Former Colorado governor Bill Owens thinks CBS got it right on JonBenet Ramsey

The murder of JonBenét Ramsey has been back in the news lately, in large part because CBS has been running a new series about the case (for what it’s worth, they’re not alone). Now the former governor of Colorado has commended CBS for its new series, which accuses Ramsey’s family of a cover-up.

JonBenét Ramsey was found dead in her family’s home in Boulder in 1996. No one has been charged in the case.

The CBS series, called The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey, had a group of investigators examine the case. Some of their findings “suggested” that then 9-year-old Burke Ramsey may have killed the 6-year-old JonBenét in a fit of anger at their Boulder home, and that their parents may have covered it up, according to Rolling Stone’s recap.


Burke Ramsey almost immediately sued CBS, his lawyer accusing the network of “lies, misrepresentations, distortions and omissions with very few grains of truth,” according to CNN Money.

Last week, Bill Owens decided to weigh in. Owens was governor of Colorado from 1999 to 2007. He was in office for some of the legal aftermath of the case; in 1999, a grand jury attempted to indict Ramsey’s parents for child abuse resulting in death, CNN reported.

So, let’s read Owens’ statement on the new series and its accusations. I’ve broken it up into paragraphs but it’s otherwise unaltered from his Facebook post:

For a number of reasons having to do with my then-responsibilities as Governor of Colorado I closely followed and was even to some extent involved in the aftermath of the tragic JonBenet Ramsey murder case. I have over the years talked to many of those who were part of the investigation and, based on those discussions, have my own strong views concerning who killed JonBenet.

With that as background, I commend CBS for its excellent research, investigation and reporting in “The Case of: JonBenet Ramsey.” To quote CBS….”You can eliminate the ‘outside intruder hypothesis'” as to who killed JonBenet……”What we have here is a staged crime scene”….”Most likely John and Patsy Ramsey staged this to look like a monster predator killed their daughter.”

According to one of the CBS experts. “I believe the Ramsey family did not want law enforcement to resolve this case and that is why it has remained unsolved.” Again, CBS is to be commended for stripping away the many myths surrounding this horrible case and presenting factually and unemotionally an unbiased account of this tragedy.

This is not the first time Owens has been involved in the case. When Boulder investigators were eyeing the Ramseys in 2000, the governor “made it clear that he believed that the police were looking in the right direction to solve the murder,” the New York Times reported.

Here’s how a former Boulder detective, Steve Thomas described the situation to the Times:

“Governor Owens is aware of a lot of the behind-the-scenes issues in this case. … I think he shares our frustrations over the propaganda from the Ramseys, and he has been offering some bottom-line comments, making it clear that their version of events does not stand alone as the last word. I happen to agree with him.”

Andrew Kenney

Author: Andrew Kenney

Andrew Kenney writes about public spaces, Denver phenomena and whatever else. He previously worked for six years as a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. His most prized possession is his collection of bizarre voicemail. Leave him one at 303-502-2803, or email