The Case Of: JonBenét Ramsey: Get to Know the Major Players

CBS' true crime special airs Sunday at 8:30 p.m. and Monday at 9 p.m.

By Lauren Piester Sep 16, 2016 3:44 PMTags

The murder of JonBenét Ramsey has haunted us for 20 years, but if CBS' The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey has its way, maybe the mystery is about to be solved.

This Sunday marks the start of the docuseries that follows an investigative team's attempts to use modern technology to finally solve the baffling 1996 murder of the 6-year-old girl from Boulder, Colorado. 

The Case Of brings some of the case's old investigators together with new experts to reexamine the case, and even goes so far as to build a replica of the Ramsey house, as it would have looked in 1996. 

There are a lot of names to know when it comes to the mystery surrounding this heinous crime, so before The Case Of debuts on Sunday, let's take a look at the ones we need to know. 

Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post

John Bennett Ramsey 

JonBenét's father. At the time of the murder, he was the CEO of a computer company called Access Graphics, and his business was the subject of the ransom note that was discovered. He was the one who found JonBenét's body in the wine cellar, and then carried her up to the living room. 

Patricia "Patsy" Ramsey

JonBenét's mother, a former beauty queen, who encouraged her daughter to take part in pageants as well. She made the initial 911 call after discovering the ransom note, around 6 a.m. on the day after Christmas, 1996. 

The Ramseys were the first suspects, due at the time to the lack of evidence that anyone else had broken into the house. A grand jury even voted to indict the Ramseys on child abuse charges in 1999, but the DA's office did not follow that vote. John and Patsy were both officially dismissed as suspects in 2008 with the help of new DNA testing. 

After the Murder: John moved his family to Michigan, and General Electric bought his company in 1997. Patsy died from ovarian cancer in 2006, and John got remarried in 2011 to fashion designer Jan Rousseaux.

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Peteski Productions/CBS Television Distribution

Burke Ramsey 

JonBenét's brother, who was 9 years old at the time of the murder. His parents claimed he was asleep until after the police arrived, but Burke was interrogated at least three times and asked to testify in front of a grand jury. 

After the Murder: Until recently, Burke never spoke publicly about his sister's death. He stayed out of the spotlight and graduated from Purdue in 2009. Then, just ahead of the 20th anniversary of his sister's death, Burke sat down with Dr. Phil and opened up about having to move on from losing both his sister and his mother. 

Fleet White 

White was a family friend and neighbor of the Ramseys, and was with John when he discovered JonBenét's body. Conspiracy theorists have accused Fleet and his wife, Priscilla, of being involved, but they were officially only ever considered witnesses in the case. 

Linda Arndt 

Arndt was the first detective at the Ramsey house, arriving around 8:10 a.m. She was the only detective at the house for several hours. When she didn't receive any back-up, she instructed John and Fleet to search the house together, just to give him something to do. That's when John and Fleet immediately headed to the basement and discovered the body. 

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James Kolar

Kolar is the former chief investigator for the Boulder DA, and was one of the original investigators on the Ramsey case. He wrote the book Foreign Faction: Who Really Kidnapped JonBenét? in 2012, and appears in the CBS special. 


Dr. Henry Lee

Lee is a high-profile Connecticut criminologist who joined the original investigation after DA Alex Hunter asked him to, and examined some of the original evidence. He is also part of the reexamined investigation in the CBS special. 


DA Alex Hunter 

Before he retired in 2000, Hunter was the District Attorney in Boulder who oversaw the Ramsey case. He's partly known for disregarding the fact that a Colorado grand jury voted to indict John and Patsy Ramsey on child abuse charges in 1999, and then ordering the grand jury records sealed. 


John Mark Karr 

In 2006, Karr, an elementary school teacher living in Thailand, confessed to having killed JonBenét. His confession was quickly proven to be totally made up, since he didn't have all the details right and wasn't even in the correct state at the time of the murder. Karr was never arrested on any charges related to the murder, but has been arrested a couple of times since. 

More recently, he was suspected of starting a cult to draw in little girls, and has been living as a woman by the name of Delia Alexis Reich. 

Gordon Coombes 

Coombes is a former investigator with the Boulder County DA office from 2008 to 2011, which is around when the case was reopened, and when the DA office was doing DNA testing. That DNA testing eventually exonerated the Ramseys, though he has claimed that the DNA evidence was mishandled. 

DA Mary Lacy

Lacy served as Boulder DA after Hunter retired, and oversaw the new DNA testing that exonerated the Ramseys in 2008. She then issued an apology to John and Patsy for ever considering them suspects, and for causing them so much pain after the murder of their daughter. 

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Dr. Werner Spitz 

Spitz is a German forensic pathologist who consulted on the Ramsey case originally, and who appears in the special. Spitz also investigated the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., the O.J. Simpson case, and the death of Caylee Anthony in 2011. 


Jim Clemente

Clemente, a retired FBI supervisory special agent was an investigator on the original case, and is one of the main experts appearing in the special. 


James Fitzgerald 

Fitzgerald is a retired FBI special agent and forensic linguistic profiler who worked on the original case. 

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Laura Richards 

Richards, a former Scotland Yard criminal behavior analyst, is one pair of new eyes looking at the case in the special. 



Stan Burke 

Burke is a retired FBI special agent and a statement analyst, and is also new to the case. 

The Case Of JonBenét Ramsey premieres Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on CBS.