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Here we have the tragic progenitor of our “Toddlers & Tiaras” culture, a highly sexualized child many perceived as pushed on the stage by her mother, Patsy, a former beauty queen herself. “This case would have lasted in regional newspapers for one week if not for two elements,” Schiller says. Very simple: The police department said, ‘The parents did it,’ and a DA who said, ‘I’m not going to prosecute.’ ” True crime has been popular since tabloids emerged alongside Jack the Ripper, but it’s hard to recall a cultural moment such as this.“It’s the release of videos of Jon Benet in beauty pageants, and the release, days later, of still photos of her in hair and makeup. “Serial,” “The Jinx,” and “Making a Murderer” are phenomenons all, and the latter two have been renewed, as it were, for a second season.The rope was also secured around one of her wrists.The autopsy report states that there were some abrasions, bruises, and scratches on her body, as well as signs of possible sexual assault.
“This case keeps on coming back,” says Lawrence Schiller, author of “Perfect Murder, Perfect Town: The Uncensored Story of the Jon Benet Murder and the Grand Jury’s Search for the Final Truth,” considered the definitive biography of the case. “The tide goes out and it goes back in, and the police are hoping the next time it comes in, they may catch who did it.” The decades-long fascination with the Jon Benet murder, however, is perplexing.
Investigation Discovery, the cable network devoted exclusively to true crime, is the third-most-watched network among 25- to 54-year-old women — a key demo — and is the 11th-most-watched on all of cable. J.: Made in America,” were autopsies of an inevitable verdict, an indictment of everything from race relations to celebrity to the birth of infotainment.
Errol Morris, whose 1998 documentary “The Thin Blue Line” helped legitimize the genre, recently announced he’s working with Netflix on a six-part, true-crime docu-series. And the Jon Benet case is the worst of infotainment; re-living it seems prurient and exploitive, nothing more.
The autopsy report also explains there was an extensive area of hemorrhaging in the scalp which accompanied a large skull fracture.
In 2015, Mark Beckner, the former Boulder County police chief who worked the Ramsey case, participated in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) and revealed his interpretation of what happened.
There are many who believe Jon Benet was killed by one or both of her parents, with her death staged so that it would look like a kidnapping.