During the first and second installments this week of the Dr. Phil three-part special, Burke discussed and dismissed many of the long-standing theories surrounding 6-year-old JonBenét’s mysterious death.
Burke, who was 9 at the time of the slaying, explained how he learned that the child beauty queen’s body was found in the family’s basement with a cord around her neck and duct tape over her mouth. Burke also revealed his mother Patsy’s demeanor at the time.
Here are the five biggest revelations from the interview – so far.
1. Burke Didn’t Leave His Room Because He Liked “to Avoid Conflict”
Burke infamously didn’t leave his room the morning of JonBenét’s death on Dec. 26, 1996 – even as family, friends and police traipsed around the spacious Boulder, Colorado, home.
Asked why he wasn’t curious about what was happening downstairs, Burke told Dr. Phil McGraw, “I guess I kind of like to avoid conflict or, I don’t know, I guess I just felt safer there.”
“I’m not the worried type,” Burke explained, chuckling. “I guess part of me doesn’t want to know what’s going on.”
2. Mom Patsy Was “Not Even Close” to Violent
While father John, Burke and the late Patsy have never been charged in JonBenét’s killing – nor has anyone else – suspicion long surrounded the family matriarch. They have always maintained their innocence in the case.
Of the accusations that Patsy was involved in JonBenét’s strangling death, Burke said, “It doesn’t make sense.”
“Not to say she never got upset, but nothing near laying a finger on us, let alone killing her child,” he explained. He added that Patsy never even spanked them, noting, “nothing of the sort, not even close.”
Burke also assured McGraw that he, too, was never violent toward his sister. Burke said that he was “absolutely not” the one who hit JonBenét with an unknown object the night of her death.
3. Burke Didn’t Initially Believe JonBenét Was Dead
After hours in his room, Burke said his father was the one to finally break the news of the homicide.
“My dad told me JonBenét is in heaven now, and he started crying, then I started crying. I was kind of like, ‘How is this possible?’ ” Burke recalled. “I started crying. I don’t think I said anything. I didn’t believe it at first.”
In fact, until then, Burke said he thought his little sister was “probably hiding somewhere.”
4. Burke Is Aware That People Suspect His Parents – and Him
Part of the reason Burke chose to speak out after years of silence is because, he said, “I know people think I did it; that my parents did it.”
He said the media circus that surrounded his family in the years after JonBenét’s murder made him suspsicious of the media and caused him to turn inward.
“Seeing that as a little kid is just kind of a chaotic nightmare, so I was pretty skeptical of any sort of media, it just made me a very private person,” Burke said. “As to what I’m doing now, it’s the 20th anniversary and apparently still a lot of tension around it, I guess I kind of wanted to make it about remembering her and not just another news story.”
Related Video: 5 Clues That Could Reveal What Really Happened To JonBenét Ramsey
5. Burke Said He “Would Remember” if He Was Present for Scrutinized 911 call
The 911 call Patsy placed after discovering the two-and-a-half-page ransom note demanding $118,000 for JonBenét, has been analyzed thoroughly.
According to the 911 operator who answered the frantic call, there was a “third distinct, different voice” on the line. The voice, some believe, was Burke, asking, “What did you find?”
Burke said he “would remember” if he was present for the call, and John added that Burke was in his bed asleep at the time. Theories otherwise, he insisted, were “pure fiction.”
The third and final part of Burke’s Dr. Phil interview will air Monday. Check local listings for times.