Burke Ramsey, the brother of JonBenet Ramsey, is suing CBS for $750 million. The older brother of the 6-year-old beauty queen claims the network slandered him by accusing him of killing his sister the day after Christmas in 1996.
The brother of JonBenet Ramsey was only a 9-year-old boy when the murder happened in the basement of the family home in Boulder, Colorado. Burke Ramsey claims the CBS 4-hour prime-time documentary series showcased false information when indicating he killed his sister by hitting her with a flashlight.
“CBS and Critical Content knowingly and intentionally published false and defamatory statements conveying that Burke killed JonBenet, engaged in a criminal cover-up with his parents and lied to the police,” Burke Ramsey’s lawsuit states, according to a report by the Denver Post. The brother of the child victim also cited claims made in the documentary indicating the DNA evidence found in both JonBenet’s underwear and pajamas, was “worthless” amid his reasons for suing the television network.
The CBS documentary series, The Case of: JonBenet Ramsey, was released on September 18 and 19, as the 20th anniversary of the murder of the child beauty queen approached. More than 10 million people watched the series devoted to unearthing the murderer of Burke Ramsey’s sister, the lawsuit also maintains.
“CBS perpetrated a fraud upon the public — instead of being a documentary based on a new investigation by a so-called team of experts, ‘The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey’ was a fictional crime show,” the Burke Ramsey lawsuit says.
The Ramsey lawsuit was filed yesterday in the 3rd Circuit Court in Wayne County, Michigan, by Atlanta attorney Lin Wood, Fox News reports. Burke, now 29, lives in Charlevoix, Michigan. JonBenet Ramsey’s brother is seeking $250 million in compensatory damages and $500 million in punitive damages.
CBS and Critical Content LLC – a California-based programming studio, are not the only targets of Burke Ramsey’s lawsuit. Former FBI profilers Jim Clemente, James Fitzgerald and Stanley Burke, forensic scientist Dr. Werner Spitz, forensic expert Laura Richards, former Boulder district attorney’s investigator A. James Kolar, and celebrity pathologist Henry Lee, are also named in the legal filing.
JonBenet Ramsey Documentary Video
CBS publicized its “fraudulent” series by maintaining it had gathered seven “world renowned” and independent experts to investigate the JonBenet Ramsey murder case from scratch, the lawsuits also notes. The documentary series was allegedly not the creation of independent investigators but based on a book by the former Boulder District Attorney investigator, A. James Kolar. The self-published book is entitled, Foreign Faction.
The JonBenet Ramsey murder was reportedly Kolar’s first homicide case. He was working for then-Boulder District Attorney Mary Lacy when he took the lead on the investigation into the killing that shocked the nation. The lawsuit maintains the expert team assembled for the purpose of the documentary all shared Kolar’s view on the unsolved murder case.
Kolar, Spitz, and Lee reportedly met while the investigator was working on his book. In 2006, Kolar’s theory that Burke Ramsey killed his 6-year-old sister, was reportedly rejected by at least one member of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit.
Jim Clemente and Stanley Burke reportedly worked with James Fitzgerald for the FBI’s elite unit of criminal profilers. They are now co-workers at X-G Productions LA. The business consults on movies and television shows which are based on fictional crimes. Their list of credits include Criminal Minds, The Closer, and NCIS, according to the Burke Ramsey lawsuit. Laura Richards also reportedly works for the same production consulting company.
Burke Ramsey claims the experts involved in the CBS documentary about his sister’s murder knew long before their “complete reinvestigation” of the crime that they would accuse him of the brutal killing.
“Defendants knew that the majority of the … theories presented in the documentary were taken from ‘Foreign Faction’ and did not, as represented to the public, result from a complete reinvestigation by new experts,” the lawsuit continues. “Defendants created the illusion of a new real-time reinvestigation by using individuals with law enforcement credentials as actors to play the role of the pseudo-experts and support and act out the accusation of Kolar’s book and the basis supporting its accusation.”
The fact that Kolar was the author of a book about JonBenet’s murder where her brother was accused of being the killer was not reportedly disclosed in the CBS documentary. The lawsuit also maintains Kolar’s theory was reviewed and dismissed as being “ludicrous” and nothing more than “mere speculation based on hearsay” by the Boulder prosecutor’s office in 2006.
“No evidence suggesting Burke’s involvement in JonBenet’s death has ever been discovered and, because he is innocent, does not exist,” the lawsuit states. “As far back as 1998, law enforcement authorities responsible for the JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation have repeatedly, publicly and unequivocally cleared Burke Ramsey of any involvement in the death of his sister.”
Burke Ramsey’s lawsuit claims the brother of the murder victim has no history of drug abuse, sexual abuse, alcohol abuse, or any type of violent or criminal behavior. The legal filing goes on to point out the then 9-year-old boy was asleep in his bed during the early morning hours the day after Christmas when JonBenet was “brutally tortured, sexually assaulted and murdered.”
In 1999 and 2000, Burke Ramsey successfully sued the New York Post, the Globe, and the Star for libel over stories they had published alleging he was likely his sister’s killer. The Globe reportedly ran an article speculating about guilt and deemed him a “squirrely” child who showed signs of disturbance and who had “smeared feces in his bathroom.”
“There was no evidence developed prior to or during the law enforcement investigation and the grand jury investigation that in any way links Burke to the killing of his sister or that caused the Boulder PD or the Boulder DA to consider him a suspect in the investigation of her murder,” the Burke Ramsey lawsuit states.
Burke Ramsey only spoke publicly for the first time about JonBenet’s murder earlier this year. He reportedly chose to do so after learning about the production of the CBS documentary. Ramsey sat down with Dr. Phil McGraw from the Dr. Phil show.
The CBS documentary claimed JonBenet Ramsey was killed by getting hit in the head with a flashlight, the official autopsy report lists a different cause of death. The report states the child beauty pageant queen died from being strangled in association with craniocerebral trauma, the lawsuit also notes.
There were reportedly fingernail abrasions and cuts near where the item used to strangle JonBenet Ramsey was embedded into her neck. Wood fragments from a paintbrush used as a tool to accomplish the strangulation, were reportedly found in the little girl’s vagina. The autopsy report also states JonBenet’s hymen was injured during the sexual assault and caused bleeding in her underwear, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also states CBS CEO Leslie Moonves and network entertainment president, Glenn Geller, were offered the chance to review a notebook filled with exculpatory information about Burke Ramsey before the documentary series aired, but declined the opportunity.
[Featured Image by Ric Feld/AP Photo]