The murder of child beauty pageant contestant JonBenet Ramsey has captivated the nation for over two decades. The case is getting a fresh look in a new docuseries, JonBenet Ramsey: What Really Happened?, which is set. to air on the new discovery+ streaming service.
What happened to JonBenet Ramsey?
Ramsey’s death shook the nation to its core in 1996. A few days after Christmas in 1996, she was reported missing and then just eight hours later, the 6-year-old’s body was found in the basement of her home amid a gruesome murder scene. Her parents, John and Patsy, were said to be asleep while the murder happened. Ramsey’s parents said found a ransom note that asked for $118,000.
The Ramseys were suspects for years, but they were exonerated once DNA confirmed that the attacker was a man who was not a family member. Her mother died in 2006. The investigation still remains open.
What to expect in ‘JonBenet Ramsey: What Really Happened?’
The official description from discovery+ reads, “This crime continues to captivate the nation 25 years later, with its myriad of false leads, mountain of mishandled evidence and barrage of shocking accusations. Now, for the first time ever, exclusive new information comes to light in one of modern history’s most perplexing cold cases. The special will be available to stream on discovery+ on Jan. 4.
The cast will present a fresh perspective on the face, and for the first time, viewers will be able to hear “the previously unreleased audio diaries of Lou Smit, famed Colorado Springs homicide detective who was coaxed from retirement to try and bring some clarity to the chaos surrounding this case.” Though he died in 2010, Smit’s knowledge of the cast lives. According to discovery+, in the doc, Smit will test several theories, including those that had not been previously explored by the Boulder Police Department. Some questions that will be posed include: Was there an intruder? Was all the DNA identified? Could the killer still be at large?
Via audio tapes, viewers will hear how “hear how Smit meticulously tested each piece of evidence, debunked erroneous theories and uncovered new information that drove the case in a completely new direction.” After police and press members suspected her parents from the jump, Smit knew there was more to the case and began recording his investigation from the start.
Speaking in the documentary will be Smit’s son, his daughter, his investigative team, and Ramsey family members, including John Ramsey and his son, John Andrew Ramsey. They “reflect on what really happened during those early days of the investigation – a case that fascinates a nation more than two decades later.”