The search for JonBenet Ramsey's killer continues 24 years later: Part 1

The 6-year-old beauty queen was assaulted and murdered on Christmas night in 1996. The family of an investigator in the still-unsolved case is trying to fulfill his dying wish by finding her killer.
9:53 | 01/16/21

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Transcript for The search for JonBenet Ramsey's killer continues 24 years later: Part 1
Then you got your killer. Jonbenet Ramsey, the little girl in Colorado, was murdered. Beauty queen, jonbenet. Jonbenet's murder has frightened residents of Boulder. The murder of jonbenet Ramsey really is, right now in this country, the most infamous cold case. What'd you get jonbenet? Oh! People want to know who killed jonbenet Ramsey. There is so much mystery surrounding jonbenet's murder, and it's lasted nearly a quarter of a century. The reason I think it continues to resonate is because we just don't know what happened. She was a spark plug in her family. That's how I looked at her. She kept things alive and going. She was a ball of fire. She was always very caring and spiritual. She could stand on her head. She could hula hoop. She could roller blade. And she just recently learned how to climb a rock wall. She was a 6-year-old girl, somebody's daughter, somebody's sister, and she was taken from us in a very violent way. I think the fascination for this case endures because we still don't know who killed this little girl. We want to know what happened to jonbenet. We want justice for jonbenet. That's why the story endures. Until the day we die, we'll be looking for the person that murdered our daughter. In 1996, a little girl named jonbenet Ramsey was 6 years old. She was brutally assaulted and murdered on Christmas night in the basement of her home in Boulder, Colorado. Hey, guys. Welcome to our first ever podcast episode. Thanks for tuning in. My name is Jessa. And I'm Lexi. And we're sisters. I think there's a new generation who's into the jonbenet Ramsey case, who were her age and were told to stay inside by their parents when she was murdered. I think, yeah, growing up it scared me a little bit because we were the same age and same state. Blond hair, blue eye. It's a little bit scary. I remember thinking that I could not believe this happened so close to our home. You think that your home is safe, that this place is safe, and you just don't think that it could have happened here. And it did. The murder took place sometime between 10:00 P.M. On December 25th and 5:30 A.M. On December 26, 1996. They know a lot about the case, my two girls. They loved their grandfather. Our grandfather was a detective on one of the biggest unsolved murders in our generation -- the jonbenet Ramsey murder. And with this podcast, we want to talk about the jonbenet Ramsey case from our grandfather, Lou smit's, perspective. Lou smit was a really legendary detective from Colorado that was brought in early to investigate the homicide. Once he got a hold of a case, he never let go, and he had great attention to detail. Lou smit made an eight-hour video presentation that includes notes on the case, potential suspects, the evidence collected over the years. It's a virtual encyclopedia of the jonbenet Ramsey case. My name is Lou smit. I'm a retired homicide detective from the Colorado Springs police department, and I have worked the Ramsey case now for approximately ten years. What I'm going to do today is to just show a presentation that was made back in 1998. He had a history of closing cases. He had a 90% success rate. He advocated for the victim and stood in their shoes. So that's why we've chosen "The victim's shoes" as our podcast name. This really meant something to him, and he really felt he needed to find the killer of this little girl. And he needed to do that for jonbenet. And first and foremost, we wanted to continue our grandpa's legacy. That was one thing he asked for before he died. He wants the case to remain alive. There's a saying here in Colorado that Boulder is 30 square miles of fantasy surrounded by reality. It's very wealthy. It's well to-do. Boulder looks like something out of a storybook in many ways, especially the neighborhood in which the Ramseys lived. John and Patsy Ramsey lived in a 6,700-square-feet Tudor there on 15th street. What I'd like to do first is to just talk a little bit about the Ramsey family. John Ramsey had interest in sailing and flying. Patsy Ramsey was the mother. John and Patsy Ramsey had two children together. Their firstborn was Burke, 9 years old, and jonbenet, 6 1/2, in kindergarten. I'm a daughter. I'm a sister. I'm a friend. I'm a wife and a mother. John used to tell people that I invested in futures -- the futures of my children. That's how I usually answer my occupation. My name is John Andrew Ramsey. I'm jonbenet's half-brother. Jonbenet would go around and ask everybody how their day was and what they did. Just an energetic and fun kid. By all accounts, they were a happy couple. Patsy was a high-society woman from Atlanta. John was a smart guy who had just been nominated or voted as entrepreneur of the year. Patsy Ramsey was a stylish woman. She was a former beauty queen, miss West Virginia. All that is interesting because the case had gained so much attention because jonbenet was in pageants. By the time jonbenet was 4 years old, she was in the pageant system with big hair and lots of makeup. I want to be a cowboy's sweetheart I think it starts with the video of jonbenet. It starts with the fact you have this beauty pageant video of a 6-year-old. That is where this starts, because people start saying, what's that about? How could that have played in? I think it also touches on parents who have young kids. Like, could this happen to me? I really believe that if we hadn't seen the beauty pageant photos of jonbenet Ramsey, it might have just gone into the ether as another child murder. Hundreds of children are murdered in America every year. But this one captivated us because we saw the beauty pageant pictures. Hello, I'm Patsy Ramsey. This is jonbenet. She's 4. Burke is 7. Well, Christmas seemed to be kind of a crescendo for our family. It just became this moment that we all looked forward to. And it's a day of peace and quiet. Christmas was Patsy's favorite time, and she really went all out. She had a Christmas tree for every room, and every tree had a theme. The windows were done with Garland. The staircases had Garland. There were red ribbons everywhere. Everything was about entertaining, and she loved people. She loved to make people feel good. And from all of us in our house to everyone at your house, merry Christmas and the happiest of new years. There was plenty to celebrate in the Ramsey home. Patsy Ramsey had recently been declared clear of this ovarian cancer that she had battled. And that was a huge relief to come back from stage four cancer. Plenty to celebrate that Christmas. So, on Christmas day, the Ramsey family opened presents at their home that morning. Patsy made pancakes. Jonbenet rode her bike around on the patio, and both jonbenet and Burke had friends over to play that morning. The kids went outside to play with their friends with their new presents. They were going to a friend's house for dinner that night. We were going to leave early the next morning for a trip to our summer cottage in Michigan. It was going to be the first time we'd gotten all of our family together in Michigan for kind of a post-christmas celebration. So we came home, we came home, went to bed. Jonbenet was asleep when we arrived home. We took her to bed, got Burke to bed, set the alarm and went to The next morning, Patsy was up first. You get up. You're dressed. What happens? I went down our steps from our bedroom to the second floor, and then I started walking down the spiral staircase. And as I came to the bottom of the stairs, there were three pages neatly laid across one of the runs of the stairway. She picked up the note, and she started to read it. I just remember when I read, "We have your daughter," it just -- this overwhelming fear. And then? Then I just screamed for John. Screamed. We have a kidnapping. Hurry, please. Explain do me what's going on. What's your name? Patsy Ramsey. I'm the mother.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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