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Correspondents with NBC's "Dateline" always appear calm and cool-headed as they walk viewers through some of the most shocking and twisted crimes. However, there are some cases they'll admit they just can't forget.
Ahead of the Season 10 premiere of "Dateline: Secrets Uncovered," airing Thursday, March 11 at 8/7c on Oxygen, the newsmagazine's correspondents are diving into some of the most jaw-dropping cases ever in "Dateline: Unforgettable," a three-day event airing March 8-10 at 8/7c on Oxygen.
During the special event, memorable past episodes of "Dateline: Secrets Uncovered" will air, with correspondents, like Andrea Canning and Josh Mankiewicz, giving an inside look into why these cases personally stuck with them over the years. On Monday, March 8, Canning will discuss the "Secret Lives" episode featuring the murder of Jen Ramsaran, which was one of her first assignments when she joined the newsmagazine.
Below is a look at what you need to know about the Jen Ramsaran case before you watch the episode.
Who Was Jen Ramsaran?
Ramsaran was a 36-year-old mother of three who spent her spare time volunteering with the Girl Scouts and teaching Sunday School, "Dateline" reported. By all accounts, she was beloved by her South New Berlin, New York community. She had married her husband, an IBM program manager named Ganesh "Remy" Ramsaran, while they were both students at the State University College at New Paltz; she was an art major and loved painting and ceramics. She seemingly had an idyllic life — which is why those around her were so shocked when she apparently vanished.
On December 11, 2012, Ganesh Ramsaran reported his wife missing, The Daily Star reported in 2014. He told police he had last seen her when she left the house that day to go Christmas shopping in Syracuse and hadn't heard from her since. Police scoured the area for the woman, eventually locating her cell phone and abandoned car in different nearby towns. After over two months of searching, they finally found her on February 26, 2013 — her frozen naked body was discovered off a dirt road in Pharsalia, according to the outlet.
It was impossible to determine exactly how she been killed, but a medical examiner concluded it appeared she had been struck in the head before she died, according to "Dateline."
Who Killed Jen Ramsaran?
Investigators soon learned Ramsaran had an active online life playing fantasy video games, and they suspected a man she met online had been involved in her murder. They did uncover an online boyfriend, but he maintained his innocence and was eventually cleared. But he also put forth unsettling information: Ramsaran and her husband had a very troubled marriage and were on the brink of divorce.
Authorities then turned their attention to her husband and learned he, too, had an extramarital relationship — with none other than Jen's best friend, a married woman herself, with two kids.
Ganesh Ramsaran and his mistress exchanged many text messages before and after Ramsaran's disappearance, which helped establish a motive: He wanted to start a new life with his lover and capitalize off Ramsaran's $200,000 life insurance policy, the Daily Star reported. Bloodstain evidence also pointed to Ganesh after it was discovered that a sweatshirt he wore the day of the murder had both his and his wife's blood on it. The woman's blood was also found on a bedsheet, indicating she had been killed in the home, according to the local outlet.
Ganesh Ramsaran stood trial for the murder in 2014. The prosecutor theorized he either strangled or suffocated Ramsaran and had hit her on the head after he dropped their kids off at school. He'd came home and found her in their room playing one of her online games, they theorized.
“That’s what set him off,” the prosecutor claimed, adding her husband had even mocked Ramsaran while speaking to the police for “playing that ‘effin game” for long periods of time, according to The Daily Star.
After a three-week trial, Ganesh Ramsaran was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison, Syracuse.com reported.
However, he has always maintained his innocence. In February 2020, a judge ruled in favor of a motion filed by his new attorneys, who claim his trial lawyer, Gilberto Garcia, had never tried a murder case before and made grievous errors, including not calling any witnesses and searching online for how DNA evidence worked just a few days into the trial, instead of calling for an expert, according to Syracuse.com.
Soon, a hearing will be called — if the motion is granted, a new trial could be ordered.
For Canning's perspective on this shocking and salacious case, watch Dateline: Unforgettable, airing March 8 at 8/7c on Oxygen.
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