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).

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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, August 20, 2012

Fantastic Theories - Part Three

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

Partners in Crime

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

Due to obvious problems with the above two variants, still another version has been offered, in which the two are going after one another, and JonBenet somehow gets caught in between, and is accidentally killed with a blow to the head intended for one of her parents. Since this has been described as sufficient to fell a grown man, one might surmise that JonBenet may have actually saved her mother's life while sacrificing her own. (Assuming of course that Patsy wouldn't herself be capable of landing such a blow.)

One version or another of this accident theory is very popular, especially for those timid souls who find it difficult to believe a parent would willfully kill his or her own beloved child. It also helps to explain why both parents would be motivated to cover up, as both would have been equally implicated. It does not explain, however, nor does any variant of this theory explain, why an accidental head blow could not have been reported as such. Nor why a head blow inflicted for any reason could not have been reported as an accident.

What could not be reported as an accident was the vaginal attack, but according to the Partners in Crime theory, in all versions, the vaginal wounds were part of the coverup, not part of anything prior to the head wound. In other words, if Patsy had known John was abusing their daughter, it's very hard to understand why she would want to cover for him.

So once again we are dealing with an over-the-top coverup, including a vaginal attack and ligature strangulation with a "garotte," only this time we can't be sure who did what. From here on in the scenario is very similar to that of "Patsy Did It," especially the part where she writes the note, because gosh darn it, with no intruder possible and John ruled out, then Patsy and only Patsy could have written it, and since she had studied journalism, then this would have been the natural thing for her to do, with John perhaps contributing some of his own favorite expressions, such as those percentage figures that make the threats in the note so credible. And as in that other theory, Patsy doesn't bother to disguise her hand, so even the rankest amateurs surfing the internet would have no problem whatsoever absolutely positively identifying her as the writer. Why the similarities just reach out and grab  you!

The note they come up with is clearly intended to enable them to get rid of the body under cover of darkness, so they stash it in the basement where Burke is unlikely to find it and then John heads for the bank to collect the ransom, phones in from a phone booth to produce a record of the kidnapper's phone call, returns home and waits till it's dark when he and Patsy will be able to dump the body while claiming they were delivering the ransom. Only wait! That's not what they do, because for some inexplicable reason they decide to call the police first thing in the morning with the body still in the house, thus foiling their own dire plot and defeating the whole purpose of their carefully crafted "ransom" note. The only question left is: who screwed up????

And yes, folks, once again, we are in the Twilight Zone. Because if you can believe this story I have some real estate in the Okefenokee swamp I'd like to sell you.

The absurdities of the "Partners in Crime" theory inspired me to pen a variant of my own, a little skit based on the well known movie, "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids." It goes something like this:

Honey, I Killed the Kid

You WHAT????

I didn’t mean it.  It was, like, an accident.  You know?

Uh, which kid?

Our little girl, JonBenet.

You killed JONBENET?   Oh my God, JonBenet?   What happened, how did you do that?

Well, you know how sometimes she wets the bed -- and I get SO upset?  Well that’s what happened.   She gets up in the middle of the night, soaking and smelly.   And her bed’s a mess, all wet and sticky.   I yelled at her and she started screaming.   Guess I just lost it.    That maglite was just sitting there so I picked it up – and sort of, you know, bashed her over the head with it.   I didn’t mean it, really I didn’t.

Well, I guess we can kiss our privileged lifestyle goodbye.   Just imagine the scandal.  And such a sweet child, too.  She will be missed that’s for sure.

Couldn’t we just call 911 and report it as an accident?  I could say she slipped on some soap and hit her head on the sink

Are you kidding?  Who’d believe that?   Everyone knows we don’t use soap, we use Dove.   No, I’ve got a better idea.  Put on your red sweater, go down to the basement and get me one of your paintbrushes. 

Why would I want to do that?

Don’t interrupt!!!!   I’m thinking!   Just go down there and do as I say.

(A few minutes later)

OK, here’s the paintbrush.   What are you going to do with THAT?

Make a garrote.  I learned all about it in the Philippines.   They’re really neat – and I learned all about knots in the navy, so I can put this one together in no time.

Are you out of your mind?   Why would you want to do that?   And why my paintbrush, why not just find a piece of stick from somewhere, or a pencil?

Don’t you see?   If you’d murdered her, we could try to make it look like an accident.   But it WAS an accident.  You can’t make an accident look like an accident.   And hence, we gotta make it look like murder.    Some nut case climbs in the basement window and attacks our beloved daughter with a garrote.  It’s perfect, they’d never believe loving parents could attack their own child with a garrote.  And we have to use your paintbrush so no one will think I did it.

I see.  But just to be safe shouldn’t we write a phony ransom note also?   I studied journalism in college, you know, so I think I could come up with a real doozy, I’ve got lots and lots of really good ideas.  Please, could I?

Well, all right, but use your own note pad, OK?    And your pen.   I don’t want anyone to think I wrote it.

No one will ever think YOU wrote it, dear.  My, use that good old southern common sense of yours, John.  But just to be sure, I’ll include some of my own favorite expressions and lots and lots of exclamation points, you know how I LOVE exclamation points.   Now when you’re done with the garrote just go back to bed and relax.   You’ll need to be well rested in the morning, when we call the police.  I’ll stay up all night writing the note.  Won’t even stop to change my clothes.


  1. I STILL believe Patsy wrote the three-page note. A male wouldn't bother with such a lengthy note. And with Patsy calling 911: she might have forgotten the part about not phoning the police. Remember, it was close to a three-page note. Who remembers everything that was written? Emotions were high and so were they, probably!

    1. Well, obviously you aren't aware of the law -- it's illegal to murder your daughter when high on drugs! :-)

      If you look carefully at the note you'll see that it doesn't have the look of someone on drugs. It's very carefully crafted. Every i is dotted, every t crossed, margins are carefully observed, spacing is extremely consistent. And the message is very meaningful and efficiently stated. It's just that John's plan needed to be spelled out carefully in order to work for him, so that's what he did.

  2. It's really hard to take this seriously when you poke fun at the theory and don't really detail it out. What's the point? Let me show you why I'm right? Well, it's your blog - you can do and say what you want but don't pretend that you know what anyone else thinks much less their theory of the crime. Personally I find a John did it theory just as laughable. See you forgot to add the part where John stages the crime to incriminate Patsy. I mean he would have to right? How else could your theory explain Patsy’s fibers all over the elements of the crime? Oh wait your going to say transfer, right? I can agree to a point but when they are found in the garrote – your theory doesn’t hold water..

    1. I poke fun at theories that make no sense. Oh they might seem to make sense when you conveniently fail to spell out certain aspects that are ridiculous and focus only on what seems like decisive evidence.

      The fiber evidence is a great example. You can argue till you're blue in the face that Patsy's fibers in the ligature of the garotte are proof positive she constructed it. But how do you explain the psychology of a middle class pageant mom who doted on her daughter deciding one fine day to construct a garotte and strangle her? To cover up a head blow that could have been reported as an accident? It's only when you are forced to consider the big picture that theories such as this are revealed for the absurdities they are.

      As far as the fibers are concerned, if they were on the victim then they could easily have been transferred to any part of the crime scene via the victim herself. NOT evidence, sorry.

  3. there were 3 fibres found on the duct tape that was used to gag jon benet. they came from patsy's red/black jacket. it was the same tape john tore off jon benet's mouth when he found her. this is very suspicious.

    1. Actually four "fibers" consistent with Patsy's jacket were found. But they weren't really fibers in the sense we usually think of fibers. Four tiny bits of fiber were found on the duct tape, so tiny they could only be detected with a microscope. Since Patsy had obviously been in intimate contact with JonBenet that whole day, it stands to reason that fibers from her mother's clothing could have been transferred to her body, her hair or her clothing many times during the day and/or when she was being put to bed. So the most likely explanation for those fibers would be innocent transfer from mother to daughter. The idea that the presence of such fibers implicates Patsy is absurd, the product of desperation on the part of those "desperately seeking Patsy," because they lack the imagination to see any other possibility. There is NO evidence implicating Patsy in this crime, other than her presence in the house that night. John Ramsey was also present, so why not consider him?

  4. docg. i do suspect john was involved. i think both patsy and john were involved, but there are moments i think i could be wrong. that's why it is such a fascinating case.

    1. If you think both Patsy and John were involved, then you're in good company because many people are convinced of that. And there are some good reasons to suspect they could have both been in on it together. However, I happen to be convinced they were NOT. For starters, as I've said many times, the 911 call would not have been made if they were in it together. For another, it's very hard to believe two otherwise normal seeming people would both suddenly crack at the same time and in the same way. It's a fascinating case, no question, because no matter which way you take it, there are always things that don't seem to add up. Which is why I decided to base my thinking ONLY on the known facts, and be extremely skeptical regarding every other aspect of the case, especially what the suspects themselves have claimed.

  5. what do you make of the mysterious 911 call that was placed on the 23rd dec. has this ever been explained.

    1. To my knowledge that has never been explained, no. With hindsight it does seem possible JonBenet could have placed that call, but we have no way of knowing, so that incident, like so many others, must be filed under "inconclusive," i.e., meaningless and useless. Again, this is why I've chosen to focus on the known facts.