Speaking publicly on the Dr. Phil show for the first time since his younger sister JonBenét Ramsey was found dead in the family's Colorado home nearly 20 years ago, Burke Ramsey said, "I know people think I did it; that my parents did it."
"I know that we were suspects," Burke, now 29, who was 9 years old at the time of his 6-year-old sister's murder, told Dr. Phil in an exclusive three-part interview, the first part of which airs Sept. 12.
Burke and his parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, all eventually were cleared by authorities of involvement in the unsolved mystery that began when the body of JonBenét, a child pageant queen, was discovered in the basement of the family's home the day after Christmas in 1996. She was strangled with a cord around her neck and duct tape over her mouth.
The parents also reported finding a ransom note demanding the curious total of $118,000 – the exact amount of a recent bonus received by John Ramsey.
Burke and his father are the family's sole surviving members. Patsy Ramsey, then 49, died of ovarian cancer in 2006, two years before then-Boulder District Attorney Mary Lacy stated officially that nothing tied the parents to the crime.
Dr. Phil and Burke Ramsey, brother of JonBenét Ramsey
COURTESY THE DR. PHIL SHOW
"Has it ever occurred to you that your parents actually thought you did this and didn't ask you because they didn't want to know?" Dr. Phil asked Burke, who was interrogated by police at the time and again at age 12.
"I remember the viewing. The casket was small. Her eyes were closed," Burke recalls in describing the funeral.
Asked why he is speaking out now, JonBenét's brother answered, "I want to honor her memory by doing this interview. I don't want anyone to forget."
The 20th anniversary of the murder has generated renewed attention, with a CBS anthology docu-series, The Case of JonBenét Ramsey, to debut Sept. 18, and a movie on the Lifetime network, tentatively titled Who Killed JonBenét?, to air in November.
The three-part Dr. Phil series will be broadcast Sept. 12, Sept. 13 and Sept. 19
JonBenét Ramsey's Brother Speaks Out: 'I Know People Think I Did It' : People.com