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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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.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Patsy's London Letter Revisited

For Topix poster "Cyber," Patsy's left-hand sample was not the only decisive piece of evidence:
The nail on the coffin for me is the so-called "London Letter", a form letter given to suspects to copy. This is also at the back of the book. Patsy's sample of the London Letter shows a lower case "a" which is the same style as in the Ransom Note.
The Ransom Note features an "a" that faces "left", such as in the typeface in which I am writing. Almost all of Patsy's samples show the "elementary school a", a circle with a post on the right side, EXCEPT for the a's in the London Letter. They are dead ringers for the Ransom Note a's, and they have the final word with me. I believe she wrote the note. I don't see how anyone else could have written it and just coincidentally have left handed printing that was just like Patsy's.
We've already discovered that the ransom note is in fact not at all "just like Patsy's" left handed printing (see previous post) -- not remotely. So now let's turn to her London Letter:




 Comparing this document with the first page of the "ransom" note,

some striking differences are immediately apparent. Patsy's hand is uniformly neat, clear, legible, light, graceful and consistent throughout (unlike her left-hand sample, which she was clearly struggling to get through), while the writing in the ransom note is erratic, sometimes illegible, heavy handed and relatively sloppy. I seriously doubt that anyone would be able to pick out Patsy's document from a "lineup" of other "London Letters," written by other individuals, and say "this is the one."

I located many of the words the two documents have in common and set them side by side:


And, sorry, but I see no resemblances whatsoever between any word pairs. Which doesn't mean that someone determined to find resemblances wouldn't be able pick out certain individual elements that appear to "match." For example, as has been noted by some of Darnay Hoffmann's "experts," the crossbeam on the letter "t" in the word "to" touches the top of the following letter "o" in both documents. However, Patsy's "t"s and "o"s look very different from those of the note, so how much weight can be given to this one point of resemblance? Should it be "counted" as a match if every other element in these exemplars is so different?

For "Cyber," the letter "a" is particularly important, and he/she is correct in noting that Patsy's document contains a mix of two different types of letter "a," the "manuscript a," resembling the printed form, and "cursive a," which lacks the little "hat" on top. According to Cyber, Patsy's manuscript "a"s "are dead ringers for the Ransom Note a's". But are they really? Aside from the fact that the ransom note contains many "manuscript a"s, I don't see much in the way of resemblance at all. Is the fact that both documents use manuscript "a" sufficient reason to conclude Patsy wrote that note?

Near the bottom of my graphic I compared the two "a"s that, to me, look most alike, in the words "and" and "anyone" -- and maybe this is what "Cyber" had in mind. Each has a very prominent "hat" at the top, clearly jutting out from the rest of the letter. On closer inspection, however, we see that the two "a"s were formed very differently. All Patsy's "a"s appear to have been formed in one continuous curve, while many of the "a"s in the note, including the "a" we see in "anyone," look as though they were originally printed in cursive, with the little "hat" on top added in a second stroke. This is especially evident in the following blowup:


Now I'm not a professional document examiner, but it seems to me that the differences between the way in which letters are formed have to be more significant than any similarities in the way they look.

With this point in mind, I decided to take a closer look at Patsy's letter "d"s, because of a similarly deceptive comparison made by Cina Wong. The "d" in the word "and," at the bottom of my graphic, exhibits a very interesting curve on the right, and this curve does seem to be a consistent aspect of Patsy's style.  Wong compared a very similar "d" with the initial "d" in the word "daughter," from the ransom note, so I decided to compare the "and" from the London Letter with the same "daughter" from the note, as used in Wong's comparison. And yes, in my original graphic, it does seem as though the two not only look alike, but were formed in the same manner, from two continuous strokes, a rounded semicircle on the left, plus a curved vertical on the right.

But let's take a closer look at the above blowup. Examining the ransom note "d" in more detail we see that it was actually formed from three strokes, not two, as in the London Letter "d". What appears at first sight to be a single curve on the right, is actually formed from two straight lines. None of the "d"s in the London Letter were formed that way, telling us how easy it was for Wong and her associates to jump to the wrong conclusion by relying too heavily on appearances and failing to look more closely for the manner in which the various exemplars were formed.

In sum, what Patsy's London Letter tells us is how totally unlikely it is that she could have written the "ransom" note. Unlike the comparisons produced by Fausto Brugnatelli and myself using John's exemplars (see previous post), there are literally no meaningful points of similarity between Patsy's exemplars and those of the note.

And once again, I must emphasize the role of cherry picking in distorting the facts in this case. "Cyber"s decision to focus in on the letter "a" alone, because of some dubious points of resemblance, and ignore all the many differences between the London Letter and the "ransom" note is a perfect example of exactly the sort of error that characterizes literally all such attempts to point the finger at Patsy. This is a game that could be played with a great many pairs of documents, and in the absence of any attempt at scientific control, such results are not only worthless, but deceptive and ultimately destructive.

15 comments:

  1. Nice work. I'd like to see the "experts" choose PR's LL from a group of say 12 LLs written by different people.

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    1. Well, obviously that's what they should have done, but obviously they didn't.

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  2. You have to consider the ransom note was likely written by someone trembling and crying (if Patsy). Might explain the jittery letters.

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    1. The note adheres very closely to the left hand margin, every i is dotted, every t is crossed and the space between words is remarkably consistent throughout. Looks to me like this note was written by someone very much in control of his or her emotions, so the jittery appearance is probably due simply to an attempt by the writer to disguise his or her hand.

      Attempts at deliberate disguise are apparent throughout. So the fact that Patsy's exemplars don't match does NOT necessarily rule her out -- if that's your point, I agree. However, there is nothing in the London Letter that implicates her either, which was MY point in presenting this comparison -- especially since so many see this and other of her exemplars as exact matches to the note. I've never found any.

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  3. Your analysis is infantile at best. Patsy wrote the note. the "a" gives it away. But what she wrote is more important than the writing itself. The words and phrases and intentional misspellings. The word attaché instead of briefcase? Only rich educated southerners use that word. Why was the note so long? Because she had all night to write it. One of the longest ransom notes ever written. No lie detector test given by the FBI. Why? Most people can't fool the FBI. To the point, both failed the first test in 4-1997. Inconclusive = fail. Both passed in 5-2000. Why? They got to choose who asked the questions and where and when. No police/FBI involved. By then, they learned to live with it. I could go on and on but why?

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    1. That inconclusive test was also done with Patsy being a known Benzodiazepine junkie. She can't even pass the test on tranquillizers. The interview she did in 2001, she is clearly under the influence of benzodiazepines. I was a benzo junkie myself for 13 years. I can spot someone under the influence from a mile away. It takes one to know one. Why would she need to get tuned up to do an interview 5 years after the fact? She was unwilling to admit to recognizing various samples of her own handwriting. Bullshit. Who can't recognize their own handwriting? Big time lying. I can easily pick my handwriting out. She was definitely involved.

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  4. So because the person who wrote it had all night, then it had to have been written by Patsy? I invite you to read more in this blog, because I have the feeling you're assuming I think an intruder wrote the note. I don't. John wrote it. (But wait wasn't he ruled out . . . . )

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  5. Actually, what caught my eye is that both Patsy and the ransomer mix their a's. I've never seen anyone change the way they write their lowercase a's. In the ransom letter look at the first line - "carefully" and "are" have different forms of the letter "a". The same is found in Patsy's letter. How many people actually do this?

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    1. I really don't think you can determine who wrote that note simply by pointing to certain similarities between letters, because chances are there are all sorts of people who form their letters in a similar manner. Sure, it's possible to "cherry pick" similarities by sifting through as many letters as you can until you find some that resemble one another. But that could be done with the writing of almost any two people who use the same general lettering style.

      The answer to your question, "How many people actually do this?" is: we don't know. And it would take a huge research project to find that out, because we'd have to sift through literally hundreds of documents written by thousands of people to find out. My guess is that lots and lots of people do that.

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  6. Patsy felt she deserved John's $118k bonus. She did plenty of work and provided a good home so he could be free to concentrate on work...but was not appreciated. i.e she contributed to his success. This was an attempt to hurt him.
    The language used in the letter is more important than the handwriting. A pretentious name "JonBenet" with French accent and hey, guess what...use of "attaché" instead of bag.
    I think Patsy was annoyed at John and she wrote the letter in order to hurt him. She wanted his $118k bonus and made up the whole thing.
    Also, the letter is very much a cry for help. A serious criminal just asks for money or death will occur. A mentally unstable person who knows deep down there will be no money, plays a game of long winded statements.

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  7. Doc, what strikes me about Patsy's writing and the ransom note is that both dot their i's way over to the left. It's odd.

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    1. OOops, I meant way over to the right.

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    2. Patsy does have a tendency to often dot her i's to the right, yes. But this is not typical of the ransom note. Aside from a few exceptions, most of the dots appear directly over the letter i.

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  8. I don't see who'd be that dumb, ignorant, and arrogant to write a ransom note in their own house, use their own stationary and pen, use their own handwriting, and then call the police and show it to them. That's just asking to get caught! I don't think Patsy or ANYONE in the Ramsay family wrote the letter or had anything to do with the crime.
    Who would be that dense and not think that the ransom note they're writing is surrounded with bills, grocery lists, letters, documents, checks, and other papers with their same handwriting on it? Out in the open for police to examine. That's something to consider.

    I think someone who knew the Ramsays were secretly watching them over time, studied Patsy's handwriting, and memorized it and tried framing her. If I looked at someone else's handwriting long enough I could forge it as well. Remember, dozens of people had keys and access to the family's home, so it could've been anyone. Plus there were 38 registered sex offenders within two miles of their home! The Ramsays didn't do it. That's my view. Someone who was a master manipulator and sociopath pulled this off...

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  9. You guys (and the police) have missed a VERY important, telling, truth. That the style and inconsistencies themselves can be a "Signature".

    For instance, take a good look at the inconsistencies in the London Letter. Most notably, the letter 'A'. Notice that she changes it's style, between a cursive 'a' to a proper 'a'.. This is a sub-conscience thing, and is something a person does without having to think about it. It's their writing style.

    Now, look at the ransom letter again. Notice you will find the same inconsistencies in this letter. When analyzing writing, it's not just the letters and how they are formed. It's many things, such as style, inconsistencies, frequency of use, punctuation... that are the telling evidence.

    When taken in the whole, it is obvious that Patsy wrote the ransom letter. With left or right hand, makes no difference. Because we can change they way we form the letters, but we cannot change the way or sub-conscience mind works.

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