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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Sunday, September 16, 2012

The 911 Call

I'd like at this point to delve more deeply into certain specific issues that have proven especially problematic for both law enforcement and serious followers of this case. I'll begin with the all important 911 call.

Of all the many significant events to be considered here, the 911 call is key. It tells us John and Patsy Ramsey could not have been collaborating on either the crime or the coverup. In other words, if one of them is guilty, the other must be innocent.

It amazes me that this rather obvious conclusion has escaped so many. For just about everyone with an opinion on this case, either:  an inscrutable pedophile intruder with inexplicable motives and methods was responsible for this crime -- or else: "the Ramseys" did it. I put this phrase in quotes, because Patsy and John Ramsey are inextricably combined into a single entity in the minds of so many. If we take a close look at the 911 call, we see that this characterization is a mistake.

I've already made the point several times on this blog, but I'll restate it here: if John and Patsy were both involved in the staging of a phoney kidnapping, the 911 call would not have been made so early in the morning, with the body of the victim still in the house. In other words, if the two of them were plotting together to make it look like JonBenet had been kidnapped, then the purpose of the phoney "ransom" note is clear. It could only have been written as a means of buying time for them to remove the body from the house before calling the police. That would explain the many threats against involving the authorities as well as the timing of the "kidnapper's" phone call, scheduled for the following day, which would have afforded them plenty of time to dump the body in some remote spot that night, under pretext of delivering the ransom. Only after the body was out of the house, would it have been safe to involve the police. This is the only interpretation of the "ransom" note that makes any sense at all (especially in view of the fact that no kidnapping actually took place and there was consequently no reason for any intruder to have left such a note).

But for some reason, the police were called first thing in the morning, with JonBenet's body still hidden carefully away in the basement. How can this glaring anomaly be explained? Well, the first thing to understand is that it is an anomaly. For some reason, the Boulder Police, the FBI, the District Attorney's office and just about everyone else who's ever suspected "the Ramseys" of being involved in the death of their daughter, has failed to get the point and doesn't seem to consider it a problem. Yet, for anyone seeing this crime as "an inside job," the 911 call looms as a formidable obstacle, because, after all, why would "the Ramseys" have wanted to call the police so soon, if they were staging a phoney kidnapping? It was this single fact, the fact of the 911 call, that convinced me for a long time that "the Ramseys" must be innocent after all, despite all the many reasons for discounting any possible intruder theory.

It was only when I suddenly realized that we were dealing, not with "the Ramseys," but two different people, whose motives might well have been completely different, that the truth became clear. And since Patsy was the one who made that call, and John was the one who did not make it, then, most likely, Patsy knew nothing about any staging of any kidnapping and had made that call in the sincere belief that her daughter had in fact been kidnapped.

I've already dealt with the widely circulated story, endorsed by Patsy herself and apparently confirmed by Burke, that John was the one who wanted that call made, and told Patsy to make it. This story is a perfect example of how careful we need to be when evaluating testimony stemming from the suspects themselves, and their families, rather than objective witnesses with no reason to lie. Very simply, if both John and Patsy wanted that call made, then both must be innocent, because someone staging a phoney kidnapping most definitely would not have wanted it made, knowing the body of his or her victim was still in the house. They are not both innocent, however, because 1. there is very simply not one shred of conclusive intruder evidence, nor any reason for any intruder to leave a pointless ransom note without also removing the victim from the house, and 2. there is very clear evidence of the staging of a phoney intruder breakin at the basement window. So the story the Ramseys present in their book, where the two of them immediately agree to call 911, without any discussion of the dire threats in the note, giving the impression both wanted that call made, has to be a lie.

But if both are lying, doesn't that mean they are in it together after all? Interesting conundrum. I've been accused of bending the evidence to fit my theory, but in fact the evidence leaves one with no choice. Their story about the 911 call is not simply a lie, it's also a contradiction. So what might seem like "bending the evidence" should more fairly be understood as an effort to resolve the contradiction -- which has to be resolved before we can make any sense at all of what happened prior to that call. The contradiction can be resolved only after we realize that two people can lie for very different reasons. In this case, it looks like John was lying to cover for his own complicity in the crime, while Patsy (and Burke, apparently) lied to support John's version of what happened. It's admittedly not easy to understand why Patsy would lie to cover for John, and why the need to lie wouldn't have made her suspicious. For my thinking regarding Patsy's decisions to lie so John wouldn't look bad, go here. For my reasons for suspecting John rather than Patsy of being the guilty party, go here.

(More on the 911 call in my next post - stay tuned.)


  1. Looking forward to more on the 911 call. I think when you say they wouldn't have called so early in the morning, it tends to make people think of the time of day -e.g. 5:52 am. The problem of course is not the time of day, but the fact that the body is still in the house. It's true that if they dumped the body, then waited for a while, then called 911 it would be later in the day, but the important thing is the body would be gone. People get confused and think the call had to be made early because of the trip to MI. and the need to re-route JAR and MR. Some calls needed to be made, but not the 911 call.

    1. Good point! Thanks. I deal with the timing and the trip in the next installment, which is now up.

  2. There was on Jonbenet DNA evidence to support an unknown male. How can you say there was no conclusive evidence to support an intruder? DNA is the strongest form of forensic evidence we have.

    1. I invite you to read the following blog post, which explains why the DNA evidence means little:

      This is not only my opinion, but essentially the same interpretation of this evidence has been expressed by many DNA experts and many law enforcement people generally, including the lead detective at the time, James Kolar, whose book you should read as well.

  3. So if we're talking about this is a two people crime, and we know now DNA evidence was found that didn't belong to a Ramsey, is there a possibility that John and another adult male could have been involved? Could both Patsy and John be telling the truth about the 911 call? Let's say Patsy runs in with this note, John knows the body is there and will be found (has helped stage the break in and note), and tells her to call the police. The amount demanded in the note is equal to the bonus John Ramsey received that year from his company, which would leave me to believe its someone close to him or John himself.