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Netflix: Casting JonBenét (Ramsey)

Discussion in 'Documentaries' started by Justine, Jan 17, 2019.

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Who do you believe murdered JonBenét Ramsey?

  1. John Ramsey

    50.0%
  2. Patsy Ramsey

    50.0%
  3. John & Patsy Ramsey

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Burke Ramsey

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Fleet (& Priscilla) White

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Bill McReynolds (Santa Claus)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Other

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Justine

    Justine Soap Chat Fan

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    This is possibly the weirdest documentary (if you can call it that) I have ever had the poor judgement to sit down and watch. It's exploitation at its very best - 'actors' auditioning for the roles of the Ramsey family and the re-enactment of the Christmas that JonBenét died. It's all very odd. I watched it until the end, purely because I love unsolved mysteries - especially, unsolved murders - but it's probably the worst one I've seen on this case.

    Anyway, it leads me to my question: Who do you believe murdered JonBenét Ramsey?
     
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  2. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Mummy dearest.
     
  3. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Daddy fukced her, killed her by 'accident'.

    I don't ordinarily condone chasing Frankenstein up a hill with a torch and without objective evidence, but no one will ever convince me that Daddy didn't do it.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    It's certainly an oddity, but I think it's originality is what kept me captivated. I've just never seen anything like this before. It's both uncomfortable and thought provoking, macabre and illuminating.
     
  5. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    I don't really think I can come to a conclusion, but I also don't understand the process through which at some point the police exonerated the parents.
     
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  6. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I've not watched the documentary, so don't know what was highlighted and what wasn't. I don't believe police exonerated the parents. Handwriting analysis of the ransom note found in the house (with paper and pen also being from the house) cleared the dad, but didn't clear the mum. The many peculiarities of the ransom note lead some investigators to believe that 'staging' had occurred. A grand jury wanted both parents indicted for child abuse and I forget what else, but the DA didn't sign the indictment papers. At the time, without mention of the grand jury indictment, it was simply announced that the DA didn't think there was sufficient evidence to lay charges. After the mother died, the new DA of the day sent the letter of apology to the husband, and IIRC it was mentioned in there that the DNA of a 3rd person (specified male, IIRC) had been found on JonBenét's clothing. It's been reported that this letter from the DA cleared the parents, but I'm not certain that that's accurate reporting.

    Edited to update:

    Excerpt from DenverPost (October 25, 2013):

    A Boulder grand jury indictment in 1999 accused John and Patsy Ramsey of two counts each of child abuse resulting in death in connection to the first-degree murder of their 6-year-old daughter JonBenét, according to documents released Friday morning.

    The charges didn’t directly accuse the Ramseys of killing their daughter. Instead they alleged that the parents permitted JonBenét to be placed in a dangerous situation that led to her death and it accused them of helping whoever killed the girl.

    The Ramseys were never officially indicted, however, because former District Attorney Alex Hunter refused to sign the documents and prosecute the Ramseys.

    The documents were compiled long before new DNA evidence that led the Boulder district attorney to publicly exonerate the parents and apologize to them in 2008.​

    Full report: https://www.denverpost.com/2013/10/...ed-parents-of-child-abuse-resulting-in-death/
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
  7. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Extract from the DenverPost (July 9, 2008):

    Armed with new DNA evidence that points to an unknown male as JonBenet Ramsey’s killer, Boulder District Attorney Mary Lacy on Wednesday took the extraordinary step of publicly exonerating the child’s parents and immediate family in her death.

    In a letter hand-delivered to John Ramsey, Lacy said she is confident the DNA belongs to the killer.

    “Significant new evidence . . . convinces us that it is appropriate, given the circumstances of this case, to state that we do not consider your immediate family, including you, your wife, Patsy, and your son, Burke, to be under any suspicion in the commission of this crime,” Lacy wrote.

    Patsy Ramsey died in June 2006 after battling ovarian cancer for more than a decade.

    The exoneration is an unusual move, particularly when no other suspect has been identified, observers said, but one that might aid any future prosecution.

    Legal analysts have long said the Ramseys have been identified as suspects so widely and for so long that if anyone else is ever charged in the case, prosecutors would not only have to prove that person’s guilt but also the Ramseys’ innocence.

    Full report: https://www.denverpost.com/2008/07/09/da-clears-ramsey-family-2/

    So, it appears that the DA so firmly believed that the DNA evidence indicated that someone outside the immediate family was the killer, that the immediate family had to be cleared of suspicion in order to bolster the case for the prosecution in the event the ‘owner’ of that DNA was ever brought to trial.
     
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  8. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I’d read that Mrs Ramsey hung up on the 911 operator, but that police found that there was a gap between when she broke off conversation and when the phone was actually hung up – and that some noises could be heard in that gap, but that neither the FBI nor the Secret Service could decipher those noises. And that eventually folk from Nasa did.

    Don’t know how much of that is true.

    Apparently, what was deciphered was that there was an adult male and a young male speaking in the background. The speculation was that it was Mr Ramsey and Burke – the son who is alleged to have been asleep at the time.

    In Feb 2015, Mark Beckner, a former chief of the Boulder Police Department, participated in an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session on Reddit. Mr Beckner only became involved in the JBR case 9 months after her death, and he wasn’t the police chief then.

    Transcript…

    Commentator FH: It has been reported the dialogue at the end of the 911 tape was: Male: "We're not speaking to you!" Female: "Help me Jesus. Help me Jesus." Young Male: "Well, what did you find?" Do you believe this is valid, that those words were actually spoken?

    Mr Beckner: The words are difficult to hear and some claim they cannot hear them. After listening to the tape many times, I can tell you that I can hear what sounds like voices saying those words.

    Transcript…

    Commentator u/A: What are your thoughts on whether Burke may know more than he has told? Whether you think it was Burke's voice on the phone call, or whether it could go deeper and if you have anything to say about how some people speculate that the Grand Jury's findings in 2009 pointed towards exculpation of the parents for the actual crime, but there are lingering questions about the brother? I know it's in poor taste to question a child's involvement in this, but people do, so what are your thoughts?

    Mr Beckner: I'm not going to speculate on what Burke may or may not know. He was only 9 years old at the time. However, after a short initial interview that day (before we had many facts) Burke was only interviewed one more time and that was by a social services worker. We of course had many other questions we wanted to ask him as the investigation wore on, but were never given an opportunity to interview him again.

    Transcript…

    Commentator u/N: What do you believe actually happened to JonBenet? Who do you think is responsible?

    Mr Beckner: We know from the evidence she was hit in the head very hard with an unknown object, possibly a flashlight or similar type item. The blow knocked her into deep unconsciousness, which could have led someone to believe she was dead. The strangulation came 45 minutes to two hours after the head strike, based on the swelling on the brain. While the head wound would have eventually killed her, the strangulation actually did kill her. The rest of the scene we believe was staged, including the vaginal trauma, to make it look like a kidnapping/assault gone bad. I have avoided saying who I believe is responsible and let the facts speak for themselves. There are several viable theories.

    Transcript…

    Commentator u/VCL: Can you comment on the usefulness of the new DNA testing that apparently exonerated the parents? I read Foreign Faction by James Kolar and he asserts that the DNA in no way exonerates them and, in fact, points to such an odd scenario (6 intruders) as the only possible solution outside of coincidental depositing that the idea that it exonerates the parents is ludicrous. I'd be very interested to see a rebuttal, if there is one. Thanks for doing this!

    Also, in Patsy's Christmas cards she sent that year, I read somewhere that she used an unfamiliar word, (can't remember what the word was) that was also used in the ransom note. Is this true?

    Mr Beckner: Sorry, I can't provide the rebuttal, as I agree with Jim Kolar. Exonerating anyone based on a small piece of evidence that has not yet been proven to even be connected to the crime is absurd in my opinion. You must look at any case in the totality of all the evidence, circumstances, statements, etc. in coming to conclusions. Mary Lacy, the DA who said the DNA exonerated them made up her mind years before that a mother could not do that to a child, thus the family was innocent. Even though we pointed out that it is not unheard of for mothers do such things.....and you would know that if you just watched the news.

    Commentator u/VCL: Wow, thanks for your answer! I think Mary Lacy damaged this case irrevocably, regardless of who committed the crime.
     
  9. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Here are a sampling of other Q&As on the case from Mark Beckner’s Reddit session.

    Transcript…

    Commentator u/FH: JBR was dressed when found, as far as I know. Does this mean the killer sexually molested her with the paintbrush handle and then dressed her back into her underwear and leggings before placing her body in the wine cellar?

    Mr Beckner: Yes.

    Commentator u/FH: Wow. That is interesting. I guess there wasn't a time problem for the killer.

    Mr Beckner: The killer also took the time to find a pad and sharpie pen, write a 2.5 page ransom note, fashion a garrote and choke her with it, then wrap her in a blanket with one of her favorite nightgowns and place her in a storage room in the basement. He/she/they then neatly put the pad and pen away and escaped without leaving much evidence.

    Commentator u/d0: That makes it sound so highly improbable that this was done by a random intruder, or even by someone other than a family member.

    Transcript…

    Commentator u/M: Was the handwritten note tested for DNA/fingerprints? And do the police think the murderer sat in the house and wrote a long winded note on the Ramseys note pad before attempting to kidnap her. obviously didnt do it after if it was a criminal as they would have just got out. Also how might the "kidnapper" have known how much john ramseys bonus was. thanks.

    Mr Beckner: Yes, of course it was. The only fingerprint on the note was one belonging to the document examiner at the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). On the notepad from which the note came from, the only fingerprints on the pad belonged to the CBI agent, the sergeant with the police department who took the pad into custody, and Patsy Ramsey. No, we do not believe a someone wrote the note prior to attempting to kidnap JonBenet. Neither the PD or the FBI believe this was ever a kidnapping. It was a murder that someone tried to stage as a kidnapping.

    Transcript….

    Commentator SG: all the physicians who examined JonBenet's body said she had been sexually violated many times -except the Ramseys doctor! Yet, the sexual motive was rarely mentioned later in the case. Why?

    Mr Beckner: It just didn't seem to fit the totality of the circumstances. Remember, she was hit on the head first, hard enough to render her unconscious. Then there was the staging of a kidnapping. Why do that if the motive is purely sexual?

    Transcript…

    Commentator u/TDK: What was your gut instinct when John Mark Karr confessed to the murder?

    Mr Beckner: My gut reaction was that Mary Lacy did not know the facts of the case and was making a big mistake. His confession, once they shared it with us, did not match the evidence at the scene. After she asked for our help in proving he did it, we knew in about 18 hours he was not the guy. We were able to confirm he was not even in Colorado at the time by just doing some routine checking and then obtained photos of him in Georgia at the time. The DNA test, which she thought would prove he did it, proved her wrong.

    Transcript…

    Commentator u/T: Is there something you wish had been done differently from the start of the investigation that perhaps could have yielded a conviction?

    Mr Beckner: Not me personally, as I did not get involved until September 1997, about 9 months after the murder. I was brought on to try to get the investigation back on course, which I think we did a pretty good job of once we got some DAs involved who worked with us rather than against us. As for the police department in general, I wish we would have done a much better job of securing and controlling the crime scene on day one. We also should have separated John and Patsy and gotten full statements from them that day. Letting them go was a big mistake, as they soon lawyered up and we did not get to formally interview them again until May of 1997, five months after their daughter was murdered. Had the police found the body early on, as they should have, I believe the initial course of the investigation would have gone differently, but who really knows at this point. We also did a poor job of protecting the crime scene. It was sort of like a perfect storm that day that set things off in the wrong direction. It was and still is the only case of its kind as far as we or the FBI knows of, so it’s not like anyone had experience with this sort of thing either.

    Transcript…

    Commentators u/ES and u/a: Regarding JonBenet's murder: Is there any information not publicly available that, in your estimation, would be considered "huge" to followers of the case? If so, do you suspect that any of this information could become publicly available in our lifetimes?

    Mr Beckner: There is some information that is not yet public, but nothing that would be considered huge or definitive. Personally, I would like to see the grand jury transcripts and evidence released to the public so that all the information could be known. Not sure that will happen in my lifetime.
     
  10. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Champion

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    I watched the documentary tonight and found it very uncomfortable. I struggle to see it's point, other than to be exploitative. It doesn't offer any new insight and seems to just be a recording of the ramblings of some bad actors. I found it very disappointing, and sad in more ways than one.
    After watching I went to YouTube and found a documentary from 2016, which was, well, almost equally exploitative, but it at least offered new areas of thought. I don't know, it just seems in poor taste, but then that's probably more to do with my own uncomfortableness with it. The murder of a child, it's just too heinous.

    The YouTube doc, which was in two parts, both 120mins long, speculates that Jonbenet's 9 year old brother Burke had actually killed his sister, and that the parents covered it up. And then also did all they could to stop the case making it to court. Concocting the convoluted ransom letter, and the intruder theory. It seems far fetched but as it all unfolds it seems more logical than other explanations. Burke, was known to have struck his sister with a golf club when playing. He'd also smeared his feces in Jonbenet's bathroom, on her Christmas gifts and in her bed. The theory being he was jealous of his sister and the attention lavished on her once she started being the pageant queen. The forensic investigator interviewed says that although she was strangled she was likely brain dead from being struck over the head with a heavy blunt object. A large torch/flashlight found at the house. She was likely found unconscious, but breathing, only just. That the parents then decided to cover it up to protect their son. It's a convincing theory and the interviews with Burke from January 1st 1997 seem strange. It's not the reaction or demeanour you'd expect from someone who had just found out their 6 year old sister had been murdered only days prior. Those interviews with Burke are in fact, chilling.





    Even this recent interview with Burke is just not quite right.... Why's he so smiley? Talking about his dead 6 year old sister?
    Burke did it. In the kitchen. With a flashlight.
     
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  11. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Yeah.
    I was not familiar with the JonBenet murder case so I had no idea what I was going to watch, but I was intrigued by the "casting" idea.
    After approx 40 minutes I was still none the wiser as to why this deserved to be a topic in the first place, and there was nothing about the casting part that entertained me.

    An interesting description from wiki:
    "the film observes how the events have become a point of pop-cultural obsession and conspiracy"

    I didn't get it, but maybe it only appeals to viewers who were aware of the media circus surrounding this particular case?
     
  12. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Champion

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    I'm fairly familiar with the case and all the media surrounding it and the documentary didn't appeal to me. I kept watching thinking it would get better or offer some insight. I was wrong.
     
  13. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    The doc tells you a lot more about the actors than the case, which I think is the point. I think someone looking to be informed about the murder won't come away much the wiser. I found it more of a people watching exercise, how different people respond to and form an opinion about the same event. And also the audition process and how different actors approach it.
     
  14. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Champion

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    Yes, and in that way I found it distasteful and exploitative.
     
  15. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    But they seem like random people being interviewed rather than actors doing a casting. None of these characters fascinated me.
    Like I said, Clueless Me missed all the references, but that's my fault not theirs.
     

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