A Police Interview With JonBenet Ramsey's Brother, Burke, Shows A Piece Of His Emotional Journey During The Murder Case
Burke Ramsey was just nine years old in 1996 when his sister JonBenet Ramsey was killed in their family home. On Monday night, A&E aired a new special about the case, which remains unsolved. The Killing Of JonBenet: The Truth Uncovered includes a never-before-seen video of Burke Ramsey being interviewed by a detective during the investigation of his sister's death. The court of public opinion had a lot to say about Burke and his parents; heavy media coverage of the murder of a young, vibrant pageant star cast suspicion on her family. Some of Burke Ramsey's interactions with police are captured in the unseen excerpts that accompanied the A&E special.
Burke has never been charged with any involvement in the death of JonBenet Ramsey. Along with his parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, Burke was cleared officially by Boulder District Attorney Mary Lacy in 2008 when new DNA evidence came into the picture. But according to The Killing Of JonBenet, police were thorough in their investigation of JonBenet's immediate family.
The interview with Burke that A&E obtained took place in 1998 and was conducted by Detective Dan Schuler. Burke and Det. Schuler sit across from each other in arm chairs. Schuler's notes are on a small table between them. Schuler asks Burke what he remembers about the day before his sister's death: Christmas Day, 1996. The Ramseys were well-off financially, and home videos from Christmas morning show Burke and JonBenet unwrapping piles of gifts. "I just remember her falling on the bike and sitting on it," Burke tells the detective about JonBenet discovering one of her big presents that year. Schuler asks if the family takes a lot of pictures while they exchange gifts. "Yeah, we take it in turns," Burke explains. "Towards the end, we just go for it, you know?"
When asked about the last time he saw JonBenet alive, Burke tells the detective that it was Christmas night when she fell asleep in the car on the way home from the home of friends.
The interview with Burke touches on his whereabouts in the house the next morning, when Patsy woke to find JonBenet was missing. He recounts his mother running into his room and turning the lights on to check for his sister and then immediately running back out. "Have you ever seen mom like that?" Schuler asks. "No," Burke replies. The detective then asks what Burke did after his mother left. The boy says he stayed in bed with his eyes closed, listening to his parents talk and wondering what might have happened. Burke remained in his room even after police and friends arrived. The detective asks why he didn't emerge to find out what was going on. "Because I was so scared," Burke answers. Burke wasn't told that JonBenet's body had been found until later that night after the family went to stay at a friend's house.
Burke Ramsey has never spoken publicly about the case. On Sep. 12, he'll appear on Dr. Phil in a special three-part interview series. And it's very likely that Dr. Phil will ask him about what he experienced as a child during the investigation into JonBenet Ramsey's death.