Newly released footage from a 1998 police interview with Burke Ramsey, the older brother of JonBenét Ramsey, reveals the boy’s actions the day his sister was discovered slain in the family’s Boulder, Colorado, home.
In the interview, young Burke, then 9 years old, was questioned by a detective about the child pageant queen’s death.
The interview was arranged by the district attorney’s office and covered the events leading up to – and after – the moment JonBenét’s body was discovered in the family’s basement, having been strangled with a cord around her neck and duct tape over her mouth.
“When is the last time you saw JonBenét alive?” the detective asked Burke. The little boy responded, “Probably in the car, tired and laying down,” referencing a family outing on Christmas day – the morning before JonBeneét was found.
Touching on the holiday morning, the detective asked Burke, “What do you remember?”
Burke detailed his sister receiving a bike and explained that he and JonBenét took turns opening presents while posing for pictures.
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Of the morning JonBenét went missing, Burke – squirming in his seat while sipping from a soda can – said in the interview that he remembered his mother, Patsy, rushing into his room and turning on the lights before looking around and rushing out.
“I just lay in bed with my eyes closed and like sort of thinking of what might have happened to them,” Burke said of his actions, noting, “I just heard my mom going psycho.”
The boy said he never left his bedroom while police and neighbors came in and out of the house, explaining that he was “so scared.”
He said that he was “worried” for JonBenét, and he didn’t realize until he went with his parents to a family friends’ house that she was dead.
“I thought JonBenét was gonna be there, I thought they found her,” he told the detective. “I came in excited … almost relieved … then my dad [John Ramsey] told me that JonBenét was in heaven.”
Burke and his parents, John and Patsy, have never been charged in the case and always maintained their innocence. John and Burke are the family’s sole surviving members. Patsy died at 49 in 2006.
Of theories that Burke killed JonBenét, John told A&E, “The accusation that Burke somehow was this violent 9-year-old, 60-pound child and he bashed in JonBenét’s head and that Patsy and I staged the whole thing to protect him is laughable.”
Now 29, Burke will speak publicly for the first time since his sister’s death in an upcoming sit-down on Dr. Phil. In a preview of the three-part interview, which will first air on Sept. 12, Burke said, “I know people think I did it, that my parents did it.”
He explained, “I know that we were suspects.”
Of sitting down with Dr. Phil, Burke said, “I want to honor her memory by doing this interview.”
In addition to Burke’s interview, a new CBS anthology docu-series, The Case of JonBenét Ramsey, will debut on Sept. 18, and a movie on the Lifetime network, tentatively titled Who Killed JonBenét, will air this November.
The Killing of JonBenét: The Truth Uncovered debuted on A&E Monday night.