tv CNN Special Report The Murder of Jon Benet CNN December 13, 2016 9:00pm-10:01pm PST
the following is a cnn special report. >> hurry. 515 street. >> what's going on there, ma'am? >> it is one of the greatest unsolved crimes in history. >> we have a kidnapping. there's a ransom note here. >> a little girl vanishes from home christmas night. >> it's just like you got hit in the stomach. where's my child. >> hours later she's found strangled to death. >> i couldn't do anything but scream.
>> keep your babies close to you. there's someone out there. >> surreal images of the pageant star transfixed the nation. >> you were a stage mother? >> probably. what's wrong with that? >> no charges have ever been filed. nobody ever convicted. tonight the theories, secrets, and bombshells. >> hurry, hurry, hurry. >> patsy. patsy. >> a cnn special report "the murder of jonbenet." if you could say something to jonbenet now. >> she knew she was loved. i told her every day i love her, and i still do with my kids when i talk to them. as a father, i'm just sorry i
didn't protect her. i'm sorry. >> december 26th, 1996, a brisk, clear morning in boulder, colorado. john ramsey was up before dawn. >> we were planning to get up early and fly to michigan to meet my older kids for like a second christmas. our normal routine like that if we're going to go somewhere is let the kids stay in bed and then when we're ready to go, we get them up and then we go. they might stay in their pajamas in the car. >> ramseys personal pilot, michael archeletto was all set to take the family there. >> he told me about different people he flew for, but he really liked john and patsy and
the children, jonbenet and burke. >> pam barday sometimes joined her husband on flights with the ramseys. >> they loaded the plane on the 25th with presents and michael went out there early to get the plane warmed up and ready. >> it was quite early in the morning, and i had gotten dressed and was on my way to the kitchen to make some coffee. >> i was shaving, i guess, in the bathroom. >> and we had a back staircase from the bedroom areas, and i always come down that staircase and am usually the first one down. and the note was lying across
the run of one of the stair treads, and it was kind of dimly lit. it was just very early in the morning. and i started to read it, and it was addressed to john. >> a terrifying message scrawled across three pages. >> it said, we have your daughter. >> i just heard patsy scream. i could tell by her scream that something horrible was going on. i didn't know what. >> i immediately ran back upstairs and pushed open her door and she was not in her bed. >> it's just like you just got hit in the stomach. this horrible feeling. where's my child? >> their 6-year-old daughter, jonbenet, was gone. now john read the letter.
>> i read it very fast. i was out of my mind. it said, don't call the police. i told patsy to call the police immediately and i think i ran through the house a bit. >> we went to check our son. >> checked my son's room. s sometimes she sleeps in there. >> there was no sign of jonbenet in her brother burke's room. >> did you tell patsy to make that 911 call? >> yeah. she was standing by the phone. >> police. >> what's going on? >> 515th street. >> what's going on there, ma'am. >> we have a kidnapping. hurry, please. >> explain to me what's going on, okay? >> she was trying to calm me down, and i was just screaming. send help. send help. >> there's a note left in our daughter's room. there's a ransom note here. oh, my god, please. >> okay. >> call somebody. >> i am, honey. >> please.
>> take a deep breath. >> hurry, hurry, hurry. >> patsy, patsy, patsy. patsy. >> the phone rang early at pam barday's house too. >> john said, where's michael? i said, he's out at the plane. what's wrong? what's up? he said, they've got jonbenet. she's got, they've got her. i said, what do you mean they've got her. she's been kidnapped. >> boulder police officer fred patterson was one of the first detectives on the scene. >> it was a very rapid response once i knew what we were going to. >> i met him at the front door and told him what was happening and he said, do you think she just ran away? i said, she's 6 years old. heavens no. >> there were no signs of struggle in the house. no signs of forced entry. no footprints outside the house. >> i was thinking, you know, close the roads. roadblocks. close the airport.
you know, what are we doing here? and you assume the police know what they're doing. >> sergeant arrived and quickly read the ransom note. >> speaking to anyone about your situation will result in your daughter being beheaded. i had been a police officer almost 22 years when this happened. i was totally unaware of any other cases like this where you had a child that was taken for a ransom. i called the fbi. they were one of the first phone calls i made. >> denver fbi agent ron walker took the call and was soon faxed a photo of jonbenet. >> i was kind of flabbergasted. my initial impression was this was a much older girl, 13, 14, maybe even 15 years old. beautifully coifed hair, a lot
of makeup. >> coming up. red flags. >> this was a bogus note. this was not really a kidnapping. i thought to myself, we're going to find this girl's body somewhere. this is going to turn out to be a murder. just checking my free credit score at credit karma. what the? you're welcome. i just helped you dodge a bullet. but i was just checking my... shhhhh... don't you know that checking your credit score lowers it. just be cool. actually, checking your credit score with credit karma doesn't affect it at all. are you sure? positive. huh, so i guess i could just check my credit score then.
oh! check out credit karma today. credit karma. give yourself some credit. sorry about that. we have your fingerprints soon the safe., a photo of you opening the safe. a post using the hashtag "#justrobbedthesafe" so, what are we supposed to think? switching to geico could save you a bunch of money on car insurance. excellent point. case dismissed. geico. because saving fifteen percent or more on car insurance woo! because saving fifteen percent or more on car insurance is always a great answer. afoot and light-hearted i take to the open road. healthy, free, the world before me, the long brown path before me leading wherever i choose. the east and the west are mine. the north and the south are mine.
join directv today starting at $35/month. no extra monthly fees. ♪ boulder, colorado, a college town surrounded by the rocky mountains. >> the ramseys were kind of an anomaly in town in some ways because they were from the south. i don't think they ever felt entirely comfortable in the sort of granola haven of boulder, a place that disdained mink coats. >> it's a beautiful spot but very different than what we were used to. we were business people in a near socialist economy. it was very strange. >> it was an adjustment for patsy ramsey as well.
family friend, pam barday. >> she was used to a more formal atmosphere of atlanta. and we were very laid back in boulder. she always dressed up. she looked beautiful everywhere she went. she said she still had her tiaras and her gowns. >> patsy was once a beauty queen and had been crowned miss west virginia. john was a navy pilot and a divorced father of three children when he and patsy met. they married and had a son. >> burke was like, you know, typical boy. >> and a daughter, jonbenet. >> she was very proud that she was named after me because my name is john bennett ramsey. she had this effervescent personality like patsy. tah-dah, here i am. >> home had been atlanta, georgia, where jonbenet was born in 1990. the family moved to boulder the next year to expand john's software company.
the business grew quickly. the ramseys owned a private plane and bought this 7,000 square foot house in town. >> do you remember the first time you ever came here? >> i do. it was a christmas party. every room was decorated with huge trees. patsy gave us a personal tour of every room. you couldn't help but be excited and happy with patsy around. she used to always have fun. >> energetic and beautiful, jonbenet seemed to be following in her mother's footsteps. >> she loved to perform. my hope was she didn't run off to hollywood and be a movie star. >> i think patsy wanted her daughter to have the same opportunities she did. i don't believe she pushed her at all. jonbenet seemed to like dressing up in these beautiful dresses, and she liked the attention. >> but was there too much attention on the ramseys? in 1994 the family opened up
their home for a christmas tour. >> this is jonbenet. she's four. burke is seven. >> and just five days before the crime in 1996 the family was in the news. john's company, access graphics, had cleared $1 billion in profit that year. two days later jonbenet performed at the mall. ♪ rocking around the christmas tree at the christmas party hop ♪ >> at six years old she had become a little local celebrity. >> she was in the christmas parade. had a float with her name on the side. a big mistake. it gets back to this protecting your children. we let a lot of people into our home and we thought it was an ozzie and harriet kind of place and turned out it wasn't. >> christmas morning of 1996, that seemed like a wonderful morning. >> well, we had a big christmas
planned that year. jonbenet got a bicycle? >> uh-huh. she wasn't great at it. we went out in the back. i was kind of holding the seat, and she would be able to get going. >> this was the last photo taken of jonbenet. it is forever etched in her father's memory. >> i remember that, that she wanted to keep riding her bike and, oh, we've got to go. we had to go out to some friends and so, daddy, please, just one more time. let's do it one more time. i said, well, we'll do it later. of course, there was no later. >> the family drove home after christmas dinner with friends. >> we left about 9:00, 9:30, something like that, because we knew we had to get up early in the morning. >> jonbenet was asleep? >> she had fallen asleep in the car so she was asleep when we got home. so i carried her upstairs and laid her on her bed and then
patsy came up and got her into bed. >> later burke told police about the last night with his sister. >> when's the last time that you saw jonbenet alive? >> probably in the car. tired. laying down. >> the morning after christmas the ramsey's storybook life was shattered. >> police. 515th street. >> what's going on, ma'am? >> we have a kidnapping. hurry, please. >> the note said not to call 911, right? but you did anyway. >> we couldn't have waited. we'd of gone mad. >> please, hurry, hurry, hurry. >> the ransom note said the kidnappers would call between 8:00 and 10:00 to give instructions on how to pay up. >> i called a friend of mine who
was my banker, and he raised our credit limit on our visa card to $118,000. >> by 9:00 a.m. john secured the cash and took burke to a friend's house. hours went by but no word from the kidnappers. >> we're waiting for the call. it was torture. >> at this point investigators were getting suspicious. >> and i'm still working kidnapping here. although the note is just really bothering me. >> when we come back, chaos. >> hold, hold, hold. >> and condemnations. >> let's eliminate every other possibility so we can prove the parents did it. it's gentle on your body too. no wonder doctors and patients
comcast business offers blazing fast and reliable internet that's over 6 times faster than slow internet from the phone company. say hello to internet speeds up to 250 mbps. and add phone and tv for only $34.90 more a month. call today. comcast business. built for business. i'll always remember the day after christmas 1996. >> the juxtaposition of the crime scene tape and the oversized candy canes straddling the sidewalk. >> it was noon. six hours had passed since patsy ramsey had called 911. their little girl, jonbenet, was
still missing. police combed the house trying to figure out how an intruder could have gotten in. one possibility, an open window in the basement, but that was dismissed quickly. >> the window well has cobwebs. yp you can't you can't go bewebewebs without yp you can't you can't go bewebewebs withou disturbing t. >> officers examined the kidnapping note and tapped the phone. >> the note said i'm going to call you between 8:00 and 10:00. >> they asked me and my friend that was there to go through every inch of the house. started in the basement. we have one -- one room in the basement that there are no windows in that room. when i opened the door and when i turned the light on, i -- i hoped that she was still okay
but i could tell that she probably wasn't. >> jonbenet's body was covered in a blanket. >> did you take duct tape off her mouth? >> i took the duct tape off immediately and tried to untie her hands, but the knot was way i couldn't do anything but way scream. >> and john ramsey carried his daughter rigid from rigor mortis up the stairs and set her body down on the floor. >> later horrifying details emerged. jonbenet had been brutally tortured and strangled. >> we were no longer looking at a straight kidnapping, we were looking at now a homicide. >> made more complicated by a contaminated crime scene. >> we had victims' advocates there, we had uniformed police, we had detectives, people were in the kitchen making sandwiches.
>> who knows who was upstairs, who knows who was downstairs. >> late that afternoon john and patsy brought their son home from a friend's house. burke later told police what happened next. >> i thought jonbenet was going to be there. i thought they had found her so i came in so excited. almost relieved. and i saw everyone was sad inside. and my dad told me that jonbenet was in heaven. >> on new year's eve in their hometown, atlanta, georgia, the family buried jonbenet. >> i think it's the worst thing a human being can experience is the loss of a child. >> but things for john and patsy were about to get even worse. investigators had grown suspicious. >> a lot of things didn't make sense. why would they leave a ransom note with her body still in the house. >> my first impression was that
this guy wrote the magna carta. >> you will withdraw $118,000 from your account. >> if i were kidnapping this guy's daughter, i'd ask for a quarter million, half million, $1 million so the amount of money is just really odd to me. >> the ramseys thought so, too. >> what's that mean? we looked at psalm 118. was it a biblical reference? where did this number come from? >> when did it hit you that the $118,000 equated to your christmas bonus? >> it didn't initially because that bonus had actually occurred a year earlier, in january of '96, but it was on every pay stub that i got. >> police asked the ramseys for handwriting samples. john gave them two note pads. >> these pads were pads that were kept by the telephone and each john and patsy had their own pads. >> detectives concluded the ransom note was written on pages torn out of patsy's notepad. >> also examination of that pad showed that somebody had started
a ransom note at one time and then abandoned it. >> did the kidnapper write a practice note? over the next few weeks other clues heightened police suspicions towards patsy. >> the gar ot was fashioned from a paintbrush which came from patsy's painting supplies. >> she was wearing the same outfit she was wearing the night before. >> there was significance derived by some observers from that fact in that patsy was a former miss west virginia would never be seen wearing the same thing twice. >> and police accused both the ramseys of acting peculiar. >> they never really reacted like parents. if it was my daughter that had been killed, i'd be sitting at the police department every day. >> there's been so much publicity saying the ramseys wouldn't talk with police. >> no, that's total fiction. we talked to them in the home, went down to the basement, talked to them.
they kept persisting, we've got to take you down to the police station. >> instead the ramseys hired attorneys and gave their first interview not to police but to cnn. >> do you want water before we start? >> i would like a drink. yeah. >> yeah, that was a mistake. it was a decision we made, but not under our right state of mind. >> you believe that someone outside your home -- >> there is a killer on the loose. >> absolutely. >> everybody thought it was bizarre at the time, especially patsy, who looked drugged up and just had to be going through a living hell, but at the same time i'm looking at john ramsey looking at her. she was the emotional one and he was the ice king. >> keep your babies close to you. there's someone out there. >> when we return, theories and suspects.
>> this is another thing that made this suitable for the tabloids. on the suspect list is santa claus. to truck. it's been touring the country telling folks about our heart healthy idaho potatoes, america's favorite potatoes, and donating to local charities along the way. but now it's finally back home where it belongs. aw man. hey, wait up. where you goin'? here we go again.
into the new year 1997, the story of the 6-year-old girl murdered in boulder, colorado, blew up worldwide. >> jonbenet ramsey. >> it started with those videos of jonbenet and her outfits. juxtaposing that with the horrendous killing and it took off from there. >> we have a stage mother, honestly? >> probably. what's wrong with that? >> those pageants were really turned around on you. >> that was something jonbenet and patsy did for fun. we loved our children dearly and yet people don't like rich people so we kind of became that character for people to hate. >> john ramsey says that sentiment was spurred on by the cops in boulder. >> we just didn't trust the police for good reason. they put out volumes of
misinformation and false information to bring pressure on us. >> police denied that allegation and with the ramseys reduced cooperation built a case against them with evidence revealed in the autopsy. jonbenet had been the victim of a violent attack. >> the skull fracture, 8 1/2 inches long. >> this was a forceful impact. this was not something that could be done by just normal rough housing or playing around. following that impact the assailant placed a tightly applied ligature around her neck. >> slowly torturing her, and then when they were through they pulled that cord very hard and strangled her. >> the report had another gruesome detail. there were spots of blood on jonbenet's underwear, a possible
sign of sexual assault. >> there are injuries to the genitalia. typically a sexual assault of a child like this would result in more profound and significant injuries. >> yet rumors floated that john ramsey sexually abused his daughter. john denied the accusation and jonbenet's pediatrician refuted the theory of ongoing molestation. >> absolutely, categorically, no, i do not think she was sexually abused. >> the blood in the underpants was critical in another way. >> it did identify a dna profile. >> forensic testing identified an unknown male. the ramseys were not a match. yet detectives zeroed in on patsy ramsey. their speculation, she accidentally killed jonbenet and john helped cover it up, but
what kind of accident would cause patsy to murder jonbenet? investigators had a theory. >> she had a bedwetting problem. a serious bedwetting problem that was ongoing for years. >> some believed frustration with jonbenet's bedwetting that night caused patsy to snap or maybe it was something else that set patsy off. investigators focused on a curious finding in the autopsy. >> the small intestine is described as containing fragmented fruit material, which may represent fragments of pineapple. >> but the ramseys had said they put jonbenet to bed after the car ride home and had no memory of her eating pineapple. >> that became a contentious point. i said look i could say i forgot i gave her pineapple, but i
didn't. that's the truth. >> subsequently patsy ramsey and burke ramsey's fingerprints were found on that bowl. >> that led to another police theory. >> i'm just wondering if at some point jonbenet came back down to the kitchen, had gotten pineapple out and patsy just lost it. after that it was all cover up. >> and police were still suspicious about the ransom note. the ramseys had submitted multiple handwriting samples. >> john's definitively was cleared >> yours was not? >> mine scored 4.5 out of 5. 5 is no match. >> there are investigators who say patsy ramsey could not be excluded as an author. it's very subjective. >> three months after jonbenet's murder, police were no closer to an arrest. the d.a. made a bold move, hiring veteran homicide detective lou schmidt.
>> perhaps at first i leaned towards the parents doing it, but as i got into the case i started seeing red flags which started pointing the other way. >> the case took on a whole new turn. schmidt found evidence at the crime scene he thought directly pointed away from the ramseys and to an intruder. first an open and broken window in the basement. police had dismissed it when they first searched the house, claiming the window was too small for an adult to fit through. schmidt begged to differ and made his own demo. >> it really wasn't that difficult coming in that window. >> and something else intriguing, john ramsey had noticed it, too. >> the suitcase doesn't belong there. it looked like it was a step to get out of the window. >> there is evidence on top of that suitcase, a very small tiny pea-sized piece of glass which could have come off the shoe of the intruder. >> evidence for schmidt's intruder theory was stacking up. >> there was a scuff mark down the wall, there was leaves and
debris on the floor directly below that window. >> police claim the evidence didn't hold up and still pointed towards the ramseys. >> the window well had cobwebs on it that were undisturbed. this person had to go out without leaving footprints. >> so was it an intruder or an inside job? a sadistic stranger or a monster at home? when we return, john and patsy open up to police at last. >> i don't give a flying flip. go back to the damn drawing board. i didn't do it. pical day. there is nothing typical about making movies. i'm victoria alonso and i'm an executive producer... ...at marvel studios. we are very much hands-on producers. if my office... ...becomes a plane or an airport the surface pro's perfect. fast and portable but also light. you don't do this 14 hours a day, 7 days a week for... ...decades if you don't feel it in your heart. listen, i know my super power is to not ever sleep. that's it.
>> despite countless days of february 1997, two months after the brutal murder of jonbenet ramsey. d.a. alex hunter delivered an ominous message. >> i mentioned the list of suspects narrows. soon there will be no one on the list but you. >> it's an untold part of this story is how many leads these guys chased down. >> that's another thing that made this suitable for tabloids. on the suspect list is santa claus.
the guy who had been in the ramsey house playing santa. >> john ramsey later told police he thought santa claus was a strong possibility. >> have you got any ideas who this could be? >> bill mcreynolds. he and jonbenet had a special kind of bond. she worshipped him. santa claus. >> we later find out his daughter had been kidnapped something like a decade before, his wife had written a play about a little girl who was killed. >> it seemed a good lead, but after multiple dna and writing samples mcreynolds and his wife were cleared. john also pointed to their housekeeper and her husband. >> linda hoffman pew had been employed by t ramseys for a while. she had asked patsy to borrow $2,000 shortly before christmas. >> police searched the housekeeper's home and found possible evidence linking the couple to jonbenet.
>> for example, the duct tape and the cord that was found. >> but their alibis checked out and dna and handwriting didn't match. detectives had their eyes on other suspects. a convicted sex offender who carried a photo of jonbenet in his wallet. and a boulder journalist who once wrote an article about john's company. but none of these people were charged. police were desperate to talk to their prime suspects. after four months of refusing to cooperate, the ramseys finally sat down with police in april of 1997. two more formal interrogations followed. >> talking about scientific evidence. >> i don't give a flying flip how scientific it is. go back to the damn drawing board. i didn't do it. >> despite countless days of heated interrogation, there was no confession and no charges. >> how about the theory that
this was an accident? somebody was upset over bedwetting. >> you're going down the wrong path, buddy. >> this $100,000 reward. >> then the ramseys took their case to the public. >> you may be eluding the authorities for a time, but god knows who you are and we will find you. >> the police never did. so some investigators turned to the other person in the house that night, jonbenet's 9-year-old brother burke. rumors swirled that he possibly killed jonbenet in a jealous fit of rage. but police officer fred patterson didn't see it. >> i found nothing that would indicate that he even knew she was dead. >> burke had never spoken publicly about jonbenet. on the 20th year anniversary he sat down for his first ever
interview with tv's dr. phil. >> did you hit your sister over the head with a baseball bat or flashlight? >> absolutely not. >> if somebody in your house did, do you think you would have heard that? >> probably, yeah. >> adding fuel to the burke theory, reports surfaced that there was more to that 911 call his mother made. the ramseys had said burke slept through the drama. >> we have a kidnapping. hurry, please. >> detectives enhanced the 911 audio. there were a few extra seconds at the end of the call after patsy thought she had hung up. >> hurry, hurry, hurry. >> patsy, patsy, patsy. patsy. >> some insisted they heard a third voice in the background. >> we do know that burke's voice is on there saying, what did you say? or what did he say or something to that nature. they lied about burke being awake at the time the 911 call was made. >> the ramseys fired back.
>> some police claim they think they hear that. we would challenge the police to release that tape. let's make it public. >> they never did. burke was eventually cleared as a suspect, and to this day whatever is heard at the end of that 911 call is a mystery. nearly two years after the murder of jonbenet ramsey the investigation was frozen. the boulder district attorney convened a grand jury. the proceedings were top secret, but what we do know is that for the next 13 months jurors heard testimony covering every detail of the case. john and patsy ramsey were not asked to testify. >> we were fully prepared to be indicted at the end of the grand jury. i mean, we dealt with a custody letter. for burke. he was going to go with my brother. we signed the papers to do that. >> finally the d.a. came forward with the long awaited news. >> the boulder grand jury has
completed its work. charges have been filed. >> the headlines said it all, the nation was stumped. john and patsy ramsey would not be charged and neither would anyone else. >> i think there was a collective feeling of, oh, no, we're never going to know who murdered this little girl. >> a decade after jonbenet's murder, tragedy struck the family again. patsy died after a long battle with cancer. she is buried next to jonbenet. >> patsy was a wonderful woman. she and i against the world is how it felt. >> coming up -- >> the fbi has arrested a suspect. >> weeks after patsy's death, a shocking twist. >> i was with jonbenet when she died.
that makes you more powerful than your gene pool. i'll trade you the candy cane for the eggnog. deal. or aunt jaxie's lack of boundaries. or uncle terry's over-commitment to holiday cheer. pretty good hiding place, gotta say. say that to the nanny cam. it's your tv, take it with you. now you can watch your dvr anywhere, at no extra cost, with directv from at&t.
hi, we(laughter)lford quads. we're in 8th grade. technology is the only thing that really entertains us. i'm gonna use this picture on sketchbook, and i'm going to draw mustaches on you all. using the pen instead of fingers, it just feels more comfortable for me. be like, boop! it's gone. i like that only i can get into it and that it recognizes my fingerprint. our old tablet couldn't do that. it kind of makes you feel like you're your own person, which is a rare opportunity in my family. (laughter)
we need to be ready for my name's scott strenfel and r i'm a meteorologist at pg&e. we make sure that our crews as well as our customers are prepared to how weather may impact their energy. so every single day we're monitoring the weather, and when storm events arise our forecast get crews out ahead of the storm to minimize any outages. during storm season we want our customers to be ready and stay safe. learn how you can be prepared at pge.com/beprepared. together, we're building a better california.
ramsey's death came a giant break in the case. >> john mark carr, 41 years old, was arrested for the murder of jonbenet ramsey. >> a confession by a schoolteacher in thailand surfaced out of the blue. >> i was with jonbenet when she died. her death was an accident. >> carr was a guy who had been obsessed with the jonbenet case for many years. >> it was another bizarre turn to the bizarre case. >> i always knew that whatever this guy had to say wasn't going to hold water, unless he was the source of that dna in the panties. >> so investigators followed the physical evidence, comparing a small amount of unidentified dna found on jonbenet's underwear with carr's dna. there was no match. after two weeks of drama and false hopes, john mark carr was
not the killer. >> turned out that he was just a nut case who needed a ride back from thailand and got one at the expense of the state. >> after the john mark carr debacle the case stalled again. then, in 2008, jonbenet was back in the headlines. >> new dna tests have cleared the family of the child beauty queen jonbenet ramsey -- >> new touch dna evidence was found by guessing where jonbenet's killer handled her pajama bottoms. forensic scientist angela williamson led the work. >> whoever committed this offense must have pulled down her longjohns. but then they pulled them back up because she was found dressed. >> technicians tested dna on both sides of the longjohns waistband. >> it's the same dna. it's the same male that's in the underpants that's on the side of the longjohns. >> tests over a decade apart revealed the same unknown male
on two pieces of jonbenet's clothing. this led to one of the most controversial moments in this sensational case. a letter of apology to the ramseys from the boulder da. >> to come out and say we definitely conclude that these folks can be exonerated is an inaccurate portrayal of the evidence. >> current boulder d.a. stan garnett says an apology to the ramseys was inappropriate. >> it created the impression that the evidence in the case is much clearer than it is. the evidence is very compromised. >> after a dozen years of being suspects, the entire ramsey family was officially cleared. >> people have asked me was that like a celebratory moment? well, no, it wasn't. okay. now let's solve the case. >> but the case went cold again.
then in 2013 another bombshell. >> i had a strong sense that there was a huge story here that had been missed. >> dogged reporter charlie brennan investigated and broke a shocking story. >> i was able to persuade several grand jurors to confirm for me the fact that they had voted to indict. >> no charges have been filed. >> the grand jury decision 14 years earlier was not as it had been portrayed. jurors had actually voted to charge john and patsy ramsey. brenen wanted to get a hold of the grand jury's decision himself. he went to court. >> i don't think most of us could believe it. he won and they unsealed those grand jury records in 2013, and it was quite illuminating. >> 17 years after jonbenet's murder, the court released four true bills or written decisions from the grand jury.
the jury recommended indicting john and patsy ramsey for child abuse resulting in death and accessory to first degree murder. >> there is insufficient evidence to bring charges at this time. >> but alex hunter, the d.a. at the time, declined to prosecute the ramseys. hunter would not return our calls. >> you must have been shocked. >> shocked would be accurate. it's extremely unusual that a district attorney not sign an indictment when a grand jury returns a true bill. >> with the charges that the grand jury had voted to indict, are they referring to a third person? >> it does appear that the theory they were looking at assumed that maybe someone other than the two ramsey parents had been involved in what happened. >> john ramsey, although well aware of the grand jury's decision, has his own opinion. >> what we were indicted for, which was nonsense, was child abuse resulting in death. and we were told, well, you didn't protect your child.
and that's true. i mean, i regret that i didn't set the burglar alarm or check the windows. >> what about accessory? they also believed to indict on accessory. >> really? i didn't know that. i don't know even what that means frankly. >> meaning that you and patsy helped someone else. >> really? well, that's absurd. that's just absurd. >> there are those who speculate that someone else was burke, jonbenet's big brother. he sat down for the first interview ever with dr. phil. >> what more do you need to stop looking at us and start looking for the person who actually did it? >> you know, burke didn't act right, he was smiling when he was talking. come on. burke is a wonderful young man. i'm very proud of him. >> ramsey says accusations like this motivate him to keep trying to solve the case. >> because patsy's been accused
of being the murderer, because now burke has been accused, the only way that's really going to be resolved is to find the killer. >> to date, john ramsey works out west in the aviation world. he remarried and enjoys a quiet, anonymous life off the beaten path. his little girl is never too far from his thoughts. she would have been 26 years old this year. >> i'm grateful i had her in my life for six years. and i know where she is. she's in heaven. i'll see her again. >> her tombstone says december 25th. >> december 25th, even though jonbenet's body was found the day after christmas. >> i debated that. it was mainly to remember and remind the world that there is evil. the worst kind of evil you could ever imagine.
that murdered a beautiful child on christmas night. silent night. my child was murdered. >> jonbenet ramsey's murder remains unsolved. of course. and good evening. thanks for joining us. breaking details about how donald trump's transition team landed on their pick for secretary of state rex tillerson. that and two new cabinet choices including texas governor rick perry to run the department he once said he wanted to abolish. the latest on all of it from phil mattingly who joins us now. there was obviously a lot of high-profile people running for secretary of state. mitt romney, general petraeus. why did president-elect trump end up selecting tillerson? >> it's an interesting backstory and one that's as informative as it is instructive about why