[Interview with the Ramseys on the Today Show; Date = Mar 22, 2000; Source = Justice Watch Forum]
Katie Couric: What was JonBenet like as a little girl?
Patsy Ramsey: She was a ball of energy.
John Ramsey: She was a spark plug. She was the spark plug in our family.
Katie Couric: She - her personality was more like yours.
Patsy Ramsey: Probably so.
Katie Couric: Very what? Outgoing?
Patsy Ramsey: Outgoing. Just - spontaneous probably.
Katie Couric: You all brought some mementos of JonBenet. Why don't you just tell me about some of those things.
Patsy Ramsey: Well this was the little bonnet that she wore when she came home from the hospital.
Katie Couric: There's her handprint from..
Patsy Ramsey: Yeah.
Katie Couric: When she was how old?
Patsy Ramsey: She was four years old at this point. This was made in preschool for Mother's Day. It just - it makes me feel good to - put my hand there. And know that she was there. This was a classroom contract. And the children all had to list things that they thought would be important in the - in the classroom. And JonBenet had number one, to be polite. And number two was to share toys. Number three said be nice to your friends.
Katie Couric: It must be so hard in a way to look at these things.
Patsy Ramsey: I remember the first day I found her backpack and opened the little latch and looked in. And everything was still in the backpack. And she brought it home from school that last day of school in December of '96. And it was hard. It was really hard because it just seemed like - it just seemed like yesterday. And those - I still have it just like that. I haven't taken anything out of the backpack.
Katie Couric: You were Miss West Virginia a few years ago.
Patsy Ramsey: Several.
Katie Couric: And you brought JonBenet I understand, you write about it in the book, to a reunion of Miss West Virginians.
Patsy Ramsey: Right.
Katie Couric: She was three and a half years old.
Patsy Ramsey: She was.
Katie Couric: And she got a big kick out of it, you write.
Patsy Ramsey: She loved it. As soon as we got back to Colorado she said, "When can I do that? I wanna do that too. I wanna do that too."
Katie Couric: In fact she used to play a game called presenting?
Patsy Ramsey: Yes. She loved that. That's what she picked up and keyed in on from the night of the Miss West Virginia pageant. And she would make me narrate you know, narrate. And she called that let's play presenting. So I'd say presenting JonBenet Ramsey. And JonBenet is wearing a pom pom on her head and high heels.
Katie Couric: You sort of play down the whole pageant aspect of your lives a bit in the book. Saying it was basically nine pageants. But some people might say that's a lot of pageants for a little six-year-old girl.
Patsy Ramsey: I don't really say that I downplay it, I say that it was one part of who JonBenet was. But she also liked to play softball and climb rock climbing walls and ride bicycles and roller skate.
Katie Couric: What did you think of the whole beauty pageant thing?
John Ramsey: I used to tell JonBenet, look, this is just about having fun. And it's - this is not about who's the prettiest or who has the prettiest dress on. But you know - it's - work on your talent, that's what - that's what counts. And - so I would always try to go just to see the talent part.
Katie Couric: I'm sure you both know by now that this whole beauty pageant aspect of your lives has struck many people who aren't in this world as kind of weird. Some would say creepy, in fact, to take a little six-year-old girl, and poof up her hair and put makeup on her and dress her up like a showgirl.
Patsy Ramsey: Some people need to - to get a life. You know we had a good time.
John Ramsey: Again, as a father of three girls, I know that little girls like to dress up. They like to put on lipstick, they like to put on Mommy's high heels. That - this was - just kind of an extension of that. And JonBenet had no stage fright.
Katie Couric: You wrote in the book, John, and I was curious about this, that you were dismayed that some of her pageant photos had been doctored with heavy makeup. But as part of the pageant she would wear makeup, wouldn't she?
Patsy Ramsey: Sure.
John Ramsey: Sure.
Katie Couric: I mean did you highlight her hair, even? Or...
Patsy Ramsey: Yeah, I highlighted it gently to try to blend it a little bit.
Katie Couric: It has influenced public opinion that you had your daughter compete in beauty pageants.
Patsy Ramsey: But does that translate because you went with your daughter on the weekends to a talent show, does that translate to make us murderers? I mean come on. It was something we enjoyed together, and I don't care what people say about it. It is a precious memory to me. And if she were alive we'd probably still be doing it.
When John Ramsey married Patsy it was his second trip to the altar. He'd already fathered three children - Beth, Melinda, and John Andrew. And as you're about to hear - when JonBenet was killed - it was the second time he'd had to cope with the death of a daughter.
Katie Couric: [In the book we learn a lot about your lives before this happened. One aspect, John, is that] you lost your daughter, Beth, in 1992.
John Ramsey: Yes.
Katie Couric: In a car accident.
JR: 'I had thought that Beth was the burden that I had to carry, the loss of Beth. And when we lost JonBenet it was almost more than I could take.'
Katie Couric: She was how old?
John Ramsey: She was 22. She had just graduated from college. She was working as a Delta flight attendant.It was - I can't imagine anything worse than - to lose a child. I never thought I would. It just wasn't part of the plan.
Katie Couric: And then, you not only lose one daughter, but then another.
John Ramsey: Yes. I had thought that Beth was the burden that I had to carry, the loss of Beth. And when we lost JonBenet it was almost more than I could take. And the fact that Beth's death was an accident, JonBenet's life was taken by another human being. That made it worse.
Katie Couric: I would think that would just push you over the edge.
John Ramsey: But people ask us how - well how do you go on. Well we go on because we still have three wonderful children. And they need us to be strong. They suffered through this too.
Katie Couric: Many people know that - you survived cancer but perhaps they don't know that when you were diagnosed it was pretty dire.
Patsy Ramsey: Yes it was. PR: 'I never thought I would have lived this long, truthfully. I never thought I would live to see JonBenet married or graduating from high school, I really didn't. And now she was the one taken.'
Katie Couric: Stage four ovarian cancer.
Patsy Ramsey: Right.
Katie Couric: And you had to do something quite aggressive and dramatic.
Patsy Ramsey: Mmm-hmm (affirmative). I took my treatment at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. Nine months of chemotherapy. Two abdominal surgeries. And by the grace of God I'm still here. I never thought I would have lived this long, truthfully. I never thought I would live to see JonBenet married or graduating from high school, I really didn't. And now she was the one taken. I - you know - I struggle with that. I've asked God a lot of times, 'why?'
Katie Couric: When you say by the grace of God, that's not just an expression for you.
Patsy Ramsey: Right. We had a healing service in mybedroom in Colorado, and I believe and will believe to the day I meet Christ in the air that I was divinely healed. I think - I mean two days later I had a CAT scan and all the cancer was gone.
Katie Couric: Do you think your faith has been your greatest source of comfort through all this?
John Ramsey: We've been comforted by a lot of things. But certainly faith is the ultimate comfort. Because if we sit back and look at - and start asking yourself why - if you can't answer that from a foundation of faith - it's a hopeless answer.
Patsy Ramsey: Yes, I didn't think we were gonna make it. A lot of days when I thought I wouldn't live to see a morning. But He said He will never leave us. And He has brought us through.
Katie Couric: You wrote quite poignantly, John, about a little pageant medallion...
John Ramsey: Uh-huh (affirmative).
Katie Couric: ...that you got from the house after JonBenet died, that you wear around your neck.
John Ramsey: Uh-huh (affirmative).
Katie Couric: Do you wear that every day?
John Ramsey: Yes, I do wear it all the time, 24 hours a day.
Katie Couric: Can you show it to me? Or is it possible...
John Ramsey: Yeah.
Katie Couric: ...to get under there and...