By Libby Smith
DENVER (CBS4) – It’s a case that has transfixed the nation for nearly 20 years. A 6-year-old beauty pageant winner was murdered on Christmas night. The mystery of what happened to JonBenet Ramsey has never been solved. Now CBS brings modern forensic science to this cold case, in a new docu-series called “The Case of: JonBenet Ramsey”.
“Why did you want to do this project? How did all of this come together?” CBS4’s Alan Gionet asked Executive Producer Tom Forman and investigator Jim Clemente.
“Jim came to us 5 or 6-months ago, and said he was frustrated as one of the original investigators on the case, he hadn’t been able to investigate the way he wanted to,” Forman replied.
Clemente put together a dream team of investigators, including a forensic pathologist, forensic linguist, behavioral analyst, and others who can dissect the evidence.
“There’s tons of evidence in this case and what it needed was a comprehensive look from all sorts of different professional perspectives,” Clemente told CBS4.
The team even built a replica of the house focusing on rooms critical to the investigation.
“This is the location where the letter was found, the ransom letter. And it’s at the bottom of the stairs that lead right up to JonBenet’s room,” Clemente said in a taped piece on the set of the show.
The show walks us through JonBenet’s bedroom, shows us evidence in the train room, and even the basement room where JonBenet’s body was found.
“We’re using behavioral analysts to actually deconstruct the crime…reverse engineer it back to the type of person who committed the crime, so that we can actually come up with a comprehensive theory that actually covers all of the evidence … all of the aspects of this crime,” Clemente explained.
“Of course, one of the key witnesses, Patsy Ramsey, is gone, having passed away some years ago from ovarian cancer, after the death of her daughter. What would each of you ask her, if you could get one question?” Gionet asked.
“I would ask her for exactly whatever she remembered about the initial moments when she found that letter on the staircase. Those critical initial moments of the investigation that nobody else was around for. She’s the only witness to those moments,” Clemente responded.
Forman and Clemente said that “The Case of: JonBenet Ramsey” is not a retelling of the story, but rather an active investigation of the case. In the end, you can decide what happened to JonBenet.
“The Case of: JonBenet Ramsey” airs on CBS in three-parts. On Sunday, September 18th from 7-9 p.m.; Monday, September 19th from 8-10 p.m.; and Sunday, September 25th from 7-9 p.m.
Libby Smith is a Special Projects Producer at CBS4. If you have a story you’d like to tell CBS4 about, call 303-863-TIPS (8477) or visit the News Tips section.