In 2008, almost twelve years after the death of his daughter, John Ramsey was exonerated from suspicion of committing the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. John Ramsey had spent those twelve years proving his innocence while attempting to move on from the death of his daughter after being accused and suspected by the public. Twenty years later it's still a mystery as to who killed JonBenet Ramsey, although a new CBS documentary series hopes to shed some light on who is truly to blame for JonBenet's death. But beyond looking for answers, the case was one of great sadness as well. And to get a full picture of the heartbreak that was left in the wake of the young girl's death there's no better resource than revisiting old interviews with John Ramsey.
After JonBenet's death, everyone from Detective Linda Ardnt to the writers of South Park seemed to be skeptical of her parents involvement in her murder (the latter of whom later apologized, telling the New York Times that "We were wrong about the Ramseys"). Throughout numerous media appearances, the Ramseys never wavered on their declaration of innocence as their personal lives were dragged through the mud. Here are the John Ramsey interviews to watch to get the full story of his life after losing JonBenet.
John and Patsy Ramsey did their first live interview with Larry King on March 27, 2000, speaking about their feelings on lie detector tests and recounting the morning they discovered that their daughter had died.
The Barbara Walters Interview
The Barbara Walters Interview With John and Patsy Ramsey is incredibly difficult to watch in hindsight, with the knowledge that the Ramsey parents had been cleared of killing their daughter. Walters confronts the parents with many of the accusations that had been lobbied against them in the court of public opinion. As Ramsey says in the interview "The tragedy of the police investigation was that it ended on December 26, [the day JonBenet was murdered]," and since then had been forced to answer many of the questions and accusations that Walters mentions. To truly understand how much of the public viewed the Ramseys, this interview is essential watching.
In 2012, John Ramsey sat down with Anderson Cooper and gave his opinion on what actually happened the evening of JonBenet Ramsey's death. John tells Cooper about a few haunting words from a crime profiler on the matter of who may have committed the crime. "[The Profiler said it was likely] someone that was either angry at me or jealous of me – I can't imagine I made anybody angry at me," said Ramsey. There is unfortunately still no certainty on the matter.
A 2012 ABC News Interview
John Ramsey's 2012 Interview with ABC News caught up with many of the developments in Ramsey's life that had occurred after attempting to leave the public eye, including the death of Patsy, the clearing of his name, and his newest marriage. He also speaks critically of modern child beauty pageant culture and says, in retrospect, he likely wouldn't have encouraged JonBenet to participate in beauty pageants.
Barbara Walters, 15 Years Later
Walters followed up with John Ramsey 15 years after their first interview with a much different tone, considering that John had been exonerated by this time. Here, Ramsey speaks with the benefit of hindsight on his experiences after JonBenet's death and considers what he may have done differently in the wake of the tragedy.
John Ramsey's history with the media is a long and complicated one. While watching the narrative shift away from Ramsey-as-murderer was surely a relief to JonBenet's father, Ramsey's life still hasn't been the same since that fateful evening. One thing that has never changed, however, has been his persistence in insisting his innocence and calling on police to work on finding the truth about what happened to his daughter.
Images: ABC (2)