Up until last August, it looked like JonBenet Ramsey's brother Burke, now 29, was doing everything possible to avoid being linked to his sister's famous 1996 murder case, including actively avoiding the media.

But after agreeing to be interviewed by Dr Phil and becoming the focus of a CBS special about the young girl's death, the past is coming back to haunt Burke yet again, according to the Daily Mail.

In a case that garnered national attention - and outrage - six-year-old pageant girl JonBenet was found dead in the basement of her family's Boulder, Colorado, home on December 26, 1996. Twenty years and countless theories later, officials are no closer to identifying JonBenet's killer.

That didn't stop many from pointing fingers - and in several cases, to Burke.


In October of last year, Burke filed a $150 million defamation lawsuit against Dr Werner Spitz, a forensic pathologist who gave a controversial interview to CBS Detroit about his culpability in JonBenet's death.

In December, Burke upped the ante by filing another $750 million lawsuit against CBS for accusing him of murder in its true crime special The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey.

And in the ongoing legal battle between Burke and crime expert Dr Spitz, newly released legal documents indicate that JonBenet's brother isn't backing down on his claims of defamation.

John and Patsy Ramsey, with their 10-year-old son Burke in 1997. Photo / AP
John and Patsy Ramsey, with their 10-year-old son Burke in 1997. Photo / AP

On the CBS show, Spitz said that there was reason to believe nine-year-old Burke struck JonBenet in the head with a heavy flashlight and accidentally killed her. He later argued that his first amendment rights allowed him to hypothesize that Burke killed his sister.

On Tuesday, Burke headed back to court to defend his suit.

"[Spitz is] seeking to avoid responsibility for his false accusations against Burke by contending that he was simply expressing his opinion and that his accusation is subjective and not capable of being proven true or false,' court documents from Burke's lawyer read.

"Spitz's statements that he is sure that Burke was JonBenet's killer are now self-servingly misrepresented as subjective statements that cannot, as a matter of law, be interpreted to convey statements that assert provable facts."

In the interview, Spitz added: "It's the boy who did it, whether he was jealous, or mentally unfit or something ... I don't know of the why, I'm not a psychiatrist, but what I am sure about is what I know about him, that is what happened here."

Further into his radio interview, the expert was accused of not providing enough details to back up his accusations. He said his theory was 'based on a lot of things [he is] aware of that have not really come out before."

"If you really, really use your free time to think about this case, you cannot come to a different conclusion," he added.

The full CBS special on JonBenet's death, on the other hand, went to great lengths to paint a detailed image of her final moments.

John Ramsey looks on as his wife Patsy holds an advertisement promising reward for information leading to arrest and conviction of murderer of their daughter JonBenet. Photo / AP
John Ramsey looks on as his wife Patsy holds an advertisement promising reward for information leading to arrest and conviction of murderer of their daughter JonBenet. Photo / AP

A team of forensic experts re-examined evidence from the case during the two-part documentary, and came to the conclusion that JonBenet's brother killed her over a bowl of fruit.

James Kolar, former chief investigator for the District Attorney in Boulder, presented the theory, which was then agreed upon by the other experts.

He posited that JonBenet's mother Patsy had left Burke with a bowl of pineapple, and when JonBenet attempted to sneak some of the fruit later, it prompted Burke to lash out and strike her with a flashlight, killing her.

Burke, they said, was constantly in his sister's pageant-queen shadow and frustrated with being overlooked. The special revealed that Burke had struck his little sister with a golf club after "losing his temper" a year before her death, leaving her with a permanent scar on her face.

While the investigators surmised that there was no intent to kill, they agreed there was clearly an intent to mislead the police investigation by JonBenet's family.

"The Ramsey family did not want law enforcement to resolve this case and that's why it remains unresolved," former FBI profiler Jim Clemente said.

He and his fellow investigators say the fact that the Ramseys tried not to get involved with the case was 'atypical', arguing that most families in similar situations would be desperate to resolve the murder.

"We didn't see that here," retired supervisory FBI agent James Fitzgerald said. "But maybe we did. Maybe we saw it with her brother: do everything we can to protect this child."

JonBenet's parents first reported their daughter as missing and presented police officers with a 'ransom' note from her kidnappers: a controversial piece of evidence that has raised eyebrows for its odd language and length. But hours later, JonBenet was found dead in the basement with a rope around her neck and a crack in her skull.

Theories have circulated for years about how the young girl was killed, with many saying JonBenet's parents murdered her and then tried to cover it up. Her parents maintained that she was killed during a botched kidnapping. Patsy died of ovarian cancer several years ago before any concrete conclusions about the death were made.

Burke's lawyer warned, however, exactly what would happen to those who questioned his client's innocence.

"Burke successfully sued every member of the tabloid media who accused him in 1998 and 1999 of killing his sister.

"For the last 17 years, no one has been foolish enough to repeat that false accusation until Spitz chose to do so in the WWJ radio interview and with CBS in September of 2016," he said in court documents.