JonBenet's Pageant Rival Reflects on Old Friend

ByABC News via logo
August 19, 2006, 8:41 AM

Aug. 19, 2006— -- Ten years ago, Little Miss Colorado and Little Miss Texas were competing back to back.

Almost everyone knows the fate that befell Little Miss Colorado, JonBenet Ramsey: She was found brutally murdered in her home the day after Christmas in 1996.

Former Little Miss Texas, Thumper Gosney, is now 16 -- just like JonBenet would be. She provides a glimpse at what JonBenet could have become had she survived to begin her junior year in high school.

"When we were five-years-old, we just competed together and it was great," Gosney said.

Gosney still remembers private moments with JonBenet just before stepping into the spotlight.

"She always talked to me backstage and she didn't have to worry about Mom saying 'Don't talk to her, you are going to get unfocused,' " Gosney said.

Gosney, who got the nickname Thumper before birth because she kicked so strongly in the womb, won 300 crowns and $25,000 in scholarship money from pageants; but those days are over.

"I have so much to do 'cause I am in theater arts," Gosney said. "I was in the dance team last year. I have to go to all the football games, you know. It is all great."

Yet she still harbors the memories of being a confused little girl who saw pictures of her friend on television.

"I would say, 'Mommy why is my friend on TV?' And my mom would turn it off," she said.

"I decided at that time I was not going to tell her about it," said Susan Gosney, Thumper's mother. "I didn't want her to be scared."