The latest episode of the podcast “The Killing of JonBenét: The Final Suspects” is delving deep into the most well-known and notorious aspect of the young JonBenét Ramsey’s short life — her participation in child beauty pageants.
The podcast questions if pageants put the 6-year-old girl at risk from potential abusers and poses the possibility the murderer might be found in that community.
In the episode, titled “Pageant Pedophiles,” a clip of her dad talking about the events lays bare the potential dangers lurking.
“JonBenét was very extroverted, very outgoing, and she had fun with it. I had thought the people attending were just grandparents and parents and probably that wasn’t the case, but we were naive,” John Ramsey says.
Author Joyce Singular, co-author of Presumed Guilty: An Investigation Into the JonBenét Ramsey Case, the Media, and the Culture of Pornography, told the podcast that she was shocked when she began digging deeper into the pageant world and its links to sketchy characters.
“We began to probe into the world of child beauty pageants and we went to Boulder and the surrounding environs and began asking mothers who were in the same beauty pageants as JonBenét if they saw anything that was out of order or something unusual,” she told the podcast, noting parents had serious concerns.
“What we began discovering was that there is a whole world surrounding the beauty pageant circuit and you don’t know who you’re inadvertently stimulating by dressing up your child and putting them in these pageants,” Singular explained.
“You could be attracting pedophiles, maybe that were in the sponsor of the pageants or judging the pageants or people in the spectator sections of the pageants,” she said.
On the morning of December 26, 1996, JonBenét’s mother, Patsy, discovered a two-and-a-half-page ransom note on the back hallway stairs demanding $118,000 for the return her daughter.
In a state of shock and disbelief, she searched the child’s empty bedroom and called 911. Within minutes, police, family and friends swarmed the house, contaminating the crime scene. The little girl’s body was discovered later that day.
New episodes of The Killing of JonBenet: The Final Suspects are released every Monday through March 16, wherever you get your podcasts.