The murder of JonBenét Ramsey was one of the most terrible murder stories in recent history. A young beauty queen was abducted and found dead in the days surrounding the Christmas Holiday and her distraught family soon found themselves as suspects in her murder case.
What has transpired over the last 20 years is a media circus where the image of JonBenét has been used to sell a narrative rather than stand out as the true devastating story that exists behind the young beauty queen. While television and film can focus more on certain aspects of her death and less on others, the true gruesome facts of the case are still hard to understand.
JonBenét was wrapped in her white blanket with a nylon cord around her neck as well as with her wrists tied above her head. She was also found with duct tape over her mouth. The autopsy revealed that she was struck in the head with a blunt object which rendered her unconscious. Sometime between 45 minutes to two hours after she was knocked out, she was strangled to death with a piece of cord and the handle of a broken paintbrush. Patsy Ramsey alleged that JonBenét was not wearing the same clothing she went to bed in.
Patsy Ramsey, her mother, also said that she was not wearing the same clothes she went to sleep in. It was later confirmed that she was also sexually assaulted.
Her story has been on crime television shows, sold in novels and as films, and made headlines around the world. In the most recent Netflix premiere of ‘Casting JonBenét’, the focus of the story is on her tragic story but also on the way that story affected people in the town that she lived in.
For this reason, ‘unknowns’ were cast in the Netflix documentary – the director explained why in an interview with E! News.
“I was very honest with them up front and said, ‘Listen, this is such an experiment of a film. We’re going to use your casting tapes in the film. Multiple people will be playing multiple roles, this is unlike anything you’ve ever been part of before. People were connecting it to their own personal trauma or their own emotional baggage or what not…Often they drew conclusions from their own lives.”
This documentary doesn’t focus on who did it, which is a question that just…doesn’t make sense to remain unanswered, but that question has overshadowed JonBenét as a person. She was an innocent child and her life was taken away from her in gruesome circumstances.
The last scene of the Netflix documentary shows young girls dancing, the director told E! News that it was “a moment to remember who is at the center of this drama”.
You can watch Casting JonBenét now on Netflix.
‘…but I knew him’