By referring to them as "folklore," I'm not claiming any are necessarily false. However, in the great majority of cases there is absolutely no evidence to support them, they are simply possibilities tossed out there by people with various theories regarding what might have happened and what the culprit's motives might have been; possibilities that over time have morphed into probabilities, and in many cases well beyond that, into taken for granted truths that many on the Internet continue to swear by.
Let's review some of the more interesting bits of Ramsey case folklore here:
1. The fact that neither Patsy nor John's fingerprints were found on the "ransom note" means it must have been written with gloves on. A closely related bit of folklore is the notion that both Ramseys deliberately avoided touching the note to make sure their prints wouldn't get on it. What makes either theory unlikely is the lack of any need for either Patsy or John to avoid getting their prints on a document that they themselves admit to having handled and read. If either of them had written the note, that person would certainly have made a point of handling it in the presence of witnesses, to establish a reason for his or her prints to be on it. If none were found nevertheless, that's most likely due to the fact that finding fingerprints is not an automatic process and in many cases no prints are found, simply because the suspect's hands were relatively clean, or due to the technical difficulty of lifting prints from certain surfaces.
2. The fact that Patsy's prints were found on the bowl tells us she served pineapple to JonBenet on the night of the murder. This one really amazes me. In all likelihood Patsy's prints would have been found on many bowls, dishes, and other utensils since this was her kitchen and she was the one who prepared the meals, washed the dishes, placed them in the cupboards, etc.
3. Patsy's comment, "We didn't mean for this to happen," tells us she must have known something about the murder of her daughter. Yes, possibly. But if so, then why on earth would she have wanted to share such an incriminating thought with anyone else? More likely it was an expression of her guilt in parading JonBenet before so many strangers in all those kiddie pageants.
4. A basically innocent John figured out that Patsy must have killed JonBenet, but went along with the coverup to preserve his privileged lifestyle and/or protect the family honor. It's very difficult to understand how staging a phoney kidnapping and then calling the police on yourself with the body of the victim still in the house, followed by the handing over of a patently phoney "ransom" note written on a notepad from the house, by your wife, and in her handwriting, is going to do anything to preserve either your lifestyle or your family honor. In fact, once the body was found, nothing of either their lifestyle or honor were destined to be preserved. John lost his business, became unemployable and is widely believed to this day to be implicated in one of the most disgusting crimes of the century.
5. According to the FBI, (as quoted by Steve Thomas), the wounds in JonBenet's vagina were inconsistent with sexual gratification and more likely to have been due to staging. This one takes the cake. I'd love to see the original of that FBI report, and I'd love to ask whoever wrote it a few pointed questions. Dr. Cyril Wecht, probably the most highly respected and widely consulted forensic pathologist in the nation, is convinced this was in fact a sexually motivated assault, an assault preceded on past occasions by other such assaults, as there was evidence of chronic inflammation in the victim's vagina, consistent with prior molestation. Steve Thomas preferred to assume, on the other hand, that a mother who had just "accidentally" (his word, not mine) killed the daughter she'd been doting on for years, would get the bright idea that sticking a paintbrush handle into her beloved daughter's vagina was a great way to stage a phoney kidnapping. Followed by the fashioning of a "garotte" to finish her off with, just in case she might have survived. I'm not saying it couldn't possibly have happened that way. I'm just wondering at the mind set of the person who came up with such an outlandish and in fact truly disgusting theory, and why so many would assume he had to be right and that a perfectly normal middle class housewife would suddenly morph into a character from Grand Guignol.
6. The fact that fibers from Patsy's sweater were found on the duct tape placed over JonBenet's mouth and entwined with the cord of the "garotte," tells us Patsy must be the one that placed the tape and fashioned the "garotte." OK, first of all, only four such "fibers" were found on the tape. And they weren't actually fibers in the usual sense, but four traces of fiber, detectable only through a microscope. Also, they were "consistent" with fibers from Patsy's sweater, not necessarily identical to them. In other words, they could have been from some other garment. If anyone in the world would love to see those fibers as evidence, it would be Steve Thomas. Here's what he had to say on this topic when interviewed by Greta van Susteren:
As you know, on the adhesive side of the duct tape, which was removed from the victim's mouth, there were four fibers that were later determined to be microscopically and chemically consistent with four fibers from a piece of clothing that Patsy Ramsey was wearing, and had that piece of tape been removed at autopsy, and the integrity of it maintained, that would have made, I feel, a very compelling argument. But because that tape was removed, and dropped on the floor, a transference argument could certainly be potentially made by any defense in this case, and that's just one example of how a compromised crime scene may, if not irreparably, have damaged the subsequent investigation.In other words, it would be nice to claim these fibers as evidence of Patsy's involvement but unfortunately it just can't be done because under the circumstances innocent transference is always a possibility. Note that Thomas doesn't even mention the fibers found entwined in the cord of the "garotte." As the cord could also, at some point, have had contact with other objects previously handled by Patsy (as for example her paint tote and brushes!!!!), this could also be due to innocent transfer.
7. The "ransom note" was a coded message from Patsy to John, in which she makes him aware of what she's done, expresses her anger with him and warns him to go along with her staging or else. Fanciful theory. One wonders how John was supposed to get that secret message, and wonders also why Patsy would assume he'd want to assist her after she'd murdered his child. One wonders, in fact, why any father would want to go to any length at all to assist anyone who'd just murdered one of his children.
8. John's mentioning to Linda Arndt that the murder looked like "an inside job" can be taken as a confession of either his own guilt or his awareness of Patsy's. Not likely. Why on Earth would he have wanted to do that? Sounds to me like John was insinuating that their housekeeper could have been involved.
9. DNA found in the victim's panties must be that of JonBenet's attacker. Fibers found entwined in the cords of the garotte must be those of the person who fashioned it. Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum. Two very similar arguments, presented by those with totally opposite views of what happened. The sensational location of certain evidence is assumed to tell us something about its origin. Each side naturally assumes the other is spouting complete nonsense, of course. Yet both arguments depend on precisely the same misleading "logic."
The above is just a small sampling of all the various odd notions that have surfaced over the years. I might be adding more at some point, just for fun.