A True Crime Podcast Exposes Odd Behavior By a Suspect in the JonBenét Ramsey Case

It has been more than 23 years since JonBenét Ramsey was found dead inside her family’s Boulder, Colorado home. JonBenét was just six-years-old when she died. Often referred to as the “beauty queen murder,” the death of JonBenét has gripped the true crime community for decades. Citizen detectives have combed over the evidence, and have developed their own theories about what led to the murder of the kindergartener. A new podcast, focusing on the case, has uncovered some strange behavior of one potential suspect, years after the case has gone cold. Could the podcast finally bring justice to JonBenét and her family?

The facts of the JonBenét Ramsey murder case

JonBenét was killed on December 26, 1996. Then just six-years-old, JonBenét was put to bed on Christmas evening, to leave on a family vacation the following morning. The Ramsey family, wealthy and well regarded in their community, had celebrated the holiday the evening before with a party. By 5:30 in the morning, on December 26, Patsy Ramsey, JonBenét’s mother, found a ransom note on the steps. JonBenét was discovered missing shortly after that.

The ransom note found in the Ramsey home
Reproduction writing samples from the UNABOMBER, the DC Sniper, and the JonBenet Ramsey murder | Mike Morgan/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Just before 6am, the police were alerted. Initially, the police were told a child had been kidnapped, according to In Touch. The ransom note demanded $118,000 to secure the safe return of the child. By 1pm, however, JonBenét’s body was found in the basement of the family’s home. She suffered a skull fracture and had been strangled.

It didn’t take long for the public to turn on Patsy and John Ramsey. Many believed the elder Ramseys were the cause of their daughter’s death, further egged on by the Boulder police department, who considered them suspects at the time. They have since been cleared, and Patsy succumbed to cancer in June 2006, never knowing who caused her daughter’s death.

While some citizen detective still firmly believe the Ramsey family is somehow involved in JonBenét’s death, there are several potential suspects in the murder. One person of interest emerged in 2006, allegedly confessing to the crime. John Mark Karr, a former school teacher, admitted to the crime, out of the blue, according to Rolling Stone. He has since been cleared.

A suspect emerges

The Killing of JonBenét has taken a close look at the murder of JonBenét and has even spoken to John Ramsey about the events that led up to his daughter’s death. In a candid interview, John insists that he feels enormous guilt over the death of JonBenét, claiming that he feels as though he put eyes on his family with his success. John had indeed sold his company in the months leading up to his daughter’s murder. The well-publicized acquisition increased the Ramsey family’s net worth exponentially.

John’s guilt may be misplaced, though. It’s possible that the Ramsey family’s wealth had little to do with the death of the child beauty queen. The podcast examines a potential suspect and his curious behavior. Randy Simons was a photographer who had worked with the Ramsey family. He mostly took glamor shots for the pageants that JonBenét took part in. According to the podcast, following JonBenét’s death, Simons acted strangely and often called up other mothers from the pageant circuit to plead his innocence.

Police ruled out Simons when his DNA didn’t match samples taken from the crime scene, but Simons continued to exhibit odd behavior. In 1998 he was arrested for strolling down a street naked. In July 2019, he was arrested for downloading child pornography. His predatory behavior has reignited interest in Simons as a suspect, according to Us Weekly.

Could The Killing of JonBenét crack the cold case?

Cracking a cold case is a difficult task. There are hundreds of thousands of unsolved murder cases across the United States. Many remain unsolved because they do not have a media spotlight shone on them. In short, the public can’t help solve a murder or offer information if they don’t know a crime has been committed. That’s not the reason JonBenét’s case remains unsolved, though. The media has followed the murder since the earliest moments of the investigation. Sure, the podcast may help bring more information to light, but whether or not the existing podcast can actually help solve the case remains unknown.

It wouldn’t, however, be the first time that a true-crime podcast led to an arrest in a case that had grown cold. In 2017, the GBI made an arrest in the disappearance of Tara Grinstead, a former beauty queen, and teacher. The previous year, the Up and Vanished podcast highlighted the case, bringing renewed interest to mysterious 2005 disappearance. The Bear Brook podcast played a small role in identifying the victims of a serial killer who was active in New Hampshire in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

What will happen with the JonBenét case because of the podcast is an absolute unknown. Shining light on the cold case, however, can’t possibly hurt. Maybe a conclusion will be reached, perhaps the world will never know what really happened to JonBenét, but renewed interest could potentially uncover some missed details.