The JonBenét Ramsey Case Is More Upsetting Now Than It Was 20 Years Ago

by Eve Vawter

Image via  CBS /YouTube

Image via CBS/YouTube

I was in my mid-20s when JonBenét Ramsey was found murdered in the basement of her Boulder, Colorado home. I vaguely paid attention to the case (and even then it was mainly because it was everywhere and you couldn't turn on a television without seeing an update on it) and I think I even had sort of a sneering attitude towards the family and the child who was brutally murdered. I mean, look how they presented themselves to the media and how they had paraded JonBenét in those child beauty pageants! I'm pretty sure I had a whole lot of highly problematic narratives going on in my own head in regard to the case. Now that it's back in the news 20 years later, and I have children of my own, and I'm a lot smarter than I was back then, I can't stop thinking about how amazingly heartbreakingly sad the whole case is.

I don't think it struck me as hard 20 years ago, but the entire thing is just beyond awful.

There are NO SPOILERS below, but there may be some submitted by readers in the comment section. 


Regardless of who murdered this child (and more on that in a moment) I think that when it was going on the whole National Enquirer luridness of the case detracted from the fact that a child had died tragically under really terrible circumstances. Allegations of child sexual abuse, predators, and speculation that this baby had been raped all added to the whole scandalous circus of the case. I think it probably helped in the common public belief that JonBenét was murdered by someone outside of the family. 

After watching The Case Of JonBenét Ramsey that aired on CBS for the last few nights (if you haven't watched it yet check your cable's On Demand feature or the CBS website to see if you can catch a viewing) I agree with the expert's hypothesis on how JonBenét ended up dead in her family's basement on the day after Christmas 1996. Even though what the experts came up with is far less scandalous than the scenario believed before, it's just as heartbreaking. It's also beyond infuriating when you consider the ineptitude and negligence of the law enforcement involved with the case. 

I didn't care much about this child back when this case happened. I thought her parents were weirdos (and I think a lot worse now) and I thought the whole thing was just gross and exploitive and something that belonged on lurid daytime TV talk shows. I didn't have a lot of humanity towards the stark reality of a baby being murdered and left in a cold, dark basement back when I was in my 20s, but you better believe now that I'm old and know a lot better I said a prayer for this little girl and mourned her sad, short life and the fact that maybe now a small amount of justice, at least in the minds of the public, has been served. 

There may be spoilers in the comments section below from readers regarding the CBS special — proceed at your own risk.