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), and I'll post it for you.

Notice to readers of my Kindle book: I recently noticed that, on certain devices (though not all), the Table of Contents begins with Chapter One and omits the Introduction and Preface. Since the Introduction is especially important, I urge everyone to make sure to begin reading at the very beginning of the book, not the first chapter in the Table of Contents. Thank you.

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


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:

Friday, October 19, 2012

Big Bad Wolf -- OR -- The Dangers of Cherry Picking

At one point, the Ramsey defense team focused its attention on a Boulder reporter named Chris Wolf, based on a report from his girl friend of suspicious behavior on the morning after JonBenet's murder. Wolf subsequently sued the Ramseys for defamation, in a trial that gave "New York Lawyer" Darnay Hoffman an opportunity to present his case against Patsy (see previous posts). As a result of his girl friend's accusations, Wolf was investigated -- and considerable attention was paid to his handwriting. I recently discovered the following youtube video, which purports to demonstrate how close his writing is to that of the note:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The "Experts" See Patsy - Part 8: Cherokee

On to Cherokee's "Handwriting Analysis," which begins with post no. 10 of his Forums for Justice thread. [Added on 1-23-1017: the threads containing Cherokee's analysis seem to have vanished. However, smaller versions of some of his/her comparisons can still be found here:] He immediately excludes Burke, as "The handwriting, vocabulary and syntax of the Ransom Note are those of an adult." I agree. He decides, therefore, to focus on "the two adults who were there at the time, John and Patsy Ramsey." Here too I agree, since imo there is no evidence of an intruder that's ever stood up to close examination, nor was there any reason for any intruder to both leave a hand printed ransom note and fail to remove his victim from the house. What makes his approach superior to all the others, in my opinion, is his willingness to consider John as well as Patsy, rather than uncritically accept the verdict of the "experts" who ruled him out.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The "Experts" See Patsy - Part 7: Cherokee

"Cherokee" is the name used by someone posting for several years at the Forums for Justice forum, among others. I have no idea whether this person is a he or she, but I have feeling it's a "he," so that's how I'll refer to "him" until I'm informed otherwise. I also have no idea whether Cherokee is a bona fide "expert," but I'm including him here because 1. he definitely sees himself in this category and 2. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. In the interest of full disclosure, I'll mention that Cherokee and I have a "history" on the Internet, going back many years, which I won't get into here, except to say that this person is extremely touchy and quick to take offense -- which may be the reason why I have managed to offend him so many times both past and present. On the other hand, I may simply be an offensive sort of person, who offends everyone, in which case I hereby apologize to one and all. (Incidentally, my offensiveness is intimately associated with my "popularity," oddly enough, as discussed in this amusing blog post.)

The "Experts" See Patsy - Part 6: David Liebman

Cina Wong's teacher and mentor, David Liebman, appears to have excellent credentials indeed, as he is (or was) president of the National Association of Document Examiners. However, there is absolutely nothing in the brief report he prepared for Darnay Hoffman that could not have been achieved by a diligent amateur.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The "Experts" See Patsy - Part 5: Tom Miller

Tom Miller, a criminal defense attorney and "court-certified document examiner" based in Denver, has a long history with this case. He was apparently the source for the various exemplars provided to Darnay Hoffman's team of "experts," and joined that team in matching Patsy's exemplars with those in the "ransom"note. He eventually wrote an indignant book about the case, JonBenet Ramsey: Prostitution of Justice. 

The quality of his work as a document examiner is evident from the report he provided to Darnay Hoffman. Here are some examples:

The "Experts" See Patsy - Part 4: Gideon Epstein on the Distinguished Panel

Before moving on to our next "expert," I want to dwell a bit on an all important aspect of Gideon Epstein's testimony.  Time and again, whenever I find myself arguing against Patsy's involvement and presenting all the many reasons to suspect John and John alone, the "Patsy lovers" remind me of those six "experts" who unanimously agreed that John could not have written the note. And when I argue that this conclusion makes no sense and needs to be questioned, eyes begin to roll.

What they fail to recognize is the equally significant fact that this same panel of experts also found it "unlikely" that Patsy wrote it. They could not rule her out. But nonetheless, the consensus was that she probably did not. Which means anyone wanting to insist Patsy must have written that note also has to go against the "expert" findings of this same panel. In other words, if this was an inside job, as so many rightly believe, then there is something very wrong with the methodology employed by this distinguished panel. And if you want to accuse them of being wrong about Patsy, then you can't avoid the possibility that they were wrong about John.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The "Experts" See Patsy - Part 3: Gideon Epstein

The documents analyzed by Cina Wong were supplied by "New York Lawyer" Darnay Hoffman, an odd character who inserted himself into the case out of a deep seated and unshakeable conviction that Patsy Ramsey and only Patsy Ramsey could have written the notorious "ransom" note. To prove his point, he hired a team of forensic documentation specialists (aka "experts") whose job very clearly was to confirm his theory. Which of course they did. All used the same set of totally inadequate exemplars as those initially used by Wong -- the ones displayed on my previous post, plus two others, also very brief, that I haven't been able to get hold of. Other than the longhand letters signed by her, no one has ever to my knowledge confirmed that any of these were actually written by Patsy -- and there is good reason to suppose that at least one -- "Rainbow Fish Players" -- was not (it looks totally different from all the others).

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The "Experts" See Patsy - Cina Wong Part 2

The alphabetical comparisons exhibited in the previous post are, of course, only one part of Wong's analysis. In November of 1997, she provided a written report, (currently available at ACandyRose's website) at the request of "New York Lawyer" Darnay Hoffman (now deceased). In it, she lists her sources and, fortunately for us, ACandyRose (bless her heart) has made all but two available from links on the same webpage.

The "Experts" See Patsy - part 1:Cina Wong

[NB: 1-25-2013 - Yesterday I received a notice from "The Blogger Team" that this blog post was being temporarily removed due to a notification they had received regarding the supposedly unauthorized use of copyrighted material. I was told I could repost it once the material was removed, but given no information regarding exactly who filed the complaint. In my view all such materials are covered under the Fair Use provisions of the copyright laws, but that's not my call in this instance, so I have no choice but to comply.]

From the Boulder Daily Camera, Nov. 25, 1997: 
On a scale of "1 to 10" with "10" being a "probable" match to the ransom note found at the JonBenet Ramsey murder scene, one handwriting expert gave Patsy Ramsey an "8.5."
New York City Attorney Darnay Hoffman today plans to file in Boulder County District Court a preliminary handwriting analysis completed by expert Cina Wong. The handwriting analysis will be added to Hoffman's recently filed lawsuit against Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter.
Wong's analysis shows 32 points of comparison and similarities between seven samples of Patsy Ramseys handwriting and the ransom note. However, one page of the report was redacted in media copies, Hoffman noted, to prevent JonBenets mother from disguising her handwriting in the future.
"The relatively large number of distinctive similarities found in both the 'ransom note and exemplars allegedly written by Patsy Ramsey ... cannot be ignored," wrote Wong, a board certified document examiner from Norfolk, Va., hired by Hoffman. "Statistically, it can only be concluded that it is very likely the same hand wrote all the documents involved."
The most widely disseminated example of Wong's work is a letter by letter comparison of exemplars from the note, on the top row, and Patsy Ramsey's exemplars, on the bottom:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Moving Finger

The Moving Finger writes;
and, having writ, Moves on:
nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it

                                            Omar Khayyam

 There's a file I've had for some time without knowing quite what to do with it. It's a .gif file, titled "writing sample via Jameson." For the life of me I can't recall exactly where or when I got it, but it has to have been several years ago. Possibly it's something Jameson posted on her Webbsleuths forum, after much prodding from me, because she'd let it be known she had samples of John Ramsey's writing, but was refusing to share them. I was never sure what to do with it because of its slightly ragged appearance, probably the result of a poor quality xerox. If you right click on it and select "Open Link in New Tab," and then click on it again, you'll get a better look:

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The 911 Call - Part 2

I seem to be repeating myself a lot lately, so please forgive me if once again I insist, in bold: if both John and Patsy Ramsey had been collaborating on a staged kidnapping, the 911 call would not have been made while the body was still in the house.

As I see it, my reasoning (see previous post) is perfectly logical. Yet hardly anyone among those who correctly reject the intruder theory seems ready to accept it. The prevailing idea is that either Patsy or Burke struck and killed JonBenet, in a rage over bedwetting or out of jealousy, or whatever, and that Patsy and John got together to concoct both a pedophile attack and a kidnapping, complete with phoney "ransom" note, in a desperate attempt to cover it up. And ever since I began explaining, on the various Internet forums, how the 911 call was inconsistent with this scenario, I've been met with  a steady stream of very odd alternate explanations for why Patsy and John would agree to call the police before they'd had an opportunity to get the body out of the house.

The 911 Call

I'd like at this point to delve more deeply into certain specific issues that have proven especially problematic for both law enforcement and serious followers of this case. I'll begin with the all important 911 call.

Of all the many significant events to be considered here, the 911 call is key. It tells us John and Patsy Ramsey could not have been collaborating on either the crime or the coverup. In other words, if one of them is guilty, the other must be innocent.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Reasonable Doubt - Part 4

Based on the arguments presented in the previous three posts, I believe it possible to convince a jury beyond reasonable doubt that no intruder was present in the Ramsey home that night. There was no sign an intruder had been in the house. The DNA "evidence" is easily dismissed as the result of indirect transfer and might not even be admissible. There was no sign of a forced breakin. There was no reason for an intruder to do all that was done. And finally, the clinching evidence, John attempted to stage a breakin at the basement window and then lied about it since he hadn't had an opportunity to complete his staging. Thus, on the basis of the preponderance of evidence, and beyond reasonable doubt, the crime was an inside job. And just as clearly, based on his many lies and misdirections, John Ramsey was involved. He is clearly guilty. But of what?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Reasonable Doubt - Part 3

In my view, it should not be all that difficult to convincingly argue, not only on the basis of the evidence, or lack of it, but also the logic of the case generally, that no intruder was present on the night of the murder. Whether such an argument would constitute proof beyond reasonable doubt would, of course, be up to each and every juror to decide. And regardless of how unlikely it is that an intruder would have wanted to do all the things that were done, and how seriously lame all the so-called "intruder evidence" has turned out to be, there would still be some wiggle room for the defense to assert reasonable doubt in this respect, since we have no way of knowing for sure what some unknown person or persons might have had in mind, or how devious they might be.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Reasonable Doubt - Part 2

(. . . continued from previous post.)

To foster reasonable doubt, the defense can be expected to dredge up anything it can find that can't easily be accounted for, according to the age-old principle known as "throw the spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks." We can get a pretty good idea of what to expect from my blog post That Elusive Intruder, in which the history of various dubious bits and pieces of "intruder evidence" is chronicled. Everything on that list, along with just about all the other "intruder evidence," was accounted for long ago, but that won't prevent the Ramsey defense team from tossing each and every item into the ring all over again. The basic idea: if even one single item on the list can't be fully accounted for, that could trigger reasonable doubt, and if reasonable doubt can be implanted in the head of even one member of the jury, then our client is home free.

Reasonable Doubt

Based on the arguments in my previous post, I'm convinced it would not be difficult for the DA to establish probable cause for John Ramsey to be indicted for the sexual assault and murder of his daughter. Once he is put on trial, however, probable cause is no longer sufficient. It will be necessary to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt. And before I continue I want to make it clear that putting John on trial and hearing what his defense will be like, when challenged by a determined prosecutor with a solid understanding of the case, has always been my first priority. If he and his lawyers can establish reasonable doubt in my mind, that's fine with me, because like most of us I would prefer to think some strange intruder with baffling motives and methods assaulted this child rather than her own father.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Probable Cause

In several recent posts, I've considered the case against John Ramsey in the context of a potential criminal trial. And, as is well known, conviction in a criminal case must be based on proof beyond reasonable doubt, admittedly a difficult standard. But the standard in bringing a suspect to justice, i.e., trying him before a criminal court, is much less demanding. The prosecutor need only show probable cause that the person in question committed the crime.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Defense

If the case ever comes to trial, the defendant will be John Ramsey. Patsy Ramsey is no longer with us. Burke Ramsey was too young at the time and cannot be tried. As far as an "intruder" is concerned, even in the event of a DNA match the suspect's lawyer would have no trouble getting the case tossed out of court by challenging the prosecution to explain that person's motive for murdering an innocent child, how he could have entered the premises through locked doors, leaving no sign of forced entry, his reasons for writing a long "ransom" note while in the house, using paper and pen from within the house, his reasons for hiding the body in a remote room rather than taking and holding it for ransom, etc. Even in the unlikely event of a handwriting "match," his lawyer could challenge such results as unscientific, on the same basis the Ramseys themselves challenged the "experts" who matched Patsy's writing to that of the note in the Wolf case. And thanks to John Mark Karr, we've learned that even a confession is, in itself, all but worthless.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Scene at the Window

The scene at the basement window has been the focus of much speculation and dispute, centering on the question of whether or not there was any sign of a forced break-in at that point. As has been demonstrated repeatedly, most recently in Kolar's book, the condition of the grate, the well, and the sill is clearly inconsistent with such a possibility. In the words of DA Alex Hunter, "No one passed through that window." What's rarely if ever discussed, however, is another aspect of the window scene that, for me, is of even greater significance. Let's consider the various pieces of evidence at and around that window.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Prosecution Hints and Tips

I've already outlined a strategy for the prosecution, but I'll now add some additional hints and tips.

First hint:




Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Experts

Now that I've reviewed all the various fantastic theories, I want to return to the one that isn't fantastic at all, but was, from the very beginning -- and by far -- the most likely. To understand why this theory got sidetracked in favor of all the others, regardless of how unlikely and indeed wacky they might sound, we need to return to the fateful decision of the so-called "experts" who ruled John out as writer of the note. And this decision did indeed determine the entire history of the case. Whenever I've attempted to convince anyone with any influence or clout that John is the most likely suspect by far, I've been greeted with the same response: "but wasn't he ruled out by the experts?" End of conversation.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fantastic Theories - Part Five

I can't resist adding one more scenario, another little skit I dreamed up a few years ago, as a companion to the skit featuring John and Patsy. This one features an apocryphal character who, as has been alleged, teamed up with "bootman" Michael Helgoth, to invade the Ramsey home and slaughter JonBenet. An especially interesting feature of this one is the explanation it offers for the very strange initials S.B.T.C. 

Fantastic Theories - Part Four

A popular theory of late, thanks to Kolar's book, is that Burke killed JonBenet and the parents staged to cover for him. Would a Burke-did-it theory be less fantastic than the others?

Burke Did It

JonBenet can't sleep so she wakes Burke and the two of them have some pineapple together. One thing leads to another and either 1. Burke gets upset and swats her with the Maglite or a baseball bat or 2. Burke attacks her sexually, she resists and he swats her. In either case, the parents are awakened by the commotion, see what's happened, and are afraid to call 911 because 1. Burke is now Patsy's only remaining child and she's afraid he'll be arrested; 2. John is alarmed by the injuries to JonBenet's vagina and is afraid he'll be blamed for molesting her, because no one could possibly believe nine year old Burke could be responsible. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fantastic Theories - Part Three

Another perennial favorite, possibly the most popular of all, since the permutations, and thus the possibilities for speculation, seem endless:

Partners in Crime

This one is a variant of Patsy Did It, with both John and Patsy collaborating on various aspects of the crime and coverup, with no way of telling who did what. In some versions we see Patsy clobbering JonBenet with the Maglite and John agreeing, for some odd reason, to assist in the coverup, mainly by finishing the victim off with a "garotte." No telling who would have wanted to penetrate her vagina or why, but since her vagina was unquestionably penetrated (not to mention the clear signs of prior abuse), then that too somehow has to be woven into the staging. In other versions, it's John who clubs her, for reasons unexplained, and Patsy who agrees to assist, also for some odd, inexplicable reason. 

Fantastic Theories - Part Deux

Now to continue with the next fantastic theory, a perennial favorite entitled:

Patsy Did It

Christmas comes and goes. The Ramseys return from a party at the White's, deliver some packages, go home and go to sleep. At some point during the night, JonBenet wets her bed. For some reason Patsy wakes up, discovers the wet bed and flies into one of those rages so typical of so many women who fly into rages over the bedwetting of their children. This has been documented so we know it can happen.  One thing leads to another and at some point Patsy cracks. Reaching for a handy Maglite flashlight that just happens to be nearby, she smashes her daughter over the head with a tremendous blow, a blow so powerful it's been described as capable of felling a full sized man.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fantastic Theories - Part One

There is only one theory of the Ramsey case that makes any sort of sense. The essentials can be stated succinctly. John Ramsey has been molesting his daughter, and on the night after Christmas, prior to a trip where they'll be visiting family, becomes convinced she is about to expose him. He consequently decides to kill her, in the least painful manner, by clubbing her over the head. When he notices she's still breathing, he strangles her with the aid of a ligature, twisted by a stick for convenience. To cover for himself, he contrives a staged kidnapping, complete with phoney ransom note and window breakin. (For details see A Scenario.)

As I understand it, John was in fact the prime suspect until an unexpected thing happened: he was "ruled out" as writer of the note by a team of handwriting "experts." Consequently the case was thrown into disarray where it has remained ever since, because once John is ruled out, the only possible alternatives to the scenario I've offered above are too fantastic and literally beyond belief to present in court. Not too fantastic, however, to be widely accepted by a great many people following the case, including some experienced law enforcement veterans who should know better.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Desperately Seeking Patsy

[NB: 1-25-2013 - Yesterday I received a notice from "The Blogger Team" that this blog post was being temporarily removed due to a notification they had received regarding the supposedly unauthorized use of copyrighted material. I was told I could repost it once the material was removed, but given no information regarding exactly who filed the complaint. Consequently I have decided to remove all materials that might have prompted this notification, at least for the time being, until I can more accurately determine its source. In my view all such materials are covered under the Fair Use provisions of the copyright laws, but that's not my call in this instance, so I have no choice but to comply.]

I believe I've demonstrated very logically that Patsy could not have been involved in any aspect of this crime, including the writing of the "ransom" note. Nevertheless, many of those following the case will find this extremely difficult to accept, because of all the supposedly "obvious" similarities between her handwriting and that of the "kidnapper." I've already covered some aspects of this issue in earlier posts, here and also here, but the handwriting evidence is so widely misunderstood that I feel the need to tackle it in more detail at this point.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Scaling Justice Mountain - for midwest mama

I recently was challenged on the Websleuths forum, by a poster calling herself "midwest mama." This is what she wrote:
I see your point. And I agree that the case can be made by simply looking at the facts leading to a RDI theory, as they are indisputable to me as well.

If a clear, DOCUMENTED and SUBSTANTIATED analysis of John's testimony can be prepared in order to enable those of us not clearly in the JDI camp, then perhaps that's the hill some of us should start climbing, instead of so many of us going around and around on the same track over and over which has been leading to nowhere.

If we start at the bottom, with all the right equipment, and focus on the goal, which is proving JR suspect for prosecution, and take it step by step up an unencumbered path, then we should make it to the top of the hill. Let's call this task: Scaling Mt. Justice or perhaps, Scaling Justice Mountain !!
Her request is eminently reasonable. So here is my 5 step summary, based on my Websleuths response:

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Odds and Ends

As I've made clear from the start, the heart of the case can be found in just a few uncontested facts. Aside from these facts, outlined in my first two posts, almost everything else has been deemed "inconclusive." Nevertheless, a great many people following the case, both professional and amateur, have set great store by some of this evidence, which from their standpoint is especially important. To make my position as clear as possible, I'd like now to go over some of these "odds and ends," which I have to admit I've neglected thus far. It should be remembered, however, that when we focus too strongly on trying to understand the meaning of this type of evidence, the case, as I see it, can very quickly turn into a morass, so we need to proceed with caution. Nevertheless, each item can tell us something significant, if we are willing to place it in perspective.

Patsy and John

I have to admit that the biggest problem with my theory concerns Patsy's role. As I see it, she was innocent of both the murder and the initial coverup, but participated in later aspects of the coverup by either remaining silent about what she knew to be true or lying outright. I'm referring in particular to two specific cases: 1. her decision not to challenge John's assertion that calling 911 was his idea (despite the fact that, in the A&E documentary, she provided a very different version in which this was her idea) and 2. her testimony supporting John's obvious lie about breaking the basement window pane on an earlier occasion. I think it revealing that in both instances she was lying to support John's version of what happened.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Making the Case

At first it might seem hopeless to attempt to make a case based on such a complicated state of affairs. First you'd have to prove a negative, i.e., that no intruder could have been present, which seems awfully hard to do, especially given the fact that the Ramseys have already been exonerated on the basis of what some believe to be solid DNA evidence. Second, you'd have to convince the jury that six highly regarded handwriting experts were wrong in ruling John out as writer of the note. Then you'd have to prove that calling 911 was Patsy's idea and not John's, despite the fact that Patsy never seems to have challenged John's claim that he told her to make the call.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Case Against John Ramsey

For some time after my epiphany, I was nevertheless troubled by the thought that some key piece of evidence could be missing, that, however unlikely, an intruder or intruders may have somehow entered the house after all, leaving no trace, possibly with a key, and left the note and the body for reasons of their own that I couldn't fathom. Despite my growing conviction that my theory explained all the strange "mysteries" of this case, there was always the possibility I could be wrong, and was pointing the finger of suspicion at an innocent man.

Half Truths, Deceptions, Lies

However, with the release of the police files, containing transcripts of all the Ramsey interrogations, it became crystal clear John was either hedging or lying outright about many key aspects of the case in a manner that removed all doubts. The most damaging lies are to be found in his testimony regarding the basement window, which I've already covered and will return to presently. There are many other instances as well, duly noted by Kolar in a chapter aptly titled, "The Evolution of John Ramsey's Statements." I'd already gone over many of these inconsistencies in a series of blog posts [correction, I should have written "forum posts"] back in 2005. Here are some excerpts, with my slightly revised comments:

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Burke Ramsey has now become "flavor of the month," as one forum poster recently put it. Thanks to Kolar's book, many have now become wedded to the theory that Burke must have struck JonBenet over the head in a fit of rage and/or jealousy, and his parents, terrified the "family honor" would be tarnished, contrived an elaborate coverup, involving a vicious strangulation by a demented sexual predator using a "garotte," and a two and a half page ransom note, written of course by Patsy, everyone's favorite villainess. John appears to have gone along for the ride, or possibly had nothing to do with it at all, as Boulder detective Steve Thomas seems to believe. (Steve gave him "a pass.")

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Basement Window -- Part 4

Time to deal with some remaining issues related to the window staging.

Repaired or Unrepaired?

First of all, we must ask the question: why wouldn't John and Patsy have testified simply that the window had in fact never been repaired? What would have been the harm in saying "no, we never got around to replacing that window"? Why did both, on the other hand, insist that they couldn't recall whether that work had been done or not?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Basement Window -- Part 3

The Gospel According to Patsy -- 1997

Continuing with my 2005 review.

From Patsy's 1997 police interview: 
ST: Tom has some questions for you about when John had to break in that basement window . . .

PR: Right.

ST: . . .but was there any reason you couldn’t or John could not have retrieve the key from the Barnhills at that time to get in rather than breaking the window?

PR: He, he may not have know they had a key.

TT: When did John break that window in the basement?

PR: He, I don’t know exactly when he did it, but I think it was last suimmer sometime when we, the kids and I were at the lake. 
Another Ramsey who doesn't "know exactly" when or what or how or who. She THINKS it was last summer. Funny, I think John thinks he thinks the same thing.

The Basement Window -- Part 2

I've been reviewing my 2005 runthrough of John's testimony regarding the broken basement window. He claims he broke the window earlier, possibly the previous summer. But he's extremely vague about the details. And can't recall whether the window he broke was ever repaired. I'll continue from where I left off in the last post, but this time I'll include some of my sarcastic interjections, as they reflect a justifiable frustration with the manner in which this "interview" was conducted:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Clear Evidence of Staging: The Basement Window

In Kolar's book we see many examples of John Ramsey's suspicious, apparently deceptive statements and behavior. One incident in particular gets the author's attention several times. Beginning with his police interview of April 1997, and on several occasions thereafter, as duly noted by Kolar, John reported going down into the basement early on the morning of Dec. 26th and observing that the window to the train room was cracked open. He reported that he closed the window, but told no one about it at the time. He also reported seeing a Samsonite suitcase placed flush with the wall directly beneath the window, and noted that this was not where it is usually kept.

More on Kolar's Book

Despite my disagreement with Kolar's Burke-did-it-with-Mom-and-Dad-covering-for-him theory, I do find much of real value in his book, and find many of his ideas insightful. This is certainly an important case study, at least until he begins fixating on Burke. His debunking of Lou Smit's intruder theory is particularly valuable, especially his meticulous evaluation of the stun gun theory -- bottom line on that one: JonBenet would have screamed bloody murder if that taser had been used on her. He makes it abundantly clear that no one went through that basement window that night. I've made a similar argument many times, but Kolar is a more authoritative source, so his take on this aspect of the case is particularly convincing.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Kolar's Book -- Part 2: Burke

The obvious suspect from the beginning was John Ramsey. This was especially true after it had been determined that prior sexual molestation seemed likely. World renowned forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht became convinced, very early on, that the physical evidence pointed to John as both molester and murderer. And as I was recently reminded, the original theory of the original investigation team was apparently very similar to mine, i.e., John killed his daughter and wrote the note to stage a phoney kidnapping, of which Patsy knew nothing. Patsy foiled his plan by calling in the cops, and he was left with egg on his face, in the form of a very incriminating note and a body hidden in the basement. Pretty much open and shut, I'd say.

But then the investigation took a surprising turn: John Ramsey was "ruled out" as writer of the note by a blue ribbon panel of six handwriting "experts," two hired by him (amazingly enough, this was permitted) and four representing law enforcement. Incredibly, no one challenged such a patently questionable and in my view outrageous conclusion, which threw a monkey wrench into the investigation and became the source of so much confusion from then till now. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Kolar's Book

I first read about James Kolar's new book, Foreign Faction, in a July 18 Daily Beast review by Carol McKinley, New Clues in JonBenet Ramsey Murder. As I read, it became clear that Kolar wasn't buying either the intruder theory or the odd notion, put forth by former DA Mary Lacy, that DNA evidence  exonerated the Ramseys. This was heartening. Ever since Lacy's notorious letter informing John that he and Patsy (recently deceased) were officially cleared, I had given up hope that JonBenet's killer would ever be brought to justice.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

White Lies

I'm convinced Patsy Ramsey was innocent of either the murder of her daughter or the staging of a phoney kidnapping. I'm equally convinced, however, that she participated in the later stages of the coverup by lying from time to time in order to support her husband's version of what happened. Along with the outrageous decision to rule out John as writer of the note, Patsy's lies have been a major source of the confusion permeating this case.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Patsy the Patsy

Patsy Ramsey has become everyone's favorite Patsy, even in death. Virtually everyone skeptical of the intruder theory assumes that Patsy, at the very least, penned the ransom note, and many are convinced she is the one who killed her daughter (in a rage over bedwetting, or JonBenet's refusal to participate in more pageants, or perhaps while taking a swing at John, the blow landing on JonBenet instead), following that brutal act with an "over the top" coverup, involving ligature strangulation and vaginal penetration, with a paintbrush handle, no less, topped off with "the War and Peace of ransom notes." Calm down, folks. It's theories like these that are over the top, patently so. There is in fact no evidence whatsoever linking Patsy Ramsey to either the crime or the coverup.

But but but what about the fact that the note was written on Patsy's very own pad, that the "garotte" was fashioned from her very own paintbrush handle, that her fibers were found "all over" the crime scene, that she was wearing the same outfit the following day, etc., etc.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ruled Out -- Part 3: Courier New

It occurred to me some time ago that the "ransom" note may have been originally typed on a word processor and then traced or copied onto the note pad. It would have made it easier to compose the note in the first place, without having to constantly cross words out to make corrections. (There are only a very few corrections in the final copy.) More importantly, this would also have been a very clever way for the writer to disguise his hand. I fiddled with various fonts and settings and got some interesting results, but nothing that fit exactly.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ruled Out -- part 2

From the online article, Standards for Questioned Document Examination, published by ASTM International (The American Society for Testing and Materials, an organization that develops and publishes technical standards for various materials, products, systems, and services.):
In 1989, a Pennsylvania law review article written by three law professors raised serious doubts concerning the reliability of questioned document examination. Although uneducated in forensic science and having no formal training, the critics raised intelligent issues in their assessment and asked questions never before addressed by document examiners in the field. To summarize, the critics claimed the validity of questioned document examination had never been tested, no validity studies existed in academic literature and the law had never required the document field to prove its expertise. (My emphasis) . . .

Ruled Out

While the Ramsey investigation was still in its early stages, a lawyer named Darnay Hoffmann got interested in the case, ultimately convincing himself, and trying to convince others, that Patsy must have written the note. He started posting on the forums as "New York Lawyer," and one day he addressed me (i.e., "docG") directly on Jameson's Webbsleuths site, with the following information:

Monday, July 30, 2012

Why I Am So Popular -- or: Murder on the Internet

Quoting some of my old contributions to Webbsleuths (see previous post), I was reminded of all the time spent on the JonBenet Internet forums, way back when, by so many of us, eager to see justice done, but eager also to promote our own particular version of what justice meant. Since maybe it's time for a change of pace, I've decided to post some excerpts from one of my most ambitious attempts at humor -- at the expense of the denizens of Webbsleuths (not to be confused with Websleuths, natch), a staunchly pro-Ramsey forum, run with an iron fist, but also a generous spirit, by the notorious Jameson. What can I say, I annoyed Hell out of her, but she had a soft spot for me, so she allowed me to do my thing without fear of censorship (now derision, that's another thing). The following set of posts really irritated just about everyone. I wish I could include some of their nasty ripostes, but I guess I'd need permission, so I won't. Anyhow, here are some choice bits from one of my all time favorite Webbsleuths threads, a little number I called: Why I Am So Popular. It was intended as humor, but as you'll see, it is also highly edifying -- and there is a moral to the story as well.

The Lou Smit Show

"Master Detective" Lou Smit is known for a Powerpoint presentation in which he claimed to refute certain evidence collected by the police, and presented what he regarded as strong evidence for the intruder theory. I found some serious holes in Smit's presentation, and reported my findings on Jameson's Webbsleuths Forum. Here are some excerpts:

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Purpose of the Note

Some have insisted the note had no real purpose but was just a fantasy on the part of a bored homicidal maniac. Others have insisted that only an "over the top" Patsy Ramsey could have written it, in a panicked attempt to point suspicion away from her and John. For most it seems to be a meaningless document, intended either as a fantasy or as an incoherent effort to muddy the waters and throw investigators off the scent. I, on the other hand, see it as very purposeful indeed, formulated as part of a methodically thought out plan. I'll demonstrate by taking us through it one segment at a time.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Who Wrote the "Ransom Note"

Did Patsy write it? Here's what settled the matter for most Patsy "fans," her sample written with the left hand -- as reproduced and "analyzed" in the ever reliable National Enquirer (right click and select "Open link in new tab" to enlarge):

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ironic Isn't It?

Prior to the discovery of the "touch" DNA, it was possible to argue that the intruder must have been wearing gloves. The DNA found mixed with JonBenet's blood could then have been explained as due to saliva. Perhaps he sneezed or maybe he was drooling on her. The gloves would account for the lack of additional DNA and the lack of fingerprints. Nice. As I recall there were Ramsey defenders who made precisely that argument. But the discovery of the "touch" DNA destroyed any such claim. If he were wearing gloves, he would not have shed any skin cells, would he? And if he weren't wearing gloves, then why didn't the investigators find more DNA, and why wasn't a single untraced finger or palm print found? Ironic that the evidence claimed by Lacy to establish once and for all the presence of an intruder only makes his presence even more unlikely.

There's another irony associated with the DNA that cuts even deeper. When John Mark Karr was apprehended, many were certain this was it, this had to be, finally, the intruder. I had strong doubts, as you might imagine. But one of the early news bulletins claimed his DNA had been tested and there was indeed a match. I was, very frankly, stunned. I couldn't believe it, but there it was, in black and white. After pulling myself up off the floor, I wrote the following note of apology to my favorite adversary, the notorious Jameson, a long time diehard Ramsey supporter:

The "Touch" DNA

(continued from previous post . . . )

What is "touch" DNA? According to an article at the Forensic Science website,
Touch DNA has to do with skin cells. Humans shed tens of thousands of skin cells each day, and these cells are transferred to every surface with which human skin comes into contact. Locard's Exchange Principle states that with contact between two items, there will always be an exchange. So, when a crime is committed, if the perpetrator deposits a sufficient number of skin cells on an item at the scene, and that item is collected as possible evidence, Touch DNA analysis may be able to link the perpetrator to the crime scene, by collecting the skin cells and analyzing them.
The new "touch" DNA was in fact better than the old partial sample taken from the victim's blood. For one thing, it was associated with a particular type of cell, skin cells. For another it contained, apparently, a full set of 13 markers. What's more, both samples matched the old blood sample, providing three different places that the source apparently touched.

The Magical DNA

Over the years, as one by one various red herrings tossed out by "team Ramsey" were accounted for, they and their defenders took refuge on a single fragile, but in their minds secure, lifeboat: a few fragments of "foreign" male DNA found in JonBenet's panties, mixed with a spot of her blood, that couldn't be sourced to anyone in the family or the larger circle of friends, employees, etc. This was the perfect refuge, because the Ramseys could always claim this DNA was that of their daughter's killer, and so long as no source could be found, there was no way such a claim could be refuted, absolutely positively, with no possibility of "reasonable doubt."

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

That Elusive Intruder

As I posted earlier, the police who first came on the scene reported no unlocked doors, no forced entry, and could find no sign whatsoever of an intruder's presence.  Nor was anything missing from the home. In the weeks, months and years that followed, however, a long list of so-called "intruder evidence" emerged, most of it from investigators hired by or sympathetic with the Ramseys. For a list, I'll send you to one of the most thorough and also impartial JonBenet websites, The JonBenet Ramsey Case Encyclopedia.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Shielding a Child Molester -- Some Lessons from Penn State

Can the actions, or more accurately, inactions, of the Boulder County District Attorney's office with respect to the Ramsey case be compared to the failures of various Penn State officials regarding the behavior of Jerry Sandusky? While the circumstances were, of course, very different, I find some disturbing parallels as far as mindset is concerned.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Some Handwriting Evidence

Here, once again, is the sole example of John Ramsey's handwriting that's ever been made public, what looks like a copy of a legal deposition. (Click on it to enlarge):

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Scenario

Here's what I think could have happened. It's important to understand that this is only a theory, and that my claim to have solved the case is not based on any theory, but on the facts, as outlined in the first two blog posts. The theory is simply an attempt to speculate regarding what could have happened and why, and what various pieces of evidence might mean.


For a long time, the JonBenet Ramsey murder struck me as an intractable mystery. The more I learned about the case the more unlikely it seemed that JonBenet could have been attacked by an intruder. It definitely looked like an inside job. The "ransom note" was certainly phoney, since there had been no kidnapping. It must have been written by either John or Patsy Ramsey. There was only one problem. The Ramseys had called the police, very early in the morning, shortly after discovering the note. If they had written it to cover up their own role in the crime, then they would certainly have not called in the police while the body was still in the house. Sooner or later it would be found in the basement and at that point it would be clear that the note was phoney. It would have done them no good and in fact it did serve to cast suspicion in their direction from day one. So why wouldn't they have, at the very least, destroyed it before calling 911? Given these circumstances, it seemed that an intruder must have committed the crime after all. But how could this person have entered and left the house leaving no sign of his presence, and why would he have left a potentially incriminating note without taking his victim with him?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Misunderstandings, Misconceptions, Misdirections -- a Ramsey FAQ

If the case was so open and shut, then why weren't John and Patsy immediately arrested or at least taken in and questioned?

If both John and Patsy had been separated and questioned intensively immediately after the discovery of the body, then, as I see it, the outcome would have been completely different. Since it was clear from day one that there had not been a kidnapping, and no intruder of any kind was likely to have entered the house, then it would simply have been a matter of deciding whether Patsy or John or both of them were responsible for the murder and coverup. By questioning them separately and comparing their stories, the authorities should have been able to get at the truth. Unfortunately, this never happened, for reasons that have been discussed ad infinitum in the media, the forums, the books, etc., so there's no need to get into all the details here.

Case Solved

[Added as of 11-12-13: I noticed lately that comments added to this page seemed to be disappearing lately and I was wondering what was going on. I've now figured it out. Because there are so many comments, they aren't all visible on the main screen. If you go down to the bottom of the page and click on "Load more" you'll be able to see the remaining posts.]

Before proceeding it's important that I ask my readers to temporarily put everything they've ever read or even thought about this case out of their minds. As I see it, it's the case as a whole, as it developed over months and years, that's confusing, while the identity of the murderer was, or should have been, clear from the start. I'm not asking anyone to agree. In fact I'd be surprised if many did, because admittedly my take on this case is very different from that of just about anyone else. But I am asking you to open your minds and make a sincere attempt, at least for now, to see with fresh eyes.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Just The Facts, Ma'am

The JonBenet Ramsey case is both intriguing and extremely deceptive. On the surface it seems incredibly convoluted and complex. And in fact, if our intention is to recreate exactly what happened on that fateful night, we will indeed be faced with an almost intractable dilemma. On the other hand, if our intention is simply to solve it, i.e. point our finger at the murderer, the case is remarkably simple. All that's necessary is to pay attention to what we know, i.e., the facts -- and, for the moment at least, not let ourselves get distracted by all the rest, i.e., what the various principals in the case may or may not have reported; what the various "experts" and profilers have asserted; the many opinions offered by all and sundry regarding the personalities, quirks and foibles of Patsy, John, Burke and any number of the many others who have, to their misfortune, gotten caught up in the Ramsey web.