Newcomers to this blog are advised to begin with the first two posts, Just the Facts, Ma'am and Case Solved, which explain in very general terms why I believe I've solved this case. Some important questions are answered in the following post, Misunderstandings, Misconceptions, Misdirections. After that feel free to browse whatever topics might interest you (see blog archive).

NB: If anyone has trouble posting a comment, email it to doktorgosh (at) live.com, and I'll post it for you.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Open Forum

The previous page is filling up with comments pretty quickly, so I decided to start a new page exclusively as an open forum where anyone with any questions or ideas can post them as comments. As for myself, I believe I've finally run out of new things to say about this case, but I'm always interested in what others are thinking. So if you have a comment or question, please post it below.

And remember: it's always best to post your comment on the latest blog page where everyone can easily find it. Also, please identify yourself with some sort of moniker -- makes it easier to follow up on comments if we know who is who.

Thanks.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Comment Suggestions

First of all I want to thank all those commenting here. Your thoughts, questions, theories and other comments, even the negative ones, have helped make this blog interesting, meaningful and relevant. You've noted, I hope, that I don't censor posts -- unless they are redundant, irrelevant, inordinately rude or outright spam. Even then I've deleted only a very small number of posts since day one -- as I recall, only maybe six or seven (most of which came from the same redundant source). All viewpoints are welcome here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Facts, Facts, Who's Got the Facts?

While for me, as I've so often stressed, it is "the facts" of any case that are of primary importance, I have sometimes been accused of selecting those facts that support my theory while ignoring all those facts that don't. In other words, it's been suggested that I too, like so many of those I've criticized, have indulged in "cherry picking." So maybe it's time for me to frankly address this accusation, to see whether it has any merit.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Amanda Knox -- My very last word on this case so help me

And God help me to keep that promise because I have no desire to get enmeshed in yet another Internet morass.

My final word on the murder of Meredith Kersher and the question of guilt on the part of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Solecito is admittedly influenced by my experiences with the Ramsey case, and for that reason I have to admit I could be biased. It's not always a good idea to base one's thinking regarding one case on what one has learned from another, so feel free to take my words with a grain of salt.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Problem with DNA

In both the Meredith Kercher and JonBenet Ramsey cases, much has hinged on the interpretation of DNA evidence. And many people have made up their minds prematurely based on this evidence. Thus, since some unsourced traces of DNA were found on JonBenet's longjohns, consistent with DNA found mixed with blood from a stain on her panties, this, in the mind of DA Mary Lacy, must be the DNA of JonBenet's attacker, meaning her parents must be innocent. In the Kercher case, traces of Rafaelle Sollecito's DNA, found on Meredith Kercher's bra clasps, convinced the prosecution, along with the most recent panel of judges, that he must have been one of her attackers. The existence of this DNA, plus a trace of Meredith's DNA supposedly found on a knife blade from Sollecito's kitchen have been enough to convince large segments of the public that he must have been involved.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

More on Amanda Knox

OK, now this case in Italy is starting to get under my skin, God help me. One reason it intrigues me so much is the existence of so many themes in common with the Ramsey case. In both we find a crime scene with "no sign of forced breakin." Nevertheless, in both we have a broken window to account for, a window through which no one apparently could have passed, strongly suggesting the staging of an intruder breakin. We have, in both cases, a huge debate over the meaning of DNA evidence. Both cases are characterized by a violent sexual attack. We also have reports of a scream. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Another DNA Case: Amanda Knox

As is by now well known, Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were once again found guilty in the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, Knox's flat mate in Perugia, Italy. There are some interesting resonances between this case and the Ramsey case which are, imo, worth discussing here. The case is far too complex to get into in any detail in a blog post, but for those interested in digging deeper, a fairly detailed summary is provided on Wikipedia. It's a complicated case for sure, and not easy to get a handle on.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Still More on Burke

Amazingly enough, the JonBenet forums seem as active as ever, even after all these years -- but I've noticed a significant change. Whereas Patsy Ramsey was originally everyone's favorite murder suspect, that "honor" has now fallen to her son, Burke. Not only on the forums, but also in so many comments I'm reading on this blog, people seem unable to let go of the idea that Burke Ramsey could be the one who killed his sister, either on purpose or by accident. And since, as we know, she was sexually assaulted, these same people have no problem tossing that accusation into the bin along with everything else -- including, of course, strangulation with a "garotte."

Friday, January 3, 2014

By Popular Request

Well, not exactly popular request. However, some readers have been bugging me to write a book on the case for some time, and they keep pestering me, and so finally I decided, against my better judgement, to give in and let them have their way. So here it is:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HNWYIEM

(To purchase a copy, click on the cover image.)


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Traffic Jam

This blog has been popular for some time, but at the moment it's been getting an unusual number of hits -- and also a surge of comments. Please keep those comments coming, folks, because I always hoped this blog would become a forum for discussion of this troubling but also fascinating case, and that does seem to be happening, which is great.

On the other hand, with more and more comments piling up I'm starting to feel overwhelmed. I've always tried to respond to every comment, at least where a response seemed called for, but at this point I'm afraid I can't keep up anymore. That's a GOOD thing as I see it -- so long as everyone understands and is willing to cut me some slack. I'll still try to respond as much as I can, especially to questions or theories that haven't yet been adequately addressed. But so long as the surge continues I won't have time to keep up to the extent I've done in the past. Thanks so much for your participation and I do hope it continues. But please forgive me if your comments aren't always addressed by me. I'll continue to read every one, but won't always be able to respond.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Methodological Issues

I'm aware, of course, that I'm not the only one with a theory regarding this very notorious, highly publicized case. And when I read some of the other theories I get discouraged, because I realize, very painfully, how easy it is for people to delude themselves into believing they've solved it. We can't all be right, obviously, but nevertheless most of us are in fact all too easily convinced by our own arguments, which is troubling. And I have to admit, my thinking may be no better than anyone else's.

That said, I do feel that my methods are very different from those of anyone else writing about this case and I think it important that I make some attempt to explain them.  So here goes:

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Prosecution Strategy

I often hear, even from those who agree with me, that prosecution of this case is unlikely, and I've tended to agree. Because 1. the case is just too complicated for a typical jury to follow; 2. it would be too difficult to overcome the opinion of the six forensic documentation "experts" who ruled John out, 3. it would be too difficult for the prosecution to convince a jury that Patsy was manipulated by John  into lying about certain key aspects of the case. Finally, the fact that the Ramseys had been "exonerated" by DA Mary Lacy on the basis of that "touch DNA" evidence would be impossible to overcome.

Nevertheless, I've come up with a strategy that just might work despite the above-stated obstacles. Pay attention, please. This is going to be long, but it's really quite simple and straightforward:

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Some Ramsey Case Flowcharts

[For the benefit of early readers of this post, I must confess to having made some important changes a few minutes after posting it -- hope that's not confusing.]

To summarize and also clarify the various possibilities discussed on this blog, I decided to see if I could put together some "flow charts" illustrating the logic behind some of the most common theories of the case. Instead of literally producing flow chart diagrams, I decided it would be simpler to present my "flow chart" logic in outline form. So here goes:

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Three Little Words

Not sure why I never caught this one until the other day. Check it out:


JonBenet Investigation Part 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJnTEbCdQTQ)

Specifically, check out what John has to say at precisely 3 minutes and 28 seconds into the clip:

"To think that they would, uh, withhold her body for proper burial was . . . was barbaric."

Which should, of course, be compared with this sentence from the ransom note: 

"You will also be denied her remains for proper burial."

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Power of Inference

Much of the debate in this case has centered on the evidence, and I must say, there's a whole lot of it, far more than in a great many other cases. The problem is that much of it really isn't relevant (such as, e.g., the stun gun, butler door, "pubic hair," baseball bat, Hi-Tec print, DNA, etc., etc.) and  just about all of it is, to coin a term: inconclusive. One might comment that, in fact, there seems to be too much "evidence" in this case, to the point that ones head starts to spin just trying to get a handle on it. A trip to one of the forums will give you an idea of what I mean. We see endless discussions and debates that just go around continually in circles over the meaning of this that or the other piece of "evidence" and there never seems to be any definitive agreement on any of it.

On the other hand, an extremely valuable investigative tool has almost been ignored -- the favorite tool of the legendary Sherlock Holmes -- logical deduction, also known as inference. Let me give you a few examples of how logical inference can be put to work in understanding certain meaningful aspects of this case:

Friday, October 25, 2013

Reading the Oracle

Well, as we now know, the Oracle has spoken. And, as with a great many Oracular Utterances, this one is definitely cryptic. Brief, but hardly to the point.

Patsy and John Ramsey, each indicted separately, "did ... permit a child to be unreasonably placed in a situation which posed a threat of injury to the child's life or health which resulted in the death of JonBenet Ramsey." And, in a second indictment both parents, also indicted separately, "did ... render assistance to a person, with intent to hinder, delay and prevent the discovery, detention, apprehension, prosecution, conviction and punishment of such person for the commission of a crime, knowing the person being assisted has committed and was suspected of the crime of murder in the first degree and child abuse resulting in death."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Grand Jury Indictment to be Released

Yes, you read that right. As announced today in the Boulder Daily Camera
A judge has ordered the release of the grand jury indictment against John and Patsy Ramsey in the JonBenet case that has been sealed since the grand jury was dismissed in 1999.
Retired Weld County Judge Robert Lowenbach ruled Wednesday morning that the indictment will be released Friday in response to a lawsuit brought by Daily Camera reporter Charlie Brennan and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press seeking the release of the unprosecuted indictment of the Ramseys.
While I, like everyone else following this case, am eager to read what the Grand Jury had to say, I must confess I am far from thrilled. Yes, according to what we've heard so far, the GJ did decide to indict both John and Patsy Ramsey, thus ruling against Lou Smit and his absurd intruder theory. That's the good news. The bad news is that the GJ appears to have accepted Steve Thomas's version of what happened, which is equally absurd. The indictment is also meaningless, as far as justice is concerned, since the charge they apparently came up with was something like involuntary manslaughter associated with child abuse, a crime that can no longer be prosecuted, since it carries a three year statute of limitations that expired years ago.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dispelling Some Myths

Myths abound in this case. More than I could possibly deal with in a single post. But here are some of the most persistent and misleading:

1. Patsy Ramsey is responsible for the notorious "and hence" in the Ramsey Christmas message, a phrase that also appears in the "ransom" note.
  • Not likely. The Christmas message was a collaboration between John and Patsy, so technically we have no way of knowing which of them wrote it. We do know, however, that John made use of it in the Newseum interview of Oct. 12, 2000 (this was online at one time, but the link is now broken, unfortunately): "The police as a gov-, …you know, the justice system is a government organization. And hence, should be looked at with some degree of skepticism, and, uh…and, uh…suspicion."  I don't know of any place where Patsy is on record as using that phrase, and indeed it would seem uncharacteristic of her communication style, which always tended toward the colloquial and informal. John, on the other hand, tends to express himself in a more formal, and even academic, manner, so his use of "and hence" would not be surprising.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Either Or

The key to the JonBenet Ramsey case has always been that puzzling "ransom" note. And in the minds of just about everyone following the case, it's a matter of either/or. EITHER the note was written by some crazed, but elusive, intruder OR it was written by Patsy Ramsey. Clearly no other alternative is possible. Burke, at the age of nine, was far too young to have written it. And John was "ruled out" by some of the leading experts in the field of document analysis. So he couldn't have written it.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

How to Lie with Statistics

A recent email from a reader of this blog pointed me to a website I'd seen but forgotten about, in which the author attempted to prove that Patsy and only Patsy could have written the Ramsey "ransom" note by means of a statistical analysis. If you're curious, here's the URL: http://gemart.8m.com/ramsey/note

I had to laugh, because this person's use of statistics was clearly a travesty. It reminded me of the title of a book I'd heard about, published back in the 50's by Darrell Huff, entitled How to Lie with Statistics. Here's how his little game worked:

Thursday, August 1, 2013

And yet . . .

And yet. And yet. And yet.

If they were not in it together, and in fact John did it all on his own, as I contend, then . . .

In It Together?

Almost everyone who grasps the absurdity of the intruder theory feels sure both Patsy and John were both involved, either as murderer and accomplice or as "dutiful parents" desperate to cover for Burke.

But if this were the case, then . . .

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Premeditated?

I haven't added any new posts to this blog for some time, basically because I felt I'd said all I had to say on this case. However, I've continued to respond to reader's comments all along, and there have been quite a few. Unfortunately the old gadget that once listed recent comments is apparently broken, so I apologize to those interested in keeping up with the comments, because they're hard to find. I just added a search mechanism to the blog, however, so if you sign with your name, rather than "anonymous," you'll hopefully be able to more easily find any comments you've made. And if you have a favorite topic, you can now look it up.

I'm posting again thanks to some comments by someone calling himself "Pete," who kept insisting that the ransom note was too well thought out and too detailed to have been written after the murder. Pete feels sure JonBenet was killed by an intruder, but at the same time it's hard for him to believe the intruder could have composed such a long, complicated note while at the Ramsey home. While Pete is sure John didn't write the note, and of course I'm sure he did, his argument for premeditation is kind of convincing, I must admit. So thank you, Pete. (And I want also to apologize to Pete for sometimes being rude and impatient when responding to his posts, which was uncalled for and unfair.)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Basic Dilemma

Just posted the following at the Topix forum, addressed to all my fellow sleuths, PDI, BDI, JDI and IDI, puzzling over this very puzzling, and vexing case:

Look, as far as this case is concerned, we are all faced with essentially the same dilemma:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Patsy's London Letter Revisited

For Topix poster "Cyber," Patsy's left-hand sample was not the only decisive piece of evidence:
The nail on the coffin for me is the so-called "London Letter", a form letter given to suspects to copy. This is also at the back of the book. Patsy's sample of the London Letter shows a lower case "a" which is the same style as in the Ransom Note.
The Ransom Note features an "a" that faces "left", such as in the typeface in which I am writing. Almost all of Patsy's samples show the "elementary school a", a circle with a post on the right side, EXCEPT for the a's in the London Letter. They are dead ringers for the Ransom Note a's, and they have the final word with me. I believe she wrote the note. I don't see how anyone else could have written it and just coincidentally have left handed printing that was just like Patsy's.
We've already discovered that the ransom note is in fact not at all "just like Patsy's" left handed printing (see previous post) -- not remotely. So now let's turn to her London Letter:

Friday, February 8, 2013

Patsy's Left Hand Sample Revisited


Ah the joys of cherry picking. The National Enquirer obviously wanted in on the Patsy Ramsey bandwagon (before they were threatened with a lawsuit, that is, after which they changed their tune completely). So they decided to publish a (partial) copy of the ransom note alongside a (partial) copy of Patsy's left-hand sample, with a headline blaring the dramatic news: Patsy's sample was "AN EXACT MATCH"!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Johnisms


Some years ago, I put together a list of what I called "Johnisms," i.e., characteristics of John Ramsey's speech that seemed consistent with certain details found in the "ransom note." I find it remarkable that so many of those who've looked so hard for signs of Patsy in the note, had never made any attempt to do the same for John. Yet as far as I can tell, there are far more "Johnisms" in the note than "Patsyisms." Here are some examples -- pay attention to the words in Italics (unfortunately many of the links I provided are now dead):

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Grand Jury Voted to Indict

I suppose just about everyone reading here has seen the news. The Grand Jury formed back in 1999 voted to indict Patsy and John Ramsey, a decision that was kept under wraps by DA Alex Hunter, who decided to abruptly end the process without taking any further action. This tidbit has been splashed over headlines in a great many news venues, but it originated with an article in the Boulder Daily Camera, by a reporter with a long history of reporting this case: Charlie Brennan. Incidentally, Brennan collaborated with Lawrence Schiller on what is probably still the most definitive book on the case, Perfect Murder, Perfect Town.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Open Letter to Stanley Garnett, Boulder County DA

Dear Mr. Garnett,

I can understand your reluctance to pursue the JonBenet Ramsey case after so many years of futility and frustration. You see no point in pursuing the case any further until new evidence emerges and I agree. This case has all the markings of an insoluble conundrum, leading from one dead end to another. So, without anything more to go on than what you already have, it seems pointless to continue. And yet the sexual assault and violent murder of a child remains unsolved and her attacker walks free. The continued failure to close this case must weigh very heavily on you and your colleagues.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Key Questions

The Ramsey case poses some very challenging questions. Any theory that can answer all these questions in a reasonable and consistent manner, based on solid evidence, should be taken seriously. Theories based largely on speculation are much harder to take seriously. Though of course, any theory might possibly be correct -- because anything is possible -- it makes sense to concentrate more on what seems likely than what seems contrived. One must be especially cautious when confronted with theories designed to explain away the evidence rather than actually account for it in a systematic and logical manner. In this regard, and according to one of the most important principles of science, Occam's Razor, the simpler the explanation, i.e., the fewer the elements needed to account for all the evidence, the more likely it is to be true. That does not mean it has to be true, just that a parsimonious explanation should generally be taken more seriously than complicated ones involving more elements and requiring more time and effort to explain.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

New Improved Intruder Theory

We've seen all sorts of intruder theories, but none I've ever seen can explain 1. why a ransom note was left yet no one was kidnapped and 2. why the body was hidden in that tiny basement room. However, there is in fact a scenario that could account for these two things, though to my knowledge the only person who ever suggested it was someone on one of the anti-Ramsey forums arguing that this must have been what Patsy and John had in mind when they staged their kidnapping for the police. I'll get to that aspect in a moment, but for now, let's consider it purely as an intruder theory:

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Birefringent Material

Just a quick note to clarify an aspect of the case that's often misunderstood. JonBenet's vagina had been penetrated on the night of the crime and the evidence suggested digital, rather than penile, penetration. "Birefringent material" was found in her vagina, which turned out to be consistent with the coating on one of Patsy's paintbrush handles. This led very quickly to yet another piece of Ramsey case folklore: the notion that she'd been penetrated with the tip of a paintbrush handle.

The Windowless Room

I thought I'd just about run out of topics to discuss, but some issues I've neglected have been raised in certain comments, and rather than respond to each individually, I think it best to deal with them here. I'll try to be brief.

JonBenet's body was found in a tiny, windowless basement room, sometimes referred to as the "wine cellar," though to my knowledge the Ramseys never used it for that purpose. It was essentially a storage closet. Much speculation has been devoted to John's discovering the body and whether he might have deliberately contaminated the crime scene with his own fibers, "touch" DNA, etc. Fleet White had been down there earlier, opened that door and seen nothing of interest. But he'd failed to turn the light on. When John opened the door, Fleet noted that he screamed first, before turning the light on, and this was probably the beginning of his very obvious suspicions of John, suspicions that led to a serious break between them and White's prodding the DA to investigate the Ramseys more thoroughly. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Crux


"The crux of the matter," as defined by The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms: "The basic, central or critical point of an issue."

As I see it, the 911 call is the crux of the JonBenet Ramsey murder, the critical point which, in this case, forces us to make a crucial choice. Very simply, if the Ramseys were collaborating to coverup the murder of their daughter by staging a phoney kidnapping, that call would never have happened. There are two components to be considered in evaluating this assertion. First, the call was made with the body still in the house, and once the police were called in, there was no longer going to be any way to safely get the body out of the house -- and once the body was found in the house, then it would be clear no kidnapping had taken place, thus completely nullifying the effect of the note. Second, by handing the police a patently phoney "ransom" note penned by either Patsy or John, the Ramseys would be handing them a potentially devastating piece of self-incriminating evidence. And if, as so many have attested, this note "screams Patsy," in both content and penmanship, then Patsy would literally have been placing a noose around her own neck by making that call.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Folkore 2 -- The Oversized Panties Saga

At some point someone on one of the Internet forums decided to investigate reports that JonBenet had been redressed in panties several sizes too large, labeled with the word "Wednesday." Patsy had been questioned about these panties, since the investigators were trying to determine whether they might have been brought into the house by an intruder. During Patsy's interview of August 28, 2000, the interviewer, a Mr. Morrissey, makes this clear. Here is the relevant dialogue:

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Folklore

Over the years, a wide range of colorful notions regarding various aspects of this case have accumulated. Most appear to have originated with fanciful theories offered in various books and tabloid articles on the case, but their widespread dissemination and acceptance is no doubt due to the popularity of certain Internet forums, where they have come to be accepted as gospel truth.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"Passing" the Polygraphs

In May, 2000, John and Patsy Ramsey took polygraph (i.e. "lie detector") tests administered by an "expert" hired by their lawyers, one Edward Gelb. Not surprisingly, they "passed."

From the Denver Rocky Mountain News:
Edward Gelb, a respected California-based polygrapher, said he administered two tests to John Ramsey and three to Patsy Ramsey earlier this month. Both were asked whether they killed JonBenet or knew the killer. Patsy Ramsey also was asked whether she wrote the ransom note found in their home. "What are the chances that two separate individuals would take a series of five polygraph examinations and pass them all — and yet be lying?" Gelb said. "You're going to find it's somewhere between four in 1,000 and one in a trillion." 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Innocent Little Nancy -- OR -- "Moving Finger" Update

Turns out I've been doing some cherry picking of my own. Based on a document sitting dormant on my hard drive for years that I thought could have been penned by John Ramsey. I presented it a while back on a blog post titled The Moving Finger, along with a comparison with the ransom note that revealed some striking similarities. As I stated, I could not be sure this was written by John, and admitted in a comment that it could be a hoax. Nevertheless, I thought it worth looking into, and wrote to Ramsey case maven Jameson, from whom I had obtained this file, to see if she could shed some light on who wrote it and why. She could. And did. Here's the email I received from her this morning: