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Perfect Murder, Perfect Town (2000)

Cast: Kris Kristofferson, Marg Helgenberger, Ronny Cox, more...
Director: Lawrence Schiller
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Studio Works
Genre: Drama, Cops, Miniseries
Running Time: 240 min.
Languages: English
    see additional details...

This made-for-TV miniseries recounts the muddled criminal investigation of the JonBenet Ramsey murder -- one of the most luridly publicized crimes in recent memory. As the crime unfolds, the Boulder police squad grow increasingly swamped by the elusive details of the crime and the unprecedented media attention. ~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Perfect book, perfect miniseries by EPetersen October 3, 2004 - 7:27 PM PDT
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
This brilliant, chilling ABC-TV miniseries about the murder of JonBenet Ramsey was based on an excellent book of the same name. The author, Lawrence Schiller, also produced and directed the miniseries. I read the book before I saw the miniseries, and I can tell you that Schiller did a great job condensing his 700+ page book into a 3-hour miniseries.

When 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey was found murdered in her own Boulder, Colorado home the day after Christmas 1996, the investigation resulted in a huge controversy and massive media exposure. Eight years later, no one has been brought to justice for the vicious killing.

This miniseries shows how the numbingly incompetent Boulder police lost control of the crime scene and became more interested in saving their reputations than solving the murder. The media hurt the case as well. The tabloid vultures plastered the front pages of their papers with lurid stories insinuating that one or both of the Ramseys killed their daughter.

Both John and Patsy Ramsey are oddballs to be sure. Patsy especially. She struck me as being a few sandwiches short of a picnic. Definitely not Mother Of The Year material - but a killer? No way. No parent could be so cold as to kill their child the day after Christmas.

While rest of the Boulder Police and the District Attorney scramble to cover their asses - and try to pin JonBenet's murder on her parents - investigator Lou Smit (Kris Kristofferson) goes to the crime scene and does the work that the cops should have done in the first place. He discovers that John Ramsey's theory of an unknown intruder slipping into the house while the family slept is very plausible and in fact, the most likely scenario. The police refuse to even consider the possibility. The Ramseys, overwhelmed by the media-fed pressure, don't help themselves by hiring a lawyer and giving the police a hard time.

At JonBenet's autopsy, it is discovered that DNA evidence left on her body does not match any member of the Ramsey family. Still, the police insist that John and Patsy are the prime suspects. A tabloid reporter goes so far as to join the Ramseys' church in order to get the dirt. He forms an unholy alliance with the District Attorney. Soon, the Ramseys will face a Grand Jury...

This is one harrowing, unforgettable miniseries. The good news is that this DVD features a Director's Cut version that runs 18 minutes longer than the version broadcast on TV. The bad news is that the whole thing is crammed onto one single-layer DVD disc instead of a dual-layer disc or a 2-disc set. The result is a mediocre transfer. Still, it's a heck of a lot better than VHS tape.

Now, four years after this miniseries was made, new evidence has come out proving that Lou Smit was right all along - an intruder really did kill JonBenet. What is still unknown is the identity of the killer. If you are interested in the case of JonBenet Ramsey or in true crime stories, you will enjoy Perfect Murder, Perfect Town.

- Eric Petersen

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.00)
2 Votes
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