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Making a Murderer fans: get set for a new real-life crime series

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Kayleigh Dray
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Netflix's Making A Murderer sparked a new trend for real-life crime documentaries, taking a closer look at the murder of freelance photographer Teresa Halbach in 2005.

Now, in a similar attempt to shed new light on a cold case, CBS is set to air The Case of JonBenét Ramsey, a new eight-part series which vows to investigate the murder of six-year-old child pageant star JonBenét in Colorado, US, in 1996.  

The case gripped America and no-one has ever been tried for the murder, despite FBI investigators spending decades sifting through the evidence. 

The trailer for the new documentary immediately drops us into true-life events, opening with audio from the 911 call placed by JonBenét’s mother, Patsy, on 26 December 1996.

“We have a kidnapping… hurry please. There’s a note left and our daughter’s gone,” she is heard saying.

She goes on to tell the operator that the ransom note demands a large sum of money for her daughter’s safe return.

But, hours later, on 26 December 1996, her husband John reported finding his daughter beaten and strangled to death in the family’s own basement.

Watch the trailer below:

As the ransom note demanded $118,000 (£89, 903) - the exact amount made by the Ramseys in bonuses that year - investigators suspected that JonBenét’s murderer was someone very close to home. For several years, JonBenét’s mother and father were lead suspects in the case but in 2008, they were cleared via a DNA sample taken from their daughter’s clothing. JonBenét’s mother, Patsy, had died of cancer two years earlier, in 2006.

Prosecutors said they were "deeply sorry" for putting the family under a cloud of suspicion for more than a decade.

The six-hour series will bring together several individuals involved with the initial murder investigation, including former New York City prosecutor, retired FBI supervisory special agent and profiler Jim Clemente; world-renowned forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee; former chief investigator for the District Attorney in Boulder, Colorado, James Kolar; leading forensic pathologist Dr. Werner Spitz; and retired FBI supervisory special agent and forensic linguistic profiler James Fitzgerald.

Reporters in the documentary will also interview the operator who took the initial 911 call.

“In twenty years, nobody asked me [what happened],” she says in the trailer. “I think it would have really turned the case around.”

Investigators will use new technology and advanced forensics to comb through evidence, as well as seek out new information and leads.

They will also analyse the original 911 call, stripping the audio and using noise reduction to find a conversation that occurred after the Ramsey family believed their line had been disconnected.

Having rebuilt the entire Ramsey family home – right down to the toys and crime scene tape – viewers will be taken into the crime scene itself, as experts attempt to solve the two-decades-old mystery using “new experiments”.

“We want to get the truth out, so that JonBenet can rest in peace,” investigators explain in the trailer.

The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey premieres 18 September on CBS. 

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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