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JonBenet Ramsey Gets the OJ Simpson Treatment as Murder Case Is Back in the Spotlight Nearly 20 Years Later

by Raphael Chestang 3:47 PM PDT, September 06, 2016
Playing JonBenet Ramsey Gets the OJ Simpson Treatment as Murder Case Is Back in the Spotlight Nearly 20 Years Later

The unsolved murder of JonBenet Ramsey has reentered the zeitgeist ahead of the 20th anniversary of her death. With eight televised projects set to shine a spotlight on the case this fall, some are entertaining the idea that this renewed interest could lead to a breakthrough in finally solving the crime.

"A 6-year-old girl died, and nobody has ever been brought to justice," Tom Forman, executive producer of The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey, tells ET. "If we can play a really small part in fixing that, that'd be great."

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The child pageant star was found dead in the basement of her family's Colorado home on Dec. 26, 1996. At the time, parents John and Patsy Ramsey made the initial call to police, saying they found a note demanding ransom for their daughter of $118,000. John later found his daughter's body hours after police completed a search of the home. John and Patsy were primary suspects in the case for more than a decade until police cleared them of any wrongdoing in 2008.

After dominating the airwaves in 1996, the case will once again be taking up prime TV real estate this year.

The phenomenon follows the revitalization in the O.J. Simpson murder trial earlier this year. The FX limited series The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and ESPN's five-part series, O.J.: Made in America, seem to have sparked renewed national interest with stories of true crime.

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"A beautiful young girl, tragically missing, wealthy parents, a small town, and it was never solved," Forman notes. "I'm not surprised people are still talking about it 20 years later."

On Monday night, the first of these projects, The Killing of JonBenet: The Truth Uncovered, aired on A&E, and included a previously unreleased interview of JonBenet's older brother, Burke, who was just nine years old at the time of the murder. A new interview with Burke, now 29, is the cornerstone of the upcoming season premiere of Dr. Phil, starting Sept. 12, and Forman's The Case Of premieres on CBS Sept. 18.

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