January 17, 2017
Brother of JonBenet Ramsey, Burke Ramsey, has filed a lawsuit seeking $750 million against CBS Corporation for the production “The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey;” a two part miniseries accusing him of striking and killing his sister with a flashlight in 1996.
The case, which remains unsolved, has sparked two decades’ worth of conspiracy theories and speculation. The network aired the series to investigate the unsolved murder of the 6-year-old beauty queen on the 20th anniversary of her death that took place inside her family’s Colorado home.
Burke’s lawsuit accuses CBS of intentionally ignoring mountains of evidence, including police and District Attorney statements which exonerated the Ramsey family, and instead falsely pointing the finger at Burke, who was 9 at the time, as the one who murdered his sister.
The lawsuit is a complaint of defamation, which is the action of damaging the good reputation of someone, and requests no less than $250 million in compensatory damages and no less than $500 million in punitive damages from the defendants, according to the lawsuit. The defendants in the case, alsongside of CBS Corp., include Critical Content LLC, a California programming studio; former FBI profilers Jim Clemente, James Fitzgerald and Stanley Burke; forensic expert Laura Richards; former Boulder district attorney’s investigator A. James Kolar; forensic scientist Dr. Werner Spitz; and celebrity pathologist Henry Lee.
“CBS and Critcial Content knowingly and intentionally published false and defamatory statements conveying that Burke killed JonBenet, engaged on a criminal coverup with his parents and lied to the police,” the lawsuit says.
The miniseries highlights that the original investigators come together again to completely re-examine the crime from scratch and will show new evidence, witnesses and theories. According to the lawsuit, however, all of those things were not new to the investigation.
According to the lawsuit the evidence was “false, misinterpretative, and/or omitted and ignored accurate information.” The new witness seen in the series is the 9-1-1 operator Kim Archuletta but the lawsuit states that “Kim Archuletta was not a “new witness.”
The series presents what they consider a new theory; that Burke Ramsey killed his little sister and his parents tried covering it up. But according to the lawsuit this theory is not at all new; in fact it was a theory presented in the news coverage heavily when the crime occurred in 1996, and also published in a book.
“Foreign Faction was the primary source for Defendants’ script. Contrary to their representations to the public, Defendants did not present a Documentary and did not conduct a “complete reinvestigation starting right from scratch” based on the facts, “new witnesses,” “new evidence,” and “new theories.” Defendants merely presented the sensational accusations of Foregin Faction and the long ago legally rejected accusations of the supermarket tabloids,” the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit goes on to state that “despite being put on notice that it was false and defamatory” CBS continued to produce and publish the Documentary with a “reckless disregard for the truth” and a “single project for profit.”
20 years later and the case remains unsolved yet still controversial as ever.