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  1. #1
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    Why was JonBenet's case so highly publicized?

    There are thousands of little kids murdered every year so why did JonBenet’s case become the most publicized child murder of all time? Plenty of missing/murdered children have gotten national media attention but none of their cases reached the level of infamy that JonBenet’s met.

    What do you believe was the biggest factor in JonBenet getting the media attention she did? Was it the pageants? Was it John’s wealth? Was it Christmas? Was it how John and Patsy acted?

    If JonBenet had done pageants but lived in a middle class neighborhood, would this case have gotten as much attention? What about if she was still in pageants, still rich, and murdered in July instead of near Christmas?

    How about other factors like her unusual name? What if her name had been Jessica Ramsey? Would that have made a difference? Do you think that the OJ Simpson case also played a part in the media attention since people were still annoyed that wealthy OJ got away with murder and thought it was going to happen with the Ramseys?

    It seems to me that the reporting of missing/murdered children has changed in the 2000s. It looks like back in the 90s, the media gave immense attention to very few cases, like OJ and JonBenet. Those cases had no competition. Now in the 2000s, the national media (mainly NG) will do a few stories for a week on one child and then move on. There doesn’t seem to be as much extensive coverage on every channel for months, even years, on end anymore on just one case.

    I thought this was would be interesting to discuss.

  2. #2
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    I think it was a combination of their obvious wealth in comparison to most Americans, and the impression that if it could happen to a family this rich, then it could happen to anyone (which naturally led to the suspicion that it could have been an inside job).

    The pagents and fact that it was Christmas just made it all the more sad and bizarre--

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artisana View Post
    I think it was a combination of their obvious wealth in comparison to most Americans, and the impression that if it could happen to a family this rich, then it could happen to anyone (which naturally led to the suspicion that it could have been an inside job).

    The pagents and fact that it was Christmas just made it all the more sad and bizarre--

    Welcome Artisana! It was absolutely everything you listed..

    Money..
    Pageants....
    Christmas....


    The pageants being the biggest factor.... A 6 year old looking like a 26 year old brought rarely noticed child pageants to the forefront of the nations news and we were shocked and appalled. Thank God for it too, or JBR would have just been forgotten.
    There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go.

  4. #4
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    I agree with you Agatha that the biggest factor was the pageants. It's the one thing that separates JonBenet's case from every other case. I also believe that the Ramseys being wealthy also played a big role in the media coverage. If JonBenet had been working/middle class and in pageants or wealthy but not in pageants, this case may have gotten a week of coverage but it wouldn't have reached the level of notoriety it did. I don't think Christmas played as big of a role as pageants and the R's wealth. Yes, it made the story even more fascinating but I don't think the coverage would have been any different if JonBenet had been murdered in July instead. The media never really focused too much on the Christmas angle; they were all about the pageants.

    There was a little girl named Abby Eyman murdered in Arkansas in June 2009 who participated in glitz pageants. Her case received a few articles in her local paper but that was it. It was a murder suicide so there really wasn't a mystery but I was surprised that the national media didn't talk about it at least once. However, I've heard that some pageant people did everything possible to make sure her pictures/videos didn't get into the national media's hands so they didn't have another JonBenet which apparently brought a lot of bad press to their industry. Although the child pageant industry did grow after her death and you could argue that shows like Little Miss Perfect, Toddlers and Tiaras, and movies like Little Miss Sunshine might not have existed if it hadn't been for her murder exposing pageants to everyone.
    Last edited by eileenhawkeye; 01-15-2011 at 12:41 PM.

  5. #5
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    It was a combination of everything. Her beauty, certainly, like it or not, was a bigger factor than many realize. The pageants, her family's wealth. The gruesome crime photos that were leaked so early in the investigation- I cannot think of another case where a victim's (especially a CHILD) autopsy photos were leaked in tabloids. That kind of thing is like a car wreck. You can't NOT look. It grips us in the pit of our stomachs and holds us. Her pageant videos. But also, deep inside every one who has read of or heard of this case, whether iDI or RDI, is the cold, creepy feeling that the family KNEW what happened, whether any of them were responsible or not.
    And the fact that their wealth and political connections kept this case from being properly investigated payed a part too. It still does, and the political connections, FAR more than the wealth of the family, sickens me to this day.
    THIS time, we get it RIGHT!

    This post is my constitutionally-protected opinion. Please do not copy or take it anywhere else.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeDee249 View Post
    It was a combination of everything. Her beauty, certainly, like it or not, was a bigger factor than many realize. The pageants, her family's wealth. The gruesome crime photos that were leaked so early in the investigation- I cannot think of another case where a victim's (especially a CHILD) autopsy photos were leaked in tabloids. That kind of thing is like a car wreck. You can't NOT look. It grips us in the pit of our stomachs and holds us. Her pageant videos. But also, deep inside every one who has read of or heard of this case, whether iDI or RDI, is the cold, creepy feeling that the family KNEW what happened, whether any of them were responsible or not.
    And the fact that their wealth and political connections kept this case from being properly investigated payed a part too. It still does, and the political connections, FAR more than the wealth of the family, sickens me to this day.
    Yup, it wasn't just the fact that JonBenet participated in beauty pageants, but that she looked beautiful in all the pictures and videos. I think our society as a whole is drawn to beautiful people and when people heard that she had met such a tragic fate, they were shocked. Also, the media kept showing those pageant videos and knowing that she was brutally murdered, is just weird. This is going to reserve my spot in hell but Miley Cyrus' little sister, Noah, is 9-year-old and wears a lot of makeup and is not cute at all with it (google image search: Noah Cyrus halloween) and I bet if JBR had been um, like Noah, we would not know her name.
    Last edited by eileenhawkeye; 01-16-2011 at 12:37 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by eileenhawkeye View Post
    Yup, it wasn't just the fact that JonBenet participated in beauty pageants, but that she looked beautiful in all the pictures and videos. I think our society as a whole is drawn to beautiful people and when people heard that she had met such a tragic fate, they were shocked. This is going to reserve my spot in hell but Miley Cyrus' little sister, Noah, is 9-year-old and wears a lot of makeup and is not cute at all with it (google image search: Noah Cyrus halloween) and I bet if JBR had been um, like Noah, we would not know her name.
    LOL..nah, I doubt it. (That was funny!!) I agree with you 100 percent though!
    "This time we get it right."

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeDee249 View Post
    It was a combination of everything. Her beauty, certainly, like it or not, was a bigger factor than many realize. The pageants, her family's wealth. The gruesome crime photos that were leaked so early in the investigation- I cannot think of another case where a victim's (especially a CHILD) autopsy photos were leaked in tabloids. That kind of thing is like a car wreck. You can't NOT look. It grips us in the pit of our stomachs and holds us. Her pageant videos. But also, deep inside every one who has read of or heard of this case, whether iDI or RDI, is the cold, creepy feeling that the family KNEW what happened, whether any of them were responsible or not.
    And the fact that their wealth and political connections kept this case from being properly investigated payed a part too. It still does, and the political connections, FAR more than the wealth of the family, sickens me to this day.
    Wasn't it the only murder in Boulder that year?? I heard that's why the police screwed up so bad...they didn't know what to do.
    "This time we get it right."

  9. #9
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    I don't have to worry about my spot in hell....because I've heard they really don't want me there.
    THIS time, we get it RIGHT!

    This post is my constitutionally-protected opinion. Please do not copy or take it anywhere else.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeDee249 View Post
    I don't have to worry about my spot in hell....because I've heard they really don't want me there.


    DeeDee... ... Personally, I think Hells afraid I'll take over...
    There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ames View Post
    Wasn't it the only murder in Boulder that year?? I heard that's why the police screwed up so bad...they didn't know what to do.
    Yep, it was the only murder in Boulder that year. Since the U of Colorado is located there, I think LE had more experience with underage drinking than they did with child homicides.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by eileenhawkeye View Post
    I agree with you Agatha that the biggest factor was the pageants. It's the one thing that separates JonBenet's case from every other case. I also believe that the Ramseys being wealthy also played a big role in the media coverage. If JonBenet had been working/middle class and in pageants or wealthy but not in pageants, this case may have gotten a week of coverage but it wouldn't have reached the level of notoriety it did. I don't think Christmas played as big of a role as pageants and the R's wealth. Yes, it made the story even more fascinating but I don't think the coverage would have been any different if JonBenet had been murdered in July instead. The media never really focused too much on the Christmas angle; they were all about the pageants.

    There was a little girl named Abby Eyman murdered in Arkansas in June 2009 who participated in glitz pageants. Her case received a few articles in her local paper but that was it. It was a murder suicide so there really wasn't a mystery but I was surprised that the national media didn't talk about it at least once. However, I've heard that some pageant people did everything possible to make sure her pictures/videos didn't get into the national media's hands so they didn't have another JonBenet which apparently brought a lot of bad press to their industry. Although the child pageant industry did grow after her death and you could argue that shows like Little Miss Perfect, Toddlers and Tiaras, and movies like Little Miss Sunshine might not have existed if it hadn't been for her murder exposing pageants to everyone.
    Well I can vouch for this, as I live in Arkansas in an area that receives the same paper as the Sherwood area. I also have family in that vicinity, and until I read your post I had never heard of the poor child!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by my_tee_mouse View Post
    Well I can vouch for this, as I live in Arkansas in an area that receives the same paper as the Sherwood area. I also have family in that vicinity, and until I read your post I had never heard of the poor child!
    I had never heard of her either. It was a murder/suicide....done by her own mother. Some speculate that the pressures of the pageants drove her over the edge. (Maybe it was getting to Patsy a little bit too....that AND the bedwetting).
    http://www.todaysthv.com/news/local/...=86793&catid=2
    "This time we get it right."

  14. #14
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    Etilema is offline Being kind to the cruel results in being cruel to the kind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agatha_C View Post
    Welcome Artisana! It was absolutely everything you listed..

    Money..
    Pageants....
    Christmas....


    The pageants being the biggest factor.... A 6 year old looking like a 26 year old brought rarely noticed child pageants to the forefront of the nations news and we were shocked and appalled. Thank God for it too, or JBR would have just been forgotten.
    I agree with you that the reaction by most people to JBR's appearance at the time was a kind of disgust. I was surprised to see people here describing her and her appearance in the photos/videos as beautiful. It would be interested to know the age range of those who think she looked beautiful in those pageant and performance images, because I am wondering if at this point our culture has grown accustomed to seeing children made up and dressed up like women, so that it no longer seems appalling.

  15. #15
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    JonBenets personality shows through in her pictures. Even the photo shoot pictures. There are a lot more where I think she is a beautiful little girl, then ones that make me say "Oh my God, what was everyone thinking, letting her pose to have her picture taken like this!" You know the ones I mean.

    She sparkled in her pictures. I hate to say it, but even though I am totally against glitz pageants, she seemed to really enjoy them at first. Kind of like playing dress up. I think toward the end it stopped being fun and became work. Work she was no longer interested in. Work that made her tired, between practice, travel, Patsy and Nedras high expectations, etc. I do think the pageants made her feel special though. I think she was just tired of them. Maybe she was even trying to figure out that her self worth should not have been about being pretty, but being a good person.

    Every one that has talked about JonBenet that knew her, talks about how generous, loving, and generally happy she was. They talk about how smart she was and how well she did at everything she tried. Other people talk about JonBenet in a more positive way then her parents did. That is so opposite to how most rich, children would be thought of, or how people who may have envied the Ramsey wealth would usually talk about a pageant child. I can't stand a lot of the kids on Toddlers and Tiaras from the shows I have watched. What truly amazes me on that show are the Moms! Patsys friends were even planning an intervention, which I feel quite certain was in relation to the pageants and the huge deal that was "pageant JonBenet."

    There were so many unique aspects to the case, but one thing that I truly believe has kept this case so well known and well covered is jealousy. People who are "commoners", love to see the rich fall. Love to see their "perfect world" shatter. Love to think that despite all the money, travel and glitz, they are really just people. People with problems. People who put their pants on, one leg at a time. People who are really not better than anyone else after all.

    Just my $0.06 (inflation, ya know!)

    All kidding and speculation aside, I think this murder shocked people in a way that up to this point had never happened. This was a brutal, heinous crime, that should never have occurred in a childs home! Especially on Christmas night!
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