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JonBenet: Inside the Ramsey Murder Investigation

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  1,120 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews

On Christmas night 1996, six-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey was murdered in her home in Boulder, Colorado, and the world became transfixed by the search for her killer. Steve Thomas, a former Boulder detective who was at the center of the investigation, takes the reader on a step-by-step investigator's journey and reveals facts and information known only by the cops

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Hardcover, 356 pages
Published April 11th 2000 by St. Martin's Press
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dennis Littrell
May 11, 2010 Dennis Littrell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-crime
Thomas, Steve with Don Davis. Jon Benét: Inside the Ramsey Murder Investigation (2000) *****
A real inside look at what happened

This is the fourth book I've read on the Jon Benét case and easily the best one.

Former Boulder police Det. Steve Thomas, who was one of the chief investigators in the Ramsey case, does not mince words here and leaves the reader with no doubt about who killed Jon Benét. He also makes it abundantly clear why the case never went to trial and why it is highly unlikely that i
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The Wee Hen
Aug 16, 2012 The Wee Hen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you care about justice this book will make you so mad you will want to find all the members of the Boulder DA's office from back in the 90's and slap them silly. You will also want to hunt down a few higher-ups in Denver LE from back then and slap them around as well. Of course you want to do alot more than slap the Ramseys around, despite the fact that one of them is dead.
Thomas was the lead detective on the Ramsey case and he makes it clear that things were messed up beyond belief even bef
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Rebecca McNutt
Damn, people who kill children are the worst type of subhuman thing in this world. I mean, we have nuclear bombs, racism, homophobia, natural disasters, so isn't the world screwed up enough already without some psycho raping and murdering a six-year-old? Being born in 1998, two years after this case occurred, it's been featured on the news for a lot of my life and it is a compelling albeit disturbing story. DNA evidence seems to have cleared her immediate family but still the question remains: w ...more
Angela
Another disgusting account of how there is a fine line for justice between the poor and the rich. This is about as close to the truth as anyone is ever going to get with this case. It saddens and shocks and enfuriates me how political gain, money and greed were more important to the Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter than solving the murder and getting justice for a 6-year-old innocent little girl who was murdered in her home on Christmas Night. Author and Detective Steve Thomas wasn't ...more
Laima
Dec 15, 2016 Laima rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I've been interested in this case for 20 years now. It makes me very angry. Why? In America if you are rich and white you can get away with anything. This case also makes me very sad. I didn't know JonBenet Ramsey but in a way I did through all her photos and videos. And I absolutely adored her. My children were little too back in 1996 when this murder took place so it really hit home with me. R. I. P. Sweet little angel JonBenet.

For what it's worth, Patsy Ramsey, JonBenet's mother, is now slee
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Zoe Stanford
Apr 01, 2017 Zoe Stanford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to enjoy a book about the unresolved murder of a child but this book is perhaps vital in shedding light on just how a child can be so utterly failed, even in death. Yes, Thomas clings to his own conclusions (perhaps the best informed) but he does also present the evidence that goes against it and all in a straightforward way. All this book needs is to add a new epilogue in light of the recent revelations about the grand jury decisions and it would be definitive.
Elizabeth
Apr 09, 2016 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. True crime books make me flip pages faster than any other books, I swear. This book is AMAZING. Truly all I knew about JonBenet was that her case was never solved, and that the parents were in the spotlight of potentially being involved in the crime. But I honestly thought she was maybe kidnapped, and they never found what happened. I had no idea that she was brutally murdered and in her own home.

Any true crime book written by someone actually involved in the investigation are always the be
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Mr Stewart
Jun 16, 2015 Mr Stewart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had done some research about the Ramsey case prior to reading this book. I expected a badly botched investigation stemming from errors made in the first two days after the initial 911 call. Steve Thomas' perspective indicates, to me, a willful move on the part of the Boulder County DA's office to obstruct investigation on this case and refusal to prosecute it against the only clear suspect there is; i.e. Patricia Ramsey. It was my assumption that the DA's office couldn't bring this case to tri ...more
Ben Loory
Mar 16, 2016 Ben Loory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I read another one. This one is by one of the lead detectives on the case (and the guy whose public resignation letter finally took the case out of the DA's hands and made the governor step in and call for a grand jury investigation (though of course in the end the DA just ignored their secret, sealed indictment recommendations anyway)). I liked this book much more than Schiller's Perfect Murder, Perfect Town, if only because Thomas was an involved party, not a journalist, and hence writes ...more
Patty Abrams
I read this and it's clear, the mom did it. Then I read the mom's book and it's clear, a stranger did it. Hmm. This is good coverage of the case and makes you wonder.
Linda Lipko
Steve Thomas is one angry man. When reading the page after page of his litany, the reader understands his thoughts and feelings.

On Christmas night in 1996, six year old Jon Benet Ramsey was murdered. If we believe Thomas' clearly outlined reasons why he knows the parents were involved, then we also know that she died from a severe blunt force injury to the skull, and was strangled simply to ensure that she was really dead.

Clear evidence supported his beliefs that in a fit of rage, Patsy Ramsey
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Fishface
This is the detective's-eye view of THE great unresolved murder case of the 1990s, aside from the OJ case. I expected to be bored with this one because Schiller's Perfect Murder, Perfect Town: The Uncensored Story of the JonBenet Murder and the Grand Jury's Search for the Truth was too dull to finish. I'm glad I was wrong. This book riveted me from the first page and I was totally engaged all the way through. It's a book you'll cheerfully skip a meal to keep reading. I was as satisfied as I can ...more
J.M.
Oct 04, 2013 J.M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, in-depth look at the investigation into the death of JonBenet Ramsey with compelling testimony about why the Boulder authorities didn't arrest anyone in conjunction with the crime. This is the third book I've read about the case in a week and my suspicions are firmly in place as to who the killer was (accidental or intentional), but I'm going to continue researching it because it interests me. Despite all the evidence and available documentation, I'm sure the person behind the killing ...more
Kirk
Feb 15, 2016 Kirk rated it really liked it
Attempting an argument about which heinous Colorado crime is the worst is a lot like a child imagining what the monster under his bed looks like: the evils get worse the more you think about them. The Columbine High School, Aurora Cinemark Theaters, and Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shootings alone claimed 28 innocent lives and permanently altered 100 more, and have resulted in a legacy of active shooter training for students and emergency personnel alike. Despite the wickedness, notoriet ...more
Sonya Dickerson
Oct 01, 2016 Sonya Dickerson rated it did not like it
I can’t believe that this book has such high reviews.
For those that read it, did you not understand that this book had so many discrepancies? This man investigated one murder in his career. This one. Everyone is wrong but him. He clearly has an axe to grind and he is making the case. He should have seriously stayed in Narcotics and not Homicide.

This is a terrible book.

Steve Thomas. Where do I begin? The bias is strong here people. This man has made up his mind about who the killers are and it’
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Jamie Barringer (Ravenmount)
There is something compelling about reading a true-crime story from one's home town. I was in Boulder for my first year in college the year JonBenet died, though thankfully I was too immersed in trying to pass my 2nd semester physics class to worry much about following this case when it started. Almost 20 years later I finally read a whole book on this murder drama, and having read lots of crime genre novels recently, I was amazed at how little the investigation into JonBenet's murder followed b ...more
Colleen
Feb 20, 2016 Colleen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
This is one of three books I'm reading about the Jonbenet Ramsey case. Steve Thomas was an investigator working for the Boulder Police Department, and gives his account of the struggles the police had in working with their DA's office.

According to Steve Thomas, every step towards investigating the Ramseys was blocked by the DA. While I believe the case shouldn't solely focus on the parents, it is difficult to completely rule them out when the body was found in their basement.

Added to that is t
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Lucille Zimmerman
I vividly remember the morning I pulled open The Denver Post and read the story of a little girl killed in Boulder on Christmas Day. I was at my dad's house having coffee and asked my dad about the case. My dad was a street-smart doctor. I said, "Who do you think did this?" His immediate reaction was that the mother exploded in rage over a daughter's bedwetting. "The Mother?" I asked in horror? How could a mother do that?" I looked over at my own 6-year old child (now 23 years old).

For the next
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Debbie
Oct 31, 2016 Debbie rated it really liked it
Thomas gives a real in-depth, behind the scenes look at the investigation for the police standpoint. Amazing to read about how things were handled!
LeeAnn
May 27, 2016 LeeAnn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I want justice for a child who was killed in her home on Christmas night."

The worst part of this review is that there will be no spoilers. If you need closure when you read a book, this is not the book for you. If you want justice for a 6 year old murdered child, this is NOT the book for you.
In spite of everyone coming to the same conclusion *cough* PATSY *cough* about the case suspect, there will never be closure.

Steve Thomas makes for a wonderful author and detective. As the lead detective
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Susan Liston
Now why have I never read this one before? And how strange that on the day I finish it, a new TV movie debuts about the case that even mentions this book? Weird. Anyway, this is the most incredibly frustrating unsolved murder I have ever been driven crazy by. Adopt any theory, doesn't matter which one, and you will trip along, see, I'm right, everything fits...oops. Huge stumbling block. Go back and pick a new suspect, try again. Same thing will happen. The thing is, ONE of these possibilities i ...more
Megan
Jul 17, 2012 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd never really delved into the JonBenet case and asked in one of their forums if I wanted to learn more, where I should start and this book (and the next) are the two that were recommended.

Steve Thomas was a detective on the JonBenet case and he brings us through the entire murder investigation, detailing the missteps of both the Boulder Police Department and the DA's office - as well as a bit of history on the DA's office. Here's what I came away with ... if I'm a criminal, I'm moving to Boul
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Alaina Blight
Mar 14, 2014 Alaina Blight rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I dont think we'll ever find out who killed Jon Benet Ramsey but surely if it was your child who had been brutally killed you would do everything and anything you could do co-operate with the police in order to find the killer? The Ramsey's refusal to be interviewed and the sharing of evidence by the DA's office certainly plants suspicion in their camp. Definately recommend this book
Kellie
Mar 15, 2014 Kellie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I mean, if you want to feel absolutely infuriated through 400 pages of reading, this book is FOR YOU!!!! At some points it could be hard to muddle through, but overall this was a very good and VERY informative book about the Ramsey case.
Now I'm off to read anything and everything I can about the case.
Tabatha
Aug 26, 2008 Tabatha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a true horror story that will keep you up at night. Many details of the case are reviewed which may cause vomiting and/or sleepless nights. It's really too much information; made even more incredibly sad that no one was ever punished for it.
Jenny
Jun 03, 2007 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned A LOT about the case by reading this book. There was so much information inside that I would have to read it three or four times to remember it all. It's written well, however I think it's very biased because the author was a detective on the case.
Kate
Oct 18, 2014 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kidnappings
Reads like the author has a serious axe to grind. The one and only point he made that made me think "hmm, maybe they are hiding something" is when he reveals Patsy is wearing the exact same outfit the next morning as she wore to the party the previous evening.
Denise Wallace
Jun 02, 2017 Denise Wallace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating and riveting! Floored by the corruption of the D.A.'s office in Boulder, and astounded by talent of the detective who wrote this book.
Jessica White
Mar 26, 2015 Jessica White rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
**THIS REVIEW IS TAKEN DIRECTLY OFF OF MY BLOG A READER'S DIARY**

I'm sure you all remember the murder that shocked America in 1996. The killing of 6 year old pageant queen, JonBenét Ramsey in her own house on Christmas Day. 18 years later and the killer still has not be found... Many details about this case have left me wondering for years, why would someone leave a ransom note if the child was already killed? Why were there so many specifics in the note if it wasn't the family or someone close
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Aubrie
Oct 19, 2015 Aubrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an engaging read that does an excellent job of bringing the reader inside of an investigation that so many of us watched unfold (or not unfold, I guess) in the mid-to-late 1990's. Though I myself am really not much older than JonBenet, the images that flashed across the tv screens of my childhood so frequently are forever imprinted in my mind, so much so that I sought to do a bit of reading on the case.

I will say that this book is thorough and the evidence presented is compelling. My o
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Steve Thomas is an American author and TV personality. In his career Thomas has been the host of the PBS home TV series This Old House from 1989 to 2003 and of Renovation Nation, on Discovery's former Planet Green channel, for two seasons (2008–2010).
Thomas was born in 1952 in Pomona, California as the oldest of six children. His father used to buy and renovate old houses in order to support the g
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