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Crime

Inside Burke Ramsey’s Torment: Sadness, Suspicion and Civil Suits

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For the last 20 years, Burke Ramsey has lived with speculation that he and his family were involved in his sister JonBenét’s 1996 death.

A panel of experts on a September CBS docuseries advanced the theory that Burke, then 9, killed the 6-year-old beauty queen by accident. Burke has since filed a civil lawsuit against a forensic pathologist who appeared on the panel seeking $150 million in damages for defamation.

As the anniversary of JonBenét’s unsolved murder approaches, People Magazine Investigates takes a fresh look at the infamous cold case in an episode entitled “JonBenét: The Untold Truth,” which airs Monday night at 10 p.m. ET on Investigation Discovery.

JonBenét was found dead in the basement of her family’s home in Boulder, Colorado, in December 1996. She was strangled with a cord around her neck and duct tape over her mouth.

Though the Ramsey family long faced suspicion, including from police, in JonBenét’s death, they have never been charged and have always maintained their innocence.

In September, Burke, now 29, sat down with Dr. Phil McGraw on Dr. Phil. He told the television host he knows people “think I did it” or “that my parents did it,” and added that the suspicion has had an adverse impact on him.

Burke Ramsey
Courtesy Dr. Phil/Peteski Productions

• For more on the case of the JonBenét Ramsey case, watch “JonBenét: The Untold Truth” on our 10-part true crime show, People Magazine Investigates, airing Monday night at 10 p.m. ET on Investigation Discovery.

The entire ordeal, Burke explained, has caused him “a lot of sadness.”

“I don’t think I really fully grasped, like, after this I won’t see her again … That was traumatizing,” he said.

L. Lin Wood, a lawyer for the Ramsey family, had previously told PEOPLE the lawsuit he’d be filing on Burke’s behalf “would be very detailed in setting forth the gross inaccuracies relied upon and broadcast by CBS. We’re not going to pull any punches.”

WATCH: Three Things To Know About JonBenét Ramsey & The Latest On The Hunt For Her Murderer

He added that “Burke is aware of the accusation. He did not watch the docuseries and understands why CBS needs to be held fully accountable for what they’ve done to him. This young man will spend the rest of his life living under a cloud. The damage they have done to his reputation — it’s incomprehensible that CBS would have done this to this young man.”

“This was done for ratings,” Wood added. “It was done because this was the sensational accusation that no one else had made.”

• Watch the People Magazine Investigates After Show, on the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the PEN app on Apple TV, Roku Players, Amazon Fire TV, Xumo, Chromecast, iOS and Android devices

Network officials vowed not to back down, saying in a previous statement to PEOPLE, “CBS stands by the broadcast and will do so in court.”

• Reporting by JEFF TRUESDELL