Saturday would have been JonBenét Ramsey's 21st birthday -- had she not been killed in Boulder on December 25, 1996, precipitating one of Tabloid America's longest-running murder mysteries. And while interest in the case has ebbed since its late Nineties peak, plenty of people remain fascinated by what this beautiful little girl would have looked like had she lived.
Of course, this obsession is nothing new. The video below, uploaded in 2007, features a series of image reconstructions intended to picture JonBenét at age sixteen:
Then, last year, The Globe created a composite of a twenty-year-old JonBenét.
Here's another recent attempt at imagining a grown-up JonBenét , presented on the JonBenetGurl tumblr page currently headlined "JonBenét is the Shit:"
Other publications, like StyleForFree.com, have used what would have been JonBenét's 21st to reexamine the child-beauty-pageant phenomena. And over the years, sites have regularly compared competitors in such contests to JonBenét, almost always unfavorably. Take this post on a 2008 FreeRepublic thread, about an eleven-year-old British girl who spent £300 per month to make her look like Barbie:
Wrote one commenter: "Let's take a look at them side by side. JonBenét Ramsey was a very pretty little girl with natural beauty, but this other one is very homely. IMO!"
Websleuths.com offered up something similar earlier this year:
Granted, the comparisons aren't always positive. Some people imagine an adult JonBenét as a show horse who would have gone around the track too many times by now. Take this example from TheDirty.com:
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This photo's description reads: "This would have been what JonBenét Ramsey would look like now."
This past weekend, though, most new videos that cropped up were in the tribute mode. For the majority of people still obsessed with JonBenét, she represents not ruined beauty but endless possibilities. For instance: