netflix true crime documentary : Casting JonBenét

Screengrab via Netflix/YouTube

Netflix gives us first look at new doc ‘Casting JonBenét’

'Do you know who killed Jonbenét Ramsey?'


Tess Cagle


Published Jan 19, 2017   Updated May 25, 2021, 4:23 am CDT

Netflix released the first clip of Casting JonBenét, a documentary about the world’s fascination with the murder case of child beauty pageant queen JonBenét Ramsey, on Thursday.

Just 49 seconds long, the clip shows eight girls at an audition to play the role of 6-year-old Ramsey. Each actress wears an identical costume—red, white, and blue pageant wear. It also shows the beginning of the audition from a child named Hannah.

“Hello, my name is Hannah and I’m auditioning for the role of Jonbenét Ramsey,” she says as she peers at the camera. “Do you know who killed Jonbenét Ramsey?”

Ramsey was killed in her family’s home in Boulder, Colorado, on Dec. 25, 1996. The official cause of death, as recorded in the autopsy report, was “asphyxia by strangulation associated with craniocerebral trauma” and her death was identified as a homicide. The case generated nationwide public and media interest, and remains an open investigation with the Boulder Police Department.

Netflix writes that Casting JonBenét explores the murder of 6-year-old Ramsey and its impact on culture.

“After twenty years of media speculation and public hysteria that cast JonBenét’s parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, of killing their own child, Casting JonBenét presents audiences with a hybrid of fiction and non-fiction filmmaking that examines the macabre legacy of this tiny starlet,” the doc’s description reads.

Directed by Kitty Green, Casting JonBenét will premiere in the documentary competition at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 22. Netflix acquired the rights to the film in early January and it will be available for streaming in April.

Casting JonBenét is not the first look at the death of Ramsey. Last fall marked the 20th anniversary of the murder case, inspiring multiple documentaries about Ramsey’s story like A&E’s The Killing of JonBenét, CBS’ Who Killed JonBenét? and a Lifetime movie also called Who Killed JonBenét?

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*First Published: Jan 19, 2017, 6:29 pm CST