The JonBenét Ramsey Case: Spotlight on the Pineapple

The JonBenét Ramsey murder investigation was never short of evidence, of which there was seemingly plenty. Unfortunately, much of this only served to further complicate the investigation of this as of yet unsolved case. In a previous article, we took a look at some of the more bizarre pieces of evidence from the case but with the twentieth anniversary of her murder approaching and the public interest in the case ever increasing, we thought it was time to examine some of this evidence in closer detail.

Arguably, no piece of evidence has befuddled investigators, armchair detectives and the general public alike more than the pineapple. A seemingly innocuous fruit in most circumstances, its presence both undigested in the gastrointestinal tract of the victim as well as on the breakfast room table has been the source of many questions. How it came to be on the counter, in a bowl with a serving spoon, remains a mystery as both Patsy and John Ramsey deny feeding JonBenét pineapple when they returned from a Christmas party the family had attended that evening.

The fingerprints of Patsy, John and Burke were found on the bowl. This evidence by itself is insignificant as the family would regularly unpack the dishwasher together, not to mention that it was their own crockery. So why is the pineapple evidence so important if it doesn’t point to a suspect? Read on to discover why it is, to this day, considered one of the most perplexing pieces of evidence in the case.


The science behind it: was it eaten before or after?

The presence of the pineapple on the table only became significant when undigested remains of the fruit were found in JonBenét’s gastrointestinal tract during autopsy – specifically in her stomach and proximal small intestine.

The location of the pineapple in her gastrointestinal tract as well as the degree of digestion observed suggest that she ate approximately 2.5 hours before she died. Unfortunately, the rate of digestion is highly variable and difficult to predict – this also tends to vary based on the age of the individual and what exactly was eaten. In light of this, some experts have even stated that she could’ve eaten the pineapple as early as 4:30 PM on the 25th of December.

The host of the dinner party doesn’t recall serving pineapple that evening and, in any case, the pineapple on the table does indicate it was likely served and consumed at the Ramsey house. Both Patsy and John claim that the table was completely cleared before the family left for the event that evening. It does appear that, along with the evidence from the autopsy, JonBenét did, in fact, eat the pineapple in the hours before her death, once the family had returned home.


Would I lie to you, baby?

According to Patsy and John, JonBenét was asleep before they arrived home after the party and was put straight to bed. Patsy, in particular, vehemently denied feeding her any pineapple and consistently denied any knowledge of how this got into her gastrointestinal tract.

This could, of course, indicate that the perpetrator lured JonBenét downstairs with the promise of food – suggesting both that this person had an intimate knowledge of the Ramsey house and that, in all likelihood, JonBenét recognised the perpetrator and perhaps even trusted them.

Another popular theory seeks to address the question, why would the Ramseys lie about feeding JonBenét pineapple when they went home? The answer is if they had something to hide, of course, it would manifest an obvious giveaway. A lie about a seemingly mundane detail could indicate they played a role in her death – either directly, or in an attempt to cover for nine year-old Burke.


The devil’s in the details

What the pineapple evidence does, above all else, is throw crucial doubt onto the timeline of the events on the night JonBenét was murdered.

If we were to believe that Patsy and John truly don’t know how the pineapple came to be in JonBenét’s gastrointestinal tract, then that means that the perpetrator was successful in not only luring her from her bedroom without alerting the other sleeping residents (despite the fact that Patsy maintains she would’ve heard the children get up), but also in keeping her settled and quiet downstairs while he prepared the snack.

Another issue with this version of events is that, if the perpetrator did feed JonBenét pineapple, she would still have been alive for an estimated 2.5 after eating it. While we know that she received a blow to the head before being strangled, investigators can’t estimate the time between these two events so whether she was conscious or not during this time is unknown. Nevertheless, if the ransom note was to be believed, and this was a kidnapping gone awry, the perpetrator would have put themselves at huge risk of discovery by remaining in the house for longer than necessary. In fact, experts maintain that it is incredibly unusual for the body of a kidnap victim to be found in the place from which they were purportedly kidnapped.

Unfortunately, despite the fact that this unsolved case is facing intense scrutiny once again, it is highly unlikely that we will ever have a clear answer with regard to this bizarre and mysterious piece of evidence and, by extension, what happened on the night of this horrific murder.

Your turn: Do you think the pineapple is as significant as it is perceived to be? What role do you think it played, if any, in the murder?




  • Richard Bullock Jr says:

    The more I hear about this case the more I think her father did it first thing is the prior sexual assaults according to autopsy report if that’s the case it should be really considered that the mother carried her to her room put her to bed went to bed herself the brother went to bed the father stayed up went got lil girl up lures her down stairs sexualy assaults her cleans her up then feeds her pineapple she probably was upset while eating pineapple and threatened to tell then her dad hit her in the head with the flashlight to keep his secret safe then put those other underware on her with other DNA on it to cover up his crime then wrote the ransom note. Then acted suspicious through out I think the mother and son new nothing. If the prior assaults where proven then that’s my opinion and he broke window to try stage the scene and the rope around her neck when the head injury would of probably been the cause of death then he worked on the note and put it for his wife to find his actions shows he was the one and only one covering anything that’s my opinion if the prior assaults where proven it had to be him the son was not smart enough to write that letter and shouldn’t been interested in raping his sister the mom couldn’t rape her she has no penis I don’t think

    • Josephine Harkay says:

      Handwriting experts stated that from all the numerous samples submitted it was only Patsy who could possibly have written the note.

      • Tori Kane says:

        IMO, Burke was very smart at 9 years 11 months old when his sister died: nevertheless 10 year old child does not write a threatening Ransom Note with a signature in acronyms: S.B.T.C
        ‘She’s Behind The Cellar’.
        Is it backwards for ‘Cut The Bull Sh*t’

        Either way is awful and sad…

      • Ann says:

        No they did not!! Wolf V RAMSEY depo Steve Thomas admits Pasty did not write the RN and experts the fbi, secert service and cbi both admitted Pasty did not write the RN. Judge Carnes also recognizing that the ramseys were framed and made out to look like they had committed the crime by the Boulder Police Department feeding the media false information she cited that by the evidence she had looked at that the ramseys are not guilty of the murder that it is by an intruder.

    • Tori Kane says:

      That is the most sensible comment I have heard lately….I am sick of the Intruder propaganda spread by the TEAM Ramsey. You are an intruder in you intrude the body and assault a defenseless little girl. End of statement!
      Sooner or later the truth will creep up from the guilty.

    • Ann says:

      John is not involved in the sexual attack on Jonbenet nor does any of the DNA point to tbe Ramsey’s. You need to read the Wolf V RAMSEY depo bpd admitted that John nor Pasty were the author of the RN. They also admitted Steve Thomas and James Kolar book were based on falsh statement and both have been used by the Ramsey’s and the Ramsey’s won bith cases. Judge Carnes admitted none of the evidence points to the Ramsey’s whatsoever!

  • Tory Kane says:

    Patsy, was supposed to go and attend another party, after the family returned from the previous dinner from the White’s. (According to Judith Phillips, a photographer for JonBenet’s and long time friend of Patsy’s from Atlanta).
    John stated the night of 12-25-96, after the White’s party, JonBenet fell asleep in the way home, so he carried her to her room laid her in bed, then Patsy followed him to changed her PJ’s. But it sounds like the children were left with dad alone that night… the next morning Patsy greets the police and still has on the clothes she wore the day before.
    A week after JonBenet’s murder, John’s Secretary received a call at the company, Access Graphics. The call was made by a woman who said that Patsy found John molesting JonBenet and struck blow at him, but missed and hit the child instead. If they turn themselves in, they’ll be imprisoned, maybe a life sentence or death penalty for murdering JonBenet, they risk never being able to raise Burke. They stage a kidnapping with a rambling ransom note, dial 911, afterwards call many friends and contaminate the evidence to derail the case. Victory! S.B.T.C {Staged Behind The Cellar}

    • Josephine Harkay says:

      I never thought of this interesting scenario; in that case Patsy still could have been the author of the ransom note. However, the police did investigate John Ramsey’s moral background and there was never any evidence that he may have been a child molester.

      • Tori Kane says:

        Let’s examine this in depth: How would an “Intruder” KNOW that JonBenet’s FAVORITE snack was PINEAPPLE? How did “Intruder” know that Patsy walked down the “Spiral staircase” on daily mornings and “he” left placed the ransom note on the third rung? How COULD the “Intruder” know that JB’s FAVORITE’s night gown was the pink barbie ONE, or her favorite white blanket was in the dryer? Why would JB be carefully wrapped as a papoose? Why risk hiding the dead corpse in a remote dark cellar if she was the motive for ransom? Why ask a miserable $118,000 from a millionaire CEO? Another intriguing thing is that JonBenet ‘s jewelry was not strippred off by the greedy kidnapper, plus her thighs were carefully wiped of any blood and redressed with Bloomies panties (huge size 12) with the “Wednesday” name of the week (Wed. coincided with X-mas, the 25TH)
        Then who would have time to practice writing a long rambling ransom note and leave the notebook and pen behind with a practice note? Who knew that Patsy kept her paint brushes and tray and BLACK TAPE in the basement, and used them to make a garrotte? YES, the ‘Websleuths’ referenced the train room picture where the black tape dispenser sat on a shelf! Would a truly frightened parent call 911 if they were warned that the kidnapped child would be “EXECUTED, KILLED, BEHEADED… DIE if they called the police or notified anyone else…so brilliant Patsy, rushed and summoned their closest friends! This is the winner; the parents “purposely avoid waking up” the ONLY sibling in the house, to ask him if he heard/saw anything?
        BTW: Why would the brother be frightened, pretend to be asleep when his parents entered his room?
        I suspect that the perpetrator KNEW the family habits, the likes, the whereabouts of things, like pineapple, Maglite, the child’s room on a 4 story house, which laundry room had the blanket & barbie gown, where to find her barbie doll present, the bloomies, the cellar and makeshift lock above the door.
        That critter knew that family and home like his own!!! I wonder who it was?

  • Josephine Harkay says:

    Everything about JonBenet’s attempted kidnapping and murder case somehow does not ring true, especially the ransom note. If an intruder accidentally kills his/her victim, he/she normally would run, not look around for pen and paper and write a lengthy ransom note. If the killing was intentional and the victim was left behind, what is the point of writing a ransom note at all? The perpetrator would want to cast suspicion on the family, not on himsel/herself, an outsider. I believe the death of JonBenet was a terrible accident; a family member may have accidentally or impatiently shoved her and she fell down the stairs cracking her skull. The rest was a panicky attempt to cover it up with a fake ransom note, thereby actually casting the suspicion on the family itself. I am afraid we shall never know the truth.

  • Cheyenne says:

    This is a gruesome bad experience for the family and her brother convicted I feel bad for the family and I had a family member die to that too and i cried

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