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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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Patsy the Patsy

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

But but but what about the fact that the note was written on Patsy's very own pad, that the "garotte" was fashioned from her very own paintbrush handle, that her fibers were found "all over" the crime scene, that she was wearing the same outfit the following day, etc., etc.
As I see it, most of the above is evidence of innocence, not guilt. Why would someone going to such trouble to point away from herself, point at the same time toward herself by using her own pad and her own paintbrush? Why not choose materials belonging to JonBenet or Burke or John? If Patsy had been up all night carefully staging an elaborate coverup, why would she fail to shower and change the next morning, prior to calling the police? If the Ramseys were in on this together, they'd have had plenty of time to prepare for police involvement. There was no law stating that a kidnap had to be reported prior to 6AM. She'd have had plenty of time to shower and change, no rush. And if Patsy did it on her own, then why would John have testified that she was asleep in bed when he got up and took his shower? Note, by the way, that it was John, not Patsy, who took the trouble to shower and change.

As for the fiber evidence, fiber evidence is meaningful when fibers can be traced to a source outside the home. Fibers from someone living in the home can almost always be explained in an innocent fashion and can only rarely constitute evidence. Patsy's fibers must have been all over JonBenet, since Patsy was her mother and was no doubt fussing over her, hugging her, kissing her, etc. all day. When JonBenet's body was taken upstairs, Patsy reportedly embraced it, sobbing uncontrollably. She's been accused of deliberately "contaminating" the crime scene, but you can't have it both ways. If the body was "contaminated" by Patsy, that would also explain how her fibers got there. And don't forget, the duct tape had been pulled off of JonBenet's mouth by John, so her fibers could easily have got on the sticky side of the tape at that time.

Which leaves Patsy's fibers found in her paintbox still in the basement, which for some are proof positive of her involvement in the crime, because Patsy herself denied wearing that particular sweater while painting. Gosh, I wonder why she'd deny that if she were involved in covering the murder of her child. It would have been awfully easy to tell the police, yes, she often painted while wearing that very sweater. But it looks as though she told the truth. Hmmmm.

To put the Patsy dunnits out of their agony, I will now explain how her fibers got into the paintbox. Because they were already all over JonBenet and JonBenet could easily have fallen on that box or been shoved against it while she was being strangled. End of story.

Well, what about the handwriting evidence? Haven't a whole raft of experts insisted she must have written it? If you've been following this blog, you've already gotten a pretty good idea what I think of these "experts." It seems clear that, once John was "ruled out," then that left Patsy and only Patsy, at least as far as the intruder skeptics were concerned. If it was an inside job (it was) and John had been ruled out, then the note MUST have been written by Patsy.

Funny thing, once you're convinced of something, then you start seeing evidence of it everywhere. Here's an example of what two of these "experts," Cina Wong and David Liebman, had to say regarding margins.
Liebman pointed.

“There,” he said. “The handwriting loosens up on the third page. That’s when the tendencies come out…. Look at the margin, how it slowly pulls to the left.”

That’s a characteristic that the samples and the note share, he said. 
 “It’s kind of like a fingerprint,” Wong explained. “You and I may have the same little bump here, but do you have all these here, here, here?” She pointed to different parts of her finger. “You can’t ID somebody from your nose alone. It’s a cluster of deviations.”
Only problem is: the margins on the ransom note do not pull to either the left or the right. Patsy's tend to pull left, yes, and the effect is very pronounced, unmistakable. Here's an example:


The margins of the "ransom" note do not pull left, they are almost perfectly rectilinear. Check the copy of the first page provided on the following website, an article about Cina Wong, Handwriting expert says author stole her JonBenet Ramsey work. See how the left margin pulls to the left? Look again. It's a crooked xerox, as should be obvious from the slanted guidelines. The original sticks closely to the printed margin. These "experts" were so totally incompetent they couldn't tell the difference between a crooked xerox and margin drift. They saw what they wanted to see, and this in my opinion is what all the rest, each in their own way, did.

Another example. Detective Steve Thomas 
accused Patsy Ramsey of changing her handwriting after the murder. "In the ransom note, almost exclusively the lowercase manuscript a was used, I think, 98 percent of the time," he said. "What was telling was that after the Ramseys were given a copy of the ransom note, the lowercase manuscript a almost disappeared entirely from Patsy's post-homicide writing. Writing samples from Ramseys' personal letters and notes she wrote before the killing contain 732 manuscript a's that look like the lowercase typewritten a, but they are written by hand. She switched to a cursive a after the murder." (from this article)
(NB: "manuscript a" is written with a little head on top, as in the printed form. Cursive a lacks that head.)
This is misleading. Here we see several examples of cursive a, obviously written prior to the murder. The same false accusation appears in Kolar's new book.

[Added 12-13-2012: I recently took a careful look at another Patsy document, her "London Letter":


Here we see a combination of cursive and manuscript "a"s, in a document obviously penned after JonBenet's murder. Nine manuscript "a"s appear in this very brief text. Clearly Patsy was not making an effort to avoid using that letter form.  Steve Thomas's accusation is, very simply: wrong.]

Obviously I can't get into every single report and deal with every single misleading or incorrect observation, but it should be clear that handwriting "experts" and detectives, just like the rest of us, see what they want to see or what they expect to see. Since so many expected to find similarities between Patsy's writing and the note, that's exactly what they found.

Bottom line: Patsy is the one who called 911 so early in the morning. So what difference does it make if she was wearing the same outfit as the night before, or whether her margins drift to the left or she used or didn't use manuscript a after the murder? If she had written the note, if she were in any way involved in the murder or the staging, she would not have made that call. And if you need more convincing, just listen to the panic in her voice in the recording of that call. Forget about trying to hear Burke or John or listening to what it might say when played backwards. Just listen to how upset she sounds, how intensely she is hyperventilating and ask yourself how easy it would be to fake that. Sorry, folks, Patsy had nothing to do with either the murder or the coverup.

Which is not to say she always told the gospel truth. More on that one next time.


25 comments:

  1. Surely it dawned on PR at some point that JR was responsible. Why would she cover for him? I have to admit your theory does make sense in many areas. JR would always speak for PR. When someone, like that obnoxious Larry King would address PR, JR would answer for her. Even if you don't believe BR is on the enhanced 911 tape, his being on it doesn't upset your JDI theory. In all the confusion, BR would have naturally awakened, and the words spoken - I have them straight now - are JR (sternly) "We are not talking to you." PR (hysterically) "Help me Jesus. Help me Jesus." BR "Please, what did you find?" So even after PR thinks she's disconnected from 911, she's still hysterical. That fits with her being innocent, and I do believe PR is innocent. I feel so for her. She was such a maligned woman, so falsely accused.

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    1. The question of why Patsy would cover for John is an excellent one. I'll be discussing it in my next post, so stay tuned.

      I'm sorry I still can't hear what you hear on that recording. Can you point me to the exact audio file you've been listening to? I used my own software to eliminate noise and I still can't hear anything close.

      You're right though. If Patsy is crying "help me Jesus" after hanging up, that certainly tells us she was not faking hysteria during that call.

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    2. Oh, I don't hear anything on the recording beyond the time when PR believes she hung up. However, Steve Thomas and James Kolar, and Melissa Hickman and others in LE all say there are three voices on the enhanced tape, which ST says has never been heard outside law enforcement and Aerospace. All the people, LE and Aerospace, independently heard the same three voices. I don't believe they are all lying. PR is still hysterical AFTER she believes she's disconnected the call. I don't think her hysteria was an act. She was a good actress, good at dramatic readings, but not that good under those strenuous circumstances. They later admitted BR got up, but I suppose many parents would lie just to keep BR's name out of things. It makes sense that in the confusion he did get up. The point is, PR was hysterical AFTER she thought she'd ended the call. Her hysteria was not faked.

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  2. Yes, people can forget about trying to hear BR or JR on the 911 call. The enhanced tape has never been heard outside of LE and a few Aerospace engineers. People could listen from now until doomsday and not hear JR or BR on the regular tape. But I do believe Thomas and Kolar are being truthful about the enhanced tape, and it supports PR's innocence and her belief that her daughter had been kidnapped.

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    1. I, as a few others, swear the long tape version was broadcasted on TV shortly after the murder. I can still see the captions on the bottom of the screen as it was played. I still haven't figured out why the Ramsey's lied about Burke being awake. If he heard his mother screaming and got out of bed to see what was going on, why lie about it?

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    2. I think Geraldo Rivera once played a tape he said was a copy of the enhanced Aerospace tape, but it wasn't really. Typical of Geraldo.

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  3. As to the red jacket fibers - Linda Hoffman-Pugh said that she (Linda) took the paint tote to the basement the day before the Ramsey's party. The party was on the 23rd, so the tote was moved on the 22nd - 3 days before the murder.

    I may be mistaken about what Patsy said concerning wearing the jacket, but I believe she said she had never worn it in the basement, rather than she never wore it when painting. I'll see if I can find the relevant quote from one of her interviews.

    So the tote was normally kept upstairs, and was occasionally taken down the basement, as was the case on the 22nd. I'm guessing that PR carried the tote back and forth to her painting class too (thought I don't know that for a fact) Little surprise then that PR's fibers are in the tote.

    Since the killer fashioned a garrotte using a paintbrush from the tote, secondary transfer easily explains why her fibers are in the garrote.

    There is still the tape, but as you point out, secondary transfer from JB herself could explain it. Secondary transfer from the killer -who has already been pawing through the paint tote- might explain it too.

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    1. Thanks for that clarification regarding Patsy's fibers in the tote. Makes sense. Patsy's fibers don't mean a thing as far as the case itself is concerned. They do help to explain how easy it is for those already convinced of her guilt to find "evidence" of it anywhere and everywhere. Reminds me of Lou Smit's take on the intruder theory.

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  4. Regarding fiber transfer, two colors have been mentioned as being found on JBR's thighs - black and blue. Which one is correct? Black could be narrowed down to the shirt JR was wearing that night, and blue could be narrowed down to the color of his robe which was found on the floor in his office, I believe. Black would indicate JBR was murdered before JR went to bed; blue would indicate the murder occurred after he went to bed, IMO.

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    1. This is the sort of issue Dante warned us about when he penned that warning on the Gate of Hell. If you try to account for every little item found or missing from the crime scene, you can Abandon All Hope, as the poet said. Which is why I try to stick to the basics. Of course even docG himself sometimes gets pulled into that very tempting vortex, so I can't say I don't understand its lure.

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  5. patsy wearing the same clothing on the 26th does make me think she never went to bed that night. patsy was the kind of women who would wear clothes for each day of the week, and to put on the same outfit as the day before is suspicious.

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    1. If she'd been up all night in the same clothing, she'd have been a mess. And if she'd been a mess, she'd have changed before the police arrived. It's really that simple -- so why do so many see it as evidence against her? If anything it exonerates her.

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    2. I'm a lady, ok? I know this: if we have on an outfit we feel good in, that we think makes us look good, and we only wore it for a few hours and/or it's not soiled or stinky, we will not think much of putting it back on the next day. Especially if they were not going to be seeing the same people - and they weren't. She wouldn't have cared about her family seeing her in the same outfit again, but she would have cared about seeing the same friends - she was that type, probably. But she didn't expect to. She expected to see Mike Archulete and the gang at Charlevoix.

      I can absolutely see her getting up, putting on fresh makeup and fixing her hair a bit, and considering herself ready. It's easy to judge her a bit for not showering, but she was probably really tired from all the Christmas stuff - hosting a party, wrapping, caring for two kids, delivering presents, packing - and this is not a 100% well woman. She'd had stage IV cancer just a few years earlier. I'm sure she was just trying to get presentable, get everything together, rally the kids, and drag her tired ass to the plane.

      Patsy's clothing, to me, speaks volumes for her innocence. A guilty woman (1) would have been thinking about how she would appear to her friends who just saw her in that outfit the night before, and (2) would have definitely made sure to change clothes and shower before police arrived. She appears to have not thought one second about what she was wearing. Another major clue pointing to her lack of complicity in the crime.

      KH

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  6. fibres from patsy's red check jacket were found on the tape that was used to gag jon benet. there were 3 fibres on that tape, and john ramsey ripped the tape off when he found her body. how did they get there.

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    1. The fibers were not really fibers but four microscopic bits of fiber. Microscopic. As in: visible ONLY through a microscope. They most likely got there via an indirect transfer from JonBenet herself, who had been in intimate contact with her mother. Or indirect transfer from John, who was no doubt also in close contact with Patsy that evening.

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  7. How many killers take the time to write a detailed ransom note? The style of writing, including the use of punctuation marks, prove she wrote It.

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    1. So you are saying that Patsy must have written the note because she wasn't a killer? The style of writing on the note is totally different from Patsy's style. This should be evident if you read my posts on Patsy's left hand sample and the one right after it, on her London letter. Completely different in both cases. As for punctuation, I'm sorry but I have no idea what you're getting at. Because she used exclamation points? Oh my . . .

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  8. "they saw what they wanted to see"

    Or, they saw what they'd been paid to see. I don't get why any of the "experts" hired by Hoffman are taken seriously as their client clearly wanted them to find PR wrote the note. Likewise why are the experts hired by the Ramseys taken seriously? They were hired to find that JR and PR didn't write the note.

    The only reasonably objective "experts" were the ones working for the police. They would have been looking for the truth, not trying to please their paying clients. The experts for the police couldn't say PR wrote the note. Even Ubowski who said his gut told him PR was the author admitted that the evidence just wasn't there.

    It's understandable that there will be paid "experts" at a trail. That they were given credence during an investigation is outrageous and incompetent.

    I understand that Team Ramsey had every right to hire experts, as did Hoffman, but that the police put any faith at all in what "paid to say" experts had to say is ridiculous.

    But I suppose had the police listened only to their own experts, they'd have been off chasing an intruder.

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    1. I agree that paid experts are going to be looking for what they've been paid to find. And it's a shame that such "findings" are still being taken seriously. Moreover, paid or unpaid, no such "experts" can be expected to have the skills necessary to rule anyone out absolutely in a case such as this, where the writer has clearly attempted to disguise his hand. There's no point in looking for similarities because the writer would have made an effort to eliminate them, and differences can be attributed to deception. While it's true that someone might unconsciously leave clues to his identity, how can one possibly separate out those clues from details deliberately inserted with the intention to deceive?

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  9. I've been re-reading your blog, Doc, and the other night I had an epithany. Well, certainly the closest thing to an epithany that I've ever had. I was thinking about how a possible motive for JR to kill JB was to silence her from telling relatives about the abuse she had suffered at his hands. Then I thought about how JR might also have been jealous of the attention JB was constantly getting from PR (similar to the motive Burke might have had, according to some who think he is responsible). I thought about how JR could very easily have been jealous and angry with BOTH JB and PR. After all, they spent hours and hours preparing for JB's pageants. PR was battling cancer and JR was known to have had at least one affair and also spend a lot of time away from home. I have always suspected that their marriage was not completely happy and maybe even stressed by something. And then it hit me . . . maybe JR staged his staging to make it look like PR killed her daughter. He could be rid of both of them if his plan worked.

    You mentioned that it made absolutely no sense for PR to use the very things that would point back to her. Then who would use them? Is it just a coincidence that her paintbrush was used, that her pad of paper and pen were used and that the ransom note was filled with language and expressions that she was known to use?

    Something to think about. But somehow I have a feeling you have already crossed this bridge, Doc. What are your thoughts?

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    1. I agree that John might have been jealous of all the attention JonBenet had been getting -- but fear of exposure as not only a child molester but an incestuous child molester would certainly have been a far stronger motive, I would think.

      As far as John trying to set Patsy up, that theory does make some sense, but only up to a point. As I see it, the kidnap staging was intended to misdirect the police away from the house, and the family, toward some anonymous intruder, who, after collecting his ransom, would have raped and killed his victim far away from the Ramsey home. If his intention were to frame Patsy, he'd have done things very differently, I would think.

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    2. On the other hand, perhaps what you're saying is that John told Patsy to call 911 specifically with the intention of setting her up? In that case his plan would have been for the police to realize from the start that the note was staging by an insider? Wow. I dunno. That would have been tremendously risky, because it easily could have backfired -- and almost did. Don't forget, John was the leading suspect at first -- until he'd been ruled out as writer of the note.

      It also assumes that the writing on the note resembles Patsy's hand, which clearly it does NOT. I know lots of people are convinced it does, but I believe I've demonstrated very clearly, on the basis of side by side comparisons between specific words in the note and both Patsy's left hand sample and her London letter, that the alleged resemblances do not exist. I see no evidence whatsoever either that she wrote it or it was forged to resemble her hand. If you need further convincing, read my comments on the reports of the various "experts" who claimed she wrote it.

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    3. I totally agree that John's motive for killing JB was to silence her. I don't believe he premeditated framing Patsy. Actually, I don't believe he premeditated killing JB either. I think killing JB was a spontaneous act that could have occurred if she fought him off, started yelling or screaming, or threatened at that time to tell someone, maybe even "mommy." And it may also have been a spontaneous idea on his part to stage the crime in such a manner that the police would look to Patsy, not him. He had the sense to know that the police would look to the parents first and even talked about this during one of his interviews. But using items that tied to Patsy would lift suspicion off of him. Even changing JB into those fresh underwear could make it look like there had been a bed wetting incident. Surely he was aware of Patsy's frustrations with that.

      As for the 911 call, if my theory is correct that he purposely staged things to point to Patsy, I don't think he would have cared if she made that call or not. In fact, I've always found it hard to believe that he could not have stopped her from making that call, if the purpose of the note was to keep the police away and give him time to remove the body. There are other ways he could have gotten rid of the body. In fact, he could have written the note instructing him to meet the "kidnappers" at a certain place and time (alone, of course) the following morning. He could have already hidden JB's body in the trunk of his car that night. Patsy would have read the note and then John would later leave to meet the "kidnappers", as the note demanded. But since he allowed Patsy to make that call (and I would say again that he certainly could have prevented it), I think he knew it would expose the staged kidnapping and ultimately point to Patsy because of the items he used to stage with.

      As for the handwriting in the note, I don't think John tried to make it look like Patsy's writing at all. That would be way too difficult. And you're right --- it certainly does not look like her writing. But he also did not want it to look like his writing. I believe you were a genius in discovering the very real possibility that he copied a note written on the computer, making it look as generic as possible.

      I have always been troubled by why there are so many things that make Patsy look suspicious. I have even doubted my own theory against JR from time to time because of it. Certainly Steve Thomas and all his followers have been fooled by this too. But if JR did things that he knew would point to her, they are instantly explained.

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  10. As I see it, John used Patsy's things simply because he was avoiding using anything of his own. Don't forget, he also used Burke's knife. And it would simply have been impossible to prevent Patsy from calling 911 if that's what she was determined to do. He couldn't hover over her all morning, obviously. It amazes me that you would think John wouldn't care if Patsy made that call. What would have been the point of staging a kidnapping if the police came to the house when the body of the "kidnap" victim was still there?

    The ONLY reason Patsy ever became a suspect is because John was "ruled out" and she wasn't. Once that happened, then the investigators focused in on anything they could find that might possibly implicate her. Some of these theories went over big on the Internet, but would have fallen flat in court of law, since none of it constitutes real evidence. A good lawyer would have had the case dismissed before it ever got to court.

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  11. In the original Ramsom (note) letter I see that the a alternates.
    Does Patsy do that as well in her handwriting ?

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