A Trial For JonBenét Ramsey Still Hasn't Happened

When a crime comes back into the headlines like the murder of JonBenét Ramsey has, it's usually because of some update in the case, whether it's an appeal, a conviction, a confession, or something along those lines. But this case is different, because there was never a trial for JonBenét Ramsey's murder, and our fascination with the case has been fueled only by the media. The 6-year-old beauty queen's death has been unsolved for two decades and has absorbed us as a nation, but no charges have ever officially been filed.

There were suspects, of course, and even an arrest. John Mark Karr claimed in 2006 that he was responsible for the young girl's death, claiming that it happened "accidentally" after he allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted her. But he was cleared by DNA evidence, and then he was released. There was also a grand jury hearing in 1999 that failed to return any indictments after their investigation. However, there have been no suspects viable enough to conduct an entire trial around. Instead, our interest in the crime has been kept fresh by the multiple books, documentaries, TV specials, movies, articles, and interviews that have abounded since 1996.

Since the publication of Death of a Little Princess: The Tragic Story of the Murder of JonBenet Ramsey in 1997, just a year after her death, almost 30 books — self-published and otherwise — on or about JonBenét Ramsey have been published, including titles like Umbrella of Suspicion: Investigating the Death of JonBenét Ramsey, Injustice: Why JonBenet Ramsey Was Murdered By A Sadistic Psycopath — Not Her Parents, and The Death of Innocence , written by John and Patsy Ramsey themselves.

Because no suspect was ever formally named, pet theories abound, and it seems like someone is always coming forward with "new information" on the case or a new take.

There have also been two movies — Getting Away With Murder: The JonBenét Mystery and Perfect Murder, Perfect Town, both in 2000 — and numerous specials. This fall alone, with the 20th anniversary of JonBenét Ramsey's death looming, there are four TV projects planned, including a fictionalized Lifetime Original Movie Who Killed JonBenét?, a two-hour documentary on A&E called The Killing of JonBenét: The Truth Uncovered, and two multi-part series on Investigation Discovery and CBS, respectively.

It seems the unsolved nature of this crime will keep us rapt inevitably, or at least until we get some more information on this cold case.