JonBenét Ramsey’s brother, Burke, talks about her murder for first time

Burke Ramsey appears on 'Dr. Phil' on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. CBS/Dr. Phil McGraw

Two decades after six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey was found brutally murdered in her Boulder, Colo., family home, her older brother Burke Ramsey, who has never spoken about the killing, has finally broken his silence. Burke was a guest on Monday and Tuesday’s episodes of Dr. Phil, the first two parts of a three-part series that’ll broadcast over the next week-and-a-half.

Now 29 years old, Burke says going through the endless media scrutiny — and even being accused of his sister’s 1996 murder — was traumatizing.

“Seeing [my family being blamed] as a little kid is just kind of a chaotic nightmare,” he said to Dr. Phil McGraw. “I know people think I did it, that my parents did it. For a long time, the media basically made our lives crazy. It’s hard to miss the cameras and news trucks in your front yard. We’d go to the supermarket sometimes and there would be a tabloid with my picture [or] with JonBenét’s picture plastered on the front.”
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JonBenét’s death, which is easily one of the most debated and high-profile murder cases in American history, remains unsolved to this day. Her parents and Burke were the only other people in the home at the time.

After the pageant queen’s body was discovered, the Ramsey family was put under intense scrutiny by investigators and the media. No evidence was found to incriminate them, and to this day no charges have been laid. They were all cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in 2008.

JonBenét’s father, John, found JonBenét’s body with duct tape over her mouth and a cord wrapped around her neck. A mysterious ransom note was left in the house, demanding the seemingly random amount of $118,000. There was no sign of forced entry into the Boulder home. Authorities stated that the little girl had been sexually assaulted. JonBenét’s mother, Patsy, died in 2006 from ovarian cancer.

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On the Dr. Phil show, Burke also recalled the first moments after his mother realized his sister wasn’t in her bedroom.

“The first thing I remember is my mom bursting in my room really frantic, saying, ‘Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!’ running around the room, now I know, looking for JonBenét,” he said.

Burke said he remained in bed as a police officer entered next, shining a flashlight in the predawn darkness.

READ MORE: JonBenét Ramsey’s brother to speak publicly for first time about sister’s death

“I was scared, I think,” he said. “I didn’t know if some bad guy was downstairs my dad was chasing off with a gun or … I had no idea.”

Burke remembered being asked by another police officer where JonBenét might be and suggesting that she might be hiding. Later, at the home of a family friend, his father told him that his sister was dead.

“My dad just said, ‘She’s in heaven,'” he said. “I was kind of like, ‘How is that possible?'”

Burke also defended his mother, who he asserts was never violent and never struck either of her children.

“It doesn’t make sense,” he said. “Not to say she never got upset, but nothing near laying a finger on us, let alone killing her child.”

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Despite McGraw’s assertion during the broadcast that Burke was the “missing link” in the case who had “never answered questions” about what happened in the house that morning, Burke was actually questioned at length by investigators following his sister’s murder and again years later.

READ MORE: Former police chief reveals JonBenét Ramsey case was mishandled

All male DNA found in the murdered girl’s underwear did not match anyone in the family, including Burke.

The DNA profile has been entered into a national crime database but no matches have turned up, Boulder County District Attorney Mary Lacy said in 2008.

(The three-part Dr. Phil interview with Burke Ramsey airs on Monday, Sept. 12, Tuesday, Sept. 13 and Monday, Sept. 19. Check local listings for exact air times.)

With files from Reuters

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