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).

NB: If anyone has trouble posting a comment, email it to doktorgosh (at) live.com, and I'll post it for you.

Notice to readers of my Kindle book: I recently noticed that, on certain devices (though not all), the Table of Contents begins with Chapter One and omits the Introduction and Preface. Since the Introduction is especially important, I urge everyone to make sure to begin reading at the very beginning of the book, not the first chapter in the Table of Contents. Thank you.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Windowless Room

I thought I'd just about run out of topics to discuss, but some issues I've neglected have been raised in certain comments, and rather than respond to each individually, I think it best to deal with them here. I'll try to be brief.

JonBenet's body was found in a tiny, windowless basement room, sometimes referred to as the "wine cellar," though to my knowledge the Ramseys never used it for that purpose. It was essentially a storage closet. Much speculation has been devoted to John's discovering the body and whether he might have deliberately contaminated the crime scene with his own fibers, "touch" DNA, etc. Fleet White had been down there earlier, opened that door and seen nothing of interest. But he'd failed to turn the light on. When John opened the door, Fleet noted that he screamed first, before turning the light on, and this was probably the beginning of his very obvious suspicions of John, suspicions that led to a serious break between them and White's prodding the DA to investigate the Ramseys more thoroughly. 

All this has been debated ad nauseum, as we know, but the most telling aspect of this scene, the one question that must be answered, has rarely been discussed. If the body was hidden in this room, as indeed appears to be the case, then from whom was it hidden? An intruder would have had no reason to hide it, knowing it was going to be found sooner or later anyhow. If the Ramseys were collaborating on a coverup, then who would they have been hiding it from? Once the police were called, then inevitably, sooner or later, it's going to be found. And once it's found, then the police would themselves be asking that same question. At least they should have asked it: what motive would an intruder have had for hiding the body away in the most remote corner of the house? Very oddly, all the speculation seems to have centered on whether an intruder would have known that room existed -- and while that's a perfectly legitimate question, it's far less telling than the question "why?".

If the Ramseys were "in it together," as so often assumed, then, as I must insist, they wouldn't have called the police while the body was still in the house, but waited till after John had picked up the ransom money from the bank, and then dumped the body in some remote spot, later claiming he'd been delivering the ransom. Only then would they have called the police. Hiding the body would have been no part of that plan. Or any other plan involving both together that I can see. Who would they have been hiding it from? If they were staging a home invasion (they weren't, it was staged as a kidnapping), then they'd have arranged for the police to find the body out in the open. No reason to hide it. And if they are working together to stage a kidnapping, then hiding the body in the house makes even less sense.

So. Whom was the body being hidden from? And as I see it, there is only one possible answer. If, as I so strongly suspect, the murderer was John, then he would certainly have wanted to hide the body from his wife, fearing she might want to search the house after reading the "ransom" note he'd so cleverly arranged for her to discover.

To recap: the fact that Patsy and not John, called the police, tells us she must be innocent. So clearly she could not be the one who hid the body. Since there would be no reason for an intruder to hide the body, then it must have been hidden by John -- so Patsy wouldn't find it after reading the note.

[Added a bit later: To avoid confusion, let me approach the problem somewhat differently. Let's start by wondering whom an intruder would have wanted to hide the body from. Sorry, but I can't think of a single soul. Because sooner or later the body is going to be found, by either the Ramseys or the police. So, already, the scene at the windowless room strongly suggests an inside job. Assuming John and Patsy were in on it together, then from whom would they have wanted to hide the body? Burke comes to mind. And if in fact they were conspiring together, and were planning on getting rid of the body later that day, or under cover of darkness the following night, then yes, they might well have wanted to hide the body from Burke. But that's not what happened. The police were called very early in the morning, while Burke was still in bed.

Thus, it would seem that the only reason for hiding the body was to hide it from the murderer's spouse. Which tells us right away that both Ramseys could not have been conspiring on a coverup. But we already knew that, didn't we? Because the 911 call would not have been made so early if both were in on it together. And that call was made by Patsy, not John. Given the FACT that Patsy made the call and not John, and the FACT that the child was sexually assaulted, and the FACT that she was strangled with a device that would have been known to a sailor who'd been stationed in the Philippines, but not your typical pageant mom, and the FACT that the ransom note is littered with technical language and references to male oriented movies that most women would not be expected to know or care much about, and all the other FACTS so strongly suggesting deceit on John's part, including his obvious lies about the broken window, it's not difficult to conclude that the body was hidden by John in the hope Patsy would not find it after reading the ransom note.

In other words, the logic of the scene at the windowless room is perfectly consistent with the logic of the 911 call. Both point away from an intruder. Both point to John Ramsey.]

21 comments:

  1. I have been following your blog almost from the beginning. While I tend to agree with you on the majority of it all, the matter in the ransom note mentioning "a proper burial" troubles me.

    How or rather why did that bit of information wind up even being in the ransom note? To me, it's the oddest bit of information in the note. The first thing that comes to mind is disposal of the body had to have been discussed by both adult Ramseys with Patsy nixing the idea of removing the body from the house.

    How else would you explain that bit of information appearing in the ransom note if Patsy didn't have a hand in the cover-up? Personally, I don't think the person who killed Jonbenet would have any qualms about disposing of the body elsewhere
    as after the deed has been done, the object becomes how to not get caught. Self-preservation is a strong incentive. It's quite obvious removal of the body was the best solution, and something or someone prevented that solution.

    Was the scream that was heard Jonbenet's, and Patsy came running, having caught JR or Burke in the act. I really don't know, but I think that phrase, "a proper burial" is significant, but moreso to Patsy, IMO. That the phrase is in the ransom note also seems to suggest that Patsy had a hand in composing if not actually writing the ransom note. Perahps though, this was a deliberate act by the killer to make someone else appear responsible for Jonbenet's death. Just because a great deal of the ransom note sounds like Patsy wrote it, doesn't mean she did, and the handwriting looks more like John's to me.

    I hope you will address the issue of the scream and a proper burial in a future installment. I believe these are two important elements.
    Thanks!

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    1. The note was NOT written by Patsy, nor with her involvement, but it WAS intended to manipulate her. Basically, it was written in such a way as to frighten her into not calling the police. The phrase "proper burial" could have been included because John might have been aware that "proper burial" had a special significance for Patsy, a significance that might make her more inclined to cooperate with the "kidnapper." We have to remember that the note is NOT a straightforward communication expressing the writer's views, but an attempt to manipulate others.

      "It's quite obvious removal of the body was the best solution, and something or someone prevented that solution."

      I completely agree. As I see it, what prevented the removal of the body was Patsy's 911 call. Can you think of any other possibility?

      "Just because a great deal of the ransom note sounds like Patsy wrote it, doesn't mean she did, and the handwriting looks more like John's to me."

      I myself don't see much in the note that suggests Patsy could have written it, but I do see things that might have been intended to get her attention and frighten her, and perhaps that's the sort of thing you are referring to. And I agree that John's writing looks a lot more like the note than Patsy's.

      As far as the scream is concerned, that seems to be just one of a great many inconclusive aspects of the investigation that are basically impossible to interpret with any certainty. Which is why I prefer to concentrate on the relatively small number of known and agreed on facts.


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    2. We don't really know that there was a scream. Melody Stanton (I think I have the name right) initially told investigators that it might have been "negative energy" (whatever that means). Investigators realized that wasn't going to go over well in court so they kept going over it with her until she finally settled on a scream coming from a girl. So, after saying it was "negative energy" then being coached, it's reasonable to wonder if there ever was a scream.

      Even if there was a scream, and even if it came from JB and not someone else, we simply don't know why she screamed. Nor do we know what the response was. Many believe the blow to the head was the response -to make her stop screaming. I've always considered that unlikely as placing a hand over her mouth is quicker, and a scream doesn't necessarily evoke enough rage to bash her skull.

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    3. The "scream" could have come from anywhere, not necessarily the Ramsey home. I've heard "screams" when half asleep that turned out to be from neighborhood cats. Stanton wasn't even sure she heard it that night or some other night. So I just don't see the "scream" as useful evidence.

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  2. On some forums the theory has been advanced that PR/JR had a plan to let the body be found in the WC. I've always had trouble with that because it makes no sense in the context of a staged kidnapping. I've also had trouble because the barbie doll, the nightgown and whatever else was there, in addition to the body, doesn't add up to a message, or create a clear scenario. It's clear to me the WC is not "staging" in the sense that police are supposed to make something of it. It's simply a place to stash things, including the body, to hide them until they can be dealt with.

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    1. I think the body was placed in that particular spot out of a fear that Patsy might decide to search the house after realizing JonBenet wasn't in her room. It was also, as you say, a storage place, where the body could be safely kept until it was time to take it to the car and dump it.

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  3. I think you are assuming too much. Per his depo, I do not believe FW stated he heard John scream and then turn on the light. Per his depo, FW stated he had no thoughts regarding John's or Patsy's involvement that day or found their actions suspicious. So one must accept FW's statement as fact and not assume differently.

    If you were trying to stage a crime and lie through your teeth, would you really call your closest friends over to witness your acting skills?

    The only reason to redress JB after assaulting her with the paint brush handle would be to take her out of the house; hence, she was wrapped in a blanket to do just that. For whatever reason, the perp decided it was not to his/her advantage to do so. Hiding the body allowed time for the perp to not only scare the Ramseys into believing she was really kidnapped and gave him or her time to distance themselves from the murder.

    Another fact is it was determined by a lighting study that if FW had stepped ONE foot into the room, he would have saw the blanket. Another fact is that FW stated he stepped ONE foot into the room per his depo.

    Once again you are assuming John lied about the window. What are you basing his lies on? If he was staging a kidnapping, why didn't he state "there is an open broken window in the basement!!" Patsy confirmed that John had entered through it months before. And why wouldn't John have stated he found an open door?
    One doesn't go to all the trouble of writing a phoney note without remembering to say a door was found unlocked or ajar to make the note look real.

    When dealing with an intruder theory one must take into consideration the FACTS that:

    If you think Patsy was determined not to have written the note, John was certainly determined not to have written the note.

    FACT: DNA found in multiple places.

    FACT: there are missing pieces of evidence such as the pages of the note pad and the missing paint brush handled. Then you have the unidentified animal hair stuck to her hand, etc.

    FACT: there is no way to disprove an intruder was not in the house.

    But I will say, I do not like John and Fleet going to the basement multiple times and their interactions. If I had to chose between John and FW's involvement, the FACTS would lead more toward FW than John, imo, although, I have doubts that either are involved.

    I would like to know more about the Fat Cats of Atlanta and I would like to know more about the pictures of Jonbenet found in the basement.

    I do believe Patsy was clueless as to what happened to Jonbenet based on everything she said and did. I cannot think of one thing she said or did that gave me reason to doubt her innocence.

    If you want to assume, you would have to assume neither parent would be able to come up with the detailed note after killing their much loved daughter. And you would have to assume after writing such a detailed note that they would have left a door open or stated they saw someone running from the house. FACT: They said nothing that morning to indicate they saw or heard anything out of the ordinary.





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    1. You are wrong about Fleet. As reported in PMPT, he reported, first of all, that he had entered that room earlier and seen nothing unusual. He also reported that when John entered the room, he screamed first, and only then turned the light on. Which made White suspicious. All White's actions since then strongly suggest that he suspects John and does not accept the intruder theory.

      "The only reason to redress JB after assaulting her with the paint brush handle would be to take her out of the house; hence, she was wrapped in a blanket to do just that."

      But she was NOT taken out of the house.

      "For whatever reason, the perp decided it was not to his/her advantage to do so."

      Sorry, but I see no such reason. Kidnapping a dead body is a lot easier than kidnapping someone who is alive and kicking.

      "Hiding the body allowed time for the perp to not only scare the Ramseys into believing she was really kidnapped and gave him or her time to distance themselves from the murder."

      But writing the note surely took a considerable amount of time.

      I discuss the window scene at length beginning here: http://solvingjonbenet.blogspot.com/2012/08/clear-evidence-of-staging-basement.html

      It should be clear from John's testimony that he lied about breaking it earlier. Your questions are answered in these posts so I urge you to take a look. Since John was staging a window breakin he had no need to claim any of the doors were unlocked.

      "FACT: there is no way to disprove an intruder was not in the house."

      That is technically correct, since anything is possible. But it IS possible to demonstrate how extremely unlikely that is. Also, once we realize John lied about the basement window, then all the so-called "intruder evidence" is beside the point.

      "FACT: They said nothing that morning to indicate they saw or heard anything out of the ordinary."

      If John said he heard something, then he'd be admitting he was awake during the night, and he'd have had a lot of explaining to do. E.g., if he'd heard something, then he'd have been asked why he didn't investigate. By claiming that both he and Patsy were sound asleep, he eliminated that possibility.

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    2. There is nothing "unlikely" about an intruder - thousands intrude other people's homes on a daily basis.

      If John was staging a broken window, why would he state he broke in the past?? And then Patsy would have to be in on the staging as she stated she cleaned up the glass. So you are saying that John and Patsy staged the whole thing; they were in on it together - Patsy covering for John.

      FACT: FW's statement in his depo supersedes PTPM.

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  5. Let us remember the obvious and not delve deeply into the obscure and fanciful.

    FIRST: Yes, Patsy Ramsey called 911 but she did it at John Ramsey's immediate insistence and he sprang into action.

    SECOND: Anyone finding a ransom note in Boulder Colorado is going to call 911 no matter what the note says or how reasonable the note's demands are. In South America, you don't call the cops quite so readily, but in Boulder you call the cops right away, period.

    THIRD: Remember that this 'secret room' so favored by the tabloids was no secret at all. Easy to find. Easy to unlock, except of course by Officer Donut of the BPD.

    FOURTH: The case is NOT about a murder of JonBenet Ramsey. Those with access to actual case informationrather than tabloid genrated info, KNOW that it was the TORTURE and murder of JonBenet Ramsey. It was not merely a homicide or molestation followed by homicide. I do not wish to dwell on this or discuss details, so I must ask you to simply accept this view of the case, irrespective of its effect on your views of who the perpetrator might be.

    FIFTH: Remember the REASON why a man will scar a woman's face or slice off only ONE of her nipples or insert a knife and THEN twist it, or take a condom and throw it in her face. Its the ADDED pleasure he gets. The ransom note was just added pleasure... writing it was FUN, wondering the next morning how much added worry his note was creating was just part of his fiendish pleasure.

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    1. One doesn't solve a case based on assumptions, but evidence, facts and logic. It's a fact that Patsy called 911, yes, but there is no evidence John insisted she make that call. In an interview, Patsy claimed it was her idea.

      Your second point is also based on an assumption. We have no way of knowing what anyone in Boulder or anyone else would do after reading such a note.

      The basement room may not have been a secret, but it was certainly the most out-of-the-way room in the house, the place least likely to be checked when looking for someone. The body could have been left anywhere, but it was left in the most remote room in the house. Why?

      We don't know JBR was tortured and in fact there is no evidence she was tortured. That's a Lou Smit fantasy. The "garotte" was applied after she'd been knocked cold by a devastating head blow. Tufts of her hair were intertwined with the knots. If she'd been conscious while it was being assembled she'd have screamed bloody murder.

      As for your final point, please supply us with one single instance in the history of crime of anyone writing a ransom note for pleasure.

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    2. i know of no such patsy interview, i know of several JR statements that he yelled call 9ii.
      please stop using these tablois generated myths about maze like or remote or hidden. if body was left in living room there would not have been hours parental anguis which translates to hours pleasure for the killer.
      when certain details werw provided to





























      jR he blasphemed for twenty minutes. it was torture and then murder, it was prolonged,

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    3. "i know of no such patsy interview"

      If you read my third blog post you'll find the reference: http://solvingjonbenet.blogspot.com/2012/07/misunderstandings-misconceptions.html

      It's from the A&E documentary produced by Michael Tracy, a staunch Ramsey defender.

      Your theory about certain aspects of the crime providing pleasure to her attacker is pure assumption with no basis in evidence or fact. It's no better than a killer's lawyer claiming he didn't really mean to do it.

      Apparently some part of your comment got lost. I see a huge blank toward the end.

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    4. "The body could have been left anywhere, but it was left in the most remote room in the house. Why?"
      Because that room had a latch at the TOP of the door that Burke could not easily reach. If you're trying to stage a scene that diverts attention away from your kid, picking a room that he couldn't easily have been in would be important.

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  6. I don't believe the body was hidden from anybody the person who sexually molested and killed JonBenet was hiding himself in that dark room and after he killed her he left her there it could have been an intruder who knew where JonBenet slept in her bedroom he could easily have gone in abducted her from her bed and taking her to that little room that he knew of I don't believe John Ramsey killed his daughter when detective Linda arndt had the non verbal exchange with him he was probably paranoid it look guilty because he knew they would accuse him of course I don't know who killed JonBenet nor does Linda arndt but it's easy to assume that somebody the ramseys knew did it someone who was familiar with their houses layout

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  7. Why exactly is everyone so sure JonBenet was kidnapped from her bed? She was 6-years-old. She was more than capable of going downstairs by herself. She was more than capable of taking pineapple out of a bowl by herself.

    If anything, the missing duct tape and the rope, etc, as well as the note point to this being a revenge motivated crime that was committed by someone who may well have intended to commit one crime but ended up committing another when a 6-year-old stumbled upon them in her house.

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  8. Yes, but what about the change of her underwear? She had different underwear on when her body was found. That had to happen in the bedroom because the underwear was in her bedroom dresser.

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    1. Not necessarily. A crazy psycho would have wanted to keep her underwear as a trophy. Maybe he was waiting for the Ramsey's to return and took a pair that he knew he could swap out later to try and make it look like it wasn't a sex crime but a kidnapping gone bad for money. Seems to me the intruder wanted to make this look like it wasn't sex related because he would have just tooken her underwear as a trophy and left her naked if he didn't care. The most likely scenario to me was this was an intruder laying in wait somewhere in the house(most likely JB's bedroom) before the Ramsey's returned home that night. He sprung into action once he knew everyone was sleeping.

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    2. Not necessarily. A crazy psycho would have wanted to keep her underwear as a trophy. Maybe he was waiting for the Ramsey's to return and took a pair that he knew he could swap out later to try and make it look like it wasn't a sex crime but a kidnapping gone bad for money. Seems to me the intruder wanted to make this look like it wasn't sex related because he would have just tooken her underwear as a trophy and left her naked if he didn't care. The most likely scenario to me was this was an intruder laying in wait somewhere in the house(most likely JB's bedroom) before the Ramsey's returned home that night. He sprung into action once he knew everyone was sleeping.

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  9. Yes, but what about the change of her underwear? She had different underwear on when her body was found. That had to happen in the bedroom because the underwear was in her bedroom dresser.

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