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.

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):

Here's an analysis I put together, comparing exemplars from this document with exemplars from the "ransom note":

To make things more interesting, I also put together the following display, in which characters from John's deposition are intermingled with characters from the note:

I challenged people on some of the JonBenet forums to sort John's exemplars from those in the note, but no one ever came up with the correct solution. If you study John's deposition carefully, you should be able to solve it, but it won't be easy.

To compare Patsy's hand with that of John and the note writer, I added some of her exemplars to the above display. They're on the right hand side of every line but line 4:

Looks to me as though her exemplars are notably different from the others, but I'll leave that to you to judge.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Italian handwriting examiner Fausto Brugnatelli posted a somewhat similar set of comparisons. I became aware of his website only after I had done some of my own comparisons from the same document. Here is the link to his website, still up after all those years. The Brugnatelli site also contains a copy of the "ransom" note, for those of you interested in making a detailed comparison of your own. [Added 10-10-13: Brugnatelli's website has moved. His comparisons can now be found here. (John's exemplars are on the left.)]

Before concluding, I want to make it clear that I do not believe it possible to identify John as writer of the note simply on the basis of similarities of this sort. Nor does Brugnatelli make any such claim. Just because two sets of writing are similar, that does not tell us they have to have been written by the same person. In fact I seriously doubt that it's possible to point the finger at anyone solely on the basis of a handwriting comparison, as so many have attempted to do with Patsy.

The point I'm making in putting these comparisons together is not that this is proof John wrote the note, but strong evidence telling us it was a huge mistake to rule him out. While the striking similarities documented here can't prove he wrote it, there is no way they can be dismissed as irrelevant, which is what the so-call "experts" (some of them appointed by John himself) decided to do.


  1. Patsy killed JonBenet deliberately. No one else was involved. There was no staging for police. Everything that was done was done by Patsy for Patsy as part of a psychotic fantasy revolving around an imagined relationship with a supernatural being, the fear of judgment by that God and the fear of death. What people mistakingly take as staging for police had symbolic meaning known only to Patsy. This includes the ransom note. There were two aspects to what was done to the body: the ligatures were suspension devices, the body was posed and viewed and then taken down, placed in the small room, wrapped and the duct tape applied to set the kidnapping scene up in Patsy's mind. The ransom note is full of the ideas that swirled in Patsy's mind that night and plagued her for many years.

    The goal was not to kill JonBenet but to make an Angel out of her.

    Patsy herself said after the funeral "JonBenet is in Heaven with God awaiting her mother's arrival and it won't be long." Patsy put JonBenet in that heaven to complete the fantasy and in her mind assure her life after death.

    As the dedication in DOI says:

    Wherever we go ...
    Whatever we do ...
    [We're gonna go through it together ...]

  2. My own conclusion is that not much can actually be made of the handwriting exemplars because either JR or PR would try to disguise their writing. I see differences between the RN and both parent's exemplars. I also see a similarity here and there.

    I know from my own experience that my own signature will at times look as if it's been signed by someone else. Much depends on the position of the hand, relative to the paper, whether one sits or stands, the stability of the surface being used to write on, etc. (I do not sit at a desk, therefore do not sign in the same position and in the same relation to the paper every time)

    So, for me, I'm willing to accept your theory as one possible solution of the case. The thing is, for your theory to hold together, JR can't simply be a possible author, he must in fact be the author.

    I agree that JR should not have been ruled out, but there is plenty of room for reasonable difference of opinion as to who the author is -both for experts and the rest of us.

    What do you make of the statement analysis that has been done on the RN?

  3. I think it futile to attempt to accuse John solely on the basis of either handwriting or content analysis. What makes him guilty are the facts I outlined in my first two posts, supplemented by my analysis of the meaning of the note, which tells us that John and only John could have profited from it (assuming Patsy hadn't called 911).

    To claim on the basis of statement analysis that Patsy must have written the note is silly almost beyond belief. It's hard to imagine that a phrase such as "foreign faction" was even in her vocabulary. The note is laden with technical and other typically male terminology, such as "monitor," "countermeasures and tactics," "constant scrutiny," etc. Also John not Patsy is the one who loves to use percentage figures.

    1. The second night of CBS documentary concluded by all experts present the note was written by a WOMAN! What are YOUR credentials on the subject?

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  5. Regardless of who wrote it, the note is addressed to John. If John responds as directed, he's the one who goes to the bank. He's the one who's absent from the house until he returns with the money. Patsy and Burke are the ones who remain at home. Patsy has an opportunity to do remove the body? Why does Patsy want John to get out of the house? Or..why does John want to get out of the house? Any plausible theory must address these potentialities. Why does the writer dangle the carrot of a possible early release of the daughter if John responds quickly?

    1. Yes, yes of course. You are on the right track. Exactly! These are essential questions that must be asked. But it's also essential to see the big picture -- and place yourself in the mind of the criminal.

      If Patsy wrote the note to get John out of the house, what then? What would she have done about Burke? Removing the body on her own, during the day, would have been tremendously risky. Someone could have seen her driving away from the house for no good reason, and someone could easily have spotted her dumping the body.

      But even more to the point: Patsy is the one who called 911 while the body was still IN the house. If her plan was to use the note to get John out of the house, then why wouldn't she just refuse to call the police and try to talk John into leaving to pick up the ransom as the "kidnappers" instructed him to do? And if John were innocent, and insisted that she call the police, why on Earth would she have agreed to do that?

      She would certainly have refused to call them, using the threats in the note as an excuse, and if John insisted they be called nevertheless, then why wouldn't HE have picked up the phone and made that call? The fact that Patsy is the one who called 911, and NOT John, is crucial. If they were in on it together, the last thing they would have wanted to do was make that call. And if John were innocent, and Patsy wrote the note, the last thing she would have wanted would be to make that call. She would certainly have refused, but it wouldn't have mattered, because John was a big boy, the CEO of a billion dollar company, and certainly capable of picking up the phone and dialing 911 on his own.

      This tells us that John and only John could have written the note. Meaning Patsy must have made the call in all innocence, convinced her daughter had been kidnapped. And this is by far not the only reason we have for suspecting John, because there are many things about his behavior and his testimony that make him suspicious.

      So we have no choice but to see the contents of the note from that perspective, and once we do, it's possible to recreate the plan behind it. The note is addressed to John and even says at once point that "it is up to you, John." Thus John could easily have convinced Patsy that it was he who was responsible for dealing with the kidnappers. He could probably have talked her into taking Burke and going to stay with friends, for their own safety, while he left to collect the ransom. Or he could have given her a sedative and then, when the moment was right, gone down to the basement to sneak the body into the trunk of his car before driving off to the bank. He could then have waited until night to drive off "to deliver the ransom" while actually going to some remote spot to dump the body, and all the other evidence, under cover of darkness.

      I have recreated in some detail what I believe to have been John's plan here:

      As you can see, this covers ALL the bases and explains the note in literally every detail. It is a plan that only John could have carried out.

    2. I'm so late coming into this convo, but to your theory on John being the one to leave and leaving PR and BR in the house, mind you, this is a snap theory, but what if he had someone coming back to finish the job? I know that's a stretch and with the police presence around the house it would have been farfetched, but say the police weren't called, the note was followed to letter. John, who we are assuming is the murderer here, hired someone to do the job. Gave them a key, et all. The person enters the home, kills JBR but something causes him to leave the house. Maybe he thought he heard someone else waking, maybe he through he had made too much noise. Maybe the plan was to kill JBR first, leave the note, and then later when JR leaves to get the money, he comes back and finishes the job. Makes it look like a tragic accident, JR loses his wife and children while out trying to "save" one of them.

      I realize how farfetched this theory sounds, but it's just plausible enough to work.

      Also, a while back, I watched this video on Youtube where the poster did a review of everyone associated with the Ramseys' around the time of the murder. One of the theories was the housekeeper's husband, also a handyman. I can't remember all the details but the video made a convincing argument as far as that man being a POI.

    3. If John had hired someone to do the job, the note would not have been written on paper from a notepad in the house. The accomplice would have brought it into the house with him.

      As for the housekeeper's husband, he was investigated, along with his wife and a great many others. The bottom line is that no intruder theory makes sense, regardless of whom you might want to suspect. See the first two posts on this blog.

  6. What do you particularly make of the letter" f," apart from a couple, nearly all in the ransom note are crossed midway the same as patsy. Yet John's" f "appear to be crossed very low down in his own hand.

    1. Looks to me like the note was modeled on a computer font, which would have enabled the writer to avoid giving himself away by unconsciously forming letters in his habitual manner. I think it's this tactic that must have thrown off the "experts"" who ruled him out. For my reasons, see

    2. Actually, looking again at the note, I see that most of the "f"s are formed as capital "F"s, similar to the F we see in the world "oF," as seen in the example of John's writing.

    3. Read your book and has started me thinking along a different line. I originally thought Burke the culprit. But if John did write the note, it makes sense now that he used "small foreign faction". There had to be a purpose for that term, and I think--as stated below--that it was to intimidate and frighten Patsy to the extent that she would take Burke to Michigan. That would have been the gallant act for John--protecting the rest of his family while he stays and faces the kidnappers alone. (If Mel Gibson could do it, then so could he.) You did point out that he was the only one that had showered that morning. A small detail no one else seemed to pick up on.

  7. Why was John ruled out as the author of the note?

    Addressing the note to himself, he made it clear to the finder of the note that the instructions were for himself and that he should handle the situation.

    Using a "small foreign faction", could have possibly intimidated Patsy more than a lone kidnapper and kept her (that could have been the hope) from calling 911. Thus giving John the excuse to encourage her to take Burke and flee to Michigan. It would also have pressured her to stay tight lipped about the incident in order to assure Jonbenet's return to the family.

    This would have given John time to dispose of the child's body in a pretense of delivering the ransom to the kidnapper. Then he could have stated that the kidnappers reneged on their promise or he could have claimed they killed Jonbenet and left her body for him to find.

    If John can't be ruled out as author of the note, it sets up a whole new scenario of events and possibilities.

    1. Why John was ruled out is in itself one of the great mysteries of this case. We have no way of knowing, because the exemplars he provided to the authorities have never been made public. John has claimed to be right handed, yet the legal document we have from him looks as though it was written with the left hand (because of the back slant -- though I understand back slant is often found among right handers as well).

      For me the biggest clue is the strong indication that John based the writing of the note on a computer font. This may well have thrown off the unimaginative "experts" who were dutifully looking for obvious similarities and not finding them.

    2. Doc, have you noticed on the 911 call that Patsy sounds in my opinion frightened for her life. I know she must have been scared for JB but I hear a definite fear for herself, quite often when people call 911 and think they might get cut off they immediately say their address, as Patsy did. It is my belief that she was afraid of John. Maybe he had already threatened her, but the way she is saying "hurry, hurry hurry" in the end makes me wonder. I also believe she locked him out of the house on several occasions, thus the pry marks and kicked in window. How can a grown man lose his keys to his own house over and over along with his garage door opener??? And who gets naked to crawl through a window???

    3. Very interesting observations! And yes she did mention something about John breaking into the house a few times, which does sound kind of suspicious. As far as getting naked, that whole story is a joke. Amazing that anyone bought it.

  8. The note did threaten his daughter's decapitation if he cooperated with the police. I suppose a tightened garrote could have suggested a similarity to that promise.

  9. John Mark Karr authored the note. His handwriting and use or word phrases within the ransom note prove it. He killed JonBenet accidentally when he failed to release the garrote around her neck. He got enjoyment breaking in to homes and doing things like this right under the parents noses

  10. COMPARING the ransom with the deposition, what I find clear is that on the deposition not every 'I' is dotted. THE INSTALLER WAS NOTIFIED as an example. But in the ransom, every i is dotted, every t is crossed and every sentence has a period. They are from two different writers.

    Someone with is so careful about writing, that doesn't write very big or very small, is likely a woman with a fair intelligence. Most men are quite careless in writing a note.

    The beginning of the ransom is nervously written while the later section is not.

  11. Another point. When people appreciate something or respect something, they tend to write it bigger. In the ransom, almost everything is the same size. The signature, the VICTORY, JOHN, but RAMSEY appears biggest. If someone hated JOHN, it would have been smaller. This person is a RAMSEY and didn't hate John, not especially love him. My guess is the ransom was written by the mother. Maybe the husband started writing it and she took over after a few lines. This is a give away: UN HARMED. Its separated by a space. Likely she was already dead.

  12. I would like to point out that the fancy "a" used in the letter is not consistent. On the second page, of the original ransom letter, words "situation, talking, and Law" are all spelled with a regular "a." This tells me that the person writing this letter does not typically use the fancy "a" in their writing... it was forced. Additionally, the letter appears to be written using both the left hand and switched to the right hand. I can see this by the way the "t, f, h" swoops on the bottoms. Some are to the left and some swoop to the right.
    The letter was definitely written by Patsy. Patsy swoops the ends of her "t, f, h" and uses the regular "a" in her usual handwriting patterns.
    I believe that Patsy found her daughter had been being molested by her husband, possibly other men, and became jealous instead of concerned. This has happened with other mothers. It appears Patsy was all about being the most beautiful and special. When she found out, she probably lost it. The autopsy reviled at least a few years of vaginal trauma as well so this had been going on for awhile.

  13. Any thoughts about the suitcase below the window? It could easily have been planned as both the carrier of JonBenet's body and the ransom cash. In other words, if the police had not been called, John could have left the house to deliver the ransom with suitcase in hand, and if somehow seen by someone would state that he was delivering the ransom when, in fact, he was disposing of the body inside. Weren't there fibers from JonBenet's clothing found in the suitcase? If so, had John already attempted to place her body inside and perhaps realized it did not fit?