voted to indict them, John and Patsy Ramsey did a 20/20 interview with Barbara Walters. She pressed them on their possible involvement in the murder and the evidence police had collected which made them seem suspicious. John defended himself and his wife, insisting that they'd both be willing to take a lie detector test, even though when hypothetically asked by police if he would, he replied that he'd be "offended" to do so.
The 2012 ABC News Interview
Patsy died in 2006 of ovarian cancer, but John went on to write a book about his experiences after being exonerated. JonBenét was actually his second child to die, having lost his 22-year-old daughter in a car accident four years earlier. He returned to ABC as part of the book's press tour and the tone when addressing him was markedly different from the 2000 interview.
The 2012 'Anderson Live' Talk Show Appearance
On the same press junket, Ramsey did an appearance on Anderson Cooper's short-lived talk show Anderson Live, in which he addressed the same questions that had been following the family since JonBenét's murder, only now with the presumption of innocence that came with having his name cleared by DNA evidence. He offered up his best guess on what he thinks may have happened the night she died.
He also revealed that he was ready to learn the details of what really happened in 1996, heartbreakingly in part so that he could know what the family "did wrong" to be targeted in this way by a murderer. The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey aims to do just that.