Who Is James Fitzgerald? The JonBenet Ramsey Case Included This FBI Profiler's Expertise
A new docuseries premiering on CBS on Sunday delves into one of the biggest cold cases of the 1990s: the murder of child beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey. In 1996, Ramsey's body was found in the basement of her parents' home in Boulder, Colorado. Ramsey was just six years old at the time of her murder, and the case became a national sensation. Now, the CBS docuseries The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey reunites retired FBI agent James Fitzgerald with several other investigators who hope to solve the murder of the slain beauty queen.
Fitzgerald worked as a supervisory special agent and forensic linguistic profiler for the FBI at the time of the Ramsey case. He served in the bureau's Behavioral Analysis Unit, which became the inspiration for the CBS procedural drama, Criminal Minds.
Fitzgerald first came to prominence as a forensic linguistic prior to the Ramsey case. In 1996, Fitzgerald worked on the Unabomber case, on which he worked for more than a year. According to The New Yorker, it was Fitzgerald's idea to publish the Unabomber's manifesto, which detailed Ted Kaczynski's rambling philosophy behind his mail-bomb attacks on government workers. Fitzgerald's analysis of the manifesto's syntax and writing style eventually led the FBI to Kaczynski.
But the Ramsey case was even harder for Fitzgerald and the rest of the team to crack. No charges were ever filed in Ramsey's murder, and her older brother, who became a prime suspect, was later exonerated due to lack of evidence.
"This little girl's homicide to this date has not been resolved," Fitzgerald says in the docuseries trailer. "In my opinion, I think we can change that right now."
A ransom letter was found in the Ramsey household the day JonBenét Ramsey went missing. (The ransom letter was referenced repeatedly in Patsy Ramsey's infamous frantic 9-1-1 call.) Much of Fitzgerald's work will be focused on analyzing the ransom note, which has confused investigators for the last 20 years. "From a historical perspective, this is uncharacteristic of any type of kidnapping letter that I've ever seen," Fitzgerald says of the ransom letter in the trailer.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Ramsey's murder, which is why CBS chose to reunite Fitzgerald with the original investigators of the case, including criminalist Dr. Henry Lee and FBI profiler Jim Clemente.
Image: The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey/CBS (1)