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.

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.