Is this the Smoking Gun?

What nine year old Burke says is mind-blowing.  He tells the doctor he knows what happened to his sister.  He says she was hit on the head, and that’s how she died.

But why is that missing from the Ramseys’ book, and why did 29 year old Burke not mention this at all on Dr. Phil?

In Death of Innocence, when John discusses how Burke found out JonBenet was dead, he says:

 A while later when Fleet White brought Burke to the house, Patsy tearfully put her arm around him . “Honey,” she said, “JonBenet has gone to heaven.”

Burke essentially tells the same story when he talks to Dr. Phil in September 2016, as well as when he talked to Detective Schuler in 1998.  The only difference between his story and his dad’s is who told him the news.  Heres what Burke says to Dr. Phil:

“The next thing I remember is going to another one of our friends’ houses.  

Everyone was really sad over there and my dad came and told me JonBenet was in heaven now and I started crying.

January 8, 1997

BERNHARD: So what do you think happened?

BURKE: [Taking a game board and rubbing it against his head and face]:

I know what happened. [He laughs].

BERNHARD:  You mean when she got killed? How do you think that happened?

BURKE [Still covering face with board.]: Um, I think…well I…I asked my dad where

did they find her body and my, my dad said ‘I found it down in the

basement,’ and so…I, I think that someone took her very quietly and…

Took her down to the basement… [Burke is sitting back now and puts his game board on the table]

Curious that Burke says “they” when referring to his inquiry about where JonBenet’s body was found.  Who’s they?  And in a completely detached manor, he also refers to his sister’s body as “it”.


BURKE:…and he, and he took a knife out and he went whoops like that… I really… [making an overhanded punching motion with his right fist. He then puts his two fists under his neck and rests his elbows on the table].

Whacking somebody over the head is hardly a “whoops” but it’s fascinating that Burke adds that word in there to suggest the murder was probably some type of accident.  Is it normal to assume that somebody who broke into your home and killed your family member did it by accident?

BERNHARD [Interrupting Burke]: Mm-hmmm. Do you think that’s how she died?

BURKE: Or maybe a hammer, he hit her in the head with it. [Burke repeats the same hitting motion with his right hand, then resumes putting his fists under his chin.]

How did Burke know on January 8, 1997, that his sister had died from a head blow?  He certainly didn’t hear it from the news because the autopsy report wasn’t made public until July 14, 1997.  

How does Burke know?  Find out in Sequin Star, due out this month.


2 thoughts on “Is this the Smoking Gun?

  1. 1. Burke’s first guess is dead wrong: “he took a knife out and he went whoops like that.” JBR wasn’t killed with a knife or even stabbed with a knife. Her brother obviously is simply guessing.
    2. Similarly, his second guess is at least half wrong. No theory of the case has JBR being killed with a hammer. Again, Burke is quite obviously simply guessing based on ways he might have seen people die on TV, i.e., getting stabbed with a knife or hit over the head with a heavy object,


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