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.

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.

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.



Part of the problem was that the police were cowed by the prominence of John Ramsey, an extremely successful businessman, and his very aggressive legal team. It's my guess, however, that the biggest problem was due to the fact that the case hinged on a plan that failed, a coverup that should have been obvious but that, for various reasons, the authorities were never able to get a handle on. It was the failure of John's plan, thanks to Patsy's unexpected phone call, in spite of all the warnings in the note, and his subsequent attempts to cover his tracks, that confused the authorities, making them reluctant to accuse anyone until they could get a handle on what actually happened. And, as we know, they never did.

Once the crucial moment had passed, there were all sorts of opportunities for John and his lawyers to muddy the waters with an independent investigation of their own, something they should never have been permitted to do. As I see it, it was this "investigation" more than anything else that turned an essentially straightforward case into an intractable mystery. If we discount the effects of such tactics and concentrate only on the verifiable facts as they became evident from the start, then, as I believe I have demonstrated, the case would have been solved in short order.

Wasn't it John who told Patsy to make the 911 call?

That is not at all clear. The earliest reference to this story that I've been able to find is from their New Year's Day 1997 CNN Interview:
CABELL: John, you subsequently read the note. Was there anything in there that struck you in any sense?
RAMSEY, J: Well, no. I mean, I read it very fast. I was out of my mind. And it said "Don't call the police." You know, that type of thing. And I told Patsy, call the police immediately. And I think I ran through the house a bit. 
John informs the interviewer that the 911 call was his idea. Patsy is sitting beside him. What is she expected to say, "Sorry, John, you've got that wrong. Calling 911 was my idea."???? I don't think so. The purpose of the interview was to present a united front, attesting to their innocence and the sincerity of their joint effort to find the killer. Accusing John of lying or misrepresenting the truth would be the last thing Patsy would want. What's important to understand is that this version of what happened originated with John, not Patsy.

Nevertheless, she presents a very different version in the documentary produced for A&E by David Mills and Michael Tracey:
Man: The ransom note said, speaking to anyone about your situation such as the police, FBI etc., will result in your daughter being beheaded. If we catch you talking to a stray dog, she dies.
Patsy - "I said, 'I'm going to call the police and he said OK. And I think he ran to check on Burke. And  I ran downstairs and, you know, dialed 911."
 No mention of John telling her to make the call. According to this version, it was her idea, and he merely acquiesced. 

To me, it's clear that if John wanted to call in the authorities he'd have made the call himself, not relied on Patsy to make it. And if he were convinced his child had been kidnapped, he would not have wanted to call 911, which brought uniformed police to his door, but most likely the FBI or at least his lawyer or someone from the security dept. of his company. And if it were Patsy who wrote the note, there is no way she'd have made that call, knowing the body of her victim was still in the house. By the same token, if they were both in on it together, they'd have been sure to remove the body from the house first, before calling in the police. The only interpretation that makes sense is that Patsy made the call in all innocence, with no knowledge of what had really happened and what the note really meant.

Didn't a team of handwriting experts rule John out as writer of the note?

Yes. And as I see it, this decision was a key blunder -- the principal reason the case got so hopelessly bogged down so early on and has remained so hopelessly confused for so long. I have some ideas as to why these "experts" got it wrong, but the bottom line is that there is a huge difference between a fact and an opinion, no matter how "expert." If we pay attention to the facts, it becomes clear, as I've demonstrated, that only John could have written the note. 

Unfortunately the decision to rule him out has been treated like a fact and literally never questioned because it was made by so-called "experts." What's often forgotten was that this convocation of "experts" was prompted by John Ramsey's own self styled, self directed "investigation," an "investigation" he should never have been permitted to undertake in the first place. 

Handwriting experts are typically called in on cases of forgery, which is usually not that difficult to spot. Identifying the hand of someone who has gone out of his way to disguise it is another matter entirely. There are literally thousands of different ways to do this and no rule one can apply to determine what method was used. In such cases, as the Italian handwriting expert Fausto Brugnatelli informed me, "you never rule out, you only rule in." Brugnatelli is an important factor in this case as he did an independent study of John's writing and found it extremely suspicious. I'll be going into the handwriting issue in more detail in subsequent posts and will be referring to Brugnatelli's important but largely ignored study, still available online.

[Added 10-10-13: Brugnatelli's website has moved. His comparisons can now be found here. (John's exemplars are on the left.)]

78 comments:

  1. If Patsy wrote the note why wouldn't she have made the call?

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  2. "If Patsy wrote the note why wouldn't she have made the call?"

    Because the purpose of the note was, very clearly, to make sure the police would NOT be called until there was time to remove the body from the house. If Patsy had written the note, it would have been intended for John and its purpose would have been to dissuade him from calling the police. So why would SHE have wanted to call the police and thereby blow her plan? As she's the one who made the call, it seems clear to me that she couldn't have written the note, that John must have written it. Which means it would have been directed at HER, to frighten HER away from calling the cops. But for some reason she called them anyhow. I'm not sure why, but obviously that's what she did. If she were the writer of the note, or involved with John in a coverup, she wouldn't have done that.

    As I see it, the note is no great mystery. If you read it carefully you'll see very clearly what its purpose was, and the plan behind it.

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    1. I would like to know your thoughts on why/how the "experts" got it wrong by ruling JR out as the note writer.

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    2. What if the plan had been to remove the body, but then for some reason that could not be carried out. Then the note writer could also be the person who called 911.

      Your scenario has PR being unaware that the note is not a real RN. At some point -hours, days, weeks later- she must have come to understand the reality. Yet she went along with the cover-up for the remainder of her life. Why?

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    3. With no way to remove the body from the house, then clearly there would have been no point in staging a phoney kidnapping. The note would have become both useless and dangerous. Hiding the body in the basement would have also been a bad idea, obviously. So they would have had to change their entire plan. First on the list would be getting rid of the note, second would be displaying the body openly rather than hiding it. They would then have staged a breakin, making it look like a sexual assault and only then called in the police.

      As far as Patsy is concerned, her role in this whole affair is very interesting. One would think that she would sooner or later have figured out that John was lying. It's important to remember, however, that John had been ruled out as writer of the note. And this is a decision that had been universally accepted by literally everyone on the investigation team and in fact just about everyone following the case at all. So, in her mind, regardless of whatever doubts she might have had regarding John, he could not have written the note, which meant that only an intruder could have written it. Moreover, since John had been ruled out and she had not, most of the world's suspicions were focused on her. And since John and his legal team had become her primary defenders, then it would have been important to her to keep quiet regarding any suspicions she might have had.

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    4. I'll reserve judgment about the author of the note for later.

      I do like the analysis that the purpose of the note is to explain (and maybe prevent) police from being called until the body could be taken care of.

      It does help to explain some behavior - specifically that PR/JR did not console each other while waiting for the ransom call, and were separate from each other much of the time. PR, after becoming more fully aware of the details of the RN could have been fretting that she'd endangered her child. JR could have been mad that she'd blown the plan.

      But that begs the question, why did JR allow PR to be the one to find the note first? He left a lot to chance that way.

      I'm also trouble by the idea of JR being up and doing the murder/staging with PR being asleep unaware that anything was going on. Seems like she'd have noticed him being out of bed - unless that was normal for them.

      Then there is the problem of PR wearing the same clothes as the night before, so why did she do that if she wasn't up all night staging a crime scene?

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    5. why did JR allow PR to be the one to find the note first? ... Then there is the problem of PR wearing the same clothes ...

      Thus far, DocG has only said that PR didn't understand the import of the note. But thinking through how she came to read the note could bring some insights.

      Did JR give it to her? Did she find it on her own? How far along was his staging when she read the note? etc.

      If PR _had_ shown her the note, then it seems that he probably would've explained that they couldn't call the police. But maybe he forgot because he was tired (are there reports that he looked tired?)

      Being in the same clothes doesn't seem inconsistent with innocence since she would've been in such a state of mind that she'd put on yesterdays clothes rather than take time to pick out new clothes.

      PS I never really followed the case much, so I didn't know things like PR being in the same clothes.

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    6. "But that begs the question, why did JR allow PR to be the one to find the note first? He left a lot to chance that way."

      As I see it, the whole point of writing the note was to frighten Patsy into not calling the police, and dissuade her from searching the house. The impact would be that much greater if she were to discover it herself. As for leaving things to chance, he had no choice, and discovering it himself wouldn't have made any difference, would it? I suppose he could have disconnected all the phones, but that would have looked pretty suspicious, no?

      As for PR sleeping through the whole thing, I'd say that was simply good luck on John's part. And hers as well. If she'd awakened, and surprised John while he was staging, he would probably have murdered her as well.

      As I see it, if Patsy had been up all night staging, she would definitely have showered and changed before calling the police. (That's what John did.) Lots of people wear the same outfit two days in a row. Once people began to suspect Patsy then they went out of their way to find anything she did that might look suspicious and see that as "evidence" of her guilt.

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    7. "Did JR give it to her? Did she find it on her own? How far along was his staging when she read the note? etc."

      According to Patsy, she found the note on the spiral staircase leading into the kitchen as she was going downstairs to make breakfast.

      Your question about how far along the staging was when she read the note is a very good one. As far as the note was concerned his staging would have been complete. But it's not so clear whether other aspects of his staging had been completed. If Patsy had heeded the warnings in the note and not called the cops, then John would have had an entire day to do additional staging, since the "kidnapper" said he'd be calling him "tomorrow," after John had collected the ransom money. But Patsy's call could have forced him to rush through any additional staging, which may be why the police found no sign of forced entry.

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    8. If JR "found" the RN he could have called out for PR, had her read it, and would have been right near her to prevent phone calls. All he'd have to do is say wait a minute, the kidnappers say they'll kill JB, we can't call the police.

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    9. You have a point. John might even have physically prevented Patsy from calling 911, justifying his actions by claiming he was only trying to protect JonBenet. But in fact we know nothing at all about what actually transpired between them that morning. My guess is that they must have had a serious discussion and possibly also an argument about whether or not to call the authorities and it's possible John did try to restrain her.

      It's possible Patsy called 911, rather than attempting to contact the FBI, because she was afraid not only of the "kidnapper" but also of John, and simply wanted police on the scene as soon as possible. We'll never know, because clearly they decided at some point to present a united front, giving the impression that both of them always agreed on every single thing at all times, which is hardly believable.

      In any case, there's no way John could have kept her away from the phone all morning, even if he tried physical restraint. There's no way he could have prevented her from calling for more than a minute or so without causing a serious row. If she really wanted to make that call, she'd have found a way to make it.

      Here's her version of what happened:

      "I said, 'I'm going to call the police and he said OK. And I think he ran to check on Burke. And I ran downstairs and, you know, dialed 911."

      If you ask yourself why she needed to run downstairs to make that call, maybe you'll have an answer. Fact is, the only one who knows what happened between them that morning is John Ramsey.

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    10. She knew that there wasn't a kidnapping, so she knew that Jon Benet wasn't in danger if she called the police.

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    11. Strange reasoning. Your saying she had no problem calling the police on herself and handing them a note written in her own hand because she knew JonBenet was already dead and therefore could not be harmed? If she knew JonBenet was already dead and her body was still in the house, the last thing she'd have wanted to do was call the police to report a phoney kidnapping.

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  3. "I would like to know your thoughts on why/how the "experts" got it wrong by ruling JR out as the note writer."

    There's a short answer and a long answer. The short answer is that the facts of the case, as presented in my first post, tell us that John was the only one who could have written the note, so the decision to rule him out must have been a mistake.

    The long answer, which I'll probably be going into here in some detail in future, has to do with my suspicions regarding the exemplars John presented to the authorities. I have good reason to believe they are very different from the exemplar I've seen, which is the same one Fausto Brugnatelli worked with, and in fact the ONLY exemplar of John's writing that's ever been made public. I'm not sure exactly what happened or why but I have a feeling John may have managed to dupe the "experts" by offering them exemplars very different from his usual writing style. That's just a guess, but it's based on some very interesting information I managed to learn about a few years ago. I could be wrong, of course. It's possible they just simply goofed. Just think of all those art forgeries that were once accepted as genuine by "the experts." Experts can make mistakes.

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  4. PR could have filled out the legal document for JR and JR could have then signed it. I've done things like that before. It's fine as long as the proper person signs it. And, as for PR "running downstairs to make the call" the 911 recording clearly records PR, JR, and BR. JR was standing right there, as was BR.

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    1. The legal document has been out there a long time on Brugnatelli's website and no one has ever questioned its authenticity as an example of John's hand. I myself was present during an Internet chat with Patsy's sister, Pam Paugh and asked her to take a look at it. She immediately identified it: "Yes, that's John's chicken scratch," said Pam. To be extra sure I sent a copy to Ramsey lawyer Lin Wood, asking him to either verify or deny its authenticity. When he didn't get back to me I asked again -- and got no response. If it weren't John's hand I'm sure he'd have told me, since it does look so suspiciously like the note in so many ways.

      To my knowledge neither JR nor BR can be heard on the 911 recording. It's on youtube, so you can check if you like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFMrNtTPaSY

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    2. To my knowledge neither JR nor BR can be heard on the 911 recording. It's on youtube, so you can check if you like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFMrNtTPaSY

      -- Have to disagree with you on this one.. I believe Burke can be heard at the end of the 911 call, right after Patsy trails off from the 911 operator.. I used to know the exact time, something like 01:25 in the call if I remember correctly, the exchange going like this:
      911 Operator: Patsy? Patsy? Patsy? Patsy?
      PR (blubbering, woeful) Bay-bee, WHAT did you find? WHAT did you do?
      BR or some other male child: I'm sorry.

      That's what I hear, I've listened to it forever, and it's evident to me, at that time at least, Patsy was just CRUSHED. I can't un-hear it. Give a listen.. took me a while to make it all out, but it's powerful to me... (IMO)

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    3. You know if you listen to a clock ticking and concentrate you can get it to "say" just about anything that comes into your head. I've read similar reports about that recording but I've never heard anything remotely like that, nor have most others who've studied the case. Does it really matter, anyhow, whether Burke was present or not?

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    4. Hi Doc, I know I'm very late to this, I found you 3 days ago after the former BPD Chief did and AMA with Reddit. I found you in such a way, it wouldn't happen again if I did it another million times. OK, so I'm here and I'm hooked! I've tried to leave messages but they disappear. I've found something VERY important that needs to be added. I'm not sure if you'll find this message, either though. My email is elizabethp3871@yahoo.com. I know I'll be here at least another week and I REALLY need to pick your brain. I'm very impressed with all the work you've done.

      I hope to find you soon, Elizabeth P.

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    5. You can continue posting here, though I'd prefer you comment on the most recent post. Or you can email me: doktorgosh@live.com

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    6. I found you from the AMA reddit too. Got into an internet rabbit hole and here I am. :) So I am always fascinated by the different theories and I am convinced someone in the house did it. There is no other explanation. I am not convinced it was JR and JR alone. I have too many questions about things that don't make sense- but then again, no matter what the scenario is, there will always be things that don't make sense. What happened in the house is NONSENSICAL. So if John did it alone, it was probably not an accident. It was probably veryyyyy sinister and he was probably the reason there was evidence of prior molestation. If PR had nothing to do with this, SURELY at some point she would have realized it was John and he had molested her. Of course she could have been in denial too. But me, I would be TERRIFIED that I was married to a monster, and if he could do that to our child, what else was he capable of? But of course, she could be in denial. You know I also never really thought about Burke being the culprit until recently reading some things and I am wondering why you have dismissed Burke being responsible and then of course JR or JR&PR staging the crime scene to protect him. I don't even know why I am wondering all of this because seriously every scenario is SO MESSED UP. Every scenario there is banks on the fact that at least two people in that house are very, very, very sick. (I say two because even if it was one parent and one parent alone, it requires the other one to be in a DEEP state of denial.) I guess that is why it is hard for me when anyone at all claims for sure they KNOW who is responsible... in every single scenario there are things that don't make sense and never really will. Although I look forward to continue reading your blog, comments, and others blogs/articles on the subject and maybe at some point I will be able to get behind a particular theory!

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    7. Your skepticism is healthy, Megan. This is indeed a very complicated case, and there are aspects that puzzle me as well, despite my conviction that I've solved it. To see why I feel that way you'll need to read more here. Or better still, read my book, which is a lot easier to follow.

      And by the way, I urge you from now on to place your comments only under the most recent blog posts, where everyone can find them.

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    8. I got stuck in a rabbit hole and found this. I just want to add a possibility to your theory and get your thoughts. Do you think it possible that they did search the house and found JonBenet that morning, but JR somehow convinced PR or planted the seed of doubt that Burke may well have done this. SO while PR THOUGHT she was protecting her son, she was actually protecting Jon? This could have left lingering doubts between everyone in that house hold and it was just never spoken of?

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  5. I do not know what happened, of course. Even though I'm leaning to BR as striking the head blow and JR and PR staging the scene, I'm still willing to keep an open mind as regards your theory. Just because I disagree on some things does not mean I think you're wrong and I'm right. It just means there's a lack of clarity somewhere.

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    1. I'm struck by the fact that so many suspect Burke of being the killer. I had the same suspicion until I read the note and realized it could not have been the work of a 9 year old.

      As for the coverup, I think the world can probably be divided into two groups: those who think it reasonable to assume that parents would take such huge risks to cover for a child too young to be indicted in any case, and those who think it totally off the wall. I fall into the latter group.

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  6. Oh, no, of course BR could not have written the note. I fully believe PR wrote the note. If you look at the Os in JR's handwriting sample, then look at the note, you'll see that the Os are not flattened in the RN, but they are in the JR sample. He slants his writing to the left, as I do, and in my handwriting, the Os are flattened a bit as well.

    Right now, I think PR wrote the note to cover for BR while JR did most of the staging. I don't think PR could have brought herself to tighten that ligature, but I think JR could have.

    I think the parents covered for BR because they didn't want him to be forever known as "that kid who killed his sister," or be taken away from them, or even tarnish their image in the community as a loving "perfect" family.

    Still, I don't rule out JR entirely. I'm ripe to be convinced. :) The only one I rule out as inflicter of the head wound or killer is PR.

    I think BR is on the enhanced 911 tape. It's been confirmed by both Steve Thomas and James Kolar, and it's been confirmed that BR says, "Please, what do I do now?" And JR replies "We are not talking to you." Then BR says, "But what did you find?" Aerospace confirm this, Melissa Hickman confirms this, ST and JK confirm it. Too many people confirm it and the words spoken to believe they are all conspiring together.

    ST has also said that no one outside of LE and a few Aerospace engineers have heard the enhanced 911 tape. Now I don't buy everything ST has to say. I don't believe the "PR went into a rage over bedwetting" theory, but I do believe ST believed it at the time he wrote his book, and I think he's a truthful man. I believe BR is on the 911 tape, but I don't believe anyone here has ever heard it.

    Still, BR being on the tape would not preclude JR as the killer of JBR.

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    1. I think Burke was involved as well.

      From strictly a mother's perspective, I would cover for my son--but not my husband. Having lost my daughter, I would not be willing to subject my young son to prison and to the scrutiny of the public for the rest of his life.

      I think it could have been a sexual acting out that ended in a terrible accident. Perhaps Patsy happened upon the two "experimenting", yelled and startled JonBenet causing her to fall from a piece of furniture and strike her head. Or perhaps the two children were fighting, Burke had his hands around JonBenet's neck, they fell backwards causing her to strike her head on an object. The garrot was then fashioned to cover the bruises from the strangulation marks made by small hands. Who knows? But I have always felt Burke was involved some way or other. The ransom note to me sounded like something a child would construct--beheading? Something they might hear in a movie. But, of course, Patsy would have been the one to actually write it.

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    2. "I think the parents covered for BR because they didn't want him to be forever known as "that kid who killed his sister,"...or even tarnish their image in the community as a loving "perfect" family"

      If that's the case, then it certainly backfired, since all 3 of them became suspects in the public eye. They certainly would have been better off reporting that BR killed his sister by accident, if that's what happened, than the way things actually turned out, as far as what the public perception of their family became.

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  7. You are entitled to your opinion regarding Burke but the fact is there is NO evidence pointing to him or even suggesting he was involved. Even if his voice can be heard on that recording (and I listened just now to a more complete version and still heard nothing unusual), all that would tell us was that he was with Patsy when the call was made -- hardly significant. As far as Patsy and John conspiring, I suggest you read the first two posts on this blog, which ought to make it clear why a conspiracy can be ruled out.

    Frankly, I see no point in bringing Burke into this. He could not have written the note, and if you take a good look at the family photos you'll see how unlikely it is that he could have killed his sister with a single blow, and/or strangled her. It truly amazes me how all eyes have been averted from John in this case and yet the most unlikely scenarios have been taken so seriously. All because it's never occurred to anyone that the "experts" might be wrong about John's handwriting.

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    1. "I fully believe PR wrote the note. If you look at the Os in JR's handwriting sample, then look at the note, you'll see that the Os are not flattened in the RN, but they are in the JR sample."

      I don't doubt that John would have made an effort to disguise his hand, so such differences mean little. As I see it, handwriting analysis is all but useless in this case. If you are so inclined you can find similarities with just about anyone's hand in that note.

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    2. If you heard Burke on the phonecall that would prove Patsy was lying when she said he was asleep. That proves a conspiracy.

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    3. Right, if Burke was on the phone call (and it sounds like none of us are ever going to be able to hear this enhanced phone call so of course you didn't hear his voice) it proves that PR was lying about Burke being awake. Why lie about that? It doesn't mean Burke did kill her, but why lie about Burke being awake? It would make sense that he would wake up in all the commotion and screaming. If one of my children were missing, you would bet that I'd go check on my other children and I WOULDN'T be quiet about it! I would be in a panic- just like Patsy was. So the fact that he was awake doesn't prove he was involves, but it does prove PR lied about him being awake. What would the point of the be?

      Also, I have to say that it would be entirely possible for a 9 yr old to hit someone in the head that hard! I'm a teacher and I'm around 8 and 9 yr olds all day. They come in all shapes and sizes but even a small one could be capable of that.

      Interesting theory someone mentioned about Burke molesting her. Wetting the bed is also something kids who are molested often do.

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  8. Hello DocG,

    Interesting points! Question; you've stated that you believe that JR would have likely killed PR if she had woken during the staging. If the RN was left for PR to find so as to *prevent her from calling police, why would JR not have killed her at that time? She is spoiling his staging just as much at 0500 ish as she would have at any time prior to that time. Ideas?

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    1. I don't think he'd have had the opportunity to kill her before she called. According to her version of what happened, she told him she was going to call 911 and ran downstairs to make the call, while he checked on Burke, who was upstairs. Once she spoke to the 911 operator, it was too late for him to do anything but improvise.

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    2. Also, if he kills PR, he probably has to kill BR too, and he even if he doesn't kill Burke, JonBenet and Patsy BOTH being dead make the situation MUCH tougher to explain..."an intruder broke in and..." either.." killed everyone in the house but me" OR "... killed my wife and daughter and left my son and I" Why? Almost as hard to explain as kidnapper sitting down to write a ransom note inside the house, instead of bringing one with him. Who would believe that? Oh, wait..

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  9. Thank you for your opinion. Frankly when looking strictly at the evidence as you've laid it out (and lacking any proper investigation, such as questioning JR, PR and BR individually) I have to agree with your conclusion. That said, I still have trouble understanding why you believe that if PR had woken earlier and interrupted JR's staging, he would have killed her, but that he went to check on Burke knowing that Patsy was on route to dial 911 and did nothing; it doesn't add up for me. She's spoiled his staging at this point as well. It doesn't sit well with me.

    Let me clarify; JBR's body was hidden elsewhere in the house whilst the police, and later the male family friend, checked for 'evidence' or in the latter case anything out of the ordinary. It was only after the search, however cursory, that JBR's body was placed in the wine cellar (or as no one ever saw her body there, possibly placed somewhere beyond the door leading down to basement level)?

    Please forgive my ignorance as being abroad for some time I've not researched the case in a while. Have you addressed the blood spots that not long ago were found to contain an unknown male's DNA on Jonbonet's underpants?

    With respect to handwriting experts, as pointed out; it is subjective and more of an art than a science. Sometimes people see what they want to see... In addition, all these experts agreed that the note had been written by someone trying to disguise their true handwriting. As people seem to see a resemblance in PR's writing and the ransom note, I think it possible that JR may have even tried to make it look like her writing. It would add to the general confusion, que non? Further, one could speculate that, being a very manipulative man, he'd hoped to cast any doubt away from himself, and onto his wife, if push came to shove. I expect the world would be very happy to hear JR confess/be convicted and see justice done.

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    1. Thanks, Mickey, for your thoughtful comments. We don't really know what happened between Patsy and John prior to the 911 call. All we know is that there are two different versions of what happened and that these contradict one another, so that tells us that at least one of them is lying, or perhaps both. In any case, Patsy was making a fuss just after seeing, and at least partially reading, the note, which probably would have awakened Burke, so John would have had to kill both of them at that point -- not an easy task killing one while the other would be racing for the phone. My guess is that John probably assumed Patsy would be too frightened by the warnings in the note to call the cops and let his guard down. He certainly could not have stayed at her side all morning, monitoring her every move.

      The bottom line is that she DID make that call, which tells us they could not have been in on it together. And since an intruder can easily be ruled out, that leaves John as our perp. And of course there are many other reasons for suspecting John, as discussed on this blog at some length.

      The DNA evidence is discussed here at some length. See for example this post http://solvingjonbenet.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-magical-dna.html and the one that follows it. The DNA is clearly a red herring. That sort of "evidence" could be found at any crime scene. Touch DNA is notoriously susceptible to indirect transfer and the DNA in the blood was such a tiny trace that it couldn't even be associated with a particular type of cell. A real intruder would have either left far more of his DNA or else, if he were wearing gloves, none at all.

      I don't think John tried to make the writing look like Patsy's for one very good reason: it looks NOTHING like her style of writing, which is far less sloppy and heavy handed. John is the one who writes that way, which is why I am astonished at the decision to rule him out.

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    2. Hello again, DocG,

      Thank *you for taking time to respond. I haven't yet been able to read the site in all of it's entirety and subsequently have clearly missed some pertinent information. My apologies; I'll be sure to have all of the information available at hand before I ask another previously addressed question!

      I, for one, am convinced that your hypothesis is correct. Remove the media hype, general confusion, address the facts and only the facts and yes, the picture does become quite clear indeed. I salute your common sense and your clarity of mind.

      Do you have any opinions regarding the most recent news that the Grand Jury asked to indict the Ramseys but, yet the DA did not sign off on this? What is your position on the case; do you believe it will ever see a courtroom? Will John ever take the stand? If such questions are better suited for another area of your site, please advise. This seemed to be the place... Yours in arms, Mickey.

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    3. Hello again, Mickey. I'm glad you agree. I discuss the Grand Jury news today in my most recent post. I hope that some day there's a DA in Boulder with the intelligence to see through all the hype and the guts to proceed with an indictment. But I don't see that in the near future, no -- not likely. And no I don't think John would take the stand if he's indicted. His lawyers are way too smart to let him do that. If you look around on the blog archive you'll see some posts offering my suggestions with how the prosecution could make a case if and when it ever comes to that.

      Delete
  10. DocG,
    I never thought I'd believe Patsy was totally innocent, but you've convinced me. Your argument is too logical not to be correct.

    If you remember, in one of her interviews, Patsy said that John ran up from the basement that morning screaming. That remark has always bothered me. Why would he have been down there, and why would he run up screaming, and why did she never repeat this?

    I think he may have been staging at the time she found the note and made the call. She may have been up earlier than he thought she would be, or he might have lost track of time. I'm not even sure she saw or spoke to him after finding the note and before calling. Even if she did talk to him first he might have presumed that she wouldn't call, or even told her not to call, but obviously she did. If he came up from the basement, and heard her on the phone, he may have been screaming about her making the call. Maybe something like,"Patsy! What are you doing? Didn't you read the note? It said they'd kill her if we called the police! What are you thinking?"

    Does this sound like a reasonable explaination for Patsy's odd remark? If not, how would you explain it? TIA

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    1. I think you could be confused about the timing. John is reported to have run up from the basement screaming when he was carrying JonBenet's body upstairs, early that afternoon. I think that must be what Patsy was referring to. I don't know of any report by anyone that John was screaming any time prior to that.

      However, he himself confessed to the police, when he finally got around to permitting an interview months after the murder, that he'd been in the basement that morning. When asked when that was, he said he couldn't recall. I feel sure he must have gone down to the basement very early, possibly shortly after the police arrived. He said he saw the basement window open, and closed it and also noticed the suspicious suitcase under that window. But when asked why he told know one about any of that, responded simply that he didn't know why.

      Good to learn I've convinced you, thanks for letting me know.

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    2. This is PR's interview with Tom Haney from 6/23/98. At 0041 #5-8. They are questioning her about the morning of the 26th when she found the RN. So you think she was talking about his scream after he found JonBenet? Strange to mix that in with talking about finding the note.

      Either way, I think she called 911 before he intended for the call to be made and that's what threw the monkey wrench into his plan to get JB out of the house.

      25 PATSY RAMSEY: It just happened so

      0040

      1 fast, and I, you know, read that letter and said

      2 "we have your daughter", your mind goes berserk.

      3 I mean I was -- and then I went up there and my

      4 child is not in the bed. You know, I didn't,

      5 nothing against your questioning, but no, I

      6 didn't stand around and say I wonder if she is

      7 in here, I wonder if she is in there. I

      8 screamed for John.

      9 TOM HANEY: Okay, and that's why

      10 you were standing here?

      11 PATSY RAMSEY: I am going this way

      12 and I lean on and said John -- you know, the

      13 landing is like here, is like this, then it

      14 turns and like that. And I leaned over, I mean

      15 my knees were like, you know, buckling. And oh,

      16 God, and he came down and I said, "she's gone,

      17 she's gone, there is a note, she's been

      18 kidnapped."

      19 TOM HANEY: So you're here at the

      20 base of the stairs?

      21 PATSY RAMSEY: Uh-hum.

      22 TOM HANEY: You scream for John?

      23 PATSY RAMSEY: (Nodding with no

      24 audible response).

      25 TOM HANEY: Do you remember exactly

      0041

      1 what words you used, was it more than just John

      2 or--

      3 PATSY RAMSEY: I remember my voice

      4 was just cracking. I mean it was like "John",

      5 like that. I mean like, I can't even, you know,

      6 I hear my scream and I hear his scream when he

      7 came up from the basement, I mean it was just a

      8 horrible thing. You know, it was just --

      9 TOM HANEY: Where does John, and we

      10 will use a red marker now for John, where does

      11 he first appear in there, at least in this

      12 diagram, if you can start there?

      13 PATSY RAMSEY: He comes down those

      14 stairs there. (Indicating) and so we are both

      15 like standing here, I am pacing, I said oh, my

      16 God, you know there is a note, she's been

      17 kidnapped. She is not in her bed, you know.

      18 You know, then everything gets really you know,

      19 who's on first kind of thing.

      20 TOM HANEY: So you made two little

      21 X's in red. They are near the base of the

      22 stairs. And that's where you two have this

      23 conversation?

      24 PATSY RAMSEY: Uh-hum.

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    3. Thanks for posting that. Very interesting. But I think Patsy must have been referring to John's scream when he "discovered" JonBenet's body. She says nothing about his being in the basement before or immediately after the 911 call. I don't think she knew about that.

      But yes, her call was definitely NOT part of John's plan. And if they were in on it together, she would never have made that call at that time.

      Delete
  11. Has anyone listened to Det Arndt's interview on utube. It's a crushing indictment of one person, who she would not name, but was glaringly obvious to who she was referring. At one point, she counted her bullets in her gun because she thought there was a distinct possibility that they'd (everyone in the room EXCEPT that person) would all be dead before backup arrived.

    Evidently, she was already thinking along the lines of the thesis presented here. And she was THERE, with live, first hand observations of this person she was intensely inspecting for signs of guilt.

    Anyway, it was highly convincing. Along with logic presented here, I'd say the case is not nearly the mystery it has always appeared to be.

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    1. Yes, I'm familiar with that interview. And I must say, Arndt does appear to have seen through John completely. Unfortunately, an opinion is not the same as evidence. Imo Arndt was treated very unfairly, accused of making mistakes and neglecting certain matters, while the fact is she was left on her own for a long time to deal with a very complicated situation.
      If she had been more consistently involved in the investigation things might have turned out differently.

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    2. Linda Arndt never says who she is referring to, other than that it was someone in the house. Burke would have already been out of there to stay at the Whites'. People seem to assume she meant John, and if she did, she got it wrong. What she saw in John's eyes was not a murderer, but a father of a murderer. The little marauder did his sister over the head with a golf club thinking she'd be OK like in the cartoons or video games. A totally messed up kid, Burke was the most likely killer of JonBenet Ramsey. John Ramsey had no history of sex abuse let alone towards children, he was a good father by all accounts, and he had no motive to kill his daughter.

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    3. If you say so. I'm not going to respond to this sort of post again unless some new issue is raised or a new piece of evidence is discussed. There are all sorts of theories surrounding this case and Burke-Did-It is one of them.

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  12. hi doc. the 911 call recording with burke and john's voices in the background has never been released to the public. didnt they have to send the recording off to experts to hear what was being said.

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  13. Experts, experts, experts. Experts schmexperts. You already know what I think of "experts." If you listen attentively enough to the ticking of a clock you can get it to "say" just about anything you like. I have software that enables me to enhance any recording, and I've enhanced that one, listening very carefully to what I actually heard, rather than what I expected to hear. And what I heard sounded to me like system noise and nothing more. If that. Steve Thomas had pals in various places and managed to get them to agree to just about any theory he tossed out. I'm convinced that the 911 recording contains only two voices, that of Patsy and that of the 911 operator. After the hangup I can hear something like the words "help me Jesus," but that's ONLY because I've been told that's what she was saying and was therefore listening for it. It actually doesn't sound all that much like her or even a human voice -- but it's possible I suppose. Other than that I hear nothing of interest.

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    1. Expert schmexperts? So we are not to believe them but believe your handwriting expertise?

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  14. Mr. Dunelt,

    Yes, the tape was sent to experts. Various experts, with various levels of equipment and sophistication.

    http://jonbenetramsey.pbworks.com/w/page/11682511/The%20911%20Call#EvidenceinFavorofBurkesVoiceBeingontheTape

    I think a couple points are of interest. First, I'd very much doubt that ST would completely fabricate the story of BR's voice on the tape and that he'd get others to go along with that in a conspiracy. However, the police can lie as an investigative technique. There was never a trial (and never will be) so no one actually testified that BR's voice (or any 3rd party) is heard on the tape. Still, imo, ST and the other investigators probably heard something that sounded like BR. According to
    ST they are all in agreement as to what was heard, and they all arrived at their conclusions independently of each other.

    Only Aerospace Corp. was able to hear "Burke" though other labs have been able to come up with PR saying "Help me Jesus".

    JMO, I suppose that there must be one audio specialty company in the country with the very best equipment, and in this case it might be Aerospace. But I find it hard to believe the FBI doesn't have very sophisticated equipment as well. Maybe the FBI doesn't have the very best equipment in the world, but some of the critiques of the FBI make it sound as if their equipment consists of a tape deck removed from a '69 Mustang.

    The fact that "Help me Jesus" can be heard by other labs, but not Burke, makes me wonder just what is so special about BR/JR's voices as opposed to PRs. Does it have to do with being close to the phone? Why can only Aerospace pick up BR's voice, while others can get PR saying HMJ ?

    Tricia, at Websleuths claims that it's because the tape used was 3rd generation. But it's interesting, to me, that this copy of a copy still yields PR's voice, but not BR's.

    As an aside, Tricia tries to make hay of Lin Wood lying about additional voices on the tape. The "Help me Jesus" that is attributed to PR is her proof that LW is lying. Whether or not LW knew of the "HMJ" language or not, it's not really very incriminating. I mention this because Tricia's attitude - and the attitude of many people who post as WS/FFJ seems to be that it's important to catch a Ramsey or a Ramsey lawyer in a lie, even if the "lie" (if it was one) doesn't tend to prove anything. That's kind of how those websites operate; It's their basic approach to crime solving.

    Finally, ST denies the tape was ever released to the public or played on TV. If we are going on proof, I think we have to accept that the enhanced tape with BR's voice never was played on TV.

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  15. I do not understand why you think the mother would not have called the authorities if she had something to do with the murder. In reference to the ransom note, if she thought her daughter was at risk of being killed, she would not have called the police. It seems she called because she didn't want it to appear suspicious. Imagine this...if she wouldn't have called the police, the discovery of JBR missing (which could have been days or weeks) would put all of the blame on them because authorities would definitely not believe a "ransom note" and would question why they didn't report their daughter missing sooner. (For example: if Casey Anthony would have reported her daughter missing ASAP, she probably would not have been looked at as a suspect) Also, the Ramsey's plan the whole time could have been to "discover" JBR's body in the basement, so your theory "Patsy wouldn't call the police if she knew about or had anything to do with the murder" seems unbelievable.

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    1. PR would not have called 911 until after the body had been dumped, if she were in on the murder and/or coverup. The reason is the presence of the body destroys the plausibility of the kidnapping. IOWs, there's the body, so obviously she wasn't kidnapped.

      The RN sets up a kidnapping which in turn explains why JBR is no longer in the house (she's been kidnapped) Later, when and if the body is turned up, the murder can be blamed on the kidnappers.

      The note gives all the excuse needed not to call the police - JBR will be killed, the house is under surveillance, the use of sophisticated electronic countermeasures, etc. They would merely have to pretend that they took the RN at face value and believed all the threats and claims.

      When the call was made the body was sure to be discovered. This leaves an obvious murder. Since there were no signs of forced entry it's hard to see why the Ramsey's weren't arrested on the spot.

      If Patsy was in on it, then her call didn't lessen suspicion, it simply destroyed the plausibility of the RN.

      Of course it' argued that what was meant to be presented was a kidnapping gone bad, but it's hard to see what made it go bad, since JB would have been carried from her bed (if it were a real kidnapping) past all the first floor doors and into the basement where escape from the house was extremely difficult. Given that no one went through the basement window, either coming in or going out, that doesn't make the kidnapping gone bad very plausible.

      Had they been trying to present a kidnapping gone bad, they'd have completed the window staging by messing up the dirt on the sill and popping the grate out onto the lawn. The also probably would not have hid the body in the wine cellar.

      So, Patsy's call is inconsistent with a plan to present a kidnapping gone bad, and it's inconsistent with a plan to dump the body. A plan not to dump the body is inconsistent with a kidnapping. Therefore, Patsy was not in on the plot. If she had been, she'd have waited until the body could be disposed of, or she'd have waited until JR completed the window staging providing evidence of an intruder.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for this excellent explanation. Another important point to be aware of is that not calling the police would have enabled John not only to dump the body but get rid of ALL the evidence pointing to an inside job. Sure the police would have been suspicious, but without evidence there would be no case.

      Delete
  16. Also, please read: http://www.statementanalysis.com/ramseynote/

    (The end is especially important.)

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    1. The author tries to make a case for this not being a "real" ransom note. But what IS real and not real in such a context? A real kidnapper could write a highly deceptive note. Why not?

      The author assumes, like so many others, that John could not have written the note. This is an assumption NOT a fact. "Experts" can be wrong.

      The author assumes Patsy is responsible for the "and hence" in the note but in fact the only person that phrase can be traced to with any certainty is John, NOT Patsy. See my post titled "Johnisms." The Xmas message was NOT written by Patsy but by both of them.

      Delete
  17. The ransom note is such an unintelligent idea to me. I can assume maybe the Ramsey's weren't very knowledgeable when it came to strategy?

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    1. I'm not sure it's an unintelligent idea. If, as Doc's analysis has it, JR killed JBR, then he had either to admit killing her (e.g. march himself off the prison for life, or possibly lethal injection) or try to cover it up.

      If Patsy is not involved, as the logic of the case suggests, then the first thing JR needs to do is provide a reason why JB isn't found in her bed when Patsy wakes up. I don't see many alternatives here except a phoney kidnapping. Hide the body in the WC and write a RN.

      Delete
    2. If John wrote the RN, the only person that it was meant for was Patsy. All he needed to do was fool her. Later he could claim that the note was given back to the kidnappers so they could destroy it.

      Delete
  18. I don't know if anyone knows the answer to this but did Patsy ever suspect JR of killing JBR?

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  19. I wonder why JR hid JBR's body in the basement and didn't get rid of it before PR woke up the next morning.. How was he planning on ridding the body without anyone noticing if PR hadn't called the police? That's confusing to me.

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    1. He didn't get rid of the body before PR woke up because it would have been very difficult and potentially incriminating.

      He'd have to leave by car, most likely, so he'd have to open the garage door, start the car, back out, and so on. PR might have heard him and got up. Neighbors might see or hear him. When JB is discovered to be missing PR (and or the neighbors) are going to say "JR got the car out last night at 2am and was gone for over an hour". So he had to wait until he could get PR and BR out of the house.

      The RN suggests the delivery will be exhausting - IOWs very time consuming. He has a good excuse to be out driving around looking for a place to dump the body. He would later claim that he was following the kidnapper's instructions.

      Delete
    2. Perhaps that's what the suitcase under the basement window was for...to get the body out of the house but when PR called 911 it changed the plans.......

      Delete
  20. what about the dna found on her that proved him innocent

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    1. See the following blog post: http://solvingjonbenet.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-touch-dna.html

      Delete
  21. DocG , your theory also explain why wiretaps of any sorts at Ramsey's home and everywhere else , spying comp , phones ect...provided no results at all to the investigation...

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  22. DocG - this is a brilliant yet simple conclusion you have made based on the facts and only the actual facts present at that house. I used to think that it was a coverup for the son or PR lost her temper but I was following red herrings and looping round and round because of all of the distractions from JR. I would bounce from one theory to the next before I read your blog. Finally you have given an unbiased account only based on facts which makes perfect sense. Thank you for solving this mystery which, as you've said, would never have been a mystery had the police only looked at the facts. Thank you.

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  23. The question of why John "allowed" Patsy to find the RN first isn't even a question but instead clearly proves what a monster John Ramsey must be. All the possible theories; Patsy losing it over JonBenet wetting the bed, or Burke's jealousy or resentment towards his sister causes him to attack her....This family was idolized and very, very connected. If this actually had been anyone of the subsequent theories still discussed years later, the Ramsey family would easily have been able to fabricate a simple accidental injury cover story. If it actually were a intentional cover-up to protect Burke or Patsy being to blame, this case would be closed. All you have to do to realize that fact is the only one who hurt JonBenet and wanted her dead FOR A REASON is who wrote that RN, and that is absolutely premeditated murder.

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  24. I have read some places about two injuries on her body from a stun gun, but I don't know if those sources are credible. Is that true? And if so do you have explanation for that? So odd.

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  25. As a former next door neighbor of the Paugh family during Patsy's pageant heyday in the late '70s, I continue to ponder about this case occasionally.

    I find your analysis compelling, except for one detail: If the plan -- John's, Patsy's or both of theirs -- was to ultimately move Jon Benet's body from the house at a later time, then why wasn't it initially hidden in the trunk of a car instead of a dark corner of the basement?

    I think it unlikely that the police would have searched the trunks of cars before they had thoroughly searched the house, so the risk wouldn't have been any greater, plus when the time came, it would have made moving the body from the house unnoticed a lot easier than starting with it in the basement.

    This is especially true if only one of them was involved in Jon Benet's murder, because it wouldn't have required them to undertake any additional preparations before they left the house to dispose of the body under whatever pretense.

    Am I missing something?

    JG

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    1. Good question. We have no way of knowing what was going on in the killer's mind or what his strategy might have been. But it's possible he would have considered the basement a safer bet than the trunk of his car, assuming something might have gone wrong (as it did) and the police had been called prematurely. If the body had been found locked in his trunk, then that would have been it for him, he'd have been arrested on the spot. I think he must have been planning to move the body to the trunk just before dumping it during the following night, while claiming he was delivering the ransom. Since the garage was attached to the house there was no danger of a neighbor seeing him. And I think his plan would have included getting Patsy and Burke out of the house "for their own safety," to stay with friends while he dealt with the kidnappers.

      That's my best guess, but there could be some other reason.

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  26. DocG, your writing is so intriguing to me! I can easily follow your path of logic. I have a few questions that I am hoping you can shed some light on:
    Assuming your theory is correct,
    1. The house was checked at least once prior to the final search. Who suggested the final search? Did JR go alone to the basement? Did he open the door to find her? What I am trying to clarify is, was JR possibly thinking that the police would eventually leave and give him a chance to get JBR out of the house, but instead they opened the one door he was hoping they wouldn't and then he HAD to play the part of the shocked father, or do you think that at some point he realized none of this was going as planned, starting with PR 911 call, and he revised the plan to now have himself discover her?
    2. What do u believe caused the 2 marks on JBR that some have said looked like train track ends or a stun gun? What would be the theory behind the infliction of this wound?
    3. Do you believe that JR killed her before midnight? Did the coroner confirm that she was likely killed before midnight? Is that why the tombstone reads 12/25 as date of death?
    Thank you so much!!! Love your intelligent, logical and highly intriguing blog!

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    1. To answer your questions:
      1. The lone police officer on site suggested JR search for anything 'out of place'. His pal Fleet White went with him. According to the FBI guy who was there, JR had been jumpy ever since he "disappeared" from the house for a big chunk of time. So to occupy JR, he suggested the search to the police officer, I believe he said he was thinking the cop would go along with JR. But being the only cop on site at that time, she did not.
      JR himself opened the door to find her & he started his frantic "oh no" exclamations BEFORE he turned on the light...
      This is a direct quote from the FBI guy: "Virtually every staged murder case that I have seen the perpetrator manipulates the arrival of friends or other family members who are then put in the situation where they actually discover the body‎ or they are with the perpetrator as the body is discovered." Another investigator on the CBS episode: "They bring somebody along, they discover the body but with a witness who can testify to their shock and awe and horror‎ at what they find."
      2. I don't know what DocG's position is, but the stun gun theory is very far-fetched and essentially disproven. They checked many different kinds of stun guns before they could finally find one that matched the marks - it's not like they had a discarded weapon & it matched, the whole theory is conjecture. However, Burke's train tracks had connectors that match exactly, there are pics on some websites, and the room across the hall from where she was found was the "train room". The injury could be unrelated to her killing.

      Delete
  27. PR got up very early on 12/26 to make breakfast and prepare for their scheduled flight. She comes down stairs and finds the RN. Where was John at this time? In bed?

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  28. Just watched the CBS special and found your website. I think the flaw in your solution is your assumption that anyone was ever planning to dump the body. The ransom note could have just been a red herring so that they could pretend they didn't know she was dead and to justify why they didn't search the house looking for her when she turned up missing.

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    1. And why would they need to pretend they didn't know she was dead? What would that have done for them? How would it have made them look more innocent? And why would they need to justify not searching for her?

      Why not just stage a home invasion? Since she wasn't kidnapped that's what it would have amounted to - assuming an actual intruder, of course.

      Instead they decide to stage a phony kidnapping and then undermine their own staging by calling the police with the body still in the house? Meanwhile handing the police evidence that might well incriminate them? I don't think so.

      By the way, if you want others to read your comments, post them under the most recent blog post.

      Delete
  29. Patsy claims she only read the first few lines of the note, it was her excuse as to why she didn't see the warnings. if she is aware she is already dead though then warnings are irrelevant, hence why it is ok to call the police.. Also you say Patsy ruined John's plan to remove the body but I don't believe there was any intention of removing the body. I believe John put the suitcase via the window just to stage and make it appear this was the intruder's plan and of course since the case never fit this would explain why her body is still in the house. intruder had to leave her behind.

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  30. Hi DocG. I know this case was a long time ago, but I only just read about it properly.

    After seeing the evidence on your site I am 100% convinced John Ramsey is responsible. I looked at your handwriting analysis. His handwriting is in many places IDENTICAL to that on the ransom note. He's a complete idiot to think that people wouldn't notice this. But I guess it hasn't led to a conviction...?!

    Anyway, thanks for spreading the truth. John Ramsey is clearly guilty.

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