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JonBenét Ramsey house for sale: Owner talks about finding light in darkness (PHOTOS)

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Big pics below.
The house in which JonBenét Ramsey's body was found in 1996 is among the most notorious in Colorado -- and it's on the market, listed for $2.3 million; see a full gallery of photos below. This marks the third time the home has been put up for sale in recent years, and its co-owner, Carol Schuller Milner, understands why some shoppers might balk. But living there was a blessing for her, and she thinks knowing good memories were being made there helped the healing process for a good many Boulderites.

Schuller Milner, the daughter of televangelist Robert Schuller, and her husband, Tim Milner, initially moved from Southern California to Boulder "to do ministry with college students and downtown residents," she notes. "So we bought a small home in the Mapleton neighborhood off Pearl Street. But I have an artificial leg -- I lost it in a motorcycle accident when I was thirteen -- and at the end of 2003, I contracted flesh-eating bacteria. All of a sudden, I was so sick. I ended up on crutches for four months -- and navigating those creaky, hundred-year-old stairs made us realize that we needed a place with a downstairs bedroom, or room to put one in."

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Hence, she and her husband began house-hunting -- and when a friend suggested they take a look at the onetime Ramsey residence, a 1920s-era dwelling at 749 15th Street, which had sat vacant for several years, she was initially reluctant. "We had four kids at the time" -- they now have five, ranging in age from four to 23 -- "and I'm a very visual person, because I'm a writer and director. I'm very sensitive and spiritually based. But then I checked myself and thought, 'It's stupid not to just walk through it,' not expecting for a minute that we'd actually buy it."

Her mind changed quickly. "The minute I walked through the door, this sense of peace came over me, and I absolutely fell in love with the home." It was perfect from a practical standpoint, and while there were some stylistic elements not too her liking, such as awnings that protruded inside the home to prevent sun from damaging the furniture, she saw infinite possibilities.

Of course, she also recognized potential pitfalls. For instance, her two youngest children at the time "were going to the same school that JonBenét had been going to. There's a little bench on the playground memorializing her, and we knew families who knew the Ramsey family -- so we knew the kids would be hearing about it at school."

Nonetheless, all members of the family signed off on the purchase, which became official in May 2004 -- and the response they received from neighbors was universally positive.

As Schuller Milner recalls, "We actually had families coming up to us crying and saying, 'We can't tell you how much it means to us that you're in the home. Seeing it with weeds all around it and deteriorating was so sad. We have wonderful memories of the family, and to see joy in there again, and children, is wonderful.' So I think for them, it was the beginning of a little bit of healing."

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For her part, Schuller Milner says she was never overwhelmed by thoughts of bad things that happened in the house, in part because she's confident no family abuse preceded JonBenét's murder. "I didn't feel that in the home," she says. "I'm very sensitive in that area; I believe our actions impact our environment. And if something like that had happened, I think it would have bothered me more. And I always really loved the house.

"The only thing we as a society know as being negative in the home's history is this horrific event that happened to little JonBenét," she continues. "And I just believe there were tons and tons of wonderful memories existing in that home both from when the Ramsey family was there and all the many years leading up to them moving in. I don't know how many families lived in there prior to them being there; it's a 1920s home. But one horrific event shouldn't have the power to wipe out all these other beautiful days that occurred in that home. Every family goes through difficult times, and in my case, if I let the loss of my leg when I was thirteen wipe out all the beauty in my life, well, I don't think the world would have much hope."

So why did the family move in late 2005/early 2006? Schuller Milner says various projects and opportunities required her to travel to California so frequently that it eventually became clear they should relocate -- and while she and her husband hoped for a time they could return to Boulder, they eventually concluded that doing so would be too disruptive to their kids. Besides, "Grandma and Grandpa are getting to the time in their lives when they need our help."

With that in mind, the family put the house up for sale in 2008 and 2009 -- and they've just listed it again. Schuller Milner emphasizes that they're making certain people interested in seeing the residence are serious buyers, not people driven by the "sensational." With that in mind, she says a number of improvements have been made in recent years, including redecorating her kids' former rooms so prospective buyers won't think the look dates back to the Ramsey period.

In regard to those who could never consider living in a place where something so awful happened, she says, "Some people are making this a dark monument as opposed to thinking about the restoration that can occur after a tragedy. And I believe that in our darkest tragedies, God doesn't run. He comes. When I lost my leg, I was in a ditch by myself for half an hour before help came. Before that, I wasn't really in the kind of space to think about God or that kind of stuff, even though I was raised in it. But as I laid there, I felt a nearness to God that I'd never felt before. And I know he doesn't abandon the broken. It's not in His nature.

"As a Christian, we have a different view on death," she goes on. "Death is not the last word, and God is not bound by death. I just don't believe it's in his character to abandon us, and that effects my ability to look at this house and see all the beautiful things about it."

Page down to see larger photos of the home, republished with Schuller Milner's permission.

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15 comments
conveyancing west
conveyancing west

This is amazing.House is looking beautiful.Drawing room is very beautiful.I like this.This is a great article.I appreciate to this content.Thanks to share this blog.

Marc Blair Saxe
Marc Blair Saxe

The redecorating is just GOD AWFUL. Such BAD TASTE compaired to how lovely Patsy kept the home. Patsy had a PARTICULAR WARMTH that generated throughout the entire house. Such a shame things never stay the same,seems they just keep getting worse. The kitchen is just DAMN UGLY. so DARK and DINGY and the rest of the home looks COLD and BLANK. The current owners should take a course in redecorating. THEY STINK AT IT. UGLY FURNISHINGS the basement looks like a STONE CAVE. JUST TERRIBLE. EEEEWWWWW!!!!!! YOU PEOPLE SHOULD BE ASHAMED TRASHING A ONCE BEAUTIFUL HOME. IDIOTS!!!!!! GOD BLESS PATSY RAMSEY.A BEAUTIFUL ANGEL IN HEAVEN. HOUSE LOOKS LIKE HELL YOU STUPID MORONS.

Cindee
Cindee

I belive the true story in this article is the Healing of the community. Regardless of who her father is and why and how they bought the house. Please see beyond your own prejudice. I would be interested in what the Ramsey's would say about what it meant to them to see their house sold to a family full of love and kids. Truly that is the story.

candy
candy

She doesn't mention the need to go back to California, and her father's church, the famous Crystal Cathedral, going bankrupt. In the last year, all five of Reverend Schuller's children and top aides received over $800,000 in housing allowances, while many other creditors were not getting paid. If she didn't spend their housing allowance on this mansion, what did they spend it on, and where? A lot of them live in a gated community in Orange County. The Grassley report spelled out the OUTRAGEOUS misuse of the "parsonage" allowances by these TV evangelists. The IRS needs to close this loophole, fast. Mega mansions all over the country, even down to the kids of the TV evangelists, is not what the original intent for parsonages were ever for.

candy
candy

How many kids of preachers and small time college church outreach groups buy 2 million dollar mansions? She said the housing allowance didn't pay for it, "real estate investments" did. Who bought the real estate?

Monica
Monica

The use of religion to make money is arguably the most atrocious act of greed. The only "beauty" this woman sees in this home is the money she hopes to make on her million dollar mark up.

Jframirez41969
Jframirez41969

I agree once again! the home looks so cheap! Looks like they spend alot $$$$ buying home depot products...

Jfrtyu
Jfrtyu

Marc you are a ignorant moron . !!!!!!!

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Cindee, interesting post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Gytf
Gytf

Your going to spend a lot of time burning in hell candy so get all your stupidity out now while you can u prejudice biggot

Gytf
Gytf

Your going to spend a lot of time burning in hell candy so get all your stupidity out now while you can u prejudice biggot

ignoranceISbliss
ignoranceISbliss

Love your insights and judgments, that's awesome! There's nothing I respect and appreciate more about people than hearing their opinions and judgments regarding the personal business of others; especially ones that are based and fueled upon misinformation. The passion people have to ignorantly judge others never fails to impress me.... hats off, pat on the back, round of applause and a toast to all who look for the worst and judge with ignorance. What an inspiration. I love the media too, from Lindsay Lohan to the Ramsay house~ they never fail to portray the truth.

Jframirez41969
Jframirez41969

thats the truth! Good observation! Then has the nerve to say she is sensitive!

John
John

Maybe that's all you see. She's not using religion to make money, she's trying to clear the waiste that has been thrown over a home because of a tragic event because of people like you.

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