Half Truths, Deceptions, Lies
However, with the release of the police files, containing transcripts of all the Ramsey interrogations, it became crystal clear John was either hedging or lying outright about many key aspects of the case in a manner that removed all doubts. The most damaging lies are to be found in his testimony regarding the basement window, which I've already covered and will return to presently. There are many other instances as well, duly noted by Kolar in a chapter aptly titled, "The Evolution of John Ramsey's Statements." I'd already gone over many of these inconsistencies in a series of blog posts [correction, I should have written "forum posts"] back in 2005. Here are some excerpts, with my slightly revised comments:
From the 1997 police interview:
JR: Yeah. And when I went down and looked around the house that morning, and I think I’d made a statement or at least I read, I know I said this, that all the doors were locked and I had checked, I believe, every door on the first floor. And they were, appeared to be locked.John's statement must be read in connection with the police report, which stated that there were no signs of forced entry when they arrived on the scene. In other words, all doors closed and locked according to John, and no signs of forced entry according to the police. [The report also mentioned that the first policemen on the scene double checked to make sure all doors that might allow entry to the house were locked, and reported that in fact they were.]
ST: So the morning of the 26th do you recall checking all the doors, and they were locked?
JR: I believed I checked all the first-floor doors, yeah.
From the 1998 police interview:
JOHN RAMSEY: Well, you know, one of the things that perplexed me is how did this person get in. When Linda Arndt was there, I used to say I don't know how they got in. The doors are locked. Well, these guys said did you check all the doors, I said yeah. Well, did you check all the doors? Well no, I didn't, there is doors on the second floor, you know, I guess I didn't check all the doors. So you know, if -- I don't remember specifically what you're talking about, but I am sure I told Linda Arndt the doors are all locked. I don't know how they got in. But the fact of the matter is I didn't check the door in JonBenet's room, I didn't check the door in the TV room, I didn't check the door on the third floor bathroom, I don't remember checking the pantry door. So I mean, I checked the doors that we normally used, and would have left open, you know, accidentally, perhaps, but.[Wow, talk about blowing smoke. It's easy to miss the point of this barrage of apparently pointless verbiage -- until we recognize how slyly he's inserted the bit about not remembering whether he'd checked the pantry door, aka the notorious "Butler door."]
Now let's turn to the Ramsey book, Death of Innocence, page 270. John writes, "I was shocked to see that they [the police] had found the butler kitchen door, which led to the outside, open." John returns to the butler door several times, clearly implying it could have been a point of entry or exit for an intruder. Now to DOI, p. 225: "The newspapers had identified 'unnamed sources' who reported that unlocked windows and doors had been discovered at our home on the morning of December 26 but had gone unreported. Obviously someone had either come in or gone out one of the exits during the night." Unnamed sources indeed! "Obviously" indeed!
John knew very well he'd checked all the street level doors, the doors that counted, including the "Butler door," and he knew the police had also checked those same doors PLUS all ground level and basement windows and found nothing suspicious. But his own testimony was, as far as he knew, buried safely and forever in those police transcripts. So he felt free to "forget" that testimony and inform his DOI readers of an open Butler door that he knew had been closed and locked earlier, and a newspaper report about unlocked windows and doors, windows and doors which could NOT have gained anyone access to the house.
Here's more from DOI, on another topic entirely:
Patsy and I heard that Mike Archuleta was subpoenaed to testify, and I knew he would clarify one of the urban legends that had been floated by the media, if he were asked. They had reported that I had called Mike early on the morning of December 26, 1996, to arrange a hasty trip to Atlanta. Of course, that wasn't true. I had called Mike to tell him what had happened. (p. 324)This is a classic John Ramsey half truth. No, John's call that morning didn't involve a hasty trip to Atlanta. But his call around 1:30 PM, after the body had been found, did involve making arrangements for just such a trip. John has nothing to say about that call, of course. As for the "urban legend" that John made an attempt to fly out of Boulder as soon as possible after the murder had been discovered, sorry that's no urban legend, but a fact. The book would have given him an opportunity to explain why that call was made, but it's easier to simply deny it ever happened, so that's what he did.
Of course misleading statements about possible entry and exit points, could be construed as feeble efforts on the part of a befuddled suspect to understand the machinations of a super clever intruder, capable of entering and exiting without leaving a trace. And a half truth about plans to flee Boulder could be construed as an effort to avoid embarrassment for having acted in such a cowardly and irresponsible manner.
The Smoking Gun
Not so, however, John's basement window story, a much more serious matter. If that story were true, it would explain away the potentially incriminating scene at the basement window, which would otherwise have looked very much like staging. But John's story is not true, it is patently false, as I demonstrated here, here, here and here. And since the only reason for making up such a story would be to explain away the window scene, we are left with the following clear realization: the window could only have been broken the night of the crime, by John himself, in a desperate effort to stage an intruder breakin. Thanks to Patsy's premature 911 call, he was unable to complete his staging, which made it necessary for him to unstage by claiming he'd broken it earlier. This would also explain the relative absence of broken glass (he'd have cleaned most of it up while Patsy was phoning their friends) and the reason for failing to report that he'd found the window open and, for no good reason, closed it. It would also explain John's failure to report the odd positioning of the suitcase, which was clearly intended to suggest that the window had been the intruder's exit as well as entry point.
This goes beyond simply lying, it goes to the heart of the entire case and in fact completely destroys any possible intruder theory. Regardless of what one might want to think of any of the so-called intruder evidence, the stun gun, the untraced fibers, the unmatched DNA, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseum, once we realize that John (abetted by an otherwise innocent, but easily manipulated Patsy) lied about breaking in earlier, to cover the fact that he himself staged the window breakin, then any possible intruder theory crumbles into dust.
Lux Facta Est
Once that happens, then everything falls into place. No intruder means the evidence of both acute and chronic injury to the victim's vagina could only have been inflicted by someone in the Ramsey family. Same with the "garotte," same with the head blow. No intruder also means someone in the family wrote the ransom note, which returns us to my second post, where I point to the fact that it was Patsy and not John who called 911 at such an early hour, thus negating the staging so apparent in that note. Since it was she and not John who made that call, the note could only have been written by John, without the participation of Patsy, who must therefore be innocent.
Once we realize that Patsy and John could not have collaborated on the coverup (since otherwise the 911 call would never have happened), then it's impossible to see them jointly covering for their son, as Kolar assumed, which tells us the most likely person by far to have molested and then, in cold blood, murdered JonBenet is her father, John Ramsey. Whose shirt fibers were found in the victim's crotch. Who just happens to have been the leading suspect in the first place.
Which takes us to the very odd decision to rule him out as writer of the note, clearly a huge mistake, which turned the case upside down and led the investigators on one of the wildest wild goose chases in the history of crime.
A Prosecution Strategy
Once it becomes clear that ruling John out was a huge mistake, then the DA's office should proceed with an indictment. John Ramsey should of course be arrested with bail denied. There would be no need for a grand jury investigation since it should by now be crystal clear what happened and why.
[Added 8-13-12: My advice would be for the prosecution to avoid getting side tracked by all the many secondary issues while making its case, and to go for the jugular, i.e., the lie about breaking the window at an earlier date. Once it's established that John and Patsy made up that story, and that the window could only have been broken the night of the crime, then 1. John's credibility is shattered and 2. the insider staging (and subsequent unstaging) of the window breakin becomes crystal clear. Imo the prosecution should stay away from any attempt to prove John wrote the note on the basis of handwriting evidence, because John will fall back on the old decision to rule him out. All that's necessary on that score would be to undermine the authority of the "experts" who foolishly ruled him out, by introducing other professionals in this field who could attest to the unscientific nature of their decision. Similarly all the many other factors to be considered when evaluating what happened and why should be minimized, because as we well know, they lead to a morass of contradictory evidence and opinions.
Once it's established that John lied about the window, meaning he must have staged the breakin the night of the crime, then there is no longer any need to refute the intruder theory by going into all the questions of how that person could have gotten in, whether a stun gun was used and above all what the DNA might mean. All that's necessary would be to argue that literally ALL the so-called "intruder evidence" is inconclusive -- while John's lies regarding the window are clear. The deceptive plan behind the note should of course be brought out, as should the clear evidence that Patsy could not have been involved, since no one involved with the kidnapping staging would have called the police so soon. Which would put all the focus of the molestation and murder, plus the writing of the note, squarely on John. If he would like to argue that Burke is the one who killed her, then put Burke on the stand and see what he has to say about that idea. Otherwise I'd suggest leaving Burke out of it, because he will almost certainly be a hostile witness and there's no way of telling what lies he might produce to protect his father.]