Note that anything marked with an asterisk (*) comes from testimony which has not been independently verified.
Timeline of the Crime
December 24th, 1996
- The Ramseys drive around looking at Christmas lights
December 25th, 1996
- Burke wakes up first, then wakes up JonBenet.
- Christmas presents
- Neighborhood kids arrive
- John Ramsey goes to airport
- Bike-riding. John is present.
- Changing for the Whites' dinner.
- The Whites' dinner.
- The Stines
- The Ramseys arrive home
- JonBenet consumes a small amount of pineapple from the bowl on the kitchen table
- The Ramseys claim they went to bed
December 26th, 1996: "Day One"
- John Ramsey claims he was the first person awake.
- At some point before his arrival at the Fernie home on day one, John Ramsey's lawyer Mike Bynum allegedly receives a call from someone in the Boulder District Attorney's office (where Bynum used to work). According to Bynum, this unnamed person in the DA's office informed him that John and Patsy "were being targeted" as suspects.
- After 5:00 P.M. John Ramsey's lawyer Mike Bynum arrives at the Fernie home. It is not clear who called John's lawyer to inform him of the situation. John Ramsey later claimed Bynum was just a friend.
- Around 7:00 P.M. John Ramsey went for a walk with his friend John Fernie and JonBenet's pediatrician, Dr. Francesco Beuf, who had apparently brought over some medication for Patsy.
- 7:30 P.M. When they returned a half hour later, Ramsey asked Mike Bynum to represent him. In later interviews John claims Bynum said "Would you allow me to do some things that need to be done" and John simply said "yes".
- Fleet White is contacted by Mike Bynum, asking to go to Bynum's law offices the next day for questioning. Fleet White agrees.
December 27th, 1996
- On the morning of December 27th, John Ramsey "began trying to find a child counselor for Burke"
- 8:15 AM - The autopsy of JonBenet Ramsey's body is performed by Boulder County Coroner Dr John Meyer.
- During the morning Fleet White goes to the station for detailed questioning by the Boulder Police Department.
- Mid-afternoon: The Boulder Police study the autopsy results. Chief Koby, Commander Eller and coroner John Meyer agree that they are not ready to release the body.
- Deputy District Attorney Peter Hofstrom is in private contact with the Ramseys' representatives.
- Deputy District Attorney Peter Hofstrom calls the police to say that the Ramseys were asking about burial. Police wonder "why were the Ramseys already communicating through [Hofstrom]?"
- Peter Hofstrom goes to the police station and repeatedly says "You can't ransom the body!"
- During the afternoon Fleet White goes to the offices of Mike Bynum for questioning by attorney Saskia Jordan from the Haddon Morgan law firm, and private investigator David Williams, who are working for the Ramsey defense team.
- Boulder Police detectives arrive at the Fernie home after not attempting to question the Ramseys for "a day", as John had requested.
December 28th, 1996
- Alex Hunter suggests hiring someone to "index and catalogue" the casefile. Police Chief Koby agrees, as long as the DA’s personnel do not "interfere, second-guess, or reinvestigate". This eventually leads to the hiring of Lou Smit,who extensively reinvestigated the case from the point of view of the intruder theory.
- March 17: Lou Smit and Steve Ainsworth officially start work for the District Attorney's office, appointed by Alex Hunter. They begin investigating intruder suspects the very same afternoon. Smit is announcing the Ramseys' innocence "within 72 hours" (Schiller).
May 3-4: Police meet with DA Alex Hunter and prosecutors Mike Kane, Levin and Morrissey for a "review session of the case". It is their first meeting since January. "Investigators expected to hear results of the latest analysis of hair and fiber samples collected during the lengthy and highly publicized investigation from FBI experts." This is possibly a reference to the long-delayed mitochondrial DNA testing of the axillary hair.. On May 4 Chief Beckner announces there will be more laboratory tests at the FBI. "This case is not over," Beckner said. "The FBI will be conducting some additional exams and analysis as a result of our meeting." The nature of the new tests wasn't disclosed, but Beckner said forensic evidence, such as hair and fibers, were among the topics of discussion. "We looked over forensic evidence, such as hairs and fibers, we also reviewed photographs, videos, and lab reports from the case files. We did a lot of brainstorming" [...] "We have identified a few more things that we want the FBI to follow up for us in terms of forensic testing," [...] "There are a few more things that our detectives are going to be following up on as well."
September: Burke Ramsey is reportedly questioned again by police.
- Paula Woodward. We Have Your Daughter.