JonBenet Ramsey's Brother and Father Address Theories of Who Killed Her: 'I Know We Were Suspects'
By Jennifer Drysdale
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Nearly 20 years later, JonBenet Ramsey's family is still addressing rumors surrounding her murder.
In new clips released from Dr. Phil's three-part interview with JonBenet's brother, Burke, and father, John, the two speak out on the suspicions that their family was involved in her death, with Burke giving his first interview since his 6-year-old sister was found dead in the basement of their Colorado home on Dec. 26, 1996.
"I know we were suspects," Burke tells Dr. Phil in a new clip, before taking a look at a copy of the ransom note supposedly left by JonBenet's kidnappers.
According to the testimony of JonBenet's mother, Patsy Ramsey -- who died of ovarian cancer in 2006 -- she discovered a two-and-a-half page ransom letter demanding $118,000 for her daughter's safe return on the kitchen staircase, which some speculate was actually written in Patsy's handwriting.
"I've never really looked at it closely, because you see it, and you kind of get taken aback," Burke, who was nine years old when his sister was murdered, says of the note. "It's not something I really want to look at."
As for whether the note resembles his mother's handwriting, he says he thinks "it's too sloppy." "She would always bug me about having good handwriting," he explains.
Patsy -- along with John and Burke -- was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing by police in 2008.
"I've heard rumors that you were trying to distance Burke from the Boulder police investigation," Dr. Phil says to John in another clip.
"Not at all. I've heard rumors that we were hiding Burke, because he was this crazy kid, when that wasn't the case at all," John explains. "Yes, we were hiding him from the media, but no, we didn't hide him from anybody. We protected him, we hid him. We were worried about his physical safety."
"I mean, we were under assault by the media and press and cameras and people, we didn't know who they were," he continues. "We just didn't want Burke recognized, because he was growing up. He was not a 9-year-old boy anymore… We wanted him to have a normal life."
John was also quick to shoot down suspicions that he was involved in JonBenet's murder after searching the house and subsequently finding her body, hours after police had completed a search of the home.
"I was just going through methodically every square inch of that basement, and I opened the door, and there's JonBenet,"John recalls, adding that at that point, he didn't know she was dead. "I had this rush of 'Thank God I found her,' and it was just this overwhelming sense of joy, that I had found my child."
"Her hands were tied over her head. She had tape on her mouth, her eyes were closed," he said. "There was a red spot on her throat…but I was just hoping she'd wake up. And I began to realize she wasn't going to, and I just started to scream. I picked her up, carried her upstairs. I don't know what I was thinking, but I was just horrified. I couldn't speak. I was just screaming."