Burke Ramsey, JonBenet Ramsey’s brother, filed a $750 million defamation lawsuit over a CBS documentary, alleging it portrayed him as responsible for his sister’s death. The documentary The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey is a four-hour, two-part docu-series that aired on Sept. 18 and Sept. 19. to mark the 20th anniversary of the unsolved murder case. JonBenet Ramsey was six-years-old when her mother reported her missing and her father found her deceased body in the basement of their Boulder, Colorado home on Christmas weekend in 1996. You may watch the full documentary The Case Of; JonBenet Ramsey online and on-demand at CBS. After watching the show, you might draw your own conclusions regarding the way Burke Ramsey was portrayed. Burke Ramsey was officially ruled out as a suspect in the murder case, and according to the Daily Camera, Burke was never a suspect.
You may see the full episode of The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey, part 1 in the video below.
Watch part 2 of The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey in the video player below.
Important Case Documents
- JonBenet Ramsey Ransom Note (hosted by the AP, pdf)
- JonBenet Ramsey Autopsy Report (hosted by the AP pdf)
- Burke Ramsey vs Werner Spitz (Scribd pdf)
- Read Burke Ramsey vs CBS et All (TV Witch pdf)
Burke Ramsey appeared on the Dr. Phil show, and some viewers remarked upon Burke’s demeanor. They commented that he smiled frequently and they thought it was indicative of guilt. Dr. Phil addressed the issue by saying in his professional opinion, the only thing Burke’s demeanor expressed was that he was nervous. It’s interesting that when John and Patsy Ramsey spoke to the media twenty years ago, the public took them to task for their demeanor. They assumed they were guilty by the way they expressed themselves when they spoke. Even during the CBS docu-series The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey, the “experts” spent four hours picking apart every nod of the head, smile, or physical act the family demonstrated. Are physical mannerisms truly a sign of guilt? Does a nervous smile mean someone is a murderer? Could this type of behavior the public judged John Ramsey, Patsy Ramsey, and Burke Ramsey so harshly for, be nothing more than a family trait?
You may watch the Dr. Phil interview and see the comments regarding Burke Ramsey’s mannerisms in the video player below.
The lawsuit Burke Ramsey vs CBS et All, names the following defendants:
- CBS Corporation
- Critical Content, LLC
- Jim Clemente
- Laura Richards
- A. James Kolar
- James R. Fitzgerald
- Stanley B. Burke
- Werner Spitz
- Henry C. Lee
Representing Burke Ramsey are L. Lin Wood, P.C. and John A. Lesko. According to the lawsuit, Burke Ramsey is filing for defamation and believes the CBS docu-series The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey permanently damaged his reputation and the defendants made false accusations that he killed JonBenet Ramsey. The lawsuit states that the Sept. 18, 2016, episode (part 1) drew approximately 10.4 million viewers and the Sept. 19, 2016, episode (part 2) drew approximately 8.24 million viewers. Burke Ramsey also pointed out that the docu-series The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey was presented as a documentary. Points five, six and seven of the lawsuit’s introduction make the following statements.
“Because CBS represented and promoted The Case Of: JonBenét Ramsey as a documentary, viewers expected a presentation of factual information about real people, places, and events that was truthful.
CBS represented and promoted The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey as a documentary that would reveal the truth as to who killed JonBenét Ramsey—a question that has captivated the world for twenty years since her December 1996 murder in Boulder, Colorado.
CBS represented and promoted that the Documentary would reveal the truth by presenting to viewers “new witnesses,” “new evidence,” and “new theories.”
It’s important to note that the beginning of the docu-series neglects to include a disclaimer stating these are theories or opinions. Nor does the docu-series include a statement by Burke Ramsey denying the claims, statements, or findings.
What do you think about the lawsuit? Do you think CBS was within their right to present a docu-series that portrayed nine-year-old Burke Ramsey as responsible for his sister’s death, when he was never an official suspect or charged with a crime? Should CBS have made it clear that they were making theories and suggestions to prevent the public from interpreting the experts’ findings as fact? Should there have been equal and ample opportunity to include a statement by Burke Ramsey and even John Ramsey when disparaging comments and suggestions were made about them during the show?
Did you watch The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey? Feel free to share your comments, thoughts and opinions below.
[Featured Image by Rick Feld/AP Images]