John Bennett Ramsey

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John Bennett Ramsey
Born (1943-12-07) December 7, 1943 (age 76)
Alma materMichigan State University
OccupationComputer firm executive
Political partyRepublican
Lucinda Pasch
(m. 1966; div. 1978)

Patricia Ann Paugh
(m. 1980; died 2006)

Jan Rousseaux (m. 2011)
Children5, including JonBenét

John Bennett Ramsey (born December 7, 1943) is an American businessman, author, and father of JonBenét Ramsey, who was murdered in her Boulder, Colorado home on December 25, 1996. He discovered 6-year-old JonBenét's body in the cellar of the home just hours after her murder.

Early life[edit]

Ramsey was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, the son of Mary Jane (née Bennett) (1919–1978) and James Dudley "Jay" Ramsey (1916–1992), a decorated World War II pilot.[1][2] He attended Okemos High School in Michigan.[3] In 1966, he graduated from Michigan State University (MSU) with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. Ramsey earned a master's degree in business administration from MSU in 1971.[4]

Ramsey joined the Navy in 1966, served as a Civil Engineer Corps officer in the Philippines for three years, and in an Atlanta reserve unit for an additional eight years.[5]


In 1989, Ramsey 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.[6]

In 1996, Access Graphics grossed over $1 billion, and Ramsey was named "Entrepreneur of the Year" by the Boulder Chamber of Commerce.[7] Immediately following the murder of his daughter he was "temporarily replaced so the company did not have to bother him about business matters as he grieved", according to Lockheed Martin spokesman Evan McCollum, but returned to his job within weeks.[8]

Ramsey, along with his wife Patsy and young son Burke, moved back to Atlanta shortly thereafter.[9] Access Graphics was later sold to General Electric in 1997.[10]

His net worth was reported at $6.4 million as of May 1, 1996, prior to his daughter's murder. In 2015, John told Barbara Walters in an interview that the death of JonBenét and the ensuing investigation and cost of the case had cost him the entire family fortune. He also claims that because of the notoriety of the case he now finds it very difficult to find work.[citation needed][11][12]

Case file for JonBenét murder[edit]

The murder of Ramsey's six-year-old daughter, JonBenét, was the only murder in Boulder, Colorado, in 1996.[13]

The Boulder police considered the possibility that an intruder had gotten into the house and committed the murder. The Ramseys appeared on national television to assert their innocence.[citation needed]

Statements were given to the media by John Ramsey's ex-wife, his brother, and his sister-in-law. They categorically denied that John Ramsey was, or ever had been, a child abuser. Further, Ramsey's elder son, John Andrew, and elder daughter, Melinda, told interviewers that their father had always been a loving and gentle parent.[citation needed] Linda Arndt, the detective first assigned to the case, has stated in a deposition that she believes John Ramsey is responsible for the murder. [14]

Letter from the District Attorney[edit]

On July 9, 2008, the Boulder County District Attorney's office announced that, as a result of newly developed DNA sampling and testing techniques known as Touch DNA analysis, the Ramsey family members were no longer considered suspects in the case.[15][16] In light of the new DNA evidence, Boulder County District Attorney Mary Lacy gave a letter to John Ramsey that same day, officially apologizing to the Ramsey family:

This new scientific evidence convinces us ... to state that we do not consider your immediate family, including you, your wife, Patsy, and your son, Burke, to be under any suspicion in the commission of this crime....

The match of Male DNA on two separate items of clothing worn by the victim at the time of the murder makes it clear to us that an unknown male handled these items. There is no innocent explanation for its incriminating presence at three sites on these two different items of clothing that JonBenét was wearing at the time of her murder.... To the extent that we may have contributed in any way to the public perception that you might have been involved in this crime, I am deeply sorry. No innocent person should have to endure such an extensive trial in the court of public opinion, especially when public officials have not had sufficient evidence to initiate a trial in a court of law.... We intend in the future to treat you as the victims of this crime, with the sympathy due you because of the horrific loss you suffered....

I am aware that there will be those who will choose to continue to differ with our conclusion. But DNA is very often the most reliable forensic evidence we can hope to find and we rely on it often to bring to justice those who have committed crimes. I am very comfortable that our conclusion that this evidence has vindicated your family is based firmly on all of the evidence.

Defamation lawsuits[edit]

Several defamation lawsuits have ensued since JonBenét's murder. L. Lin Wood[17][18][19] was the attorney for the Ramsey family, filing 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 sued in two separate defamation lawsuits arising from the publication of their book, The Death of Innocence. These suits were brought by two persons 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" pointed to an intruder who committed the murder.[20]

Political campaign[edit]

In 2004, Ramsey campaigned for a seat in Michigan's House of Representatives for the 105th district.[21] He received 24.3 percent of the vote in the Republican Party primary, finishing in second place to Kevin Elsenheimer.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Ramsey married Lucinda Pasch in 1966. They had three children. The couple divorced in 1978.[23] His eldest daughter, Elizabeth, was killed in a car crash at age 22 in 1992.

Ramsey married his second wife, Patricia Paugh, in 1980, with whom he had two children, Burke and JonBenét. Patsy died of ovarian cancer in 2006 aged 49.

After his wife's death, Ramsey met Beth Holloway, mother of missing Natalee Holloway. It was reported that the two began dating.[24] However, Ramsey downplayed their relationship, stating that they "developed a friendship of respect and admiration" out of common interests related to their children.[25]

Ramsey married his third wife, Jan Rousseaux, in 2011. They reside in Michigan.[26]

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ Mystery Couple by Richard Jerome People Magazine
  2. ^ "Ancestry of JonBenet Ramsey". Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  3. ^ Paulson, Steven K. (February 14, 1997). "JonBenet prosecutor vents anger". Lansing State Journal. Associated Press. p. 4A. Retrieved January 10, 2019 – via Free to read
  4. ^ "Father of slain Colorado girl has ties to Okemos and MSU". Lansing State Journal. January 3, 1997. p. 3A. Retrieved January 10, 2019 – via Free to read
  5. ^ "John Ramsey's deposition from Oct. 20, 1998". The Boulder Daily Camera. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
  6. ^ "Ramsey to leave his company". The Denver Post. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  7. ^ Peyser, Marc (1997-01-12). "A body in the basement". Newsweek. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  8. ^ George, Mary; Robinson, Marilyn (August 16, 2006). "JonBenet Archive: Details emerge in slaying". Denver Post.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Smart, Tim (November 4, 1997). "Lockheed selling 3 businesses to GE". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Brooke, James (January 10, 1997). "Colorado Murder Mystery Lingers as Police Press On". The New York Times. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  14. ^ Retrieved 2020-04-18. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ Lacy, Mary T. (July 9, 2008). "Ramsey Press Release". District Attorney's Office, Twentieth Judicial District, Boulder, Colorado. Archived from the original on August 1, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
  16. ^ "Family cleared in JonBenet Ramsey's death". July 9, 2008. Retrieved November 19, 2014.
  17. ^ Erin Moriarty, "JonBenét: DNA Rules Out Parents," "CBS", March 26, 2005.
  18. ^ Vanessa Miller, "Boulder police take back Ramsey case," Archived 2018-03-04 at the Wayback Machine "Colorado Daily" February 2, 2009
  19. ^ David Kohn, "Searching: The Interrogation Tapes," "CBS" February 11, 2009
  20. ^ R. Robin McDonald (2009-03-16). "Northern District of Georgia's New Chief Judge Reflects on Her Career". Retrieved 2011-06-22.
  21. ^ Flesher, John (July 31, 2004). "Ramsey father runs for election to Michigan State House". The Boston Globe.
  22. ^ "2004 Michigan Election Results". Michigan Department of State. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  23. ^
  24. ^ "John Ramsey and Beth Holloway Twitty Are Dating". Fox News. June 4, 2007. Retrieved June 4, 2007.
  25. ^ Stephen M. Silverman (June 5, 2007). "JonBenet's Dad & Natalee Holloway's Mom Together". People. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
  26. ^
  27. ^ Pierce, Scott (February 24, 2000). "Utah plays Colorado in JonBenet movie". Deseret News. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  28. ^ Goldman, Andrew (September 23, 2011). "The Fogies of 'South Park'". The New York Times Magazine.