John Bennett Ramsey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
John Bennett Ramsey
Born (1943-12-07) December 7, 1943 (age 71)
Lincoln, Nebraska
Nationality American
Alma mater Michigan State University
Political party Republican
Religion Christian
Spouse(s) Lucinda Pasch (1966-1978)
Patsy Paugh (1980–2006) (her death)
Jan Rousseaux (since 2011)
Children Elizabeth Pasch Ramsey (1969-1992)
John Andrew Ramsey (b. 1976)
Burke Hamilton Ramsey (b. 1987)
JonBenét Ramsey (1990-1996)

John Bennett Ramsey (born December 7, 1943) is an American business man, author, and father of homicide victim JonBenét Ramsey. He was the first to discover JonBenét's body in the wine cellar of the Ramseys' 15-room home in Boulder, Colorado, on December 26, 1996, just hours after her murder.

Life and business[edit]

Ramsey was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, to Mary Jane (née Bennett) and James Dudley "Jay" Ramsey.[1] His net worth was reported at $6.4 million as of May 1, 1996. He graduated from Michigan State University. In 1966 Ramsey joined the navy, serving as a Civil Engineer Corps officer in the Philippines, for three years, and in an Atlanta reserve unit for an additional eight years.[2] He holds a pilot's license and owns two planes.[3] In 1989, he formed the Advanced Product Group, one of three companies that merged to become Access Graphics. He became president and chief executive officer of Access Graphics, a computer services company and a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin.[4] In 1996, Access Graphics grossed over $1 billion, and he was named "Entrepreneur of the Year" by the Boulder Chamber of Commerce. Immediately following the murder he was "temporarily replaced so the company did not have to bother him about business matters as he grieved", according to Lockheed spokesman Evan McCollum.[5] Ramsey soon left his job to move his family to Michigan, where he joined another computer company. Access Graphics was later sold to General Electric in 1997. He has a son named Burke Ramsey.

John Ramsey's wife Patsy died June 24, 2006 of ovarian cancer. Ramsey's eldest daughter from his first marriage, Elizabeth Pasch Ramsey, died in a 1992 car accident at the age of 22.

Ramsey reportedly began dating Beth Holloway, the mother of Natalee Holloway, an Alabama student who disappeared during a 2005 high school graduation trip to Aruba. Ramsey met Holloway while attending a fundraiser after his wife's death.[6] However, Ramsey downplayed their relationship, stating that they "developed a friendship of respect and admiration" out of common interests related to their children.[7]

On July 21, 2011, John Ramsey married fashion designer Jan Rousseaux after meeting her at a wedding in Denver in 2009. Ramsey proposed to Rousseaux on February 14, 2011. They got married at a private ceremony in Charlevoix, Michigan.

Case files[edit]

JonBenét's was the only murder in Boulder, Colorado, in 1996. The Boulder police had little experience in that type of investigation. Regardless, the majority of them immediately thought that the Ramseys were guilty due to the lack of evidence found indicating that an intruder had broken inside the house, and that the Ramseys had been avoiding the police since the death of their daughter.[citation needed]

Boulder police dismissed the possibility that an intruder had somehow slipped inside the house and committed the murder because they could not find any evidence of anyone breaking in. Instead, District Attorney Alex Hunter leaked information to the media.[citation needed] Meanwhile, the Ramseys had themselves retained a public relations firm and repeatedly appeared on national television to plead their case.

Statements were given to the media by John Ramsey's ex-wife, brother, and sister-in-law. They categorically deny that John Ramsey is, or has ever been, a child abuser. To further defend the claims, John Ramsey's son, John Andrew, and elder daughter, Melinda, told interviewers that their father had always been a loving and gentle person who "cherished" his children and had never abused them in any way. Both children were interviewed as possible suspects in the murder but were later cleared.

In 2004, investigators began to emphasize an intruder theory. Throughout the investigation, the Ramseys maintained their innocence.

Even after the false confession, extradition, and later release of John Mark Karr, JonBenét's murder remains unsolved. Charges have not been filed against anyone.

In July 2008, John Ramsey and his late wife Patsy were officially cleared of the death by the Boulder District Attorney's office, based on new DNA evidence collected from JonBenet's clothing; this particular DNA analysis did not exist at the time of the killing.[8] This was done against normal practice and police still believe them to not be cleared of all charges. [9]

Defamation lawsuits[edit]

Several defamation lawsuits have ensued since JonBenét's murder. L. Lin Wood.[10][11][12] was the plaintiff's lead attorney for John and Patsy Ramsey and their son Burke, and has prosecuted defamation claims on their behalf against St. Martin's Press, Time, Inc., The Fox News Channel, American Media, Inc., Star, The Globe, Court TV and The New York Post. John and Patsy Ramsey were also sued in two separate defamation lawsuits arising from the publication of their book, The Death of Innocence, brought by two individuals named in the book as having been investigated by Boulder police as suspects in JonBenét's murder. The Ramseys were defended in those lawsuits by Lin Wood and three other Atlanta attorneys, James C. Rawls, Eric P. Schroeder, and S. Derek Bauer, who obtained dismissal of both lawsuits including an in-depth decision by U.S. District Court Judge Julie Carnes that "abundant evidence" in the murder case pointed to an intruder having committed the crime.[13]

In November 2006, Rod Westmoreland, a friend of JonBenét Ramsey's father, filed a defamation suit[14] against Keith Greer, who posted a message on an Internet forum using the pseudonym "undertheradar". Greer had accused Westmoreland of participating in the kidnapping and murder.[15] Greer has defended his statement.[16]


In 2004 and 2008, Ramsey unsuccessfully campaigned for a seat in Michigan's House of Representatives.[17][18][19]

Fictional portrayals[edit]


  1. ^ "Ancestry of JonBenet Ramsey". Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  2. ^ "John Ramsey's deposition from Oct. 20, 1998". The Boulder Daily Camera. Retrieved 2015-02-26. 
  3. ^ "The Murder of JonBenet Ramsey by J.J. Maloney and J. Patrick O'Connor". Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  4. ^ Mon Jun 9 8:56:47 UTC 2014. "The Bonita Papers". Forums For Justice. Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  5. ^ George, Mary; Robinson, Marilyn (August 16, 2006). "JonBenet Archive: Details emerge in slaying". Denver Post. 
  6. ^ "John Ramsey and Beth Holloway Twitty Are Dating". Fox News. June 4, 2007. Retrieved June 4, 2007. 
  7. ^ Stephen M. Silverman (June 5, 2007). "JonBenet's Dad & Natalee Holloway's Mom Together". People. Retrieved August 20, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Exclusive: JonBenet's father 'grateful' after being cleared by DNA". Colorado 9 News. 2008-07-09. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  9. ^ "I am former Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner. I worked in law enforcement for 36 years, and headed the investigation into the JonBenet Ramsey murder. AMAA. (cached version)". Reddit / Denver News. 2015-02-22. Retrieved 2015-02-26. 
  10. ^ Erin Moriarty, "JonBenét: DNA Rules Out Parents," "CBS", March 26, 2005.
  11. ^ Vanessa Miller, "Boulder police take back Ramsey case," "Colorado Daily" February 2, 2009
  12. ^ David Kohn, "Searching: The Interrogation Tapes," "CBS" February 11, 2009
  13. ^ R. Robin McDonald All Articles (2009-03-16). "Northern District of Georgia's New Chief Judge Reflects on Her Career". Retrieved 2011-06-22. 
  14. ^ Time Waster (2006-11-09). "Man Sues Over JonBenet Murder Claim". Retrieved 2011-06-22. 
  15. ^ "JonBenet Ramsey Case Encyclopedia wiki / Legal Issues Surrounding JBR Case". Retrieved 2011-06-22. 
  16. ^ "JonBenet Ramsey Case Encyclopedia wiki / undrtheradar biosketch". 2007-02-28. Retrieved 2011-06-22. 
  17. ^ Flesher, John (July 31, 2004). "Ramsey father runs for election to Michigan State House". The Boston Globe. 
  18. ^ The Citizen-Journal[dead link]
  19. ^ Noah Fowle (April 4, 2008). "Ramsey currently not a resident, must amend status to run for 105th district.". Petoskey News-Review. 
  20. ^ Goldman, Andrew (September 23, 2011). "The Fogies of ‘South Park’". The New York Times Magazine.