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Burke Ramsey, Jon-Benet's Brother, Files $750M Lawsuit Against CBS for Defamation

Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

Burke Ramsey, brother of Jon-Benet, is filing a $750 million defamation suit against CBS, claiming that his reputation was ruined after a CBS special that declared pretty emphatically that he was ultimately responsible for his sister’s death.

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The AP reports that in the lawsuit, filed Wednesday, Ramsey claims that “the network, its production company and the experts interviewed in the series on the unsolved murder conspired to defame him for publicity and profit.” The suit also alleges that CBS set out to create a “sham reinvestigation”of the case, “based on a compilation of lies, half-truths, manufactured information, and the intentional omission and avoidance of truthful information about the murder of JonBenét Ramsey.”

For those who didn’t watch the CBS special, it was unique in that it seemed to definitively pin responsibility on Burke for the crime. An investigator posited a theory that Burke struck his sister on the head with a flashlight and while he certainly didn’t intend to kill her, well, that’s what happened. The gathered investigators agreed, leaving very little room for speculation. Nothing about that feels very good, especially for a case that’s been dragged out into the light screaming every so often, exploiting the life of a six year old child who died under extremely tragic circumstances.

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This is the second lawsuit filed by Burke in relation to this decades-old case; the first was filed in October, against forensic pathologist Werner Spitz for $150 million. Spitz was one of the six investigators featured in the three and a half hour television event that aired on CBS in September, ahead of the 20th anniversary of Jon-Benet’s death.

Senior Writer, Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

A word on Werner Spitz, who’s mentioned in this post. I’ve now been a prosecutor for 15 years. He was called as an expert witness in literally the first case I ever worked on.

He established for me from my first moments in court that you can find an expert to say literally anything you want him to. This is a guy who is internationally renowned, who gave what still stands as the most demonstrably ridiculous opinion evidence I’ve ever heard in in my career (recently rivalled by an accident re-constructionist). Basically, if money is no object to your defence, you can hire someone who legitimately established credibility but then sold the fuck out to make as much dough as possible. And he will probably get you off.