The Gospel According to Patsy -- 1997
Continuing with my 2005 review.
From Patsy's 1997 police interview:
ST: Tom has some questions for you about when John had to break in that basement window . . .Another Ramsey who doesn't "know exactly" when or what or how or who. She THINKS it was last summer. Funny, I think John thinks he thinks the same thing.
ST: . . .but was there any reason you couldn’t or John could not have retrieve the key from the Barnhills at that time to get in rather than breaking the window?
PR: He, he may not have know they had a key.
TT: When did John break that window in the basement?
PR: He, I don’t know exactly when he did it, but I think it was last suimmer sometime when we, the kids and I were at the lake.
TT: In Charlevoix.Now THAT's an interesting statement! He wanted her to come back from out of town because he didn't have his key? But he wasn't able to phone the Barnhills ahead of time, so the key could be waiting for him under the mat or wherever?
PR: In Charlevoix and he told me to come back from out of town or whatever and he didn’t have a key and the only way he could get in was to break the window.
TT: Okay. Yeah, right."Okay." Why bother to ask tough questions, it's just another murder case (yawn).
PR: The little um, like door, little window to the basement there.Well now that's interesting, Patsy doesn't know whether the window was fixed either. She "can't remember even trying to remember that."
TT: He had to life the grate out of the way to, to get in there.
PR: Yeah, that’s the one, um hum.
TT: Okay. Any reason why that one wasn’t replaced or the pane wasn’t fixed or anything?
PR: No, I don’t know whether I fixed it or didn’t fix it. I can’t remember even trying to remember that, um, I remember when I got back, uh, in the fall, you know . . .
TT: Um hum.[The reference is to Linda Hoffmann Pugh, her housekeeper.] Sorry, Patsy, but Linda doesn't remember that incident. She knows nothing about any broken window. [See Footnote, below.] Hoffmann Pugh's insistence from the start that she knew nothing about the broken window and certainly did not help Patsy clean up any glass, completely destroys their whole testimony regarding the window and the meaning of the broken pane.]
PR: . . .uh, went down there and cleaned up all the glass.
PR: I mean I cleaned that thoroughly and I asked Linda to go behind me and vacuum. I mean I picked up every chunk, I mean, because the kids played down there in that back area back there.
TT: Um hum.Nopey nope nope. Can't remember, "just can't remember" whether it was replaced. Well then Patsy suppose it HAD been replaced, wouldn't that piece of information be saving you, John and the police an AWFUL lot of time here? Because in that case the whole nutty and embarrassing (and unbelievable) story about losing a key and climbing down the rabbit hole (er, excuse me, window well) would be beside the point, wouldn't it? And maybe you and John would have to answer other types of questions instead, such as: "did the two of you break that window yourselves to stage a phoney breakin?"
PR: And I mean I scoured that place when, cause they were always down there. Burke particularly and the boys would go down there and play with cars and things and uh, there was just a ton of glass everywhere.
PR: And I cleaned all that up and then she, she vacuumed a couple of times down there.
TT: To get all the glass.
PR: In the fall yeah cause it was just little, you know, pieces, big pieces, everything.
TT: Do you ever recall getting that window replaced?
PR: Yeah, uh, I can’t remember. I just can’t remember whether I got it replaced or not.
The Gospel According to Patsy -- 1998
There's more! Here's Patsy from her 1998 police interview:
PATSY RAMSEY: There were some shelves back in behind the train area. If you come down the steps and there is like a landing space here, and go through a door, there is the train room setup there, come back around there, back by the window that broke."The window that broke." NOT the window JOHN broke, just the window that broke. Maybe it broke itself?
TOM HANEY: What was your usual method though for coming in?Patsy never used the house key. But John needed to crawl in the window because he forgot his key.
PATSY RAMSEY: Garage door opener, go in, and then the inside garage door was unlocked. I had never used the house key ever.
TRIP DEMUTH: What observations did you make about the window when you cleaned up the glass or about that whole area?Patsy THINKS she asked him to repair the window. She doesn't know whether or not it was repaired. Still. Around a year after the first interview when she was asked similar questions. Never bothered to find out for sure in all that time.
PATSY RAMSEY: Well, there was one of the panes was broken. I don't remember what it was, but I had asked -- that was another one of the odd jobs to have Linda Huffman (phonetic) and her husband do. He was going to do the odd jobs. I think I asked him to repair that, too, but I don't remember. I don't know whether they did that or not.
TRIP DEMUTH: Do you know why the window wasn't fixed?"Was it not fixed?" Interesting question. I'll ask one back: "Did you not ASK? Did you not CARE?"
PATSY RAMSEY: No, I don't. Was it not fixed?
The Gospel According to DocG
It ought to be patently clear by now. John Ramsey's story about breaking into the basement window "one summer" or "last summer," one time or two or maybe even three times, having driven himself home in his own car or having been driven home in a cab, having forgotten his key or having given his key to his son, not remembering the neighbors had a key or not wanting to disturb them so late at night, or even by calling them ahead of time, kicking a hole in the window with his foot or not with his foot, with shirt on or possibly off, but in any case kicking it so accurately, despite not being able to see what he was doing, that he was able to bend down into that very very narrow space and reach through the baseball size hole with his arm to unlatch the window latch and let himself in, with his wife some time later cleaning up all the glass with the aid of her housekeeper, who denies knowing anything about it, and John and Patsy not being able to recall whether or not that window had ever been repaired, though John in fact DID know AT THE TIME that it hadn't been repaired, and it didn't surprise him, though later he wasn't sure if it had been repaired after all -- that story is most certainly a LIE.
A very big, blatant, lie, which should have been picked up instantly by Smit, Thomas, et al., but wasn't, because this has to have been the most ineptly investigated crime in history.
If the story about breaking the window previously is a lie, then when WAS it broken? The answer should be clear by now: it was broken the night of the murder, as part of an attempt to stage a phoney breakin to go along with the phoney kidnapping staged in the phoney ransom note. (He'd have opened the window, reached behind it with a flashlight or bat, and smashed it from the outside so the glass would fall inside.)
That ought to be no surprise to anyone thinking rationally about the case, because it explains what otherwise would be a huge anomaly: WHY would debris be strewn over the floor AND a suitcase propped against the wall if in fact both the grate and the window sill/frame were totally undisturbed? Clearly no one went through that window. So the debris and the suitcase had to have been planted. (John would have scooped the debris from the window well, thus producing the disturbance noted by Smit.) And if they were planted then it stands to reason the person who planted them broke the window as well, to make his staging as convincing as possible. This would explain, by the way, how that shard of glass got onto the suitcase.
But why would John want to lie about having broken the window earlier? If he was staging a phoney breakin why UNstage the previous staging by claiming the window had been broken earlier? Again the answer should be clear. We can read it in the note. The call was to come "tomorrow." It was going to be up to him to collect the ransom and deal with the kidnappers. If the plan outlined so clearly in the note had been carried out "to the letter," instead of foiled by Patsy's 911 call, he'd have had an entire day and night home alone to stage everywhere to his heart's content. Obviously his window staging of the previous night was incomplete, probably because he ran out of time. Good enough to fool Patsy, if she started looking for an intruder's entry point -- but not yet good enough to fool the police. To complete it, he would have had to climb down into that well and crawl through that tight space, probably under cover of darkness the following night. But he never had the chance to do that.
Once Patsy called 911, his jig was very close to being up. Once the police discovered the basement window, with its broken pane, yet no evidence of actual forced entry, the staging would have been obvious and John and Patsy would probably have been arrested on the spot.
Which would explain why he 1. went down to the basement and closed the window, probably immediately after Patsy's call, while she was distracted calling her friends -- he'd also have cleaned up as much of the glass as he could find, stashing it most likely in a bag for disposal later when detective Arndt was distracted; 2. told no one for months about having seen the window open; 3. made up the story about breaking the window himself, months earlier. If he hadn't made up that story, the police would most certainly have suspected him of breaking the window THAT night as part of an attempt to stage a phoney breakin. John's window staging was hopelessly amateurish and could easily have resulted in his immediate arrest. His story about breaking it earlier undoubtedly saved him. Instead of saying, "Wow, this looks like obvious staging," they were scratching their heads and wondering: "If he staged the window breakin, why would he spoil his own staging by claiming he broke it last summer?" It's called "misdirection," a staple of illusionists for centuries.
So why would John later confess to having seen the window open? Why would he later admit to having closed it? Why would he finally mention the Samsonite suitcase after remaining silent on that topic for so long? Well, by that time Lou Smit was developing his intruder theory, insisting the intruder had entered via that window after all. There was only one problem. Fleet White had entered the room that morning and testified that it was shut. The only way to make Smit's theory fly was for John to testify that it wasn't shut, that he'd found it open, and then shut it himself. He must have entered that room prior to White, shutting the window and cleaning up the glass to unstage his previous staging. And then months later, after staging was no longer an issue, it would have been safe for him to admit to having seen it open after all.
Footnote: Here's what the housekeeper, Linda Hoffmann Pugh had to say about the basement window in an interview with the Star, June 20, 2000:
Another thing that made me think Patsy had staged the whole crime was the broken window in the basement. I used to clean their house three times a week. If something was broken, Patsy had me clean it up. On the morning of the murder, police found a broken window in the basement, just a few feet from the room where JonBenet's body was found. John Ramsey told the police that he had broken the window to get into the house months before when he was accidentally locked out. But I think that is a lie. If there had been broken glass in the basement, Patsy would have told me to clean it up. Another thing didn't make sense. John claimed he was locked out on that day when he supposedly broke the window. But he never used a key to come in the front or side door of the house. He always opened the garage door from his car with his remote and came in through the garage entrance. I think Patsy broke that window herself on the night she killed JonBenet to make the police think there had been an intruder, and John concocted the story about breaking the window.