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JonBenét Ramsey's Ransom Note Was 'Clearly Staged,' Investigator Alleges in New Docu-Series

Updated

When it comes to cold cases, few are as enduring as the killing of 6-year-old JonBenét Ramsey on Dec 26, 1996. Now, almost 20 years after the child beauty pageant queen was found dead in the basement of her family’s home in Boulder, Colorado, a team of investigators is reexamining – and in some cases reenacting – the case.

In an exclusive clip from the upcoming CBS docu-series The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey, the team, including a former FBI profiler and behavioral analyst with Scotland Yard, casts doubt on the ransom note written by an alleged kidnapper and found by JonBenét’s mother, Patsy Ramsey, that fateful December morning.

Many theories – but few answers – have been found in the wake of JonBenét’s death, despite years of investigation. The Ramsey family has never been charged and always maintained their innocence.

In the new clip, forensic scientist Henry Lee tells investigators that the pad used to write the ransom note came from Patsy’s desk in the hallway, the pad was Patsy’s pad and the pen was found underneath the phone.

The killer allegedly practiced a few times before writing out the final note in the Ramsey home, Lee says.

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JonBenét Ramsey in April 1996
Zuma Press

“Whoever wrote this managed to commit a murder, find the pad, find the pen, practice a couple of times because they didn’t want to show bad penmanship or something, write it and then put the pad and pen back to where they normally are kept,” explains retired FBI profiler Jim Clemente.

In the clip, the team also spends time actually writing out the ransom note – coming to the conclusion that it would have taken the killer at least 21 minutes.

“That is 21-and-a-half minutes they could have been caught,” Clemente says. “Twenty-one-and-a-half minutes that they stayed in the house longer than they needed to.”

That would have been “high-risk behavior,” according to Laura Richards, the ex-Scotland Yard behavioral analyst.

“I think we can all agree this letter is clearly staged,” Clemente alleges.

“What we have to decide through our investigation,” he says, “is whether it was staged by somebody in the family or somebody who came into this home.

The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey premieres on Sept. 18 (8:30 p.m. ET) on CBS.