On the heels of the success of Making a Murderer (and ahead its much-anticipated second season), Netflix is taking on another explosive true crime case: An upcoming documentary will examine the unsolved murder of JonBenét Ramsey.
Casting JonBenét will premiere at Sundance later this month before moving over to Netflix and a limited theatrical run. It appears to be of a somewhat different style than a recent slew of TV docuseries about the bizarre cold case. Directed by Kitty Green, Casting JonBenét is being billed as a “a sly and stylized exploration of the world’s most sensational child-murder case,’ as opposed to a re-investigation of the crime like a recent CBS series — which prompted a lawsuit from JonBenét’s older brother Burke, as the forensic experts featured in the series conclude in its final episode that Burke was likely responsible.
The filmmakers traveled to Boulder, Colorado, where the Ramsey’s lived, to talk to neighbors and locals about how the unsolved case has impacted their lives. The six-year-old beauty queen was found dead on December 26, 1996. The bizarre circumstances of her death — her disappearance was staged as a kidnapping, but she was found in her own home; and the ransom letter left was longer and uncharacteristic of typical ransom letters — have long cast suspicion on her parents and her older brother, who was only 11 at the time of her death. Her mother Patsy Ramsey died on 2006, and DNA evidence discovered years after the murder did not match any family members. Still, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation plans to retest the DNA evidence this year after a new DNA testing facility opens.
Photo: Boulder Police Department