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What We Owe The Ramseys

I admit it; I was one of those people who read the news reports leaked by police about the Ramsey family's actions after the murder of JonBenet and found the family unsatisfactory in their behavior. While I never jumped to the conclusion that the Ramsey family was complicit in the murder of their daughter, I bought into the media hype at the time that the family 'should have done more'. I am sorry for that, as many of us should be.

By now many people have heard about the arrest in Thailand of John Mark Karr, who confessed to 'being with JonBenet when she died'. Further information indicates Karr knew details not available to the general public, but it remains to be confirmed whether Karr's confession proves he was the killer. After so much hysteria and unfounded assumption, we should be wary of assuming that appearances are accurate.

But one thing which has become clear, should be shouted loudly and often; as a federal judge said in dismissing a 2003 civil case against the parents of JonBenet, "the weight of the evidence is more consistent with a theory that an intruder murdered JonBenét than it is with a theory that Mrs. Ramsey did it." In fact, a substantial amount of evidence pointed away from the parents, including the DNA samples from the murder scene. Putting it bluntly, the DNA evidence cleared the Ramseys, but almost no one ever heard about that, because the media had targeted the parents.

Just two months ago, Patsy Ramsey died of Ovarian Cancer. She'd fought it off before, but it came back and killed her.

It's sentimental perhaps, to think that the stress of first losing her daughter then being persecuted as if she had something to do with it for a decade could have led to the return of her cancer, but clearly the last decade of Patsy Ramsey's life was a tragedy that was made worse by the media and the police. Perhaps in the coming weeks, we will see a proper apology from the worst of the Ramsey's venomous antagonists, but somehow I doubt that.

We bloggers have a responsibility in this sort of affair, as well. There were no real bloggers on the job in 1996, but there have been a lot of websites started in the past decade, and more than a few devoted to the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. Most of them took the media at face value, and focused almost solely on the family as complicit, like this forum.

Imagine what the father went through. The daughter murdered, from the start the media is ruthless and hungry for a high-profile target, like the mom or dad. You try to get through the burial and to protect your family by having an agent hired to deal with the press, for which you are even further vilified. Along the course of a decade, you are personally accused, even sued, for the death of your own daughter, your wife is also accused on no evidence, then your son - nine years old when his sister was murdered - is blamed in the press. You finally get a taste of vindication for the crime, but not until your wife dies, in all likelihood never knowing for sure who murdered her daughter. It is hard to imagine a more heinous injustice for a family to suffer than the Ramseys endured. It's even harder to imagine what can be done to properly apologize for the conduct of the police and the press. For my part, I mean to keep this whole incident in mind as an especially painful and gruesome reminder to make sure of facts, and to avoid wholesale and salacious condemnation. I can't but wonder who else would have the honesty to make the same commitment.


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Comments (22)

What?! You made a decision ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

What?! You made a decision years ago, and now you're changing your opinion based on new evidence? You bought into the flawed media hype? You weren't aware of reports about the "weight of the evidence"? And now, after so much hysteria and unfounded assumption, you are wary of assuming that appearances are accurate?

You're a flip-flopper! You're an irrational nut! You're doing just what all those Dems did! No no, the only serious and reasonable choice is to stay the course. No matter what the evidence, the Ramseys did it! After all, those DAs who are trying to tell you otherwise are just America-haters.

Go away, asshole. Save your... (Below threshold)
CraigC:

Go away, asshole. Save your delusional rantings for a thread that's relevant.

As for the guy they arrested, his story has already fallen apart. He says he had sex with her, and there was no evidence of rape. His wife and family swear he was in Alabama at the time. There are other things I don't remember at the moment, but he seems to be one of these nutcases who like to confess to crimes they didn't commit.

Nice one, Brian, although I... (Below threshold)
groucho:

Nice one, Brian, although I'm sure the irony is wasted here. There are none ssso blind who will not see.

Karr being the killer is no... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Karr being the killer is not a done deal. Much of his reported confession is questionable. He definitely did have a fixation on the Jonbenet case. From that fixation, he may know things that the general public does not know.

He may have leveraged that knowledge as a "get out of Thai jail free" card.

This feeding frenzy the pre... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

This feeding frenzy the press does in this story and others reminds me of a Star Trek episode. I'm not a trekkie but I remember a glowing orb got on board the Enterprise. It culd manipulate people's weaknesses (eg. fears, anger, predjudice) and pit them against one another. Then it fed off of that negative energy.

That is what the press does.

This is a great example of ... (Below threshold)
groucho:

This is a great example of what our media has become, and we are all worse off because of it. It's of interest that a 10 year old murder may be solved, but good god, leave these people alone. The loss of a child is devastating. If the murderer is still walking around, he has a black mark on his soul that will haunt him/her always. Stop the feeding frenzy. Terri Sciavo, missing white girls, Duke fiasco, what's next, new info in the Scott Peterson case? Just hit the remote when this stuff goes on ad nauseum. If nobody's watching, maybe they'll go away.

File this post under "Jumpi... (Below threshold)

File this post under "Jumping the Gun, Again"

Nice article, thank you. Le... (Below threshold)
James:

Nice article, thank you. Let this be a lesson to the authorities, the media and the public alike. Backbiting is even worse than murder, because while the latter only takes away your body, the former destroys heart and soul. I never for an instant seriously suspected that the Ramseys did this. The crime just didn't fit in with the kinds of people they were. The love they have for their child is palpable. They were simply incapable of doing what they were accused of to that child.

To Brian and the rest of th... (Below threshold)
James:

To Brian and the rest of those who have criticised this article. A flip-flopper is someone who is spineless, who has no moral courage, someone too weak to recognize when he is wrong, not someone who has the strength of character and the sense of fairness to sincerely admit his mistakes. Only a fool would stubbornly continue to hold on to an opinion or ideology that has become untenbable in the light of new evidence. Most people, at one time, believed that the Ramseys were guilty. It's inevitable that the honest ones among us will now no longer be so sure. Of course, if you're not honest...

I am more convinced that Jo... (Below threshold)
Imhotep:

I am more convinced that John Karr DIDN'T do it, than I am that the Ramseys didn't do it.

The murderess is not walkin... (Below threshold)
Grizzlie Antagonist:

The murderess is not walking around. She died recently. An accessory after the fact is walking around and sitting Moriarty-like at the back of all this using his wealth to manipulate the situation.

Even if by some miracle, it should be shown that this murder was the act of an intruder, the fact is that the Ramseys postured themselves as guilty people covering up for something. "We" don't owe the Ramseys jack shit. The original author can speak for himself.

Oh yeah, and by the way, th... (Below threshold)
Grizzlie Antagonist:

Oh yeah, and by the way, the love that they had for their daughter isn't "palpable"; it's non-existent.

I never, at any moment, saw genuine grief from either of them.

Grizzlie, they don't owe yo... (Below threshold)

Grizzlie, they don't owe you a show of grief. It doesn't matter if you saw "genuine grief" or not. You aren't with them 24/7/365, so you have no idea what goes on behind closed doors.

I was still in elementary school when this all happened, but I still find it horrible that people are pointing fingers at the parents when they have not been proven guilty in a court of law. This whole fiasco just intensifies my hatred of tabloids.

Only a fool would stubbo... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Only a fool would stubbornly continue to hold on to an opinion or ideology that has become untenbable in the light of new evidence.

Oh, you made this one faaaaar too easy.

The Ramseys were subjected ... (Below threshold)

The Ramseys were subjected to unspeakable horrors, first from the murderer who killed Jon Benet, and then from the local authorities and national media who formed a ridiculous opinion of the case and pursued it to the exclusion of any other theory.

The Boulder Police and DA not only failed to secure the crime scene, as would be the standard protocol, they refused to accept help from the FBI, which has specialized in kidnapping cases since Lindbergh. Neither the family nor the circumstances fit any known profile of parents-who-kill-their-child.

The media followed along mindlessly. A bit of simple, sober research should have told them the parent angle was a wild goose chase, but the Ramseys, as a wealthy corporate executive and his beauty-queen wife who had "won life's lottery," just presented too appetizing a target to abandon, no matter the facts of the case.

The trolls on this thread are childish disrupters with nothing to add to the discussion. I suspect they WANT to be banned for their poor behavior, which they would then brag about at the video arcade at the mall. Better they should seek their glory by constructing a skateboard ramp to leap over traffic.

The media is as much to bla... (Below threshold)
jainphx:

The media is as much to blame for the shambles of this case than the Colorado Prosecutors office. There is no one innocent here,except this new confessor.

>Grizzlie, they don't owe y... (Below threshold)
Grizzlie Antagonist:

>Grizzlie, they don't owe you a show of grief.


Yes, they do, if they go public and claim to be grieving. Otherwise, they're lying to me.


> I was still in elementary school when this all >happened, but I still find it horrible that
>people are pointing fingers at the parents when >they have not been proven guilty in a court of >law.


That's just plain stupid. Not being proven guilty in a court of law exempts them from punishment. Observers are still entitled to private judgment.

>This whole fiasco just intensifies my hatred of
> tabloids.


This whole fiasco intensifies my hatred of the Ramseys and anyone who would offer a word on their behalf.

> The Ramseys were subjecte... (Below threshold)
Grizzlie Antagonist:

> The Ramseys were subjected to unspeakable
> horrors,


Compared to the unspeakable horrors that they were responsible for, I'd say they got off lightly.

Brian,Let me be cl... (Below threshold)
James:

Brian,

Let me be clear that I'm not saying you're a fool. I'm sure you're an intelligent guy. But,. for that very reason, I'm sure you'll agree that the truth should be our guiding light, not a position, and the truth is not an absolute; it evolves as new evidence comes to light . I'm well prepared to agree that the Ramseys did it if there was credible or compelling evidence of their complicity in the crime. But so far I have seen nothing but wild or idle speculation.

> I'm well prepared to agre... (Below threshold)
Grizzlie Antagonist:

> I'm well prepared to agree that the Ramseys did it if there was credible or compelling evidence of their complicity in the crime. But so far I
> have seen nothing but wild or idle speculation.


There must be wild or idle speculation in your rear end.

I saw an old interview on l... (Below threshold)
heymike:

I saw an old interview on larry king last night (2000 I think) That Patsy woman looked guilty to me and Mr Ramsey sure looked too "a matter of fact" about it all. Plus the lifestyle of dressing your kid up like a little doll and parading her around the country is just plain creepy. What indformation is available Patsy Ramseys history ??

James, quit entertaining Br... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

James, quit entertaining Brian, he isn't trying to discuss the Ramsey topic, his BDS is acting up and he is simply using this post to parrot his liberal talking point, "Bush lied".




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